Assignment: How does the trigram describe a situation; a cause (origin, root); a person? How does it tell you what to do? What does it tell about how to do something?
“Focus on joy, gathering of that which gives pleasure and fulfillment, naivety, not attached to responsibilities, a little bit of egocentric behavior to be able to find your own ‘lake’ that feeds your creativity. Beautiful poetry is written on the side of the lakes… It also denotes magic, wizardry, ignoring rules, creating your own reality within the limits that are provided. The problem (if you can call it that) is that Lake is relying on the outside world for nourishment: the water from the Lake has to come from elsewhere and for replenishment it will look outside herself. If she finds that nourishment she will be happy, if not the water will become stale and the happiness turns into a depression. Find out where your lake gets its nourishment from and if this source is the right source. Questions that might help in this process are: Are you connected to the right sources? What gives you genuine joy, regardless of whether it is acceptable, normal or feasible? Are you capable of taking unusual measures? You are the only person who is responsible for your own happiness. Focus on the true joy that is involved in it. If that joy can’t be found at the base of all your doings then you should redefine that base, that foundation that is the bottom of your lake.” – Harmen Mesker
A situation that carries the attributes of lake would be characterized by joyful exchange and interaction. Since the quote above pretty much sums up those characteristics, I will focus on specific examples of situations that would fit. The actual feeling of sitting beside a lake with others and enjoying the interaction is an easy example. It brings to mind the relaxation and recreation that people do when they visit a lake. They go to get away from the stresses of life and there they take in the beauty and joy and stay on the surface in topics that are bantered about. I also got this trigram as representing my work situation. That fits in the bigger picture, as I am in hospitality, where we keep conversation light and pleasant. It also represented the idea that, in regards to the deeper issues, there was an attitude of not wanting to look at those things. They wanted to keep the situation light and pleasant, things going along as if nothing was happening. There was a lack of taking responsibility for things. This is the surface of the lake, where rules are ignored. There are limits to a lake, it is contained and this can apply to a situation.
The person could be seen as characterized by pleasing exchanges. This person might also have a self-centeredness that is contained within a certain environment or subject. That person is concerned with their own sources of nourishment. Though the person may have fun and interesting exchanges, there lacks a concern with responsibilities on other levels. A kind of alter reality is created around this feeling of pleasant exchange around a lake. We meet people in life that we consider pleasant in a certain environment, say at a coffee shop or in a bar (a watering hole) or on the internet. That person seems to be that pleasant interaction, but there is no real nourishment for a relationship on a grander or deeper level. Lake could represent a person only about that one area of interest and may seem superficial or lacking of depth and understanding in other ways. It is a person that is fun to be around at the lake, but not a person who has other valued attributes. Robin Williams comes to mind as someone who could typify the attributes of Lake. We see him as joyful and funny and we assume that his life is this way too. We gather to see him in movies and we feel an exchange because of his warm personality and humor and we feel joy. There was some issue with him receiving nourishment for this joy in his ongoing life. We know he suffered from depression and ultimately took his own life. Despite his career as typifying a joyful gather place, his lake dried up.
A lake is formed because of outside conditions. There is the nourishment, like a river or stream. There is low lying earth that has natural containment properties. Applied to causes in life, this might mean the situation was caused by natural conditions inherent in the situation. It is made by the natural elements of a gathering place and nourished by outside sources. In a more positive sense the causes make it pleasant and open for exchange. In a more negative sense other conditions might be ignored, like continuing the source of nourishment or looking at deeper issues involved. A lake reflects the environment, sometimes so perfectly it is difficult to tell the reflection from the reality. I am drawn again to the example of Robin Williams. A comedy show is where people gather together to laugh and be light hearted. There is an exchange. The setting is a contained place that lends itself well to this kind of interaction. We can laugh at our foibles and share in the joy of this kind of reflection. But this is not the rest of life. Robin Williams was a wizard in that containment, but could not find nourishment in other ways for joy.
What to do
Focus on the qualities that bring joy and nourishment. Consider ideas of fulfillment within the containment of the situation. Open up and exchange in pleasant interaction. Let go of the usual rules and interaction pleasantries. Allow in the wizardry of interaction on this level the way that the surface has ripples and also becomes mist or the dark, murky depths. Consider the sources of joy. Don’t let the lake go dry. Share joy. Let loose and be free of hindrances. Contemplate joy and beauty on deeper levels, like writing poetry. Allow meaning to penetrate and go deeper without the use of words. Enjoy the feeling without focus on responsibilities. Be self-serving in the sources that bring this feeling. Fill in and fill up. Take a dip. Dive in. Be light. Enjoy recreation that is relief from stress.
How to do it
Joyfully. In exchange and interaction. Pleasantly. Openly. Loosely. With an alchemical kind of wizardry as in fluid to mist. With keeping sources and flow open and fulfilling. Without responsibility or hindrance. Self servantly in enjoyment. Within a joyful gathering. With laughter and flirtation. With happiness and with reflection of the ways joy is brought to life. In happy meditation. With a light heart. With recognition that some things / situations / people are meant to be only surface and for the fun of it