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 flows smoothly downstream.

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 to not 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 these springs from focused attention and a brave willingness to penetrate the moment of peril to its very core, to reshape and transform it.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Harm will come to those who make a habit of taking unnecessary risks without thinking. Like a performer who suddenly discovers—in the middle of an act—that there is no safety net below, the reality of one’s risk-taking may sneak up on a person at the worst time, even though the dilemma has been obvious to everyone else. Caught in such a predicament, there is little to do but take care to avoid further recklessness, and focus on maintaining your balance as best you can.

Line 2

Calmly take stock of your situation, and be realistic about it. 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. Seek wisdom instead of reacting.

Line 3

Like a rock climber stuck on a narrow ledge high on a cliff, any move, forward or backward, could lead 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 your situation and the efforts of those who 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 without blame when aid in the face of dangerous uncertainty becomes the priority. In such times, 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. There is no blame.

Line 6 (top line)

You are trapped in a thicket of troubles—seemingly with no way to escape. This is a risky position to be in. If you behave properly and remain faithful, you will survive, no matter how tough things get. It’s good to remember that you are the victim of your own mistakes, and will be the benefactor of your own victories too. Don’t give up hope. After a while, you will find your way.