As your power and influence peak, use them in harmony with the established order.
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34 – Thirty-Four Ta Chuang / Awesome Power
Thunder fills the Heavens with its awful roar, not out of pride, but with integrity; if it did less, it would not be Thunder:
Because of his Great Power, the Superior Person takes pains not to overstep his position, so that he will not seem intimidating or threatening to the Established Order.
Opportunity will arise along this course.
The Awesome Power available in this hexagram stems from what the Taoists call your Te, a term not perfectly translated into English.
Roughly, it is your Integrity — not in the Western sense of honor — but more in the psychological definition of a full integration of Who You Are.
This Awesome Power is achieved only by fully embracing both the good and the bad, the strong and the weak, the masculine and the feminine — all polarities within you.
Such self-knowledge spawns a Mastery tempered with the humility necessary to rein in and harness this Awesome Power.
The great lines, that is, the light, strong lines, are powerful. Four light lines have entered the hexagram from below and are about to ascend higher. The upper trigram is Chên, the Arousing; the lower is Ch’ien, the Creative. Ch’ien is strong, Chên produces movement. The union of movement and strength gives the meaning of THE POWER OF THE GREAT. The hexagram is linked with the second month (March-April).
THE POWER OF THE GREAT. Perseverance furthers.
The hexagram points to a time when inner worth mounts with great force and comes to power. But its strength has already passed beyond the median line, hence there is danger that one may rely entirely on one’s own power and forget to ask what is right. There is danger too that, being intent on movement, we may not wait for the right time. Therefore the added statement that perseverance furthers. For that is truly great power which does not degenerate into mere force but remains inwardly united with the fundamental principles of right and of justice. When we understand this point – namely, that greatness and justice must be indissolubly united – we understand the true meaning of all that happens in heaven and on earth.
The Tao of Power:
Lao Tzu’s Classic Guide to Leadership, Influence, and Excellence [A new translation of the Tao Te Ching] by R.L. Wing
Thunder in heaven above:
The image of THE POWER OF THE GREAT.
Thus the superior man does not tread on paths
That do not accord with established order.
Thunder – electrical energy – mounts upward in the spring. The direction of this movement is in harmony with that of the movement of heaven. It is therefore a movement in accord with heaven, producing great power. However, true greatness depends on being in harmony with what is right. Therefore in times of great power the superior man avoids doing anything that is not in harmony with the established order.