|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.
36. Brightness Hiding (míng yí). Darkening of the Light
Moving along the unlit road, we can come to a precipice or get bogged down.
Inital text of I Ching
Darkening of the Light. In adversity it furthers one to be persevering.
The light has sunk into the earth:
The image of Darkening of the Light. Thus does the superior man live with the great mass: He veils his light, yet still shines.
- Darkening of the light during flight. He lowers his wings. The superior man does not eat for three days on his wanderings. But he has somewhere to go. The host has occasion to gossip about him.
- Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh. He gives aid with the strength of a horse. Good fortune.
- Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south. Their great leader is captured. One must not expect perseverance too soon.
- He penetrates the left side of the belly. One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light, and leaves gate and courtyard.
- Darkening of the light as with Prince Chi. Perseverance furthers.
- Not light but darkness. First he climbed up to heaven, then he plunged into the depths of the earth.
The sun has left the ground. The situation is difficult. Judgments and actions are wrong. It is important time to stop and retreat, otherwise a great trouble may happen. You need to find clarity, or a long stagnation will come in business. Refer inside yourself: perhaps the cause of difficulties is in the absence of a clear goal.
Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name
of the hexagram means literally "wounding of the bright"; hence the
individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is
the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man
at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes
progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings
harm to the wise and able man.
One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable
circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by
maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and
tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities.
In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his
will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment.
Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be
discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the
face of difficulties.
In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should
not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In
such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither
should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one
should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without
With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus
encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is
difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding
place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists
on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation. Never the less he
has a fixed goal to strive for even though the people with whom he lives do
not understand him and speak ill of him.
Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of
Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still
possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of
saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his
strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting
according to duty.
It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving
eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the
disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in
abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly
because the abuses have been in existence so long.
We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his
mot secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of
improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before
the storm breaks.
Prince Chi lived at the court of the evil tyrant Chou Hsin, who, although not
mentioned by name, furnished the historical example on which this whole
situation is based. Prince Chi was a relative of the tyrant and could not
withdraw from the court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and
feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external
misery to deflect him from his convictions.
This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of
darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of
spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.
Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so
high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the
light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at
the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus
consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
The situation will very soon change. Therefore not be unduly self-confident, though you now and are accompanied with success. It is not necessary to be started up in love adventures, try to operate it is considered and it is provident. You have got used to consider as the minion of fortune, therefore and your acts can be misinterpreted. But do not worry, in the near future all will be changed, becomes on the places. It is not necessary to despair; but now your desires will not be executed. Be more economical.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary