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Vision #09

Subtle restraint (Hsiao Ch'u)

Metaphors: Taming power of the small / Small accumulating


Social When the influence of a vision is as yet unable to produce great or lasting effects, it is best that it should act in a restraining or subduing manner in anticipation of ultimate success.

Sub-conditions:

1. Avoidance of forceful action by the vision leaves it free to advance or retreat when obstructions are encountered. (Resulting in: Penetrating clarity).

2. The vision benefits by retreating with others of similar orientation when obstructions are too great. (Resulting in: Community).

3. Forceful action by the vision is bound to fail when circumstances combine to enhance the powers of seemingly minor hindrances. (Resulting in: Essential quality).

4. Disinterested restraining action by the vision to ensure that the right prevails will eventually succeed, despite the real dangers with which such action is threatened. (Resulting in: Creativity).

5. Relationships based on loyalty and trust reinforce the effectiveness of the vision and of the complementary roles of those involved. (Resulting in: Conservation).

6. When the vision has achieved limited success from a position of weakness, it is dangerous to pursue the advantage any further until circumstances are more favourable. (Resulting in: Waiting).

Transformation sequence Subtle restraints give rise to careful conduct. (Resulting in: Careful conduct).


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Earlier version in 2nd edition of Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential (1986).

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