|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.
20. Viewing (guān). Contemplation
You may work day and night long, but no fruit can be grown without spiritual work.
Inital text of I Ching
Contemplation. The ablution has been made, but not yet the offering. Full of trust they look up to him.
The wind blows over the earth:
The image of Contemplation. Thus the kings of old visited the regions of the world, contemplated the people, and gave them instruction.
- Boylike contemplation. For an inferior man, no blame. For a superior man, humiliation.
- Contemplation through the crack of the door. Furthering for the perseverance of a woman.
- Contemplation of my life decides the choice between advance and retreat.
- Contemplation of the light of the kingdom. It furthers one to exert influence as the guest of a king.
- Contemplation of my life. The superior man is without blame.
- Contemplation of his life. The superior man is without blame.
It is time of external harmony. Much has been achieved. It is time to step back and look at its movement through the eyes of a stranger - you need objectivity. Do not seek to cover all with common eye - gradually learn about the essentials, learn the essence. Most of all, concentration and inner truth are needed. Self-deception is dangerous! It is time of active inner work, evolving, soul-searching.
A slight variation of tonal stress gives the Chinese name for this hexagram a
double meaning. It means both contemplating and being seen, in the sense
of being an example. These ideas are suggested by the fact that the hexagram
can be understood as picturing a type of tower characteristic of ancient China.
A tower of this kind commanded a wide view of the country; at the same
time, when situated on a mountain, it became a landmark that could be seen
for miles around. Thus the hexagram shows a ruler who contemplates the
law of heaven above him and the ways of the people below, and who, by
means of good government, sets a lofty example to the masses.
This hexagram is linked with the eight month (September-October). The
light-giving power retreats and the dark power is again on the increase.
However, this aspect is not material in the interpretation of the hexagram as a
The sacrificial ritual in China began with an ablution and a libation by which
the Deity was invoked, after which the sacrifice was offered. The moment of
time between these two ceremonies is the most sacred of all, the moment of
deepest inner concentration. If piety is sincere and expressive of real faith, the
contemplation of it has a transforming awe-spiring effect on those who
Thus also in nature a holy seriousness is to be seen in the fact that natural
occurrences are uniformly subject to law. Contemplation of the divine
meaning underlying the workings of the universe gives to the man who is
called upon to influence others the means of producing like effects. This
requires that power of inner concentration which religious contemplation
develops in great men strong in faith. It enables them to apprehend the
mysterious and divine laws of life, and by means of profoundest inner
concentration they give expression to these laws in their own persons. Thus
a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing and dominating
others without their being aware of how it happens.
When the wind blows over the earth it goes far and wide, and the grass must
bend to its power. These two occurrences find confirmation in the hexagram.
The two images are used to symbolize a practice of the kings of old; in making
regular journeys the ruler could, in the first place, survey his realm and make
certain that none of the existing usages of the people escaped notice; in the
second, he could exert influence through which such customs as were
unsuitable could be changed.
All of this points to the power possessed by a superior personality. On the
one hand, such a man will have a view of the real sentiments of the great
mass of humanity and therefore cannot be deceived; on the other, he will
impress the people so profoundly, by his mere existence and by the impact of
his personality, that they will be swayed by him as the grass by the wind.
This means contemplation from a distance, without comprehension. A man
of influence is at hand, abut his influence is not understood by the common
people. This matters little in the case of the masses, for they benefit by the
actions of the ruling sage whether they understand them or not. But for a
superior man it is a disgrace. He must not content himself with a shallow,
thoughtless view of prevailing forces; he must contemplate them as a
connected whole and try to understand them.
Through the crack of the door one has a limited outlook; one looks outward
from within. Contemplation is subjectively limited. One tends to relate
everything to oneself and cannot put oneself in another's place and
understand his motives. This is appropriate for a good housewife. It is not
necessary for her to be conversant with the affairs of the world. But for a man
who must take active part in public life, such a narrow, egotistic way of
contemplating things is of course harmful.
This is the place of transition. We no longer look outward to receive pictures
that are more or less limited and confused, but direct out contemplation upon
ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-
contemplation means the overcoming of naive egotism in the person who
sees everything solely form his own standpoint. He begins to reflect and in
this way acquires objectivity. However, self-knowledge does not mean
preoccupation with one's own thoughts; rather, it means concern about the
effects one creates. It is only the effects our lives produce that give us the
right to judge whether what we have done means progress or regression.
This describes a man who understands the secrets by which a kingdom can be
made to flourish. Such a man must be given an authoritative position, in
which he can exert influence. He should be, so to speak, a guest-that is, he
should be honored and act independently, and should not be used as a tool.
A man in an authoritative position to whom others look up must always be
ready for self-examination. The right sort of self-examination, however,
consists not in idle brooding over oneself but in examining the effects one
produces. Only when these effects are good, and when one's influence on
others is good, will the contemplation of one's own life bring the
satisfaction of knowing oneself to be free of mistakes.
While the preceding line represents a man who contemplates himself, here
in the highest place everything that is personal, related to the ego, is excluded.
The picture is that of a sage who stands outside the affairs of the world.
