|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.
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.
16. Providing-For (yù). Enthusiasm
If time and circumstances favor you, do not create difficulties artificially. Be able to comply with the measure, even in joy.
Inital text of I Ching
Enthusiasm. It furthers one to install helpers and to set armies marching.
Thunder comes resounding out of the earth:
The image of Enthusiasm. Thus the ancient kings made music in order to honor merit, and offered it with splendor to the Supreme Deity, inviting their ancestors to be present.
- Enthusiasm that expresses itself Brings misfortune.
- Firm as a rock. Not a whole day. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- Enthusiasm that looks upward creates remorse. Hesitation brings remorse.
- The source of enthusiasm. He achieves great things. Doubt not. You gather friends around you as a hair clasp gathers the hair.
- Persistently ill, and still does not die.
- Deluded enthusiasm. But if after completion one changes, there is no blame.
It is start of a new cycle of development. It is time of activity, creativity, willingness to act due to free rush instead of pressure of circumstances. A feeling of joy is everywhere. Learn how to curb you in order to freedom does not become a tyranny; otherwise it will give rise to chaos. Be honest, kind, fair and do not indulge pride. Move to a clear road; do not go in all directions at once. Do not hurry time. Enjoying your life, remember moderation.
The strong line in the fourth place, that of the leading official, meets with
response and obedience from all the other lines, which are all weak. The
attribute of the upper trigram, Chên, is movement; the attributes of K'un, the
lower, are obedience and devotion. This begins a movement that meets with
devotion and therefore inspires enthusiasm, carrying all with it. Of great
importance, furthermore, is the law of movement along the line of least
resistance, which in this hexagram is enunciated as the law for natural events
and for human life.
The time of ENTHUSIASM derives from the fact that there is at hand an
eminent man who is in sympathy with the spirit of the people and acts in
accord with it. Hence he finds universal and willing obedience. To arouse
enthusiasm it is necessary for a man to adjust himself and his ordinances to
the character of those whom he has to lead. The inviolability of natural laws
rests on this principle of movement along the line of least resistance. Theses
laws are not forces external to things but represent the harmony of
movement immanent in them. That is why the celestial bodies do not
deviate from their orbits and why all events in nature occur with fixed
regularity. It is the same with human society: only such laws are rooted in
popular sentiment can be enforced, while laws violating this sentiment
merely arouse resentment.
Again, it is enthusiasm that enables us to install helpers for the completion
of an undertaking without fear of secret opposition. It is enthusiasm too that
can unify mass movements, as in war, so that they achieve victory.
When, at the beginning of summer, thunder - electrical energy - comes
rushing forth from the earth again, and the first thunderstorm refreshes
nature, a prolonged state of tension is resolved. Joy and relief make
themselves felt. So too, music has power to ease tension within the heart and
to loosen the grip of obscure emotions. The enthusiasm of the heart
expresses itself involuntarily in a burst of song, in dance and rhythmic
movement of the body. From immemorial times the inspiring effect of the
invisible sound that moves all hearts, and draws them together, has mystified
Rulers have made use of this natural taste for music; they elevated and
regulated it. Music was looked upon as something serious and holy, designed
to purify the feelings of men. It fell to music to glorify the virtues of heroes
and thus to construct a bridge to the world of the unseen. In the temple men
drew near to God with music and pantomimes (out of this later the theater
developed). Religious feeling for the Creator of the world was united with
the most sacred of human feelings, that of reverence for the ancestors. The
ancestors were invited to these divine services as guests of the Ruler of
Heaven and as representatives of humanity in the higher regions. This
uniting of the human past with the Divinity in solemn moments of
religious inspiration established the bond between God and man. The ruler
who revered the Divinity in revering his ancestors became thereby the Son of
Heaven, in whom the heavenly and the earthly world met in mystical
These ideas are the final summation of Chinese culture. Confucius has said
of the great sacrifice at which these rites were performed: "He who could
wholly comprehend this sacrifice could rule the world as though it were
spinning on his hand."
A man in an inferior position has aristocratic connections about which he
boasts enthusiastically. This arrogance inevitably invites misfortune.
Enthusiasm should never be an egotistic emotion; it is justified only when it
is a general feeling that unites one with others.
This describes a person who does not allow himself to be misled by any
illusions. While others are letting themselves be dazzled by enthusiasm, he
recognizes with perfect clarity the first signs of the time. Thus he neither
flatters those above nor neglects those beneath him; he is as firm as a rock.
When the first sign of discord appears, he knows the right moment for
withdrawing and does not delay even for a day. Perseverance in such conduct
will bring good fortune. Confucius says about this line:
To know the seeds, that is divine indeed. In his association with those above
him, the superior man does not flatter. In his association with those beneath
him, he is not arrogant. For he knows the seeds. The seeds are the first
imperceptible beginning of movement, the first trace of good fortune (or
misfortune) that shows itself. The superior man perceives the seeds and
immediately takes actin. He does not wait even a whole day. In the Book of
Changes it is said: "Firm as a rock. Not a whole day. Perseverance brings
This line is the opposite of the preceding one: the latter bespeaks self-reliance,
while here there is enthusiastic looking up to a leader. If a man hesitates too
long, this also will bring remorse. The right moment for approach must be
seized: only then will he do the right thing.
This describes a man who is able to awaken enthusiasm through his own
sureness and freedom from hesitation. He attracts people because he has no
doubts and is wholly sincere. Owing to his confidence in them he wins their
enthusiastic co-operation and attains success. Just as a clasp draws the hair
together and hold it, so he draws man together by the support he gives them.
Here enthusiasm is obstructed. A man is under constant pressure, which
prevents him from breathing freely. However, this pressure has its
advantage--it prevents him from consuming his powers in empty
enthusiasm. Thus constant pressure can actually serve to keep one alive.
It is a bad thing for a man to let himself be deluded by enthusiasm. But if this
delusion has run its course, and he is still capable of changing, then he is
freed of error. A sober awakening from false enthusiasm is quite possible and
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Your sun already ascends; as long you waited success, and here now it is absolutely close. Now time has to different hobbies - do not take a great interest in them without a measure. The success will soon come to you; be ready to it. And in realization of your plans, and even in game you will be accompanied with success. In any way it is impossible to be petty and mercantile, going on a way of success. But also it is not necessary to spend more that receive. Wait a little - and your desires will be executed.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary