Reeds bending in wind.
Gentleness overcomes force.
There are numerous spiritual teachings about the strategy and benefit of yielding in the face of adversity. When about to engage in a conflict of opposing forces, Sun Tzu in the Art of War teaches: "To overcome others' armies without fighting is the best of skills".
But there are also battles on the spiritual journey where yielding is not the best strategy; when these situations are put before us in the form of spiritual tests, Heaven expects us to fight for out beliefs, our families, our teachers.
The Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes, believed to be written by King Solomon, teaches: "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven". King Solomon's wisdom validates our taking a stand, fighting, and even killing as appropriate action in the eyes of Heaven, for example, when our loved ones or children are in danger and in need of protection.
On multiple occasions in the last year, I've been tested by Heaven to see if would rise up and defend my spiritual teacher, Master Sha, the most recent incidents occurring when his teachings were disparaged and his image defiled in a sacred temple. Heaven expects us to stand up for our spiritual father in order to advance on our purification journey and I was able to pass my test.
I am not advocating engaging in violence or actions that will create negative karma when we are spiritually tested in our commitment to our teacher. Nor am I advocating religious warfare in the name of "God" to support a political objective of converting others to adhere to a particular belief system - there has been more than enough killing "in the name of God" over the millennia.
I am suggesting that a yin and yang balance to conflict is nature's way. Be as supple as a reed bending in the wind when appropriate; be as strong as an oak tree with roots sunk deep in the earth when necessary.
© Stephen Colwell, 2017 All Rights Reserved