20. Kuan – Reflection 

The Gentle Over 
The Wind Above, Earth Below

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——–PenetrationThighsAirWhiteEarly SummerSouth EastEldest Daughter
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— x —Yielding/DevotionBelly/HeadSoulBlackEarly AutumnSouth WestMother
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The wind blows over the earth.
The ancient rulers went out into their territory,
And reflected upon their peoples customs,
And where thus better suited to educate them.
The man has cleansed himself in preparation,
But has not yet paid proper homage.
Others will feel his sincerity and honour him because of it.

The wind blowing over the earth covers much distance. The foliage will yield to the force of the wind once it has decided to manifest its power. A good ruler will cover great distances to be in contact with those over which he rules. The purpose of this would be to verify what conditions prevail over his sphere of influence and also to give him the chance to change the practices that he knows to be inappropriate. This situation shows that there is a man of great knowledge and ethics in charge. This man is very much in tune with the prevailing sentiments of those he leads and of the community at large. His action, by their proper direction, will be a great influence on the people he governs. Reflection in this situation has two distinct meanings. The symbol itself look like a tower which can be viewed from afar as a beacon for those seeking its shelter. It can also be seen as a watchtower for those within who can see the enemy approaching. This demonstrates that the ruler of this situation plays a dual role. He is first of all a watchtower which can see the enemy coming. Through his proper actions he is also seen as a beacon of hope for those who follow him. The most spiritually inspiring moment in a ritual was the time between the moment the deity was invoked and the time of the offering. It is at that moment in which those there to witness the act where most easily taken up in the intensity of the ceremony. The influence of the deities invoked where, during these moments, at their strongest. The ruler of this hexagram, because of his proper actions, has emanating from within him a certain spiritual power which influences and dominates over those who follow him.

1 –X– His reflections are like those of a child. For the follower there is no guilt. For the ruler there is dishonour in this. 

In this situation we have someone who reflects upon things from afar without really understanding the movements around him. If this man is part of the masses there is no shame in this because the ruler is wise and the masses need not understand his actions to gain from them. However for the ruler himself to take on such an attitude would be dishonorable. The ruler must not be satisfied with a superficial and trivial outlook of conditions. He must reflect upon these conditions as an integral part of the whole and understand their causes and effects. 

2 –X– She looks through the crack of the door. The ruler must not follow this course. 

When looking through the crack of a door, a person has a limited perspective of the situation. The person who only looks to the external from within also has a narrow subjective view of things. Such attitudes will tend to make a person associate all things from his perspective only without considering the good of the whole. This type of attitude is fitting for those who hold no power but for those who must administer over people, such a biased and conceited outlook would be very detrimental. 

3 –X– He reflects upon his own life. He must choose either to proceed or withdraw. 

This is a time of passage for the man. Through meditation on the self the man can gain a more objective perspective and clearer thought process. He can overcome selfish preoccupations and become better aware of the consequence of his own actions on the world around him. Only by observing the outcome of his previous actions can the man truly assess wether his actions warrant for his advance or withdrawal from the situation. 

4 –X– Reflections on the light. He can best exercise his influence When acting as a guest of the ruler. 

This moving line characterizes a man who understands the principles needed to be applied if conditions are to prosper. A man of this nature should be given a place of authority and honour from where he can exercise his positive influence. He must be respected and permitted to perform his function freely and without impeding control from the rulers of the situation. He should not be exploited as a instrument for personal gain for those who are in a position of power. 

5 –0– He reflects upon his own life. The great man prevails without remorse. 

A man who finds himself in a capacity of bestowing influence on other people must at all times be ready for introspective reflections upon his own actions. Such a reflective state does not consist of deliberating over his own situation but rather of contemplating what consequences have been brought about for others by his past actions and decisions. When he is certain that results have been good, he can assume that his influence has also been positive. Only when the man is convinced about the positive nature of his contribution will he be truly content with himself and can he consider himself free of cause for remorse. 

6 –0– He reflects upon the principles of life. The great man prevails without remorse. 

In this situation the man does not reflect upon himself anymore but rather upon the higher principles which have ruled his life. This portrays a wise man who has the inner strength to detach himself from the earthy principles which rule over the world of men. In this way he frees himself from his own ego in order to better reflect upon the universal principles which rule over life and spirit. He understands that to be liberated from guilt and desire is the highest achievement for a man.