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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

Overview

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20: Overview

About I Ching HexagramsGrace and Beauty

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22: Grace and Beauty

21: Cutting Through

Current circumstances call for confronting a thorny situation and cutting through it. Somehow, the way to harmony and unity is blocked or frustrated—perhaps by a tangle of deceit or corruption. Like Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian knot, take decisive action and you will meet with good fortune and even your destiny. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. The ability to take corrective measures when they are needed is an essential trait of leadership.

Those who bring discipline to bear must, above all, be honest—with others and with themselves. Honesty is the hallmark of the strong and self-confident. The successful person masters the art of honesty like the swordsman masters fencing. When lies, delusions, and game playing are getting in the way of teamwork, the swift sword of honest action, perhaps even punishment, must be wielded to protect integrity and values. Decisiveness with integrity will bring good fortune.

Though your actions may be vigorous, they must not be hasty, severe, or arbitrary. Be sure to carefully consider all the circumstances. In the case of a serious disruption of relations or events, forgive but don’t forget—at least not until the person has made reparation for his or her mistakes. If corrective action is necessary, make certain that it truly fits the crime. When rules have become slack and useless, only through the institution of clear and swift penalties can their effectiveness be restored.

In those situations where serious issues of justice are at stake, keep careful records; and do not hesitate to go public with the truth.

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