In adversity, be steadfast in your perseverance without calling attention to yourself.
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36 – Thirty-Six Ming I / Eclipsing the Light
Warmth and Light are swallowed by Deep Darkness:
The Superior Person shows his brilliance by keeping it veiled among the masses.
Stay true to your course, despite the visible obstacles ahead.
This time calls for a saintly effort to turn the other cheek.
You have been deliberately injured.
Going blow-for-blow will only escalate this war.
Abstain from vengeance.
Show all watching that you are above it.
Sidestep your aggressor’s headlong charge, giving him the opportunity to fall on his face.
Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally “wounding of the bright”; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram (35). In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man.
DARKENING OF THE LIGHT. In adversity
It furthers one to be persevering.
One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities.
In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail in spite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.