Forego extravagance in favor of discipline.
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29 – Twenty-Nine K’an / Dangerously Deep
Water follows Water, spilling over any cliff, flowing past all obstacles, no matter the depth or distance, to the Sea.
The Superior Person learns flexibility from the mistakes he has made, and grows strong from the obstacles he has overcome, pressing on to show others the Way.
You are facing a crucial trial along your Journey.
The danger of this challenge is very real.
It is a test of your mettle.
If you can maintain your integrity and stay true to your convictions, you will overcome.
That’s not as easy as it seems when you are faced with the sacrifice of other things you’ve come to depend upon or hold dear.
Six at the top means:
Bound with ropes, thrown into a thorn-filled chasm.
For three years he is lost in this wasteland.
Bound with cords and ropes,
Shut in between thorn-hedged prison walls:
For three years one does not find the way.
A man who in the extremity of danger has lost the right way and is irremediably entangled in his sins has no prospect of escape. He is like a criminal who sits shackled behind thorn-hedged prison walls.
20 – Twenty Kuan / Contemplation
The gentle Wind roams the Earth:
The Superior Person expands his sphere of influence as he expands his awareness.
Deeply devoted to his pursuit of clarity and wisdom, he is unconscious of the inspiring, positive example he is setting for others to emulate.
You have cleansed yourself; now stand ready to make your humble, devout offering.
The situation marks a rising to new heights.
As you climb for a better view of the panorama, you make yourself more conspicuous to those below.
This hexagram is also known as the Watchtower, because the shape formed by its lines resembles the ancient guardposts manned by Chinese soldiers.
These towers were placed on mountainsides to give a better vantage point.
To those below, the watchtowers served as landmarks to help them find their way.
The quality of your search for clarity in this situation serves as such a guidepost for others along the Way.
Six in the third place means:
He without self-restraint today forges the shackles that hobble him tomorrow.
He who knows no limitation
Will have cause to lament.
If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences free us of errors.
5 – Five Hsü / Calculated Waiting
Deep Waters in the Heavens:
Thunderclouds approaching from the West, but no rain yet.
The Superior Person nourishes himself and remains of good cheer to condition himself for the moment of truth.
Great Success if you sincerely keep to your course.
You may cross to the far shore.
You must now endure this Dangling — either a carrot before your nose, or a sword above your head.
This strange mix of apprehension and anticipation is a Purgatory.
There is nothing more you can do to affect the outcome.
You must now submit to the Fates.