A year ago, I was watching a video of Eckhart Tolle discussing how challenges and suffering can be gateways to enlightenment, inner peace, and personal growth.
“In fact, in the Chinese language, the word wei-ji, means both crisis and opportunity,” Eckhart insightfully mentioned.
I was immediately impressed by this word, and its double meaning.
A Facebook status subsequently followed. My Facebook friends need to know about this word and it’s dual meaning. Also, some Facebook likes never hurt. 😉
Misfortune, grief, loss, suffering, and tough times happen to all of us. It’s happen to me many times. I’ve had financial chaos, relationship problems, and family loss and death in my life. All of which, lead to a degree of negative thinking during certain stages of my life.
Looking back at those unfortunate circumstances, space was eventually created amidst the chaos, and experience, and opportunity derived from it. Those experiences have shaped me to be the person I am.
Even more, universally speaking, life’s evolution of events that have happened to me, seem to have been natural occurrences. Yes, they were tough, but I sense life was helping me somehow. Through these tough experiences, life has helped me find more peace and joy in my life.
Learning about the word wei-ji, authenticated this for me a year ago.
Last week in Medellin, Colombia, during a taxi ride with my buddy Chris, we were listening to Green Day and songs from their album, American Idiot. We are both big fans.
That’s when Chris brings up the Green Day American Idiot story…
In 2003, Green Day recorded and nearly completed a prior album, called Cigarettes and Valentines. Just before the release, it was stolen from the studio, along with all copies. There were no other copies available, or stored anywhere else.
Green Day faced a crisis.
They were going to have to re-record the entire album. However, they decided not to. They agreed was to scratch Cigarettes and Valentines, and get back to work.
They created a brand new album with brand new songs called “American Idiot.”
The band admitted the stolen album didn’t feel right. They just were not that passionate about it.
American Idiot was released in 2004, and became one of their best albums. It put Green Day back on the map in the music world.
After Chris told the story, the Chinese word wei-ji popped into my mind.
Within a crisis lies the hidden opportunity, the hidden enlightenment, the hidden peace, the hidden creativity, or the hidden solution.
I found out that Green Day would later call the theft a “blessing in disguise.”
I felt compelled to learn more about the word wei-ji. After doing some research, the word wei-ji has 2 symbols within the word: The first symbol means danger. The second symbol means opportunity.
In 1959 JFK was quoted using this word and its meaning in a speech, in Indiana:
“The Chinese uses two brush strokes to write the word “crisis.” One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity,” JFK orated.
It’s a powerful message.
Within the darkness, the light lies dormant, waiting to be found.
Can you be aware enough to look for it?
When you look for it, can you open your mind and your heart enough to see the “blessing in disguise?”
Remember what lies dormant within the chaos.
Remember the Chinese word, wei-ji.
Wikipedia – Weiji
Wikipedia – Green Day Cigarettes and Valentines Stolen Album
The 2 symbols of crisis is in “simple Chinese.” Linguistic scholars argue that in traditional or longer Chinese, the first symbol means danger, but the second symbol and word “ji” does not mean opportunity. It means incipient, or crucial point. This still relates to opportunity because when you are in a crucial point of your life, it is an opportunity to learn from it, to grow from it, or be at peace with it.