|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.
25. Without Embroiling (wú wàng). Innocence
Do not be afraid to see and understand new things. Do not attempt to measure the new things old methods to transform it to the old way. Trial and error is not the best way to organize life.
Inital text of I Ching
Innocence. Supreme success. Perseverance furthers. If someone is not as he should be, he has misfortune, and it does not further him to undertake anything.
Under heaven thunder rolls:
All things attain the natural state of innocence. Thus the kings of old, rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time, fostered and nourished all beings.
- Innocent behavior brings good fortune.
- If one does not count on the harvest while plowing, nor on the use of the ground while clearing it, it furthers one to undertake something.
- Undeserved misfortune. The cow that was tethered by someone is the wanderer's gain, the citizen's loss.
- He who can be persevering remains without blame.
- Use no medicine in an illness incurred through no fault of your own. It will pass of itself.
- Innocent action brings misfortune. Nothing furthers.
It is time to overcome own misconceptions. It seems that everything was back to normal - life improved, everything is as usual. But in life nothing is 'as before'. Impression is misleading. It is time to choose a new way. Internal self-discipline is needed. Beware of stupid behavior and wild fantasies. Do not miss important things, understand the essence. Otherwise that can cause unexpected disasters, loss (optional lesson). The situation is unfavorable for the action.
Ch'ien, heaven is above; Chên, movement, is below. The lower trigram
Chên is under the influence of the strong line it has received form above,
from heaven. When, in accord with this, movement follows the law of
heaven, man is innocent and without guile. His mind is natural and true,
unshadowed by reflection or ulterior designs. For wherever conscious
purpose is to be seen, there the truth and innocence of nature have been lost.
Nature that is not directed by the spirit is not true but degenerate nature.
Starting out with the idea of the natural, the train of thought in part goes
somewhat further and thus the hexagram includes also the idea of the
fundamental or unexpected.
Man has received from heaven a nature innately good, to guide him in all his
movements. By devotion to this divine spirit within himself, he attains an
unsullied innocence that leads him to do right with instinctive sureness and
without any ulterior thought of reward and personal advantage. This
instinctive certainty brings about supreme success and 'furthers through
perseverance". However, not everything instinctive is nature in this higher
sense of the word, but only that which is right and in accord with the will of
heaven. Without this quality of rightness, an unreflecting, instinctive way of
acting brings only misfortune. Confucius says about this: "He who departs
from innocence, what does he come to? Heaven's will and blessing do not go
with his deeds."
In springtime when thunder, life energy, begins to move again under the
heavens, everything sprouts and grows, and all beings receive for the creative
activity of nature the childlike innocence of their original state. So it is with
the good rulers of mankind: drawing on the spiritual wealth at their
command, they take care of all forms of life and all forms of culture and do
everything to further them, and at the proper time.
The original impulses of the heart are always good, so that we may follow
them confidently, assured of good fortune and achievement of our aims.
We should do every task for its own sake as time and place demand and not
with an eye to the result. Then each task turns out well, and anything we
Sometimes undeserved misfortune befalls a man at the hands of another, as
for instance when someone passes by and takes a tethered cow along with
him. His gain is the owner's loss. In all transactions, no matter how
innocent, we must accommodate ourselves to the demands of the time,
otherwise unexpected misfortune overtakes us.
We cannot lose what really belongs to us, even if we throw it away.
Therefore we need have no anxiety. All that need concern us is that we
should remain true to our own natures and not listen to others.
An unexpected evil may come accidentally from without. If it does not
originate in one's own nature or have a foothold there, one should not resort
to external means to eradicate it, but should quietly let nature take its course.
Then improvement will come of itself.
When, in a given situation, the time is not ripe for further progress, the best
thing to do is to wait quietly, without ulterior designs. If one acts
thoughtlessly and tries to push ahead in opposition to fate, success will not be
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Unity of clearness and simplicity. It will be of use for you if you will put into practice worthy plans worthy means. Time of the maximum activity has not come yet. Be collected a few patiences. Wait, and the destiny will soon smile to you. Sometimes you happen are too anxious by love affairs, it is not necessary to worry, all your desires will be executed in the term.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary