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All things must pass...

Impartial advice

Sunday, July 7, 2024
4 mins

All things must pass...

by Jo Teque

Very occasionally we turn to the I Ching for impartial advice.

The simple question 'Scottish independence prospects?' returned the following hexagram:

13: Fellowship

'When communal or tribal bonds unite a group of people, great success is possible. But such bonding only develops if personal interests are subordinate to virtuous human relations, like open communication and empathy. The broader the perspective, the greater the good that can be achieved; and the greater the potential good, the more powerful the support behind it. A spirit of cooperation steadies the boat for the good of all, though it does help to have a beautiful island of high ideals to row toward!

Learn to respect the power of diversity, for a community’s strength lies not only in its numbers but in the diverse skills and collective resources of its members. Like the stoutest walls reinforced by different materials, the strongest groups benefit from a tolerance of differences, strengthening the fabric of the whole. With a unified group solidly behind you, even difficult enterprises can be undertaken without great risk.'

The cast hexagram contained two 'moving' lines, at positions 3 and 5. These, once transformed into their opposite, generates this:

21: Cutting Through

'Current circumstances call for confronting a thorny situation and cutting through it. Somehow, the way to harmony and unity is blocked or frustrated—perhaps by a tangle of deceit or corruption. Like Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian knot, take decisive action and you will meet with good fortune and even your destiny. Don’t be afraid to shake things up a bit. The ability to take corrective measures when they are needed is an essential trait of leadership.

Those who bring discipline to bear must, above all, be honest—with others and with themselves. Honesty is the hallmark of the strong and self-confident. The successful person masters the art of honesty like the swordsman masters fencing. When lies, delusions, and game playing are getting in the way of teamwork, the swift sword of honest action, perhaps even punishment, must be wielded to protect integrity and values. Decisiveness with integrity will bring good fortune.

Though your actions may be vigorous, they must not be hasty, severe, or arbitrary. Be sure to carefully consider all the circumstances. In the case of a serious disruption of relations or events, forgive but don’t forget—at least not until the person has made reparation for his or her mistakes. If corrective action is necessary, make certain that it truly fits the crime. When rules have become slack and useless, only through the institution of clear and swift penalties can their effectiveness be restored.

In those situations where serious issues of justice are at stake, keep careful records; and do not hesitate to go public with the truth.'

The 'advice' at lines 3 and 5:

Line 3

'In trying to cut through a knotty problem, it’s easy for your saw to get stuck in the wood. Old, hard feelings may still be attached to a problem and can kick back at you when you attempt to correct past wrongs; but it is not your job to rewrite the past. If the guilty do not submit, you cannot solve the problem. At this point, there is no blame in walking away from the whole situation, before it gets any worse.'

Line 5

'This changing line points to a difficult situation. Decent people have a natural tendency toward leniency, but when the facts of a situation are clear and a grievous wrong has been committed, strong corrective action needs to be taken. Such action may take the form of punishing those who have committed the offense. In such a case, bear in mind that the priority of one who administers correction is to make sure that the punishment is effective. In other words, let the right punishment serve its highest purpose—to help the offenders to understand the wrong they have committed and prevent them from committing it again in the future.'

We leave readers to make of that what they will.

For us, it can all be summed up in one word: 'Branchform'.

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