Today: Do not fight evil on its own terms – from the I Ching

Yesterday’s reading indicated a dire situation that needs to be addressed.  Doing so, one must be certain to eradicate any remnants of oppression.  One cannot negotiate with evil, nor fight it on its own terms.  It must be thoroughly discredited.  Even expressing the truth seems not to be good enough.  One must appeal to people’s better natures so they can arrive at a proper view of the situation.  Then, it is possible to arrive at an equilibrium that is free of oppression and conflict.

Read the text from Richard Wilhelm's translation of the I Ching
Even if only one inferior man is occupying a ruling position in a city, he is able to oppress superior men. Even a single passion still lurking in the heart has power to obscure reason. Passion and reason cannot exist side by side- therefore fight without quarter is necessary if the good is to prevail.
In a resolute struggle of the good against evil, there are, however, definite rules that must not be disregarded, if it is to succeed. First, resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness. Second, a compromise with evil is not possible; evil must under all circumstances be openly discredited. Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over. Third, the struggle must not be carried on directly by force. If evil is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favour of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred and passion. Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapons of evil become dulled. For the same reasons we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.
Here a man is suffering from inner restlessness and cannot abide in his place. He would like to push forward under any circumstances, but encounters insuperable obstacles. Thus his situation entails an inner conflict. This is due to the obstinacy with which he seeks to enforce his will. If he would desist from this obstinacy, everything would go well. But this advice, like so much other good counsel, will be ignored. For obstinacy makes a man unable to hear, for all that he has ears.
The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In principle, everything stands systematised, and it is only in regard to details that success is still to be achieved. In respect to this, however, we must be careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let things take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil. Symptoms of decay are bound to be the result. Here we have the rule indicating the usual course of history. But this rule is not an inescapable law. He who understands it is in position to avoid its effects by dint of unremitting perseverance and caution.


Meditation
Previous readings
Today: I Ching

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.