Providential Grace

“The idea of increase is expressed in the fact that the strong lowest line of the upper trigram has sunk down and taken its place under the lower trigram. This conception also expresses the fundamental idea on which the I Ching is based. To rule truly is to serve.
A sacrifice of the higher element that produces an increase of the lower is called an out-and-out increase: it indicates the spirit that alone has power to help the world.”

Hexagram 42, Increase

There are several hexagrams that come to mind, sharing the idea of accelerated growth, such as:

The Marrying Maiden (54), Abundance (55), Revolution (49), Ting (50), Gathering Together (45), Pushing Upward (46), Increase (42), Deliverance (43), The The Power of the Great (34), Progress (35), Fellowship With Men (13), Possession in Great Measure (14), even The Creative, #1 and the Receptive, #2.

The twist with Increase is that this surge of growth comes from a decrease of the higher in favor of the lower. The imagery calls forth society, business, politics, economics, etc.  We can hope that Increase in this way would be a blessing, while perhaps not sustainable. Some would see it as evening out of the odds, some would see it as lady luck, some would see it as the answer to a prayer.

In a way, it is like the idea of “turning the other cheek.” How often do we bear with insult and refrain from retaliation? If it is more than half of the time, we are contributing evenly but not fully addressing our intent. If it is all the time, then we have learned the meanings of both “turn the other cheek” and “to rule is to serve”.

Going further, to serve is to serve without wanting rulership, it is merely to do right in every situation. Is that kind of behavior only for saints? Can we manage it?

Backing down, it seems that there are many reasons why we do what we have to do. I am not saying that reacting is wrong, I’m saying stop a minute and measure how often you refrain.

How do I best choose my battles? (assuming this is a good question to ask the I Ching)



One thought on “Providential Grace

  1. The Well is Hexagram 48, not 50. Did you really mean the Well, or the Ting / Cauldron, which is Hexagram 50?

    Hi David,
    Thanks! I did mean Ting, sorry, but thanks for catching that mix-up, it’s fixed now

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