|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.
23. Stripping (bō). Splitting Apart
The destruction time is over. Tests tempered soul, teach to confront challenges and take the inevitable. Remember: the more tension the body during the fall has, the harder your shot will be.
Inital text of I Ching
Splitting Apart. It does not further one to go anywhere.
The mountain rests on the earth:
The image of Splitting Apart. Thus those above can ensure their position only by giving generously to those below.
- The leg of the bed is split. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
- The bed is split at the edge. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
- He splits with them. No blame.
- The bed is split up to the skin. Misfortune.
- A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies. Everything acts to further.
- There is a large fruit still uneaten. The superior man receives a carriage. The house of the inferior man is split apart.
It is an unfavorable sign. The usual course of things is broken, leaving the soil under their feet. It is a beginning of decline. Significant is destroyed. There are intrigues of the detractors. Expect losses. Resilience and courage are needed to accept it as it is. Base on the experiences, find support in the wisdom, remember the higher purpose. Think about the reason. Do not complain.
The dark lines are about to mount upward and overthrow the last firm, light
line by exerting a disintegrating influence on it. The inferior, dark forces
overcome what is superior and strong, not by direct means, but by
undermining it gradually and imperceptibly, so that it finally collapses.
The lines of the hexagram present the image of a house, the top line being
the roof, and because the roof is being shattered the house collapses. The
hexagram belongs to the ninth month (October-November). The yin power
pushes up ever more powerfully and is about to supplant the yang power
This pictures a time when inferior people are pushing forward and are about
to crowd out the few remaining strong and superior men. Under these
circumstances, which are due to the time, it is not favorable for the superior
man to undertake anything.
The right behavior in such adverse times is to be deduced from the images
and their attributes. The lower trigram stands for the earth, whose attributes.
The lower trigram stands for the earth, whose attributes are docility and
devotion. The upper trigram stands for the mountain, whose attribute is
stillness. This suggests that one should submit to the bad time and remain
quiet. For it is a question not of man's doing but of time conditions, which,
according to the laws of heaven, show an alternation of increase and decrease,
fullness and emptiness. It is impossible to counteract these conditions of the
time. Hence it is not cowardice but wisdom to submit and avoid action.
The mountain rests on the earth. When it is steep and narrow, lacking a
broad base, it must topple over. Its position is strong only when it rises out of
the earth broad and great, not proud and steep. So likewise those who rule
rest on the broad foundation of the people. They too should be generous and
benevolent, like the earth that carries all. Then they will make their position
as secure as a mountain is in its tranquillity.
Inferior people are on the rise and stealthily begin their destructive
burrowing from below in order to undermine the place where the superior
man rests. Those followers of the ruler who remain loyal are destroyed by
slander and intrigue. The situation bodes disaster, yet there is nothing to do
The power of the inferior people is growing. The danger draws close to one's
person; already there are clear indication, and rest is disturbed. Moreover, in
this dangerous situation one is as yet without help or friendly advances from
above or below. Extreme caution is necessary in this isolation. One must
adjust to the time and promptly avoid the danger. Stubborn perseverance in
maintaining one's standpoint would lead to downfall.
An individual finds himself in an evil environment to which he is
committed by external ties. But he has an inner relationship with a superior
man, and through this he attains the stability to free himself from the way of
the inferior people around him. This brings him into opposition to them of
course, but that is not wrong.
Here the disaster affects not only the resting place but even the occupant. No
warning or other comment is added. Misfortune has reached its peak: it can
no longer be warded off.
Here, in immediate proximity to the strong, light-giving principle at the top,
the nature of the dark force undergoes a change. It no longer opposes the
strong principle by means of intrigues but submits to its guidance. Indeed, as
the head of the other weak lines, it leads all of these to the strong line, just as
a princess leads her maids-in-waiting like a shoal of fishes to her husband and
thus gains his favor. Inasmuch as the lower element thus voluntarily places
itself under the higher, it attains happiness and the higher also receives its
due. Therefore all goes well.
Here the splitting apart reaches its end. When misfortune has spent itself,
better times return. The seed of the good remains, and it is just when the
fruit falls to the ground that food sprouts anew from its seed. The superior
man again attains influence and effectiveness. He is supported by public
opinion as if in a carriage. But the inferior man's wickedness is visited upon
himself. His house is split apart. A law of nature is at work here. Evil is not
destructive to the good alone but inevitably destroys itself as well. For evil,
which lives solely by negation, cannot continue to exist on its own strength
alone. The inferior man himself fares best when held under control by a
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Main recesses expect you already in the near future. Probably, now someone talks scandal about you dismisses gossips. Therefore it is not necessary to be accepted now to any new business, you cannot get in awkward position. Your desires will be executed hardly later. Try to be circumspect and cautious in dialogue with representatives of other floor. Also it is not necessary to be lost if suddenly to be found out, that to the aid friends to count it is impossible.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary