Hexagram #55 Abundance

Abundance is developmental. Freedom from worry when the king is great is suited to midday.

EXPLANATION: Abundance is fullness and greatness; illumination and action balance each other, illumination is great and action is great — therefore it is called Abundance. Above is Thunder ☳, below is Fire ☲. This hexagram represents operating the fire and preventing danger; it follows on the previous hexagram gradual progress. Gradually progres means stability and the action of Wind ☴, carrying out practice according to an initiatory process, whereby one gradually advances in an orderly manner, not letting the firing process go awry. Fire is a symbol of illumination; operating the fire means employing illumination. Illumination is the quality of awareness and perceptivity. If one can be aware, then one has the mind of Tao, and the spirit is aware.

If one can be perceptive, then there is no human mentality, and the mind is lluminated. With the spirit aware and the mind illuminated, inwardly cultivating and subtly refining, clear about action and acting with clarity, one's illumination will grow day by day, and one's action will become greater day by day. When illumination and action are applied in concert, practice of the Tao is very easy. This is why Abundance is the path of developmental.

However, though Abundance of illumination and action is developmental, it is necessary to know when to go forward and when to withdraw, to be able to be great or small, to forestall danger and foresee peril — only then can abundance be enduring abundance, can development be enduring development. This is like there being no worry when the king is great. The king represents the ease of making works lofty and great when the accomplishment of the Tao is abundant and full. When one is great and knows how to preserve it, there is no worry about greatness.

What path is the path of no worry? It is the path "suited to midday." Day represents illumination, the middle means freedom from partiality and bias. When development of illumination is abundant and full, the firing process has been completed, and the medicine has been made, the kindling should be quickly removed from under the stove and the fire should be stopped. Stopping when it is appropriate to stop, illumination is not overused. When illumination is not overused, proceeding and withdrawing according to the time, firmness and flexibility balancing each other without partiality or bias, then that which is not yet abundant can become so, while that which is already abundant can be preserved. There is no further worry that abundance may be lost. -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram 55

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Hexagram #55 Abundance

Left: the character for Abundance.
Right: the ancient shape for Abundance

A Japanese fire festival, symbolizing inner illumination.

The ten oxherding pictures. Image one to six represents the path of doing, when one tries to control the bull, one`s discriminating spirit. At image seven one enters non-doing, when the original spirit has returned.