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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching


6: Conflict

About I Ching Hexagrams Holding Together

8: Holding Together

7: Organized Discipline

Discipline is symbolized by water under the earth—a vital resource that is available but hidden, requiring effort to access. This potential can be drawn upon in times of need; and once it is accessed and applied, great things can be accomplished with some organized discipline.

The most successful leader is not the one who triumphs on the battlefield but the one who is able, through strength of discipline and inner power, to achieve conciliation without spilling blood. Likewise, in any large organization, key virtues are discipline and conscientiousness. The most effective team marches with a single purpose: a dedication to a lofty goal that is held dear by all. Even with an excess of external discipline, unpopular wars are seldom winnable.

Let power be held in check by the willing acceptance of a common discipline and the submission to a higher authority for the common good. When life is in balance, evil impulses are checked by human decency; parents die before their children; leaders lead and followers follow. If you hold or aspire to a position of leadership, remember that the true leader captures the hearts of the people by articulating the clear vision that binds them together.

In the realm of government, a good relationship between army and state is critical. Only when the state is economically prosperous can the army be strong. Only when the army is disciplined can the state be protected from disruptive outside forces. For this balance to be preserved, government must be steady and benevolent toward its own people. When balancing strong complementary forces like this, modesty and generosity in the leadership can be the magnetic force that keeps the relationships intact. Solidarity is essential for success.

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