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Shared Burdens

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Posted on 24th of October 2014

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For many of the 12 Lines, there are major gaps in our knowledge. We do not have that problem with the Shang. Our records are full of their legacy - martial, religious, artifacts abound. But a plethora of data can be just as challenging as its lack. We know so many details about the Shang, it can sometime obscure their Truth.

Sharedburdensfeat2
The Shang were masters of structure – in their religion, in their governance and in their society. Every Shang knew what their place was in the hierarchy, and everyone knew what was expected of them. But this rigid order did not preclude the Shang from freedom, fulfillment and the future – quite the opposite, it strengthened them, and turned them into a single, unified force. They all prospered or suffered together.

But after 700 years of prosperity, the Shang fell. The last Shang king lived decadently and ruled oppressively, losing the respect of his people, forfeiting that respect to the hounds of greed. The dynasty fell because the populace rebelled, unwilling to suffer a leader who betrayed the Shang’s basic tenets of decency.

For the Shang, the Truth was that the health of their Dynasty could be measured in the fulfillment of each member. There was no division between the individual and the society.

For us, the lesson of the Shang is clear: Structure is not our enemy - a hierarchy does not preclude equality. However, if corruption is tolerated at all, the structure will be turned against us. Just a small section of rot can spread and bring our entire house down.

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