A certain small girl, dreaming gleefully of bookshops, once started a Christmas thank you letter to one of many generous aunts with the words,
‘Dear Auntie Rose, I now have £35!’
(Luckily, Mum intervened before this was sent…)
There is certainly an element of this (ahem!) disarming simplicity to Hexagram 14: the glorious feeling of just being unimaginably rich, and standing at the beginning of great things. (Though there is always the chance that the I Ching’s ideas of wealth may not quite correspond to our own.)
Another experience, though, gave me another perspective on Great Possession. Since before I started Clarity, I’ve spent one day a week volunteering – and back when I first asked about starting as a volunteer, Hexagram 14 came up repeatedly. It’s a truism, I know, but I’ve received vastly more from the people I’ve helped than I could possibly give. The energy simply multiplies.
The ideogram for ‘possession’ shows a hand holding out a piece of meat – not to keep it, but to offer it. So perhaps to ‘possess’ something is really to offer or share it? Possession isn’t stasis, but a flow of exchange.
After all, Great Possession is part of a pair with People in Harmony (Hexagram 13) – from co-operation and fellowship in a higher cause comes a sense of identity and confidence. One volunteer drove the minibus, another washed the dishes… and somehow this came together and became the Great Possession of a day centre that gave housebound people their only chance to escape their four walls. What might have begun with some quite careful negotiations (to judge from the Image of Hexagram 13) grows into the self-sustaining, ever-expanding cycle of generosity.
In its simplest sense Great Possession is pure potential:
From the source, creating success.’
It doesn’t mention how this might bear fruit – that’s very much left up to us. But in the the Image of Great Possession, the ‘noble one’ need only eradicate ill-will and replace it with acceptance for the benevolent will of heaven to prevail. The unlimited light of the sun is sustained by the laws of heaven, and abundance is the natural state of things.
More on Hexagram 14: