Stay engaged with the world in its adversity rather than abandoning it. Contemplate what is working for you and perfect it.
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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 top means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming leads to great good fortune.
It furthers one to see the great man.
‘The Doubting of Thomas’ – Caravaggio
This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own salvation and abandon the world to its adversity. Duty calls him back once more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom one can achieve the work of rescue.
20 – Twenty Kuan / Contemplation
The gentle Wind roams the Earth:
The Superior Person expands his sphere of influence as he expands his awareness.
Deeply devoted to his pursuit of clarity and wisdom, he is unconscious of the inspiring, positive example he is setting for others to emulate.
You have cleansed yourself; now stand ready to make your humble, devout offering.
The situation marks a rising to new heights.
As you climb for a better view of the panorama, you make yourself more conspicuous to those below.
This hexagram is also known as the Watchtower, because the shape formed by its lines resembles the ancient guardposts manned by Chinese soldiers.
These towers were placed on mountainsides to give a better vantage point.
To those below, the watchtowers served as landmarks to help them find their way.
The quality of your search for clarity in this situation serves as such a guidepost for others along the Way.