|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.
54. Converting The Maiden (guī mèi). The Marrying Maiden
Becoming a victim of circumstances, try to save yourself from inside. Everyone has something that nobody else can infringe, regardless of power they possess.
Inital text of I Ching
The Marrying Maiden. Undertakings bring misfortune. Nothing that would further.
Thunder over the lake:
The image of the Marrying Maiden. Thus the superior man understands the transitory in the light of the eternity of the end.
- The marrying maiden as a concubine. A lame man who is able to tread. Undertakings bring good fortune.
- A one-eyed man who is able to see. The perseverance of a solitary man furthers.
- The marrying maiden as a slave. She marries as a concubine.
- The marrying maiden draws out the allotted time. A late marriage comes in due course.
- The sovereign I gave his daughter in marriage. The embroidered garments of the princess were not as gorgeous as those of the servingmaid. The moon that is nearly full brings good fortune.
- The woman holds the basket, but there are no fruits in it. The man stabs the sheep, but no blood flows. Nothing that acts to further. A late marriage comes in due course.
It is not the happiest period of your life. Circumstances dictate the terms. There is no freedom of action - no joy and satisfaction. You'll have to sacrifice your desires for the sake of duty, or simply follow someone else's will. To a large extent, the situation is determined by social status. Perhaps the turning point of the situation comes to a full moon. Anyway, do not let trample your soul, otherwise you get in captivity for a long time.
Above we have Chên, the eldest son, and below, Tui, the youngest daughter.
The man leads and the girl follows him in gladness. The picture is that of the
entrance of the girl into her husband's house. In all, there are four
hexagrams depicting the relationship between husband and wife. Hsien,
INFLUENCE, (31), describes the attraction that a young couple have for each
other; Hêng, DURATION (32), portrays the permanent relationships of
marriage; Chien, DEVELOPMENT (53), reflects the protracted, ceremonious
procedures attending THE MARRYING MAIDEN, shows a young girl under
the guidance of an older man who marries her.
A girl who is taken into the family, but not as the chief wife, must behave
with special caution and reserve. She must not take it upon herself to
supplant the mistress of the house, for that would mean disorder and lead to
The same is true of all voluntary relationships between human beings.
While legally regulated relationships based on personal inclination depend in
the long run entirely on tactful reserve.
Affection as the essential principle of relatedness is of the greatest
importance in all relationships in the world. For the union of heaven and
earth is the origin of the whole of nature. Among human beings likewise,
spontaneous affection is the all-inclusive principle of union.
Thunder stirs the water of the lake, which follows it in shimmering waves.
This symbolizes the girl who follows the man of her choice. But every
relationship between individuals bears within it the danger that wrong turns
may be taken, leading to endless misunderstandings and disagreements.
Therefore it is necessary constantly to remain mindful of the end. If we
permit ourselves to drift along, we come together and are parted again as the
day may determine. If on the other hand a man fixes his mind on an end that
endures, he will succeed in avoiding the reefs that confront the closer
relationships of people.
The princess of ancient China maintained a fixed order of rank among the
court ladies, who were subordinated to the queen as are younger sisters to the
eldest. Frequently they came from the family of the queen, who herself led
them to her husband.
The meaning is that a girl entering a family with the consent of the wife
will not rank outwardly as the equal of the latter but will withdraw modestly
into the background. However, if she understands how to fit herself into the
pattern of things, her position will be entirely satisfactory, and she will feel
sheltered in the love of the husband to whom she bears children.
The same meaning is brought out in the relationships between officials. A
man may enjoy the personal friendship of a prince and be taken into his
confidence. Outwardly this man must keep tactfully in the background
behind the official ministers of state, but, although he is hampered by this
status, as if he were lame, he can nevertheless accomplish something through
the kindliness of his nature.
Here the situation is that of a girl married to a man who has disappointed
her. Man and wife ought to work together like a pair of eyes. Here the girl is
left behind in loneliness; the man of her choice either has become unfaithful
or has died. But she does not lost the inner light of loyalty. Thought the
other eye is gone, she maintains her loyalty even in loneliness.
A girl who is in a lowly position and finds no husband may, in some
circumstances, still win shelter as a concubine.
This pictures the situation of a person who longs too much for joys that
cannot be obtained in the usual way. He enters upon a situation not
altogether compatible with self-esteem. Neither judgment nor warning is
added to this line; it merely lays bare the actual situation, so that everyone
may draw a lesson from it.
The girl is virtuous. She does not wish to throw herself away, and allows the
customary time for marriage to slip by. However, there is no harm in this;
she is rewarded for her purity and, even though belatedly, finds the husband
intended for her.
The sovereign I is T'ang the Completer. This ruler decreed that the imperial
princesses should be subordinated to their husbands in the same manner as
other women (cf. Hexagram 11, six in the fifth place). The emperor does not
wait for a suitor to woo his daughter but gives her in marriage when he sees
fit. Therefore it is in accord with custom for the girl's family to take the
We see here a girl of aristocratic birth who marries a man of modest
circumstances and understands how to adapt herself with grace to the new
situation. She is free of all vanity of outer adornment, and forgetting her rank
in her marriage, takes a place below that of her husband, just as the moon,
before it is quite full, does not directly face the sun.
At the sacrifice to the ancestors, the woman had to present harvest offerings
in a basket, while the man slaughtered the sacrificial animal with his own
hand. Here the ritual is only superficially fulfilled; the woman takes an
empty basket and the man stabs a sheep slaughtered beforehand-solely to
preserve the forms. This impious, irreverent attitude bodes no good for a
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
It is necessary for you always and in all to be cautious, especially in affairs love. Try to perceive all event easy and coolly, differently you can get in very unpleasant position. Execution of desires is delayed. It is not necessary vanities. Now for you such time when it is better to wait and think. And at the same time it is the period when incomes exceed charges. Any more behind mountains more positive stage, and the nearest weeks it is necessary to devote itself to its preparation.
4. Enveloping (méng). Youthful Folly
Ignorance is won by wisdom. Emptiness should be filled in. Nature stands no emptiness.
Inital text of I Ching
Youthful Folly has success. It is not I who seek the young fool; The young fool seeks me. At the first oracle I inform him. If he asks two or three times, it is importunity. If he importunes, I give him no information. Perseverance furthers.
A spring wells up at the foot of the mountain:
The image of Youth. Thus the superior man fosters his character by thoroughness in all that he does.
- To make a fool develop it furthers one to apply discipline. The fetters should be removed. To go on in this way brings humiliation.
- To bear with fools in kindliness brings good fortune. To know how to take women brings good fortune. The son is capable of taking charge of the household.
- Take not a maiden who, when she sees a man of bronze, loses possession of herself. Nothing furthers.
- Entangled folly brings humiliation.
- Childlike folly brings good fortune.
- In punishing folly it does not further one to commit transgressions. The only thing that furthers is to prevent transgressions.
Natural gifts are subjected by ignorance. Efforts to overcome it are needed. An ignorant person is in captivity of illusions. Difficulties when moving forward are inevitable. Plenitude and emptiness can be of two kinds: material and spiritual. Do not worry about material emptiness, be afraid of spiritual emptiness. Seek no material plenitude, seek knowledge instead of gold. Do not envy rich men; do not try to be like them. Gold can dazzle and ignorance will become deeper. Find a teacher, ask questions, but try to avoid excessive importunity. Take the first directions of teacher into account. Do not wait that knowledge will find you itself, show initiative. Do not worry about temporary stop. Lack of knowledge makes movement dangerous.
In this hexagram we are reminded of youth and folly in two different ways.
The image of the upper trigram, Kên, is the mountain, that of the lower,
K'an, is water; the spring rising at the foot of the mountain is the image of
inexperienced youth. Keeping still is the attribute of the upper trigram; that of
the lower is the abyss, danger. Stopping in perplexity on the brink of a
dangerous abyss is a symbol of the folly of youth. However, the two trigrams
also show the way of overcoming the follies of youth. Water is something
that of necessity flows on. When the spring gushes forth, it does not know at
first where it will go. But its steady flow fills up the deep place blocking its
progress, and success is attained.
In the time of youth, folly is not an evil. One may succeed in spite of it,
provided one finds an experienced teacher and has the right attitude toward
him. This means, first of all, that the youth himself must be conscious of his
lack of experience and must seek out the teacher. Without this modesty and
this interest there is no guarantee that he has the necessary receptivity, which
should express itself in respectful acceptance of the teacher. This is the reason
why the teacher must wait to be sought out instead of offering himself. Only
thus can the instruction take place at the right time and in the right way.
A teacher's answer to the question of a pupil ought to be clear and definite
like that expected from an oracle; thereupon it ought to be accepted as a key
for resolution of doubts and a basis for decision. If mistrustful or
unintelligent questioning is kept up, it serves only to annoy the teacher. He
does well to ignore it in silence, just as the oracle gives one answer only and
refuses to be tempted by questions implying doubt.
Given addition a perseverance that never slackens until the points are
mastered one by one, real success is sure to follow. Thus the hexagram
counsels the teacher as well as the pupil.
A spring succeeds in flowing on and escapes stagnation by filling up all the
hollow places in its path. In the same way character is developed by
thoroughness that skips nothing but, like water, gradually and steadily fills up
all gaps and so flows onward.
Law is the beginning of education. Youth in its inexperience is inclined at first
to take everything carelessly and playfully. It must be shown the seriousness
of life. A certain measure of taking oneself in hand, brought about by strict
discipline, is a good thing. He who plays with life never amounts to
anything. However, discipline should not degenerate into drill. Continuous
drill has a humiliating effect and cripples a man's powers.
These lines picture a man who has no external power, but who has enough
strength of mind to bear his burden of responsibility. He has the inner
superiority and that enable him to tolerate with kindliness the shortcomings
of human folly. The same attitude is owed to women as the weaker sex. One
must understand them and give them recognition in a spirit of chivalrous
consideration. Only this combination of inner strength with outer reserve
enables one to take on the responsibility of directing a larger social body with
A weak, inexperienced man, struggling to rise, easily loses his own
individuality when he slavishly imitates a strong personality of higher
station. He is like a girl throwing herself away when she meets a strong man.
Such a servile approach should not be encouraged, because it is bad both for
the youth and the teacher. A girl owes it to her dignity to wait until she is
wooed. In both cases it is undignified to offer oneself, and no good comes of
accepting such an offer.
For youthful folly it is the most hopeless thing to entangle itself in empty
imaginings. The more obstinately it clings to such unreal fantasies, the more
certainly will humiliation overtake it.
Often the teacher, when confronted with such entangled folly, has no other
course but to leave the fool to himself for a time, not sparing him the
humiliation that results. This is frequently the only means of rescue.
An inexperienced person who seeks instruction in a childlike and
unassuming way is on the right path, for the man devoid of arrogance who
subordinated himself to his teacher will certainly be helped.
Sometimes an incorrigible fool must be punished. He who will not heed will
be made to feel. This punishment is quite different from a preliminary
shaking up. But the penalty should not be imposed in anger; it must be
restricted to an objective guarding against unjustified excesses. Punishment
is never an end in itself but serves merely to restore order.
This applies not only in regard to education but also in regard to the
measures taken by a government against a populace guilty of transgressions.
Governmental interference should always be merely preventive and should
have as its sole aim the establishment of public security and peace.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Now all around of you as is covered by a veil; but this veil will soon disappear, and the world again will get for you clearness. Now your nerves are strongly loosened, therefore try to not accept hasty decisions. Soon all will change. If wish to become successful - do not neglect councils of friends, the heads, ponder upon them. Give more time to dialogue with children. Do not despond. Already there are the new plans, new prospects, but for new love time has not come yet. Gather; also concentrate will on performance of the one and only desire.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary