Monday, February 25, 2013

I Ching: Hexagram 12 - The Lines, Part 5

Nine in the fifth place means:
Standstill is giving way.
Good fortune for the great man.
"What if it should fail, what if it should fail?"
In this way he ties it to a cluster of mulberry shoots.

The time undergoes a change. The right man, able to restore order, has arrived. Hence "good fortune." But such periods of transition are the very times in which we must fear and tremble. Success is assured only through greatest caution, which asks always, "What if it should fail?" When a mulberry bush is cut down, a number of unusually strong shoots sprout from the roots. Hence the image of tying something to a cluster of mulberry shoots is used to symbolize the way of making success certain. Confucius says about this line:

Danger arises when a man feels secure in his position. Destruction threatens when a man seeks to preserve his worldly estate. Confusion develops when a man has put everything in order. Therefore the superior man does not forget danger in his security, not ruin when he is well established, nor confusion when his affairs are in order. In this way he gains personal safety and is able to protect the empire.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.

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