When a condition is at the stage of thought, you can change your mind. When it’s become a feeling, it impresses the environment, and when it’s become an action, you are then stuck with the consequences.
Power is the logistics of spirit.
Where does it come from and reside? The cycles, the memory, the creative potential energy. It could be seen as the ground of all other energies. The grand unified field of physics.
Power is lost when we break it into pieces as our minds so love to do? Basically, yes. For functional purposes it is lost to us. Virtue in alchemy is the property a material has to interact with other materials. The most popular and active materials being considered catalysts, and the whole dynamic described as transmutation. In Taoism, virtue is the inherent behaviour or “spirit” of anything, be it a river, or the sky, or a plant, animal, or person. More appropriate would be the terms mana or ashe. Both terms denote an inherent effectiveness in the world. Basically the worlds acceptance of that persons or things influence, and beyond the human moral values which have been used to justify great evils, how would we best know the truth?
By damning up a river (force) we kill the rivers virtue (power)? Basically, and the impact of damning rivers has shown to be lasting, and not supportive of the overall balance of the ecosystem. But the power cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change forms. We can choose that as thinking beings, but we usually choose poorly.
We can’t create power for ourselves, nor destroy the power of anything else. We are that power, but without self knowledge the way of that power is lost to our choice. Is there a reason it has to be this way? People are so enamoured of their ideas, and yet when there is a break between idea and experience, what do they defend? Ideas, and the ideas have no power. The ideas can have power indirectly, as they can arise from self knowledge, and evolve with experience. But by themselves they are a pattern of force, and thus we are stuck in mental loops.
People tend to give little thought in this day and age to the mind of the sword wielder, instead favouring contemporary prejudices. There is a much maligned aphorism, and I don’t agree with it totally, but it’s still perhaps worth considering. “Might makes right.“ In my personal view, you don’t know until you do. You don’t know until you express your power, and if you are wise in this doing you will come to see right action for what it is, and see what action is destructive and self defeating. But who actually knows this in advance? The way of the person who knows without doing was lost to us early in human history, but we didn’t accept the way of doing either, instead manifesting a way of impulsiveness and fence sitting. Is it a wonder why we feel powerless as a culture?
There is scientific evidence pointing to the validity of an old social role in humanity. One we don’t really embrace any longer. It manifests quite clearly in animal species, and is known as the “watchguard”. In prairie dogs, in wolves, in communal simians, and there are watch geese too. Always one smaller group who sounds the alarm. In early tribal cultures there was such a place with humans.
Canary in the coalmine? Yes, in a sense. It has been proven that it’s almost as natural an inclination as being left handed. Higher cortisol levels, and the person is almost always in an “alerted” mental state. In tribal cultures this person was the Shaman. The Shaman watched the members of their tribe, watched the animals they hunted and fished, watched what plants animals were using and when, and could see why. This wasn’t science. The Shaman wasn’t plotting a technology.
We can still have this way about us, but now we say the alert ones are neurotic, paranoid, and that’s when we are being “respectful”. The Shamans explanation may have not been the literal truth, but they were right enough that their tribes saw the sense in listening to them, and they didn’t have a lot of time for frivolity. If the Shaman was just an idiot, they wouldn’t have survived on his or her guidance.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.