|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.
17. Following (suí)
Knowing the way, go on, but spend energy carefully.
Inital text of I Ching
Following has supreme success. Perseverance furthers. No blame.
Thunder in the middle of the lake:
The image of Following. Thus the superior man at nightfall goes indoors for rest and recuperation.
- The standard is changing. Perseverance brings good fortune. To go out of the door in company produces deeds.
- If one clings to the little boy, one loses the strong man.
- If one clings to the strong man, one loses the little boy. Through following one finds what one seeks. It furthers one to remain persevering.
- Following creates success. Perseverance brings misfortune. To go one's way with sincerity brings clarity. How could there be blame in this?
- Sincere in the good. Good fortune.
- He meets with firm allegiance and is still further bound. The king introduces him to the Western Mountain.
Having good things, learn to use them properly. Restrain yourself, follow a wise man, experience the joy of learning, trust the inner voice - then you will find what you want. Dark follows light, low - high seeking to transform – the same is in your soul. Strive to maintain a balance in everything: alternate work and rest, do not take on too much, and do not give unrealistic promises. Obey objective circumstances, and live according to reality.
The trigram Tui, the Joyous, whose attribute is gladness, is above; Chên, the
Arousing, which has the attribute of movement, is below. Joy in movement
induces following. The Joyous is the youngest daughter, while the Arousing
is the eldest son. An older man defers to a young girl and shows her
consideration. By this he moves her to follow him.
In order to obtain a following one must first know how to adapt oneself. If a
man would rule he must first learn to serve, for only in this way does he
secure from those below him the joyous assent that is necessary if they are to
follow him. If he has to obtain a following by force or cunning, by conspiracy
or by creating faction, he invariably arouses resistance, which obstructs
willing adherence. But even joyous movement can lead to evil
consequences, hence the added stipulation, "Perseverance furthers" --that is,
consistency in doing right-- together with "No blame." Just as we should not
ask others to follow us unless this condition is fulfilled, so it is only under
this condition that we can in turn follow others without coming to harm.
The thought of obtaining a following through adaptation to the demands of
the time is a great and significant idea; this is why the appended judgment is
In the autumn electricity withdraws into the earth again and rests. Here it is
the thunder in the middle of the lake that serves as the image--thunder in its
winter rest, not thunder in motion. The idea of following in the sense of
adaptation to the demands of the time grows out of this image. Thunder in
the middle of the lake indicates times of darkness and rest. Similarly, a
superior man, after being tirelessly active all day, allows himself rest and
recuperation at night. No situation can become favorable until one is able to
adapt to it and does not wear himself out with mistaken resistance.
There are exceptional conditions in which the relation between leader and
followers changes. It is implicit in the idea of following and adaptation that if
one wants to lead others, one must remain accessible and responsive to the
views of those under him. At the same time, however, he must have firm
principles, so that he does not vacillate where there is only a question of
current opinion. Once we are ready to listen to the opinions of others, we
must not associate exclusively with people who share our views or with
members of our own party; instead, we must go out and mingle freely with
all sorts of people, friends or foes. That is the only way to achieve something.
In friendships and close relationships an individual must make a careful
choice. He surrounds himself either with good or with bad company; he
cannot have both at once. If he throws himself away on unworthy friends he
loses connection with people of intellectual power who could further him in
When the right connection with distinguished people has been found, a
certain loss naturally ensues. A man must part company with the inferior
and superficial. But in his heart he will feel satisfied, because he seeks and
needs for the development of his personality. The important thing is to
remain firm. He must know what he wants and not be led astray by
It often happens, when a man exerts a certain amount of influence, that he
obtains a following by condescension toward inferiors. But the people who
attach themselves to him are not honest in their intentions. They seek
personal advantage and try to make themselves indispensable through
flattery and subservience. If one becomes accustomed to such satellites and
cannot do without them, it brings misfortune. Only when a man is
completely free from his ego, and intent, by conviction, upon what is right
and essential, does he acquire the clarity that enables him to see through such
people, and become free of blame.
Every man must have something he follows--something that serves him as a
lodestar. He who follows with conviction the beautiful and the good may feel
himself strengthened by this saying.
This refers to a man, an exalted sage, who has already put the turmoil of the
world behind him. But a follower appears who understands him and is not
to be put off. So the sage comes back into the world and aids the other in his
work. Thus there develops an eternal tie between the two.
The allegory is chosen from the annals of the Chou dynasty. The rulers of
this dynasty honored men who had served them well by awarding them a
place in the royal family's temple of ancestors on the Western Mountain. In
this way they were regarded as sharing in the destiny of the ruling family.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Now not time to involve in itself supporters; you need to become stronger more likely on the positions. And if suddenly even your purposes will change be not receded from the principles. Do not pursue at once loud success and a large victory: be content while small, and it and will cause big. It is not necessary to go against the stream, and all will come in the order. It is very probable, that your desire will be executed, but be ready to big vital changes.
19. Nearing (lín). Approach
Nothing is accidental in life. Learn to see the causal connection, to distinguish truth from error.
Inital text of I Ching
Approach has supreme success. Perseverance furthers. When the eighth month comes, there will be misfortune.
The earth above the lake:
The image of Approach. Thus the superior man is inexhaustible in his will to teach, and without limits in his tolerance and protection of the people.
- Joint approach. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- Joint approach. Good fortune. Everything furthers.
- Comfortable approach. Nothing that would further. If one is induced to grieve over it, one becomes free of blame.
- Complete approach. No blame.
- Wise approach. This is right for a great prince. Good fortune.
- Greathearted approach. Good fortune. No blame.
Past approaches the future. Survivals and obstacles are removed. You can look at the updated situation. Try to perceive the world on the whole, using all the senses. Correctly choose the direction, follow the higher destiny, or the motion will result in flight. Become closer to people, but be careful. Be human, do not give empty promises, and do not cheat others. Learn from the wise people. Learn to distinguish between the wisdom of senior from their mistakes.
The Chinese word lin has a range of meanings that is not exhausted by any
single word of another language. The ancient explanations in the Book of
Changes give as its first meaning, "becoming great." What becomes great are
the two strong lines growing into the hexagram from below; the light-giving
power expands with them. The meaning is then further extended to include
the concept of approach, especially the approach of what is lower. Finally the
meaning includes the attitude of condescension of a man in high position
toward the people, and in general the setting to work on affairs. This
hexagram is linked with the twelfth month (January-February), when after
the winter solstice, the light power begins to ascend again.
The hexagram as a whole points to a time of joyous, hopeful progress. Spring
is approaching. Joy and forbearance bring high and low nearer together.
Success is certain. But we must work with determination and perseverance
to make full use of the propitiousness of the time. And on thing more:
spring does not last forever. In the eighth month the aspects are reversed.
Then only two strong, light lines are left; these do not advance but are in
retreat (see next hexagram). We must take heed of this change in good time.
If we meet evil before it becomes reality-before it has even begun to stir-we
can master it.
The earth borders upon the lake from above. This symbolizes the approach
and condescension of the man of higher position to those beneath him. The
two parts of the image indicate what his attitude toward these people will be.
Just as the lake is inexhaustible in depth, so the sage is inexhaustible in his
readiness to teach mankind, and just as the earth is boundlessly wide,
sustaining and caring for all creatures on it, so the sage sustains and cares for
all people and excludes no part of humanity.
The good begins to prevail and to find response in influential circles. This in
turn is an incentive to men of ability. IT is well to join this upward trend, but
we must not let ourselves be carried away by the current of the time; we must
adhere perseveringly to what is right. This bring good fortune.
When the stimulus to approach comes from a high place, and when a man
has the inner strength and consistency that need no admonition, good
fortune will ensue. Nor need the future cause any concern. He is well aware
that everything earthly is transitory, and that a descent follows upon every
rise, but need not be confused by this universal law of fate. Everything serves
to further. Therefore he will travel the paths of life swiftly, honestly, and
Things are going well for a man: he achieves power and influence. But in
this lies the danger that he may relax, and confident of his position, allow the
easygoing, careless mood to show itself in his dealings with other people.
This would inevitably be harmful. But there is possibility of a change of
mood. If he regrets his mistaken attitude and feels the responsibility of an
influential position, he frees himself of faults.
While the three lower lines indicate rise to power and influence, the three
upper lines show the attitude of persons in higher position toward those of
lower rank for whom they procure influence. Here is shown the open-
minded approach of a person of high rank to a man of ability whom he draws
in to his own circle, regardless of class prejudice. This is very favorable.
A prince, or anyone in a leading position, must have the wisdom to attract to
himself people of ability who are expert in directing affairs. His wisdom
consists both in selecting the right people and in allowing those chosen to
have a free hand without interference from him. For only through such self-
restraint will he find the experts needed to satisfy all of his requirements.
A sage who has put the world behind him and who in spirit has already
withdrawn from life may, under certain circumstances, decide to return once
more to the here and now and to approach other men. This means great
good fortune for the men whom he teaches and helps. And for him this great
hearted humbling of himself is blameless.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You are expected with success in everything, for what you have undertaken now. And in the further circumstances that will be more favorable for you, than you will achieve greater success. Time when successes in the most different affairs are probable is necessary. Be resolute in achievement of the purpose, but do not forget and about friends: do not cause envy or insult, be cautious and circumspect. Obviously, you will be forced to change the relation to one of relatives to you people whom you very well know.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary