Tuesday, March 8, 2022

29. Dangerous Situation

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The Lines

Bottom. [6] If a man becomes accustomed to a dangerous situation and accepts it as "the way things are," it becomes a part of him, and is integrated into his personality and his way of thinking. When that happens, he has lost all sense of direction. He no longer can discriminate between right and wrong, and this necessarily leads to his downfall.
2. [9] When a dangerous situation first develops, it is not a wise move to attempt to escape from it at one fell swoop, nor should one try to accomplish anything important in spite of the danger. The first precaution is to avoid being overcome by the danger. The next step is to carefully access the situation and study the danger. Then the man is in a position to gradually extricate himself from the danger, one small step at a time. Any sudden move would be too disruptive and would undermine his plans. But if he carefully and slowly worked his way through, he will find success.
3. [6] When there appears no way out of the danger, when the slightest movement forward or backward will only create increased danger, then the wise thing to do is absolutely nothing. This does not mean that the man gives up and accepts the dangerous situation as a given. Rather, it means he is conserving his strength and waiting patiently for the situation to change sufficiently that an escape route is revealed to him. But to force one's way out when there is no rational possibility for escape would likely mean disaster. Remain still, and wait for the proper moment to reveal itself.
4. [6] Times of danger require that everything be reduced down to basics. This is no time for elaborate rituals and detailed formalities. Such niceties only serve as distractions. What is important is the aims and goals that are threatened by the dangerous situation. The man looks for help wherever it can be found, and when approaching others that might assist, gets right to the point. This causes no problem, because everyone realizes the urgency of the situation.
5. [9] The danger intensifies if one tries too hard. The best way to proceed is to select that path that is the natural one -- the one that faces the fewest number of obstructions. It makes no sense to increase the difficulties if an easier escape is available. There also is no point in trying to do more than escape from the danger. That in itself presents difficulties enough.
Top. [6] If a man loses sight of his goals in the face of danger and allows himself to become involved in the dangerous situation, becoming part of the obstructing forces and working together with them, then all is lost. He is trapped, and there is no way out. He cannot escape the misfortune that is his lot.
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