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The 64 Hexagrams
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Easy Progress

35: Easy Progress

About I Ching Hexagrams Extended Family

37: Extended Family

36: Darkening of the Light

When the light goes down, it may be wise to become invisible. Imagine fresh darkness, the period just after sunset or after a fire has gone out. There is still much activity left over from the light of day, and movements in the outer world are at their most dangerous. Even the smallest sound, the faintest glow of light, can attract unwanted attention now.

When the darkness of stupidity reigns in human affairs, it is best to keep your brilliance “hidden under a bushel basket.” Let your thoughts and efforts be quiet, self-contained, and protected, as much as possible, from harmful influences.

Don’t let yourself be swept along on the current of conventional wisdom when too many dangerous uncertainties exist. Try not to become too depressed or anxious; this period, too, shall pass. Just endure it for now and preserve your self-confidence, while remaining cooperative and flexible. The time to assert yourself will come. Avoid looking too far ahead if you have not yet achieved your goals—that will only stimulate feelings of regret or longing, eating away your inner strength.

Now is the time to be cautious and reserved. Control yourself. Do not needlessly stimulate forces of opposition. During dark, unsettled periods, it is best to step gingerly around the sleeping dogs.

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