28: Excessive Pressure
Wednesday, Jan 23rd, 2013
Something is out of balance. This hexagram points to some pressure that is threatening stability and needs correcting. But if a dam is about to burst, moving out of the way is the first priority.
When a person in a sagging mine shaft feels the earth begin to tremble, it is time for quick, instinctive action and nimble footwork. At a time like this, only extraordinary measures will work. When the roof is collapsing, run first, choose your destination later.
Extraordinary times bring out the best and worst in people. Natural disasters bring with them stories of great heroism — but also looting and rioting. When the pressure is on, powerful moments present opportunities to make positive gains. Everything is in a state of flux. One can either move towards positive change and improvement or towards stagnation.
This may be the moment you’ve been waiting for. Although a current challenge may seem to be more than you can handle, remember that a flood reaches its high-water mark for only a few brief moments, and then begins to subside. Action must be taken now to ensure opportunities for success later on. You will never discover the true extent of your own abilities until you, at least once in your life, dive into a crisis with complete abandon, dedicating every ounce of your energy, every fiber of your being, to the cause at hand.
Dare to win.
Monday, Jan 21st, 2013
There is a turning point that recharges you and eventually brings success. This hexagram is associated with a turning back of long nights towards more light, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the seasonal change when our hours of daily light begin to increase again. This is the beginning of a turnaround; a time of letting go of the old and making way for the new; a time of new beginnings. Ironically, it all starts with rest.
Don’t move too fast. The new momentum is just beginning; the turn-around demands that your energy be recharged by adequate rest, so that your life force will not be spent prematurely. This principle of hibernation, of allowing energy to renew itself and be strengthened by rest applies to many situations — recuperation after an illness, the slow return of trust after period of estrangement, the careful development of new relationships after a splitting apart of old ones.
Tuesday, Jan 15th, 2013
Following brings supreme success. You may not be able to change the direction of the wind, but by frequently adjusting your sails, you can arrive at your destination.
Those who would acquire a following must speak the language of their followers. Those who would be loved must become the envisioned lover of their beloved. Those who would prosper must bend with natural forces and the pressures of society. In matters of principle, stand firm; in matters of style and taste, swim with the current.
In all human affairs, change is constant. In order to stay fresh, old ideas and patterns must continually be discarded in favor of new ones. Only by being adaptable to the demands of the time can the highest good emerge. Only by adjusting to changing circumstances can you prosper. Remain flexible, and you will gain the confidence of those around you. Bend and you shall not break.
Monday, Jan 14th, 2013
Innocence flows from a natural harmlessness, openness and pure intentions, unsullied by ulterior motives. The state of innocence has less to do with age than attitude; innocence springs from a heart that remains open to joy and wonder. Innocence, when guided by a firm faith in what is right, brings supreme success. Naiveté unanchored by an ability to discern right from wrong, on the other hand, brings misfortune.
The hallmark of innocence is a willingness to treat others with compassion and respect in a natural way. Those who possess a pure heart are best guided by their instincts and intuition. Thinking too much makes it difficult to hear the guidance of the heart, the suggestions of a clear intuition. Stay simple and be wary of cleverness.
36: Darkening of the Light
Sunday, Jan 13th, 2013
When light becomes dim, it may be wise to become invisible. The image is of fresh darkness, the period after the sun has gone down or the fire has gone out. There is still much activity left over from the light of day, while movements in the outer world become more dangerous. Even the smallest sound, the faintest glow of light, can attract unwanted attention.
When the darkness of stupidity reigns, it is best that your own brilliance stay ‘hidden under a bushel basket.’ That is, your thoughts and efforts should be quiet and self-contained, and protected, as much as possible, from disruptive influences.
Whatever you do, don’t let yourself be swept along on the current of conventional wisdom when dangerous uncertainties exist. Try not to become too depressed or anxious; this period will pass. Just endure it for now and inwardly preserve your self-confidence, while outwardly remaining cooperative and flexible. The time to assert yourself will come. Avoid looking too far ahead if you have not yet achieved your goals. That only feeds regret and longing, which can eat away at your inner resources.
Be cautious and reserved. Control yourself. Do not needlessly awaken dormant forces of opposition. During dark, unsettled periods, it is best to step gingerly around the sleeping dogs.
Thursday, Jan 10th, 2013
A community or extended family that works is one where healthy interdependence is appreciated and supported. Good direction is essential, but strong kinship is dependent upon every member of the community. Trust, shared responsibilities and good communication are essential. Each member must be encouraged to find his or her appropriate expression, and contribution.
