241 Heaven or hell
One thought and you rise up to heaven
One thought and you enter hell
Hell and paradise
just a fraction between glory and dishonor
Stand on your own feet
own your intentions
Don’t follow mediocre people
The mind and the heart are susceptible to influences, both from outside and inside. It takes strength to keep wrong people or thoughts at bay. Being social is a big force of nature but doubting others can be a valuable trait. A strong mind can recognize bad influences, and also hold on to what is good.
242 The fate of true spirits
When a sheep escapes the flock
people will correct it within a day
Coming close to the bull’s mouth
man gets bitten
One ruler and one subject
then ruler and subject have troubles
One must battle the true spirits
to save the common people
Safety is in numbers. As an individual, you
should keep a respectful distance from the
powers that be. Thinking or acting differently
from the norm scares both the masses and
the rulers because of its unpredictability. The
flock can be herded, not so the individual.
Create a safe place for yourself.
逸群 Escape the flock, excel.
驚 surprise, startle; alarm, stampede, violent; fierce.
真 〈Dao.〉 original character of human beings; newcomer among the immortals.
243 Knowing the seeds
If a person can see the seeds
One finger suffices to turn around
Whereas one who persists in error
Is repeatedly seduced
and does not walk from it
The ability to feel the subtle edges of good
and bad, of ethical and unnatural, even in
the middle of a busy world, is the reason
some can turn around timely. When one feels
the edge is near, it is easy to do so. When
one doesn’t feel it, desire or habit will be too
strong to change one’s conduct.
緣reason, fate, predestination.
244 One blue expanse
The moon child rises in the east
Clear light subtly appears
No clouds in the vast space
Sea and sky one blue expanse
When everything is calm and smooth and
clear, then take extra care not to let anything
bad in. It is tempting to forget carefulness
when life seems easy. So be severe, or exude
authority, or play devil’s advocate when the
situation asks for it. But also be nice, relaxed
and social when necessary.
碧 Blue, green, emerald.
245 The male dao
It seems it is masculine to pursue high office
Not to go entirely against social ways
To retire after winning merit
To be leasurely and carefree in the clouds and mists in twilight
Taking off the purple gauze robe
It is the true direction of the male dao
Do your own thing, follow your bliss. Don’t
forget though that what you are in your core
is just as important as what you make of
yourself and your life. Give enough room to
your being a man or being a woman, being
born assertive, or happy to be a follower or a
recluse. Honor your and other’s nature.
印 seal, stamp; tally, conform, original meaning: ‘press down, restrain’.
羅 silk gauze, also means a net for catching birds.
封侯pursue high office - see create feudal lords
246 A bewitching woman
A sentimental moon and a bewitching woman
Enchant and delude the common people
Common people don’t scrutinize it
They invite it for long times
The world is full of bewitching things.
Alcohol, drugs and gambling are known as
dangerous, but there are many other things
which can enslave or destroy. Food, games,
sex, so many things which can be great can
also be used in wrong or evil ways. Be aware
of everything you allow in your life.
狐狸 Huli, bewitching woman, literally fox and raccoon.
247 Shaken up but not destroyed
Suddenly a gale-force wind rises
Big trees are raised up to their limits
Branches and leaves did not scatter about
Cultivation is safe and sound in the end
It is a blessing when a disaster almost happens but not quite. One learns its danger and often how to prepare for it, knowing how devastating it can be without having to experience it. The beginning of a fire, the signs of a disease, an unguarded remark, an unlocked door. They are timely warnings.
248 A fortunate empty day
The empty day has a prosperous appearance
A law which asks for examination
Orbit all around
If you have an open mind, then you notice
every opportunity to achieve something. You
might not have a plan, but you grasp the
moment, the open door, the unexpected gift.
It is a talent which makes life much easier
and rewarding. You accomplish what nobody
expected, least of all you yourself.
相 physiognomy, face, appearance, also like in fortune telling.
虛日empty day, day on which nothing (has to) happen.
249 Adapt to changes
Ups and downs fixed early cause no moans and distress
Working hard in the country
Or living in ease and comfort in your hometown
On account of others you earn a living and clothing
Today the ruler’s taste
In another year things change and one adjusts to another person’s taste
Fixing what you’re not happy about is more useful than moaning it. But many things are just the way they are and you don’t have much say in them. Better adapt without bothering too much. Who knows how they will be next year, or even tomorrow. Don’t summon trouble which only causes trouble.
250 Daughter big
Marries a fine man
Adds children and grandchildren
All receive honor
Feeling the favor of the ancestors
Spinning stories is part of the human
mind, especially the happy-ever-after kind.
Life can be hard or unsatisfactory, hope is
always right below the surface. Stories are
a welcome distraction and a means to stay
hopeful. Don’t drown in them though, and
don’t use others as tools to fulfill them.
皇 Emperor; magnificent.
251 Chills and fever
Wood feeds fire
The mouth does not keep silent
Madness causes obstruction of the bowels
Chills and fever invade each other
If excitement goes on and on, stoking your fire and making you talk endlessly, you harm your mind and body both. They need peace in order to restore. Find balance, don’t run around all the time but alternate with rest. Empty your head, relax your muscles. Life is not only moving but also being.
252 Wake up
Quiet and serene
Exceeding 3 years and 6 weeks
If you don’t suddenly wake up
There is misfortune in the end
To be calm is good, except when there is too
much of it. All things need to be in balance.
When you are too calm or calm for too long,
things will go wrong. Too much and too little
should both always be avoided. Everything
needs to be in balance in order to stay right.
It makes the entire universe revolve.
休休 Good at heart or: stop-stop!
253 Prepare well
The walls of the pens are on fire
The raging livestock meets with disaster
You guarded against it beforehand and you get help
Extinguishing the fire is accomplished easily
Nobody will be exempt from all problems, but those who prepare against them have an easier life. Find the vulnerabilities of your life and think of ways to make them stronger, both for now and for the future. It will pay off as a sound investment. Preparing is easier than mending what went wrong.
254 Firm like three mountains
Already heart and mind fulfilled their desire
Starting to realize the extent of the ambitions
One must be firm like grasping three mountains
Again and again fixing peace and tranquility
Nature equips all creatures with desires, so they will improve relentlessly. It is up to you how far you go. In a natural and balanced way - or limitless, up to the point of harming yourself or others. Even the ability to stay within limits is part of her plan. A balanced species will survive and improve.
255 Lucky star
The lucky star shines
I smell the fragrance of cassia buds
The sky is full of stars
Their brilliance coercing man
Build air castles to your heart’s content,
they can be a great source of inspiration. But
keep your feet on solid ground as well. You
need both to create anything worthwhile. A
business, a marriage, children, a work of art,
you name it and it needs both the earth and
the sky and probably some good luck as well.
桂子 Fragrant Cassia buds; famous and talented sons.
256 The source of water
The Southeast shall come to ruins
In the region of Yan and Ji there is nothing stored to live from
Should you really raise grand ambitions
When you don’t know where the source of water is?
If you want to make big changes or mend
big problems, then start with the basic
requirements. Don’t involve anyone before
you know there are actually things which can
be done. Nobody should be led onto a path
of false hope, especially when the time is
difficult and hope is easily raised.
燕薊YanJi became Beijing
257 A free heart
Death has its day
Birth has its hour
Why be cynical and hesitate
Float in the air and just go
Your heart free of doubts
It is quite arrogant to think you can criticize nature and universe and everything. It did exist long before you. So, listen to it, to its eternal laws and cycles and feel free and supported by letting its timing lead you. Free is natural, unfree is always a fabrication, by a situation or by your own mind.
258 Jackals and wolves
Traveling around you walk into an out of the way place
Suddenly a surprise
Cruel and evil people seem to block your way
Beheading and exterminating satisfies them
There are moments in life when the only
thing you can do and have to do, is to singlemindedly
defend yourself. To concentrate
every thought and every feeling into a way to
survive. Why do we love movies where this
happens? Maybe as an exercise to train our
reaction in a world which doesn’t teach this?
往來 coming and going: traveling around.
豺狼 jackals and wolves: cruel and evil people.
' 當道 'pawn's dao', hold the reins of govenment; block one's way.
259 Qimen Dunjia divination
Eight gates divide the eight positions
Nine stars the nine regions
Green, red, yellow, white and black
Five colors of brocade costumes
Crossing swords ready for battle
Both sides similar in strength
When there is no certain outcome, then
divination can help. The Qimen Dunjia is one
of those. Generals used it to decide if a battle
was worth fighting, and if the enemy could
be defeated. Accept divination as a wonderful
way to access a knowledge your rational
mind will not allow you to find.
Qimen Dunjia is one of the Three Styles of Divination
260 A life without purpose
All one’s life not practicing to become better
A life without purpose
A wheel cannot turn around
It always goes down into an abyss or chasm
The easy road is always down. That’s why it is easy. The wheels are not able to do anything else, the driver and the horse have to give them a direction. So sit in the driver’s seat, and use your energy to pull your life in the direction you want it to go. It doesn’t go anywhere by itself. Or it does - down.
261 Yin and yang in harmony
Two sets of boys and girls
All are here moving together
Yin and yang in harmony
Making plans in happiness and joy
Before you can start anything, even the very first beginning of an idea, you must bring the situation in balance. Your mind, your surroundings, your options, your tools. Every disharmony will reflect itself both in the work and in the result. A creation will always show the way it has been created.
In your center you are endowed with the mysteries of fate
When the cock crows the region becomes visible
Suddenly coming to understand the principles of Zen
You break with the ways of lords
The understanding of Chan (Zen) is an
inner openness, which just has to become
visible for you. Enlightenment is not a state
of being, it is a threshold between darkness
and light. Don’t try to hold on to it but find it
again, over and over. It will make you free to
follow your own heart.
機賦 mysteries of fate or unniverse.
悟禪 come to understand the principles of 禪, Chán (Zen).
關 meditation or shutting.
263 Free fish
Several tail golden fish swallowed the bait
You take your fishing line and pole and turn around
You don’t like the great cost of not eating at home
When traveling the five lakes and four oceans
Wherever you are, survive the way this
place asks for. Adapt to the possibilities, not
taking any habit or opinion for granted. What
is right for other people may not be right for
you. Finding your own way of acting and
thinking will not only improve your life but
also enrichen your soul.
五湖四海 5 lakes and 4 oceans: all corners of the land, everywhere in the world.
遨遊 Roaming and traveling: i.e. by water and land.
264 The will of Heaven
On Mao day a child comes out of the forest
And right at Wu hour a blessing spirit
Mao issues forth from Yin
Everywhere one sees the will of Heaven
Nothing happens on its own, everything
is connected. Finding these hardly visible
threads of affinity is the basis of astrology
and many other ways of connecting with fate,
spirits, synchronicity, and everything else
intangible. They are roadmaps and directions
to follow the threads of Indra’s Web.
卯 Mao: 4th branch, Rabbit.
午 Wu: 7th branch, Ox, between 11 and 1 o'clock.
寅 Yin: 3d branch, Tiger.