|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.
7. Leading (shī). The Army
If war is inevitable, show you as a wise commander. War is not for the sake of war but for the sake of resolving the conflict.
Inital text of I Ching
The Army. The army needs perseverance and a strong man. Good fortune without blame.
In the middle of the earth is water:
The image of the Army. Thus the superior man increases his masses y generosity toward the people.
- An army must set forth in proper order. If the order is not good, misfortune threatens.
- In the midst of the army. Good fortune. No blame. The king bestows a triple decoration.
- Perchance the army carries corpses in the wagon. Misfortune.
- The army retreats. No blame.
- There is game in the field. It furthers one to catch it. Without blame. Let the eldest lead the army. The younger transports corpses; Then perseverance brings misfortune.
- The great prince issues commands, founds states, vests families with fiefs. Inferior people should not be employed.
The conflict can not be resolved peacefully by the court or the court's decision will be unfair. The time of battle is approaching. You should show character and will according to the situation. Even great victory is accompanied by losses - be ready to sacrifice and humble. Respect the enemy, appreciate his mind. The danger may lurk inside - it is a war with yourselves (the one who can judge themselves, not to go to court). The main victory man wins over himself. The insignificant should be defeated. But remember that protracted wars bring nothing but devastation and chaos.
This hexagram is made up of the trigrams K'an, water, and K'un, earth, and
thus it symbolizes the ground water stored up in the earth. In the same way
military strength is stored up in the mass of the people--invisible in times of
peace but always ready for use as a source of power. The attributes of the two
trig rams are danger inside and obedience must prevail outside.
Of the individual lines, the one that controls the hexagram is the strong
nine in the second place, to which the other lines, all yielding, are
subordinate. This line indicates a commander, because it stands in the
middle of one of the two trigrams. But since it is in the lower rather than the
upper trigram, it represents not the ruler but the efficient general, who
maintains obedience in the army by his authority.
An army is a mass that needs organization in order to become a fighting force.
Without strict discipline nothing can be accomplished, but this discipline
must not be achieved by force. It requires a strong man who captures the
hearts of the people and awakens their enthusiasm. In order that he may
develop his abilities he needs the complete confidence of his ruler, who must
entrust him with full responsibility as long as the war lasts. But war is always
a dangerous thing and brings with it destruction and devastation. Therefore
it should not be resorted to rashly but, like a poisonous drug, should be used
as a last recourse.
Ground water is invisibly present within the earth. In the same way the
military power of a people is invisibly present in the masses. When danger
threatens, every peasant becomes present in the masses. When danger
threatens, every peasant becomes a soldier; when the war ends, he goes back
to his plow. He who is generous toward the people wins their love, and a
people living under a mild rule becomes strong and powerful. Only a people
economically strong can be important in military power. Such power must
therefore be cultivated by improving the economic condition of the people
and by humane government. Only when there is this invisible bond between
government and people, so that the people are sheltered by their
government as ground water is sheltered by the earth, is it possible to wage a
At the beginning of a military enterprise, order is imperative. A just and
valid cause must exist, and the obedience and coordination of the troops must
be well organized, otherwise the result is inevitably failure.
The leader should be in the midst of his army, in touch with it, sharing good
and bad with the masses he leads. This alone makes him equal to the heavy
demands made upon him. He needs also the recognition of the ruler. The
decorations he receives are justified, because there is no question of personal
preferment here: the whole army, whose center he is, is honored in his
Here we have a choice of two explanations. One points to defeat because
someone other than the chosen leader interferes with the command; the
other is similar in its general meaning, but the expression, "carries corpses in
the wagon," is interpreted differently. At burials and at sacrifices to the dead it
was customary in China for the deceased to whom the sacrifice was made to
be represented by a boy of the family, who sat in the dead man's place and was
honored as his representative. On the basis of this custom the text is
interpreted as meaning that a "corpse boy" is sitting in the wagon, or, in
other words, that authority is not being exercised by the proper leaders but has
been usurped by others. Perhaps the whole difficulty clears up if it is inferred
that there has been an error in copying. The character fan, meaning "all," may
have been misread as shih, which means "corpse." Allowing for this error,
the meaning would be that if the multitude assumes leadership of the army
(rides in the wagon), misfortune will ensue.
In the face of a superior enemy, with whom it would be hopeless to engage in
battle, an orderly retreat is the only correct procedure, because it will save the
army from defeat and disintegration. It is by no means a sign of courage or
strength to insist upon engaging in a hopeless struggle regardless of
Game is in the field - it has left its usual haunts in the forest and is
devastating the fields. This points to an enemy invasion. Energetic combat
and punishment are here thoroughly justified, but they must not degenerate
into a wild melee in which everyone fends for himself. Despite the greatest
degree of perseverance and bravery, this would lead to misfortune. The army
must be directed by an experienced leader. It is a matter of waging war, not of
permitting the mob to slaughter all who fall into their hands; if they do,
defeat will be the result, and despite all perseverance there is danger of
The war has ended successfully, victory is won, and the king divided estates
and fiefs among his faithful vassals. But it is important that inferior people
should not come into power. If they have helped, let them be paid off with
money, but they should not be awarded lands or the privileges of rulers, lest
power be abused.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Symbol of this hexagram - a conscious solitude. Now you as if the commander who considers forthcoming approach. Success accompanies you, but be attentive and cautious in a choice of allies. Let they become people, at which kind intentions. Probably, you will be visited by the unexpected visitor, or you receive unexpected news. Though you also had a dissonance with the close person, - but nevertheless you stay in a romantic condition of spirit. But all to you needs to be planned the future business more carefully and reasonably.
