The I Ching often expresses itself in an intangible way as it works with the subtle and unformed nature of life. When something is tangible you can touch it and define it. There is an actual form or substance to it. An intangible is something we are unable to name – a vague perception in the mind. Yet we seek intangibles such as happiness, success, power and wisdom without determining what they mean to us in substance.Given the opportunity to define these intangibles we reach a stumbling block with no single definition or resting point to make them finite. We may develop strategies to find and capture them, wondering why our efforts never cease to be satisfied.

One definition of POWER in the controlling lines of I Ching Hexagram 8 refers to it being a result of “constancy in the use of proper principles”. We are asked to “review our allegiances” because “to unite with improper influences would bring misfortune”.

Refusing to align with improper influences results in personal inner leadership and that alone is power. The improper element is not the people we align with but the emotions that govern our decisions. To be tempted to improper actions by foregoing the step by step process of development and rushing things is an act of inferiority.

Internal strength brings a certainty to our aura that can be felt by others. We may not need to attain a position, rank or affirmation from outside us to prove our power. It comes naturally once our internal ability to respect power has been established. If we seek power before inner development of it is evident, there will be a gap in our understanding that will be exposed over time. We will be left open to humiliation and learn it would have been better to take time to grow and rise naturally.

Make power tangible now. Be at one within. Form allegiances based on proper principles. Do not rush development. Then you will be ready to hold power.

Make WISDOM tangible – “by exercising your knowledge in difficult situations.” If you develop and grow your wisdom by standing up for what you know to be true, then you will be in true possession of your wisdom. Abandoning this opportunity and aligning with the pack – the easy way out – degrades the self and you lose a little bit of your own wisdom each time you act this way. To put forward your beliefs may leave you open to attack but if you are not using your wisdom in life then you are not in ownership of it. Face opposition in a calm way or walk away, but still hold to your position. Silence can become an agreement with evil or prove you are weak-willed.

When you formulate your own opinion it does not mean you are trying to change someone else. You can respect all people but to respect yourself first and own your wisdom is to be guaranteed the right to keep it. Make wisdom tangible now. Own what you already know. Remain open to what you don’t. Receive openly. Wisdom is free.

Karen Cohen

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