|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.
59. Dispersing (huàn). Dispersion
Never lose hope and faith in yourselves.
Inital text of I Ching
Dispersion. Success. The king approaches his temple. It furthers one to cross the great water. Perseverance furthers.
The wind drives over the water:
The image of Dispersion. Thus the kings of old sacrificed to the Lord and built temples.
- He brings help with the strength of a horse. Good fortune.
- At the dissolution he hurries to that which supports him. Remorse disappears.
- He dissolves his self. No remorse.
- He dissolves his bond with his group. Supreme good fortune. Dispersion leads in turn to accumulation. This is something that ordinary men do not think of.
- His loud cries are as dissolving as sweat. Dissolution. A king abides without blame.
- He dissolves his blood. Departing, keeping at a distance, going out, is without blame.
It is time to choose your own direction and move towards the goal. The main driving force right now is hope. Doubts will dispel. But try to share joy with others and do not envy other people's achievements. Do not hide your feelings and intentions.
Wind blowing over water disperses it, dissolving it into foam and mist. This
suggests that when a man's vital energy is dammed up within him (indicated
as a danger by the attribute of the lower trigram), gentleness serves to break
up and dissolve the blockage.
The text of this hexagram resembles that of Ts'ui, GATHERING TOGETHER
(45). In the latter, the subject is the bringing together of elements that have
been separated, as water collects in lakes upon the earth. Here the subject is
the dispersing and dissolving of divisive egotism. DISPERSION shows the
way, so to speak, that leads to gathering together. This explains the similarity
of the two texts.
Religious forces are needed to overcome the egotism that divides men. The
common celebration of the great sacrificial feasts and sacred rites, which gave
expression simultaneously to the interrelation and social articulation of the
family and state, was the means of employed by the great ruler to unite men.
The sacred music and the splendor of the ceremonies aroused a strong tide of
emotion that was shared by all hearts in unison, and that awakened a
consciousness of the common origin of all creatures. In this way disunity was
overcome and rigidity dissolved. A further means to the same end is co-
operation in great general undertakings that set a high goal for the will of the
people; in the common concentration on this goal, all barriers dissolve, just
as, when a boat is crossing a great stream, all hands must unite in a joint task.
But only a man who is himself free of all selfish ulterior considerations, and
who perseveres in justice and steadfastness, is capable of so dissolving the
hardness of egotism.
In the autumn and winter, water begins to freeze into ice. When the warm
breezes of spring come, the rigidity is dissolved, and the elements that have
been dispersed in ice floes are reunited. It is the same with the minds of the
people. Through hardness and selfishness the heart grows rigid, and this
rigidity leads to separation from all others. Egotism and cupidity isolate men.
Therefore the hearts of men must be seized by a devout emotion. They must
be shaken by a religious awe in face of eternity-stirred with an intuition of the
One Creator of all living beings, and united through the strong feeling of
fellowship experienced in the ritual of divine worship.
It is important that disunion should be overcome at the outset, before it has
become complete-that the clouds should be dispersed before they have
brought storm and rain. At such times when hidden divergences in temper
make themselves felt and lead to mutual misunderstandings we must take
quick and vigorous action to dissolve the misunderstandings and mutual
When an individual discovers within himself the beginnings of alienation
from others, of misanthropy and ill humor, he must set about dissolving
these obstructions. He must rouse himself inwardly, hasten to that which
supports him. Such support is never found in hatred, but always in a
moderate and just judgment of men, linked with good will. If he regains this
unobstructed outlook on humanity, while at the same time all saturnine ill
humor is dissolved, all occasion for remorse disappears.
Under certain circumstances, a man's work may become so difficult that he
can no longer think of himself. He must set aside all personal desires and
disperse whatever the self gathers about it to serve as a barrier against others.
Only on the basis of great renunciation can he obtain the strength for great
achievements. By setting his goal in a great task outside himself, he can
attain this standpoint.
When we are working at a task that affects the general welfare, we must leave
all private friendships out of account. Only by rising above party interests can
we achieve something decisive. He who has the courage thus to forego what
is near wins what is afar. But in order to comprehend this standpoint, one
must have a wide view of the interrelationships of life, such as only unusual
In times of general dispersion and separation, a great idea provides a focal
point for the organization of recovery. Just as an illness reaches its crisis in a
dissolving sweat, so a great stimulating idea is a true salvation in times of
general deadlock. It gives the people a rallying point-a man in a ruling
position who can dispel misunderstandings.
The idea of the dissolving of a man's blood means the dispersion of that
which might lead to bloodshed and wounds, i.e., avoidance of danger. But
here the thought is not that a man avoids difficulties for himself alone, but
rather that he rescues his kin-helps them to get away before danger comes, or
to keep at a distance from an existing danger, or to find a way out of a danger
that is already upon them. In this way he does what is right.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
The bright sun of success again ascends after the long period of failures. Everything to what you aspired, becomes possible. Very much can be, that you are expected with long travel. Try to not spend many money. Your business in every respect will go perfectly, and in the near future you will have a unexpected chance to become the leader. Your desire is already executed. And if you will be persevering and purposeful in the efforts - it will be executed entirely.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary