Approach understanding from the inside out. Let go of any fixed perspectives. Allow the flow of existence rather than struggle to control it. Understand other perspectives beyond your experience rather than judge them.
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61 – Sixty-One Chung Fu / Inner Truth
The gentle Wind ripples the Lake’s surface:
The Superior Person finds common ground between points of contention, wearing away rigid perspectives that would lead to fatal error.
Pigs and fishes.
You may cross to the far shore.
Great fortune if you stay on course.
The subject of this hexagram discovers a key to Tranquility by first gaining insight into his own nature, then turning that vision outward.
By resolving inner conflicts and being at peace with himself, he learns to gain insight into others.
In effect, he enters another, sees with the other’s eyes, listens with the other’s ears, feels with the other’s heart.
He then returns to his own center, with new perspective and understanding.
The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the water. Thus visible effects of the invisible manifest themselves. The hexagram consists of firm lines above and below, while it is open in the centre. This indicates a heart free of prejudices and therefore open to truth. On the other hand, each of the two trigrams has a firm line in the middle; this indicates the force of inner truth in the influences they present.
The attributes of the two trigrams are: above, gentleness, forbearance toward inferiors; below, joyousness in obeying superiors. Such conditions create the basis of a mutual confidence that makes achievements possible.
The character of fu (“truth”) is actually the picture of a bird’s foot over a fledgling. It suggests the idea of brooding. An egg is hollow. The light-giving power must work to quicken it from outside, but there must be a germ of life within, if life is to be awakened. Far- reaching speculations can be linked with these ideas.
INNER TRUTH. Pigs and fishes.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Pigs and fishes are the least intelligent of all animals and therefore the most difficult to influence. The force of inner truth must grow great indeed before its influence can extend to such creatures. In dealing with persons as intractable and as difficult to influence as a pig or a fish, the whole secret of success depends on finding the right way of approach. One must first rid oneself of all prejudice and, so to speak, let the psyche of the other person act on one without restraint. Then one will establish contact with him, understand and gain power over him. When a door has thus been opened, the force of one’s personality will influence him. If in this way one finds no obstacles insurmountable, one can undertake even the most dangerous things, such as crossing the great water, and succeed.
But it is important to understand on what the force inner truth depends. This force is not identical with simple intimacy or a secret bond. Close ties may exist also among thieves; it is true that such a bond acts as a force but, since it is not invincible, it does not bring good fortune. All association on the basis of common interests holds only up to a certain point. Where the community of interest ceases, the holding together ceases also, and the closest friendship often changes into hate. Only when the bond is based on what is right, on steadfastness, will it remain so firm that it triumphs over everything.
Wind over lake: the image of INNER TRUTH.
Thus the superior man discusses criminal cases
In order to delay executions.
Wind stirs water by penetrating it. Thus the superior man, when obliged to judge the mistakes of men, tries to penetrate their minds with understanding, in order to gain a sympathetic appreciation of the circumstances. In ancient China, the entire administration of justice was guided by this principle. A deep understanding that knows how to pardon was considered the highest form of justice. This system was not without success, for its aim was to make so strong a moral impression that there was no reason to fear abuse of such mildness. For it sprang not from weakness but from a superior clarity.