It is a precarious world. While we cannot know the complexities of all forms of danger, it is safest to take the simple path, not disrupting the flow.
A kind old messenger of God came to my door this morning. We look very different from the outside and our hearts recognized our resonance.
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10 – Ten Lü / Worrying the Tiger
Heaven shines down on the Marsh which reflects it back imperfectly:
Though the Superior Man carefully discriminates between high and low, and acts in accord with the flow of the Tao, there are still situations where a risk must be taken.
You tread upon the tail of the tiger.
Not perceiving you as a threat, the startled tiger does not bite.
You have reached a perilous point in your journey.
This is a real gamble — not a maneuver, not a calculated risk.
The outcome is uncertain.
If it goes as you hope, you will gain — but if it turns against you it will cause serious injury, at least to your plans.
The best tack is extreme caution and a healthy respect for the danger involved.
Six in the third place means:
A one-eyed man is able to see,
A lame man is able to tread.
He treads on the tail of the tiger.
The tiger bites the man.
Thus does a warrior act on behalf of his great prince.
Worrying the Tiger
A one-eyed man can indeed see, but not enough for clear vision. A lame man can indeed tread, but not enough to make progress. If in spite of such defects a man considers himself strong and consequently exposes himself to danger, he is inviting disaster, for he is undertaking something beyond his strength. This reckless way of plunging ahead, regardless of the adequacy of one’s powers, can be justified only in the case of a warrior battling for his prince.
Nine at the beginning [yang at bottom] means:
Simple conduct. Progress without blame.
Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876
The situation is one in which we are still not bound by any obligations of social intercourse. If our conduct is simple, we remain free of them. We can quietly follow our predilections as long as we are content and make not demands on people.
The meaning of the hexagram is not standstill but progress. A man finds himself in an altogether inferior position at the start. However, he has the inner strength that guarantees progress. If he can be content with simplicity, he can make progress without blame. When a man is dissatisfied with modest circumstances, he is restless and ambitious and tries to advance, not for the sake of accomplishing anything worth while, but merely in order to escape from lowliness and poverty by dint of his conduct. Once his purpose is achieved, he is certain to become arrogant and luxury-loving. Therefore blame attaches to his progress. On the other hand, a man who is good at his work is content to behave simply. He wishes to make progress in order to accomplish something. When he attains his goal, he does something worth while, an all is well.
50 – Fifty Ting / The Caldron
Fire rises hot and bright from the Wood beneath the sacrificial caldron:
The Superior Person positions himself correctly within the flow of Cosmic forces.
Your needs are coming into harmony with the requirements of the Cosmos.
Blending brilliantly with the Dance of Life, you are becoming an actual element of Cosmic Law.
Your goals will now be realized because you no longer cut against the Cosmic grain; you are no longer swimming against the flow of the Tao.
You are acquiring an intuitive sense of what can and cannot be, and aligning your efforts accordingly.