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The LinesBottom.  When a man first awakens to the proper ways of living, things are not clear, and there is some degree of confusion. He tries to discern the workings of fate and life, but his conclusions tend to contradict one another. With his day-to-day involvement in the world, everything descends upon him at once. Clarity is demanded of him, but it is difficult to come by. At such a stage, it is important that the man remain calm and not allow himself to be rushed. If he maintains his tranquility and contemplates each situation carefully and in order, the necessary clarity will come in time. It is the beginning where the greatest difficulty lies. Once he becomes accustomed to observing his environment with insight and wisdom, his mind will develop clarity and things will begin to fall into place. It is at the beginning that clear vision approached quietly and calmly is so important, because how can he develop the habits of mind that accompany wisdom if he does not begin carefully and thoroughly?
2.  The man is able to approach all things in his environment with moderation, and this bodes well. He calmly and quietly contemplates all his involvements and is able to follow the path of wisdom. Clarity is evident in all that he does. Calmness and moderation attract good fortune.
3.  The man contemplates his mortality and realizes that his life might soon be over. If he clings to this life, these realizations have a disturbing effect upon him. Instead of the sense of freedom that allows him to accept life if it comes, or to accept death if it comes, he feels profound regret at the thought of the passing of his life and the end of his existence on this earth. In his desperation, he may try to banish such thoughts by frantically seeking out all the pleasures that life affords, or he may withdraw into himself with self-pity and sadness. Either of those choices undermines the real meaning of growing older. The superior man is not concerned whether death comes sooner or later. He realizes that the important thing is what his life consists of as he lives it, and feels certain that whether the rightful path brings death sooner or later, he is determined upon that path and will accept whatever is the natural consequence thereof. His focus is on the acquisition of wisdom, and he welcomes wherever that search leads him.
4.  If a man in his anxiety to experience as much of life as he can, or to accomplish as many great works as he can, burns himself out too quickly, the lasting effect of his effort will be less than if he had approached things more slowly, carefully, and thoroughly. By consuming himself so quickly, he does not give his work time to settle in, to become well established, and to form a broad and solid foundation. On the other hand, a series of great works, developed over a long period of time, become well-established, like a monument. People accept it, become accustomed to it, and over time find it inconceivable that it should not exist or that something should replace it. But any kind of work, erected in a hurry does not have time to become established in the memory of man. As soon as the promoter is gone, the effect of his work is gone with him. Establishing a great work is not just a matter of getting it done, but also a matter of establishing it in such a way that it stays done.
5.  Big changes after great accomplishments can have a shattering effect, but the man who retains his clarity of mind and accepts the changes as a renewal of life meets good fortune. Others might feel that it is all over, that there is nothing left but disappointment and decline, especially when there are no present prospects for something more. But the superior man is open to the turn of events. He adapts himself to the new circumstances and looks forward to whatever adventure lies ahead. His attitude of mind attracts interesting possibilities, and his sorrow over the wrenching changes is seen as a transitory matter.
Top.  The man who is called upon to remedy situations, to correct errors, to eliminate evildoers, keeps ever in mind his goal, which is not to destroy, but to make better. It may be necessary to completely eliminate those who are culpable and ultimately responsible. Leaders who should know better cannot be let off lightly. But it is enough if those who were merely drawn in to the debacle correct their behavior, change their ways, and reverse the path they were on. The idea is not just to punish in order to satisfy some self-righteous judgment or desire for revenge, but to change behavior and make the situation better, to enable things to work smoother and more efficiently. Similarly, in correcting one's own behavior, the purpose is to follow a more rightful path, and matters of little significance should be overlooked. If punishments are too severe, they defeat the purposes of correction.
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