|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.
59. Dispersing (huàn). Dispersion
Never lose hope and faith in yourselves.
Inital text of I Ching
Dispersion. Success. The king approaches his temple. It furthers one to cross the great water. Perseverance furthers.
The wind drives over the water:
The image of Dispersion. Thus the kings of old sacrificed to the Lord and built temples.
- He brings help with the strength of a horse. Good fortune.
- At the dissolution he hurries to that which supports him. Remorse disappears.
- He dissolves his self. No remorse.
- He dissolves his bond with his group. Supreme good fortune. Dispersion leads in turn to accumulation. This is something that ordinary men do not think of.
- His loud cries are as dissolving as sweat. Dissolution. A king abides without blame.
- He dissolves his blood. Departing, keeping at a distance, going out, is without blame.
It is time to choose your own direction and move towards the goal. The main driving force right now is hope. Doubts will dispel. But try to share joy with others and do not envy other people's achievements. Do not hide your feelings and intentions.
Wind blowing over water disperses it, dissolving it into foam and mist. This
suggests that when a man's vital energy is dammed up within him (indicated
as a danger by the attribute of the lower trigram), gentleness serves to break
up and dissolve the blockage.
The text of this hexagram resembles that of Ts'ui, GATHERING TOGETHER
(45). In the latter, the subject is the bringing together of elements that have
been separated, as water collects in lakes upon the earth. Here the subject is
the dispersing and dissolving of divisive egotism. DISPERSION shows the
way, so to speak, that leads to gathering together. This explains the similarity
of the two texts.
Religious forces are needed to overcome the egotism that divides men. The
common celebration of the great sacrificial feasts and sacred rites, which gave
expression simultaneously to the interrelation and social articulation of the
family and state, was the means of employed by the great ruler to unite men.
The sacred music and the splendor of the ceremonies aroused a strong tide of
emotion that was shared by all hearts in unison, and that awakened a
consciousness of the common origin of all creatures. In this way disunity was
overcome and rigidity dissolved. A further means to the same end is co-
operation in great general undertakings that set a high goal for the will of the
people; in the common concentration on this goal, all barriers dissolve, just
as, when a boat is crossing a great stream, all hands must unite in a joint task.
But only a man who is himself free of all selfish ulterior considerations, and
who perseveres in justice and steadfastness, is capable of so dissolving the
hardness of egotism.
In the autumn and winter, water begins to freeze into ice. When the warm
breezes of spring come, the rigidity is dissolved, and the elements that have
been dispersed in ice floes are reunited. It is the same with the minds of the
people. Through hardness and selfishness the heart grows rigid, and this
rigidity leads to separation from all others. Egotism and cupidity isolate men.
Therefore the hearts of men must be seized by a devout emotion. They must
be shaken by a religious awe in face of eternity-stirred with an intuition of the
One Creator of all living beings, and united through the strong feeling of
fellowship experienced in the ritual of divine worship.
It is important that disunion should be overcome at the outset, before it has
become complete-that the clouds should be dispersed before they have
brought storm and rain. At such times when hidden divergences in temper
make themselves felt and lead to mutual misunderstandings we must take
quick and vigorous action to dissolve the misunderstandings and mutual
When an individual discovers within himself the beginnings of alienation
from others, of misanthropy and ill humor, he must set about dissolving
these obstructions. He must rouse himself inwardly, hasten to that which
supports him. Such support is never found in hatred, but always in a
moderate and just judgment of men, linked with good will. If he regains this
unobstructed outlook on humanity, while at the same time all saturnine ill
humor is dissolved, all occasion for remorse disappears.
Under certain circumstances, a man's work may become so difficult that he
can no longer think of himself. He must set aside all personal desires and
disperse whatever the self gathers about it to serve as a barrier against others.
Only on the basis of great renunciation can he obtain the strength for great
achievements. By setting his goal in a great task outside himself, he can
attain this standpoint.
When we are working at a task that affects the general welfare, we must leave
all private friendships out of account. Only by rising above party interests can
we achieve something decisive. He who has the courage thus to forego what
is near wins what is afar. But in order to comprehend this standpoint, one
must have a wide view of the interrelationships of life, such as only unusual
In times of general dispersion and separation, a great idea provides a focal
point for the organization of recovery. Just as an illness reaches its crisis in a
dissolving sweat, so a great stimulating idea is a true salvation in times of
general deadlock. It gives the people a rallying point-a man in a ruling
position who can dispel misunderstandings.
The idea of the dissolving of a man's blood means the dispersion of that
which might lead to bloodshed and wounds, i.e., avoidance of danger. But
here the thought is not that a man avoids difficulties for himself alone, but
rather that he rescues his kin-helps them to get away before danger comes, or
to keep at a distance from an existing danger, or to find a way out of a danger
that is already upon them. In this way he does what is right.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
The bright sun of success again ascends after the long period of failures. Everything to what you aspired, becomes possible. Very much can be, that you are expected with long travel. Try to not spend many money. Your business in every respect will go perfectly, and in the near future you will have a unexpected chance to become the leader. Your desire is already executed. And if you will be persevering and purposeful in the efforts - it will be executed entirely.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary