30: Clinging Like Fire

Flames hang on to their fuel in order to keep the fire burning. Likewise, in the human world, everything that radiates light or love is dependent upon something else. Through the webs of our interdependence, we see that everything is related, each thing to the other. Awareness of your attachment to other people is the key that opens the door to knowing your true place in the world. No human is an island.

Fire is also a symbol of liberation—crackling molecules that fly away from home. Paradoxically, by clinging to what is natural and appropriate, we gain inner freedom.

Given perseverance on your part, this reading indicates success. In spite of challenges, cling to what is luminous in yourself, in others, and in life itself, never forgetting your positive attachment to the highest good. When events seem foreboding, or people seem oppressive, remember the good that has been and is yet to be. Holding to this idea is to cling to the power of light, the only force that can illuminate darkness.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

When awakening to a new day, some concentration is necessary, so that your central tasks are not obscured by frenzied activity. It is at the beginning that one needs to compose oneself. As seeds are planted, so shall they grow. Do not begin a new project without careful consideration.

Line 2

The sun has reached its highest spot in the heavens. This portends supreme fortune. When the central glow of life is at its peak, light shines evenly over your entire world. It furthers you to remain active at a time like this, and to persevere with steady, moderate action.

Line 3

At the end of the day, the setting sun calls to mind impermanence and the transitory nature of all existence. Great souls understand that death comes in its allotted time and that, until that moment, life is for living. Enjoy simple pleasures while they last. You hold your fate in your own hands.

Line 4

Clarity of mind is most valuable when its light illuminates events slowly and evenly. True intelligence must be tied to sincerity and genuine feeling; otherwise, it will burn itself out like a fire in dry straw. Those in possession of brilliance should learn to temper their insights, to avoid arousing enmity in others. Those who are restless and impatient with others may rise to prominence quickly but are likely to descend just as rapidly. It is possible to be too clever.

Line 5

Clarity of vision can empower you to penetrate the veil of life’s illusions, which can bring good fortune when such a vision is accompanied by a change of heart and the release of delusion. Once the vanity of human endeavors becomes clear, one of two extremes can happen: either you continue to struggle for life’s rewards, as if they were real, or you find yourself falling into the depths of despair. But after despair, then what?
First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is again. No blame.

Line 6 (top line)

Discipline that is too severe, like a punishment that is too cruel, fails to achieve its true purpose. Seek the underlying cause of difficulties, and take strong action to cut off negativity at its roots. Be merciful and reasonable about small imperfections. Does the fact that the sun has spots mean that it should be removed from the sky?