The Wisdom of the I Ching

64. Nearing Completion

Work is nearing completion. The task of creating order out of disorder and chaos is almost finished. This is like drawing one great effort to a close in preparation for a new phase of life. It is difficult, because one must tie together the remaining loose ends of a great undertaking. But the likelihood of success is also great because the end is in view and the efforts needed to bring it to a worthy conclusion are in evidence. Nevertheless, one must be extremely cautious; it is not a time for boldness. An error now could bring all previous efforts to nought. Too much is at stake, too much has been invested, to put everything at risk now. It is not a time to test new directions or methods; it is a time to complete carefully the plans and intentions that have guided you thus far.

Finishing up a great task requires that one carefully analyze the remaining components and properly assess their place in the completed whole. That view of the completed whole is possible now, so it is necessary to relate the unfinished portions to the completed structure, which can now be projected. This is not easy, because that relationship is not obvious and requires careful consideration. But if all these remaining elements can be put together in their proper order and relationship, the job will be finished. To do this, however, one must have a clear understanding and formulate a valid plan.

The Lines
1. [6] Rushing ahead to completion is a mistake. Even though completion is near, things must be allowed to work themselves out in their own time. Judicious caution when the end is in sight avoids a regrettable calamity.

2. [9] Patience and caution are needed as the end approaches, but it is important not to let patience turn into indifference and carelessness. Even though one must not rush ahead, one must still keep completion in mind and work steadily towards it if ultimate success is to be achieved. Constant attention and effort is still required, but it must be controlled and restrained.

3. [6] The time has arrived! Completion of the task is at hand! But one lacks the resources to bring things to a close. Forging ahead regardless of capacity to do so could only result in catastrophe. At such a time, it is necessary to find those who can add to the effort and then, under these new circumstances, make the supreme effort needed to bring it to a successful close.

4. [9] The final phase requires enormous effort and determination. It is necessary to proceed as though with one heart and one mind and not be deterred by doubters. Evil forces may try to intervene, but they must be vigorously overcome. Once the battle is over, once completion is realized, the rewards of successful completion will be won.

5. [6] Completion is accomplished. The culmination of a long and faithful struggle is finally realized. The rewards for all one's efforts are at hand. The result is an important and useful contribution that will remain in existence for the benefit of many.

6. [9] Completion brings celebration, and why not? The great work is completed, and the benefits are to be enjoyed. Nevertheless, one must remain circumspect and celebrate with discretion. It would be foolish to detract from the completion of a massive undertaking with a single act of foolishness.


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