The Wisdom of the I Ching

35. Rapid Progress

It is a time of expansion, of ever-widening influence. Persons in powerful positions look to those who can influence others and can muster their loyalty. Such a man acts as an intermediary, connecting the powerful to the masses, and the masses to their rightful leaders. He is honored and well-rewarded for this invaluable service. He is able to influence the masses because he is a man of the people, and their most fundamental interests are his interests. He is well-received by the powerful because he is a modest man and does not seek power for himself or to promote his own private interests. He is able to be such a trusted intermediary because he has wisdom and insight. All of these factors work together to produce unhindered, significant progress.

A man of influence in a time of progress must be a man of clarity and insight. The more he purifies himself, the greater is his influence. Man's nature is naturally pure and uncontaminated, but it becomes obscured by a pursuit of power over people and a lust for material things. A superior man is not consumed by such desires, and is able to act with disinterest. Those with whom he comes in contact realize instinctively that he can be trusted.

The Lines
1. [6] Even though everything is set for Rapid Progress, there is an air of uncertainty. The disinterested man is not sure that he will be accepted and trusted; others may turn him away. But he is not disturbed by this possibility. He continues on a rightful path, without trying to force his way. Eventually, his integrity will be recognized, and all will turn out well.

2. [6] Rapid Progress is prevented by someone in a powerful position. This is a great disappointment, but the man is not deterred. He keeps on his rightful path, and eventually the powerful man recognizes his great assets and rewards him.

3. [6] A man is unable to proceed on his own, but luckily he has many supporters who urge him on. With their support, he is able to make progress in spite of all adversity.

4. [9] A time of Rapid Progress often provides opportunities for wrongful gain. If a man succumbs to such temptations, he runs great risk in eventually having his actions brought to light. A superior man avoids making progress through improper means.

5. [6] If a person in an influential position does not take advantage of opportunities to promote his private interests, he should not entertain regrets. It is far more important to maintain the confidence others place in him and not throw his influence away by pursuing self-enrichment. Such opportunities are trivial compared to his main mission.

6. [9] There is a time when progress demands that a man stand firm and forcefully oppose resistance based on erroneous ideas. This is risky--but proper--when dealing with ones close associates; but it can only lead to reversals if strangers are handled in this way.


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