|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.
40. Taking-Apart (xiè). Deliverance
At transition times, happiness is in leaving and coming back. When moving, you can avoid the danger.
Inital text of I Ching
Deliverance. The southwest furthers. If there is no longer anything where one has to go, return brings good fortune. If there is still something where one has to go, hastening brings good fortune.
Thunder and rain set in:
The image of Deliverance. Thus the superior man pardons mistakes and forgives misdeeds.
- Without blame.
- One kills three foxes in the field and receives a yellow arrow. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- If a man carries a burden on his back and nonetheless rides in a carriage, he thereby encourages robbers to draw near. Perseverance leads to humiliation.
- Deliver yourself from your great toe. Then the companion comes, and him you can trust.
- If only the superior man can deliver himself, it brings good fortune. Thus he proves to inferior men that he is in earnest.
- The prince shoots at a hawk on a high wall. He kills it. Everything serves to further.
It is time crisis starts. It is transition time. It seems no success can be expected in any business. It is better to part with the old plans without regret and remorse – soon you will be able to start something new. Do not blame yourself in a failure, do not take too much responsibility, only accept the necessary losses. Look to the future without fear, chase painful thought - after the storm nature comes to life, everything goes on as usually.
Here the movement goes out of the sphere of danger. The obstacle has been
removed, the difficulties are being resolved. Deliverance is not yet achieved;
it is just in its beginning, and the hexagram represents its various stages.
This refers to a time in which tensions and complications begin to be eased.
At such times we ought to make our way back to ordinary conditions as soon
as possible; this is the meaning of "the southwest." These periods of sudden
change have great importance. Just as rain relieves atmospheric tension,
making all the buds burst open, so a time of deliverance from burdensome
pressure has a liberating and stimulating effect on life. One thing is
important, however: in such times we must not overdo our triumph. The
point is not to push on farther than is necessary. Returning to the regular
order of life as soon as deliverance is achieved brings good fortune. If there
are any residual matters that ought to be attended to, it should be done as
quickly as possible, so that a clean sweep is made and no retardations occur.
A thunderstorm has the effect of clearing the air; the superior man produces
a similar effect when dealing with mistakes and sins of men that induce a
condition of tension. Through clarity he brings deliverance. However, when
failings come to light, he does not dwell on them; he simply passes over
mistakes, the unintentional transgressions, just as thunder dies away. He
forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes
In keeping with the situation, few words are needed. The hindrance is past,
deliverance has come. One recuperates in peace and keeps still. This is the
right thing to do in times when difficulties have been overcome.
The image is taken from the hunt. The hunter catches three cunning foxes
and receives a yellow arrow as a reward. The obstacles in public life are the
designing foxes who try to influence the ruler through flattery. They must be
removed before there can be any deliverance. But the struggle must not be
carried on with the wrong weapons. The yellow color points to measure and
mean in proceeding against the enemy; the arrow signifies the straight course.
If one devotes himself wholeheartedly to the task of deliverance, he develops
so much inner strength from his rectitude that it acts as a weapon against all
that is false and low.
This refers to a man who has come out of needy circumstances in to comfort
and freedom from want. If now, in the manner of an upstart, he tries to take
his ease in comfortable surroundings that do not suit his nature, he thereby
attracts robbers. If he goes on thus he is sure to bring disgrace upon himself.
Confucius says about this line:
Carrying a burden on the back is the business of common man; a carriage is
the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the
appurtenance of man of rank, robbers plot to take it away from him. If a man
is insolent toward those above him and hard toward those below him,
robbers plot to attack him. Carelessness in guarding things tempts thieves to
steal. Sumptuous ornaments worn by a maiden are an enticement to rob her
of her virtue.
In times of standstill it will happen that inferior people attach themselves to a
superior man, and through force of daily habit they may grow very close to
him and become indispensable, just as the big toe is indispensable to the foot
because it makes walking easier. But when the time of deliverance draws
near, with its call to deeds, a man must free himself from such chance
acquaintances with whim he has no inner connection. For otherwise the
friends who share his views, on whom he could really rely and together with
whom he could accomplish something, mistrust him and stay away.
Times of deliverance demand inner resolve. Inferior people cannot be
driven off by prohibitions or any external means. If one desires to be rid of
them, he must first break completely with them in his own mind; they will
see for themselves that he is in earnest and will withdraw.
The hawk on a high wall is the symbol of a powerful inferior in a high
position who is hindering the deliverance. He withstands the force of inner
influences, because he is hardened in his wickedness. He must be forcibly
removed, and this requires appropriate means. Confucius says about this
The hawk is the object of the hunt; bow and arrow are the tools and means.
The marksman is man (who must make proper use of the means to his end).
The superior man contains the means in his own person. He bides his time
and then acts. Why then should not everything go well? He acts and is free.
Therefore all he has to do is to go forth, and he takes his quarry. This is how a
man fares who acts after he has made ready the means.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You had to overcome the long period of anxiety and troubles. And here this period behind. Now it is necessary to gather and immediately to start to operate, differently it is possible to miss an opportunity to achieve brilliant results. A certain old desire will be executed, new - too, but hardly later. You will have new friends. If at you the trip, travel, - happy journey is planned! They will give to you only pleasure. The begun period is very favorable well to earn.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary