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It is

an unavoidable fact

of life that inferior influences

sometimes prevail: improperly motivated

people ascend to power, there is injustice and conflict

and poverty, and spiritual life in general descends into darkness

and decay.  While these difficult times are inevitable — and the arrival

of this hexagram indicates that this is such a time — this does

not mean that we have to stagnate personally as well. 

By turning inward and realigning ourselves

with proper principles, we initiate

the return to light, truth

and progress.


The image

of P’i is of heaven

moving away from the earth. 

When this happens, the inferior qualities

in ourselves and in others come to the surface and

seek expression.  It is unlikely now that you can affect what

others do and say or that your activities will bear much fruit.  While

it is natural to feel anxious and disappointed about this state of

affairs, it is essential to disengage from these inferior

emotions now.  To indulge in them is to

abandon  your superior self and

plunge into a state of



What is

wise now is to accept

that external progress is unlikely. 

Turn your attention inward and examine your

own thoughts and attitudes for inferior influences

and departures from the principles of the Sage. 

By withdrawing into solitude and refining

your higher nature, you continue

to grow while all else around

you stagnates.


from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 12, P’i Standstill (Stagnation)


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