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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

The Cauldron

50: The Cauldron

About I Ching Hexagrams Keeping Still

52: Keeping Still

51: Shock

One hears thunder unexpectedly. First comes fear, then a sharpened vision. Recall a close brush with danger—a falling branch, a barely avoided automobile accident, an escape from a violent confrontation. Such incidents arouse every nerve in your body—perhaps in a brief wave of panic—but soon, once the danger has passed, the initial reaction gives way to heightened awareness. The same process occurs with other types of shock—the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, business failure, and so on.

The lasting impact of a major shock can be stimulating or debilitating, depending upon your perspective. The critical factor is a willingness to be open to fear, rather than running away from it, enabling you to transform anxiety into laser-sharp perception. There can be a positive side to shock.

When overtaken by crisis, the wise look within and search their hearts for strengths, to face the world with courage. Courage can mean daring to take the unexpected path, to bounce back quickly after failure, or to have faith in the meaning of life when confronted with great loss, even death.

We tend to think of shock only in terms of unpleasant events. We can also be jarred, however, by the release of tension that comes with an unexpected success. To keep your bearings in the aftershock of either trauma or victory, it is essential that your inner compass be aligned with the magnetic force that guides you toward fulfillment of your deepest desires and your highest destiny.

Prepare yourself to take some jarring surprise in stride. Meditate a little bit to find your center. A calm reaction to the losses and gains that may arise will help you surmount these shocks to your system.

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