Always be mindful and vigilant, never allowing your attention to lapse. Small details can offer great reward. Small mistakes can have big consequences.
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56 – Fifty-Six Lu / The Wanderer
Fire on the Mountain, catastrophic to man, a passing annoyance to the Mountain:
The Superior Person waits for wisdom and clarity before exacting Justice, then lets no protest sway him.
Find satisfaction in small gains.
To move constantly forward is good fortune to a Wanderer.
You are a stranger to this situation.
It is your attraction to the exotic that has led you here, but you will move on to a new vista when this one has lost its mystique.
Because much of this environment is foreign to you, you must exercise only the best judgement.
You don’t know the custom here, and it’s too easy to cross a line you don’t know is there.
Because you are the foreigner in this setting, you have no history to acquit you.
Watch, listen, study, contemplate, then step lightly but decisively on.
Nine at the top means:
The traveler uses a bird’s nest as kindling.
He chuckles at his cleverness, but soon weeps when he loses his ox.
The bird’s nest burns up.
The wanderer laughs at first,
Then must needs lament and weep.
Through carelessness he loses his cow.
‘Cow in love’ – Hoenderloo Holland 2009 – photo Lex van den Bos
The picture of a bird whose nest burns up indicates loss of one’s resting place. This misfortune may overtake the bird if it is heedless and imprudent when building its nest. It is the same with a wanderer. If he lets himself go, laughing and jesting, and forgets that he is a wanderer, he will later have cause to weep and lament. For if through carelessness a man loses his cow — i.e., his modesty and adaptability — evil will result.
16 – Sixteen Yü / Enthusiasm
Thunder comes resounding out of the Earth:
Similar thunder roars up from the masses when the Superior Person strikes a chord in their hearts.
Whip up enthusiasm, rally your forces, and move boldly forward.
There is a rhythmic force, a world music, that lives deep in the Unconscious of each of us.
It’s a primitive drumbeat, a shaking rattle, a tribal chant that invokes the primal self to rise up and join the dance.
This is the enthusiasm that is generated now.
Not rhetorical persuasion, not a play on the emotions, but a charismatic, irresistible Call of the Wild.
Confucius said that the person who could comprehend this could ‘rule the world as though it were spinning in his hand.’
This is a time for instinct, not intellect — the Thunder from the Beneath.