|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.
29. Gorge (kǎn). The Abysmal Water
Once in the trap of looking out, do not leave attempts to escape, but act wisely, but then rise above the circumstances.
Inital text of I Ching
The Abysmal repeated. If you are sincere, you have success in your heart, and whatever you do succeeds.
Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its goal:
The image of the Abysmal repeated. Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue and carries on the business of teaching.
- Repetition of the Abysmal. In the abyss one falls into a pit. Misfortune.
- The abyss is dangerous. One should strive to attain small things only.
- Forward and backward, abyss on abyss. In danger like this, pause at first and wait, otherwise you will fall into a pit in the abyss. Do not act in this way.
- A jug of wine, a bowl of rice with it; Earthen vessels simply handed in through the window. There is certainly no blame in this.
- The abyss is not filled to overflowing, it is filled only to the rim. No blame.
- Bound with cords and ropes, shut in between thorn-hedged prison walls: For three years one does not find the way. Misfortune.
Time of rest is over, time of truth search begins. Self-discipline, persistence, dedication and presence of mind are necessary. They will help to overcome the inertia, the inertia of views, and pressure of external circumstances. With the inner truth, you will overcome obstacles. Active action is inside; outside - only accept the circumstances.
This hexagram consists of a doubling of the trigram K'an. It is one of the
eight hexagrams in which doubling occurs. The trigram K'an means a
plunging in. A yang line has plunged in between two yin lines and is closed
in by them like water in a ravine. The trigram K'an is also the middle son.
The Receptive has obtained the middle line of the Creative, and thus K'an
develops. As an image it represents water, the water that comes from above
and is in motion on earth in streams and rivers, giving rise to all life on
In man's world K'an represents the heart, the soul locked up within the
body, the principle of light inclosed in the dark--that is, reason. The name of
the hexagram, because the trigram is doubled, has the additional meaning,
"repetition of danger." Thus the hexagram is intended to designate an
objective situation to which one must become accustomed, not a subjective
attitude. For danger due to a subjective attitude means either foolhardiness
or guile. Hence too a ravine is used to symbolize danger; it is a situation in
which a man is in the same pass as the water in a ravine, and, like the water,
he can escape if he behaves correctly.
Through repetition of danger we grow accustomed to it. Water sets the
example for the right conduct under such circumstances. It flows on and on,
and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink
from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose
its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions. Thus
likewise, if one is sincere when confronted with difficulties, the heart can
penetrate the meaning of the situation. And once we have gained inner
mastery of a problem, it will come about naturally that the action we take will
succeed. In danger all that counts is really carrying out all that has to be done-
-thoroughness--and going forward, in order not to perish through tarrying in
Properly used, danger can have an important meaning as a protective
measure. Thus heaven has its perilous height protecting it against every
attempt at invasion, and earth has its mountains and bodies of water,
separating countries by their dangers. Thus also rulers make use of danger to
protect themselves against attacks from without and against turmoil within.
Water reaches its goal by flowing continually. It fills up every depression
before it flows on. The superior man follows its example; he is concerned
that goodness should be an established attribute of character rather than an
accidental and isolated occurrence. So likewise in teaching others everything
depends on consistency, for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes
the material his own.
By growing used to what is dangerous, a man can easily allow it to become
part of him. He is familiar with it and grows used to evil. With this he has
lost the right way, and misfortune is the natural result.
When we are in danger we ought not to attempt to get out of it immediately,
regardless of circumstances; at first we must content ourselves with not being
overcome by it. We must calmly weigh the conditions of the time and by
satisfied with small gains, because for the time being a great success cannot be
attained. A spring flows only sparingly at first, and tarries for some time
before it makes its way in to the open.
Here every step, forward or backward, leads into danger. Escape is out of the
question. Therefore we must not be misled into action, as a result of which
we should only bog down deeper in the danger; disagreeable as it may be to
remain in such a situation, we must wait until a way out shows itself.
In times of danger ceremonious forms are dropped. What matters most is
sincerity. Although as a rule it is customary for an official to present certain
introductory gifts and recommendations before he is appointed, here
everything is simplified to the utmost. The gifts are insignificant, there is no
one to sponsor him, he introduces himself; yet all this need not be
humiliating if only there is the honest intention of mutual help in danger.
Still another idea is suggested. The window is the place through which light
enters the room. If in difficult times we want to enlighten someone, we must
begin with that which is in itself lucid and proceed quite simply from that
Danger comes because one is too ambitious. In order to flow out of a ravine,
water does not rise higher than the lowest point of the rim. So likewise a
man when in danger has only to proceed along the line of least resistance;
thus he reaches the goal. Great labors cannot be accomplished in such times; it
is enough to get out of the danger.
A man who in the extremity of danger has lost the right way and is
irremediably entangled in his sins has no prospect of escape. He is like a
criminal who sits shackled behind thorn hedged prison walls.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Do not lose courage, but it is one of four worst combinations. In your life there has come time of losses and defeats. The only thing that it is possible to make,-it to reduce up to a probable minimum number of strokes of bad luck. Have patience and wait, while the goddess of happiness again will award you of the sight. Through two, the greatest - in five months position will start to change for the better. For now you have enough time to occupy in scientific researches, reading, simply homework, which usually enough. Be not nervous, and keep calmness. It is the period when introspection and a sober estimation of position is much more important, than desperate struggle against destiny.
37. Dwelling People (jiā rén). The Family
Home improvement is the basis for the establishment of order in the world.
Inital text of I Ching
The Family. The perseverance of the woman furthers.
Wind comes forth from fire:
The image of the Family. Thus the superior man has substance in his words and duration in his way of life.
- Firm seclusion within the family. Remorse disappears.
- She should not follow her whims. She must attend within to the food. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- When tempers flare up in the family, too great severity brings remorse. Good fortune nonetheless. When woman and child dally and laugh, it leads in the end to humiliation.
- She is the treasure of the house. Great good fortune.
- As a king he approaches his family. Fear not. Good fortune.
- His work commands respect. In the end good fortune comes.
It is time to leave great things and put things in order at home. Family problems are to be overcome as soon as possible, until the wind blew the fire of hearth. Protect your property. Keep the traditions of family. It is favorable time for the larger family - marriage, birth of offspring.
The hexagram represents the laws obtaining within the family. The strong
line at the top represents the father, the lowest the son. The strong line in the
fifth place represents the husband, the yielding second line the wife. On the
other hand, the two strong lines in the fifth and the third place represent two
brothers, and the two weak lines correlated with them in the fourth and the
second place stand for their respective wives. Thus all the connections and
relationships within the family find their appropriate expression. Each
individual line has the character according with its place. The fact that a
strong line occupies the sixth place-where a weak line might be expected-
indicates very clearly the strong leadership that must come from the head of
the family. The line is to be considered here not in its quality as the sixth but
in its quality as the top line. THE FAMILY shows the laws operative within
the household that, transferred to outside life, keep the state and the world in
order. The influence that goes out from within the family is represented by
the symbol of the wind created by fire.
The foundation of the family is the relationship between husband and wife.
The tie that hold the family together lies in the loyalty and perseverance of
the wife. The tie that holds the family together lies in the loyalty and
perseverance of the wife. Her place is within (second line), while that of the
husband is without (fifth line). It is in accord with the great laws of nature
that husband and wife take their proper places. Within the family a strong
authority is needed; this is represented by the parents. If the father is really a
father and the son a son, if the elder brother fulfills his position, and the
younger fulfills his, if the husband is really a husband and the wife a wife,
then the family is in order. When the family is in order, all the social
relationships of mankind will be in order.
Three of the five social relationships are to be found within the family-that
between father and son, which is the relation of love, that between the
husband and wife, which is the relation of chaste conduct, and that between
elder and younger brother, which is the relation of correctness. The loving
reverence of the son is then carried over to the prince in the form of
faithfulness to duty; the affection and correctness of behavior existing
between the two brothers are extended to a friend in the form of loyalty, and
to a person of superior rank in the form of deference. The family is society in
the embryo; it is the native soil on which performance of moral duty is made
early through natural affection, so that within a small circle a basis of moral
practice is created, and this is later widened to include human relationships
Heat creates energy: this is signified by the wind stirred up by the fire and
issuing forth form it. This represents influence working from within
outward. The same thing is needed in the regulation of the family. Here too
the influence on others must proceed form one's own person. In order to be
capable of producing such an influence, one's words must have power, and
this they can have only if they are based on something real, just as flame
depends on its fuel Words have influence only when they are pertinent and
clearly related to definite circumstances. General discourses and admonitions
have no effect whatsoever. Furthermore, the words must be supported by
one's entire conduct, just as the wind is made effective by am impression on
others that they can adapt and conform to it. If words and conduct are not in
accord and consistent, they will have no effect.
The family must form a well-defined unit within which each member knows
his place. From the beginning each child must be accustomed to firmly
established rules of order, before ever its will is directed to other things. If we
begin too late to enforce order, when the will of the child has already been
overindulged, the whims and passions, grown stronger with the years, offer
resistance and give cause for remorse. If we insist on order from the outset,
occasions for remorse may arise-in general social life these are unavoidable-
but the remorse always disappears again, and everything rights itself. For
there is nothing easily avoided and more difficult to carry through than
"breaking a child's will."
The wife must always be guided by the will of the master of the house, be he
father, husband, or grown son. There, without having to look for them, she
has great and important duties. She must attend to the nourishment of her
family and to the food for the sacrifice. IN this way she becomes the center of
the social and religious life of the family, and her perseverance in this
position brings good fortune to the whole house.
In relation to general conditions, the counsel here is to seek nothing by
means of force, but quietly to confine oneself to the duties at hand.
In the family the proper mean between severity and indulgence ought to
prevail. Too great severity toward one's own flesh and blood leads to
remorse. The wise thing is to build strong dikes within which complete
freedom of movement is allowed each individual. But in doubtful instances
too great severity, despite occasional mistakes, is preferable, because it
preserves discipline in the family, whereas too great weakness leads to
It is upon the woman of the house that the well-being of the family depends.
Well-being prevails when expenditures and income are soundly balanced.
This leads to great good fortune. In the sphere of public life, this line refers to
the faithful steward whose measures further the general welfare.
A king is the symbol of a fatherly man who is richly endowed in mind. He
does nothing to make himself feared; on the contrary, the whole family can
trust him, because love governs their intercourse. His character of itself
exercises the right influence.
In the last analysis, order within the family depends on the character of the
master of the house. If he cultivates his personality so that it works
impressively through the force of inner truth, all goes well with the family.
In a ruling position one must of his own accord assume responsibility.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Success and success wait for you there where your soul aspires. Your hopes will come true, but not without assistance. Do not make a mistake, do not leave now the territory, differently it becomes very fast to you clearly, that it could not be done. Search for calm and the world in the home life, in house affairs, in dialogue with friends.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary