Here there is no activity to be experienced, all the energy of the life force is in a quiet state which we call potential (or potentially active as we feel activity to be more real and important). The non-active is, however, not only an absence of activity, it is a real state in its own right, an expansion of what we consider to be real; activity on the other hand contracts and sharpens what we experience to be real until we “actualize” a reality, making experience.
This selectivity which is the action of having a point of view forms our identity which in turn selects; thus out of the nothingness of Ch’ien creation comes.
Hexagrams 1 and 2 picture unselective non-doing and unselective doing and so neither has a point of view or pattern; these come from selected mixtures of doing and non-doing.
When we cast this hexagram, we are in a tao of unselective non-doing, so our situation is not cast in a shape and has great possibilities which are not at present actualized. The tao is to experience this state as a real way of being so we should not create activity so as to get out of it as soon as possible. Action will follow of its own volition; here we can experience and practise non-doing and see what it creates.
We cannot distinguish the flow of Ch’ien because there is no point of view here, which is needed to distinguish anything, yet it contains flows in their unmanifest form, or formlessness. It is like the raw material from which our world is formed, or the whole reality in which identity selects paths to travel upon.
Before we make a new path for ourselves, we will do well to savour this time in Ch’ien. We can see from the trigram flow analysis that each of our normally active-seeking functions need to relax their effort; from this silence, we may be able to hear things that our noise would otherwise obscure. In this way, Ch’ien creates without any effort and produces no stress.
The Chinese Oracle
The sublime success of the creative element is its inevitability, so when we are one with this tao there is an inevitability about our actions also. Perseverance is needed in following the tao or we may think that we are creating (indeed we usually do think this) and then we try to lead events instead of following the life force with our actions. Following the tao is a constant theme of the oracle. Following creates the wholeness, leading creates the ten thousand things, but in either case we do not stand aside—we take part in creation.
Line 1 goes yinlife force shows more change
It is the deep emerging life force that is showing activity, so it is not yet time for us to manifest this—that will come in due course. Having deep knowing that this activity is there helps us to restrain our impatience for action, and holding this like a secret love in our heart is part of the richness of this tao.
The dragon is an ominous symbol, it is a dynamic expression of the life energy which, here, is still hidden from conscious manifestation.
Line 2 goes yinintuitive feeling more active
Here, activity begins to show in our feelings, which are our earliest manifestation of the life force, but we need to avoid narrowing this down to action too soon; keep it open and feel, for this is the tao of creation itself and if we do not interpose with our own pattern, we are privileged to know ourselves as part of the inevitable. In practice, we keep our options open.
The life energy is in the open because it is manifesting in our feeling and it benefits us to experience this widely; to see the great man is to attend to our greater awareness. In terms of the oracle greatness is always wideness, including more—it is not power.
Line 3 goes yinouter world changes more
In the tao of the creative there is great power and when this comes to manifestation, we may feel overburdened by it if we think it is we who are doing it. This only brings on unnecessary worry, but if we remember that taking part is not taking possession, there is no danger in this line.
The day symbolizes the activity in the world and the night a withdrawal of activity to the inner. The superior man is the one who follows the tao, and the danger to him (to our following the tao) is over-involvement, yet we have to be involved. There is no dividing line here to observe, hence the danger.
Line 4 goes yinaccepting the outer state more
Here we interest ourselves in the inactivity of line 3 and we may be tempted to be intentionally inactive, but this is doing and not in keeping with this tao of the creative doing itself. It is necessary to fall effortlessly into the activity of the creative, which is neither being active nor withholding activity.
The chasm is this void that happens when we discount ourselves, trying not to do. Here we hesitate to relax because we feel the need to control even our inactivity. Identity feels threatened by not doing and this is part of its nature, not an error or failure on our part.
Line 5 goes yinmore awareness of intuition
Here we are identifying ourselves with unchanging feeling (line 2). We have difficulty in identifying with the non-active as there seems to be nothing there.
Dragons are the flow of earth energy—things we normally identify with—and here our identifications are out of place unless heaven itself (Ch’ien) can be felt.
Line 6 goes yinour inner being accepts more
To accept ourselves as the life force and tao is to confuse ourselves with the whole—in the tao of the creative we then think we are the creators.
It is particularly contrary to this tao for us to take charge of things. We are then deprived of the experience of the creative itself; we only experience ourselves.