57: Gentle Penetration

A subtle penetrating effect is like a soft wind blowing through reeds that are bending gracefully, demonstrating flexibility and endurance. This symbolizes a quiet, relaxed effectiveness in action. A gentle influence is at work; but just as the wind can be ceaseless in its efforts, small forces can add up to produce lasting results.

Gentle penetration bodes well for new relationships or enterprises. Just as a summer breeze slowly penetrates the woods to cool the forest, the ideas of gifted leaders slowly reach and sink into the minds and hearts of people. In personal relationships, a gentle beginning can lead to a long-lasting union.

When using a force that is soft but persistent, careful aim is necessary; for only when a small force continually moves in the same direction will it have a cumulative effect. In human affairs, this kind of soft influence comes more through strength of character than by direct confrontation or active seduction. It’s important to have—and stick to—clearly defined goals. Maintaining a strong vision and following a steady course of least resistance will bring good fortune.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Inborn gentleness can have the unfortunate side effect of indecision. This line points to a case of a gentle spirit drifting into quandary and becoming filled with doubt. When the rudder of personal will flaps back and forth, with no clear direction, it must be grasped firmly and brought back on course, like the rudder of a boat. Discipline may be required.

Line 2

When negative forces are undermining your best plans, trace the shadows back to their source and gently expose them to the light. Openness and honesty will succeed, but only if you have been honest with yourself first. Search your heart and mind for hidden enemies like self-pity, pride, or a rigid view of what “should” happen.
An excess of feelings—either hard and arrogant or soft and self-indulgent—obstructs progress and saps your strength. By gently bringing negative inner feelings to the light of day, you dissolve their power over you. And once you do so, good fortune awaits you.

Line 3

Even a gently penetrating mind can be driven to excess processing. After carefully researching and pondering a serious decision, further deliberation could lead to a subversion of the will. An overactive mind may begin to use fresh doubts as a shield against taking necessary action. When analysis is overdone, the will becomes paralyzed, and weakness of purpose sets in. Misfortune can result from too much thinking.

Line 4

Combine responsibility, experience, and energy with modesty for enduring effects and (almost guaranteed) success. When approaching difficult situations that require sustained effort over time to achieve a desired goal, keep these virtues in mind.

Line 5

A changing line in the fifth place indicates a situation in which things are far from perfect and a new direction needs to be taken. Though the beginning has not been horrendous, it hasn’t been great either. Some careful reform is in order, but don’t throw out the good with the bad. Continue making changes and adjustments until the situation is aligned with your true purpose. Self-correction will bring success.

Line 6 (top line)

When a quiet, penetrating power has reached its peak, both success and difficulty are indicated, for a certain loss of strength will also come about. If you penetrate deeply into a situation and discover of strong opposing forces, you will be practically helpless. In such a case, immediate withdrawal would be the best course of action.