|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.
23. Stripping (bō). Splitting Apart
The destruction time is over. Tests tempered soul, teach to confront challenges and take the inevitable. Remember: the more tension the body during the fall has, the harder your shot will be.
Inital text of I Ching
Splitting Apart. It does not further one to go anywhere.
The mountain rests on the earth:
The image of Splitting Apart. Thus those above can ensure their position only by giving generously to those below.
- The leg of the bed is split. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
- The bed is split at the edge. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
- He splits with them. No blame.
- The bed is split up to the skin. Misfortune.
- A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies. Everything acts to further.
- There is a large fruit still uneaten. The superior man receives a carriage. The house of the inferior man is split apart.
It is an unfavorable sign. The usual course of things is broken, leaving the soil under their feet. It is a beginning of decline. Significant is destroyed. There are intrigues of the detractors. Expect losses. Resilience and courage are needed to accept it as it is. Base on the experiences, find support in the wisdom, remember the higher purpose. Think about the reason. Do not complain.
The dark lines are about to mount upward and overthrow the last firm, light
line by exerting a disintegrating influence on it. The inferior, dark forces
overcome what is superior and strong, not by direct means, but by
undermining it gradually and imperceptibly, so that it finally collapses.
The lines of the hexagram present the image of a house, the top line being
the roof, and because the roof is being shattered the house collapses. The
hexagram belongs to the ninth month (October-November). The yin power
pushes up ever more powerfully and is about to supplant the yang power
This pictures a time when inferior people are pushing forward and are about
to crowd out the few remaining strong and superior men. Under these
circumstances, which are due to the time, it is not favorable for the superior
man to undertake anything.
The right behavior in such adverse times is to be deduced from the images
and their attributes. The lower trigram stands for the earth, whose attributes.
The lower trigram stands for the earth, whose attributes are docility and
devotion. The upper trigram stands for the mountain, whose attribute is
stillness. This suggests that one should submit to the bad time and remain
quiet. For it is a question not of man's doing but of time conditions, which,
according to the laws of heaven, show an alternation of increase and decrease,
fullness and emptiness. It is impossible to counteract these conditions of the
time. Hence it is not cowardice but wisdom to submit and avoid action.
The mountain rests on the earth. When it is steep and narrow, lacking a
broad base, it must topple over. Its position is strong only when it rises out of
the earth broad and great, not proud and steep. So likewise those who rule
rest on the broad foundation of the people. They too should be generous and
benevolent, like the earth that carries all. Then they will make their position
as secure as a mountain is in its tranquillity.
Inferior people are on the rise and stealthily begin their destructive
burrowing from below in order to undermine the place where the superior
man rests. Those followers of the ruler who remain loyal are destroyed by
slander and intrigue. The situation bodes disaster, yet there is nothing to do
The power of the inferior people is growing. The danger draws close to one's
person; already there are clear indication, and rest is disturbed. Moreover, in
this dangerous situation one is as yet without help or friendly advances from
above or below. Extreme caution is necessary in this isolation. One must
adjust to the time and promptly avoid the danger. Stubborn perseverance in
maintaining one's standpoint would lead to downfall.
An individual finds himself in an evil environment to which he is
committed by external ties. But he has an inner relationship with a superior
man, and through this he attains the stability to free himself from the way of
the inferior people around him. This brings him into opposition to them of
course, but that is not wrong.
Here the disaster affects not only the resting place but even the occupant. No
warning or other comment is added. Misfortune has reached its peak: it can
no longer be warded off.
Here, in immediate proximity to the strong, light-giving principle at the top,
the nature of the dark force undergoes a change. It no longer opposes the
strong principle by means of intrigues but submits to its guidance. Indeed, as
the head of the other weak lines, it leads all of these to the strong line, just as
a princess leads her maids-in-waiting like a shoal of fishes to her husband and
thus gains his favor. Inasmuch as the lower element thus voluntarily places
itself under the higher, it attains happiness and the higher also receives its
due. Therefore all goes well.
Here the splitting apart reaches its end. When misfortune has spent itself,
better times return. The seed of the good remains, and it is just when the
fruit falls to the ground that food sprouts anew from its seed. The superior
man again attains influence and effectiveness. He is supported by public
opinion as if in a carriage. But the inferior man's wickedness is visited upon
himself. His house is split apart. A law of nature is at work here. Evil is not
destructive to the good alone but inevitably destroys itself as well. For evil,
which lives solely by negation, cannot continue to exist on its own strength
alone. The inferior man himself fares best when held under control by a
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Main recesses expect you already in the near future. Probably, now someone talks scandal about you dismisses gossips. Therefore it is not necessary to be accepted now to any new business, you cannot get in awkward position. Your desires will be executed hardly later. Try to be circumspect and cautious in dialogue with representatives of other floor. Also it is not necessary to be lost if suddenly to be found out, that to the aid friends to count it is impossible.
