Though a despot gains an upper hand, his hands are tied as the nation is saved through the unity of its citizens.
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18 – Eighteen Ku / Repairing the Damage
Winds sweep through the Mountain valley:
The Superior Person sweeps away corruption and stagnation by stirring up the people and strengthening their spirit.
Before crossing to the far shore, consider the move for three days.
After crossing, devote three days of hard labor to damage control.
You are blessed with an opportunity to resuscitate that which others have abandoned as beyond repair.
This ruin wasn’t caused by evil intention, but by indifference to decay.
Just by addressing yourself to the problem, you exhibit a new awareness, a fresh perspective.
This is a time of recovery, renewal, regeneration.
Nine at the top means:
Refusing to serve the conquerors of nations, he sets out to conquer hearts.
He does not serve kings and princes,
Sets himself higher goals.
Entry of Napoleon into Berlin, October 27, 1806 – Charles Meynier, 1810
Not every man has an obligation to mingle in the affairs of the world. There are some who are developed to such a degree that they are justified in letting the world go its own way and in refusing to enter public life with a view to reforming it. But this does not imply a right to remain idle or to sit back and merely criticise. Such withdrawal is justified only when we strive to realize in ourselves the higher aims of mankind. For although the sage remains distant from the turmoil of daily life, he creates incomparable human values for the future.1
46 – Forty-Six Shêng / Upward Mobility
Beneath the Soil, the Seedling pushes upward toward the light:
To preserve his integrity, the Superior Person contents himself with small gains that eventually lead to great accomplishment.
Have no doubts.
Seek guidance from someone you respect.
A constant move toward greater clarity will bring reward.
You are progressing, rising inch-by-inch toward certain success.
What makes this assured is your refusal to tilt headlong toward your goal, slamming into obstacles and going mad with frustration.
You have a clear map before you of the steps necessary to reach your objective.
With faithful patience and a careful conservation of personal energy and resources, you will run this long, slow distance.
1. Goethe’s attitude after the Napoleonic wars is an example of this in European history.