57: Gentle Penetration
Saturday, April 14th, 2012
Gentle penetration bodes well for new relationships of all kinds. Just as a summer breeze slowly penetrates the woods to cool the forest, the brilliant ideas of gifted leaders or the sincere feelings of warm-hearted lovers slowly penetrate the minds and hearts of others. In personal relationships, a gentle beginning is often linked to a long-lasting union.
When employing a force that is weak but persistent, careful aim is necessary, for only when a small force continually moves in the same direction can it have much effect. In human affairs, this kind of influence comes more through strength of character than by direct confrontation or seduction. It’s important to have, and stick to, clearly defined goals. Maintaining a strong vision and following a steady course of least resistance often brings good fortune.
from the Wilhelm-Baynes translation of “The I Ching or Book of Changes“
Sun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter and symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which nonetheless peentrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.
The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. in nature, it s the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.
THE GENTLE. Success through what is small.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
It furthers one to see the great man.
Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction can the object be attained. Small strength can achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who is capable of creating order.
Winds following one upon the other:
The image of THE GENTLY PENETRATING.
Thus the superior man
Spreads his commands abroad
And carries out his undertakings.
The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. in the same way the ruler’s thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when the command has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with it possible. Action without preparation of the ground only frightens and repels.
Six at the beginning means:
In advancing and in retreating,
The perseverance of a warrior furthers.
Inborn gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. A thousand doubts crop up; one is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively to and fro. In such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing, so that one resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is far better than irresolute license.
Nine in the second place means:
Penetration under the bed.
Priests and magicians are used in great number.
Good fortune. No blame.
t times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. in instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with. this is the task of the priests; removing the influences is the task of the magicians. The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well wroth while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light and branded, they lose their power over people.
Nine in the third place means:
Repeated penetration. Humiliation.
Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the power of decision. After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is essential to form a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings fresh doubts and scruples, and thereby humiliation, because one shows oneself unable to act
Six in the fourth place means:
During the hunt
Three kinds of game are caught.
When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to combine innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured> the three kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods, for feasting guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch answered all three purposes, the hunt was considered especially successful.
Nine in the fifth place means:
Perseverance brings good fortune.
Nothing that does not further.
No beginning, but an end.
Before the change, three days.
After the change, three days.
In the situation described in Ku, Work on What has been Spoiled (18), an entirely new point of departure must be set up, whereas here it is only a question of reforms. The beginning has not been god, but the moment has been reached when a new direction can be taken. Change and improvement are called for. Such steps must be undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with a firm and correct attitude of mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will disappear. But it must be remembered that such improvements require careful consideration. Before a change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for some time after how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such careful work is accompanied by good fortune.
Nine at the top means:
Penetration under the bed.
He loses his property and his ax.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
A man’s understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious influences into the most secret corners. but he no longer has the strength to combat them decisively. in this case any attempt t penetrate into the personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.