|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.
64. Not-Yet Fording (wèi jì). Before Completion
Do not lose guides even on the half-way. Possess your soul in patience and self-control.
Inital text of I Ching
Before Completion. Success. But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing, gets his tail in the water, there is nothing that would further.
Fire over water:
The image of the condition before transition. Thus the superior man is careful in the differentiation of things, so that each finds its place.
- He gets his tail in the water. Humiliating.
- He brakes his wheels. Perseverance brings good fortune.
- Before completion, attack brings misfortune. It furthers one to cross the great water.
- Perseverance brings good fortune. Remorse disappears. Shock, thus to discipline the Devil's Country. For three years, great realms are awarded.
- Perseverance brings good fortune. No remorse. The light of the superior man is true. Good fortune.
- There is drinking of wine in genuine confidence. No blame. But if one wets his head, he loses it, in truth.
Chaos is a field for new undertakings. You are moving in the right direction. Now you need all efforts for break through. If there is not enough energy, the unfavorable situation will happen. The main thing is not to stop on half-way and do not turn off the road chosen. In loving affairs relationships are developing, feeling matures.
This hexagram indicates a time when the transition from disorder to order is
not yet completed. The change is indeed prepared for, since all the lines in
the upper trigram are in relation to those in the lower. However, they are not
yet in their places. While the preceding hexagram offers an analogy to
autumn, which forms the transition from summer to winter, this hexagram
presents a parallel to spring, which leads out of winter's stagnation into the
fruitful time of summer. With this hopeful outlook the Book of Changes
come to its close.
The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. It is
nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion back to order.
But it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the
forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move
warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice
is proverbial in China. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice,
as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox
who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen
that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. Then
of course his effort has been all in vain. Accordingly, in times "before
completion," deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success.
When fire, which by nature flames upward, is above, and water, which flows
downward, is below, their effects take opposite directions and remain
unrelated. If we wish to achieve an effect, we must first investigate the
nature of the forces in question and ascertain their proper place. If we can
bring these forces to bear in the right place, they will have the desired effect
and completion will be achieved. But in order to handle external forces
properly, we must above all arrive at the correct standpoint ourselves, for
only from this vantage can we work correctly.
In times of disorder there is a temptation to advance oneself as rapidly as
possible in order to accomplish something tangible. But this enthusiasm
leads only to failure and humiliation if the time for achievement has not yet
arrived. In such time it is wise to spare ourselves the opprobrium of failure
by holding back.
Here again the time to act has not yet come. But the patience needed is not
that of idle waiting without thought of the morrow. Kept up indefinitely,
this would not lead to any success. Instead, an individual must develop in
himself the strength that will enable him to go forward. He must have a
vehicle, as it were, to effect the crossing. But he must for the time being use
the brakes. Patience in the highest sense means putting brakes on strength.
Therefore he must not fall asleep and lose sight of the goal. If he remains
strong and steadfast in his resolve, all goes well in the end.
The time of transition has arrived, but one lacks the strength to complete the
transition. If one should attempt to force it, disaster would result, because
collapse would then be unavoidable. What is to be done? A new situation
must be created; one must engage the energies of able helpers and in this
fellowship take the decisive step-cross the great water. Then completion will
Now it is the time of struggle. The transition must be completed. We must
make ourselves strong in resolution; this brings good fortune. All
misgivings that might arise in such grave times of struggle must be silenced.
It is a question of a fierce battle to break and to discipline the Devil's
Country, the forces of decadence. But the struggle also has its reward. Now is
the time to lay the foundations of power and mastery for the future.
The victory has been won. The power of steadfastness has not been routed.
Everything has gone well. All misgivings have been overcome. Success has
justified the deed. The light of a superior personality shines forth anew and
makes its influence felt among men who have faith in it and rally around it.
The new time has arrived, and with it good fortune. And just as the sun
shines forth in redoubled beauty after rain, or as a forest grows more freshly
green from charred ruins after a fire, so the new era appears all the more
glorious by contrast with the misery of the old.
Before completion, at the dawning of the new time, friends foregather in an
atmosphere of mutual trust, and the time of waiting is passed in conviviality.
Since the new era is hard on the threshold, there is no blame in this. But one
must be careful in all this to keep within proper bounds. If in his exuberance
a man gets drunk, he forfeits the favorableness of the situation through his
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Success is absolutely close; to it there are your business. But for active actions time has not come yet. Day by day circumstances will develop better if only you will be circumspect enough. Your desire will be executed in the near future. It is necessary to wait very little - and in a life there will come the happy, successful period.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary