Earth stands above heaven and heaven seems to be on earth. The gravity of matter merges with the upward radiation of the light to merge in a deep harmony. This juxtaposition denotes a time of peace and blessings for all living things. In the affairs of men, tranquility comes when the good, strong and powerful show favor to the lowly, and those of more modest means are well disposed towards those who are currently blessed. There is an end to all feuds. In such a state, energy is high, the way clear, and the prospects for great success outstanding.
A deep chaos abides in nature, but man, by carefully responding to the rhythms and cycles of the world around him, can find peace in the natural world. By planting the right crop in the right place in the right season, the farmer brings harmony to the natural world of plants, and prosperity to his family. Similarly, any business must adjust to the natural cycles of the season; only through flexibility and adjustment can order and growth be maintained. Peace produces a time of flowering and prosperity; the wise person channels this positive energy to all quarters, to each in proper proportion, just as a farmer waters his field. But be vigilant: otherwise, peaceful conditions can foster the growth of weeds as well as flowers.
- In times of peace and prosperity, an individual of high purpose is able to draw like-minded people to a good cause. As such people become available to you, enlist their support. Now is the time for people of talent to set out to accomplish something.
- The great danger in any time of peace is a weakening of resolve at the center of things. The true leader uses such periods to tend to all necessary tasks, pleasant and unpleasant, safe and unsafe, so that nothing is neglected. The master of events, like any great artist, finds a use for everything, and gives everyone a role to play.
Be watchful for the rise of factions or cliques; they are often the first sign of approaching decay.
- Change is the great constant of the universe. What goes up must come down. Just as the ripest, sweetest fruit hangs by a mere thread, so periods of prosperity often fall of their own weight. Death and decay are always with us; they can be held at bay temporarily, but never banished altogether. Let this knowledge dwell like an eternal flame inside you. Only by being realistic about the world can you escape the illusion that good fortune lasts forever, and prepare properly for your destiny.
- When general confidence is high, large and small mingle pleasantly. It furthers the wealthy to meet with the poor during such periods, for the lowly possess a kind of truth which penetrates the artifices created by excessive wealth.
- A princess marries a man of lesser rank, but honors him as other wives do their husbands. In a union of the high and low, modesty on the part of the those of higher rank brings great success.
- When prosperity leads to decay, misfortune. Imagine a city wall collapsing into its own moat. In times of collapse, it helps no one to fight against overwhelming odds. Moral strength is called for instead of violence.
In times of peace, necessary defenses can erode. The city becomes vulnerable to attack. Try not to be like the citizens who, becoming lazy and indifferent, put their homes at risk. Be prepared for external problems. Do not allow yourself to become complacent.