Today: “Tune your awareness to the needs of the time” – From the I Ching

Tune your awareness to the needs of the time.  Trim any unnecessary actions or expenditures until they are needed.  Pay attention, don’t miss the optimum time to begin.  Then, proceed cautiously with laser focus.

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#60, line 2, #3

Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. If we live economically in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter, day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way, economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property and prevent injury to the people.
But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel.
Therefore it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation.
When the time for action has come, the moment must be quickly seized. Just as water first collects in a lake without flowing out, yet is certain to find an outlet when the lake is full, so it is in the life of man. It is a good thing to hesitate so long as the time for action has not come, but no longer. Once the obstacles to action have been removed, anxious hesitation is a mistake that is bound to bring disaster, because one misses one’s opportunity.
TIMES OF GROWTH are beset with difficulties. They resemble a first birth. But these difficulties arise from the very profusion of all that is struggling to attain form. Everything is in motion: therefore if one perseveres there is a prospect of great success, in spite of the existing danger. When it is a man’s fate to undertake such new beginnings, everything is still unformed, dark. Hence he must hold back, because any premature move might bring disaster. Likewise, it is very important not to remain alone; in order to overcome the chaos he needs helpers. This is not to say, however, that he himself should look on passively at what is happening. He must lend his hand and participate with inspiration and guidance.

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Tao Te Ching – Verse 55
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Today: “Rid yourself of excesses that do not serve you.  You will see who your friends are, who will assist you willingly.” – From the I Ching

Rid yourself of excesses that do not serve you.  You will see who your friends are, who will assist you willingly.  It will bring balance to your life and things will fall into place.

Read the text from Richard Wilhelm's and subsequent translations of the I Ching

#41, line 4, #63

Decrease does not under all circumstances mean something bad. Increase and decrease come in their own time. What matters here is to understand the time and not to try to cover up poverty with empty pretence. If a time of scanty resources brings out an inner truth, one must not feel ashamed of simplicity. For simplicity is then the very thing needed to provide inner strength for further undertakings. Indeed, there need be no concern if the outward beauty of the civilisation, even the elaboration of religious forms, should have to suffer because of simplicity. One must draw on the strength of the inner attitude to compensate for what is lacking in externals; then the power of the content makes up for the simplicity of form. There is no need of presenting false appearances to God. Even with slender means, the sentiment of the heart can be expressed.
A man’s faults often prevent even well-disposed people from coming closer to him. His faults are sometimes reinforced by the environment in which he lives. But if in humility he can bring himself to the point of giving them up, he frees his well-disposed friends from an inner pressure and causes them to approach the more quickly, and there is mutual joy.
The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In principle, everything stands systematised, and it is only in regard to details that success is still to be achieved. In respect to this, however, we must be careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let things take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil. Symptoms of decay are bound to be the result. Here we have the rule indicating the usual course of history. But this rule is not an inescapable law. He who understands it is in position to avoid its effects by dint of unremitting perseverance and caution.

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Tao Te Ching – Verse 53
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Today: “Keep your grace and good manners.  Attend to the matters at hand.” – From the I Ching

Keep your grace and good manners.  Attend to the matters at hand.  People will see you and be nourished by what they see.

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#2, line 3, #27

The Superior Person realizes he has not the wisdom to move the course of the world, except by attending to each day’s affairs as they come.  Success in small matters.  This is a good time to begin something.
The environment around you is not one of depth, and you are appreciated now for your image, not your essence.  You perfectly fill a role, and no one is seeing the genuine you.   Still, you are being listened to and watched.  Use this influence to further your goals as much as possible.  Even if you don’t feel understood, you can perhaps connect with a few isolated hearts.  Relax and enjoy the attention.
This represents a very charming life situation. One is under the spell of grace and the mellow mood induced by wine. This grace can adorn, but it can also swamp us. Hence the warning not to sink into convivial indolence but to remain constant in perseverance. Good fortune depends on this.
You are a conduit in this instance, able to provide the sustenance needed by others.  Position yourself to nourish the truly needy and worthy.
Avoid situations where you might be coerced into supporting the parasites and vermin who deprive your true charges.  Your own nourishment is an issue here, too.

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Tao Te Ching – Verse 53
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Today: “Use gentle persuasion in troubled times.  Send your message subtly on the wings of consciousness. ” – From the I Ching

Use gentle persuasion in troubled times.  Send your message subtly on the wings of consciousness.  If you fight the darkness on its own terms, it wins.   Find an opening, then slowly penetrate.

Read the text from Richard Wilhelm's and subsequent translations of the I Ching

#57, line 6, #36

Small, persistent, focused effort brings success.  Gentle persuasion is the key in this instance.  Though the words are soft, their speaker must be firm, calm and confident.  Gentle words are worthless if spoken with trepidation.
Wordless influence by example is also effective in this situation.  All persuasion should be almost unfelt, yet consistent and persistent.  Ask for feedback from someone you know to be an effective persuader.
A man’s understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has the strength to combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to penetrate into the personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.
You are progressing, rising inch-by-inch toward certain success.  What makes this assured is your refusal to tilt headlong toward your goal, slamming into obstacles and going mad with frustration.  You have a clear map before you of the steps necessary to reach your objective.  With faithful patience and a careful conservation of personal energy and resources, you will run this long, slow distance.

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Tao Te Ching – Verse 52
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