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The I Ching for Android

hieroglyph Stripping (bō). Splitting Aparthexagram 23 Stripping (bō). Splitting Apart

23. Stripping (bō). Splitting Apart


The destruction time is over. Tests tempered soul, teach to confront challenges and take the inevitable. Remember: the more tension the body during the fall has, the harder your shot will be.

Inital text of I Ching

The Judgement

Splitting Apart. It does not further one to go anywhere.

The Image

The mountain rests on the earth:
The image of Splitting Apart. Thus those above can ensure their position only by giving generously to those below.

  1. The leg of the bed is split. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
  2. The bed is split at the edge. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune.
  3. He splits with them. No blame.
  4. The bed is split up to the skin. Misfortune.
  5. A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies. Everything acts to further.
  6. There is a large fruit still uneaten. The superior man receives a carriage. The house of the inferior man is split apart.


It is an unfavorable sign. The usual course of things is broken, leaving the soil under their feet. It is a beginning of decline. Significant is destroyed. There are intrigues of the detractors. Expect losses. Resilience and courage are needed to accept it as it is. Base on the experiences, find support in the wisdom, remember the higher purpose. Think about the reason. Do not complain.

Richard Wilhelm's commentary

The dark lines are about to mount upward and overthrow the last firm, light line by exerting a disintegrating influence on it. The inferior, dark forces overcome what is superior and strong, not by direct means, but by undermining it gradually and imperceptibly, so that it finally collapses.

The lines of the hexagram present the image of a house, the top line being the roof, and because the roof is being shattered the house collapses. The hexagram belongs to the ninth month (October-November). The yin power pushes up ever more powerfully and is about to supplant the yang power altogether.


This pictures a time when inferior people are pushing forward and are about to crowd out the few remaining strong and superior men. Under these circumstances, which are due to the time, it is not favorable for the superior man to undertake anything.

The right behavior in such adverse times is to be deduced from the images and their attributes. The lower trigram stands for the earth, whose attributes. The lower trigram stands for the earth, whose attributes are docility and devotion. The upper trigram stands for the mountain, whose attribute is stillness. This suggests that one should submit to the bad time and remain quiet. For it is a question not of man's doing but of time conditions, which, according to the laws of heaven, show an alternation of increase and decrease, fullness and emptiness. It is impossible to counteract these conditions of the time. Hence it is not cowardice but wisdom to submit and avoid action.


The mountain rests on the earth. When it is steep and narrow, lacking a broad base, it must topple over. Its position is strong only when it rises out of the earth broad and great, not proud and steep. So likewise those who rule rest on the broad foundation of the people. They too should be generous and benevolent, like the earth that carries all. Then they will make their position as secure as a mountain is in its tranquillity.


Inferior people are on the rise and stealthily begin their destructive burrowing from below in order to undermine the place where the superior man rests. Those followers of the ruler who remain loyal are destroyed by slander and intrigue. The situation bodes disaster, yet there is nothing to do but wait.


The power of the inferior people is growing. The danger draws close to one's person; already there are clear indication, and rest is disturbed. Moreover, in this dangerous situation one is as yet without help or friendly advances from above or below. Extreme caution is necessary in this isolation. One must adjust to the time and promptly avoid the danger. Stubborn perseverance in maintaining one's standpoint would lead to downfall.


An individual finds himself in an evil environment to which he is committed by external ties. But he has an inner relationship with a superior man, and through this he attains the stability to free himself from the way of the inferior people around him. This brings him into opposition to them of course, but that is not wrong.


Here the disaster affects not only the resting place but even the occupant. No warning or other comment is added. Misfortune has reached its peak: it can no longer be warded off.


Here, in immediate proximity to the strong, light-giving principle at the top, the nature of the dark force undergoes a change. It no longer opposes the strong principle by means of intrigues but submits to its guidance. Indeed, as the head of the other weak lines, it leads all of these to the strong line, just as a princess leads her maids-in-waiting like a shoal of fishes to her husband and thus gains his favor. Inasmuch as the lower element thus voluntarily places itself under the higher, it attains happiness and the higher also receives its due. Therefore all goes well.


Here the splitting apart reaches its end. When misfortune has spent itself, better times return. The seed of the good remains, and it is just when the fruit falls to the ground that food sprouts anew from its seed. The superior man again attains influence and effectiveness. He is supported by public opinion as if in a carriage. But the inferior man's wickedness is visited upon himself. His house is split apart. A law of nature is at work here. Evil is not destructive to the good alone but inevitably destroys itself as well. For evil, which lives solely by negation, cannot continue to exist on its own strength alone. The inferior man himself fares best when held under control by a superior man.

Barbara Hejslip interpretation

Main recesses expect you already in the near future. Probably, now someone talks scandal about you dismisses gossips. Therefore it is not necessary to be accepted now to any new business, you cannot get in awkward position. Your desires will be executed hardly later. Try to be circumspect and cautious in dialogue with representatives of other floor. Also it is not necessary to be lost if suddenly to be found out, that to the aid friends to count it is impossible.