|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.
37. Dwelling People (jiā rén). The Family
Home improvement is the basis for the establishment of order in the world.
Inital text of I Ching
The Family. The perseverance of the woman furthers.
Wind comes forth from fire:
The image of the Family. Thus the superior man has substance in his words and duration in his way of life.
- Firm seclusion within the family. Remorse disappears.
- She should not follow her whims. She must attend within to the food. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- When tempers flare up in the family, too great severity brings remorse. Good fortune nonetheless. When woman and child dally and laugh, it leads in the end to humiliation.
- She is the treasure of the house. Great good fortune.
- As a king he approaches his family. Fear not. Good fortune.
- His work commands respect. In the end good fortune comes.
It is time to leave great things and put things in order at home. Family problems are to be overcome as soon as possible, until the wind blew the fire of hearth. Protect your property. Keep the traditions of family. It is favorable time for the larger family - marriage, birth of offspring.
The hexagram represents the laws obtaining within the family. The strong
line at the top represents the father, the lowest the son. The strong line in the
fifth place represents the husband, the yielding second line the wife. On the
other hand, the two strong lines in the fifth and the third place represent two
brothers, and the two weak lines correlated with them in the fourth and the
second place stand for their respective wives. Thus all the connections and
relationships within the family find their appropriate expression. Each
individual line has the character according with its place. The fact that a
strong line occupies the sixth place-where a weak line might be expected-
indicates very clearly the strong leadership that must come from the head of
the family. The line is to be considered here not in its quality as the sixth but
in its quality as the top line. THE FAMILY shows the laws operative within
the household that, transferred to outside life, keep the state and the world in
order. The influence that goes out from within the family is represented by
the symbol of the wind created by fire.
The foundation of the family is the relationship between husband and wife.
The tie that hold the family together lies in the loyalty and perseverance of
the wife. The tie that holds the family together lies in the loyalty and
perseverance of the wife. Her place is within (second line), while that of the
husband is without (fifth line). It is in accord with the great laws of nature
that husband and wife take their proper places. Within the family a strong
authority is needed; this is represented by the parents. If the father is really a
father and the son a son, if the elder brother fulfills his position, and the
younger fulfills his, if the husband is really a husband and the wife a wife,
then the family is in order. When the family is in order, all the social
relationships of mankind will be in order.
Three of the five social relationships are to be found within the family-that
between father and son, which is the relation of love, that between the
husband and wife, which is the relation of chaste conduct, and that between
elder and younger brother, which is the relation of correctness. The loving
reverence of the son is then carried over to the prince in the form of
faithfulness to duty; the affection and correctness of behavior existing
between the two brothers are extended to a friend in the form of loyalty, and
to a person of superior rank in the form of deference. The family is society in
the embryo; it is the native soil on which performance of moral duty is made
early through natural affection, so that within a small circle a basis of moral
practice is created, and this is later widened to include human relationships
Heat creates energy: this is signified by the wind stirred up by the fire and
issuing forth form it. This represents influence working from within
outward. The same thing is needed in the regulation of the family. Here too
the influence on others must proceed form one's own person. In order to be
capable of producing such an influence, one's words must have power, and
this they can have only if they are based on something real, just as flame
depends on its fuel Words have influence only when they are pertinent and
clearly related to definite circumstances. General discourses and admonitions
have no effect whatsoever. Furthermore, the words must be supported by
one's entire conduct, just as the wind is made effective by am impression on
others that they can adapt and conform to it. If words and conduct are not in
accord and consistent, they will have no effect.
The family must form a well-defined unit within which each member knows
his place. From the beginning each child must be accustomed to firmly
established rules of order, before ever its will is directed to other things. If we
begin too late to enforce order, when the will of the child has already been
overindulged, the whims and passions, grown stronger with the years, offer
resistance and give cause for remorse. If we insist on order from the outset,
occasions for remorse may arise-in general social life these are unavoidable-
but the remorse always disappears again, and everything rights itself. For
there is nothing easily avoided and more difficult to carry through than
"breaking a child's will."
The wife must always be guided by the will of the master of the house, be he
father, husband, or grown son. There, without having to look for them, she
has great and important duties. She must attend to the nourishment of her
family and to the food for the sacrifice. IN this way she becomes the center of
the social and religious life of the family, and her perseverance in this
position brings good fortune to the whole house.
In relation to general conditions, the counsel here is to seek nothing by
means of force, but quietly to confine oneself to the duties at hand.
In the family the proper mean between severity and indulgence ought to
prevail. Too great severity toward one's own flesh and blood leads to
remorse. The wise thing is to build strong dikes within which complete
freedom of movement is allowed each individual. But in doubtful instances
too great severity, despite occasional mistakes, is preferable, because it
preserves discipline in the family, whereas too great weakness leads to
It is upon the woman of the house that the well-being of the family depends.
Well-being prevails when expenditures and income are soundly balanced.
This leads to great good fortune. In the sphere of public life, this line refers to
the faithful steward whose measures further the general welfare.
A king is the symbol of a fatherly man who is richly endowed in mind. He
does nothing to make himself feared; on the contrary, the whole family can
trust him, because love governs their intercourse. His character of itself
exercises the right influence.
In the last analysis, order within the family depends on the character of the
master of the house. If he cultivates his personality so that it works
impressively through the force of inner truth, all goes well with the family.
In a ruling position one must of his own accord assume responsibility.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Success and success wait for you there where your soul aspires. Your hopes will come true, but not without assistance. Do not make a mistake, do not leave now the territory, differently it becomes very fast to you clearly, that it could not be done. Search for calm and the world in the home life, in house affairs, in dialogue with friends.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary