Look before you leap. Do not rush into anything. Study, wait and allow natural developments to unfold which will make your endeavor a success.
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53 – Fifty-Three Chien / Gradual Progress
The gnarled Pine grows tenaciously off the Cliff face:
The Superior Person clings faithfully to dignity and integrity, thus elevating the Collective Spirit of Man in his own small way.
The maiden is given in marriage.
Good fortune if you stay on course.
Adaptability mixed with integrity will bring a calm, steady progress.
Move from your center, always faithful to your principles, yet with the flexibility to weather any tempest.
Yours is not a meteoric rise to the top, but the solid, confident footing of one who has a clear vision of what can be, and who is willing to climb the distance to reach it.
The oracle foresees companionship along the way — a Divine comfort on any journey.
Nine in the third place means:
The wild geese nest in the open prairie.
The male leaves to forage; he will not return.
The brooding female will not hatch her young.
Predators close in.
The wild goose gradually draws near the plateau.
The man goes forth and does not return.
The woman carries a child but does not bring it forth.
It furthers one to fight off robbers.
The high plateau is dry and unsuitable for the wild goose. If it goes there, it has lost its way and gone too far. This is contrary to the law of development.
It is the same in human life. If we do not let things develop quietly but plunge of our own choice too rashly into a struggle, misfortune results. A man jeopardises his own life, and his family perishes thereby. However, this is not at all necessary; it is only the result of transgressing the law of natural development. If one does not willfully provoke a conflict, but confines himself to vigorously maintaining his own position and to warding off unjustified attacks, all goes well.
34 – Thirty-Four Ta Chuang / Awesome Power
Thunder fills the Heavens with its awful roar, not out of pride, but with integrity; if it did less, it would not be Thunder:
Because of his Great Power, the Superior Person takes pains not to overstep his position, so that he will not seem intimidating or threatening to the Established Order.
Opportunity will arise along this course.
The Awesome Power available in this hexagram stems from what the Taoists call your Te, a term not perfectly translated into English.
Roughly, it is your Integrity — not in the Western sense of honor — but more in the psychological definition of a full integration of Who You Are.
This Awesome Power is achieved only by fully embracing both the good and the bad, the strong and the weak, the masculine and the feminine — all polarities within you.
Such self-knowledge spawns a Mastery tempered with the humility necessary to rein in and harness this Awesome Power.