12: Standstill

In periods of standstill or stagnation, confusion and disorder can prevail. Inferior forces are on the rise when the powers of clarity and creativity are on the decline. In such times, the wise take shelter in their own integrity and quietly remain faithful to their principles. It is wise to retreat from public activities and common exchanges until the times favor direct action.

During periods of stagnation, inferior elements in your society come to the forefront. When the inmates are overrunning the asylum, you must summon up your fortitude, hide your worth and withdraw. Concentrate on personal affairs with a quiet dignity, even if that means letting go of some short-term rewards.

Desiring to change such a situation too quickly creates extra conflict. By accepting some hardship, while striving to maintain integrity, you are preparing for future growth. Remember that a seed of prosperity is often hidden inside the husk of misfortune.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Inferior forces are advancing, so it is best to reduce your visibility. Others of like mind may follow you into a temporary shelter from conflict; it is through this means that plans can be made for future action.

Line 2

When events have reached a standstill because of the corrupt influence of inferior people, the wise endure the period of stagnation, and accept suffering willingly in order to safeguard their integrity. Avoid falling for inducements that do not serve your long-term interests, or which violate your value system.

Line 3

Lesser people who have usurped power eventually realize that they are not equal to the task they took upon themselves. When this occurs, a sense of shame overcomes them, and though they may not admit it, they realize that they have committed a serious miscalculation. After this point, events may take a turn in your favor. Observe your adversaries closely, for their inner feelings may hold the key to future changes.

Line 4

Stagnation is lessening; the dam is about to burst. At such times, it is essential to act within the boundaries of your authority. Too much exuberance during the potential breaking of a deadlock can lead to excesses and error if you are not careful. Use your intuition and trust your instincts. Are the time and conditions ripe for you to act? If this involves your true calling, the energy of the time will support you.

Line 5

The moment of transition has arrived, and conditions are changing rapidly. But before you take action, ask yourself, “How could I fail? What could go wrong?” Danger threatens people who are too confident of their capacities. Remain alert and skeptical, and take care to see that your assets are well protected. Move cautiously but determinedly, like someone crossing a canyon on a tightrope. There is no going back and there is no safety net below.

Line 6 (top line)

The period of stagnation is coming to an end, and the timing is ripe for direct action. Disintegration does not automatically turn into peace and harmony, but requires the action of a strong person capable of shaping a new order. In such circumstances, great achievements are possible, particularly if fresh thinking results in new options that excite those who have been stuck.