|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.
3. Sprouting (zhūn). Difficulty at the Beginning
Benefit is in expecting changes. Only having realized necessity and inevitability of cataclysms during transition from one state to another, it is possible to man and overcome difficulties – stop dawdling and spinning the wheels.
Inital text of I Ching
Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success, furthering through perseverance. Nothing should be undertaken. It furthers one to appoint helpers.
Clouds and thunder:
The image of Difficulty at the Beginning. Thus the superior man brings order out of confusion.
- Hesitation and hindrance. It furthers one to remain persevering. It furthers one to appoint helpers.
- Difficulties pile up. Horse and wagon part. He is not a robber; He wants to woo when the time comes. The maiden is chaste, she does not pledge herself. Ten years-then she pledges herself.
- Whoever hunts deer without the forester only loses his way in the forest. The superior man understands the signs of the time and prefers to desist. To go on brings humiliation.
- Horse and wagon part. Strive for union. To go brings good fortune. Everything acts to further.
- Difficulties in blessing. A little perseverance brings good fortune. Great perseverance brings misfortune.
- Horse and wagon part. Bloody tears flow.
Interaction of two opposite origins creates difficulties. Transition from the original state is entailed by difficulties. No rest, no pacification. There is feeling of coming danger. There is chaos, confusion in things, mental turmoil. There is no way seen: no way forward, no way backwards. It is necessary to wait, keep energy to overcome chaos. It is not time to show firmness and persistence. New ideas are appearing, but they have no shape. Rashness and haste are dangerous. Will is necessary not only for moving forward but also to restrain oneself sometimes. At the moment no undertakings are good as all efforts will be useless.
The name of the hexagram, Chun, really connotes a blade of grass pushing
against an obstacle as it sprouts out of the earth--hence the meaning,
"difficulty at the beginning." The hexagram indicates the way in which
heaven and earth bring forth individual beings. It is their first meeting,
which is beset with difficulties. The lower trigram Chên is the Arousing; its
motion is upward and its image is thunder. The upper trigram K'an stands
for the Abysmal, the dangerous. Its motion is downward and its image is
rain. The situation points to teeming, chaotic profusion; thunder and rain fill
the air. But the chaos clears up. While the Abysmal sinks, the upward
movement eventually passes beyond the danger. A thunderstorm brings
release from tension, and all things breathe freely again.
Times of growth are beset with difficulties. They resemble a first birth. But
these difficulties arise from the very profusion of all that is struggling to
attain form . Everything is in motion: therefore if one perseveres there is a
prospect of great success, in spite of the existing danger. When it is a man's
fate to undertake such new beginnings, everything is still unformed, dark.
Hence he must hold back, because any premature move might bring disaster.
Likewise, it is very important not to remain alone; in order to overcome the
chaos he needs helpers. This is not to say, however, that he himself should
look on passively at what is happening. He must lend his hand and
participate with inspiration and guidance.
Clouds and thunder are represented by definite decorative lines; this means
that in the chaos of difficulty at the beginning, order is already implicit. So
too the superior man has to arrange and organize the inchoate profusion of
such times of beginning, just as one sorts out silk threads from a knotted
tangle and binds them into skeins. In order to find one's place in the infinity
of being, one must be able both to separate and to unite.
If a person encounters a hindrance at the beginning of an enterprise, he must
not try to force advance but must pause and take thought. However, nothing
should put him off his course; he must persevere and constantly keep the
goal in sight. It is important to seek out the right assistants, but he can find
them only if he avoids arrogance and associated with his fellows in a spirit of
humility. Only then will he attract those with whose help he can combat the
We find ourselves beset by difficulties and hindrances. Suddenly there is a
turn of affairs, as if someone were coming up with a horse and wagon and
unhitching them. This event comes so unexpectedly that we assume the
newcomer to be a robber. Gradually it becomes clear that he has no evil
intentions but seeks to be friendly and to offer help. But this offer is not to be
accepted, because it does not come from the right quarter. We must wait until
the time is fulfilled; ten years is a fulfilled cycle of time. Then normal
conditions return of themselves, and we can join forces with the friend
intended for us.
Using the image of a betrothed girl who remains true to her lover in face of
grave conflicts, the hexagram gives counsel for a special situation. When in
times of difficulty a hindrance is encountered and unexpected relief is offered
from a source unrelated to us, we must be careful and not take upon
ourselves any obligations entailed by such help; otherwise our freedom of
decision is impaired. If we bide our time, things will quiet down again, and
we shall attain what we have hoped for.
If a man tries to hunt in a strange forest and has no guide, he loses his way.
When he finds himself in difficulties he must not try to steal out of them
unthinkingly and without guidance. Fate cannot be duped; premature effort,
without the necessary guidance, ends in failure and disgrace. Therefore the
superior man, discerning the seeds of coming events, prefers to renounce a
wish rather than to provoke failure and humiliation by trying to force its
We are in a situation in which it is our duty to act, but we lack sufficient
power. However, an opportunity to make connections offers itself. It must be
seized. Neither false pride nor false reserve should deter us. Bringing oneself
to take the first step, even when it involves a certain degree of self-
abnegation, is a sign of inner clarity. To accept help in a difficult situation is
not a disgrace. If the right helper is found, all goes well.
An individual is in a position in which he cannot so express his good
intentions that they will actually take shape and be understood. Other people
interpose and distort everything he does. He should then be cautious and
proceed step by step. He must not try to force the consummation of a great
undertaking, because success is possible only when general confidence already
prevails. It is only through faithful and conscientious work, unobtrusively
carried on, that the situation gradually clears up and the hindrance
The difficulties at the beginning are too great for some persons. They get
stuck and never find their way out; they fold their hands and give up the
struggle. Such resignation is the saddest of all things. Therefore Confucius
says of this line: "Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this."
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
This hexagram represents one of the most unhappy combinations. All will fall from hands, not allowing result, for what you undertook. There is nothing how to wait more for an opportunity. Try to conduct the closed way of life, at least month three; it, certainly, at all does not mean, that during this period it is not necessary to think over carefully plans for the future. Be patient, listen to advice of the woman. But now about luck, about success in affairs cannot be and speeches.
13. Concording People (tóng rén). Fellowship
Agreed actions multiply power of everyone who is involved in them.
Inital text of I Ching
Fellowship with Men in the open. Success. It furthers one to cross the great water. The perseverance of the superior man furthers.
Heaven together with fire:
The image of Fellowship with Men. Thus the superior man organizes the clans and makes distinctions between things.
- Fellowship with men at the gate. No blame.
- Fellowship with men in the clan. Humiliation.
- He hides weapons in the thicket; He climbs the high hill in front of it. For three years he does not rise up.
- He climbs up on his wall; he cannot attack. Good fortune.
- Men bound in fellowship first weep and lament, but afterward they laugh. After great struggles they succeed in meeting.
- Fellowship with men in the meadow. No remorse.
Ahead there are a pure space, wasteland. It is a new stage of development. There are new ideas, new opinions and rethinking. You are moving in the right direction, but it is better not to act alone. It is time to sacrifice personal interests for the sake of public ones. Do not reject help and do not refuse to help others. Take care of loved ones. There is harmony in relationships. Keep the tradition. Control your emotions and behavior – it is not the time to attack and take the fortress by storm. All can be achieved by peaceful means.
The image of the upper trigram Ch'ien is heaven, and that of the lower, Li, is
flame. It is the nature of fire to flame up to the heaven. This gives the idea of
fellowship. IT is the second line that, by virtue of its central character, unites
the five strong lines around it. This hexagram forms a complement to Shih,
THE ARMY. In the latter, danger is within and obedience without--the
character of a warlike army, which, in order to hold together, needs one
strong man among the many who are weak. Here, clarity is within and
strength without--the character of a peaceful union of men, which, in order to
hold together, needs one yielding nature among many firm persons.
True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal.
It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship
among men, but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that
fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails,
even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be
accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a
persevering and enlightened leader is needed--a man with clear, convincing,
and inspiring aims and the strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram
means clarity; the outer, strength.)
Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from
fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and
arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong
together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere
mingling of individuals or of things--that would be chaos, not fellowship. If
fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organization within diversity.
The beginning of union among people should take place before the door. All
are equally close to one another. No divergent aims have yet arisen, and one
makes not mistakes. The basic principles of any kind of union must be
equally accessible to all concerned. Secret agreements bring misfortune.
There is danger here of formation of a separate faction on the basis of
personal and egotistic interests. Such factions, which are exclusive and,
instead of welcoming all men, must condemn one group in order to unite the
others, originate from low motives and therefore lead in the course of time to
Here fellowship has changed about to mistrust. Each man distrusts the other,
plans a secret ambush, and seeks to spy on his fellow form afar. We are
dealing with an obstinate opponent whom we cannot come at by this method.
Obstacles standing in the way of fellowship with others are shown here. One
has mental reservations for one's own part and seeks to take his opponent by
surprise. This very fact makes one mistrustful, suspecting the same wiles in
his opponent and trying to ferret them out. The result is that one departs
further and further from true fellowship. The longer this goes on, the more
alienated one becomes.
Here the reconciliation that follows quarrel mover nearer. It is true that there
are still dividing walls on which we stand confronting one another. But the
difficulties are too great. We get into straits, and this brings us to our senses.
We cannot fight, and therein lies our good fortune.
Two people are outwardly separated, but in their hearts they are united. They
are kept apart by their positions in life. Many difficulties and obstructions
arise between them and cause them grief. But, remaining true to each other,
the allow nothing to separate them, and although it costs them a severe
struggle to overcome the obstacles, they will succeed. When they come
together their sadness will change to joy. Confucius says of this:
Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.
Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
But when two people are at one in the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.
The warm attachment that springs from the heart is lacking here. We are by
this time actually outside of fellowship with others. However, we ally
ourselves with them. The fellowship does not include all, but only those
who happen to dwell near one another. The meadow is the pasture at the
entrance to the town. At this stage, the ultimate goal of the union of
mankind has not yet been attained, but we need not reproach ourselves. We
join the community without separate aims of our own.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You will not get never in the bad company where you have gone. Be not afraid of the high purposes, enter safely struggle; and you will be supported by on whom you and do not count. You stay now in some anxiety and consequently are a little bit confused and are not assured. But has very soon put yours will go on the amendment. Your desire will be executed, if only you seriously enough will concern to the help of seniors offered to you.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary