|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.
55. Abounding (fēng). Abundance
Wealth brings joy only to those who can share it. Do not be afraid to run out of it - wasting gold to good things, you are growing with spiritual power. Even if wasting all, life will provide an opportunity to correct everything.
Inital text of I Ching
Abundance has success. The king attains abundance. Be not sad. Be like the sun at midday.
Both thunder and lightning come:
The image of Abundance. Thus the superior man decides lawsuits and carries out punishments.
- When a man meets his destined ruler, they can be together ten days, and it is not a mistake. Going meets with recognition.
- The curtain is of such fullness that the polestars can be seen at noon. Through going one meets with mistrust and hate. If one rouses him through truth, good fortune comes.
- The underbrush is of such abundance that the small stars can be seen at noon. He breaks his right arm. No blame.
- The curtain is of such fullness that the polestars can be seen at noon. He meets his ruler, who is of like kind. Good fortune.
- Lines are coming, blessing and fame draw near. Good fortune.
- His house is in a state of abundance. He screens off his family. He peers through the gate and no longer perceives anyone. For three years he sees nothing. Misfortune.
The palace was built and filled with treasures. The situation is favorable as never before. Success and profit are everywhere. Be generous and do not worry about the decrease in wealth. Hurry to do good things. Hospitality, sacrifice, extravagance – all is in favor: you will get new friends, strengthen your positions. But be prepared to answer for their actions. Do not be proud of his success and wealth - always think that the main treasure is in soul. Remember that the harvest is always replaced by winter, when it is silly to wait for fruit - this should not make you sad.
Chên is movement; Li is flame, whose attribute is clarity. Clarity within,
movement without-this produces greatness and abundance. The hexagram
pictures a period of advanced civilization. However, the fact that
development has reached a peak suggests that this extraordinary condition of
abundance cannot be maintained permanently.
It is not given to every mortal to bring about a time of outstanding greatness
and abundance. Only a born ruler of men is able to do it, because his will is
directed to what is great. Such a time of abundance is usually brief. Therefore
a sage might well feel sad in view of the decline that must follow. But such
sadness foes not befit him. Only a man who is inwardly free of sorrow and
care can lead in a time of abundance. He must be like the sun at midday,
illuminating and gladdening everything under heaven.
This hexagram has a certain connection with Shih Ho, BITING THROUGH
(21), in which thunder and lightning similarly appear together, but in the
reverse order. In BITING THROUGH, laws are laid down; here they are
applied and enforced. Clarity (Li) within makes it possible to investigate the
facts exactly, and shock (Chên) without ensures a strict and precise carrying
out of punishments.
To bring about a time of abundance, a union of clarity with energetic
movement is needed. Two individuals possessed of these two attributes are
suited to each other, and even if they spend an entire cycle of time together
during the period of abundance, it will not be too long, nor is it a mistake.
Therefore one may go forth, in order to make one's influence felt; it will meet
It often happens that plots and party intrigues, which have the darkening
effect of an eclipse of the sun, come between a ruler intent on great
achievement and the man who could effect great undertakings. Then,
instead of the sun, we see the northern stars in the sky. The ruler is
overshadowed by a party that has usurped power. If a man at such a time
were to try to take energetic measures, he would encounter only mistrust and
envy, which would prohibit all movement. The essential thing then is to
hold inwardly to the power of truth, which in the end is so strong that it
exerts an invisible influence on the ruler, so that all goes well.
The image is that of a progressive covering over of the sun. Here the eclipse
reaches totality, therefore even the small stars can be seen at noon.
In the sphere of social relationships, this means that the prince is now so
eclipsed that even the most insignificant persons can push themselves into
the foreground. This makes it impossible for an able man, though he might
be the right hand of the ruler, to undertake anything. It is as though his arm
were broken, but he is not to blame for being thus hindered in action.
Here the darkness is already decreasing, therefore interrelated elements come
together. Here too the complement must be found-the necessary wisdom to
complement joy of action. Then everything will go well. The
complementary factor postulated here is the reverse of the one in the first
line. In the latter, wisdom is to be complemented by energy, while here
energy is complemented by wisdom.
The ruler is modest and therefore open to the counsel of able men. Thus he
is surrounded by men who suggest to him the lines of action. This brings
blessing, fame, and good fortune to him and all the people.
This describes a man who because of his arrogance and obstinacy attains the
opposite of what he strives for. He seeks abundance and splendor for his
dwelling. He wishes at all odds to be master in his house, which so alienates
his family that in the end he finds himself completely isolated.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Symbol of this hexagram - an autumn harvest, gathering of a rich crop. It means, that your happy star brightly shines your way. Your business go stably and successfully. Probably, in the future they will go even better. Remember, that you always need to be well informed about all events. Do not forget and about economy, try to save money gradually. This time is especially favorable for employment by an agriculture, and also art. However absolutely there is no confidence that your desires will be executed though now you are accompanied obviously with success.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary