888968 · 16.4.5Hexagram 16

In rest.

Line image

As our active feelings in line 2 have the attention of identity in line 5 and our inner being in line 6 is involved in the life force, our attention is turned inwards and rejects activity in the outer world as shown by line 4 which is the only yang line. It is from the inner that new impulses arise and new cycles of activity manifest, so our attention is focused on a change of cycle and we withhold our involvement to be ready for something new.

Trigram image

The only trigram that is not fully flowing is that showing our identified self as K’an—this has low energy and doubtfulness. The identified self is at the bottom of a wave of activity, between one wave and another; it is time for rest.

A common name of the hexagram is “repose”; we should not go too quickly towards activity but neither lose sight of its coming rise. It is a time when we can widen our sense of time and, while being in the moment, be aware of other moments. Being at the node of a cycle (a point about which our reality swings) the tao will seem different when it is seen from one side of the node or the other; if we look ahead it is about excitement in outer involvement whereas if we are in the present it is about inner involvement.

What we need to do in this situation is to allow ourselves to be carried by activity when it comes to us and thus neither get stuck in a stance of repose nor create premature activity.

The Chinese Oracle

Reposeful attention benefits preparation and sending forth of armies.

Comments

Armies being sent forth are symbolic of our outer action, action that comes out of our point of view. A point of view that enables us to act effectively is developed during periods of rest such as this one we are in, so if we act too soon we are not going to be prepared innerly and the conditions will not be right for our action to be beneficial.

Manifestations

The pattern
The wave of the life force
nourishes its source.
For humans
The sabbath, the completion.
each cycle has its period of rest.
In nature
The seed results from the growth
and decay of the plant.
In forms we make
Without an amnesty
how is the knot to be untied?

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

Repose in this tao means awaiting a new cycle of activity with calm confidence, but here in this moving line the life force produces inactivity that we do not like (line 6 is accepting activity).

The Chinese Image
A cock crows about repose.
misfortune.

Because we do not like the inactivity of this moment we become busy about it. The misfortune is that we miss the experience of peace in the present and are ill-prepared for the next movement of the life force.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

Our intuitive feeling goes into repose, and this is quite in keeping with this tao but we may get stuck in this if we fix our minds on resting.

The Chinese Image
The firmness of rock.
A day not completed.
Continuance in the way
brings good fortune.

Rock is the underlying truth of our surface world which we feel here as our feelings go into repose, but we do not feel this for the whole cycle, the whole day, surface activity will again manifest. We need to stay with our present circumstances as they change.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

In this tao it is our involvement in outer activity shown by line 4 that is in repose, not the activity itself. Here outer activity is lessened so we are involved in making it less which is still an involvement and not repose; to let it go will enable us to find a new cycle.

The Chinese Image
He gazes upwards
which brings remorse.
He acts too late
which brings remorse.

Looking upwards is to look away from the matter in hand, looking for something that is not in our circumstances brings remorse because it is not available and we miss what is available (we come to it too late).

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

As the tao of repose is marked by this line being the only yang line, here we are involving ourselves in a new phase which is the natural development out of the phase of repose.

The Chinese Image
Calm confidence manifests success.
being without doubt he gathers friends.

If, now that repose is ending, we carry our calm confidence on into activity, we can expect the support of others.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

As we become less aware of what our intuitive feelings are doing we are more likely to be unaware when there is change, when something new arises, so we are more likely to carry on with old feelings when they have lost their vitality.

The Chinese Image
There is illness but not death.

This applies to the feelings, but physical illness often accompanies our identifying with stale feelings over a long period.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

When we lose interest in a transition while it is happening to us we lose touch with the flow and become confused.

The Chinese Image
Excessive repose (or over-confidence).
At completion there is change
and no error.

The transition is in us, it happens despite the confusion of identity because identity is not its cause but is what is being affected. As the transition completes itself we see more clearly again.

Secondary HexagramHexagram 8

The Diverse.

Line image

The fifth line is the only one that is yang, showing that we are not noticing our intuitive feel of our situation. The intuitive feel is there actively (line 2), and we are not interpreting it, judging it, making consequences from it.

As all the other lines are yin or actively carrying out their functions, this is the state of “witnessing” where we experience naturally—including experiencing ourselves—but we do not make consequences (which come from interpreting what we feel and so taking up an attitude). The common name of the hexagram is “union” or “unity” which is the effect witnessing has upon our personal self; no part has the opportunity to take charge of identity.

Trigram image

The effect of witnessing is to lessen further growth of our separate individuality because, as the trigram flow shows, we participate in activities of feeling and doing but do not relate these to our feelings of self—we witness that these things happen although we do not do them with intention. This halts the growth of our separate reality as the trigram K’an shows in the top place.

Witnessing is an act of active meditation whose only characteristic is that the feelings we have of reality are not taken as our own person but as something that is happening; allowing this, we change the perspective of our reality—yet it is not an aim, it is experiencing the life flow without aim.

The Chinese Oracle

Unity, coalescence.
Good fortune.
Enquire again for signs. No error.
The troubled join together,
those who are too late have misfortune.

Comments

In the process of witnessing, no part is allowed to take charge, the absence of acting out consequences makes sure of this. The result is an equality in the different aspects of our identity—all become equally available and as there is no contest, this is unity or collection of the parts into an effective whole. Here is the good fortune.

Making this unity is a very individual act depending upon our make-up so a new enquiry is needed for advice on how to proceed; this is natural and not due to an error.

In this process of unification, the parts which are coming together are troubled, worried at losing their right to possess identity each in turn as they have been used to; however, by witnessing they are joined. Any that stay separate must be lost to this new unified whole.

Such is the basic inner interpretation. This is of course reflected in our outer happenings, which bear a symbolic likeness; it is this likeness that causes us to say that the outer world is a projection of the inner, but it is more that it happens in sympathy, in resonance.

Manifestations

The pattern
Activity from the indivisible one
becomes high and low,
the still and the flowing.
For humans
Where we are diverse
we have need to complement one another.
Where we need to overcome an obstacle
we co-operate.
When divided in ourselves
we need to ask for guidance.
In nature
A mountain rises from the land,
beyond is water in the deep.
In forms we make
He who sits on high
is able to see land and water
and provide what is lacking
from one to another.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

We witness our life energy as being inactive and this inactivity is rather irksome to us, so at first our witnessing is not very fulfilling; we need to have confidence however because not only will our energy become active as the cycle moves but we will also find that witnessing the silence is something great in itself.

The Chinese Image
Unity with confidence is without fault, like a bowl that is full.
Good fortune will be added.

The good fortune that appears as a bonus is our realization of stillness; this happens when we have enough confidence in our inner being existing like a bowl that is full without overspilling into outer projections.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

Our witnessing is about not acting on feelings, just letting them be there, and here feeling becomes less when it is not stimulated by interest.

The Chinese Image
Unity originates from the inner.
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.

The action of the life force in this lower half of the hexagram is from inner to outer, which is the process of distinguishing or manifesting; the normal channel of this flow is feeling followed by distinguishing the outer consequences. As we are forgoing these consequences we concentrate on their inner source, and even when this is inactive we need to continue to witness it, for witnessing is to see what exists without choosing to have or reject.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Here we stop outer activity in order to witness, and see through the distinguishing mind which stops experiencing in order to look. By stopping what we witness, we do not witness with our whole self and so we form a point of view, which is different from witnessing. Witnessing allows everything to be witnessed without consequence so we do not need a point of view.

The Chinese Image
He joins with the wrong people,
with evil.

Evil is the outcome of narrow awareness always, so here we are joining things together in a narrow way to make unity; externally we will join with people who do the same. It is not necessary to stop activity in order to witness the silence, which is inner, so we are looking in the wrong place.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

We witness by being less involved in the outer world; if this is done without changing the activity, it brings unity to it—it is seen as a whole.

The Chinese Image
Seeking unity outside.
Continuance in the way
brings good fortune.

Continuing to follow the tao brings the good fortune of learning to join without manipulating. As long as we are trying to make something in our outer world “better” we cannot join it—we can observe it but not witness it.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

This opening ourselves to intuitive feeling is the only moving line that also permits the freedom of witnessing, all the others are traps of the mind that are doing witnessing. In feeling, we flow with activity and this shows that witnessing is not an observation of reality but a unity with it.

The Chinese Image
The kings of old in China used beaters on three sides only when hunting game: the game on three sides were trapped but those in front ran free. The citizens need no warning.

The king is the ruler, and our ruler is the identifying process. The process of identifying captures all the ways we try to witness by doing, but not this one which requires no doing, no trapping of the life force. The act of flowing without doing requires that we take no precautions, so the citizens need no warning.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

If we do not witness, there is no realization that although we are separate, we can experience whole. Witnessing is the first learning experience of this.

The Chinese Image
There is no head to the process of unifying. Misfortune.

No head symbolizes no co-ordinating function between our inner being and the outer world; creating unity, or witnessing, is the act of seeing that these are one by dropping our habit of having identity as a separate judge of reality. The misfortune is that we miss unity with a greater reality by keeping our own separate one.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 39

Upheaval.

Line image

Our identity accepts an inactive outer world (lines 4 and 3) while it does not accept our active intuitive feeling (lines 5 and 2); this does not favour our taking new directions, but acceptance by our inner being (line 6) creates change there, so although the tao restrains outer activity we are furthered by experiencing it.

Trigram image

The life force seeks to be still (Kên) and there is little flow in our outer world (K’an), so we are unable to act effectively; we hesitate (Li). The K’an, Li, K’an sequence on top of the stillness of Kên contradicts itself, giving the hexagram its common name of “obstruction” as no direction can be usefully taken.

The Chinese Oracle

Obstruction.
South and west are favourable.
North and east are unfavourable.
There is advantage in seeing the great man.
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.

Comments

The sun traverses the south and west from midday to night; the north and east is traversed through darkness to morning; so the south and west is activity becoming tranquil and the north and east is tranquility becoming active, so it is better to complete works rather than start new ones. It is an advantage to experience widely (the great man) when obstructed and work through the situation so that our inner experience is enriched.

Manifestations

The pattern
The life force halts
when each tries to take
the other’s place.
For humans
They fight around him.
He does not take part,
Knowing other ways.
In nature
In upheaval.
The water is upon the land.
The mountain in the water.
Fire springs from chasms.
The life force waits its time.
In forms we make
When the outside forces
are attacking one another
form is overthrown.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

When the life force is inactive less activity is possible, especially when we are in the tao of obstruction.

The Chinese Image
Going meets obstruction.
Remaining brings praise.

Remaining involves being still, being alert, being aware; more being, less doing.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

The natural reaction of feeling to troubled times is to become less sensitive; it is an instinctive move to balance sensitivity with aggravating circumstance.

The Chinese Image
The king’s minister meets
obstruction upon obstruction.
He is disadvantaged but
he is not at fault.

The minister supplies the king with advice and information, as feeling does for identifying. Feeling is suffering under the stress of our circumstances but this is not a fault in the way we feel.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

Here we act out to overcome our frustration although there is no path there; our objectives cannot be reached so we will then give up the attempt.

The Chinese Image
Goes and meets trouble.
Turns back.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

The unflowing state of outer action appears to us to be an obstruction. By becoming less involved in this we can be more aware of what is actually going on around us.

The Chinese Image
Going leads to obstruction.
Remaining connects together.

Connecting things together is a state of awareness, not of outer activity; here we try to understand our situation instead of battling against it.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

The obstruction is so great that we turn to our intuitive feeling, which we have been ignoring.

The Chinese Image
When obstruction is at its height,
friends come.

Feeling our circumstances helps as a friend would, be relating innerly. Our ignorance of this feeling was part of the obstruction so this improves matters.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

The obstruction in this tao is about our not being able to be still nor to act. Here our inner being becomes still, which is helpful.

The Chinese Image
Going outward meets obstruction.
Remaining is good fortune.
To see the great man brings advantage.
Good fortune.

Remaining is also keeping still and to see the great man is to see widely, not narrowing our view by choice; this is the good fortune.