Liberated from his ego, he contemplates the laws of life and so realizes that
knowing how to become free of blame is the highest good.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You should be to ready to probable and unexpected troubles. Try to consider and analyse a state of affairs easy and judiciously. Probably, that to you it will be necessary to replace a residence and work. Try anything important to not miss, you need to be now especially attentive. You can receive the help therefrom, whence least wait, for this purpose it is necessary to think over carefully only all the actions. Your desires will be executed, maybe, not so quickly as you would like. It is necessary for you to consider opportunities of realization of your plans well. Well, and if your business will go successfully do not forget to assist another.
52. Bound (gèn). The Keeping Still
Moving slowly, we can achieve more. Unhurried ride provides an opportunity not only to reach a distant goal, without riding a horse to death and breaking the wagon, but also allows much to see and learn.
Inital text of I Ching
Keeping Still. Keeping his back still so that he no longer feels his body. He goes into his courtyard and does not see his people. No blame.
Mountains standing close together:
The image of Keeping Still. Thus the superior man does not permit his thoughts to go beyond his situation.
- Keeping his toes still. No blame. Continued perseverance furthers.
- Keeping his calves still. He cannot rescue him whom he follows. His heart is not glad.
- Keeping his hips still. Making his sacrum stiff. Dangerous. The heart suffocates.
- Keeping his trunk still. No blame.
- Keeping his jaws still. The words have order. Remorse disappears.
- Noblehearted keeping still. Good fortune.
Forces were set in motion. But this is only the beginning. Do not hurry time and events – way will be long, motion will be unhurried. Know how to wait patiently. Difficulties would be overcome if the effort is made. In relations with other be well-balanced, cautious. Keep the fight by the rules, look for peaceful solutions, do not be lazy to long negotiations - and then prevail over a rival. Personal relations are developing smoothly, in love - harmony.
The image of this hexagram is the mountain, the youngest son of heaven and
earth. The male principle is at the top because it strives upward by nature; the
female principle is below, since the direction of its movement has come to its
In its application to man, the hexagram turns upon the problem of
achieving a quiet heart. It is very difficult to bring quiet to the heart. While
Buddhism strives for rest through an ebbing away of all movement in
nirvana, the Book of Changes holds that rest is merely a state of polarity that
always posits movement as its complement. Possibly the words of the text
embody directions for the practice of yoga.
True quiet means keeping still when the time has come to keep still, and
going forward when the time has come to go forward. In this way rest and
movement are in agreement with the demands of the time, and thus there is
light in life.
The hexagram signifies the end and the beginning of all movement. The
back is named because in the back are located all the nerve fibers that mediate
movement. If the movement of these spinal nerves is brought to a standstill,
the ego, with its restlessness, disappears as it were. When a man has thus
become calm, he may turn to the outside world. He no longer sees in it the
struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace
of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe
and for acting in harmony with them. Whoever acts from these deep levels
makes no mistakes.
The heart thinks constantly. This cannot be changed, but the movements of
the heart-that is, a man's thoughts-should restrict themselves to the
immediate situation. All thinking that goes beyond this only makes the heart
Keeping the toes still means halting before one has even begun to move. The
beginning is the time of few mistakes. At that time one is still in harmony
with primal innocence. Not yet influenced by obscuring interests and desires,
one sees things intuitively as they really are. A man who halts at the
beginning, so long as he has not yet abandoned the truth, finds the right way.
But persisting firmness is needed to keep one from drifting irresolutely.
The leg cannot move independently; it depends on the movement of the
body. If a leg is suddenly stopped while the whole body is in vigorous
motion, the continuing body movement will make one fall.
The same is true of a man who serves a master stronger than himself. He is
swept along, and even though he may himself halt on the path of
wrongdoing, he can no longer check the other in his powerful movement.
Where the master presses forward, the servant, no matter how good his
intentions, cannot save him.
This refers to enforced quiet. The restless heart is to be subdued by forcible
means. But fire when it is smothered changes into acrid smoke that
suffocates as it spreads.
Therefore, in exercises in meditation and concentration, one ought not to
try to force results. Rather, calmness must develop naturally out of a state of
inner composure. If one tries to induce calmness by means of artificial
rigidity, meditation will lead to very unwholesome results.
As has been pointed out above in the comment on the Judgment, keeping the
back at rest means forgetting the ego. This is the highest stage of rest. Here
this stage has not yet been reached: the individual in this instance, though
able to keep the ego, with its thoughts and impulses, in a state of rest, is not
yet quite liberated from its dominance. Nonetheless, keeping the heart at rest
is an important function, leading in the end to the complete elimination of
egotistic drives. Even though at this point one does not yet remain free from
all the dangers of doubt and unrest, this frame of mind is not a mistake, as it
leads ultimately to that other, higher level.
A man in a dangerous situation, especially when he is not adequate to it, is
inclined to be very free with talk and presumptuous jokes. But injudicious
speech easily leads to situations that subsequently give much cause for regret.
However, if a man is reserved in speech, his words take ever more definite
form, and every occasion for regret vanishes.
This marks the consummation of the effort to attain tranquillity. One is at
rest, not merely in a small, circumscribed way in regard to matters of detail,
but one has also a general resignation in regard to life as a whole, and this
confers peace and good fortune in relation to every individual matter.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Now progress in affairs is very problematic. It is necessary for you to wait some time, and only then again to start to work; if you will plan a trip or travel, refuse them is better. Try to reconcile to circumstances and well consider the position before to undertake something. Do not despond. Difficulties and intrigues of ill-wishers you will overcome all, the victory will be for you, and is very fast. That desires were granted, now your efforts should be especially persevering.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary