|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.
38. Polarising (kuí). Opposition
Strife is always connected with the community. Loneliness is more dangerous than hatred.
Inital text of I Ching
Opposition. In small matters, good fortune.
Above, fire; below, the lake:
The image of Opposition. Thus amid all fellowship the superior man retains his individuality.
- Remorse disappears. If you lose your horse, do not run after it; It will come back of its own accord. When you see evil people, Guard yourself against mistakes.
- One meets his lord in a narrow street. No blame.
- One sees the wagon dragged back, the oxen halted, a man's hair and nose cut off. Not a good beginning, but a good end.
- Isolated through opposition, one meets a like-minded man with whom one can associate in good faith. Despite the danger, no blame.
- Remorse disappears. The companion bites his way through the wrappings. If one goes to him, how could it be a mistake?
- Isolated through opposition, one sees one's companion as a pig covered with dirt, as a wagon full of devils. First one draws a bow against him, then one lays the bow aside. He is not a robber; he will woo at the right time. As one goes, rain falls; then good fortune comes.
There is no clear understanding of what the good is and what harm? Until you understand, you will stagnate or fail. The differences are everywhere: there is no coordinated work; the initial idea contradicts the ultimate goal. There is misunderstanding among the relatives. Junior need advice of senior, otherwise there may be dangerous errors. Intervention of a wise man, head is necessary. Success is possible only in small and insignificant things.
This hexagram is composed of the trigram Li above, i.e., flame, which burns
upward, and Tui below, i.e., the lake, which seeps downward. These two
movements are indirect contrast. Furthermore, LI is the second daughter and
Tui the youngest daughter, and although they live in the same house they
belong to different men; hence their wills are not the same but are
When people live in opposition and estrangement they cannot carry out a
great undertaking in common; their points of view diverge too widely. In
such circumstances one should above all not proceed brusquely, for that
would only increase the existing opposition; instead, one should limit oneself
to producing gradual effects in small matters. Here success can still be
expected, because the situation is such that the opposition does not preclude
In general, opposition appears as an obstruction, but when it represents
polarity within a comprehensive whole, it has also its useful and important
functions. The oppositions of heaven and earth, spirit and nature, man and
woman, when reconciled, bring about the creation and reproduction of life.
In the world of visible things, the principle of opposites makes possible the
differentiation by categories through which order is brought into the world.
The two elements, fire and water, never mingle but even when in contact
retain their own natures. So the sutured man is never led into baseness or
vulgarity through intercourse or community of interests with persons of
another sort; regardless of all commingling, he will always preserve his
Even in times when oppositions prevail, mistakes can be avoided, so that
remorse disappears. When opposition begins to manifest itself, a man must
not try to bring about unity by force, for by so doing he would only achieve
the contrary, just as a horse goes farther and farther away if one runs after it.
It it is one's won horse, one can safely let it go; it will come back of its own
accord. So too when someone who belongs with us is momentarily estranged
because of a misunderstanding, he will return of his own accord if we leave
matters to him. One the other hand, it is well to be cautious when evil men
who do not belong with us force themselves upon us, again as the result of a
misunderstanding. Here the important thing is to avoid mistakes. We must
not try to shake off these evil men by force; this would give rise to real
hostility. We must simply endure them. They will eventually withdraw of
their own accord.
As a result of misunderstandings, it has become impossible for people who by
nature belong together to meet in the correct way. This being so, an accidental
meeting under informal circumstances may serve the purpose, provided
there is an inner affinity between them.
Often it seems tot a man as though everything were conspiring against him.
He sees himself checked and hindered in his progress, insulted and
dishonored. However, he must not let himself be misled; despite this
opposition, he must cleave to the man with whom he knows he belongs.
Thus, notwithstanding the bad beginning, the matter will end well.
If a man finds himself in a company of people from whom he is separated by
an inner opposition, he becomes isolated. But if in such a situation a man
meets someone who fundamentally by the very law of his being, is kin to
him, and whom he can trust completely, he overcomes all the dangers of
isolation. His will achieves its aim, and he becomes free of faults.
Coming upon a sincere man, one fails to recognize him at first because of the
general estrangement. However, he bites his way through the wrappings that
are causing the separation. When such a companion thus reveals himself in
his true character, it is one's duty to go to meet him and to work with him.
Here the isolation is due to misunderstanding; it is brought about not by
outer circumstances but by inner conditions. A man misjudges his best
friends, taking them to be as unclean as a dirty pig in and as dangerous as a
wagon full of devils. He adopts an attitude of defense. But in the end,
realizing his mistake, he lays aside the bow, perceiving that the other is
approaching with the best intentions for the purpose of close union. Thus the
tension is relieved. The union resolves the tension, just as falling rain
relieves the sultriness preceding a thunderstorm. All goes well, for just when
opposition reaches its climax it changes over to its antithesis.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
This hexagram speaks, that now your life is deprived harmony. It seems to you, as if all around carp at you, are set up aggressively. You are deduced from themselves even with the most insignificant events. Take itself in hands, be not nervous, position will soon change. Sympathizing people to you now to find difficultly. A certain woman gets on to you nerves. Supervise the words, acts, and be not accepted for what new. Those events, things which are now in a field of your interests, in practice at all does not correspond to your true desires.
