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of the I Ching

Treading Carefully

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10: Treading Carefully

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12: Standstill

11: Harmony

Earth seems to be above heaven and heaven is on earth. The gravity of matter merges with the upward radiation of light to merge in a condition of deep harmony. This juxtaposition denotes a time of peace and blessings for all living things. In the affairs of men, tranquility comes when the good, strong and powerful show favor to the lowly, and those of more modest means are well disposed toward those who are currently blessed. There is an end to all feuds. In such a state, energy is high, the way clear and the prospects for great success are outstanding.

A deep chaos abides in nature, but man, by carefully responding to the rhythms and cycles of the times, can find peace in the natural world. By planting the right crop in the right place in the right season, the mindfulness of the farmer brings harmony into the natural world of plants, and prosperity to his family. Similarly, business needs to adjust to the natural cycles of different seasons; only through flexibility and constant adjusting can order and growth both be maintained. Peace produces a time of flowering and prosperity; the wise person channels this positive energy to all areas of life, to each in proper proportion, just as a farmer waters his fields and orchards. But be vigilant and discriminating: otherwise, peaceful conditions can promote the growth of weeds as well as flowers.

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