|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.
32. Persevering (héng). Duration
Constancy is not the same as immobility. It consists of a set of gradual changes. Immobility leads to stagnation and destruction.
Inital text of I Ching
Duration. Success. No blame. Perseverance furthers. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
Thunder and wind: the image of Duration. Thus the superior man stands firm and does not change his direction.
- Seeking duration too hastily brings misfortune persistently. Nothing that would further.
- Remorse disappears.
- He who does not give duration to his character meets with disgrace. Persistent humiliation.
- No game in the field.
- Giving duration to one's character through perseverance. This is good fortune for a woman, misfortune for a man.
- Restlessness as an enduring condition brings misfortune.
Wanting to achieve the goal, be guided by the law of constancy. Be true to yourself, your business and duty. Look for new solutions, gain experience. Work hard in alliance with like-minded people. Listen to the opinions of wise people and do not reject what at first seems wrong. Go slowly - the way to truth is not short. Do not be afraid of difficulties – something that is too easily given, is little appreciated. Think whether you occupy your place. If the position burdens you, then change it.
The strong trigram Chên is above, the weak trigram Sun below. This
hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one. In the latter we have influence,
here we have union as an enduring condition. The two images are thunder
and wind, which are likewise constantly paired phenomena. The lower
trigram indicates gentleness within; the upper, movement without.
In the sphere of social relationships, the hexagram represents the institution
of marriage as the enduring union of the sexes. During courtship the young
man subordinates himself to the girl, but in marriage, which is represented by
the coming together of the eldest son and the eldest daughter, the husband is
the directing and moving force outside, while the wife, inside, is gentle and
Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is
not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self-
contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly
integrated whole, taking place in accordance with immutable laws and
beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward
movement, by inhalation, systole, contraction, and this movement turns into
a new beginning, in which the movement is directed outward, in exhalation,
Heavenly bodies exemplify duration. They move in their fixed orbits, and
because of this their light-giving power endures. The seasons of the year
follow a fixed law of change and transformation, hence can produce effects
So likewise the dedicated man embodies an enduring meaning in his way
of life, and thereby the world is formed. In that which gives things their
duration, we can come to understand the nature of all beings in heaven and
Thunder rolls, and the wind blows; both are examples of extreme mobility
and so are seemingly the very opposite of duration, but the laws governing
their appearance and subsidence, their coming and going, endure. In the same
way the independence of the superior man is not based on rigidity and
immobility of character. He always keeps abreast of the time and changes
with it. What endures is the unswerving directive, the inner law of his
being, which determines all his actions.
Whatever endures can be created only gradually by long-continued work and
careful reflection. In the same sense Lao-tse says: "If we wish to compress
something, we must first let it fully expand." He who demands too much at
once is acting precipitately, and because he attempts too much, he ends by
succeeding in nothing.
The situation is abnormal. A man's force of character is greater than the
available material power. Thus he might be afraid of allowing himself to
attempt something beyond his strength. However, since it is the time of
DURATION, it is possible for him to control his inner strength and so to
avoid excess. Cause for remorse then disappears.
If a man remains at the mercy of moods of hope or fear aroused by the outer
world, he loses his inner consistency of character. Such inconsistency
invariably leads to distressing experiences. These humiliations often come
from an unforeseen quarter. Such experiences are not merely effects
produced by the external world, but logical consequences evoked by his own
If we are in pursuit of game and want to get a shot at a quarry, we must set
about it in the right way. A man who persists in stalking game in a place
where there is none may wait forever without finding any. Persistence in
search is not enough. What is not sought in the right way is not found.
A woman should follow a man her whole life long, but a man should at all
times hold to what is his duty at the given moment. Should he persistently
seek to conform to the woman, it would be a mistake for him. Accordingly it
is altogether right for a woman to hold conservatively to tradition, but a man
must always be flexible and adaptable and allow himself to be guided solely by
what his duty requires of him at the moment.
There are people who live in a state of perpetual hurry without ever attaining
inner composure. Restlessness not only prevents all thoroughness but actually
becomes a danger if it is dominant in places of authority.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
It is not necessary to pursue two hares at once, being literally broken off on a part. keep endurance, and all to come to the end successfully for you. Be patient - and your desire will be executed. Try to understand the intentions and plans for the future properly now. However for new undertakings the moment not too suitable.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary