Lie low when met with obstacles. Do not make yourself a target for opposition.
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39 – Thirty-Nine Chien / Obstacle
Ominous roiling in the Crater Lake atop the Volcano:
When meeting an impasse, the Superior Person turns his gaze within, and views the obstacle from a new perspective.
Offer your opponent nothing to resist.
Let a sage guide you in this.
Good fortune lies along this course.
The Obstacle lies in obstinance.
An insistence on only one way of proceeding has brought things to an impasse.
You may either continue banging your head with irresistible force against this immovable object, or you might step back and survey this situation from a fresh perspective.
Which is immobile here — the obstruction or your attitude?
Six at the beginning [yin at bottom] means:
Advance will meet with opposition; Remaining in place will meet with praise.
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming meets with praise.
When one encounters an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on how best to deal with it. When threatened with danger, one should not strive blindly to go ahead, for this only leads to complications. The correct thing is, on the contrary, to retreat for the time being, not in order to give up the struggle but to await the right moment for action.
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.