|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.
21. Gnawing Bite (shì kè). Biting Through
Nothing in life is unique. Be able to see the essence of events and do not try to fight the forced inactivity. When idle the external, internal is active. The more active and indiscriminate actions are, the more firmly teeth are tightened; you will be bogged down in a situation and incur losses.
Inital text of I Ching
Biting Through has success. It is favorable to let justice be administered.
Thunder and lightning:
The image of Biting Through. Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws through clearly defined penalties.
- His feet are fastened in the stocks, so that his toes disappear. No blame.
- Bites through tender meat, so that his nose disappears. No blame.
- Bites on old dried meat and strikes on something poisonous. Slight humiliation. No blame.
- Bites on dried gristly meat. Receives metal arrows. It furthers one to be mindful of difficulties and to be persevering. Good fortune.
- Bites on dried lean meat. Receives yellow gold. Perseveringly aware of danger. No blame.
- His neck is fastened in the wooden cangue, so that his ears disappear. Misfortune.
Something tends to destroy the harmony. Clenched teeth have a dual character: on the one hand - the restoration of unity (with force), on the other - the destruction of 'grinding'. Do not fear. It is good time to take advantage of strife. Prejudices are destroyed, thoughts converge. But there is no freedom of action. Cases are suspended. If you make a mistake at work - you will fall into a millstone: finally lose your freedom, or will suffer significant damage, experience pain.
This hexagram represents an open mouth (cf. hexagram 27) with an
obstruction (in the fourth place) between the teeth. As a result the lips cannot
meet. To bring them together one must bite energetically through the
obstacle. Since the hexagram is made up of the trigrams for thunder and for
lightning, it indicates how obstacles are forcibly removed in nature.
Energetic biting through overcomes the obstacle that prevents joining of the
lips; the storm with its thunder and lightning overcomes the disturbing
tension in nature. Recourse to law and penalties overcomes the disturbances
of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanderers. The theme of
this hexagram is a criminal lawsuit, in contradistinction to that of Sung,
CONFLICT, which refers to civil suits.
When an obstacle to union arises, energetic biting through brings success.
This is true in all situations. Whenever unity cannot be established, the
obstruction is due to a talebearer and traitor who is interfering and blocking
the way. To prevent permanent injury, vigorous measures must be taken at
once. Deliberate obstruction of this sort does not vanish of its own accord.
Judgment and punishment are required to deter or obviate it.
However, it is important to proceed in the right way. The hexagram
combines Li, clarity, and Chên, excitement. Li is yielding, Chên is hard.
Unqualified hardness and excitement would be too violent in meting out
punishment; unqualified clarity and gentleness would be too weak. The two
together create the just measure. It is of moment that the man who makes
the decisions (represented by the fifth line) is gentle by nature, while he
commands respect by his conduct in his position.
Penalties are the individual applications of the law. The laws
specify the penalties. Clarity prevails when mild and severe
penalties are differentiated, according to the nature of the crimes.
This is symbolized by the clarity of lighting. The law is strengthened
by a just application of penalties. This is symbolized by the terror
of thunder. This clarity and severity have the effect of instilling
respect; it is not that the penalties are ends in themselves.
The obstructions in the social life of man increase when there is a
lack of clarity in the penal codes and slackness in executing them.
The only to strengthen the law is to make it clear and make penalties
certain and swift.
If a sentence is imposed the first time a man attempts to do wrong, the
penalty is a mild one. Only the toes are put in the stocks. This prevents him
from sinning further and thus he becomes free of blame. It is a warning to
halt in time on the path of evil.
It is easy to discriminate between right and wrong in this case;
it is like biting through tender meat. But one encounters a
hardened sinner, and, aroused by anger, one goes a little too
far. The disappearance of the nose in the course of the bite
signifies that indignation blots out finer sensibility. However,
there is no great harm in this, because the penalty as such is
Punishment is to be carried out by someone who lacks the power and
authority to do so. Therefore the culprits do not submit. The matter at issue
is an old one-as symbolized by salted game-and in dealing with it difficulties
arise. This old meat is spoiled: by taking up the problem the punisher arouses
poisonous hatred against himself, and n this way is put in a somewhat
humiliating position. But since punishment was required by the time, he
remains free of blame.
There are great obstacles to be overcome, powerful opponents are to be
punished. Though this is arduous, the effort succeeds. But it is necessary to
be hard as metal and straight as an arrow to surmount the difficulties. If one
knows these difficulties and remains persevering, he attains good fortune.
The difficult task is achieved in the end.
The case to be decided is indeed not easy but perfectly clear. Since we
naturally incline to leniency, we must make every effort to be like yellow
gold-that is, as true as gold and as impartial as yellow, the color of the middle
[the mean]. It is only by remaining conscious of the dangers growing out of
the responsibility we have assumed that we can avoid making mistakes.
In contrast to the first line, this line refers to a man who is incorrigible. His
punishment is the wooden cangue, and his ears disappear under it-that is to
say, he is deaf to warnings. This obstinacy leads to misfortune.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Something torments you, you feel unfortunate. Try to undertake any new business, and your business will go better, and gradually diligent work will lead you to the big success. You are inclined to consider yourselves as a victim of injustice. But if you will constantly think of how such could happen,-it will not help business. All we make weight of mistakes; obviously, in what you were mistaken also. But try to not lose courage and learn the necessary lesson of that has happened. It is not necessary to despair, as just now circumstances favour to performance of your desire. Gather; remain are quiet and judicious.
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