Pyramid Art

21. Reform.

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Above: The Astute (5)
Below: The Stimulating (69)

The theme here is the application of the law to restore social balance.

Traitors, thieves and slanderers generate disturbances in the community. They’re parasitic on the good order of society. They will not simply vanish of their own accord.
Judgement and punishment is required to deter, remove and reform. However, it’s important to proceed in the right way. The component trigrams give a clue. The lower trigram Chên is hard, whereas the upper Li is yielding. Neither alone is qualified to determine the measures needed, one being too violent, the other ineffectual. The combination arrives at just action.

Clarity prevails when justice is swift and certain, when mild and severe penalties are differentiated according to the crime committed. Clarity and severity have the effect of instilling respect. Penalties are not goals in themselves, but forcible removal of obstructions is necessary where a truly free society is at stake.