Pondering Ethics with the I Ching
I wanted a specialty product for me, plus one to use in making a birthday gift. I bought a gift card to use online in order to purchase these specialty things. No one specified the hidden fee so the only way you find out is if you try and buy something and then exceed your limit because of this hidden fee. This after already paying $3.95 to “activate” the card. I now have to wait to have the fees refunded for the transactions that were denied so I can try again.
A tearful twenty minutes on the phone and a frazzled psyche later, I again see the correlation between want and ramping up anxiety in my life. It is clear to me that purchasing things online is not the easy fix we are led to believe it is. There are security problems and hidden fees, attendant stress when things go wrong, and the ability to spend beyond your means.
It’s my obsession with perfection: I “need” the perfect supply, but I don’t in reality. I could have saved myself days of worry and anxiety.
Then I saw a story online about a Japanese woman who decapitated cats and put the images online. Sort of like the Japanese women who put a plate over a succession of rabbits and sat on them to crush and kill them, laughing all the while, or the man who paid prostitutes to stamp on and kill kittens. One person’s revolting cruelty is another person’s happy fetish.
How much can a person take of the world? I could quite happily die and be rid of it.
I feel the I Ching might give me something to hold on to here. From The I-Ching Tarot I draw a random card…
37 – THE FAMILY
Alfred Huang translates this as “Household” although Wilhelm uses “The Family”in his translation.
Governments and society are based upon the ethics and rules in a family. A ruler acts as a father, son, or brother, and he becomes a model that the people will follow. It’s about practicing moral principles and living in harmony. Being steadfast and upright in truth, management of the household brings stability and people learn to respect others. It then extends outward, beyond to the outside world.
The stability of countries and the world as a whole depends on the stability within families. “The Family of Man” as Edward Steichen called it in his famous photography exhibit from the 1950s.
I seem to have lost hope in this family of ours.
The World Is Too Much With Us
William Wordsworth (written circa 1806)
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.