|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.
6. Arguing (sòng). Conflict
When approaching troubles be ready. During quarrels do not lose the face. Do not betray your beliefs for the sake of profit or because of cowardice.
Inital text of I Ching
Conflict. You are sincere and are being obstructed. A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune. Going through to the end brings misfortune. It furthers one to see the great man. It does not further one to cross the great water.
Heaven and water go their opposite ways:
The image of Conflict. Thus in all his transactions the superior man carefully considers the beginning.
- If one does not perpetuate the affair, there is a little gossip. In the end, good fortune comes.
- One cannot engage in conflict; One returns home, gives way. The people of his town, three hundred households, remain free of guilt.
- To nourish oneself on ancient virtue induces perseverance. Danger. In the end, good fortune comes. If by chance you are in the service of a king, seek not works.
- One cannot engage in conflict. One turns back and submits to fate, changes one's attitude, and finds peace in perseverance. Good fortune.
- To contend before him brings supreme good fortune.
- Even if by chance a leather belt is bestowed on one, by the end of a morning it will have been snatched away three times.
There are difficulties. Caution, restraint, prudence and ability to remain calm are essential. Strive for reconciliation; do not to escalate the conflict. Whatever happens, firmly insist on justice, and do not break the commandments and precepts. Do not hate your enemies. Do not pretend to absolute correctness, error can make blind. Listen to the enemy - his words can contain hidden truth. Ask for advice those who are wiser and see the situation from outside. Problems can last for a long time, but they do not last forever. It is time of spiritual growth: let the best in you, become measure for the trial yourself.
The upper trigram, whose image is heaven, has an upward movement; the
lower trigram, water, in accordance with its nature tends downward. Thus the
two halves move away from each other, giving rise to the idea of conflict.
The attribute of the Creative is strength, that of the Abysmal is danger, guile.
Where cunning has force before it, there is conflict.
A third indication of conflict, in terms of character, is presented by the
combination of deep cunning within and fixed determination outwardly. A
person of this character will certainly be quarrelsome.
Conflict develops when one feels himself to be in the right and runs into
opposition. If one is not convinced of being in the right, opposition leads to
craftiness or high-handed encroachment but not to open conflict.
If a man is entangled in a conflict, his only salvation lies in being so clear-
headed and inwardly strong that he is always ready to come to terms by
meeting the opponent halfway. To carry one the conflict to the bitter end has
evil effects even when one is the right, because the enmity is then
perpetuated. It is important to see the great man, that is, an impartial man
whose authority is great enough to terminate the conflict amicably or assure a
just decision. In times of strife, crossing the great water is to be avoided, that
is, dangerous enterprises are not to be begun, because in order to be successful
they require concerted unity of focus. Conflict within weakens the power to
conquer danger without.
The image indicates that the causes of conflict are latent in the opposing
tendencies of the two trig rams. Once these opposing tendencies appear,
conflict is inevitable. To avoid it, therefore, everything must be taken
carefully into consideration in the very beginning. If rights and duties are
exactly defined, or if, in a group, the spiritual trends of the individuals
harmonize, the cause of conflict is removed in advance.
While a conflict is in the incipient stage, the best thing To do is to drop the
issue. Especially when the adversary is stronger, it is not advisable to risk
pushing the conflict to a decision. It may come to a slight dispute, but in the
end all goes well.
In a struggle with an enemy of superior strength, retreat is no disgrace.
Timely withdrawal prevents bad consequences. If, out of a false sense of
honor, a man allowed himself to be tempted into an unequal conflict, he
would be drawing down disaster upon himself. In such a case a wise and
conciliatory attitude benefits the whole community, which will then not be
drawn into the conflict.
This is a warning of the danger that goes with an expansive disposition. Only
that which has been honestly acquired through merit remains a permanent
possession. It can happen that such a possession may be contested, but since it
is really one's own, one cannot be robbed of it. Whatever a man possesses
through the strength of his own nature cannot be lost. If one enters the
service of a superior, one can avoid conflict only by not seeking works for the
sake of prestige. It is enough if the work is done: let the honor go to the
This refers to a person whose inner attitude at first lacks peace. He does not
feel content with his situation and would like to improve it through conflict.
In contrast tot the situation of the nine in the second place, he is dealing with
a weaker opponent and might therefore succeed. But he cannot carry on the
fight, because, since right is not on his side, he cannot justify the conflict to
his conscience. Therefore he turns back and accepts his fate. He changes his
mind and finds lasting peace in being at one with eternal law. This brings
This refers to an arbiter in a conflict who is powerful and just, and strong
enough to lend weight to the right side. A dispute can be turned over to him
with confidence. If one is in the right, one attains great good fortune.
Here we have someone who has carried a conflict to the bitter end and has
triumphed. He is granted a decoration, but his happiness does not last. He is
attacked again and again, and the result is conflict without end.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You feel disharmony. Becomes ripe any conflict. Try to behave it is constrained. Do not answer on challenged to you. It is not necessary to show too many requirements; also do not begin alone any enterprises until circumstances will not favour to you. Try to begin better work together with someone. Start up all goes the order, and you will understand, that vital problems sometimes can learn much, and not just deliver afflictions.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary