This is the season when we give and receive so much. We show our affection and love for each other through the things we pass on to each other. Sometimes we make them, and sometimes we buy them, but the important part of the exchange is the affection that they show.
In Pa Kua we call these gifts earth things. Earth things are objects and money. Our house, our car, our toys, and our bank account are all earth things. Earth things make up our basic necessities; food, shelter, and clothing. In our culture we use money to represent these things. Now, in our culure more and more people are talking about how much we have that we don’t need. Many people struggle because they want to show their affection but don’t want to have so much stuff. Many of us have an internal conflict from the way our culture shows affection through gifts and the way our culture feels about excess.
There is an important concept about earth things in Pa Kua. Earth things have no judgement, no purpose, no desire, they simple are. How we feel about the things we have is not part of what they are, it is part of what we are. So if I feel conflicted, or happy, or in excess, it is not because of what I have and what I don’t have. It is only because of me. There is no inherent difference between living with everything and living with nothing. There is only the perception of difference.
For example, I love my house. It is a beautiful thing and it means a lot to me to live there. I like the paint, the cabinets, all my kitchen gadgets. The house means something to me personally as well as filling my needs in necessity. But if I leave the house without an owner or occupant than what is it?
Well, it becomes a trellis for the plants, shade for some animals as they pass through. As it decays and falls apart it becomes a different kind of shelter for other animals, than it passes back into the earth. Everything that uses the building gives it a different purpose and a different use. Good or bad, happy or sad, those things belong to us not the house.
I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of so they can see that it’s not the answer.
So I hope that you all had a wonderful year with many friends and many exchanges, and that you are happy, content, and satisfied with what you have and what you don’t.
-Master Kyle Billingsley