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55 – Fifty-Five Fêng / Abundance
Thunder and Lightning from the dark heart of the storm:
The Superior Person judges fairly, so that consequences are just.
The leader reaches his peak and doesn’t lament the descent before him.
Be like the noonday sun at its zenith.
This is success.
You are in a position of authority in this situation.
Archetypally, you are the New King, returned from your quest to claim your throne.
However, you are enlightened enough to realize that you are merely a part of a cycle, and that you must someday yield your throne to the new kid in town, the younger, faster gunslinger, the young turk, the next returning hero, the next New King.
Fretting about the inevitable descent is senseless.
For now you must play your role to the hilt and use this gift of power to govern your world as best you can.
You are the best person for the job.
That’s why you were chosen.
Give it your personal best.
Chên is movement; Li is flame, whose attribute is clarity. Clarity within, movement without-this produces greatness and abundance. The hexagram pictures a period of advanced civilisation. However, the fact that development has reached a peak suggests that this extraordinary condition of abundance cannot be maintained permanently.
ABUNDANCE has success.
The king attains abundance.
Be not sad.
Be like the sun at midday.
It is not given to every mortal to bring about a time of outstanding greatness and abundance. Only a born ruler of men is able to do it, because his will is directed to what is great. Such a time of abundance is usually brief. Therefore a sage might well feel sad in view of the decline that must follow. But such sadness does not befit him. Only a man who is inwardly free of sorrow and care can lead in a time of abundance. He must be like the sun at midday, illuminating and gladdening everything under heaven.
Both thunder and lightning come:
The image of ABUNDANCE.
Thus the superior man decides lawsuits
And carries out punishments.
This hexagram has a certain connection with Shih Ho, BITING THROUGH (21), in which thunder and lightning similarly appear together, but in the reverse order. In BITING THROUGH, laws are laid down; here they are applied and enforced. Clarity [Li] within makes it possible to investigate the facts exactly, and shock [Chên] without ensures a strict and precise carrying out of punishments.