|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.
56. Sojourning (lǚ). The Wanderer
Do not stay long in one place. Choose the right path and be firm in achieving the goal. Great way begins with small steps.
Inital text of I Ching
The Wanderer. Success through smallness. Perseverance brings good fortune to the wanderer.
Fire on the mountain:
The image of the Wanderer. Thus the superior man is clear-minded and cautious in imposing penalties, and protracts no lawsuits.
- If the wanderer busies himself with trivial things, he draws down misfortune upon himself.
- The wanderer comes to an inn. He has his property with him. He wins the steadfastness of a young servant.
- The wanderer's inn burns down. He loses the steadfastness of his young servant. Danger.
- The wanderer rests in a shelter. He obtains his property and an ax. My heart is not glad.
- He shoots a pheasant. It drops with the first arrow. In the end this brings both praise and office.
- The bird's nest burns up. The wanderer laughs at first, then must needs lament and weep. Through carelessness he loses his cow. Misfortune.
There is a need to make a trip - literally or figuratively. This may be perhaps a distant and long trip but also can mean a trip to knowledge or a trip 'inward' (spiritual search). Anyway, you need to understand the purpose of traveling and prepare for it. You should start with small steps. Often the traveler suffers deprivation, feels like a stranger in a strange world – take it all takes fearlessly. Benefit of triple is beyond doubt. Award may be material (fame, profit, progress up the career ladder) or intangible (the acquisition of skills, knowledge, and spiritual growth).
The mountain, Kên, stands still; above it fire, Li, flames up and does not tarry.
Therefore the two trigrams do not stay together. Strange lands and separation
are the wanderer's lot.
When a man is a wanderer and stranger, he should
not be gruff nor overbearing. He has no large circle of acquaintances,
therefore he should not give himself airs. He must be cautious and reserved;
in this way he protects himself from evil. If he is obliging toward others, he
A wanderer has no fixed abode; his home is the road. Therefore he must
take care to remain upright and steadfast, so that he sojourns only in the
proper places, associating only with good people. Then he has good fortune
and can go his way unmolested.
When grass on a mountain takes fire, there is bright light. However, the fire
does not linger in one place, but travels on to new fuel. It is a phenomenon
of short duration. This is what penalties and lawsuits should be like. They
should be a quickly passing matter, and must not be dragged out indefinitely.
Prisons ought to be places where people are lodged only temporarily, as guests
are. They must not become dwelling places.
A wanderer should not demean himself or busy himself with inferior things
he meets with along the way. The humbler and more defenseless his
outward position, the more should he preserve his inner dignity. For a
stranger is mistaken if he hopes to find a friendly reception through lending
himself to jokes and buffoonery. The result will be only contempt and
The wanderer her described is modest and reserved. He does not lose touch
with his inner being, hence he finds a resting place. In the outside world he
does not lose the liking of other people, hence all persons further him, so that
he can acquire property. Moreover, he wins the allegiance of a faithful and
trustworthy servant-a thing of inestimable value to a wanderer.
A truculent stranger does not know how to behave properly. He meddles in
affairs and controversies that do not concern him; thus he loses his resting
place. He treats his servant with aloofness and arrogance; thus he loses the
man's loyalty. When a stranger in a strange land has no one left on whom he
can rely, the situation becomes very dangerous.
This describes a wanderer who knows how to limit his desires outwardly,
though he is inwardly strong and aspiring. Therefore he finds at least a place
of shelter in which he can stay. He also succeeds in acquiring property, but
even with this he is not secure. He must be always on guard, ready to defend
himself with arms. Hence he is not at ease. He is persistently conscious of
being a stranger in a strange land.
Traveling statesman were in the habit of introducing themselves to local
princes with the gift of a pheasant, killing it at the first shot. Thus he finds
friends who praise and recommend him, and in the end the prince accepts
him and confers an office upon him.
Circumstances often cause a man to seek a home in foreign parts. If he
knows how to meet the situation and how to introduce himself in the right
way, he may find a circle of friends and a sphere of activity even in a strange
The picture of a bird whose nest burns up indicates loss of one's resting place.
This misfortune may overtake the bird if it is heedless and imprudent when
building its nest. It is the same with a wanderer. If he lets himself go,
laughing and jesting, and forgets that he is a wanderer, he will later have
cause to weep and lament. For if through carelessness a man loses his cow-
i.e., his modesty and adaptability-evil will result.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Whether you know, what now there is all preconditions for success in affairs? If you plan to go abroad also it take place successfully. You are too ambitious, therefore you need to behave very circumspectly to not spoil relations with friends and fellow workers. Let your claims will not be too high also your desire will be executed. You very much experience and nervous in occasion of there is nobody unpleasant event. It is not necessary to think of this; forget and do not recollect.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary