The top three lines, representing our outer attention, our identity and our inner being, are all yang; we are not very aware therefore of the life force as it manifests. Where we are not aware, we are not changed, and this tao is commonly named “standstill”.
Activity is stilled in the outer world, structured in our personal self and leaves the inner being unchanged, so the activity of this tao makes for rigid rules which inhibit change—our structure becomes so firm that the life force does not flow in it and stagnation occurs. The flow shows that it is not strictly the tao enforcing standstill in identity, it is equally the rigidity of our identity, roles we play, stances we habitually take up. To be free of these is to have freedom.
The Chinese Oracle
The narrowing of awareness in this tao cannot but obstruct the superior man, for he is our aspect of widening awareness. Becoming aware of our unawareness, which is persevering with being in our circumstances, makes this a constructive experience.
Line 1 goes yanglife force shows less change
The ignoring of activity shown by lines 4, 5, and 6 results in silence; so the manifesting life force seems to disappear.
The activity of the life force is attached to our ability to react to it, or so it seems to our experience, so we need to keep going about our business. We have no way to directly influence the karma of our inner being; our ignoring needs to be as it is and will then change.
Line 2 goes yangintuitive feeling less active
In line 2 we interpret the life force in feeling, and in this tao of ignorance of the life force, we easily lose our ability to interpret it. In this moving line this happens and our narrower desiring mode of being is favoured by it; we feel that reality needs to be made what we desire (better) and we work for this, but this means that in this tao of experiencing our separation from the flow of the tao, we replace this experience with our desire and striving.
Our wide-seeing (superior) aspect can see that experiences such as this which distress our identified aspect are necessary and also wholesome.
Line 3 goes yangouter world changes less
In this situation where we are not aware of the energy flowing from inner to outer we cease to act; this shows that we do not take account of activities outside our immediate awareness and we take the standstill as being our own responsibility—this in turn makes us feel blame for what is happening.
Blaming ourselves is a point of view we have adopted; blaming is not accepting.
Line 4 goes yinaccepting the outer state more
Here identity opens itself to what is going on around it in the outside world and we become aware of the effects of our involvement there. We see that we act even when we are not aware, acting out of our greater self, and that we can simply follow this with our conscious identity.
In an inner interpretation the companions here are our separate parts of identity. The wider our view of reality becomes, the more our various aspects can take part and become a whole.
Line 5 goes yinmore awareness of intuition
Here we become aware of our intuitive feelings, and as these are active (line 2) we become aware of the activity of the life force. The characteristic of this tao is our lack of flow due to a lack of awareness, so this move towards feeling opens the identity to possibilities of flow once more.
The danger is of taking the flow to be our own and so still not opening ourselves to wider reality. The image of mulberry shoots probably arises out of the habit of mulberry bark to form sprouting burrs which take the strength from the tree; these were then bound tightly to contain them. In the same way, we need to strongly contain the urge to define and take possession of our feelings now or we will remain as separate as ever.
Line 6 goes yinour inner being accepts more
As our being becomes one with the active emerging life force (line 1) the cycle is completed and we flow once again, released from our isolate position of unawareness.