Despite the outlook, you must keep up amidst all adversity, opposition and ridicule. You will navigate the path to victory.
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38 – Thirty-Eight K’uei / Estrangement
Fire distances itself from its nemesis, the Lake:
No matter how large or diverse the group, the Superior Person remains uniquely himself.
Small accomplishments are possible.
You are working at cross-purposes with another.
The distance between you is very wide.
The gap can be closed, however, with no compromise of your integrity.
You are not adversaries in this case — just two persons addressing individual needs.
Ask yourself: are these needs mutually exclusive?
Is there common ground here?
Must there be one winner and one loser?
Could you become partners in seeking a solution that would allow for two winners?
Six in the third place means:
One sees the wagon dragged back,
The oxen halted,
A man’s hair and nose cut off.
Not a good beginning, but a good end.
Often it seems to a man as though everything were conspiring against him. He sees himself checked and hindered in his progress, insulted and dishonored.1 However, he must not let himself be misled; despite this opposition, he must cleave to the man with whom he knows he belongs. Thus, notwithstanding the bad beginning, the matter will end 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.
1. Cutting off of the hair and nose was a severe and degrading punishment.