Your service and attention to your duty will bring you the greatest blessings.
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33 – Thirty-Three Tun / Retreat
The tranquil Mountain towers overhead, yet remains this side of Heaven:
The Superior Person avoids the petty and superficial by keeping shallow men at a distance, not in anger but with dignity.
Such a retreat sweeps the path clear to Success.
Occupy yourself with minute detail.
Retreat in this instance is not a desperate flight in disarray, but a conscious choice to distance yourself from forces that would rob you of your peace.
It is not a surrender, but a regrouping.
Retreat from this conflict is actually an advance toward your own center.
You move toward balance, and thus a much stronger position.
Six in the second place means:
He holds him fast with yellow oxhide.
No one can tear him loose.
Yellow is the color of the middle. It indicates that which is correct and in line with duty. Oxhide is strong and not to be torn.
While the superior men retreat and the inferior press after them, the inferior man represented here holds on so firmly and tightly to the superior men that the latter cannot shake him off. And because he is in quest of what is right and so strong in purpose, he reaches his goal.1 Thus the line confirms what is said in the Judgement:
“In what is small” – here equivalent to “in the inferior man” – “perseverance furthers.”
1 – One Ch’ien / Creative Activity
Heaven above and Heaven below:
Heaven in constant motion.
With the strength of the dragon, the Superior Person steels himself for ceaseless activity.
Sublime Success if you keep to your course.
The time for action has come.
You now have the focus and the stamina necessary for accomplishing great tasks.
The path before you is being cleared and reward lies ahead.
1. A similar idea is suggested in the story of Jacob’s battle with the angel of Peniel: “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Gen. 32:26).