As Above – So Below as a Law of Life

A simple seeker was meditating on the concept of
As Above – So Below and how it might express
itself in human society.

Is there a human society?

Perhaps the sum total of all human communities
could be considered as an all-inclusive society.

Would the same principle…

Is it a principle?

It is more than a principle. It is a law of life.

How many laws of life are there?

There is no limit to their number.

Is there a hierarchy withing the society
of their rules of order?

Are they rules of order?

Are they?

Yes.

Then …

As above, so below.

A common bond?

What is the common bond?

Everyone possesses the same emotional and
intellectual attributes in various degrees.

Then why is there or seems to be
an above and a below?

And a somewhere in-between?

Yes.

It is necessarily so.

Why?

Birds of a feather flock together.

Sparrows and crows don’t associate with
each other?

Exactly. They each form their separate societies
or communities, but are at the same time, birds.

The same species of life?

Yes.

Then, what about the human species?

What about it?

Language groups?

Yes, and separate cultures or communities
develop within each language group.

Is it possible to integrate all language groups
and their separate cultures into one?

Why would you want to? And, how would you do it
without eliminating individual cultures?

Then co-existence is the solution?

To what?

Co-existence is its own solution?

How to co-exist with others who are, or seem to be
superior or lesser to us, in some respects?

Between groups or within groups&?

The same principle would apply?

The same laws of life apply.

Those above know they are above, and those
at the bottom …

Yes.

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Instinct and Intuition as Yin and Yang

Our simple seeker was meditating on The Ace of Swords,
the Tarot card she had randomly selected to direct
her focus on relationship issues of today.

The Ace of Swords represents the full range of
intellectual capacities and potentials.

Then, simple common sense would be a form of, or
a prerequisite to higher levels of intellectual
development.

What would connect them to each other?

Perhaps different levels of awareness.

Are they related as you and I are?

If common sense is a prerequisite of intelligence …

And it both is and is not.

How is that possible?

What is common sense?

An instinctive or intuitive knowing.

Are they the same?

What?

Instinct and intuition.

Is one more primitive?

Primitive?

More basic in that it developed prior
to the other.

As in emotion and intellect?

Instinct and intuition may be more closely
connected to each other.

In what way?

Perhaps intuition develops into instinct?

As in transcending?

Yes.

Would instinct then dissolve?

No.

Why?

Transcending doesn’t involve exchanging
one for the other.

Could they operate or function separately?

What?

Instinct and intuition.

Yes.

Then there is no transcendence from one
to the other?

Perhaps transcendence still plays a part
in the game.

What role? What game?

Perhaps as intuition develops …

It never develops. It transcends into awareness.

Then, perhaps instinct is more emotional
and intuition is more intellectual, as in
Yin and Yang?

Yes.

Could common sense be a blend of instinct
and intuition.

Yes.

Wow!

Now, where does awareness fit into this picture?

I am becoming more aware of the interrelationship
between emotion and intellect.

Yes.

Do they develop separately?

Is that possible?

They each need the other in order to develop
in a healthy way?

Yes.

I think I’m over my head.

Yes.

Awareness of Personal Power Requires Meditation

Our simple seeker had randomly chosen and was now studying
her daily personal relationship card, The King of Wands.
This authority figure presented as having a firm grip on power.

Is it possible?

Is what possible?

To possess a firm grip on authority?

He seems ready to do battle to maintain it, and beneath his
royal robes he wears a body suit of armour.

Then he rules with an iron grip?

Wands are wood, but he does seem prepared, and yet ..

And yet?

Something in his posture and facial expression suggests
a willingness to listen to reason.

Does he remind you of me?

Not at all.

Why?

Wands express action.

And teachers do not?

Not in a physical sense.

Intellectual development has physical results.

How?

Everything you do, say, or think is an expression of
intellectual development.

Wow!

Does that mean you agree?

No.

Then what?

It means that I’m impressed with your self-confidence.

