|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.
49. Skinning (gé). Revolution
All changes have their time. If something old prevents going forward, it is necessary to give it up without regret. Learn how to get rid of unnecessary time burdens, but you do not accidentally mix up the 'ballast' to what is truly valuable.
Inital text of I Ching
Revolution. On your own day you are believed. Supreme success, furthering through perseverance. Remorse disappears.
Fire in the lake:
The image of Revolution. Thus the superior man sets the calendar in order and makes the seasons clear.
- Wrapped in the hide of a yellow cow.
- When one's own day comes, one may create revolution. Starting brings good fortune. No blame.
- Starting brings misfortune. Perseverance brings danger. When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times, one may commit himself, and men will believe him.
- Remorse disappears. Men believe him. Changing the form of government brings good fortune.
- The great man changes like a tiger. Even before he questions the oracle he is believed.
- The superior man changes like a panther. The inferior man molts in the face. Starting brings misfortune. To remain persevering brings good fortune.
It's time of inevitable change, internal degeneration and the beginning of new things. Base everything on the inner truth and experience of spiritual quests of the recent times. Show firmness. There is no place for regret and sorrow for past mistakes. Look ahead. Even if you return to the old case, look for a new approach, and then you will get the desired result. There are big changes in personal affairs: breaking old love affairs for a new love relationship.
The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an
animal's pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by molting. From
this word is carried over to apply to the "moltings" in political life, the great
revolutions connected with changes of governments.
The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in
K'uei, OPPOSITION (38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Tui. But
while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is
essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is
above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other
like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of
Political revolutions are extremely grave matters. They should be undertaken
only under stress of direst necessity, when there is no other way out. Not
everyone is called to this task, but only the man who has the confidence of
the people, and even he only when the time is ripe. He must then proceed in
the right way, so that he gladdens the people and, by enlightening them,
prevents excesses. Furthermore, he must be quite free of selfish aims and
must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to
Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in
the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in
the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.
Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the
course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the
forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons, and man is
able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.
Changes ought to be undertaken only when there is nothing else to be done.
Therefore at first the utmost restraint is necessary. One must becomes firm in
one's mind, control oneself-yellow is the color of the means, and the cow is
the symbol of docility-and refrain from doing anything for the time being,
because any premature offensive will bring evil results.
When we have tried in every other way to bring about reforms, but without
success, revolution becomes necessary. But such a thoroughgoing upheaval
must be carefully prepared. There must be available a man who has the
requisite abilities and who possesses public confidence. To such a man we
may well turn. This brings good fortune and is not a mistake. The first thing
to be considered is our inner attitude toward the new condition that will
inevitably come. We have to go out to meet it, as it were. Only in this way
can it be prepared for.
When change is necessary, there are two mistakes to be avoided. One lies in
excessive haste and ruthlessness, which bring disaster. The other lies in
excessive hesitation and conservatism, which are also dangerous. Not every
demand for change in the existing order should be heeded. On the other
hand, repeated and well-founded complaints should not fail of a hearing.
When talk of change has come to one's ears three times, and has been
pondered well, he may believe and acquiesce in it. Then he will meet with
belief and will accomplish something.
Radical changes require adequate authority. A man must have inner strength
as well as influential position. What he does must correspond with a higher
truth and must not spring from arbitrary or petty motives; then it brings great
good fortune. If a revolution is not founded on such inner truth, the results
are bad, and it has no success. For in the end men will support only those
undertakings which they feel instinctively to be just.
A tigerskin, with its highly visible black stripes on a yellow ground, shows its
distinct pattern from afar. It is the same with a revolution brought about by a
great man: large, clear guiding lines become visible, understandable to
everyone. Therefore he need not first consult the oracle, for he wins the
spontaneous support of the people.
After the large and fundamental problems are settled, certain minor reforms,
and elaborations of these, are necessary. These detailed reforms may be
likened to the equally distinct but relatively small marks of the panther's coat.
As a consequence, a change also takes place among the inferior people. In
conformity with the new order, they likewise "molt". This molting, it is true,
does not go very deep, but that is not to be expected. We must be satisfied
with the attainable. If we should go too far and try to achieve too much, it
would lead to unrest and misfortune. For the object of a great revolution is
the attainment of clarified, secure conditions ensuring a general stabilization
on the basis of what is possible at the moment.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
All changes and the rearrangements happening around of you now, will end; yes so it is successful, that results will surpass all your expectations. You now are not assured of yourselves, but new prospects come nearer, and you again we shall find belief in. Probably, your plans will change, and you will go there where before and did not gather. Now to you very much carries in game.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary