Do not take retreat as defeat, only as an opportunity to regroup into a stronger position.
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#33, line 4, #63
The tranquil Mountain towers overhead, yet remains this side of Heaven:
The Superior Person avoids the petty and superficial by keeping shallow men at a distance, not in anger but with dignity.
Such a retreat sweeps the path clear to Success.
Occupy yourself with minute detail.
Retreat in this instance is not a desperate flight in disarray, but a conscious choice to distance yourself from forces that would rob you of your peace.
It is not a surrender, but a regrouping.
Retreat from this conflict is actually an advance toward your own center.
You move toward balance, and thus a much stronger position.
Nine in the fourth place means:
Voluntary retreat brings good fortune to the superior man
And downfall to the inferior man.
In retreating the superior man is intent on taking his departure willingly and in all friendliness. He easily adjusts his mind to retreat, because in retreating he does not have to do violence to his convictions. The only one who suffers is the inferior man from whom he retreats, who will degenerate when deprived of the guidance of the superior man.
Boiling Water over open Flame, one might extinguish The other:
The Superior Person takes a 360 degree view of the situation and prepares for any contingency.
Success in small matters if you stay on course.
Early good fortune can end in disorder.
Victory at the expense of another is a merciless taskmaster.
The precarious balance here is reflected in the lines of the hexagram: each of the yin lines rests upon a strong yang line — a seemingly perfect arrangement.
But the scales will be tipped with the change of any one line.
And there WILL be change.
Tireless vigilance and an answer to every challenge — that is the uneasy Seat of Power occupied by the conqueror.