|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.
57. Ground (xùn). The Gentle
Let small things develop. Humble pride - be soft and flexible. Advice of a great person does not degrade, but exalts. Mercenariness disciplines.
Inital text of I Ching
The Gentle. Success through what is small. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. It furthers one to see the great man.
Winds following one upon the other:
The image of the Gently Penetrating. Thus the superior man spreads his commands abroad and carries out his undertakings.
- In advancing and in retreating, the perseverance of a warrior furthers.
- Penetration under the bed. Priests and magicians are used in great number. Good fortune. No blame.
- Repeated penetration. Humiliation.
- Remorse vanishes. During the hunt three kinds of game are caught.
- Perseverance brings good fortune. Remorse vanishes. Nothing that does not further. No beginning, but an end. Before the change, three days. After the change, three days. Good fortune.
- Penetration under the bed. He loses his property and his ax. Perseverance brings misfortune.
Life offers you a new environment in which you may appear an inexperienced person. Errors are possible: misconceptions about the intentions, wrong judgments and estimates, the failure of plans. It is necessary to grasp the essence of change, to develop a clear plan and step by step, 'grope'. Get ready for that you will find only small having lost a lot. It is useful to seek help from a more sophisticated man. What is important is the ability to obey, the ability to comply, give up ambitions, as well as clarity of intentions. Hypocrisy, pretence and arrogance are unacceptable. It is dangerous to muddle on, 'at your own risk', show inappropriate at this time determination and stubbornness. There may be conflicts with friends, quarrels with your beloved, family problems.
Sun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter and
symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which
nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.
The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the
penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In
nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear
and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts
all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful
influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues
which shun the light of day.
Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected
not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this
kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are
more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one
must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence
works always in the same direction can the object be attained. Small strength
can achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who
is capable of creating order.
The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is
what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the
ruler's thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a
lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when
the command has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with
it possible. Action without preparation of the ground only frightens and
In born gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does
not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. A thousand doubts crop up; one
is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively to and fro. In
such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing, so that one
resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is far better than
At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that
slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In
instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret
recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with.
This is the task of the priests; removing the influences is the task of the
magicians. The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially
vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well worth while. For when such
elusive influences are brought into the light and branded, they lose their
power over people.
Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the power of
decision. After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is essential to form
a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings fresh doubts and scruples,
and thereby humiliation, because one shows oneself unable to act.
When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to
combine innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured. The
three kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods, for feasting
guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch answered all three
purposes, the hunt was considered especially successful.
In the situation described in Ku, WORK ON WHAT HAS BEEN SPOILED
(18), an entirely new point of departure must be set up, whereas here it is only
a question of reforms. The beginning has not been good, but the moment has
been reached when a new direction can be taken. Change and improvement
are called for. Such steps must be undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with
a firm and correct attitude of mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will
disappear. But it must be remembered that such improvements require
careful consideration. Before a change is made, it must be pondered over
again and again. After the change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for
some time after how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such
careful work is accompanied by good fortune.
A man's understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious
influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has the strength to
combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to penetrate into the
personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
At present to you not so - that simply to understand a state of affairs and it is reasonable to estimate it. But you too exaggerate, representing events. Try to follow on that way which to you will be specified by the person well knowing you; and it will be the best exit. In five months your destiny will change for the better. To eliminate obstacles in a way of performance of your desires the woman will help. At all do not allow to persuade now itself on such actions as which consider erroneous and unnecessary.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary