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49 – Forty-Nine Ko / Revolution
Fire ignites within the Lake, defying conditions that would deny it birth or survival:
The Superior Person reads the Signs of the Times and makes the Season apparent to all.
The support you need will come only after the deed is done.
Renewed forces, however, will provide fresh energy for exceptional progress.
All differences vanish.
A revolutionary Change must be made forcibly.
There is no negotiating with the Established Order.
Perfect timing is essential.
Let the abuse of power become apparent and oppressive to those around you before making your move.
Lay the groundwork, sow the seeds for Revolution without tipping your hand prematurely.
You will need a strong foundation, because you will have to bring about this necessary change alone.
You cannot count on popular support, so you must wait until there is massive dissent.
Then the avenue for your assault will be cleared.
The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an animal’s pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by moulting. From this the word is carried over to apply to the “moultings” in political life, the great revolutions connected with changes of governments.
The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in Kuei, OPPOSITION (38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Tui. But while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of revolution.
REVOLUTION. On your own day
You are believed.
Furthering through perseverance.
Political revolutions are extremely grave matters. They should be undertaken only under stress of direst necessity, when there is no other way out. Not everyone is called to this task, but only the man who has the confidence of the people, and even he only when the time is ripe. He must then proceed in the right way, so that he gladdens the people and, by enlightening them, prevents excesses. Furthermore, he must be quite free of selfish aims and must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to regret.
Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.
Fire in the lake: the image of REVOLUTION.
Thus the superior man
Sets the calendar in order
And makes the seasons clear.
Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons. Man masters these changes in nature by noting their regularity and marking off the passage of time accordingly. In this way order and clarity appear in the apparently chaotic changes of the seasons, and man is able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.