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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

63. From Old to New

The Lines Bottom.

[9] Immediately after a significant transition takes place, the momentum of change is still effective, and there is a tendency for it to be carried too far. If change is overdone, it creates uncertainty and weakness, a need for a pullback, and the introduction of confusion that could lead to chaos and disaster. The wise man, therefore, exercises caution at this time when everyone else is pushing ahead with elation and recklessness. He holds back, and even though he may receive some slight injury from the pullback that necessarily follows when a general movement goes too far, his caution prevents the minor loss from becoming a major one.

2. [6] After a complete change to a new order of things, a man feels that the new leadership is ignoring him, and that he lacks the opportunities that are necessary for the advancement of what he seeks to accomplish. Those in new positions of leadership may seem content with the changes that the recent transition has brought, and care nothing for new projects or developments. They are content to sit back and rest upon what they have done. Everyone seems to have lost their sense of mission and their interest in moving forward, and are now chiefly concerned with their own power, position and reputation. This causes the man to consider some ostentatious way of bringing his ideas to everyone's attention, but this would be a mistake. If he becomes a part of the same struggle for power and position that engages everyone else, all that he intends will be corrupted and will come to naught. His wisest course is to guard his integrity, maintain his position, consolidate his resources, refine his plans, and develop his skills in preparation for a time when they can be profitably employed. After the present hollow scene has played itself out, a desire for substance and for men with great ideas will arise, and the man's day will arrive. If he stands firm for his principles and for his solid vision, if his goals are really worthwhile, it is impossible that they will lose their value. All he needs to do is wait patiently for the wheel of Fate to turn, and he will be in a position to realize his goals.

3. [9] When a time of transition is complete and the new order is well-established, a new and revitalized administration usually seeks to expand its powers and enlarge its field of influence. It is filled with energy, and to fail to employ that energy in some constructive way is to invite stagnation and decline. This can mean a long and difficult struggle to move into other territories and incorporate them into the expanding enterprise, however. In order for this to succeed, it must be done correctly and in accordance with what is right and just. It should not be parceled out to parvenus who would not be considered worthy to hold a leading position at home. To expand an operation, but to include inferior people as part of the expansion, is a sure way to bring on disaster to the entire enterprise.

4. [6] When a transition is complete and a community is at the height of its power, it is almost inevitable that some kind of scandal will occur that points to the presence of evil and corruption. This will surely invoke outrage from the people, but since the general tenor of the transition is highly favorable, these problems are easily dispensed with, and the people are mollified. Nevertheless, the wise man looks upon these outcroppings of corruption as for causes, and takes corrective action.

5. [9] In the evolution of civilization, there occurs growth and development in the ways men express their spiritual feelings. This, too, is subject to transitional periods in which simple devotion is replaced by more complex forms and more expensive settings. But in spiritual matters, empty dogma, ostentatious show, material magnificence, and gaudy spectacle are completely without importance. Indeed, they tend to encourage external appearances that serve only as facades that hide a vast emptiness and a profound meaninglessness in the spirit of man. What really counts is the inner man, the seriousness of his convictions, and his respect for, allegiance to, and compliance with universal law. Ritual and dogma too often serve as a cloak that is thrown over the inner poverty of inferior and evil men, but a simple and honest respect for the powers of the Universe are the marks of a truly devout man.

Top. [6] When there is a transition bringing with it significant change, there is often a temptation to turn around, look back, and contemplate the mistakes and evils of the past. But this is a dangerous distraction and can led to unfortunate consequences. By contemplating the past, a man renews and reinforces his attachment to the past and the power it has over him.

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