Don Caviare's Reviews > The Resonance Code: Empowering Leaders to Evolve Toward Wholeness

The Resonance Code by Spring Cheng PhD
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it was amazing

Like so many Westerners, no doubt, my keen interest in Chinese culture was first kindled by Chinese characters: so mysterious, so undecipherable – so alien! And their beauty was only enhanced by this allure of impenetrable secrecy. Surely, everything Chinese had to be just as unfathomable and forever out of reach to a European as these strange pictograms?

My curiosity was such that I started learning Mandarin in earnest, and soon enough I was off to study on an exchange program in Hong Kong. There was no turning back: I ended up spending most of my twenties in China, studying, working, and loving, and eventually began working as a translator of Mandarin! And what I discovered was that for all their richness and deep mystery, Chinese characters can in fact be understood (to some humble extent!) by any Westerner. All that is needed is a little help from dear Chinese friends, a good dictionary or two, and perseverance. The urge to decipher menus in restaurants will do the rest.

All of the above applies to Chinese culture – and perhaps any culture – as a whole. And in my view, The Resonance Code is a most wonderful bridge to walk in order to grasp some of the crucial thinking that makes up the unique philosophical and spiritual “DNA” of ancient China: the endlessly inspiring system of ideas known as Taoism – and one of its roots, the Book of Changes (I Ching). Even more importantly, by presenting a framework and set of practices to articulate these ideas with a more Western heritage, this book also enables its readers to draw from this deep and often cryptic thinking to enrich, enliven, and even transform their everyday life. This is no small feat.

Moreover, The Resonance Code does so in a highly accessible and enjoyable form, based as it is on the personal life stories of its co-authors – particularly Spring Cheng and Joe Shirley. Their journey toward personal and mutual understanding is in fact a crucial foundation of this work, which grants it a warm, embodied truthfulness, far from the dryness of a philosophical treatise. Indeed, this book brims with vitality, creativity, and loving kindness, in the pursuit of a necessary goal: self and collective transformation, to face the daunting challenge of climate breakdown, and other aspects of the social and ecological crisis that we have brought unto ourselves and the rest of the living world.

The Resonance Code takes a sharp look at the mental patterns, gaps, and imbalances that have become ingrained in the Western way of being, as a result of cultural hegemony and over-reliance on linear rational thinking – and shows how this “inner climate” is intimately connected with the “outer climate” that is now pushing humanity towards infinite misery, and perhaps even extinction. This suffering, this disharmony is not simply a matter of economic systems or technology: to change our path, we must change ourselves from the inside out. And this cannot be done without realising – in the deepest sense possible – the interconnected nature of our existence on this planet, with one another, with non-human living beings… and maybe with much larger cosmic forces.

Beyond reaching a mere rational understanding of this state of affairs, we must learn to weave this knowledge into what Gary Snyder called the “practice” of everyday life. By shining a spotlight on the precious heritage of Chinese thought, and presenting brilliantly innovative and inspiring ways to engage in self-transformation by integrating body and mind, rationality and intuition, feelings and reason (indeed, by transcending such binary oppositions), The Resonance Code is a powerful instrument in helping one to walk a new “tao” (path). It is high time we all did so.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
September 4, 2019 – Shelved

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