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The 64 Hexagrams
of the I Ching

The Cauldron

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50: The Cauldron

About I Ching Hexagrams Keeping Still

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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, an automobile accident barely avoided, 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 a 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 strength of character. The critical factor is the ability to make yourself immune to fear, enabling you to transform anxiety into laser-sharp perception. There is a positive side to such shock.

When overtaken by crisis, the wise look within and search their hearts for strengths, in order 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 that magnetic force that guides you toward fulfillment of your deepest desires and your highest destiny. So prepare yourself to take some jarring surprise in stride. Meditate a little bit to center yourself. A calm reaction -- to either gains or losses that may arise -- will help you surmount the shocks to your system.

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