41: Decrease

Increase and decrease are both part of the natural cycle of life. As another ancient scripture put it, “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Like a reservoir used to irrigate the fields, learning to accept a temporary decrease — in position, feelings or material possessions — prepares the way for an increase in the future.

We live in materialistic times, but there is no disgrace in letting go of some of your assets; this can be part of an investment in future gain — a gain that may come in the form of greater freedom, learning or development of personal character. Likewise, the inner strength that comes from bearing an unanticipated loss can be balanced by an increase in inner strength and insight. When letting go of material desires leads to greater simplicity in daily life, good fortune comes calling.

In nature, the lake evaporates to form clouds that drop rain, which nurtures the surrounding forest. As the forest grows thick, more rain is captured to increase the lake. Similarly, some evaporation of resources or a decrease in one area of your life, will give rise to an eventual increase in another. A loss of responsibility at work can mean more free time, and more free time may generate greater creativity or other career options. In general, a decrease can free the spirit and fill the soul.

Be mindful of the lesson of young lovers: even with minimal possessions, feelings of the heart can bring an unsurpassed richness to their lives. The smallest of actions, if sincere, can have great value. Remain confident, for a time of decrease may actually bode good fortune for you — especially if you remain open to the possibility.

Let go of frustration, resistance and regret over whatever might be decreasing at this time. See the larger picture and accept the cycle.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

If you want to be of service to others who have less, no blame. But you must be careful not to assume too much responsibility for them, lest you deprive them of their dignity and the chance to advance through their own effort. Learn to be sensitive when taking on the burdens of others, and carefully avoid self-righteousness. Likewise, when the tables are turned, a mature person considers how much help he or she can accept without putting the helper at risk. Such deep consideration makes giving and receiving happen with ease over time, and without concern about possible decrease.

Line 2

In order to render true service to those who are lacking advantages, it is essential that you not compromise your dignity. A decrease in your self-respect growing out of excessive subservience to even a higher goal can lead to a decrease in performance as well as your feelings of personal worth – all of which would be counterproductive. To truly be of good service to others, you must be sure to take care of yourself.

Line 3

If three people go off on a journey, one will drop out. If one goes out alone, a second will join up along the way. The strongest bonds and deepest relations are between two people; agreements among three people, no matter how lofty the intentions, are never quite as stable. Two’s company, three is a committee. Letting go of extraneous relationships is pointed to here.

Line 4

If your negative habits and personal faults are alienating others, there is one solution. Straighten-up! When people let go of negative habits, new opportunities flow in to fill the void. If you let this happen, great good fortune will be yours.

Line 5

Natural good luck is here! Great good fortune is your destiny now, and you need fear nothing. Enjoy. Invest. Higher energies are supporting you.

Line 6 (top line)

There are different ways to acquire wealth, but the highest and most satisfying way is by increasing the collective good. For supremely successful and enlightened people, their increases cause no decreases for others. They have learned to advance by generating more for all -- not by clever maneuvering to see that others get less than they get. The prosperity of such people rebounds to the good fortune of all of beings.