|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.
39. Limping (jiǎn). Obstruction
Happy is one who knows when to stop and change direction. It is impossible for a person to argue with a will of Heaven.
Inital text of I Ching
Obstruction. The southwest furthers. The northeast does not further. It furthers one to see the great man. Perseverance brings good fortune.
Water on the mountain:
The image of Obstruction. Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself and molds his character.
- Going leads to obstructions, coming meets with praise.
- The king's servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction, but it is not his own fault.
- Going leads to obstructions; Hence he comes back.
- Going leads to obstructions, coming leads to union.
- In the midst of the greatest obstructions, friends come.
- Going leads to obstructions, coming leads to great good fortune. It furthers one to see the great man.
The situation creates an obstacle for further progress. It can be overcome after an unfortunate situation is resolved. If you try to get around it now – you will wastee energy, expose yourselves to more danger. Your advantage is to anticipate the danger and stop. Beware the wiles of enemies, do not enter a fight. Ask for help from a great man. Be firm. Accept the will of Heaven, and everything will change.
The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep,
inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at
the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is
implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents
obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be
overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming
The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an
individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In
such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat.
However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One
must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the
leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in
removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one
apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This
unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction
that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of
Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the
inferior man seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the
superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection
the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and
When one encounters an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on
how best to deal with it. When threatened with danger, one should not strive
blindly to go ahead, for this only leads to complications. The correct thing is,
on the contrary, to retreat for the time being, not in order to give up the
struggle but to await the right moment for action.
Ordinarily it is best to go around an obstacle and try to overcome it along the
line of least resistance. But there is one instance in which a man must go out
to meet the trouble, even though difficulty piles upon difficulty: this is when
the path of duty leads directly to it-in other words, when he cannot act of his
own volition but is duty bound to go and seek out danger in the service of a
higher cause. Then he may do it without compunction, because it is not
through any fault of his that he is putting himself in this difficult situation.
While the preceding line shows the official compelled by duty to follow the
way of danger, this line shows the man who must act as father of a family or
as head of his kin. If he were to plunge recklessly in to danger, it would be a
useless act, because those entrusted to his care cannot get along by themselves.
But if he withdraws and turns back to his own, they welcome him with great
This too describes a situation that cannot be managed single-handed. In such
a case the direct way is not the shortest. If a person were to forge ahead on his
own strength and without the necessary preparations, he would not find the
support he needs and would realize too late that he has been mistaken in his
calculations, inasmuch as the conditions on which he hoped he could rely
would prove to be inadequate. In this case it is better, therefore, to hold back
for the time being and to gather together trustworthy companions who can be
counted upon for help in overcoming the obstructions.
Here we see a man who is called to help in an emergency. He should not seek
to evade the obstructions, no matter how dangerously they pile up before
him. But because he is really called to the task, the power of his spirit is strong
enough to attract helpers whom he can effectively organize, so that through
the well-directed co-operation of all participants the obstruction is overcome.
This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind
him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest
thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge
in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own
salvation and abandon the world to its adversity. Duty calls him back once
more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner
freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings
good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom
one can achieve the work of rescue.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Alas, but this one of the worst hexagrams. The more efforts you apply, the appear rejected back further. It is difficult to tell, why, but at present fate your destiny does not interest. Is better to plunge now into study, reading, scientific activity, it is simple in whirlpool of house affairs, and in them to find calm. Probably, that a little your friends will support to you. Try to track the charges: during this bad period you can remain without means.
22. Adorning (bì). Grace
Learn to distinguish perfect from the beautiful, the true from illusory. Learn how to find beauty in the small and enjoy it.
Inital text of I Ching
Grace has success. In small matters it is favorable to undertake something.
Fire at the foot of the mountain:
The image of Grace. Thus does the superior man proceed when clearing up current affairs. But he dare not decide controversial issues in this way.
- He lends grace to his toes, leaves the carriage, and walks.
- Lends grace to the beard on his chin.
- Graceful and moist. Constant perseverance brings good fortune.
- Grace or simplicity? A white horse comes as if on wings. He is not a robber, he will woo at the right time.
- Grace in hills and gardens. The roll of silk is meager and small. Humiliation, but in the end good fortune.
- Simple grace. No blame.
Outwardly, everything is good. But it is not time for great things. At the moment content with little. Do not obsess over visual appeal. Look at what's happening and choose goals for the future according to the dictates of the soul. Furnishing our external, do not forget to take care of the internal, true beauty is inside.
This hexagram shows a fire that breaks out of the secret depths of the earth
and, blazing up, illuminates and beautifies the mountain, the heavenly
heights. Grace-beauty of form-is necessary in any union if it is to be well
ordered and pleasing rather than disordered and chaotic.
Grace brings success. However, it is not the essential or fundamental thing; it
is only the ornament and therefore be used sparingly and only in little things.
In the lower trigram of fire a yielding line comes between two strong lines
and makes them beautiful, but the strong lines are the essential content and
the weak line is the beautifying form. In the upper trigram of the mountain,
the strong line takes the lead, so that here again the strong element must be
regarded as the decisive factor. In nature we see in the sky the strong light of
the sun; the life of the world depends on it. But this strong, essential thing is
changed and given pleasing variety by the moon and the stars. In human
affairs, aesthetic form comes into being when traditions exist that, strong and
abiding like mountains, are made pleasing by a lucid beauty. By
contemplating the forms existing in the heavens we come to understand time
and its changing demands. Through contemplation of the forms existing in
human society it becomes possible to shape the world.
The fire, whose light illuminates the mountain and makes it pleasing, does
not shine far; in the same way, beautiful form suffices to brighten and to
throw light upon matters of lesser moment, but important questions cannot
be decided in this way. They require greater earnestness.
A beginner in subordinate place must take upon himself the labor of
advancing. There might be an opportunity of surreptitiously easing the way-
symbolized by the carriage-but a self-contained man scorns help gained in a
dubious fashion. He thinks it more graceful to go on foot than to drive in a
carriage under false pretenses.
The beard is not an independent thing; it moves only with the chin. The
image therefore means that form is to be considered only as a result and
attribute of content. The beard is a superfluous ornament. To devote care to it
for its own sake, without regard for the inner content of which it is an
ornament, would bespeak a certain vanity.
This represents a very charming life situation. One is under the spell of grace
and the mellow mood induced by wine. This grace can adorn, but it can also
swamp us. Hence the warning not to sink into convivial indolence but to
remain constant in perseverance. Good fortune depends on this.
An individual is in a situation in which doubts arise as to which is better-to
pursue the grace of external brilliance, or to return to simplicity. The doubt
itself implies the answer. Confirmation comes from the outside; it comes like
a white winged horse. The white color indicates simplicity. At first it may be
disappointing to renounce the comforts that might have been obtained, yet
one finds peace of mind in a true relationship with the friend who courts
him. The winged horse is the symbol of the thoughts that transcend all limits
of space and time.
A man withdraws from contact with people of the lowlands, who seek
nothing but magnificence and luxury, in to the solitude of the heights. There
he finds an individual to look up to, whom he would like to have as a friend.
But the gifts he has to offer are poor and few, so that he feels ashamed.
However, it is not the material gifts that count, but sincerity of feeling, and so
all goes well in the end.
Here at the highest stage of development all ornament is discarded. Form no
longer conceals content but brings out its value to the full. Perfect grace
consists not in exterior ornamentation of the substance, but in the simple
fitness of its form.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
This hexagram can be favorable only for the affairs concerning theatre. It means, that you have a propensity to hide the original face, and people surrounding you too behave not quite sincerely. Your love affairs are problematic enough now. But successes in other spheres are possible. Your desires will be executed, but is completely not fast. It is necessary to try to accept a life such as it is, and to study at it.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary