12: Standstill

In periods of standstill or stagnation, confusion and disorder can prevail. Small-minded and self-serving forces arise when the powers of clarity and creativity are on the decline; the inmates are overrunning the prison and its guards. In such times, summon up your fortitude, don’t shine your light, simply withdraw. The wise take shelter in their own integrity and quietly remain faithful to their principles. Retreat from public activities and common exchanges until the times favor direct action. Concentrate on personal affairs with a humble 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)

Small-minded forces are advancing now, so it is best to reduce your visibility. Others of like mind may follow you into a temporary shelter from the 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 self-serving people, the wise endure this period of stagnation by accepting suffering willingly, in order to safeguard their integrity. Avoid falling for inducements that do not serve your long-term interests, or that violate your value system.

Line 3

Self-serving 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. At 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. 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, so be 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 moment will support you.

Line 5

The moment of transition has arrived, and conditions are changing rapidly. But before you take action, ask yourself: How might 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; it 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.