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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

61: Centering in Truth

Centering in Truth

Centering yourself in truth requires establishing a conscious relationship between your inner core and the outer circumstances of your life. This involves the ability to perceive a fundamental wisdom that is reflected within yourself as well as others.

Truth is transformed into power when you disperse all prejudice and make yourself receptive to the world as it really is. This power can be a remarkable force indeed, yet is more rare than generally imagined. It is maintained by cultivating a genuine openness to the way things are — a willingness to see, rather than to merely look.

Whenever your inner life is clouded, your influence in the world is hidden in shadow. If you are fearful, you will be attacked; if you cloak genuine mysteries in dogma, opportunities for new insight will be lost. If you vacillate in upholding your principles, you will be tested. Yet, when you are firm and strong, the power of truth can break through even the most stubborn minds.

In a debate, the power to perceive the truth in the other’s position is essential to achieving success. It is possible to influence even the most difficult people, or improve the most difficult circumstance, through the power of shedding light on universal truths — for truth is something to which all beings naturally respond. Get in touch with that part of yourself that is aware of this universal force. Cultivate this inner resource, and you will become adept at using it to relate to those who share a common purpose.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Inner preparedness brings success. Personal stability of character, and a steadfast dedication to the truth underlying every situation, inevitably leads to good fortune. Relying on the perceptions of others, however, is not possible in this context; you must learn to stand on your own, to be inwardly self-reliant, to apply the power of inner truth for advancement.

Line 2

A clear radiant unselfishness at the core of your being is a vital source of power and influence. It spreads as surely as ripples on a pond when a stone is tossed into the center. A sincere reliance on your own integrity generates supreme good fortune.

Line 3

The life of a person who is dependent upon others for truth and purpose is like a ship tossing on the sea. Until the ship’s anchor is dropped to the ocean floor, there will be no stability in the rolling waves. Such an unbalanced person is tossed to the heights of joy and happiness at one moment and to the depths of sadness at the next. Inner truth must be rooted in one’s own perceptions and experience. At the gate to the palace of truth, each of us stands alone. Dare to know your own mind -- and speak it!

Line 4

To live in a way that is consistent with your own truth is often not easy. In order to do so, be like a horse that pulls the plow straight ahead, bearing its burden resolutely, and refusing to glance sideways, even to its mate, while the work is in progress. Avoid trendy fashions and cliques, dig down deeply, and your field will yield a bountiful harvest in the end.

Line 5

Great unity is possible when the force of a strong personality can radiate influence. Such a person is able to guide through the power of suggestion. Prosperity itself resides in the heart of such a leader, and affects others through his or her very existence. If such a person is true at heart, coming into his circle of influence brings great good fortune.

Line 6 (top line)

In the end, words are birds and experience the tree they roost in. The power of inner truth is rooted in the tree. Birds come and go. Talk is cheap.