I burn whatever arises in the flames and I stand where I am.
I Ching 61
Through openness and gentleness
the correct solution is reached.
Arriving at the correct solution to a difficult situation requires a receptivity to inner truth. Unless we are willing to put aside the strong emotions of our egos and devote ourselves to discovering what is right, there can be no hope of progress at this time. Help only comes when we invite it with a sincere and innocent attitude.
The I Ching teaches a simple but effective method of influencing difficult people and arduous situations. It advises us first to lay aside our prejudices—our feelings of being wounded, angry, or in the right—and second to seek to understand the positions of others and the lesson that the Sage is teaching us with the situation. Even when another is truly out of line, it is only by accepting this and remaining balanced that you make it possible for positive change to occur. Gentleness and understanding create in others an unconscious willingness to be led.
The superior person therefore avoids the use of anger and force in trying times, knowing that they only prolong conflict. It is far wiser to accept that each experience we have is necessary for us to learn something about ourselves and about the higher laws of life. The greatest openings come when we meet difficulty with acceptance, gentleness, and a desire to understand the lesson underneath.
FIRST LINE Strength belongs to those who are inwardly and outwardly devoted to what is good. Examine yourself for negative habits and let go of them before they cause a fall.
SIXTH LINE Do not try to talk others into accepting truth. Self-development is made step by step, and each must find his own pace. Reticence toward others and innocence in your own attitude is advised.
Further guidance from the
Wei Wu Wei Ching
When we see clearly,
nothing is born, nothing
dies, nothing ever happens.
If you can dwell in emptiness,
breathe emptiness, see only
emptiness, you will always
THE ABYSMAL (WATER)
Flow like pure water
through difficult situations.
The image of the hexagram K'an is that of water: water falling from the heavens, water coursing over the earth in streams, water collecting itself in pure and silent pools. This image is meant to teach us how to conduct ourselves in trying situations. If we flow through them, staying true to what is pure and innocent in ourselves, we escape danger and reach a place of quiet refuge and good fortune beyond.
K'an often appears to warn of a troubling time either drawing near or already at hand, and to counsel you not to fall into longing for an immediate and effortless solution to the trouble. When you become "emotionally ambitious"—when you cling to comfort and desire to be free of the currents of change in life—you block the Creative from resolving difficulties in your favor. What is necessary now is to accept the situation, to flow with it like water, to remain innocent and pure sincere while the Higher Power works out a solution.
It is not that you should not act now; it is that you should not act out of frustration, anxiety, despair, or a desire to escape the situation. Instead, still yourself and look for the lesson hidden inside the difficulty. Correct your attitude until it is open, detached, and unstructured. Abandon your goals and stay on your path, where you proceed step by step, arm in arm, with the Sage.
Those whose hearts and minds are kept pure and innocent relate properly to all events, understand their cosmic meaning, and flow through them with the strength, clarity, and brilliance of pure water.