Always be mindful. Any lapse of attention can be disastrous. Do not assume that everything is covered out of habit.
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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 bird’s nest burns up.
The wanderer laughs at first,
Then must needs lament and weep.
Through carelessness he loses his cow.
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.
62 – Sixty-Two Hsiao Kuo / Lying Low
Thunder high on the Mountain, active passivity:
The Superior Person is unsurpassed in his ability to remain small.
In a time for humility, he is supremely modest.
In a time of mourning, he uplifts with somber reverence.
In a time of want, he is resourcefully frugal.
When a bird flies too high, its song is lost.
Rather than push upward now, it is best to remain below.
This will bring surprising good fortune, if you keep to your course.
There is no profit to striving here.
To be content with oneself is the greatest success imaginable.
The enlightened person has nothing to prove to himself or others, and thus may always operate from a position of sincerity, with no pretense or posturing.
His humility is guileless simplicity.
His mourning is selfless compassion.
His frugality is an unshakeable faith that he is but a conduit, letting what is needed flow through him to others, with no loss to himself.