You must go beyond the old ways of doing things and solving problems. Old paradigms now lead to dead ends. Find an opening in the flow of events and jump in. Therein lies the power.
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47 – Forty-Seven K’un / Exhaustion
A Dead Sea, its Waters spent eons ago, more deadly than the desert surrounding it:
The Superior Person will stake his life and fortune on what he deeply believes.
Triumph belongs to those who endure.
Trial and tribulation can hone exceptional character to a razor edge that slices deftly through every challenge.
Action prevails where words will fail.
This is the realm of the Shaman.
You have exhausted every alternative, spent yourself completely, taxed body and mind beyond your former limits.
Survival and salvation lie beyond your reach now.
Only transcendence to a new existence — a higher plane of being — will see you through.
The Old You is just a dry husk.
You can’t return to it.
Metamorphosis is the only grace offered.
You can only return to your homeland as a New You.
Six in the third place means:
A man permits himself to be oppressed by stone,
And leans on thorns and thistles.
He enters the house and does not see his wife.
This shows a man who is restless and indecisive in times of adversity. At first he wants to push ahead, then he encounters obstructions that, it is true, mean oppression only when recklessly dealt with. He butts his head against a wall and in consequence feels himself oppressed by the wall. Then he leans on things that have in themselves no stability and that are merely a hazard for him who leans on them. Thereupon he turns back irresolutely and retires into his house, only to find, as a fresh disappointment, that his wife is not there. Kongfu (Confucius) says about this line:
If a man permits himself to be oppressed by something that ought not to oppress him, his name will certainly be disgraced. If he leans on things upon which one cannot lean, his life will certainly be endangered. For him who is in disgrace and danger, the hour of death draws near; how can he then still see his wife?
‘Baboon in thistles’ – Stichting AAP – Almere Holland 2011
photo Lex van den Bos
34 – Thirty-Four Ta Chuang / Awesome Power
Thunder fills the Heavens with its awful roar, not out of pride, but with integrity; if it did less, it would not be Thunder:
Because of his Great Power, the Superior Person takes pains not to overstep his position, so that he will not seem intimidating or threatening to the Established Order.
Opportunity will arise along this course.
The Awesome Power available in this hexagram stems from what the Taoists call your Te, a term not perfectly translated into English.
Roughly, it is your Integrity — not in the Western sense of honor — but more in the psychological definition of a full integration of Who You Are.
This Awesome Power is achieved only by fully embracing both the good and the bad, the strong and the weak, the masculine and the feminine — all polarities within you.
Such self-knowledge spawns a Mastery tempered with the humility necessary to rein in and harness this Awesome Power.