The functional family is a team that symbolizes the ideal of human interdependence, and has long provided a firm foundation for society. The healthy family is a microcosm of society and the native soil in which ethical values take root and grow. Fertilize this soil, and the whole of society benefits.
The power that bonds a tribe is the yin or feminine principle — gentleness and receptivity. Relationships are improved through cultivation of these. Learn to accept both advice and aid from others, and be willing to assume an appropriate role in any group that supports good relating. A good team player is always valuable to others. Increase your value!
55: Great Abundance
Wednesday, Jan 9th, 2013
A time of abundance comes into full flower when the powers of leadership and teamwork are at their peak. The situation is like that of the sun at midday — a high noon of clarity, insight and progress. Such peak periods can be brief. Whether this refers to a national cycle, a business boom or a period of abundance, it is important to bale your hay while the sun is shining.
During a period of abundance, it benefits one to show benevolence, to share the fruit of one’s good fortune. Think of good deeds now as a hedge against times of scarcity in the future. This reading bodes well for expansion in love, the raising of children and the nurturing of a healthy family or any close-knit group.
49: Revolutionary Change
Monday, Jan 7th, 2013
According to Chinese symbolism, the juxtaposed elements of this hexagram are fire under water. Fire evaporates water, and water puts out fire. Change can cause conflict; conflict brings about change. This hexagram refers to that time in the cycle of human affairs when things need stirring up, and when the hint of dramatic change is in the air.
In order to succeed, revolutionary change must be in alignment with certain unchanging laws. The process must begin at the right moment, gather support from a broad base of people, be guided by sincere and capable leadership and — most important of all — must address a real need. The strength of the forces of change will always be in proportion to the urgency of the need being championed. This is true whether the revolution is in government, in business, in education or in one’s personal affairs.
Revolutionary change points to a time when chaos arises from order. It is important to realize that not all order is good, not all chaos bad. Chaos, in fact, is an integral part of the way of things — as any parent (and modern science) will confirm. Have the courage to radically change and renew the way you present yourself. In this way, you can summon chaos to your cause, and you will unleash a new power on your behalf. If engaging in a negotiation, change the rules; if composing a piece of music, add the unexpected; if courting a lover, dare to be unconventional.
In periods of drought, even wild storms are preferable to yet another sunny day.
61: Centering in Truth
Wednesday, Jan 2nd, 2013
Truth involves establishing an aware relationship between your inner core and the circumstances in your life. Centering in truth involves the ability to perceive a fundamental wisdom, reflected within yourself and the people you know.
Truth is transformed into power when you dissolve prejudice and make yourself receptive to the world as it really is. Truth’s power can be a remarkable force indeed — yet is rarer than generally imagined. It can be maintained only by cultivating a genuine openness to things as they are — a willingness to see, rather than merely look.
Whenever your inner life is clouded, your influence in the world is under a shadow. If you are fearful, you will be attacked; if you cloak genuine mysteries in dogma, opportunities for new insight will be lost. If you vacillate in upholding your principles, you will be tested. Yet, when you are firm and strong, the power of truth can break through even the most stubborn minds.
In any debate, the power to perceive the truth in the other side’s argument is essential to achieving success. It is possible to influence even the most difficult people, or improve the most difficult circumstance, through the power of universal truth — for unvarnished truth is something to which all things naturally respond. Get in touch with the part of yourself that is aware of this universal force. Cultivate this inner resource, and you will become adept at using it to bond with others to support a common purpose.
38: Diverging Interests
Monday, Dec 31st, 2012
An image of estrangement is indicated here. One example used in ancient Chinese texts is how when brothers and sisters marry, they grow apart, since their allegiances now lie with new family groups. Though they will remain close enough to successfully deal with problems and share minor interests, they will be unable to undertake anything big together. Simply put, when people grow apart — even for the most natural of reasons — their points of view, values and interests start to diverge.
Diverging interests bring opposition into the world of human affairs. And when differences morph into alienation and enmity, no good results. But when opposition takes the form of healthy competition, or when contrasting energies or positions are seen as part of the natural order of things, good fortune is still possible.
Even when diverging energies make a situation seem stagnant or futile, there are always creative possibilities inherent in polarities. One is reminded of the yin-yang interplay that is fundamental to the creation of life itself. But when opposition arises from issues of principle, you must hold to your integrity and individuality. And avoid becoming involved with vulgar or base people who do not share your values. With both people and companies, one measure of stature is the quality of the competition.