I Ching quotes

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Perseverance alone does not assure success.
No amount of stalking will lead to game in a field that has none.

Quiet effort will bring rewards,
so develop projects which will bring fruit later.

The unpleasantness we experience when in difficulty
is more often than not caused by our own reactions.

When it is time to be still, then stop;
When it is time to act, go ahead.

Do not hesitate, but do not hurry or force the pace.

Do not try to recover what is lost;
it will return only if it is proper for it to do so.

Adversity can make or break us.
If we do not learn from adverse conditions, we will be broken.

Pursuers may attack you;
that is unfortunate,
but the question is:
what can you do about it?

Do not throw yourself away. No value will result, and you will lose your dignity.
Remain modest, quiet and correct.

The natural laws are not forces external to things,
but represent the harmony of movement immanent in them.

If true to our essential natures,
we can make no mistake.

All gain is followed by loss, so the wise person shares his wealth,
and does not allow himself to become isolated by ignoring life around him.

Do not employ aggression when none is needed.

You are isolated and in an extremely dangerous situation.
The only way out is to retain one's composure and wait.

Adapt, conserving your efforts.

Hardness and softness are divided,
there is action and understanding.
Thunder and lightning combine into a pattern.

Meaningless, restrained routines cripple the mind.

Strength is in the appropriate position and is responsive,
acting in harmony with the time.

Adversity can make or break us.
If we do not learn from adverse conditions we will be broken.

By unquestioning or narrow adherence to outmoded standards, or habitual principles,
one is unable to react honestly or effectively to the present.

When the Way comes to an end,
then change -
having changed, you pass through.

Alteration, movement without rest,
Flowing through the six empty places,
Rising and sinking without fixed law,
It is only change that is at work here.

The changes are what has enabled the holy sages to reach all depths and to grasp the seeds of all things.

Do not try to recover what is lost; it will return only if it is proper for it to do so.

Concentrate on maintaining a harmonious attitude and do not be pressurized into adopting conventional, ultimately useless 'solutions'.

The unpleasantness we experience when in difficultly is more often than not caused by our own actions.

(The natural) laws are not forces external to things, but represent the harmony of movement immanent in them.

The superior man curbs his anger and controls his desires.

All gain is followed by loss, so the wise man shares his wealth, and does not allow himself to become isolated by ignoring life around him.

Insight can help one escape danger.

To "tread on a tiger's tail" means to go through dangerous or delicate situations calling for great caution and tact.

Strength conforms to balance and correctness, so what is willed is carried out in action.

When it is time to be still, then stop; when it is time to act, then go ahead.

Still the jaws, be orderly in speech, and regret disappears.

When one acts as an individual, a group is suspicious.

If you lose your horse, do not chase it; it will return on its own.

Cultured people speak factually and act consistently.

Strength is in the appropriate position and is responsive, acting in harmony with the time.

As long as the sun and moon have the sky, they can shine forever.
As long as the four seasons change, they can bring about development forever.
When sages persist in their way, the whole world evolves to completeness.
By observing what they persist in, the conditions of all beings in the universe can be seen.

The way of heaven and earth persists forever and does not come to an end.

Cultured people accept others with openness.

Sensitivity means feeling.
Flexibility is above and firmness is below; the two energies respond sensitively and thus get along with each other.

Hide your adornments; it is well to be chaste.

Change has an absolute limit:
This produces two modes;
The two modes produce four forms,
The four forms produce eight trigrams;
The eight trigrams determine fortune and misfortune.

Like clouds raining as they go, things and beings flow in forms.
When you have an overall understanding of their processes, how they begin and end, when the six stages have been accomplished in a timely manner, then you ride the six dragons to harness nature.

Do not use the hidden dragon.

Perfect indeed is the greatness of the receptive earth; which sustains the birth of all beings and accords with what it receives from heaven.

Being honest, straight and magnanimous will help everything, even without practice.

Do not deliberately hold to a specific goal.

Acting in a harmonious way means happiness.

The meaning of following the seasons is great indeed.

If you are constrained by ties with something, you go along bound up with it.

If there is no opposition, there is partnership.

Cultured people value the processes of waxing and waning, filling and emptying, for these are the course of nature .

Stripping away to the point where there is no blame means removing the distinction between above and below, or ruler and ruled.

There is no 'right' and no 'wrong' way.

Proceeding without deviation means attaining one's aim.

Cultured people deliberately guard their speech and moderate their consumption.

However unsatisfactory present conditions, one must wait for the right time to make changes.

One who understands change notes the signs and is able to foresee the forthcoming demands of the times beneath symptoms.

Be reserved: act with great caution if things go wrong.

Do not be led astray.

Heaven's movement is full of power.
So does the superior man strengthen himself.
Heaven moves unceasingly.
This should be an example.
Make the self strong, effective and enduring.

Avoid the helping hand which brings obligation.

Do not force issues.

If you are involved with an unrealistic person, withdraw.

It will rain, but meanwhile one must wait.
Use the time in preparation.

The superior man, eating and drinking, is content.
Rain comes after clouds, but we can only wait.
If we are wise, we can nourish our bodies through proper eating and our minds through cultivating calm.
Then we will be ready when the time comes and, in the meantime, be content.

Benefit from remaining in what is lasting.

Conflict is latent.
Only by profound and meticulous ordering of aims, in advance, can it be prevented from emerging.

Do not force things, and avoid confrontations.

Depend upon what you yourself have discovered or earned .
Seek no praise or recognition.

Therefore the superior man conceals his true qualities,
Thus avoiding danger,
And shuns favour and fortune.

Adopt a quiet, humble manner in your dealings.

By avoiding the coarseness of affluence and maintaining your principles and sensitivity, you can weather forthcoming difficulties.

Possession is a burden, restricting freedom.

One should remain unaffected by other's status and wealth, and understand the significance of material divisions between men.

Humanitarian, unselfish attitudes of people often  offend by their lack of convention.
Thus one should be restrained.

Mountains are gradually worn down; valleys filled by glaciers and floods.
So modesty works imperceptibly, with constancy.

Treading on a tiger's tail, be very cautious and it will turn out all right.

The nature of modesty is to succeed through subtle influence.

The wise man, understanding that fate is inescapable, adjusts conditions and himself to avoid extremes, and thus maintains a harmonious life.

Once in a comfortable position, one becomes careless and offensive.

The seeds of the future lie within the flow of recent events.
Take them, but do not cling to the useless husks of previous ideals and ambitions.

Like water flowing onwards wherever possible, sincerity enables us to understand the deepest part of a situation, and take effective action.

One should ensure that virtue penetrates one's life and that it is of sufficient calibre to cope with the most distressing and unusual conditions.

In order to escape from danger, one need only take the line of least resistance, just as liquid spills from a vessel over the lowest point of its rim.
Concentrate only upon escaping.

Only careful, sensitive and skilful effort can achieve enduring results.

The appropriate virtues are from strength and cultured intelligence, acting in season in accord with nature.

In sameness with people, flexibility finds its place and attains balance.

The shame of being taken is in being put in an inappropriate position.

There is no level without incline, no going without returning.

Heaven and earth interacting is tranquillity.

Yang inside and yin outside symbolise inward strength and outward docility, being a cultivated person within while appearing outwardly to be an ordinary person.

Powerful yet docile, with strength in balance, your aim is carried out, and thus you succeed.

Accord is auspicious, for accord means helping, humbly following along in harmony.

Even if one receives acknowledgement of victory through contention, that does not mean one is worthy of respect.

Contention means there is obstruction of truth; be wary. Balance bodes well, finality bodes ill.

Once you have brought enemies on yourself, be serious and careful not to get beaten.

The shame of being thwarted by ignorance is having strayed from reality by yourself.

Do not take a partner who is incompatible.

Though you do not seek the innocent yourself, the innocent seek you.

By respecting the lowly, many people are won.

Try another approach.

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Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 29 August 2019