33. Retiring (dùn). Retreat
Before a big leap think and make the run, departing from the starting line a few steps.
Inital text of I Ching
Retreat. Success. In what is small, perseverance furthers.
Mountain under heaven:
The image of Retreat. Thus the superior man keeps the inferior man at a distance, not angrily but with reserve.
- At the tail in retreat. This is dangerous. One must not wish to undertake anything.
- He holds him fast with yellow oxhide. No one can tear him loose.
- A halted retreat is nerve-wracking and dangerous. To retain people as men- and maidservants brings good fortune.
- Voluntary retreat brings good fortune to the superior man and downfall to the inferior man.
- Friendly retreat. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- Cheerful retreat. Everything serves to further.
If we talk about the great, then now it is the moment of transition between the willingness to act and action itself. Prudence, balance, clarification of objectives and its comparison with internal need (higher aspiration) are necessary - a temporary escape from the action itself. Feel free to act - according to your will, without coercion. Intentions must be kept secret. It is time for positive solution of only minor problems, but even here caution is necessary.
The power of the dark is ascending. The light retreats to security, so that the
dark cannot encroach upon it. This retreat is a matter not of man's will but of
natural law. Therefore in this case withdrawal is proper; it is the correct way
to behave in order not to exhaust one's forces.
In the calendar this hexagram is linked with the sixth month (July-August),
in which the forces of winter are already showing their influence.
Conditions are such that the hostile forces favored by the time are advancing.
In this case retreat is the right course, and it is not to be confused with flight.
Flight means saving oneself under any circumstances, whereas retreat is a
sign of strength. We must be careful not to miss the right moment while we
are in full possession of power and position. Then we shall be able to
interpret the signs of the time before it is too late and to prepare for
provisional retreat instead of being drawn into a desperate life-and-death
struggle. Thus we do not simple abandon the field to the opponent; we make
it difficult for him to advance by showing perseverance in single acts of
resistance. In this way we prepare, while retreating, for the counter-
movement. Understanding the laws of a constructive retreat of this sort is
not easy. The meaning that lies hidden in such a time is important.
The mountain rises up under heaven, but owing to its nature it finally comes
to a stop. Heaven on the other hand retreats upward before it into the
distance and remains out of reach. This symbolizes the behavior of the
superior man toward a climbing inferior; he retreats into his own thoughts as
the inferior man comes forward. He does not hate him, for hatred is a form
of subjective involvement by which we are bound to the hated object. The
superior man shows strength (heaven) in that he brings the inferior man to a
standstill (mountain) by his dignified reserve.
Since the hexagram is the picture of something that is retreating, the lowest
line represents the tail and the top line the head. In a retreat it is
advantageous to be at the front. Here one is at the back, in immediate contact
with the pursuing enemy. This is dangerous, and under such circumstances
it is not advisable to undertake anything. Keeping still is the easiest way of
escaping from the threatening danger.
Yellow is the color of the middle. It indicates that which is correct and in line
with duty. Oxhide is strong and not to be torn.
While the superior men retreat and the inferior press after them, the
inferior man represented here holds on so firmly and tightly to the superior
man that the latter cannot shake him off. And because he is in quest of what
is right an so strong in purpose, he reaches his goal. Thus the line confirms
what is said in the Judgment: "In what is small" --here equivalent to "in the
inferior man" -- "perseverance furthers."
When it is time to retreat it is both unpleasant and dangerous to be held back,
because then one no longer has freedom of action. In such a case the only
expedient is to take into one's service, so to speak, those who refuse to let one
go, so that one may at least keep one's initiative and not fall helplessly under
their domination. But even with this expedient the situation is far from
satisfactory--for what can one hope to accomplish with such servants?
In retreating the superior man is intent on taking his departure willingly and
in all friendliness. He easily adjusts his mind to retreat, because in retreating
he does not have to do violence to his convictions. The only one who suffers
is the inferior man from whom he retreats, who will degenerate when
deprived of the guidance of the superior man.
It is the business of the superior man to recognize in time that the moment
for retreat has come. If the right moment is chosen, the retreat can be carried
out within the forms of perfect friendliness, without the necessity of
disagreeable discussions. Yet, for all the observance of amenities, absolute
firmness of decision is necessary if one is not to be led astray by irrelevant
The situation is unequivocal. Inner detachment has become an established
fact, and we are at liberty to depart. When one sees the way ahead thus
clearly, free of all doubt, a cheerful mood sets in, and one chooses what is
right without further thought. Such a clear path ahead always leads to the
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Try to constrain itself a little; believe, that you only will win from this. At present persistence and persistence will not bring any advantage. This hexagram is very favorable for interesting rest and entertainments; take advantage of this time to consider the plans for the future. However do not hasten to carry out them, the present period of uncertainty yet will not end. Use it for meditation, quiet contemplation and reflection is better.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary