24. Returning (fù). Return
Disasters come from outside, but adversity is the result of our own efforts, we must distinguish both. Often people themselves do their time good or bad.
Inital text of I Ching
Return. Success. Going out and coming in without error. Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
Thunder within the earth:
The image of the Turning Point. Thus the kings of antiquity closed the passes at the time of solstice. Merchants and strangers did not go about, and the ruler did not travel through the provinces.
- Return from a short distance. No need for remorse. Great good fortune.
- Quiet return. Good fortune.
- Repeated return. Danger. No blame.
- Walking in the midst of others, One returns alone.
- Noblehearted return. No remorse.
- Missing the return. Misfortune. Misfortune from within and without. If armies are set marching in this way, one will in the end suffer a great defeat, disastrous for the ruler of the country. For ten years it will not be possible to attack again.
Everything returns to normal. But now it is just the beginning. The darkness recedes gradually, as day comes after the winter solstice. Events unfold in the months that number is a multiple of seven. Do not build too bold plans. Do not complain of delay: downtime is the best time for spiritual quests.
The idea of a turning point arises from the fact that after the dark lines have
pushed all of the light lines upward and out of the hexagram, another light
line enters the hexagram from below. The time of darkness is past. The
winter solstice brings the victory of light. This hexagram is linked with the
eleventh month, the month of the solstice (December-January).
After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has
been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by
force. The upper trigram K'un is characterized by devotion; thus the
movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the
transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is
introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results.
Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these
groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the
time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made.
The idea of RETURN is based on the course of nature. The movement is
cyclic, and the course completes itself. Therefore it is not necessary to hasten
anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time. This is
the meaning of heaven and earth.
All movements are accomplished in six stages, and the seventh brings
return. Thus the winter solstice, with which the decline of the year begins,
comes in the seventh month after the summer solstice; so too sunrise comes
in the seventh double hour after sunset. Therefore seven is the number of
the young light, and it arises when six, the number of the great darkness, is
increased by one. In this way the state of rest gives place to movement.
The winter solstice has always been celebrated in China as the resting time of
the year--a custom that survives in the time of rest observed at the new year.
In winter the life energy, symbolized by thunder, the Arousing, is still
underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be
strengthened by rest so that it will not be dissipated by being used
prematurely. This principle, i.e., of allowing energy that is renewing itself to
be reinforced by rest, applies to all similar situations. The return of health
after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement: everything
must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return
may lead to a flowering.
Slight digressions from the good cannot be avoided, but one must turn back
in time, before going too far. This is especially important in the development
of character; every faintly evil thought must be put aside immediately, before
it goes too far and takes root in the mind. Then there is no cause for remorse,
and all goes well.
Return always calls for a decision and is an act of self-mastery. It is made
easier if a man is in good company. If he can bring himself to put aside pride
and follow the example of good men, good fortune results.
There are people of a certain inner instability who feel a constant urge to
reverse themselves. There is danger in continually deserting the good
because of uncontrolled desires, then turning back to it again because of a
better resolution. However, since this does not lead to habituation in evil, a
general inclination to overcome the defect is not wholly excluded/
A man is in a society composed of inferior people, but is connected spiritually
with a strong and good friend, and this makes him turn back alone.
Although nothing is said of reward and punishment, this return is certainly
favorable, for such a resolve to choose the good brings its own reward.
When the time for return has come, a man should not take shelter in trivial
excuses, but should look within and examine himself. And if he has done
something wrong he should make a noblehearted resolve to confess his fault.
No one will regret having taken this road.
If a man misses the right time for return, he meets with misfortune. The
misfortune has its inner cause in a wrong attitude toward the world. The
misfortune coming upon him for without results from this wrong attitude.
What is pictured here is blind obstinacy and the judgment that is visited
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You are upset now because consider, that have absolutely got confused. But all this not so is difficult for overcoming, as it seems to you, show only patience. And solving there will be for you some quite certain term - seven days, either seven weeks, or seven months. You really are before main recesses in destiny. It is a little patience - and all is formed. Try to save also a few money. It is useful to you.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary