|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.
60. Articulating (jié). Limitation
Enjoy and be sad moderately. Nothing lasts forever, everything has its limit.
Inital text of I Ching
Limitation. Success. Galling limitation must not be persevered in.
Water over lake:
The image of Limitation. Thus the superior man creates number and measure, and examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct.
- Not going out of the door and the courtyard is without blame.
- Not going out of the gate and the courtyard brings misfortune.
- He who knows no limitation will have cause to lament. No blame.
- Contented limitation. Success.
- Sweet limitation brings good fortune. Going brings esteem.
- Galling limitation. Perseverance brings misfortune. Remorse disappears.
Act consciously – weighting your needs and opportunities, ambitions and capabilities. On the whole everything is ok; life gives reason for joy but moderate, disappointments are possible, but the sadness will not be immense. Started business will end successfully.
A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it
overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows
water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit.
The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a
bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed
limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed
limits that the superior man sets upon his actions-the limits of loyalty and
Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. If we live economically
in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us
from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of
world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter,
day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way,
economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property
and prevent injury to the people.
But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to
impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And
if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel.
Therefore it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation.
A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only
a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In
human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination
and the setting of limits. Therefore what concerns us here is the problem of
clearly defining these discriminations, which are, so to speak, the backbone of
morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life
would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man's life needs
the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. The individual
attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these
limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is.
Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself
confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know where to
stop. If he rightly understands this and does not go beyond the limits set for
him, he accumulates an energy that enables him, when the proper time
comes, to act with great force. Discretion is of prime importance in preparing
the way for momentous things. Concerning this, Confucius says:
Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet,
he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet he loses his life. If
germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is
impeded. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain silence and does
not go forth.
When the time for action has come, the moment must be quickly seized. Just
as water first collects in a lake without flowing out, yet is certain to find an
outlet when the lake is full, so it is in the life of man. It is a good thing to
hesitate so long as the time for action has not come, but no longer. Once the
obstacles to action have been removed, anxious hesitation is a mistake that is
bound to bring disaster, because one misses one's opportunity.
If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to
lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to
extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying
regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize
that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences
free us of errors.
Every limitation has its value, but a limitation that requires persistent effort
entails a cost of too much energy. When, however, the limitation is a natural
one (as for example, the limitation by which water flows only downhill), it
necessarily leads to success, for then it means a saving of energy. The energy
that otherwise would be consumed in a vain struggle with the object, is
applied wholly to the benefit of the matter in hand, and success is assured.
The limitation must be carried out in the right way if it is to be effective. If we
seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves,
these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance. If,
however, a man in a leading position applies the limitation first to himself,
demanding little from those associated with him, and with modest means
manages to achieve something, good fortune is the result. Where such an
example occurs, it meets with emulation, so that whatever is undertaken
If one is too severe in setting up restrictions, people will not endure them.
The more consistent such severity, the worse it is, for in the long run a
reaction is unavoidable. In the same way, the tormented body will rebel
against excessive asceticism. On the other hand, although ruthless severity is
not to be applied persistently and systematically, there may be times when it is
the only means of safeguarding against guilt and remorse. In such situations
ruthlessness toward oneself is the only means of saving one's soul, which
otherwise would succumb to irresolution and temptation.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Time of active actions has come. But remember: all efforts can ruin, if you will not be provident enough. To you a certain offer will be shortly made; do not hasten to accept it. Very much can be, that it at all so is attractive, as it seems at first sight. The same concerns and to your love and friendly connections. Real and reasonable your desires will be executed. This time does not approach for distant travel and trips. Also do not forget a proverb - do not dig to another a hole, itself in it you will get.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary