|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.
61. Centre Confirming (zhōng fú). Inner Truth
Grain of faith moves mountains and work wonders. Act in accordance with your beliefs and do not palter with truth.
Inital text of I Ching
Inner Truth. Pigs and fishes. Good fortune. It furthers one to cross the great water. Perseverance furthers.
Wind over lake:
The image of Inner Truth. Thus the superior man discusses criminal cases in order to delay executions.
- Being prepared brings good fortune. If there are secret designs, it is disquieting.
- A crane calling in the shade. Its young answers it. I have a good goblet. I will share it with you.
- He finds a comrade. Now he beats the drum, now he stops. Now he sobs, now he sings.
- The moon nearly at the full. The team horse goes astray. No blame.
- He possesses truth, which links together. No blame.
- Cockcrow penetrating to heaven. Perseverance brings misfortune.
It is time of action based on the need of your heart. Self-control leads to success of even those who have limited opportunities and capabilities. Something started not very well will results in good. «Somebody who cries will sing» (Happy ending of lawsuit is possible). If acting contrary to internal truth, the opposite will happen. «Who sings will cry». Unpleasant events are possible but not significant.
The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the water. Thus visible
effects of the invisible manifest themselves. The hexagram consists of firm
lines above and below, while it is open in the center. This indicates a heart
free of prejudices and therefore open to truth. On the other hand, each of the
two trigrams has a firm line in the middle; this indicates the force of inner
truth in the influences they present.
The attributes of the two trigrams are: above, gentleness, forbearance
toward inferiors; below, joyousness in obeying superiors. Such conditions
create the basis of a mutual confidence that makes achievements possible.
The character of fu ("truth") is actually the picture of a bird's foot over a
fledgling. It suggests the idea of brooding. An egg is hollow. The light-giving
power must work to quicken it from outside, but there must be a germ of life
within, if life is to be awakened. Far-reaching speculations can be linked with
Pigs and fishes are the least intelligent of all animals and therefore the most
difficult to influence. The force of inner truth must grow great indeed before
its influence can extend to such creatures. In dealing with persons as
intractable and as difficult to influence as a pig or a fish, the whole secret of
success depends on finding the right way of approach. One must first rid
oneself of all prejudice and, so to speak, let the psyche of the other person act
on one without restraint. Then one will establish contact with him,
understand and gain power over him. When a door has thus been opened,
the force of one's personality will influence him. If in this way one finds no
obstacles insurmountable, one can undertake even the most dangerous
things, such as crossing the great water, and succeed.
But it is important to understand upon what the force inner truth depends.
This force is not identical with simple intimacy or a secret bond. Close ties
may exist also among thieves; it is true that such a bond acts as a force but,
since it is not invincible, it does not bring good fortune. All association on
the basis of common interests holds only up to a certain point. Where the
community of interest ceases, the holding together ceases also, and the closest
friendship often changes into hate. Only when the bond is based on what is
right, on steadfastness, will it remain so firm that it triumphs over
Wind stirs water by penetrating it. Thus the superior man, when obliged to
judge the mistakes of men, tries to penetrate their minds with understanding,
in order to gain a sympathetic appreciation of the circumstances. In ancient
China, the entire administration of justice was guided by this principle. A
deep understanding that knows how to pardon was considered the highest
form of justice. This system was not without success, for its aim was to make
so strong a moral impression that there was no reason to fear abuse of such
mildness. For it sprang not from weakness but from a superior clarity.
The force of inner truth depends chiefly on inner stability and preparedness.
From this state of mind springs the correct attitude toward the outer world.
But if a man should try to cultivate secret relationships of a special sort, it
would deprive him of his inner independence. The more reliance he places
on the support of others, the more uneasy and anxious he will become as to
whether these secret ties are really tenable. In this way inner peace and the
force of inner truth are lost.
This refers to the involuntary influence of a man's inner being upon persons
of kindred spirit. The crane need not show itself on a high hill. It may be
quite hidden when it sounds its call; yet its young will hear its not, will
recognize it and give answer. Where there is a joyous mood, there a comrade
will appear to share a glass of wine.
This is the echo awakened in men through spiritual attraction. Whenever
a feeling is voiced with truth and frankness, whenever a deed is the clear
expression of sentiment, a mysterious and far-reaching influence is exerted.
At first it acts on those who are inwardly receptive. But the circle grows larger
and larger. The root of all influence lies in one's own inner being: given true
and vigorous expression in word and deed, its effect is great. The effect is but
the reflection of something that emanates from one's own heart. Any
deliberate intention of an effect would only destroy the possibility of
producing it. Confucius says about this line:
The superior man abides in his room. If his words are well spoken, he meets
with assent at a distance of more than a thousand miles. How much more
then from near by! If the superior man abides in his room and his words are
not well spoken, he meets with contradiction at a distance of more than a
thousand miles. How much more then from near by! Words go forth from
one's own person and exert their influence on men. Deeds are born close at
hand and become visible far away. Words and deeds are the hinge and
bowspring of the superior man. As hinge and bowspring move, they bring
honor or disgrace. Through words and deeds the superior man moves
heaven and earth . Must one not, then, be cautious?
Here the source of a man's strength lies not in himself but in his relation to
other people. No matter how close to them he may be, if his center of gravity
depends on them, he is inevitably tossed to and fro between joy and sorrow.
Rejoicing to high heaven, then sad unto death-this is the fate of those who
depend upon an inner accord with other persons whom they love. Here we
have only the statement of the law that this is so. Whether this condition is
felt to be an affliction of the supreme happiness of love, is left to the
subjective verdict of the person concerned.
To intensify the power of inner truth, a man must always turn to his
superior, from whom he can receive enlightenment as the moon receives
light form the sun. However, this requires a certain humility, like that of the
moon when it is not yet quite full. At the moment when the moon becomes
full and stands directly opposite the sun, it begins to wane. Just as on the one
hand we must be humble and reverent when face to face with the source of
enlightenment, so likewise must we on the other renounce factionalism
among men. Only be pursuing one's course like a horse that goes straight
ahead without looking sidewise at its mate, can one retain the inner freedom
that helps one onward.
This describes the ruler who holds all elements together by the power of his
personality. Only when the strength of his character is so ample that he can
influence all who are subject to him, is he as he needs to be. The power of
suggestion must emanate from the ruler. It will firmly knit together and
unite all his adherents. Without this central force, all external unity is only
deception and breaks down at the decisive moment.
The cock is dependable. It crows at dawn. But it cannot itself fly to heaven. It
just crows. A man may count on mere words to awaken faith. This may
succeed now and then, but if persisted in, it will have bad consequences.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Now it is necessary for you to work in cooperation with others but in any way to one. You are inclined to overestimate the mental faculties; be careful of it, differently can become simply unrestrained and haughty arrogent man. And it can prevent to realization of your plans. Try to be more modest. Your desires will be executed only in the event that they are reasonable and fair. In the near future your opportunities and abilities on advantage will be estimated by the heads; it very much will assist you to promote on a way of success.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary