Sunday, 19 April 2009
The Challenge of Living - Moving into Phase 4
I'll keep this one brief. Basically, in the yin-yang symbol above that you see, there are 6 phases of life. Phases 1 through 3 can be considered the expansionary phase, and phases 4 through 6 are contractionary. Life goes through all six phases, whether we like it or not. It is a pattern that occurs in small things, and also describes a larger cycle.
With the recession, many people are now beginning to experience living in the contractionary phases. That is part of life, and I know of no one who can transcend those cycles completely. However, there is one important thing to realise - the strategies that apply in one phase of the cycle may well fail in another phase.
This is what I keep howling at the leaders of human potential for. Some of the strategies that worked when both the person and the world were in general in an expansionary phase will fail quite dramatically when it switches between phases 3 and 4. We have been living at the brink of a precipice for a long time, and have now toppled into phase 4. Some people are still in personal expansionary phases, but many are in personal contractionary ones.
The lesson of the contractionary phases is the cutting down of attachment and making do with less. It bridles the ego. As a Feng Shui master once commented to me, "When people do well, they are always more than happy to take credit for it. When they do badly, that's when they blame outside forces, and then they come to us to change their lives."
Sadly, that happens all too often. Masters can put you in the flow, but if you still maintain that huge inner imbalance, then it will all be for naught. The lessons of the contractionary phases are humility, surrender and compassion. The tight grip and attachment to expansion, whether material or spiritual (yes, many teachers of the path are also experiencing a contraction), is now going to create a lot of pain. The way of least suffering is to go with the flow and let go.
I implore the reader to spend some time meditating on this, and to learn to release. Otherwise, when Phase 6 comes in, there will be a world of pain to pay. The strange thing for Personal Phase 6 is that unless some level of evolution has been achieved, it will continue on until rock bottom is absolutely reached. There is no waiting it out. The world economy may turn, and yes you can wait that one out, but not the personal one.
Beware also of applying techniques that may have worked in the past. They may not work now. The key is to observe the environment and what works, and then to develop a sense of spiritual maturity about the situation. Bludgeoning life with methods, strategies and tactics is highly unlikely to work if you are coming from a place of spiritual obscuration.