|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.
55. Abounding (fēng). Abundance
Wealth brings joy only to those who can share it. Do not be afraid to run out of it - wasting gold to good things, you are growing with spiritual power. Even if wasting all, life will provide an opportunity to correct everything.
Inital text of I Ching
Abundance has success. The king attains abundance. Be not sad. Be like the sun at midday.
Both thunder and lightning come:
The image of Abundance. Thus the superior man decides lawsuits and carries out punishments.
- When a man meets his destined ruler, they can be together ten days, and it is not a mistake. Going meets with recognition.
- The curtain is of such fullness that the polestars can be seen at noon. Through going one meets with mistrust and hate. If one rouses him through truth, good fortune comes.
- The underbrush is of such abundance that the small stars can be seen at noon. He breaks his right arm. No blame.
- The curtain is of such fullness that the polestars can be seen at noon. He meets his ruler, who is of like kind. Good fortune.
- Lines are coming, blessing and fame draw near. Good fortune.
- His house is in a state of abundance. He screens off his family. He peers through the gate and no longer perceives anyone. For three years he sees nothing. Misfortune.
The palace was built and filled with treasures. The situation is favorable as never before. Success and profit are everywhere. Be generous and do not worry about the decrease in wealth. Hurry to do good things. Hospitality, sacrifice, extravagance – all is in favor: you will get new friends, strengthen your positions. But be prepared to answer for their actions. Do not be proud of his success and wealth - always think that the main treasure is in soul. Remember that the harvest is always replaced by winter, when it is silly to wait for fruit - this should not make you sad.
Chên is movement; Li is flame, whose attribute is clarity. Clarity within,
movement without-this produces greatness and abundance. The hexagram
pictures a period of advanced civilization. However, the fact that
development has reached a peak suggests that this extraordinary condition of
abundance cannot be maintained permanently.
It is not given to every mortal to bring about a time of outstanding greatness
and abundance. Only a born ruler of men is able to do it, because his will is
directed to what is great. Such a time of abundance is usually brief. Therefore
a sage might well feel sad in view of the decline that must follow. But such
sadness foes not befit him. Only a man who is inwardly free of sorrow and
care can lead in a time of abundance. He must be like the sun at midday,
illuminating and gladdening everything under heaven.
This hexagram has a certain connection with Shih Ho, BITING THROUGH
(21), in which thunder and lightning similarly appear together, but in the
reverse order. In BITING THROUGH, laws are laid down; here they are
applied and enforced. Clarity (Li) within makes it possible to investigate the
facts exactly, and shock (Chên) without ensures a strict and precise carrying
out of punishments.
To bring about a time of abundance, a union of clarity with energetic
movement is needed. Two individuals possessed of these two attributes are
suited to each other, and even if they spend an entire cycle of time together
during the period of abundance, it will not be too long, nor is it a mistake.
Therefore one may go forth, in order to make one's influence felt; it will meet
It often happens that plots and party intrigues, which have the darkening
effect of an eclipse of the sun, come between a ruler intent on great
achievement and the man who could effect great undertakings. Then,
instead of the sun, we see the northern stars in the sky. The ruler is
overshadowed by a party that has usurped power. If a man at such a time
were to try to take energetic measures, he would encounter only mistrust and
envy, which would prohibit all movement. The essential thing then is to
hold inwardly to the power of truth, which in the end is so strong that it
exerts an invisible influence on the ruler, so that all goes well.
The image is that of a progressive covering over of the sun. Here the eclipse
reaches totality, therefore even the small stars can be seen at noon.
In the sphere of social relationships, this means that the prince is now so
eclipsed that even the most insignificant persons can push themselves into
the foreground. This makes it impossible for an able man, though he might
be the right hand of the ruler, to undertake anything. It is as though his arm
were broken, but he is not to blame for being thus hindered in action.
Here the darkness is already decreasing, therefore interrelated elements come
together. Here too the complement must be found-the necessary wisdom to
complement joy of action. Then everything will go well. The
complementary factor postulated here is the reverse of the one in the first
line. In the latter, wisdom is to be complemented by energy, while here
energy is complemented by wisdom.
The ruler is modest and therefore open to the counsel of able men. Thus he
is surrounded by men who suggest to him the lines of action. This brings
blessing, fame, and good fortune to him and all the people.
This describes a man who because of his arrogance and obstinacy attains the
opposite of what he strives for. He seeks abundance and splendor for his
dwelling. He wishes at all odds to be master in his house, which so alienates
his family that in the end he finds himself completely isolated.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Symbol of this hexagram - an autumn harvest, gathering of a rich crop. It means, that your happy star brightly shines your way. Your business go stably and successfully. Probably, in the future they will go even better. Remember, that you always need to be well informed about all events. Do not forget and about economy, try to save money gradually. This time is especially favorable for employment by an agriculture, and also art. However absolutely there is no confidence that your desires will be executed though now you are accompanied obviously with success.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary