|There were "old" features in your gua (hexagram). It means that you have two hexagrams. The first one — is something that the Book tells you at the moment, the second is something it warns you about.
12. Obstruction (pǐ). Standstill
Learn how to overcome difficulties. Seek harmony in the relationship, while not neglecting.
Inital text of I Ching
Standstill. Evil people do not further the perseverance of the superior man. The great departs; the small approaches.
Heaven and earth do not unite:
The image of Standstill. Thus the superior man falls back upon his inner worth in order to escape the difficulties. He does not permit himself to be honored with revenue.
- When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it. Each according to his kind. Perseverance brings good fortune and success.
- They bear and endure; This means good fortune for inferior people. The standstill serves to help the great man to attain success.
- They bear shame.
- He who acts at the command of the highest remains without blame. Those of like mind partake of the blessing.
- Standstill is giving way. Good fortune for the great man. What if it should fail, what if it should fail? In this way he ties it to a cluster of mulberry shoots.
- Nine at the top means: the standstill comes to an end.
First standstill, then good fortune.
The great leaves and the little will come. State of affairs is deplorable, relations are violated. Dissatisfaction of senior takes place. There are illusion and delusion. But everything is temporary. The future will bring change. Accumulate experience, watch out - what happens now will affect the future. Do not waste your strength of mind, take the trouble with dignity. Pay attention to people, do push off supporters.
This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one. Heaven is above,
drawing farther and farther away, while the earth below sinks farther into the
depths. The creative powers are not in relation. It is a time of standstill and
decline. This hexagram is linked with the seventh month (August-
September), when the year has passed its zenith and autumnal decay is setting
Heaven and earth are out of communion and all things are benumbed. What
is above has no relation to what is below, and on earth confusion and
disorder prevail. The dark power is within, the light power is without.
Weakness is within, harshness without. Within are the inferior, and
without are the superior. The way of inferior people is in ascent; the way of
superior people is one the decline. But the superior people do not allow
themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting
influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their
principles and withdraw into seclusion.
When, owing to the influence of inferior men, mutual mistrust prevails in
public life, fruitful activity is rendered impossible, because the fundaments
are wrong. Therefore the superior man knows what he must do under such
circumstances; he does not allow himself to be tempted by dazzling offers to
take part in public activities. This would only expose him to danger, since he
cannot assent to the meanness of the others. He therefore hides his worth
and withdraws into seclusion.
The text is almost the same as that of the first line of the preceding hexagram,
but with a contrary meaning. In the latter a man is drawing another along
with him on the road to an official career; here a man is drawing another
with him into retirement form public life. This is why the text says here,
"Perseverance brings good fortune and success," and not "Undertakings bring
good fortune." If it becomes impossible to make our influence count, it is
only by retirement that we spare ourselves humiliation. Success in a higher
sense can be ours, because we know how to safeguard the value of our
Inferior people are ready to flatter their superiors in a servile way. They
would also endure the superior man if he would put an end to their
confusion. This is fortunate for them. But the great man calmly bears the
consequences of the standstill. He does not mingle with the crowd of the
inferior; that is not his place. By his willingness to suffer personally he
insures the success of his fundamental principles.
Inferior people who have risen to power illegitimately do not feel equal to the
responsibility they have taken upon themselves. In their hearts they begin to
be ashamed, although at first they do not show it outwardly. This marks a
turn for the better.
The time of standstill is nearing the point of change into its opposite.
Whoever wishes to restore order must feel himself called to the task and
have the necessary authority. A man who sets himself up a capable of
creating order according to his own judgment could make mistakes and end
in failure. But the man who is truly called to the task is favored by the
conditions of the time, and all those of like mind will share in his blessing.
The time undergoes a change. The right man, able to restore order, has
arrived. Hence "good fortune." But such periods of transition are the very
times in which we must fear and tremble. Success is assured only through
greatest caution, which asks always, "What if it should fail?" When a
mulberry bush is cut down, a number of unusually strong shoots sprout from
the roots. Hence the image of tying something to a cluster of mulberry shoots
is used to symbolize the way of making success certain. Confucius says about
Danger arises when a man feels secure in his position. Destruction threatens
when a man seeks to preserve his worldly estate. Confusion develops when a
man has put everything in order. Therefore the superior man does not forget
danger in his security, not ruin when he is well established, nor confusion
when his affairs are in order. In this way he gains personal safety and is able
to protect the empire.
The standstill does not last forever. However, it does not cease of its own
accord; the right man is needed to end it. This is the difference between a
state of peace and a state of stagnation. Continuous effort is necessary to
maintain peace: left to itself it would change into stagnation and
disintegration. The time of disintegration, however, does not change back
automatically to a condition of peace and prosperity; effort must be put forth
in order to end it. This shows the creative attitude that man must take if the
world is to be put in order.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You are not indifferent to that happens around, much to you is not clear. To you the people unworthy you last. Try to be vigilant and provident, it is not necessary to begin now any serious affairs. You often do not understand; quarrel with one of your friends, and even without the sufficient bases is probable on that. Your desires in the majority will be executed, but not at once. The State of affairs will soon change; try to listen to advice of the heads, but decisions accept under own discretion.
31. Conjoining (xián). Influence
Opposite spirits are allied, so harmony is born.
Inital text of I Ching
Influence. Success. Perseverance furthers. To take a maiden to wife brings good fortune.
A lake on the mountain:
The image of Influence. Thus the superior man encourages people to approach him by his readiness to receive them.
- The influence shows itself in the big toe.
- The influence shows itself in the calves of the legs. Misfortune. Tarrying brings good fortune.
- The influence shows itself in the thighs. Holds to that which follows it. To continue is humiliating.
- Perseverance brings good fortune. Remorse disappears. If a man is agitated in mind, and his thoughts go hither and thither, only those friends on whom he fixes his conscious thoughts will follow.
- The influence shows itself in the back of the neck. No remorse.
- The influence shows itself in the jaws, cheeks, and tongue.
Softness tames force. Harmony, a reasonable compromise is in business. Feelings and thoughts are pure, elation is growing. You can proceed without fear of a new business. Any union, marriage, friendship, partnership are auspicious. Rely on relatives in difficult situations. Focus on the experience and advice of someone wiser.
The name of the hexagram means "universal," "general," and in a figurative
sense "to influence," "to stimulate." The upper trigram is Tui, the Joyous; the
lower is Kên, Keeping still. By its persistent, quiet influence, the lower, rigid
trigram stimulates the upper, weak trigram, which responds to this
stimulation cheerfully and joyously. Kên, the lower trigram, is the youngest
son; the upper, Tui, is the youngest daughter. Thus the universal mutual
attraction between the sexes is represented. In courtship, the masculine
principle must seize the initiative and place itself below the feminine
Just as the first part of book 1 begins with the hexagrams of heaven and
earth, the foundations of all that exists, the second part begins with the
hexagrams of courtship and marriage, the foundations of all social
The weak element is above, the strong below; hence their powers attract each
other, so that they unite. This brings about success, for all success depends on
the effect of mutual attraction. By keeping still within while experiencing joy
without, one can prevent the joy from going to excess and hold it within
proper bounds. This is the meaning of the added admonition, "Perseverance
furthers," for it is perseverance that makes the difference between seduction
and courtship; in the latter the strong man takes a position inferior to that of
the weak girl and shows consideration for her. This attraction between
affinities is a general law of nature. Heaven and earth attract each other and
thus all creatures come into being. Through such attraction the sage
influences men's hearts, and thus the world attains peace. From the
attractions they exert we can learn the nature of all beings in heaven and on
A mountain with a lake on its summit is stimulated by the moisture from
the lake. It has this advantage because its summit does not jut out as a peak
but is sunken. The image counsels that the mind should be kept humble and
free, so that it may remain receptive to good advice. People soon give up
counseling a man who thinks that he knows everything better than anyone
A movement, before it is actually carried out, shows itself first in the toes.
The idea of an influence is already present, but is not immediately apparent to
others. As long as the intention has no visible effect, it is of no importance to
the outside world and leads neither to good nor to evil.
In movement, the calf of the leg follows the foot; by itself it can neither go
forward nor stand still. Since the movement is not self-governed, it bodes ill.
One should wait quietly until one is impelled to action by a real influence.
Then one remains uninjured.
Every mood of the heart influences us to movement. What the heart desires,
the thighs run after without a moment's hesitation; they hold to the heart,
which they follow. In the life of man, however, acting on the spur of every
caprice is wrong and if continued leads to humiliation. Three considerations
suggest themselves here. First, a man should not run precipitately after all the
persons whom he would like to influence, but must be able to hold back
under certain circumstances. As little should he yield immediately to every
whim of those in whose service he stands. Finally, where the moods of his
own heart are concerned, he should never ignore the possibility of inhibition,
for this is the basis of human freedom.
Here the place of the heart is reached. The impulse that springs from this
source is the most important of all. It is of particular concern that this
influence be constant and good; then, in spite of the danger arising from the
great susceptibility of the human heart, there will be no cause for remorse.
When the quiet power of a man's own character is at work, the effects
produced are right. All those who are receptive to the vibrations of such a
spirit will then be influenced. Influence over others should not express itself
as a conscious and willed effort to manipulate them. Through practicing such
conscious incitement, one becomes wrought up and is exhausted by the
eternal stress and strain. Moreover, the effects produced are then limited to
those on whom one's thoughts are consciously fixed.
The back of the neck is the most rigid part of the body. When the influence
shows itself there, the will remains firm and the influence does not lead to
confusion. Hence remorse does not enter into consideration here. What
takes place in the depths of one's being, in the unconscious mind. It is true
that if we cannot be influenced ourselves, we cannot influence the outside
The most superficial way of trying to influence others is through talk that has
nothing real behind it. The influence produced by such mere tongue wagging
must necessarily remain insignificant. Hence no indication is added
regarding good or bad fortune.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
The luck and success should accompany now to you owing to that sincere condition in which you stay. You now " on a wave " success. Here - here there will be some the unexpected events very favorable for you, almost each your step will bring success. Results will be those, that you and do not imagine now; it will introduce rest and the world in your soul. However after all excitements and experiences you, probably, will need to leave for a short while from affairs and to have a rest.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary