|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.
18. Corrupting (gǔ). Work on the Decayed
Any person inherits not only knowledge but also delusion, not just wealth, but the debts from our ancestors. There comes time when you have to pay for them, because it is difficult to carry it further.
Inital text of I Ching
Work on What Has Been Spoiled has supreme success. It furthers one to cross the great water. Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days.
The wind blows low on the mountain:
The image of Decay. Thus the superior man stirs up the people and strengthens their spirit.
- Setting right what has been spoiled by the father. If there is a son, no blame rests upon the departed father. Danger. In the end good fortune.
- Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother. One must not be too persevering.
- Setting right what has been spoiled by the father. There will be little remorse. No great blame.
- Tolerating what has been spoiled by the father. In continuing one sees humiliation.
- Setting right what has been spoiled by the father. One meets with praise.
- He does not serve kings and princes, sets himself higher goals.
Everything in the world is perishable. Every idea can be ruined, any undertaking can turn evil. There is danger of confusion and deception. There is business stagnation. Influence of the old mistakes, generic prejudice is great. Be able to distinguish tradition from the remnants of the past. Read the ancestors, but do not repeat their mistakes. Follow the higher purpose. Do not try to be obedient to the will of all seniors, regardless of age or rank. Have your own opinion and the will to resist stagnation, be honest with yourselves. Get rid of old mistakes – and you will find your way again.
The Chinese character ku represents a bowl in whose contents worms are
breeding. This means decay. IT is come about because the gentle indifference
in the lower trigram has come together with the rigid inertia of the upper,
and the result is stagnation. Since this implies guilt, the conditions embody a
demand for removal of the cause. Hence the meaning of the hexagram is not
simply "what has been spoiled" but "work on what has been spoiled".
What has been spoiled through man's fault can be made good again through
man's work. IT is not immutable fate, as in the time of STANDSTILL, that
has caused the state of corruption, but rather the abuse of human freedom.
Work toward improving conditions promises well, because it accords the
possibilities of the time. We must not recoil from work and danger-
symbolized by crossing of the great water-but must take hold energetically.
Success depends, however, on proper deliberation. This is expressed by the
lines, "Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three
days." We must first know the cause of corruption before we can do away
with them; hence it is necessary to be cautious during the time before the
start. Then we must see to it that the new way is safely entered upon, so that
a relapse may be avoided; therefore we must pay attention to the time after
the start. Decisiveness and energy must take the place of inertia and
indifference that have led to decay, in order that the ending may be followed
by a new beginning.
When the wind blow s slow on the mountain, it is thrown back and spoils
the vegetation. This contains a challenge to improvement. It is the same
with debasing attitudes and fashions; they corrupt human society. His
methods likewise must be derived from the two trigrams, but in such a way
that their effects unfold in orderly sequence. The superior must first remove
stagnation by stirring up public opinion, as the wind stirs up everything, and
must strengthen and tranquilize the character of the people, as the mountain
gives tranquillity and nourishment to all that grows in its vicinity.
Rigid adherence to tradition has resulted in decay. But the decay has not yet
penetrated deeply and so can still be easily remedied. It is as if a son were
compensated for the decay his father allowed to creep in. Then no blame
attaches to the father. However, one must not overlook the danger or take
the matter too lightly. Only if one is conscious of the danger connected with
every reform will everything go well in the end.
This refers to mistakes that as a result of weakness have brought about decay-
hence the symbol, "what has been spoiled by the mother. " In setting things
right in such a case, a certain gentle consideration is called for. In order not to
wound, one should not attempt to proceed too drastically.
This describes a man who proceeds a little too energetically in righting the
mistakes of the past. Now and then, as a result, minor discourse and
annoyances will surely develop. But too much energy is better than too little.
Therefore, although he may at times have slight cause for regret, he remains
free of any serious blame.
This shows the situation of someone too weak to take measures against decay
that has its roots in the past and is just beginning to manifest itself. It is
allowed to run its course. If this continues, humiliation will result.
An individual is confronted with corruption originating from neglect in
former times. He lacks the power to ward it off alone, but with able helpers
he can at least bring about a thorough reform, if he cannot create a new
beginning, and this also is praiseworthy.
Not every man has an obligation to mingle in the affairs of the world. There
are some who are developed to such a degree that they are justified in letting
the world go its own way and refusing to enter public life with a view to
reforming it. But this does not imply a right to remain idle or to sit back and
merely criticize. Such withdrawal is justified only when we strive to realize
in ourselves the higher aims of mankind. For although the sage remains
distant from the turmoil of daily life, he creates incomparable human values
for the future.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You need to analyze and estimate events especially carefully: you can become the participant of changes in another's private life. You should be a master of the situation. It becomes possible owing to your present condition. Can happen so, that you will lose the friend. From you shortly it is possible to wait for the most unexpected acts. You need to clear the relations with associates. They not by way of, and problems arising from this can interfere with execution of your desires.
40. Taking-Apart (xiè). Deliverance
At transition times, happiness is in leaving and coming back. When moving, you can avoid the danger.
Inital text of I Ching
Deliverance. The southwest furthers. If there is no longer anything where one has to go, return brings good fortune. If there is still something where one has to go, hastening brings good fortune.
Thunder and rain set in:
The image of Deliverance. Thus the superior man pardons mistakes and forgives misdeeds.
- Without blame.
- One kills three foxes in the field and receives a yellow arrow. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- If a man carries a burden on his back and nonetheless rides in a carriage, he thereby encourages robbers to draw near. Perseverance leads to humiliation.
- Deliver yourself from your great toe. Then the companion comes, and him you can trust.
- If only the superior man can deliver himself, it brings good fortune. Thus he proves to inferior men that he is in earnest.
- The prince shoots at a hawk on a high wall. He kills it. Everything serves to further.
It is time crisis starts. It is transition time. It seems no success can be expected in any business. It is better to part with the old plans without regret and remorse – soon you will be able to start something new. Do not blame yourself in a failure, do not take too much responsibility, only accept the necessary losses. Look to the future without fear, chase painful thought - after the storm nature comes to life, everything goes on as usually.
Here the movement goes out of the sphere of danger. The obstacle has been
removed, the difficulties are being resolved. Deliverance is not yet achieved;
it is just in its beginning, and the hexagram represents its various stages.
This refers to a time in which tensions and complications begin to be eased.
At such times we ought to make our way back to ordinary conditions as soon
as possible; this is the meaning of "the southwest." These periods of sudden
change have great importance. Just as rain relieves atmospheric tension,
making all the buds burst open, so a time of deliverance from burdensome
pressure has a liberating and stimulating effect on life. One thing is
important, however: in such times we must not overdo our triumph. The
point is not to push on farther than is necessary. Returning to the regular
order of life as soon as deliverance is achieved brings good fortune. If there
are any residual matters that ought to be attended to, it should be done as
quickly as possible, so that a clean sweep is made and no retardations occur.
A thunderstorm has the effect of clearing the air; the superior man produces
a similar effect when dealing with mistakes and sins of men that induce a
condition of tension. Through clarity he brings deliverance. However, when
failings come to light, he does not dwell on them; he simply passes over
mistakes, the unintentional transgressions, just as thunder dies away. He
forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes
In keeping with the situation, few words are needed. The hindrance is past,
deliverance has come. One recuperates in peace and keeps still. This is the
right thing to do in times when difficulties have been overcome.
The image is taken from the hunt. The hunter catches three cunning foxes
and receives a yellow arrow as a reward. The obstacles in public life are the
designing foxes who try to influence the ruler through flattery. They must be
removed before there can be any deliverance. But the struggle must not be
carried on with the wrong weapons. The yellow color points to measure and
mean in proceeding against the enemy; the arrow signifies the straight course.
If one devotes himself wholeheartedly to the task of deliverance, he develops
so much inner strength from his rectitude that it acts as a weapon against all
that is false and low.
This refers to a man who has come out of needy circumstances in to comfort
and freedom from want. If now, in the manner of an upstart, he tries to take
his ease in comfortable surroundings that do not suit his nature, he thereby
attracts robbers. If he goes on thus he is sure to bring disgrace upon himself.
Confucius says about this line:
Carrying a burden on the back is the business of common man; a carriage is
the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the
appurtenance of man of rank, robbers plot to take it away from him. If a man
is insolent toward those above him and hard toward those below him,
robbers plot to attack him. Carelessness in guarding things tempts thieves to
steal. Sumptuous ornaments worn by a maiden are an enticement to rob her
of her virtue.
In times of standstill it will happen that inferior people attach themselves to a
superior man, and through force of daily habit they may grow very close to
him and become indispensable, just as the big toe is indispensable to the foot
because it makes walking easier. But when the time of deliverance draws
near, with its call to deeds, a man must free himself from such chance
acquaintances with whim he has no inner connection. For otherwise the
friends who share his views, on whom he could really rely and together with
whom he could accomplish something, mistrust him and stay away.
Times of deliverance demand inner resolve. Inferior people cannot be
driven off by prohibitions or any external means. If one desires to be rid of
them, he must first break completely with them in his own mind; they will
see for themselves that he is in earnest and will withdraw.
The hawk on a high wall is the symbol of a powerful inferior in a high
position who is hindering the deliverance. He withstands the force of inner
influences, because he is hardened in his wickedness. He must be forcibly
removed, and this requires appropriate means. Confucius says about this
The hawk is the object of the hunt; bow and arrow are the tools and means.
The marksman is man (who must make proper use of the means to his end).
The superior man contains the means in his own person. He bides his time
and then acts. Why then should not everything go well? He acts and is free.
Therefore all he has to do is to go forth, and he takes his quarry. This is how a
man fares who acts after he has made ready the means.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You had to overcome the long period of anxiety and troubles. And here this period behind. Now it is necessary to gather and immediately to start to operate, differently it is possible to miss an opportunity to achieve brilliant results. A certain old desire will be executed, new - too, but hardly later. You will have new friends. If at you the trip, travel, - happy journey is planned! They will give to you only pleasure. The begun period is very favorable well to earn.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary