|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.
64. Not-Yet Fording (wèi jì). Before Completion
Do not lose guides even on the half-way. Possess your soul in patience and self-control.
Inital text of I Ching
Before Completion. Success. But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing, gets his tail in the water, there is nothing that would further.
Fire over water:
The image of the condition before transition. Thus the superior man is careful in the differentiation of things, so that each finds its place.
- He gets his tail in the water. Humiliating.
- He brakes his wheels. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- Before completion, attack brings misfortune. It furthers one to cross the great water.
- Perseverance brings good fortune. Remorse disappears. Shock, thus to discipline the Devil's Country. For three years, great realms are awarded.
- Perseverance brings good fortune. No remorse. The light of the superior man is true. Good fortune.
- There is drinking of wine in genuine confidence. No blame. But if one wets his head, he loses it, in truth.
Chaos is a field for new undertakings. You are moving in the right direction. Now you need all efforts for break through. If there is not enough energy, the unfavorable situation will happen. The main thing is not to stop on half-way and do not turn off the road chosen. In loving affairs relationships are developing, feeling matures.
This hexagram indicates a time when the transition from disorder to order is
not yet completed. The change is indeed prepared for, since all the lines in
the upper trigram are in relation to those in the lower. However, they are not
yet in their places. While the preceding hexagram offers an analogy to
autumn, which forms the transition from summer to winter, this hexagram
presents a parallel to spring, which leads out of winter's stagnation into the
fruitful time of summer. With this hopeful outlook the Book of Changes
come to its close.
The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. It is
nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion back to order.
But it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the
forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move
warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice
is proverbial in China. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice,
as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox
who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen
that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. Then
of course his effort has been all in vain. Accordingly, in times "before
completion," deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success.
When fire, which by nature flames upward, is above, and water, which flows
downward, is below, their effects take opposite directions and remain
unrelated. If we wish to achieve an effect, we must first investigate the
nature of the forces in question and ascertain their proper place. If we can
bring these forces to bear in the right place, they will have the desired effect
and completion will be achieved. But in order to handle external forces
properly, we must above all arrive at the correct standpoint ourselves, for
only from this vantage can we work correctly.
In times of disorder there is a temptation to advance oneself as rapidly as
possible in order to accomplish something tangible. But this enthusiasm
leads only to failure and humiliation if the time for achievement has not yet
arrived. In such time it is wise to spare ourselves the opprobrium of failure
by holding back.
Here again the time to act has not yet come. But the patience needed is not
that of idle waiting without thought of the morrow. Kept up indefinitely,
this would not lead to any success. Instead, an individual must develop in
himself the strength that will enable him to go forward. He must have a
vehicle, as it were, to effect the crossing. But he must for the time being use
the brakes. Patience in the highest sense means putting brakes on strength.
Therefore he must not fall asleep and lose sight of the goal. If he remains
strong and steadfast in his resolve, all goes well in the end.
The time of transition has arrived, but one lacks the strength to complete the
transition. If one should attempt to force it, disaster would result, because
collapse would then be unavoidable. What is to be done? A new situation
must be created; one must engage the energies of able helpers and in this
fellowship take the decisive step-cross the great water. Then completion will
Now it is the time of struggle. The transition must be completed. We must
make ourselves strong in resolution; this brings good fortune. All
misgivings that might arise in such grave times of struggle must be silenced.
It is a question of a fierce battle to break and to discipline the Devil's
Country, the forces of decadence. But the struggle also has its reward. Now is
the time to lay the foundations of power and mastery for the future.
The victory has been won. The power of steadfastness has not been routed.
Everything has gone well. All misgivings have been overcome. Success has
justified the deed. The light of a superior personality shines forth anew and
makes its influence felt among men who have faith in it and rally around it.
The new time has arrived, and with it good fortune. And just as the sun
shines forth in redoubled beauty after rain, or as a forest grows more freshly
green from charred ruins after a fire, so the new era appears all the more
glorious by contrast with the misery of the old.
Before completion, at the dawning of the new time, friends foregather in an
atmosphere of mutual trust, and the time of waiting is passed in conviviality.
Since the new era is hard on the threshold, there is no blame in this. But one
must be careful in all this to keep within proper bounds. If in his exuberance
a man gets drunk, he forfeits the favorableness of the situation through his
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Success is absolutely close; to it there are your business. But for active actions time has not come yet. Day by day circumstances will develop better if only you will be circumspect enough. Your desire will be executed in the near future. It is necessary to wait very little - and in a life there will come the happy, successful period.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary