Monday, 21 February 2011

Taking Charge

Photograph by Rosa Yoskovsky
In the East Grinstead study group last week, we looked at Hexagram 19, Lin. The word Lin can mean to approach or come close to; it is sometimes translated as “becoming great”, or “rise in power”, and is the word used for a job promotion.  Here, both meanings are evoked: it implies the responsibility to oversee and manage a group of people.

The hexagram is composed of Dui (the Marsh) below – carrying meanings of desire, pleasure, and satisfaction – and Kun (Earth) above, which refers both to the manifest world and to the capacity for acceptance and responsiveness. The question posed by this juxtaposition is: “How can you make your desires manifest?”

The answer, if it's a Lin moment, is “Step up to the plate, put your shoulder to the wheel, make hay while the sun shines”.

This is a moment of urgency, a window of opportunity. As Bradford says in the Rogue Commentary on the gua ci, or hexagram text:

Creative problem solving is not theoretical now, but intelligence on the run. Even to take a moment now means to look sideways for unseen solutions and trends, to find a way to put the world’s inertia to work and even make what is missing do tasks. Old successes only mean things learned and useful now: one is that you don’t know when the rains will come. Seed must be broadcast by then. The season’s promise taken for granted is empty. The success of the spring will be known in the fall, that of the leap in the landing.

The da xiang, or Great Image, tells us that the jun zi “instructs and plans without exhaustion, accepts and secures the people without drawing boundaries”. When there is something that needs doing, and needs doing now, it requires that planning be carried out, and that a team be enlisted and led from what is available now, even if that team is only the unanimous participation of all of yourself.  Lin is only one line away from Hexagram 7, The Militia, which is precisely about how to mobilise an ad hoc group to accomplish a task.

The type of task this could refer to runs the gamut from planting a field in the spring, to getting the harvest in in the autumn, and from organising a music festival to running a national election campaign. What they all have in common is exigency: a time factor demanding that we rise to the occasion with prompt and concerted action.

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