Hexagram 26 -- POTENTIAL ENERGY
This is a hexagram that I wrestled with for a long time ... POTENTIAL ENERGY (Mountain over Heaven) shares common intentions with Hexagram 9, MINOR RESTRAINT, and Hexagram 5, PATIENCE. In all cases, energy gathers under the surface of things, and we are invited to consider how we will use that energy. While PATIENCE highlights the need to carefully gestate and wait for a moment to come to fruition, MINOR RESTRAINT seems to say, "Carefully consider the small details of what you intend to do."
POTENTIAL ENERGY indicates that a decisive moment or action is immanent; we can imagine the Sage standing on the peak of a mountain, reading the winds and the sky for signs that say, "Now." There may be an impulse to move in advance of the right moment, because great energy and power have been harnessed and await release. Restraint, resolution and readiness are primed for a pivotal moment.
To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.
Over the years, I've come to see this hexagram as a measure of character. When I receive POTENTIAL ENERGY in a reading, I ask myself questions like this:
Am I fully prepared for action here? Am I ready to move?
Is my character aligned with my intentions?
What purpose do I bring to this action?
Is my focus clear; am I sufficiently self-disciplined -- are any potentially dangerous impulses under moderate restraint?
Have I mobilized all the resources I need?
Do I have the will to act?
For purposes of action, nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.
(Henri Frederic Amiel)
Qualities and aspects of POTENTIAL ENERGY include:
Deciding what is relevant
Deciding to realize potential
Taking the reins
Acknowledging one's abilities
I keep seeing the racehorse at the gate ... huffing, snorting, pawing the earth ... ready to burst into speed. Hexagram 26 essentially asks: "Are you ready for this?"
Every moment comes to you pregnant with purpose ... Once it leaves your hands and your power to do with it as you please, it plunges into eternity, to remain forever what you made of it.
(Fulton J. Sheen)