29. Gorge (kǎn). The Abysmal Water
Once in the trap of looking out, do not leave attempts to escape, but act wisely, but then rise above the circumstances.
Inital text of I Ching
The Abysmal repeated. If you are sincere, you have success in your heart, and whatever you do succeeds.
Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its goal:
The image of the Abysmal repeated. Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue and carries on the business of teaching.
- Repetition of the Abysmal. In the abyss one falls into a pit. Misfortune.
- The abyss is dangerous. One should strive to attain small things only.
- Forward and backward, abyss on abyss. In danger like this, pause at first and wait, otherwise you will fall into a pit in the abyss. Do not act in this way.
- A jug of wine, a bowl of rice with it; Earthen vessels simply handed in through the window. There is certainly no blame in this.
- The abyss is not filled to overflowing, it is filled only to the rim. No blame.
- Bound with cords and ropes, shut in between thorn-hedged prison walls: For three years one does not find the way. Misfortune.
Time of rest is over, time of truth search begins. Self-discipline, persistence, dedication and presence of mind are necessary. They will help to overcome the inertia, the inertia of views, and pressure of external circumstances. With the inner truth, you will overcome obstacles. Active action is inside; outside - only accept the circumstances.
This hexagram consists of a doubling of the trigram K'an. It is one of the
eight hexagrams in which doubling occurs. The trigram K'an means a
plunging in. A yang line has plunged in between two yin lines and is closed
in by them like water in a ravine. The trigram K'an is also the middle son.
The Receptive has obtained the middle line of the Creative, and thus K'an
develops. As an image it represents water, the water that comes from above
and is in motion on earth in streams and rivers, giving rise to all life on
In man's world K'an represents the heart, the soul locked up within the
body, the principle of light inclosed in the dark--that is, reason. The name of
the hexagram, because the trigram is doubled, has the additional meaning,
"repetition of danger." Thus the hexagram is intended to designate an
objective situation to which one must become accustomed, not a subjective
attitude. For danger due to a subjective attitude means either foolhardiness
or guile. Hence too a ravine is used to symbolize danger; it is a situation in
which a man is in the same pass as the water in a ravine, and, like the water,
he can escape if he behaves correctly.
Through repetition of danger we grow accustomed to it. Water sets the
example for the right conduct under such circumstances. It flows on and on,
and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink
from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose
its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions. Thus
likewise, if one is sincere when confronted with difficulties, the heart can
penetrate the meaning of the situation. And once we have gained inner
mastery of a problem, it will come about naturally that the action we take will
succeed. In danger all that counts is really carrying out all that has to be done-
-thoroughness--and going forward, in order not to perish through tarrying in
Properly used, danger can have an important meaning as a protective
measure. Thus heaven has its perilous height protecting it against every
attempt at invasion, and earth has its mountains and bodies of water,
separating countries by their dangers. Thus also rulers make use of danger to
protect themselves against attacks from without and against turmoil within.
Water reaches its goal by flowing continually. It fills up every depression
before it flows on. The superior man follows its example; he is concerned
that goodness should be an established attribute of character rather than an
accidental and isolated occurrence. So likewise in teaching others everything
depends on consistency, for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes
the material his own.
By growing used to what is dangerous, a man can easily allow it to become
part of him. He is familiar with it and grows used to evil. With this he has
lost the right way, and misfortune is the natural result.
When we are in danger we ought not to attempt to get out of it immediately,
regardless of circumstances; at first we must content ourselves with not being
overcome by it. We must calmly weigh the conditions of the time and by
satisfied with small gains, because for the time being a great success cannot be
attained. A spring flows only sparingly at first, and tarries for some time
before it makes its way in to the open.
Here every step, forward or backward, leads into danger. Escape is out of the
question. Therefore we must not be misled into action, as a result of which
we should only bog down deeper in the danger; disagreeable as it may be to
remain in such a situation, we must wait until a way out shows itself.
In times of danger ceremonious forms are dropped. What matters most is
sincerity. Although as a rule it is customary for an official to present certain
introductory gifts and recommendations before he is appointed, here
everything is simplified to the utmost. The gifts are insignificant, there is no
one to sponsor him, he introduces himself; yet all this need not be
humiliating if only there is the honest intention of mutual help in danger.
Still another idea is suggested. The window is the place through which light
enters the room. If in difficult times we want to enlighten someone, we must
begin with that which is in itself lucid and proceed quite simply from that
Danger comes because one is too ambitious. In order to flow out of a ravine,
water does not rise higher than the lowest point of the rim. So likewise a
man when in danger has only to proceed along the line of least resistance;
thus he reaches the goal. Great labors cannot be accomplished in such times; it
is enough to get out of the danger.
A man who in the extremity of danger has lost the right way and is
irremediably entangled in his sins has no prospect of escape. He is like a
criminal who sits shackled behind thorn hedged prison walls.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Do not lose courage, but it is one of four worst combinations. In your life there has come time of losses and defeats. The only thing that it is possible to make,-it to reduce up to a probable minimum number of strokes of bad luck. Have patience and wait, while the goddess of happiness again will award you of the sight. Through two, the greatest - in five months position will start to change for the better. For now you have enough time to occupy in scientific researches, reading, simply homework, which usually enough. Be not nervous, and keep calmness. It is the period when introspection and a sober estimation of position is much more important, than desperate struggle against destiny.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary