|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.
2. Field (kūn). The Receptive
Benefit is in expecting changes. Only having realized necessity and inevitability of cataclysms during transition from one state to another, it is possible to man and overcome difficulties – stop dawdling and spinning the wheels.
Inital text of I Ching
The Receptive brings about sublime success, furthering through the perseverance of a mare. If the superior man undertakes something and tries to lead, he goes astray; But if he follows, he finds guidance. It is favorable to find friends in the west and south, to forego friends in the east and north. Quiet perseverance brings good fortune.
The earth's condition is receptive devotion. Thus the superior man who has breadth of character carries the outer world.
- When there is hoarfrost underfoot, solid ice is not far off.
- Straight, square, great. Without purpose, yet nothing remains unfurthered.
- Hidden lines. One is able to remain persevering. If by chance you are in the service of a king, seek not works, but bring to completion.
- A tied-up sack. No blame, no praise.
- A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.
- Dragons fight in the meadow. Their blood is black and yellow.
Lasting perseverance furthers.
Earth is passive female origin. It is time of compromise. Firmness and tenacity are necessary for achieving the desired goal. Bit also obedience is needed to go in this direction subordinating impulse of creativity. Interest and hard work are necessary. Do not think that everything will happen itself. Work will be highly awarded.
This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken lines represents
the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the
hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of
THE CREATIVE--the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does
not combat the Creative but completes it . It represents nature in contrast to
spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal
as against the male-paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the
principle of this complementary relationship is found not only in the relation
between man and woman, but also in that between prince and minister and
between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears
in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.
But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly
defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles. In itself of course
the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of
devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the
Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it
is productive of good. Only when it abandons this position and tries to stand
as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil. The result
then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of
evil to both.
The four fundamental aspects of the Creative--"sublime success, furthering
through perseverance"--are also attributed to the Receptive. Here, however,
the perseverance is more closely defined: it is that of a mare. The Receptive
connotes spatial reality in contrast to the spiritual potentiality of the Creative.
The potential becomes real and the spiritual becomes spatial through a
specifically qualifying definition. Thus the qualification, "of a mare," is here
added to the idea of perseverance. The horse belongs to earth just as the
dragon belongs to heaven. Its tireless roaming over the plains is taken as a
symbol of the vast expanse of the earth. This is the symbol chosen because
the mare combines the strength and swiftness of the horse with the
gentleness and devotion of the cow.
Only because nature in its myriad forms corresponds with the myriad
impulses of the Creative can it make these impulses real. Nature's richness
lies in its power to nourish all living things; its greatness lies in its power to
give then beauty and splendor. Thus it prospers all that lives. IT is the
Creative that begets things, but they are brought to birth by the Receptive.
Applied to human affairs, therefore, what the hexagram indicated is action in
conformity with the situation. The person in questions not in an
independent position, but is acting as an assistant. This means that he must
achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead--that would only make him
lose the way-but to let himself be led. If he knows how to meet fate with an
attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man
lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the
situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from
Since there is something to be accomplished, we need friends and helpers in
the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set. The
time of toil and effort is indicated by the west and south, for west and south
symbolize the place where the Receptive works for the Creative, as nature
does in summer and autumn. If in that situation one does not mobilize all
one's powers, the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find
friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and
effort, there is also a time of planning, and for this we need this solitude. The
east symbolized the place where a man receives orders from his master, and
the north the place where he reports on what he has done. At that time he
must be alone and objective. In this sacred hour he must do without
companions. So that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by fictional
hates and favoritism.
Just as there is only one heaven, so too there is only one earth. In the
hexagram of heaven the doubling of the trigram implies duration in time,
but in the hexagram of earth the doubling connotes the solidity and extension
in space by virtue of which the earth is able to carry and preserve all things
that live and move upon it. The earth in its devotion carries all things, good
and evil,, without exception. In the same way the superior man gives to his
character breadth, purity, and sustaining power, so that he is able both to
support and to bear with people and things.
Just as the light-giving power represents life, so the dark power, the shadowy,
represents death. When the first hoarfrost comes in the autumn, the power
of darkness and cold is just at its beginning. After these first warnings, signs
of death will gradually multiply, until, in obedience to immutable laws, stark
winter with its ice is here.
In life it is the same. After certain scarcely noticeable signs of decay have
appeared, they go on increasing until final dissolution comes. But in life
precautions can be taken by heeding the first signs of decay and checking them
The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus
squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement
in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative.
But all square things have their origin in a straight line and into turn form
solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes
and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and
cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates
itself to the qualities of the Creative and makes them its own. Thus a square
develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance
with the laws of the Creative; nothing is taken away, nothing added.
Therefore the Receptive has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of
any effort' yet everything turns out as it should.
Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its foursquareness. It
tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness. Therefore it attains what is
right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height of
wisdom when all that he does is as self-evident as what nature does.
If a man is free of vanity he is able to conceal his abilities and keep them from
attracting attention too soon; thus he can mature undisturbed. If conditions
demand it, he can also enter public life, but that too he does with restraint.
The wise man gladly leaves fame to others. He does not seek to have credited
to himself things that stand accomplished, but hopes to release active forces;
that is, he completes his works in such a manner that they may bear fruit for
The dark element opens when it moves and closes when at rest. The strictest
reticence is indicated here. The time is dangerous , because any degree of
prominence leads either to the enmity of irresistible antagonists if one
challenges them or to misconceived recognition if one is complaisant.
Therefore a man ought to maintain reserve, be it in solitude or in the turmoil
of the world, for there too he can hide himself so well that no one knows
Yellow is the color of the earth and of the middle; it is the symbol of that
which is reliable and genuine. The lower garment is inconspicuously
decorated--the symbol of aristocratic reserve. When anyone is called upon to
work in a prominent but not independent position, true success depends on
the utmost discretion. A man's genuineness and refinement should not
reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as
an effect from within.
In the top place the dark element should yield to the light. If it attempts to
maintain a position to which it is not entitled and to rule instead of serving,
it draws down upon itself the anger of the strong. A struggle ensues in which
it is overthrown, with injury, however, to both sides. The dragon, symbol of
heaven, comes to fight the false dragon that symbolized the inflation of the
earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of
earth. Therefore, when black and yellow blood flow, it is a sign that in this
unnatural contest both primal powers suffer injury.
When nothing but sixes appears, the hexagram of THE RECEPTIVE changes
into the hexagram of THE CREATIVE. By holding fast to what is right, it
gains the power of enduring. There is indeed no advance, but neither is there
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Gods have wakened mother-ground. It is necessary for you to work assiduously, and your efforts in two months will crown greater success. You are the person cultural and thirsting knowledge, with love concerning even to the smallest fruits of the work. You are respectful and adhered to mother. Now do not think too much of material benefit, do not give vent to greed. Your desire will be executed, though and not at once. In the near future it is not recommended to send to road - to any, with someone. In your circle soon there will be a person feeding for you strong interest.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary