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hieroglyph Taking-Apart (xiè). Deliverancehexagram 40 Taking-Apart (xiè). Deliverance

40. Taking-Apart (xiè). Deliverance


At transition times, happiness is in leaving and coming back. When moving, you can avoid the danger.

Inital text of I Ching

The Judgement

Deliverance. The southwest furthers. If there is no longer anything where one has to go, return brings good fortune. If there is still something where one has to go, hastening brings good fortune.

The Image

Thunder and rain set in:
The image of Deliverance. Thus the superior man pardons mistakes and forgives misdeeds.

  1. Without blame.
  2. One kills three foxes in the field and receives a yellow arrow. Perseverance brings good fortune.
  3. If a man carries a burden on his back and nonetheless rides in a carriage, he thereby encourages robbers to draw near. Perseverance leads to humiliation.
  4. Deliver yourself from your great toe. Then the companion comes, and him you can trust.
  5. If only the superior man can deliver himself, it brings good fortune. Thus he proves to inferior men that he is in earnest.
  6. The prince shoots at a hawk on a high wall. He kills it. Everything serves to further.


It is time crisis starts. It is transition time. It seems no success can be expected in any business. It is better to part with the old plans without regret and remorse – soon you will be able to start something new. Do not blame yourself in a failure, do not take too much responsibility, only accept the necessary losses. Look to the future without fear, chase painful thought - after the storm nature comes to life, everything goes on as usually.

Richard Wilhelm's commentary

Here the movement goes out of the sphere of danger. The obstacle has been removed, the difficulties are being resolved. Deliverance is not yet achieved; it is just in its beginning, and the hexagram represents its various stages.


This refers to a time in which tensions and complications begin to be eased. At such times we ought to make our way back to ordinary conditions as soon as possible; this is the meaning of "the southwest." These periods of sudden change have great importance. Just as rain relieves atmospheric tension, making all the buds burst open, so a time of deliverance from burdensome pressure has a liberating and stimulating effect on life. One thing is important, however: in such times we must not overdo our triumph. The point is not to push on farther than is necessary. Returning to the regular order of life as soon as deliverance is achieved brings good fortune. If there are any residual matters that ought to be attended to, it should be done as quickly as possible, so that a clean sweep is made and no retardations occur.


A thunderstorm has the effect of clearing the air; the superior man produces a similar effect when dealing with mistakes and sins of men that induce a condition of tension. Through clarity he brings deliverance. However, when failings come to light, he does not dwell on them; he simply passes over mistakes, the unintentional transgressions, just as thunder dies away. He forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes everything clean.


In keeping with the situation, few words are needed. The hindrance is past, deliverance has come. One recuperates in peace and keeps still. This is the right thing to do in times when difficulties have been overcome.


The image is taken from the hunt. The hunter catches three cunning foxes and receives a yellow arrow as a reward. The obstacles in public life are the designing foxes who try to influence the ruler through flattery. They must be removed before there can be any deliverance. But the struggle must not be carried on with the wrong weapons. The yellow color points to measure and mean in proceeding against the enemy; the arrow signifies the straight course. If one devotes himself wholeheartedly to the task of deliverance, he develops so much inner strength from his rectitude that it acts as a weapon against all that is false and low.


This refers to a man who has come out of needy circumstances in to comfort and freedom from want. If now, in the manner of an upstart, he tries to take his ease in comfortable surroundings that do not suit his nature, he thereby attracts robbers. If he goes on thus he is sure to bring disgrace upon himself. Confucius says about this line:

Carrying a burden on the back is the business of common man; a carriage is the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the appurtenance of man of rank, robbers plot to take it away from him. If a man is insolent toward those above him and hard toward those below him, robbers plot to attack him. Carelessness in guarding things tempts thieves to steal. Sumptuous ornaments worn by a maiden are an enticement to rob her of her virtue.


In times of standstill it will happen that inferior people attach themselves to a superior man, and through force of daily habit they may grow very close to him and become indispensable, just as the big toe is indispensable to the foot because it makes walking easier. But when the time of deliverance draws near, with its call to deeds, a man must free himself from such chance acquaintances with whim he has no inner connection. For otherwise the friends who share his views, on whom he could really rely and together with whom he could accomplish something, mistrust him and stay away.


Times of deliverance demand inner resolve. Inferior people cannot be driven off by prohibitions or any external means. If one desires to be rid of them, he must first break completely with them in his own mind; they will see for themselves that he is in earnest and will withdraw.


The hawk on a high wall is the symbol of a powerful inferior in a high position who is hindering the deliverance. He withstands the force of inner influences, because he is hardened in his wickedness. He must be forcibly removed, and this requires appropriate means. Confucius says about this line:

The hawk is the object of the hunt; bow and arrow are the tools and means. The marksman is man (who must make proper use of the means to his end). The superior man contains the means in his own person. He bides his time and then acts. Why then should not everything go well? He acts and is free. Therefore all he has to do is to go forth, and he takes his quarry. This is how a man fares who acts after he has made ready the means.

Barbara Hejslip interpretation

You had to overcome the long period of anxiety and troubles. And here this period behind. Now it is necessary to gather and immediately to start to operate, differently it is possible to miss an opportunity to achieve brilliant results. A certain old desire will be executed, new - too, but hardly later. You will have new friends. If at you the trip, travel, - happy journey is planned! They will give to you only pleasure. The begun period is very favorable well to earn.