51: Shock

One hears thunder unexpectedly. First comes fear, then a sharpened vision. Recall a close brush with danger—a falling branch, a barely avoided automobile accident, an escape from a violent confrontation. Such incidents arouse every nerve in your body—perhaps in a brief wave of panic—but soon, once the danger has passed, the initial reaction gives way to heightened awareness. The same process occurs with other types of shock—the loss of a job, the death of a loved one, business failure, and so on.

The lasting impact of a major shock can be stimulating or debilitating, depending upon your perspective. The critical factor is a willingness to be open to fear, rather than running away from it, enabling you to transform anxiety into laser-sharp perception. There can be a positive side to shock.

When overtaken by crisis, the wise look within and search their hearts for strengths, to face the world with courage. Courage can mean daring to take the unexpected path, to bounce back quickly after failure, or to have faith in the meaning of life when confronted with great loss, even death.

We tend to think of shock only in terms of unpleasant events. We can also be jarred, however, by the release of tension that comes with an unexpected success. To keep your bearings in the aftershock of either trauma or victory, it is essential that your inner compass be aligned with the magnetic force that guides you toward fulfillment of your deepest desires and your highest destiny.

Prepare yourself to take some jarring surprise in stride. Meditate a little bit to find your center. A calm reaction to the losses and gains that may arise will help you surmount these shocks to your system.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

This changing first line indicates a time when good fortune follows a sudden change that may have seemed unfortunate at first. If we remain open to all possibilities in a time of crisis, the results can be shockingly positive.

Line 2

When chaotic events strip you of what is rightfully yours, it is of no use to fight it while the storm is raging. Retire to the mountaintop for now—take the high ground. In the end, after the storm has passed, this strategy will restore all that is yours without a need for contention. Confronting uncontrollable forces when they are at their peak only brings further misfortune and loss.

Line 3

The shock of unexpected change can be paralyzing, easily scattering your concentration. This is not the time to stand back and watch things take their course; focus is needed. Begin with small details, and gradually re-establish normalcy all around. The resumption of habits and routines can protect you, keeping external misfortunes from infecting your soul. If you allow a jarring situation to motivate you to restore your focus, you will be freed of possible ill effects. This is good.

Line 4

A nimble mind evades on-rushing fate like a matador twirls away from a charging bull. But even a nimble mind can become mired in muddled or jarring circumstances. Sometimes, when you are stuck, you become a target for the horns of fate. If you had a clear problem, you could do something about it. But for now, don’t force anything—just try to keep your wits about you until the dust settles.

Line 5

A series of repetitious shocks is indicated. However, it is possible to avoid danger by remaining calm and staying near the center of the storm. Avoid dashing toward the extremities, where added movement would only increase the risk of harm. Keep still as best you can.

Line 6 (top line)

When startling events are at their peak, clarity of vision and perspective can be lost. The smart move is to withdraw long enough to be able to develop a coherent strategy, but this can only be done if your withdrawal comes soon enough, before turmoil has confused your perspective. Friends and associates may not understand the reason for your actions—and they may talk about these actions behind your back—but few generals would charge in on their horses without plotting some sort of strategy beforehand. Sometimes retreating to your tent takes more strength and courage than racing to the front lines—and more wisdom too.