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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

After Completion

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63: After Completion

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64: Nearing Completion

The situation is incomplete, but the chaos of the past is giving way to order—the goal is in sight. Nevertheless, you are still treading on thin ice. Though the way ahead is unobstructed and the goal is clear, a cautious and careful attitude is still important, lest you slip and fall.

Nearing Completion is the last hexagram of the I Ching. It suggests that the ever-spinning wheel of life never reaches a final conclusion. Just as hidden sadness resides in the heart of true euphoria, and just as seeds of amazing achievement can sprout from a caldron of adversity, no end is ever really complete without a new beginning stirring inside it. We may divide life into categories to understand and manage it, but experience itself is seamless. The Tao’s sixty-four-spoked, timeless wheel of change is ready to spin onward, ever evolving, ever staying the same.

The situation represented by this reading can be compared to taking a lengthy trek over a high mountain. At some point before reaching the peak, you can see—in detail—exactly how much farther you have to travel. You will have a good idea of what it will take to reach the top, because of the climbing experience you’ve accumulated thus far. However, when you do reach the peak (which has been in sight for quite a long period of sustained effort), you will have done only that. You will have reached the top and achieved your initial goal, but you still must descend the other side. This last critical segment is what remains before completion.

Consider, too, the possibility that you have little information and no experience of what it’s like descending the other side of the mountain, because all your attention has been focused on the path going up. The coming situation may seem very strange to you—unlike anything that you have experienced before—but the other side of the mountain is where the true mysteries reside. Proceed carefully, cautiously, and alertly; and you will arrive honorably at the completion of your goal.

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