Ta Chuang – The Power of the Great

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The great lines, that is, the light, strong lines, are powerful. Four light lines have entered the hexagram from below and are about to ascend higher. The upper trigram is Chên, the Arousing; the lower is Ch’ien, the Creative. Ch’ien is strong, Chên produces movement. The union of movement and strength gives the meaning of THE POWER OF THE GREAT. The hexagram is linked with the second month (March–April).

THE JUDGMENT

THE POWER OF THE GREAT. Perseverance furthers.

The hexagram points to a time when inner worth mounts with great force and comes to power. But its strength has already passed beyond the median line, hence there is danger that one may rely entirely on one’s own power and forget to ask what is right [misled, or focused perseverance may turn into fanaticism or zeal lacking wisdom, similarly persistence that is directed towards wrong aims is unwise, often strong and righteous person may strike the wrong rock blindly and continuously, to cut the Gordian knot with one move with resolve is to be ‘at one with nature and Heavens’]. There is danger too that, being intent on movement, we may not wait for the right time. Therefore the added statement that perseverance furthers. For that is truly great power which does not degenerate into mere force but remains inwardly united with the fundamental principles of right and of justice [when it loses the foundations it cuts itself from the creative impetus from below, it begins to doubt at the end and fails]. When we understand this point—namely, that greatness and justice must be indissolubly united—we understand the true meaning of all that happens in heaven and on earth.

THE IMAGE

Thunder in heaven above:

To continue is dangerous. A goat butts against a hedge. And gets its horns entangled. Making a boast of power leads to entanglements, just as a goat entangles its horns when it butts against a hedge [any inflation or hypertrophy of one’s qualities, perceived or not, inflates beyond what one is, entangling one in a spider’s web of illusions and a network of concepts, abstractions, illusory relations etc. when it bursts, one falls rarely gathering what one in truth – is, and with difficult regain his past standing, perspective, principle and direction]. Whereas an inferior man revels in power when he comes into possession of it, the superior man never makes this mistake. He is conscious at all times of the danger of pushing ahead regardless of circumstances, and therefore renounces in good time the empty display of force.

Nine in the fourth place means:

Perseverance brings good fortune.Remorse disappears.The hedge opens; there is no entanglement.Power depends upon the axle of a big cart.If a man goes on quietly and perseveringly working at the removal of resistances [preferably by removing the defects in his mind and heart, and moving wisely according to skill and circumstance, removing the torns from horns and head one by one] success comes in the end. The obstructions give way and all occasion for remorse arising from excessive use of power disappears. Such a man’s power does not show externally, yet it can move heavy loads, like a big cart whose real strength lies in its axle. The less that power is applied outwardly, the greater its effect [they are brought about through the inner gravity, the orbits of the subject of this gravity or one’s actions, demonstrations, conduct are the effectuating gesture]

Six in the fifth place means:

Loses the goat with ease.No remorse.The goat is noted for hardness outwardly and weakness within. Now the situation is such that everything is easy; there is no more resistance. One can give up a belligerent, stubborn way of acting and will not have to regret it [going back to foundations, cutting through a stubborn, afflictious delusion or ignorance has a beneficient and lasting effect]

Six at the top means:

A goat butts against a hedge.It cannot go backward, it cannot go forward.Nothing serves to further.If one notes the difficulty, this brings good fortune [awareness of a deadlock finds a way out, sooner or later, inwardly, or outwardly] If we venture too far we come to a deadlock, unable either to advance or to retreat, and whatever we do merely serves to complicate things further. Such obstinacy leads to insuperable difficulties. But if, realizing the situation, we compose ourselves and decide not to continue, everything will right itself in time [halting and resolving does not mean submitting or compromising one’s ideals, it means a co-operative resolution, found somewhere outside the situation of the deadlock]

 

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