Do not be distracted by the drama and chaos around you. Focus on your inner truth, maintain your inner calm.
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51 – Fifty-One Chên / Thunder
Thunder echoes upon Thunder, commanding reverence for its father Heaven:
In awe of Heaven’s majestic power, the Superior Person looks within and sets his life in order.
Thunder mingles with startled screams of terror for a hundred miles around.
As the people nervously laugh at their own fright, the devout presents the sacrificial chalice with nary a drop of wine spilt.
A thunderbolt of Cosmic judgement crashes to earth.
For the common person, it’s just a momentary fright soon forgotten, its warning unfathomed and unheeded.
But to one who understands its significance, this thunder is a signal to repent.
Centering the Self, seeking balance, the enlightened person will respect and align himself with this Higher Power, while his fellows remain subject to the whims of every passing storm.
The hexagram Chên represents the eldest son, who seizes rule with energy and power. A yang line develops below two yin lines and presses upward forcibly. This movement is so violent that it arouses terror. It is symbolised by thunder, which bursts forth from the earth and by its shock causes fear and trembling.
SHOCK brings success.
Shock comes – oh, oh!
Laughing words – ha, ha!
The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,
And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.1
The shock that comes from the manifestation of God within the depths of the earth makes man afraid, but this fear of God is good, for joy and merriment can follow upon it.
When a man has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean, he is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences. Let the thunder roll and spread terror a hundred miles around: he remains so composed and reverent in spirit that the sacrificial rite is not interrupted. This is the spirit that must animate leaders and rulers of men – a profound inner seriousness from which all terrors glance off harmlessly.
Thunder repeated: the image of SHOCK.
Thus in fear and trembling
The superior man sets his life in order
And examines himself.
The shock of continuing thunder brings fear and trembling. The superior man is always filled with reverence at the manifestation of God; he sets his life in order and searches his heart, lest it harbour any secret opposition to the will of God. Thus reverence is the foundation of true culture.
1. The priest and the people together recall the mystery of the death and resurrection of Christ, which is made present in all its saving power, while they look forward to the second coming of Christ, for which this mystery prepares them.
The spoon and chalice are lifted up and placed on the left side of the Thronos (Altar).
The priest lifts them over head in his right hand quickly, signifying the second coming of the Lord on the last day, which will be like a flash of lightning. “For just as lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be”