The sum is greater than the parts. But boy-O-boy don’t we worry about those parts? I’ve had a bit of elbow pain which started from overuse of the hand/arm during the summer and it’s easy to lose perspective when it rains or gets cold. You know how it goes, we can either focus on the one negative thing or look at the bigger, overall picture which represents the positive. In this example, yes the elbow may hurt and if I focus upon that alone, it will magnify in my experience. Yet, if I see my whole body which contains very good levels of health, the elbow is put in proper perspective—meaning that I can cope with it, not letting it immobilize me! It’s all relative no matter what we’re dealing with; we can allow it to overtake us or we can keep it in perspective. So this elbow example is part of how I’m seeing to interpret the message of Kua 45-Joining today. That I-CHING hexigram message has to do with ‘gathering together’ and relates to the phrase which begins this paragraph, “The sum is greater than the parts”. In what area of your life can you apply this idea today?
Our Life Journey Itself creates certain wear and tear as it demands perseverance through hard times or difficult experiences. Bumps and bruises along the way with sad tears and shadows are all part of the human experience on this 3rd planet from the Sun; but we must keep the ‘sum of the whole’ in mind during those times.
Seeing the unity of our life during the temporary difficult issues or suffering by remembering the good times and the future hopes and expectations will help to widen the picture. And like me with my elbow, put it into proper perspective. This makes it bearable and keeps us from letting life (our thoughts and emotions about it) get out-of-hand.
The Earth Itself is this way too if you think about it. We may see areas of earth where destruction has taken place—perhaps a forest fire that leaves its scar on Earth Mother’s face, but if we stand back and see the whole of the Earth, we see the undeniable beauty.
This doesn’t mean that we should not put out the forest fire, deal with the issue at hand in practical ways and in the case of my elbow, avoid treating it with a pressure wrap for support, an anti-inflammatory (or Reiki healing). Do what is practical while at the same time view difficulties as simply a part of the whole of life. Keeping the whole in mind is an optimistic measure to embrace while we deal with the part—whatever that part may be.
In my humble experience, meditation helps in being able see the unity, the wholeness, which aids in putting life in a balanced perspective. Water travels for hundreds of miles, sometimes beginning as a tiny stream, disappearing beneath the soil, eventually resurfacing. The process is essentially the same on a human scale. Meditation can tune us into that view of our life as well as the lives of others so that we can gain those perspectives and then we can allow without grasping.
“The real glory of meditation lies not in any method but in its continual living experience of presence, in its bliss, clarity, peace, and most important of all, complete absence of grasping.
When you live in the wisdom home, you’ll no longer find a barrier between “I” and “you,” “this” and “that,” “inside” and “outside;” you’ll have come, finally, to your true home, the state of non-duality.”
— Sogyal Rinpoche