Things are coming to a head, soon to be resolved. Don’t push it, don’t rush it. Stay calm. Let your intuition guide you rather than panic.
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Fire ascends above the Water:
The Superior Person examines the nature of things and keeps each in its proper place.
Too anxious the young fox gets his tail wet, just as he completes his crossing.
To attain success, be like the man and not like the fox.
Resist the rush to completion.
Anticipation of fulfillment may cause you to be careless before you have fully absorbed the lessons of the journey.
The endpoint of this Quest will only prove to be the threshold for another.
You are short steps from Mastery on this plane, yet you stride toward Ignorance of the challenges lying beyond.
Savor this accomplishment.
Take full possession of your world before embarking to discover the next one.
This hexagram indicates a time when the transition from disorder to order is not yet completed. The change is indeed prepared for, since all the lines in the upper trigram are in relation to those in the lower. However, they are not yet in their places. While the preceding hexagram (63) offers an analogy to autumn, which forms the transition from summer to winter, this hexagram presents a parallel to spring, which leads out of winter’s stagnation into the fruitful time of summer. With this hopeful outlook the Yi Jing comes to its close.
BEFORE COMPLETION. Success.
But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
Gets his tail in the water,
There is nothing that would further.
The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. It is nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion back to order. But it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice is proverbial in China. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice, as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. Then of course his effort has been all in vain. Accordingly, in times “before completion,” deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success.
Fire over water:
The image of the condition before transition.
Thus the superior man is careful
In the differentiation of things,
So that each finds its place.
When fire, which by nature flames upward, is above, and water, which flows downward, is below, their effects take opposite directions and remain unrelated. If we wish to achieve an effect, we must first investigate the nature of the forces in question and ascertain their proper place. If we can bring these forces to bear in the right place, they will have the desired effect and completion will be achieved. But in order to handle external forces properly, we must above all arrive at the correct standpoint ourselves, for only from this vantage can we work correctly.