Yes, but do you disagree?

No.

Why not?

Self-directed actions must be based on thoughts,
blended with emotions, and our thoughts are influenced
by those whom we have chosen, or who have been chosen
for us, to develop and guide our thinking.

Do I guide your thinking.

Yes, you certainly have had a powerful effect on my
thinking.

In what way?

You have continuously, or so it seems, challenged me
to defend or question my own thinking.

And the effects of earlier teachers and social
conditioning on your thinking?

Yes.

Now, back to the King of Action.

What about him?

I’ll ask you again: Do teachers possess power
to influence their students’ actions; what they
say and do?

Yes, both now and in the future. I now understand
the power of what we know, or think we know.

Yes, that we have learned from whomever we allowed
to teach us whatever.

Free will?

Yes.

Personal responsibility?

Yes, that too.

What about emotions.

What about them?

Have I taught you any?

How can anyone learn or teach emotions?

Nothing we can say, think, or do is, or can be
emotion-free.

How can we learn to recognize which emotion is
embedded in what particular thought, word or
action?

Self-awareness.

How to develop self-awareness?

Self-reflection and meditation in some form.

How does self-awareness relate to the symbolic
form of The King of Action.

His seeming sense of power is a reflection of
his self-awareness. He is aware of his own
personal strengths, his personal power.
Are you, of yours?

No.

Yes.

Learning is a Form of Awareness

Our simple seeker was studying with intent to learn more
about Neo-Confucianism.

How does it differ from reading?

Learning, or seeking to learn, something.

Intentionally?

Yes, and expecting to learn. I am learning
and I am aware that I have learned
something of value, to me, if to no other.

In such a short time?

Yes and no.

Isn’t that my line?

If it fits.

Yes. If what we are studying now is built
upon a solid foundation of earlier studies
then we can absorb our new learning
into an expanding and deeper understanding
of earlier studies.

Formal educations is, or should be,
built on these same principles.

Principles?

Yes.

One step at a time?

It doesn’t work that way.

How then does it work?

Expanding, integrating, and transcending.
How did the concept of transcending
come into your study of Confucianism?

Neo-Confucianism.

Would Confucius be impressed?

He might be horrified.

Perhaps not.

Why do you say that? Do you have inside
information?

Yes. The trinity that you imagined
(I had visualized an I Ching trinity,
or triad) involving the Supreme Ultimate
as a force that produced Yin and Yang
may well have developed from your
understanding of the Kabbalah Tree of
Life and its supreme triad of energies.

Isn’t it curious and interesting how
it all comes together?

What?

Knowledge.

It can come together if we continue
to open to new ideas without letting
go of what we have learned in the past.

Perhaps, all along the way we need to
be aware that what we are now learning
may itself become a foundation for
future learning.

Would you want to reach an end?

Is there an end?

No. Awareness is knowing there is
no end or boundary to awareness, and
in the end, learning is a form of
awareness.

The Limits of Existentialism

Our simple seeker was meditating on existentialism.

That is not the usual focus of spiritual meditation.

So what?

As in, who cares?

Yes.

Also, Did you know that your heroes of existentialist
philosophy were French revolutionaries?

Because they were with the underground resistance?

They were more than resisting.

Yes, but in the process of resisting oppression
they were also developing a revolutionary
philosophy of life.

Which came first?

The chicken or the egg?

Yes.

Perhaps they were never separate.

Exactly.

What does that mean?

We hone our skills and our thought and
emotional development, not to mention
spiritual development, in experience.

Then, why were Sartre and Camus
not called experientialists?

Experience is never enough. They
and every deep thinker first must
exist in order to experience
anything.

Were they aware of that?

Of what?

Of the need to exist before …

The name of the school of philosophy
they belonged to speaks for itself.

But, existence before essence …

What about it?

Doesn’t that thought suggest …

Perhaps they chose to stop thinking
deeper than their social condition
required at the time?

Thinking for a purpose other than itself?

Yes.