Stay small. Practice restraint. Do not overreach. Bide your time. So doing you will accumulate great power.
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62 – Sixty-Two Hsiao Kuo / Lying Low
Thunder high on the Mountain, active passivity:
The Superior Person is unsurpassed in his ability to remain small.
In a time for humility, he is supremely modest.
In a time of mourning, he uplifts with somber reverence.
In a time of want, he is resourcefully frugal.
When a bird flies too high, its song is lost.
Rather than push upward now, it is best to remain below.
This will bring surprising good fortune, if you keep to your course.
There is no profit to striving here.
To be content with oneself is the greatest success imaginable.
The enlightened person has nothing to prove to himself or others, and thus may always operate from a position of sincerity, with no pretense or posturing.
His humility is guileless simplicity.
His mourning is selfless compassion.
His frugality is an unshakeable faith that he is but a conduit, letting what is needed flow through him to others, with no loss to himself.
Six in the second place means:
She passes by her ancestor
And meets her ancestress.
He does not reach his prince
And meets the official.
Two exceptional situations are instanced here. In the temple of ancestors, where alternation of generations prevails, the grandson stands on the same side as the grandfather. Hence his closest relations are with the grandfather. The present line designates the grandson’s wife, who during the sacrifice passes by the ancestor and goes toward the ancestress. This unusual behavior is, however, an expression of her modesty. She ventures rather to approach the ancestress, for she feels related to her by their common sex. Hence here deviation from the rule is not a mistake.
Another image is that of the official who, in compliance with regulation, first seeks an audience with his prince. If he is not successful in this, he does not try to force anything but goes about conscientious fulfilment of his duty, taking his place among the other officials. This extraordinary restraint is likewise not a mistake in exceptional times.
(The rule is that every official should first have an audience with the prince by whom he is appointed. Here the appointment is made by the minister.)
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.