|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.
6. Arguing (sòng). Conflict
When approaching troubles be ready. During quarrels do not lose the face. Do not betray your beliefs for the sake of profit or because of cowardice.
Inital text of I Ching
Conflict. You are sincere and are being obstructed. A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune. Going through to the end brings misfortune. It furthers one to see the great man. It does not further one to cross the great water.
Heaven and water go their opposite ways:
The image of Conflict. Thus in all his transactions the superior man carefully considers the beginning.
- If one does not perpetuate the affair, there is a little gossip. In the end, good fortune comes.
- One cannot engage in conflict; One returns home, gives way. The people of his town, three hundred households, remain free of guilt.
- To nourish oneself on ancient virtue induces perseverance. Danger. In the end, good fortune comes. If by chance you are in the service of a king, seek not works.
- One cannot engage in conflict. One turns back and submits to fate, changes one's attitude, and finds peace in perseverance. Good fortune.
- To contend before him brings supreme good fortune.
- Even if by chance a leather belt is bestowed on one, by the end of a morning it will have been snatched away three times.
There are difficulties. Caution, restraint, prudence and ability to remain calm are essential. Strive for reconciliation; do not to escalate the conflict. Whatever happens, firmly insist on justice, and do not break the commandments and precepts. Do not hate your enemies. Do not pretend to absolute correctness, error can make blind. Listen to the enemy - his words can contain hidden truth. Ask for advice those who are wiser and see the situation from outside. Problems can last for a long time, but they do not last forever. It is time of spiritual growth: let the best in you, become measure for the trial yourself.
The upper trigram, whose image is heaven, has an upward movement; the
lower trigram, water, in accordance with its nature tends downward. Thus the
two halves move away from each other, giving rise to the idea of conflict.
The attribute of the Creative is strength, that of the Abysmal is danger, guile.
Where cunning has force before it, there is conflict.
A third indication of conflict, in terms of character, is presented by the
combination of deep cunning within and fixed determination outwardly. A
person of this character will certainly be quarrelsome.
Conflict develops when one feels himself to be in the right and runs into
opposition. If one is not convinced of being in the right, opposition leads to
craftiness or high-handed encroachment but not to open conflict.
If a man is entangled in a conflict, his only salvation lies in being so clear-
headed and inwardly strong that he is always ready to come to terms by
meeting the opponent halfway. To carry one the conflict to the bitter end has
evil effects even when one is the right, because the enmity is then
perpetuated. It is important to see the great man, that is, an impartial man
whose authority is great enough to terminate the conflict amicably or assure a
just decision. In times of strife, crossing the great water is to be avoided, that
is, dangerous enterprises are not to be begun, because in order to be successful
they require concerted unity of focus. Conflict within weakens the power to
conquer danger without.
The image indicates that the causes of conflict are latent in the opposing
tendencies of the two trig rams. Once these opposing tendencies appear,
conflict is inevitable. To avoid it, therefore, everything must be taken
carefully into consideration in the very beginning. If rights and duties are
exactly defined, or if, in a group, the spiritual trends of the individuals
harmonize, the cause of conflict is removed in advance.
While a conflict is in the incipient stage, the best thing To do is to drop the
issue. Especially when the adversary is stronger, it is not advisable to risk
pushing the conflict to a decision. It may come to a slight dispute, but in the
end all goes well.
In a struggle with an enemy of superior strength, retreat is no disgrace.
Timely withdrawal prevents bad consequences. If, out of a false sense of
honor, a man allowed himself to be tempted into an unequal conflict, he
would be drawing down disaster upon himself. In such a case a wise and
conciliatory attitude benefits the whole community, which will then not be
drawn into the conflict.
This is a warning of the danger that goes with an expansive disposition. Only
that which has been honestly acquired through merit remains a permanent
possession. It can happen that such a possession may be contested, but since it
is really one's own, one cannot be robbed of it. Whatever a man possesses
through the strength of his own nature cannot be lost. If one enters the
service of a superior, one can avoid conflict only by not seeking works for the
sake of prestige. It is enough if the work is done: let the honor go to the
This refers to a person whose inner attitude at first lacks peace. He does not
feel content with his situation and would like to improve it through conflict.
In contrast tot the situation of the nine in the second place, he is dealing with
a weaker opponent and might therefore succeed. But he cannot carry on the
fight, because, since right is not on his side, he cannot justify the conflict to
his conscience. Therefore he turns back and accepts his fate. He changes his
mind and finds lasting peace in being at one with eternal law. This brings
This refers to an arbiter in a conflict who is powerful and just, and strong
enough to lend weight to the right side. A dispute can be turned over to him
with confidence. If one is in the right, one attains great good fortune.
Here we have someone who has carried a conflict to the bitter end and has
triumphed. He is granted a decoration, but his happiness does not last. He is
attacked again and again, and the result is conflict without end.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You feel disharmony. Becomes ripe any conflict. Try to behave it is constrained. Do not answer on challenged to you. It is not necessary to show too many requirements; also do not begin alone any enterprises until circumstances will not favour to you. Try to begin better work together with someone. Start up all goes the order, and you will understand, that vital problems sometimes can learn much, and not just deliver afflictions.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary