Slow and steady progress. Take your time, do not rush to finish.
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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.
|above: Sun / The Gentle, Wind, Wood
|below: Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain
This hexagram is made up of Sun (wood, penetration) above, i.e., without, and Kên (mountain, stillness) below, i.e., within. A tree on a mountain develops slowly according to the law of its being and consequently stands firmly rooted. This gives the idea of a development that proceeds gradually, step by step. The attributes of the trigrams also point to this: within is tranquillity, which guards against precipitate actions, and without is penetration, which makes development and progress possible.
DEVELOPMENT. The maiden
The development of events that leads to a girl’s following a man to his home proceeds slowly. The various formalities must be disposed of before the marriage takes place. This principle of gradual development can be applied to other situations as well; it is always applicable where it is a matter of correct relationships of co-operation, as for instance in the appointment of an official. The development must be allowed to take its proper course. Hasty action would not be wise. This is also true, finally, of any effort to exert influence on others, for here too the essential factor is a correct way of development through cultivation of one’s own personality. No influence such as that exerted by agitators has a lasting effect.
Tree on a mountain – from monastry of Semen Stolbnik near Aleppo – Syria
On the mountain, a tree:
The tree on the mountain is visible from afar, and its development influences the landscape of the entire region. It does not shoot up like a swamp plant; its growth proceeds gradually. Thus also the work of influencing people can be only gradual. No sudden influence or awakening is of lasting effect. Progress must be quite gradual, and in order to obtain such progress in public opinion and in the mores of the people, it is necessary for the personality to acquire influence and weight. This comes about through careful and constant work on one’s own moral development.