Hexagram 5 -- PATIENCE
Patience is a quality everywhere evident in the natural world; all things need time and optimum conditions for growth and ripening. There is a story about a little boy who encountered a newborn butterfly that was struggling to emerge from its chrysalis. The child, wanting to help, held the damp creature in his palm and pulled it free. The butterfly died.
Why did the butterfly die when it was helped along in its emergence? Because it was rushed. The child, with the kindest of intentions, hastened a natural process and fast-forwarded a timeless cycle.
Destruction comes when we push too hard towards completion. We live in a world that enforces a frenzied pace -- relentless occupation and constant doing is the rule. Is it any wonder that so many sudden deaths occur through heart failure and stroke, that people of every age abruptly break down from the chronic stress that pushes us to live as if we are in a constant state of emergency?
It's interesting to note that the words "emergence" and "emergency" are only one letter apart. Emergence becomes emergency when its organic pace is rushed. There are times of crisis when it is wise and necessary to act in haste; otherwise, we can look to the evolving butterfly that emerges in its full beauty and power only when left alone to unfurl its wings in a natural cadence.
When we are at peace, when we know our right place and pace in the unfolding of events, we do help things along.
Do you have the patience to wait
until the mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
until the right action arises by itself?