|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.
58. Open (duì). The Joyous
Learn to be happy with an easy mind, not fearing the time when there will be fewer reasons for joy and it will be time to be sad.
Inital text of I Ching
The Joyous. Success. Perseverance is favorable.
Lakes resting one on the other:
The image of the Joyous. Thus the superior man joins with his friends for discussion and practice.
- Contented joyousness. Good fortune.
- Sincere joyousness. Good fortune. Remorse disappears.
- Coming joyousness. Misfortune.
- Joyousness that is weighed is not at peace. After ridding himself of mistakes a man has joy.
- Sincerity toward disintegrating influences is dangerous.
- Seductive joyousness.
Success in many areas related to social activities is possible: a successful and rapid completion of urgent tasks, achievements in creative work, recognition of merit, pleasant meetings. Achieved goal gives a feeling of great joy. Do not miss this feeling; try to enjoy it as much as possible. But beware of euphoria, admiring yourself, loss of self-control. Do not lose your head. Be prepared for the fact that the good times will end soon.
This hexagram, like sun, is one of the eight formed by doubling of a trigram.
The trigram Tui denotes the youngest daughter; it is symbolized by the
smiling lake, and its attribute is joyousness. Contrary to appearances, it is not
the yielding quality of the top line that accounts for joy here. The attribute of
the yielding or dark principle is not joy but melancholy. However, joy is
indicated by the fact that there are two strong lines within, expressing
themselves through the medium of gentleness.
True joy, therefore, rests on firmness and strength within, manifesting itself
outwardly as yielding and gentle.
The joyous mood is infectious and therefore brings success. But joy must be
based on steadfastness if it is not to degenerate into uncontrolled mirth.
Truth and strength must dwell in the heart, while gentleness reveals itself in
social intercourse. In this way one assumes the right attitude toward God and
man and achieves something. Under certain conditions, intimidation
without gentleness may achieve something momentarily, but not for all
time. When, on the other hand, the hearts of men are won by friendliness,
they are led to take all hardships upon themselves willingly, and if need be
will not shun death itself, so great is the power of joy over men.
A lake evaporates upward and thus gradually dries up; but when two lakes
are joined they do not dry up so readily, for one replenishes the other. It is
the same in the field of knowledge. Knowledge should be a refreshing and
vitalizing force. It becomes so only through stimulating intercourse with
congenial friends with whom one holds discussion and practices application
of the truths of life. In this way learning becomes many-sided and takes on a
cheerful lightness, whereas there is always something ponderous and one-
sided about the learning of the self-taught.
A quiet, wordless, self-contained joy, desiring nothing from without and
resting content with everything, remains free of all egotistic likes and dislikes.
In this freedom lies good fortune, because it harbors the quiet security of a
heart fortified within itself.
We often find ourselves associating with inferior people in whose company
we are tempted by pleasures that are inappropriate for the superior man. To
participate in such pleasures would certainly bring remorse, for a superior
man can find no real satisfaction in low pleasures. When, recognizing this, a
man does not permit his will to swerve, so that he does not find such ways
agreeable, not even dubious companions will venture to proffer any base
pleasures, because he would not enjoy them. Thus every cause for regret is
True joy must spring from within. But if one is empty within and wholly
given over to the world, idle pleasures come streaming in from without.
This is what many people welcome as diversion. Those who lack inner
stability and therefore need amusement, will always find opportunity of
indulgence. They attract external pleasures by the emptiness of their natures.
Thus they lose themselves more and more, which of course has bad results.
Often a man finds himself weighing the choice between various kinds of
pleasures, and so long as he has not decided which kind he will choose, the
higher or the lower, he has no inner peace. Only when he clearly recognizes
that passion brings suffering, can he make up his mind to turn away from the
lower pleasures and to strive for the higher. Once this decision is sealed, he
finds true joy and peace, and inner conflict is overcome.
Dangerous elements approach even the far best of men. If a man permits
himself to have anything to do with them, their disintegrating influence acts
slowly but surely, and inevitable brings dangers in its train. But if he
recognizes the situation and can comprehend the danger, he knows how to
protect himself and remains unharmed.
A vain nature invites diverting pleasures and must suffer accordingly (cf. the
six in the third place). If a man is unstable within, the pleasures of the world
that he does not shun have so powerful an influence that he is swept along by
them. Here it is no longer a question of danger, of good fortune or
misfortune. He has given up direction of his own life, and what becomes of
him depends upon chance and external influences.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Already success hurries to you; and your suppressed mood will disappear without a trace. This hexagram concerns everything, that is connected with bodies of speech. Be careful badly to respond about associates, and do not disregard kind advice of the friend. Now very favorable period for everything, as to singing and trade. It is not necessary to be nervous in occasion of that you not in forces to change and correct. Keep calmness; happiness, success already on the approach.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary