When making a difficult choice, contemplate your life. Allow its lessons to emerge for the current question.
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20 – Twenty Kuan / Contemplation
The gentle Wind roams the Earth:
The Superior Person expands his sphere of influence as he expands his awareness.
Deeply devoted to his pursuit of clarity and wisdom, he is unconscious of the inspiring, positive example he is setting for others to emulate.
You have cleansed yourself; now stand ready to make your humble, devout offering.
The situation marks a rising to new heights.
As you climb for a better view of the panorama, you make yourself more conspicuous to those below.
This hexagram is also known as the Watchtower, because the shape formed by its lines resembles the ancient guardposts manned by Chinese soldiers.
These towers were placed on mountainsides to give a better vantage point.
To those below, the watchtowers served as landmarks to help them find their way.
The quality of your search for clarity in this situation serves as such a guidepost for others along the Way.
Six in the third place means:
By looking back over the course of your life, you will know if this is a time for advance or retreat.
Contemplation of my life
Decides the choice
Between advance and retreat.
Rodin’s The Thinker – Edvard Munch, 1880
This is the place of transition. We no longer look outward to receive pictures that are more or less limited and confused, but direct our contemplation upon ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-contemplation means the overcoming of naïve egotism in the person who sees everything solely form his own standpoint. He begins to reflect and in this way acquires objectivity. However, self-knowledge does not mean preoccupation with one’s own thoughts; rather, it means concern about the effects one creates. It is only the effects our lives produce that give us the right to judge whether what we have done means progress or regression.
53 – Fifty-Three Chien / Gradual Progress
The gnarled Pine grows tenaciously off the Cliff face:
The Superior Person clings faithfully to dignity and integrity, thus elevating the Collective Spirit of Man in his own small way.
The maiden is given in marriage.
Good fortune if you stay on course.
Adaptability mixed with integrity will bring a calm, steady progress.
Move from your center, always faithful to your principles, yet with the flexibility to weather any tempest.
Yours is not a meteoric rise to the top, but the solid, confident footing of one who has a clear vision of what can be, and who is willing to climb the distance to reach it.
The oracle foresees companionship along the way — a Divine comfort on any journey.