13. Concording People (tóng rén). Fellowship
Agreed actions multiply power of everyone who is involved in them.
Inital text of I Ching
Fellowship with Men in the open. Success. It furthers one to cross the great water. The perseverance of the superior man furthers.
Heaven together with fire:
The image of Fellowship with Men. Thus the superior man organizes the clans and makes distinctions between things.
- Fellowship with men at the gate. No blame.
- Fellowship with men in the clan. Humiliation.
- He hides weapons in the thicket; He climbs the high hill in front of it. For three years he does not rise up.
- He climbs up on his wall; he cannot attack. Good fortune.
- Men bound in fellowship first weep and lament, but afterward they laugh. After great struggles they succeed in meeting.
- Fellowship with men in the meadow. No remorse.
Ahead there are a pure space, wasteland. It is a new stage of development. There are new ideas, new opinions and rethinking. You are moving in the right direction, but it is better not to act alone. It is time to sacrifice personal interests for the sake of public ones. Do not reject help and do not refuse to help others. Take care of loved ones. There is harmony in relationships. Keep the tradition. Control your emotions and behavior – it is not the time to attack and take the fortress by storm. All can be achieved by peaceful means.
The image of the upper trigram Ch'ien is heaven, and that of the lower, Li, is
flame. It is the nature of fire to flame up to the heaven. This gives the idea of
fellowship. IT is the second line that, by virtue of its central character, unites
the five strong lines around it. This hexagram forms a complement to Shih,
THE ARMY. In the latter, danger is within and obedience without--the
character of a warlike army, which, in order to hold together, needs one
strong man among the many who are weak. Here, clarity is within and
strength without--the character of a peaceful union of men, which, in order to
hold together, needs one yielding nature among many firm persons.
True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal.
It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship
among men, but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that
fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails,
even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be
accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a
persevering and enlightened leader is needed--a man with clear, convincing,
and inspiring aims and the strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram
means clarity; the outer, strength.)
Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from
fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and
arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong
together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere
mingling of individuals or of things--that would be chaos, not fellowship. If
fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organization within diversity.
The beginning of union among people should take place before the door. All
are equally close to one another. No divergent aims have yet arisen, and one
makes not mistakes. The basic principles of any kind of union must be
equally accessible to all concerned. Secret agreements bring misfortune.
There is danger here of formation of a separate faction on the basis of
personal and egotistic interests. Such factions, which are exclusive and,
instead of welcoming all men, must condemn one group in order to unite the
others, originate from low motives and therefore lead in the course of time to
Here fellowship has changed about to mistrust. Each man distrusts the other,
plans a secret ambush, and seeks to spy on his fellow form afar. We are
dealing with an obstinate opponent whom we cannot come at by this method.
Obstacles standing in the way of fellowship with others are shown here. One
has mental reservations for one's own part and seeks to take his opponent by
surprise. This very fact makes one mistrustful, suspecting the same wiles in
his opponent and trying to ferret them out. The result is that one departs
further and further from true fellowship. The longer this goes on, the more
alienated one becomes.
Here the reconciliation that follows quarrel mover nearer. It is true that there
are still dividing walls on which we stand confronting one another. But the
difficulties are too great. We get into straits, and this brings us to our senses.
We cannot fight, and therein lies our good fortune.
Two people are outwardly separated, but in their hearts they are united. They
are kept apart by their positions in life. Many difficulties and obstructions
arise between them and cause them grief. But, remaining true to each other,
the allow nothing to separate them, and although it costs them a severe
struggle to overcome the obstacles, they will succeed. When they come
together their sadness will change to joy. Confucius says of this:
Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.
Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
But when two people are at one in the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.
The warm attachment that springs from the heart is lacking here. We are by
this time actually outside of fellowship with others. However, we ally
ourselves with them. The fellowship does not include all, but only those
who happen to dwell near one another. The meadow is the pasture at the
entrance to the town. At this stage, the ultimate goal of the union of
mankind has not yet been attained, but we need not reproach ourselves. We
join the community without separate aims of our own.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You will not get never in the bad company where you have gone. Be not afraid of the high purposes, enter safely struggle; and you will be supported by on whom you and do not count. You stay now in some anxiety and consequently are a little bit confused and are not assured. But has very soon put yours will go on the amendment. Your desire will be executed, if only you seriously enough will concern to the help of seniors offered to you.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary