|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.
27. Swallowing (yí). Mouth Corners
There is no life without food, but from overly abundant meal more harm than good. This is true both for the physical and spiritual sides of life.
Inital text of I Ching
The Corners of the Mouth. Perseverance brings good fortune. Pay heed to the providing of nourishment and to what a man seeks to fill his own mouth with.
At the foot of the mountain, thunder:
The image of Providing Nourishment. Thus the superior man is careful of his words and temperate in eating and drinking.
- You let your magic tortoise go, and look at me with the corners of your mouth drooping. Misfortune.
- Turning to the summit for nourishment, deviating from the path to seek nourishment from the hill. Continuing to do this brings misfortune.
- Turning away from nourishment. Perseverance brings misfortune. Do not act thus for ten years. Nothing serves to further.
- Turning to the summit for provision of nourishment brings good fortune. Spying about with sharp eyes like a tiger with insatiable craving. No blame.
- Turning away from the path. To remain persevering brings good fortune. One should not cross the great water.
- The source of nourishment. Awareness of danger brings good fortune. It furthers one to cross the great water.
Be persistent to happiness. Observe moderation in all things - greed and excess are harmful to everyone. Pay attention to the material, but not at the expense of the spiritual. Do not rely on help from outside; you will have to work at your own risk. Do not try to pick your teeth or bite off more than you can chew.
This hexagram is a picture of an open mouth; above and below are firm lines
of the lips, and between them the opening. Starting with the mouth, through
which we take food for nourishment, the thought leads to nourishment
itself. Nourishment of oneself, specifically of the body, is represented in the
three lower lines, while the three upper lines represent nourishment and
care of others, in a higher, spiritual sense.
In bestowing care and nourishment, it is important that the right people
should be taken care of and that we should attend to our own nourishment
in the right way. If we wish to know what anyone is like, we have only to
observe on whom he bestows his care and what sides of his own nature he
cultivates and nourishes. Nature nourishes all creatures. The great man
fosters and takes care of superior men, in order to take care of all men
through them. Mencius says about this:
If we wish to know whether anyone is superior or not, we need only observe
what part of his being he regards as especially important. The body has
superior and inferior, important and unimportant parts. We must not injure
important parts for the sake of the unimportant, nor must we injure the
superior parts for the sake of the inferior. He who cultivates the inferior parts
of his nature is an inferior man. He who cultivates the superior parts of his
nature is a superior man.
"God comes forth in the sign of the Arousing": when in the spring the life
forces stir again, all things comes into being anew. "He brings to perfection in
the sign of Keeping Still": thus in the early spring, when the seeds fall to
earth, all things are made ready. This is an image of providing nourishment
through movement and tranquillity. The superior man takes it as a pattern
for the nourishment and cultivation of his character. Words are a movement
going form within outward. Eating and drinking are movements from
without inward. Both kinds of movement can be modified by tranquillity.
For tranquillity keeps the words that come out of the mouth from exceeding
proper measure, and keeps the food that goes into the mouth from exceeding
its proper measure. Thus character is cultivated.
The magic tortoise is a creature possessed of such supernatural powers that it
lives on air and needs no earthly nourishment. The image means that a man
fitted by nature and position to live freely and independently renounces this
self-reliance and instead looks with envy and discontent at others who are
outwardly in better circumstances. But such base envy only arouses derision
and contempt in those others. This has bad results.
Normally a person either provides his own means of nourishment or is
supported in a proper way by those whose duty of privilege it is to provide for
him. If, owing to weakness of spirit, a man cannot support himself, a feeling
of uneasiness comes over him; this is because in shirking the proper way of
obtaining a living, he accepts support as a favor from those in higher place.
This is unworthy, for he is deviating from his true nature. Kept up
indefinitely, this course leads to misfortune.
He who seeks nourishment that does not nourish reels from desire to
gratification and in gratification craves desire. Mad pursuit of pleasure for the
satisfaction of the senses never brings one to the goal. One should never (ten
years is a complete cycle of time) follow this path, for nothing good can come
In contrast to the six in the second place, which refers to a man bent
exclusively on his own advantage, this line refers to one occupying a high
position and striving to let his light sine forth. To do this he needs helpers,
because he cannot attain his lofty aim alone. With the greed of a hungry tiger
he is on the lookout for the right people. Since he is not working for himself
but for the good of all, there is no wrong in such zeal.
A man may be conscious of a deficiency in himself. He should be
undertaking the nourishment of the people, but he has not the strength to do
it. Thus he must turn from his accustomed path and beg counsel and help
from a man who is spiritually his superior but undistinguished outwardly. If
he maintains this attitude of mind perseveringly, success and good fortune
are his. But he must remain aware of his dependence. He must not put his
own person forward nor attempt great labors, such as crossing the great water.
This describes a sage of the highest order, from whom emanate all influences
that provide nourishment for others. Such a position brings with it heavy
responsibility. If he remains conscious of this fact, he has good fortune and
may confidently undertake even great and difficult labors, such as crossing
the great water. These undertakings bring general happiness for him and for
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Try to look at itself from; whether it seems to you, what you speak too much and eat too much? It is not necessary to gossip about others, this you harm not only to them, but first of all to yourselves. Stop to complain about destiny. Now you do not need to see a doctor. In your life shortly there will be changes, to them be ready.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary