Here, the only yin or active line is in the place of the outer world (line 3). Our response shown by line 4 is inactive which both means that we are not manipulating it and that we are not very aware of its nature. This unawareness is accentuated by the other yang lines in the top half of the hexagram to make a situation where we have to learn by experience of what happens, to handle the unexpected. The common name for the hexagram are “treading” and “conduct”.
In this flow the life force is tentative (Tui), our activity hesitant (Li), and our personality reactions are structured (Sun); so we are using our previously acquired experience to deal with new forms of experience and so we treat warily. This is an outer learning tao and the inner being (Ch’ien) is not affected.
The Chinese Oracle
Walking into new situations. Wondering if it will turn out all right. All this is necessary to gain outer experience, and it is only by treading on the tiger’s tail that we can discover that it does not bite us. Without risk there is no success, everything is a foregone conclusion; so outer success is here as part and parcel of risk, not because in all cases we shall achieve it. Our personal self has success anyway because it increases its experience.
Line 1 goes yinlife force shows more change
The top three lines of the hexagram, being yang, show that our responses are withheld, so this return of activity in the emerging life force is not our anticipation but the natural turn of events.
Line 2 goes yinintuitive feeling more active
Here we open our awareness to a quiet inner energy (line 1), we feel quiet and in tune with the tao. In general it is more difficult for our acutely identified form of identity to feel something inactive, for the quieter it gets the less there is for identity to do, but here it is beneficial to learn about this quietness and to persevere with these feelings.
In an inner interpretation the dark man is an unconscious element in us, a feeling (as this is the line of feeling) that has not been defined in consciousness.
Line 3 goes yangouter world changes less
The way in which we are ignorant of outer activity in this tao (line 4 is yang) leads to its decrease; in a sense, we are controlling outer activity and miss-seeing the tao, which is to learn from the tao rather than manipulate it. We may think that we are awake but our ignorance makes it more like dream-walking and this not-quite-seeing in the outer world leads to mistaking our situation; we learn, but through making mistakes.
This is symbolic of identity out there on the battlefield of the outer world to learn the lessons needed by his greater self (the overlord). In this greater sense our errors are inevitable and so no error at all.
Line 4 goes yinaccepting the outer state more
In this tao the outer state has the only manifest activity. As we become more absorbed in outer activity we lose sight within (insight) and are liable to lose contact with the tao. The third line is yin and to accept the natural activity of the tao is in keeping with it, but to accept it as our activity is to lose the experience that the tao can give us.
The distinction between action and self-involved action is not always easy to make while we are in activity; here we need the caution.
Line 5 goes yinmore awareness of intuition
Our direct knowing is inactive in this tao and being aware of this quietness is different to being involved in it and making it our way of being; there is no dividing line to make this difference distinct so we need to be very wary of being absorbed in the quietness until we lose the witnessing of events and also of stimulating feeling into activity.
The trouble would arise if we were not attentive enough and think we were being bold or if we become afraid and fail to tread at all.
Line 6 goes yinour inner being accepts more
Inner change is not yet manifesting in this tao, so it is about being with quietness inside and activity outside. In this moving line we accept learning this by a balance of witnessing with participation which provides a very effective living technique. The balance is dynamic, it is constantly modified and never made into rules to live by. This becomes the art of riding life, responding to its every movement yet never falling into the role of mastering it.
Riding life, never adrift and never entangled is the greatest good fortune.