Put aside petty grievances. Abandon completely the folly of winning and losing with regard to human relations. Abandon tribal habits. Embrace your soul. Embrace the Truth. There is nothing we cannot do together.
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38 – Thirty-Eight K’uei / Estrangement
Fire distances itself from its nemesis, the Lake:
No matter how large or diverse the group, the Superior Person remains uniquely himself.
Small accomplishments are possible.
You are working at cross-purposes with another.
The distance between you is very wide.
The gap can be closed, however, with no compromise of your integrity.
You are not adversaries in this case — just two persons addressing individual needs.
Ask yourself: are these needs mutually exclusive?
Is there common ground here?
Must there be one winner and one loser?
Could you become partners in seeking a solution that would allow for two winners?
Nine at the top means:
Isolated through opposition,
One sees one’s companion as a pig covered with dirt,
As a wagon full of devils.
First one draws a bow against him,
Then one lays the bow aside.
He is not a robber; he will woo at the right time.
As one goes, rain falls; then good fortune comes.
‘Rain Princess’ – Leonid Afremov
Here the isolation is due to misunderstanding; it is brought about not by outer circumstances but by inner conditions. A man misjudges his best friends, taking them to be as unclean as a dirty pig and as dangerous as a wagon full of devils. He adopts an attitude of defense. But in the end, realizing his mistake, he lays aside the bow, perceiving that the other is approaching with the best intentions for the purpose of close union. Thus the tension is relieved. The union resolves the tension, just as falling rain relieves the sultriness preceding a thunderstorm. All goes well, for just when opposition reaches its climax it changes over to its antithesis.
51 – Fifty-One Chên / Thunder
Thunder echoes upon Thunder, commanding reverence for its father Heaven:
In awe of Heaven’s majestic power, the Superior Person looks within and sets his life in order.
Thunder mingles with startled screams of terror for a hundred miles around.
As the people nervously laugh at their own fright, the devout presents the sacrificial chalice with nary a drop of wine spilt.
A thunderbolt of Cosmic judgement crashes to earth.
For the common person, it’s just a momentary fright soon forgotten, its warning unfathomed and unheeded.
But to one who understands its significance, this thunder is a signal to repent.
Centering the Self, seeking balance, the enlightened person will respect and align himself with this Higher Power, while his fellows remain subject to the whims of every passing storm.