Read the text from Richard Wilhelm's, Thomas Cleary's, Brian Arnold's and other translations of the I Ching
33 – Thirty-Three Tun / Retreat
The tranquil Mountain towers overhead, yet remains this side of Heaven:
The Superior Person avoids the petty and superficial by keeping shallow men at a distance, not in anger but with dignity.
Such a retreat sweeps the path clear to Success.
Occupy yourself with minute detail.
Retreat in this instance is not a desperate flight in disarray, but a conscious choice to distance yourself from forces that would rob you of your peace.
It is not a surrender, but a regrouping.
Retreat from this conflict is actually an advance toward your own center.
You move toward balance, and thus a much stronger position.
Nine in the third place means:
Though it imperils his retreat, he must provide for the safety of those who have served him loyally.
A halted retreat
Is nerve-wracking and dangerous.
To retain people as men- and maidservants
Brings good fortune.
When it is time to retreat it is both unpleasant and dangerous to be held back, because then one no longer has freedom of action. In such a case the only expedient is to take into one’s service, so to speak, those who refuse to let one go, so that one may at least keep one’s initiative and not fall helplessly under their domination. But even with this expedient the situation is far from satisfactory – for what can one hope to accomplish with such servants?
17 – Seventeen Sui / Following
Thunder beneath the Lake’s surface.
The Superior Person allows himself plenty of sheltered rest and recuperation while awaiting a clear sign to follow.
No mistakes if you keep to your course.
Thunder from the Lake — the lulling, rhythmic roar of the faithful tide, eternally wearing away the stone of the shoreline, forever obedient to the phases of the moon.
The pull of the moon on the tide is the Following called for now.
As mighty as the tide is in its own right, it is ever the puppet of the invisible, irresistible gravity of the moon.
What cyclical forces pull you along?
Are you futilely attempting to resist a natural attraction?