Today: “Use your presence and radiance to uplift others.  Then you must support that with your caliber.” – from the I Ching

Use your presence and radiance to uplift others.  Then you must support that with your caliber.

Meditation: NM0413 – Intuition and the Strength of Excellence

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Today: I Ching – Previous Readings

Personal I Ching readings

Read the text from Richard Wilhelm's and subsequent translations of the I Ching

#22, line 2, #26

Grace brings success. However, it is not the essential or fundamental thing; it is only the ornament and must therefore be used sparingly and only in little things. In the lower trigram of fire a yielding line comes between two strong lines and makes them beautiful, but the strong lines are the essential content and the weak line is the beautifying form. In the upper trigram of the mountain, the strong line takes the lead, so that here again the strong element must be regarded as the decisive factor. In nature we see in the sky the strong light of the sun; the life of the world depends on it. But this strong, essential thing is changed and given pleasing variety by the moon and the stars. In human affairs, aesthetic form comes into being when traditions exist that, strong and abiding like mountains, are made pleasing by a lucid beauty. By contemplating the forms existing in the heavens we come to understand time and its changing demands. Through contemplation of the forms existing in human society it becomes possible to shape the world.1 Fire at the foot of the mountain:
The image of GRACE.
Thus does the superior man proceed
When clearing up current affairs.
But he dare not decide controversial issues in this way.

The fire, whose light illuminates the mountain and makes it pleasing, does not shine far; in the same way, beautiful form suffices to brighten and to throw light upon matters of lesser moment, but important questions cannot be decided in this way. They require greater earnestness.

1. This hexagram shows tranquil beauty – clarity within, quiet without. This is the tranquillity of pure contemplation. When desire is silenced and the will comes to rest, the world-as-idea becomes manifest. In this aspect the world is beautiful and removed from the struggle for existence. This is the world of art. However, contemplation alone will not put the will to rest absolutely. It will awaken again, and then all the beauty of form will appear to have been only a brief moment of exaltation. Hence this is still not the true way of redemption. For this reason Confucius felt very uncomfortable when once, on consulting the oracle, he obtained the hexagram of GRACE.

The beard is not an independent thing; it moves only with the chin. The image therefore means that form is to be considered only as a result and attribute of content. The beard is a superfluous ornament. To devote care to it for its own sake, without regard for the inner content of which it is an ornament, would bespeak a certain vanity.

THE TAMING POWER OF THE GREAT.
Perseverance furthers.
Not eating at home brings good fortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

To hold firmly to great creative powers and store them up, as set forth in this hexagram, there is need of a strong, clear-headed man who is honored by the ruler. The trigram Ch’ien points to strong creative power; Kên indicates firmness and truth. Both point to light and clarity and to the daily renewal of character. Only through such daily self-renewal can a man continue at the height of his powers. Force of habit helps to keep order in quiet times; but in periods when there is a great storing up of energy, everything depends on the power of the personality. However, since the worthy are honored, as in the case of the strong personality entrusted with leadership by the ruler, it is an advantage not to eat at home but rather to earn one’s bread by entering upon public office. Such a man is in harmony with heaven; therefore even great and difficult undertakings, such as crossing the great water, succeed.

The fire, whose light illuminates the mountain and makes it pleasing, does not shine far; in the same way, beautiful form suffices to brighten and to throw light upon matters of lesser moment, but important questions cannot be decided in this way. They require greater earnestness.

1. This hexagram shows tranquil beauty – clarity within, quiet without. This is the tranquillity of pure contemplation. When desire is silenced and the will comes to rest, the world-as-idea becomes manifest. In this aspect the world is beautiful and removed from the struggle for existence. This is the world of art. However, contemplation alone will not put the will to rest absolutely. It will awaken again, and then all the beauty of form will appear to have been only a brief moment of exaltation. Hence this is still not the true way of redemption. For this reason Confucius felt very uncomfortable when once, on consulting the oracle, he obtained the hexagram of GRACE.

Thomas Cleary:
“Adornment succeeds. It is beneficial to have somewhere to go on a small scale.
OVERALL JUDGMENT
The success of adornment means flexibility comes forth to embellish firmness; so it succeeds. Partial firmness rises to embellish flexibility; so it is beneficial to have somewhere to go on a small scale. This is the celestial adornment. Stabilization by civilization is the adornment of humanity. Observe the celestial adornment to see the changes of the seasons; observe the adornment of humanity to develop the world.
IMAGE
There is fire below a mountain, adorning it; thus do cultured people bring clarity to government affairs without presumptuous adjudication.
COMPONENTS
1 yang. Adorning the feet, leave the car and walk. Image. Leave the car and walk, when it is right not to ride.

“Adornment means seeking. Image. Adornment means seeking, rising with those above.”

“Great buildup benefits the upright and true. Not eating at home is lucky. It is worthwhile crossing great rivers.
OVERALL JUDGMENT
In great buildup there is firm strength and earnest genuineness, with shining light daily renewed. Its virtues place strength on top, with esteem for the wise. To be powerful yet controlled is great rectitude. Not eating at home is lucky in the sense of nurturing the wise. It is worthwhile crossing great rivers, in response to Nature.
IMAGE
The sky in the mountains symbolizes great buildup. Thus do cultured people record many words and deeds of the past to build up their virtue.

Excerpt From: Thomas Cleary. “I Ching.” Apple Books. https://books.apple.com/us/book/i-ching/id1312467526

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