I Ching on Election 2020 – Tai (Advance)
by Bob Schwartz
“Tai is one of the most auspicious words in the Chinese language.”
“It is the law of Nature: when things have proceeded to an extreme, they return to their opposite. It is wise for one to know one’s predestined fate. One should not try to alter natural law by using force. Recognize the situation. In ancient times when there were serious calamities an emperor often issued a “self-blame decree,” a mea culpa, to calm people’s indignation. Through self-examination and by being central and steadfast, wait for another cycle from Hindrance to Advance. Out of the depths of misfortune comes bliss. Be patient; there is always hope.”
The I Ching is asked about Election 2020. For comment, not for prediction. For what it’s worth.
From The Complete I Ching by Taoist Master Alfred Huang (emphasis added)
Tai • Advance
NAME AND STRUCTURE
Tai is one of the most auspicious words in the Chinese language. Originally it meant “more than” or “most.” It generally indicates a condition of being more than great. Tai also means peace, safety, security, good health; or it suggests progression, proceeding, advancing. Both Wilhelm and Blofeld translate Tai as Peace. In this book, the word Advance is adopted.
The ideograph of Tai consists of two parts. The upper portion represents greatness. The ancient Chinese believed that Heaven and Earth were great, and that human beings were also great. Thus, the ideograph looks like a person standing with arms and legs wide open. Underneath the two legs, there is the ideograph of water, sui. It looks exactly like the primary gua Kan , or Water, standing upright. This ideograph presents the picture of running water proceeding forward smoothly with great ease. This is the primary meaning of Tai in the I Ching.
Sequence of the Gua: After fulfilling one’s duty with composure, one feels peaceful and safe.Thus, after Fulfillment, Advance follows.
Heaven is above and earth below—that is the natural phenomenon we find in our daily life. However, in this gua, Qian (Heaven) descends to the lower gua, and Kun (Earth) ascends to the upper gua. The situation seems inappropriate. Naturally, Heaven stands above and moves downward, and Earth stands below and moves upward. Yet in Tai, Heaven and Earth are moving together in communion. In this way they fulfill their duality.
There is a mountain named Tai that stands on the eastern coast of China. Mount Tai was regarded as a sacred mountain that connected Heaven and Earth. Each spring, the emperor would climb the mountain peak, making offerings there with great reverence. The purpose was to ask for harmony between human beings and their natural surroundings. The Chinese believed that when harmony between people and their surroundings was established then, in peace, safety, security, and good health, they would progress, proceed, and advance with great ease. Thus the meaning of Tai embraces all these auspicious meanings. Through thousands of years, the Chinese have sought guo tai ming an—a prosperous country and people at peace.
Traditionally, this gua represents the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. It carries the message that spring is coming round to Earth once again. Heaven and Earth bring peace and blessing to all living beings. Myriad beings will renew their lives and move forward again. This concept represents the actual meaning of Tai. It is an auspicious time of prosperity and peace. There is an ancient Chinese saying that out of the depth of misfortune comes bliss. This bliss is Tai.
The little is departing,
The great is arriving.
Prosperous and smooth.
COMMENTARY ON THE DECISION
The little is departing;
The great is arriving.
Prosperous and smooth.
Heaven and Earth unite;
All beings come into union.
The upper and the lower link;
Their wills are the same.
The inner is the yang; the outer is the yin.
The inner is the strong; the outer is the gentle.
The inner is the superior; the outer is the inferior.
The way of the superior is expanding;
The way of the inferior is shrinking.
In this gua, the significance of the union of Heaven and Earth is employed to display the importance of union among people. When people communicate sincerely and truthfully, harmony is created, and things will be achieved easily and smoothly. In Chinese, this situation is called Tai, Advance. The Yao Text of this gua is extremely difficult to understand. Different scholars have varying ideas. To the Chinese, the opposite of Tai is Pi. To go from Tai (Advance) to Pi (Hindrance) or vice versa is a natural law, as is the waxing and waning of the moon. The wise prefer to live in harmony with the laws of Nature. Be content with one’s fate, and never blame Heaven or others.
This gua also displays the wisdom of keeping a state of prosperity and preserving a period of bliss. In human society, starting any undertaking is difficult, but maintaining the achievement is even harder. One should not sleep on the accomplishment and feel complacent, but instead be aware that when the achievement reaches a climax, it begins to decline. The interconnection between Heaven and Earth sets the example for mutual communication between human beings. People with the same faith and goals should maintain their mutual love and care and support each other; then the blissful situation can last longer.
The yielding line at the top reaches the final stage of Advance. A turning point from Advance to Hindrance is waiting ahead. The Yao text gives warning: the castle wall returned into the moat. It is the law of Nature: when things have proceeded to an extreme, they return to their opposite. It is wise for one to know one’s predestined fate. One should not try to alter natural law by using force. Recognize the situation. In ancient times when there were serious calamities an emperor often issued a “self-blame decree,” a mea culpa, to calm people’s indignation. Through self-examination and by being central and steadfast, wait for another cycle from Hindrance to Advance. Out of the depths of misfortune comes bliss. Be patient; there is always hope.