Shore up your own strength even when things around you are crumbling.
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28 – Twenty-Eight Ta Kuo / Critical Mass
The Flood rises above the tallest Tree:
Amidst a rising tide of human folly, the Superior Person retires to higher ground, renouncing his world without looking back.
Any direction is better than where you now stand.
Several high-priority concerns demand immediate attention.
All are crucial.
None will be denied.
Yet some demand the denial of others.
Like two atoms seeking to occupy the same space, these irresistible forces and immovable objects threaten to ignite a cataclysm that could irreversibly alter your world.
This is no time for fatal heroics.
You are at Ground Point Zero.
Remove yourself from this situation without delay.
Later you may deal with these concerns on your own terms, from a position of strength.
This hexagram consists of four strong lines inside and two weak lines outside. When the strong are outside and the weak inside, all is well and there is nothing out of balance, nothing extraordinary in the situation. Here, however, the opposite is the case. The hexagram represents a beam that is thick and heavy in the middle but too weak at the ends. This is a condition that cannot last; it must be changed, must pass, or misfortune will result.
PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT.
The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
The weight of the great is excessive. The load is too heavy for the strength of the supports. The ridge-pole on which the whole roof rests, sags to the breaking point, because its supporting ends are too weak for the load they bear. It is an exceptional time and situation; therefore extraordinary measures are demanded. It is necessary to find a way of transition as quickly as possible, and to take action. This promises success. For although the strong element is in excess, it is in the middle, that is, at the centre of gravity, so that a revolution is not to be feared. Nothing is to be achieved by forcible measures. The problem must be solved by gentle penetration to the meaning of the situation (as is suggested by the attribute of the inner trigram, Sun); then the change-over to other conditions will be successful. It demands real superiority; therefore the time when the great preponderates is a momentous time.
The lake rises above the trees:
The image of PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT.
Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
And if he has to renounce the world,
He is undaunted.
Extraordinary times when the great preponderates are like floodtimes when the lake rises over the treetops. But such conditions are temporary. The two trigrams indicate the attitude proper to such exceptional times: the symbol of the trigram Sun is the tree, which stands firm even though it stands alone, and the attribute of Tui is joyousness, which remains undaunted even if it must renounce the world.