777866 · 11.5.6Hexagram 11

Harmonious action.

Line image

With the lower half of the hexagram filled with yang lines all, the emerging part of the cycle of its activity is tranquil and at peace. The upper half is all yin and as this shows how we accept or ignore the emerging forces, we are here accepting all this peace. This shows a situation which is in perfect balance and without stress, and “peace” is the common name for the hexagram.

Trigram image

This flow is very harmonious and coherent with no hesitations or doubts, and this reinforces the peacefulness of the line structure. It flows from potential activity in us so we ourselves become part of this dynamic balance. The emerging life force is at peace, the outer world has joy and expectation, our personal self is greatly and fruitfully active, and our inner being accepts all this. Acceptance is the key to peace.

The Chinese Oracle

Peace.
The narrow goes, the wide comes.
Good fortune and success.

Comments

Narrow in the sense of mean or narrow-minded; wide in the sense of greatly accepting. Good fortune and success in furthering us along our path of experience. Recognition is directed towards the infinite.

Manifestations

The pattern
Harmonious flow
from inner to outer
is power in the easy.
For humans
Unimpeded movement.
The path suits the traveller
and he shines within.
In nature
Unfolding of the life force
of the seed.
In forms we make
Form creates itself.
Now we can see it.
Shall we remember it
when we desire?

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

In this tao we are fully accepting the condition of the life force so this moving line is the natural flow of a cycle of which we are a part. It becomes more active here and as we follow it we become more active also.

The Chinese Image
When grass is pulled up
earth comes up with it.
Going forward brings good fortune.

Our activity follows the phase of the life force in the same image as the earth comes up with the grass—being so one with it. Following our circumstances willingly is always good fortune.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Feeling the peace of the life force brings us to peace with ourselves; when at peace we have enough space to feel the unpeacefulness of others and may be tempted to withdraw with our peaceful feelings to guard them from the stresses around us. Feeling, however, exists only in relationship with something so this protection is counter-productive. Our feeling of peace should remain in contact, should be like a peaceful lake in the middle of a teeming forest.

The Chinese Image
Benefit the undeveloped.
Cross the great river while having no boat.
Do not abandon comrades.
Thus walk in the middle.

It requires great fortitude to remain in peace amongst narrow attitudes, to achieve without knowing how (for if we know how, we have projected our own narrow attitudes), to stay in relationship when it threatens our peace, and so neither leave nor become entangled.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

All the cycles of our experience have active and inactive phases; we have more difficulty in feeling at peace while being active. This dynamic peace is about harmony, like an orchestra, requiring full acceptance of the whole.

The Chinese Image
Every plain is followed by a slope.
Every going is followed by a return.
Be heartened, continuing through trouble will bring success.

To be able to remain at peace through all the phases of the cycle of experience requires persistence, but this success is a great blessing.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Our involvement in outer peace is to accept it and also to some extent to be busy about it with our identity. Here we are no longer so concerned with this.

The Chinese Image
He flutters,
Leaves his wealth, calling his neighbours,
In sincerity, not because of warning.

Our wealth is our accumulation, which we value; in an inner interpretation this is our personal status in whatever terms it has grown. It is sometimes difficult to give up our specialness and be just like our neighbours and difficult to give up our individual difference and trust in circumstances. Fluttering, or instability, is some unsureness as our inner wish (sincerity) is implemented, but it is an inner wish and not fear of consequences.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

Because identity is activity-seeking, our interest in the peacefulness of intuitive feeling in this tao is a mixture of letting it be and wishing it to be what it is not. Here we drop this interest and free ourselves of the dilemma.

The Chinese Image
A king gives his daughter in marriage and thereby gains good fortune.

This symbolism is about feeling, the female mode we have responsibility for. The king (our identifying process) has paternal feeling for his marriageable daughter, she represents feeling we are concerned about but not attaching ourselves to, we are giving it away. The good fortune is resulting freedom.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

This tao is at peace because of its balance (the silence of the lower half is balanced by the acceptance of the upper half). Here in this moving line our inner being rejects the silence and the balance is upset. There is nothing to do about it other than experience what we are doing and thereby strengthen the links between our inner and outer being.

The Chinese Image
The wall falls into the moat.
Do not fight it.

Balance is the maintenance of a separation like the height of a wall and the moat, when balance is lost, the opposites come together. Nothing can be done but experience this.

Secondary HexagramHexagram 9

Using what is small.

Line image

In line 4, the only yin line, we are accepting that there is quietness in our outer world—we experience it directly, physically, and so accept it as real—but we are not experiencing the inactivity of inner energies and our absence of feeling about them so we are prone to expect more than there is available to us.

Trigram image

The emerging flow is tranquil (Ch’ien) but there is a hope or expectation of outer action (Tui). Identity is hesitant to act on this (Li) so our inner being is structured, unflowing (Sun). We learn to change our expectations to suit circumstances in this tao and the common name for the hexagram is “nourishment of the small”; it is part of the maturing of the personal self when the activity of its growth is no longer the only thing that matters.

The Chinese Oracle

Nourishment of the small.
Success.
Dense clouds but no rain
from the west.

Comments

When we are aware that we are nourished by what is small, the success is that we take that nourishment instead of rejecting it for something we see as more important (larger). The clouds presage rain (relief, flow of activity) from the west (maturity, sunset) but this relief is something we are looking for, the effect of maturing has not reached us yet and we are to be content with what progress (success) our situation provides

If we feel disappointed with this it indicates that we are using our energy in anticipation to the detriment of our present experience.

Manifestations

The pattern
Creative tranquility
feels for activity.
Hesitates to move.
A little movement
soon matures.
For humans
To expect more than there is
will lose the value
of what we have.
To savour this little
gives nourishment.
In nature
The sun breaks through the clouds
late in the day,
giving a mellow evening.
If a small fire is blown
it is soon ashes.
In forms we make
Wise government
and good craftsmen
attend to quality.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

At this first sign of activity in this restricting tao, we should not move, the emerging energy that is available will turn out to be too small; so we need to return to the tao of accommodating ourselves to it and thus we learn how to manage this situation.

The Chinese Image
The return to the way is beneficial and blameless.

This may seem to be a setback or error just as we thought we were free to be active, but this is the separate view of identity and not wide enough to take in the situation.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here our feelings open to the tao instead of being in it with resentment; we are willing to play the game that small is beautiful instead of always looking for more.

The Chinese Image
We comply with a need to go back and that is beneficial.

Here, going back is from the point of view of outer identity in which going on means creating more of itself—more clarity of separateness by definition. Here, after hexagram 8, growth takes more subtle forms.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

When we create outer activity that the tao (our circumstances) will not support, this makes a stress in our situation. We are attempting to drive our vehicle but there is no driving power.

The Chinese Image
A carriage or spoked wheel, separated.
Man and wife with eyes averted.

The spokes of a wheel join the inner and the outer, the hub and the rim. The chariot is separated from the wheel, the rim is separated from its hub, the man is separated from his wife. The inner is separated from the outer here because we identify outwards without awareness that our activity is not supported by the life energies.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

If we do not accept the stillness of our outer world (line 3) we itch for activity and lose confidence in following the tao.

The Chinese Image
Confidence.
Blood and fear are no more.
No error.

Confidence in the inner energies, in the tao. Blood is the life flow and if we have confidence we do not lose this energy needlessly and our fear of not having enough disappears. To a part of ourselves, we may seem to be doing too little, so this is answered by the addition of “no error”.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

In this tao intuition is quiet; by accepting this quietness of feeling we also feel the quietness of acceptance. Quiet feeling is open to its environment in a way that active feeling can never be because it already has direction, so our acceptance of what is small in importance to us makes us at one with our situation.

The Chinese Image
Genuine involvement binds his heart to others and enriches his neighbour.

“Bind” is used here not in the sense of restricting but of making a very close relationship. Our neighbours are the circumstances we find ourselves amongst.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

When we accept the lightly manifest energy of this tao it is almost to accept the non-manifest as real. This has dangers to our manifest identity which still has its active cycle to run. We should witness without entanglement.

The Chinese Image
Rain and rest come. Virtue increases.
Even natural action brings peril to women.
The moon is nearly full.
Persistence by the superior man would bring misfortune.

The essence of virtue is that the whole is not led astray by the part. Here the part rests in the whole which is an increase of virtue. For the part to persist in its separate activity, whether of feeling or of distinguishing, will diminish the virtue and we will miss the peak of restfulness (the moon is nearly full); so we do not pursue our situation but simply rest in it.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 54

Held back—breaks forth.

Line image

There is contradiction in this structure. We accept what is inactive innerly (lines 6 and 5) and reject what is active outside (line 4), so all movement is held up and nothing can be done. Such restraints on change cannot last for long because without change there is atrophy and the structure gives way to another; commonly the danger signals of being contained cause identity to break out of the restraint in some way.

It is an awkward structure because anything we do will be to relieve our feelings of being trapped without really changing our situation. While held thus by circumstances we will benefit by witnessing our reactions to it; it is always identity that traps itself—outer identity (line 4) cannot recognize activity as valid, it may, indeed, have been afraid for a long time, and then activity becomes awkward and undisciplined.

Trigram image

The flow is self-restricting, starting with hope (Tui) and then tentative in the world (Li) and sluggish in identity (K’an), but then with great force in our inner being (Chên). We hope for release of pent-up energies, but realizing their difficulties we are hesitant to let them out, so our activity is full of plans but very little outer action is possible. When energy cannot flow outwards it moves in our inner being and then awaits another chance of expression; when this chance comes the feeling that comes with it is “emotional”—charged with a purposeful need for expression.

The Chinese Oracle

The maiden seeks marriage.
Active undertakings bring misfortune.
No direction is favoured now.

Comments

The maiden (feeling) seeks the “other”, seeks definition and sense of purpose; a goal or direction is other to feeling, it is the male element to the female element. This goal or direction is to express the feeling in outer activity but this need is now out of phase with the tao—against the circumstances we are now in—and we usually get into such a situation by having experienced frustration of action at some earlier time and that action still needs expression. At present the circumstances of that challenge do not exist so if we act we are out of context.

Manifestations

The pattern
Young and joyful
but shy to venture.
Jumps with both feet;
becomes an active force.
For humans
His natural flow,
too long held back,
accepts any course for action.
Desire long unfulfilled
breaks forth.
How else could it become?
In nature
The lake flows out.
A young river, reluctant to flow,
comes to an abyss
and turns into a torrent.
In forms we make
When great force
overcomes unmoving friction
it is suddenly unopposed.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

A change to greater activity of the life force cannot be fully used in this tao where we are without a feeling of it and not identifying in outer action.

The Chinese Image
The maiden marries as a concubine.
A lame man can walk.
Active directions bring good fortune.

She marries but not fully, he can walk but not fully; it is better to have this partial movement than none, it is better to participate in what is on offer than to live in our images of what ought to be on offer.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

As the emerging life force is tending to become active in this tao (the trigram Tui) and everything is slow in our outer world, it is natural for our feelings towards activity to turn to this line which feels the life force. Feeling seeks the “other”, something to feel, but in these circumstances there is nothing available so we can only feel our own responses.

The Chinese Image
The one-eyed man can see.
Continuance of the solitary man brings advantage.

Feeling “looks” both inwards and outwards, but here vision is only on offer inwards so continuing in this is the way to proceed.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

We do not properly take part in the outer activity of this tao; we long to share but we cannot (sometimes dare not) give ourselves up to it. When the activity decreases we are able to take some part in it, an entrance into a world we wish to share.

The Chinese Image
From being a servant
she becomes a concubine.

A servant does not participate, a concubine does; a servant has separate quarters, a concubine co-inhabits. Here we become a participator, we enter the world of others and our energies have some outlet.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

In this moving line we are involved, we are interested or even dedicated to becoming involved; but this tao is a result of a long time of denial of outer flow and of acceptance of inner inactivity, so becoming interested in feelings of flow does not cause a torrent of activity, it prepares for movement.

The Chinese Image
The maiden does not marry at the usual age, she delays and makes a late marriage.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

In this tao we have been accepting that feeling is inactive; here we no longer accept this and so create a mind-feeling, a feeling stimulated by mind rather than the life force.

The Chinese Image
The emperor’s daughter was married in a gown less impressive than that of the serving maid.
The moon is nearly full, good fortune.

Our feeling is, in this symbol, the serving maid of our identifying, supplying the experience that is then identified, and this moving line 5 is about what identity does with feeling, how it dresses it up. The emperor is the ruler and our ruler in identity is the identifying process; this dresses up the experience in a way that is less beautiful than its original natural self. But the moon is nearly full, the growth of the feeling influence is waxing and about to reach its full radiance, so this opening to feeling will allow natural feeling to show itself again and this is good fortune.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Here we cease to accept the life force as it emerges into manifestation and act as though we could create activity; but the life force is not active so our actions become gestures only.

The Chinese Image
The woman’s basket is empty.
When the man stabs a sheep
no blood flows.
No direction is now favourable.

In both these images the action of the person is empty, nothing in the basket and no blood in the sheep. Whether we feel (the woman) or try to make identifying nourishment for identity (the man) there is nothing there and no direction we take, no action we make, will produce the result we desire at present. It is something to learn that we are not the creators.