|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.
24. Returning (fù). Return
Disasters come from outside, but adversity is the result of our own efforts, we must distinguish both. Often people themselves do their time good or bad.
Inital text of I Ching
Return. Success. Going out and coming in without error. Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
Thunder within the earth:
The image of the Turning Point. Thus the kings of antiquity closed the passes at the time of solstice. Merchants and strangers did not go about, and the ruler did not travel through the provinces.
- Return from a short distance. No need for remorse. Great good fortune.
- Quiet return. Good fortune.
- Repeated return. Danger. No blame.
- Walking in the midst of others, One returns alone.
- Noblehearted return. No remorse.
- Missing the return. Misfortune. Misfortune from within and without. If armies are set marching in this way, one will in the end suffer a great defeat, disastrous for the ruler of the country. For ten years it will not be possible to attack again.
Everything returns to normal. But now it is just the beginning. The darkness recedes gradually, as day comes after the winter solstice. Events unfold in the months that number is a multiple of seven. Do not build too bold plans. Do not complain of delay: downtime is the best time for spiritual quests.
The idea of a turning point arises from the fact that after the dark lines have
pushed all of the light lines upward and out of the hexagram, another light
line enters the hexagram from below. The time of darkness is past. The
winter solstice brings the victory of light. This hexagram is linked with the
eleventh month, the month of the solstice (December-January).
After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has
been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by
force. The upper trigram K'un is characterized by devotion; thus the
movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the
transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is
introduced. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results.
Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these
groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the
time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made.
The idea of RETURN is based on the course of nature. The movement is
cyclic, and the course completes itself. Therefore it is not necessary to hasten
anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time. This is
the meaning of heaven and earth.
All movements are accomplished in six stages, and the seventh brings
return. Thus the winter solstice, with which the decline of the year begins,
comes in the seventh month after the summer solstice; so too sunrise comes
in the seventh double hour after sunset. Therefore seven is the number of
the young light, and it arises when six, the number of the great darkness, is
increased by one. In this way the state of rest gives place to movement.
The winter solstice has always been celebrated in China as the resting time of
the year--a custom that survives in the time of rest observed at the new year.
In winter the life energy, symbolized by thunder, the Arousing, is still
underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be
strengthened by rest so that it will not be dissipated by being used
prematurely. This principle, i.e., of allowing energy that is renewing itself to
be reinforced by rest, applies to all similar situations. The return of health
after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement: everything
must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return
may lead to a flowering.
Slight digressions from the good cannot be avoided, but one must turn back
in time, before going too far. This is especially important in the development
of character; every faintly evil thought must be put aside immediately, before
it goes too far and takes root in the mind. Then there is no cause for remorse,
and all goes well.
Return always calls for a decision and is an act of self-mastery. It is made
easier if a man is in good company. If he can bring himself to put aside pride
and follow the example of good men, good fortune results.
There are people of a certain inner instability who feel a constant urge to
reverse themselves. There is danger in continually deserting the good
because of uncontrolled desires, then turning back to it again because of a
better resolution. However, since this does not lead to habituation in evil, a
general inclination to overcome the defect is not wholly excluded/
A man is in a society composed of inferior people, but is connected spiritually
with a strong and good friend, and this makes him turn back alone.
Although nothing is said of reward and punishment, this return is certainly
favorable, for such a resolve to choose the good brings its own reward.
When the time for return has come, a man should not take shelter in trivial
excuses, but should look within and examine himself. And if he has done
something wrong he should make a noblehearted resolve to confess his fault.
No one will regret having taken this road.
If a man misses the right time for return, he meets with misfortune. The
misfortune has its inner cause in a wrong attitude toward the world. The
misfortune coming upon him for without results from this wrong attitude.
What is pictured here is blind obstinacy and the judgment that is visited
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
You are upset now because consider, that have absolutely got confused. But all this not so is difficult for overcoming, as it seems to you, show only patience. And solving there will be for you some quite certain term - seven days, either seven weeks, or seven months. You really are before main recesses in destiny. It is a little patience - and all is formed. Try to save also a few money. It is useful to you.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary