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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching
62: Attention to Detail
64: Nearing Completion
63: After Completion
It is a fine irony that after the completion of a project or great enterprise, there is still much to do. Completion is merely a pause in the cycle of creation and decay, a momentary still point for the swinging pendulum of life. Though completion implies a period of restful pause -- and one that has been well earned -- it is not an actual ending, but a harmonious flat spot in the constancy of change and movement, like the still point between the inhalation and exhalation of one’s breath.
One image of After Completion is that of a kettle of water boiling over a fire. When the forces are balanced, the water boils properly; but if the pot is too full and boils over, it puts out the fire. On the other hand, if the fire is too hot for too long, it can evaporate all the water. In maintaining the equilibrium that follows the completion of an arduous task, forces at work in the situation must be monitored carefully to ensure that a proper balance is maintained. The state of After Completion is a time for fine-tuning, for refinements and embellishments of what has been accomplished.
Even as we enjoy a rewarding situation, the laws of the natural world dictate that influence and success must eventually decline. Don’t let current good fortune give rise to adopting an attitude that is too careless or relaxed. Whatever is successful or already established needs to be carefully maintained, without trying to expand it now. What is incomplete, on the other hand, should be brought to fruition without delay. Take satisfaction upon completion, enjoy a sense of fulfillment, but do not linger too long on endings.
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