In lines 4 and 5 we accept an inactive outer world and inactive feeling while line 6 shows that we do not accept the inner quietness of line 1. This pattern indicates that what we are feeling and doing is real to us but we do not see the movement of the tao, the way our circumstances are moving, and so we are ruled by our situation. The common name of the hexagram is “power or nourishment of the great”, and this “great” is the greater reality that surrounds our known reality, so it is inner (not distinguished) and produces little show outside.
The flow is in ourselves (Chên); we are changed by the great silence of the bottom trigram Ch’ien although we can hear nothing coming from it. It is an effect we call fate, not essentially separate from us but made to seem so by the focus of identity which creates the illusion of separateness. In this tao the illusion is tested, our acceptance of the greater reality is tested.
The Chinese Oracle
The outer is nourished by the inner, this is the power that the great has. There are barriers of our ignorance, however, which have to be overcome before we can accept what the great offers, so persistence is necessary in whatever contact we have with our inner sources; this involves being aware of how unaware we are. This is both not eating at home and crossing the great water, it is trying nourishment not already in our identity (home) and experiencing in a different manner (across great waters culture is different).
Line 1 goes yinlife force shows more change
The tao is about allowing the inner forces to flow as they will, and here the greater activity of the life force may cause us to think we can move (there is some pressure for personal activity).
The danger comes from our not being aware of the wider nature of our circumstances (lines 2 and 6 being yang).
Line 2 goes yinintuitive feeling more active
When intuitive feeling reacts to the life force it is interpreting it and so stands between the whole reality and identity; in identity’s terms it is a link but as reality is whole it is also a barrier.
Identity is our carriage which is part of whole reality except for its self-identification, when feeling does not interpret, the inner and outer are undivided, here feeling becomes active and so divides the outer from the inner. The image is a statement, not a judgement.
Line 3 goes yinouter world changes more
Outer activity is part of the flow in the whole, provided we allow it to flow as it will.
There is some danger in urging the life force onwards, it is the beginning of manipulating, so we need to be mindful of the tao. Martial arts are practised to enhance alertness and alertness to the circumstances we are in allows freedom of movement.
Line 4 goes yangaccepting the outer state less
Here we are becoming less involved in, less worried by, the outer inactivity and this has a quietening effect on us.
A headboard over the horns was used to restrain and quieten the bull’s too-high spirits. The image sees this as an advantage to the whole.
Line 5 goes yangless awareness of intuition
The less we interpret the life force the freer is the flow of the whole, for interpretation restricts possibilities; the less we interpret the more we accept.
The tusk is not changed when the boar is castrated but the drive that makes it dangerous is removed; this neatly pictures our personalization of activity, the way we own it.
Line 6 goes yinour inner being accepts more
This line is our contact with the greater reality that surrounds us, our personal part in it, so this present involvement of our inner being with the greater undistinguished reality is a culmination of the tao.
This is an acceptance of the great tao, it does not invest identity with some power or other but we are open to the inner silence (of the lower half of the hexagram, Ch’ien). In experience this may involve a deep discovery which brings us into deep peace with ourselves, or it may be that we simply feel more in tune.