29: Dangerous Depths

Exposure to danger brings good fortune to those who move beyond it. Like boaters staying afloat through white-water rapids, those faced with serious challenges need to remain alert. They must take all available precautions and, above all, keep going forward so as to remove themselves from harm’s way. Once the danger has passed, everything is good.

The positive side of danger is that it offers an excellent chance to cleanse the senses and strengthen the spirit. Surviving a crisis can be tremendously reinvigorating, sharpening the eye and the mind for future challenges.

It is reckless to court danger, but critical for inner development not to shrink from it either. Those who respond to dangerous conditions most effectively are those who can establish an inner bubble of calm in the midst of chaos. An emotionally stable center keeps one rooted in the moment, alert and focused. Courage at times like this springs from focused attention and a brave willingness to penetrate the moment of peril to its very core, so as to reshape it and transform it.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Harm will come to those who make a habit of taking unnecessary risks. Like a man who suddenly discovers that he is balancing on a tightrope, it is obvious to all but the man himself how he got there. Caught in such a predicament, there is little to do but take care to avoid further recklessness, and focus on regaining your balance as best you can.

Line 2

Calmly take stock of your situation, and be realistic. When one is in trouble, it is not wise to think immediately of escape before the source of your problem is clear. Sit still, and learn what you can, for this is what the time allows.

Line 3

Like a rock climber stuck on a narrow ledge, high on a cliff, any move, forward or backward, leads to trouble. Forget escape -- that is impossible right now. The thing to do is wait for help or a new way out. To move prematurely will only complicate the efforts of those who would try to help you.

Line 4

Make cooperation your primary objective. When danger is at hand, there is no need to stand on ceremony. Outer forms of polite society fall away quickly, and blamelessly, when aid in the face of dangerous uncertainty becomes the priority. At such a time, simplicity wins the day.

Line 5

Excessive ambition takes one to the brink of danger. When the water rises quickly in a narrow canyon, think only of escape. To discover a way out, follow the path of least resistance. No blame.

Line 6 (top line)

One is like a prisoner, bound and shackled. This is a risky position to be in. If you behave properly and remain faithful, you will survive, no matter how tough things become. It’s good to remember that you are the victim of your own mistakes. You have lost the way and are trapped in a thicket of troubles -- seemingly without a way to escape. Don’t give up hope. After a while, you will find your way.