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The LinesBottom.  A man of ability and strength is accustomed to forcing his way ahead. But when that path is effectively blocked, he leaves off being forceful, and remains in readiness to go forward or back as the situation requires. Good fortune will be the result, because he is not testing his fate, and he stands ready to utilize whatever opportunities open to him.
2.  The man is surrounded by people like himself who wish to advance, but are being held back. He immediately recognizes that were he to make the same attempt, he would meet the same fate, so he holds back and avoids an embarrassing set-back. Things work out well eventually, because he does not exert himself against the spirit of the times, but waits for a favorable moment.
3.  The situation appears deceptively favorable. The man thinks he has sufficient power to move ahead, but he is mistaken. The times favor opposing forces, even when they appear to be weak and inconsequential. The man cannot understand this, because everything appears favorable, so he makes a forward movement anyway. The result is an embarrassing failure.
4.  When a person is in a subordinate position, his greatest asset is honesty and truth. If his advice is consistently directed toward what is right and just, even though the situation is threatening and is potentially extremely dangerous, he need have no fear, because he knows that in the end, right will prevail. The powerful man listens to him and recognizes that the rightful path is best, and things work themselves out favorably.
5.  If a person has little personal power but is loyal to those with whom he is associated, he can nevertheless exert great influence, provided of course that loyalty does not mean obsequiousness and pandering. Loyalty receives confidence and trust from those to whom one is loyal. This mutual relationship combines the resources of all those associated together and is thus beneficial to all concerned.
Top.  Success is within the man's grasp, but it has been achieved by modest means and is such a delicate thing, it could easily be undermined by a bold move. Because it is so uncertain, it would be a great mistake if it were taken for granted and brought into being by a final display of forceful effort. It has been gained by holding back and being receptive rather than by exerting power. If, in these final moments, one were to suddenly switch and push forcefully ahead, all one's efforts would be brought down. The superior man is therefore content with the way things are going, the extent of success achieved, even if it has not gone as far as one could wish. To push it further will only bring it all down.
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