|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.
60. Articulating (jié). Limitation
Enjoy and be sad moderately. Nothing lasts forever, everything has its limit.
Inital text of I Ching
Limitation. Success. Galling limitation must not be persevered in.
Water over lake:
The image of Limitation. Thus the superior man creates number and measure, and examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct.
- Not going out of the door and the courtyard is without blame.
- Not going out of the gate and the courtyard brings misfortune.
- He who knows no limitation will have cause to lament. No blame.
- Contented limitation. Success.
- Sweet limitation brings good fortune. Going brings esteem.
- Galling limitation. Perseverance brings misfortune. Remorse disappears.
Act consciously – weighting your needs and opportunities, ambitions and capabilities. On the whole everything is ok; life gives reason for joy but moderate, disappointments are possible, but the sadness will not be immense. Started business will end successfully.
A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it
overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows
water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit.
The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a
bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed
limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed
limits that the superior man sets upon his actions-the limits of loyalty and
Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. If we live economically
in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us
from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of
world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter,
day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way,
economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property
and prevent injury to the people.
But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to
impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And
if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel.
Therefore it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation.
A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only
a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In
human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination
and the setting of limits. Therefore what concerns us here is the problem of
clearly defining these discriminations, which are, so to speak, the backbone of
morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life
would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man's life needs
the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. The individual
attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these
limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is.
Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself
confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know where to
stop. If he rightly understands this and does not go beyond the limits set for
him, he accumulates an energy that enables him, when the proper time
comes, to act with great force. Discretion is of prime importance in preparing
the way for momentous things. Concerning this, Confucius says:
Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet,
he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet he loses his life. If
germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is
impeded. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain silence and does
not go forth.
When the time for action has come, the moment must be quickly seized. Just
as water first collects in a lake without flowing out, yet is certain to find an
outlet when the lake is full, so it is in the life of man. It is a good thing to
hesitate so long as the time for action has not come, but no longer. Once the
obstacles to action have been removed, anxious hesitation is a mistake that is
bound to bring disaster, because one misses one's opportunity.
If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to
lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to
extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying
regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize
that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences
free us of errors.
Every limitation has its value, but a limitation that requires persistent effort
entails a cost of too much energy. When, however, the limitation is a natural
one (as for example, the limitation by which water flows only downhill), it
necessarily leads to success, for then it means a saving of energy. The energy
that otherwise would be consumed in a vain struggle with the object, is
applied wholly to the benefit of the matter in hand, and success is assured.
The limitation must be carried out in the right way if it is to be effective. If we
seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves,
these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance. If,
however, a man in a leading position applies the limitation first to himself,
demanding little from those associated with him, and with modest means
manages to achieve something, good fortune is the result. Where such an
example occurs, it meets with emulation, so that whatever is undertaken
If one is too severe in setting up restrictions, people will not endure them.
The more consistent such severity, the worse it is, for in the long run a
reaction is unavoidable. In the same way, the tormented body will rebel
against excessive asceticism. On the other hand, although ruthless severity is
not to be applied persistently and systematically, there may be times when it is
the only means of safeguarding against guilt and remorse. In such situations
ruthlessness toward oneself is the only means of saving one's soul, which
otherwise would succumb to irresolution and temptation.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Time of active actions has come. But remember: all efforts can ruin, if you will not be provident enough. To you a certain offer will be shortly made; do not hasten to accept it. Very much can be, that it at all so is attractive, as it seems at first sight. The same concerns and to your love and friendly connections. Real and reasonable your desires will be executed. This time does not approach for distant travel and trips. Also do not forget a proverb - do not dig to another a hole, itself in it you will get.