968676 · 3.1.2.4.6Hexagram 3

Difficulties in beginnings.

Line image

Here we accept our outer world activity (lines 4 and 3) while ignoring our intuitive feeling (lines 5 and 2), so we go into things without preparation and learn from experience. This is not a criticism but just a fact; as our inner being is receptive to this (line 6), and is changed by it. The emerging life force is not in change so this experience is outward-looking.

Trigram image

There is great energy in the emerging life force (Chên) and flowing in the outer world (K’un), but it is stilled by our lack of involvement (Kên); we are at a loss as to how to move (K’an). This situation occurs when we are in unfamiliar circumstances and have to find out how to respond; the common name of the hexagram is “difficulty in beginnings”.

The Chinese Oracle

Difficulty is followed by great success.
Continuance in the way is rewarded.
Remain in the existing, not seeking the new.
To appoint princes brings advantage.

Comments

When something starts, there is the energy of its inception; when this runs out, there is the temptation to seek a new direction, but the energy must now come from our own self. By continuing in our present circumstances we become strong, which is the success.

Princes are the sons of the ruler, the king, and in our reality of distinguishing things the identifying process is our ruler; so appointing princes is to adopt new ways of identifying, new ways of approaching our experience.

Manifestations

The pattern
When the young flows first
with little stamina,
it is overcome by obstacles.
By flowing on it overcomes them.
For humans
New things begin to move.
Difficulties arise in the path.
To halt at difficulty brings out danger.
Perseverance brings on flowing.
In nature
Young growths grow fast, sappy,
and easily hurt against obstacles;
but new shoots are ready
to follow up.
In forms we make
When they first come together
there is a honeymoon,
then a strength of will,
then a compromise
for the sake of travelling together.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

Here a need for activity stirs, appearing as a move of fate opening up activity. It is necessary to give strength to this and make it a force, otherwise we cannot gain experience (make mistakes and learn) and come up against the world.

The Chinese Image
The hinderance of hesitation.
Be firm in perseverance.
To appoint princes brings advantage.

The phrase about princes is interpreted in the oracle comments above. The hesitation comes from unawareness of our intuitive feeling of the life force shown in the yang line 5.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

Our feelings are not recognizing that the challenge of individual activity is necessary and so we lose driving power. This is part of the birth of an individuality; there are still forces within us which are not ready to leave the great tao, the total parent, and become separate. Knowledge of this is not enough by itself, we need to woo the feeling towards taking part before we really join the dance. We are born and need to accept this fully; the beginning is difficult but as we continue it gets easier.

The Chinese Image
No advance.
Horse and carriage not connected.
A chaste maiden is wooed
but refuses; after ten years
she accepts.

The chaste maiden is our feeling which is not at this time accepting a challenge. There is no driving power because the horse, feeling, is not connected to our circumstances which are the carriage of our activity. When we refuse a challenge in this way we cannot advance until we meet a new challenge of this same sort, which is the symbol of a whole cycle of ten years before the maiden accepts.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Here we come up against outer world activity, find ourselves without guidelines, and desist. Indeed it is only prudent to do this while we assess the new activity—to rush in with newly-found ego energy is going to create problems.

The Chinese Image
If a hunter hunts without a guide he gets lost in the forest. The superior man sees danger and does not go into it; to do so would bring misfortune.

The superior man is our wide-seeing ability which comes from having many experiences and taking their essence or wisdom into our inner being. In this tao we are in unfamiliar experience but here we can use our existing wisdom to avoid entanglement.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Here we withdraw our identification from outer activity, perhaps for fear of consequences. To work through this difficulty we need to see our inner need for activity in order to have experience of the world which is what this tao is about.

The Chinese Image
Horse and wagon are disconnected.
Seek union.
Going forward brings good fortune
and actions prosper.

When growing some part of our identity, it halts our progress if we do not identify ourselves with our actions. This identification is part of all growing phases, so union between ourself and our action is needed for our manifestation to prosper.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

In this tao we are actively feeling a new situation; here we open ourselves to this because it is pleasurable in some way. In this learning tao, there is also learning in how to handle pleasurable situations; if we give ourselves to them like a tap fully turned on, the supply is soon exhausted. On the other hand if we confine our participation to a trickle, the experience is too mean. Here the flow of feeling should be open but not under the pressure of the need to develop self.

The Chinese Image
Difficulties with something that is fulfilling. A little perseverance is a good thing but great perseverance is disastrous.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Here we do not accept a new situation into our ongoing self and so we separate this personal self from our circumstances.

The Chinese Image
Horse and carriage are disconnected.
Blood and tears.

We cannot flow in our experience so symbolically our life-blood (experience) overflows in regretful feeling.

Secondary HexagramHexagram 6

Conflicting opposites.

Line image

With the top three lines yang we cannot respond, and with the second line yang we do not intuitively feel what to do, so it is not surprising that this hexagram is commonly called “difficulty”. There is activity from the life force and in our outer world. The difficulty we have here is our inability to participate.

Trigram image

The alternate male and female symbols of the first two trigrams, each in their opposing form of first male surrounded by female and then female surrounded by male, shows vacillation with doubt and hesitation; this forms into a firm, perhaps obstinate structure in us shown by the third trigram Sun and a lack of involvement for our inner being in the top trigram Ch’ien.

Experiencing this difficult situation has a learning effect in our personality, our personal self, in dealing with the problems of our manifest reality; here we are very much out in the world and struggling with its inconsistencies.

The Chinese Oracle

Conflict.
Sureness of being right meets obstacles.
With care there is progress in the middle
but it is disastrous at the end.
It is beneficial to see the great man but not to cross the great water.

Comments

Sureness of being right comes to a developed identity who is sure of the rules (the restrictions in reality) that he lives by; this sureness meets obstacles at the boundaries of his restricted reality where the rules no longer apply. We develop by changing, which is to change the rules, so if we are very sure our rules are right this will serve us for a while (the middle) but later on, if we cannot change, this is disastrous to our growth or our ability to move with our environment which itself is changing all the time.

Great is wide; the great man sees widely, without restriction, and to do this will help, but the great water is a wide barrier between us and a changed way of being (the other country over the water) and to jump at change while we have narrow horizons would invite further difficulty.

Manifestations

The pattern
Alternate water fire
cannot grow together.
Opposing into firmness
is tranquility of solitude.
For humans
Conflict resolved by separation.
Internal conflict by distinctions.
In nature
Heat frustrates life functions of water,
water, the cleansing of fire.
when nature throws these together
life takes time to recover.
In forms we make
When an entity moves
in opposing directions
they each have need
of a single sphere.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

With our life energy moving into an inactive phase, and having the feeling of difficulties we wish to get out of, we may be persuaded to push some activity to make things better; this is not going to be useful when we are in a state where we do not see our way very well.

The Chinese Image
If affairs are not pushed forward to conclusion there is gossip but good fortune in the end.

The gossip comes from all those parts in us which think we can get out of difficulty by doing something but do not realize that the difficulty is an unawareness that we cannot help at present. Good fortune comes eventually because this state is itself part of change.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here we become free of involvement in difficulty by a re-awakening of our intuitive feeling about our circumstances instead of trying to sort it out with our conflicting ideas.

The Chinese Image
The conflict is not resolved.
He returns home.
His kin, three hundred households,
are free of blame.

Resolving a conflict of ideas is not the only way of dealing with it, although when we are in conflict it may seem so. We can simply return to our observing centre and cease to project any idea on what we experience. Kin are those who are related, and within our personal self the related parts which were in conflict do not blame each other, instead they change their way entirely (symbolized by the number 3 for change and hundred for the entirety).

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Not taking sides in a conflict is sometimes quite difficult. Initially it is a hard course because participants within us wish to join in, but eventually it is rewarding as we understand more widely.

The Chinese Image
He nourishes himself on ancient virtues.
Continuance in the way brings danger
but eventual good fortune.
If in service of a king seek no office.

The middle way is the ancient virtue; it attains its ends because conflict is always temporary and fluctuating. If we are ruled by some identification (in service of a king) it is better not to further it now.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

Here we are accepting a world active in conflict. As we accept it, we do not fight to resolve it.

The Chinese Image
The conflict cannot be resolved.
He retreats from his position and accepts his circumstances.
Peacefully continuing in the way brings good fortune.

Here we can see the conflict from outside and so do not take sides. We see that the argument is fruitless.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

In this tao our feeling is closed to the “other” so conflict arises; here we recognize this closed feeling and see it as causing the conflict or as an important element in it.

The Chinese Image
Widely aware of the battle,
then good fortune comes.

There can only be conflict when views are narrow—when they are wide they overlap.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

The active life energy emerging into this tao becomes conflict due to lack of insight. Here we accept this as the tao, as our way of inner being, but conflict as a way of being resolves nothing and pushes identity further into its identifying isolation. In a wide sense, we lose when in conflict, whether we win or lose the contest.

The Chinese Image
If by chance we win a girdle (a token of position in the martial arts)${comma()} it will be taken from us three times before the day is over.

The situation in contest changes all the time and this (the number 3) takes our advantage from us. The gains are superficial and transitory.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 23

Solitude.

Line image

The only yang line is in the place of our inner being where we are not accepting all the free flow of the other lines. Our inner being is standing apart, separated from outer experience. Outer identification is not accepted.

Trigram image

All is freely flowing (K’un) until we reach our inner being where Kên shows silence and meditation on events, not participation.

The Chinese Oracle

Splitting.
No objective is favourable.

Comments

It is not favourable to have objectives when identity is divided from the inner self because all the directions that can attract us involve us more in the separate outer reality which is not being accepted by the whole personal self; any identification we make causes us to split further. There are however important chances of change and discoveries to be made in this tao about the way we are identifying.

Manifestations

The pattern
When inner reality
forsakes all outer activity
We contemplate in solitude.
For humans
When there are no bonds
things do not remain together.
In nature
To spin a cocoon
heralds inner change
and chrysalis.
In forms we make
Each into himself,
each unto himself,
leaves nothing to share.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

Because our outer identifications are not being accepted by our inner self, the source, the emerging life force, withers away.

The Chinese Image
The leg of the bed breaks.
Not continuing in the way
brings misfortune.

The bed is where we enter the great unknown and sleep. Here the leg of the bed breaks, which is its connection with the rest of reality. Our identifications, our conscious interests, are somehow at variance with the way or out of tune with our circumstances, too narrowly based.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

Here we become separate from the flow by ceasing to feel it. Feeling is our meeting with the flow so if we lose feeling in this tao we do not identify in the whole but only in the outer part.

The Chinese Image
The bed frame or edge is broken.
No continuance in the way.
Misfortune.

Here it is the bed frame, its structure, that comes apart. Our feeling of the life force is the base construction of our world reality; without a feeling of manifesting whole reality, our personal reality becomes isolated fragments. This feeling of whole reality we are lacking is the continuance in the way of the great tao.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

By decreasing outer activity we become more in tune with our inner being which has rejected our identifications out in the world.

The Chinese Image
He separates from all.
No error.

All our identifications are out there in the world, and here we discard them. In this way we separate ourselves from the factors that divided us.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

The most obvious danger in this tao about how we identify is our becoming too externalized and here we seem to realize this and cut off our involvement outside. As our being is at present concentrated in identifying, however, this now slips into identifying the boundary of the inner and outer self.

The Chinese Image
The bed and skin is split.
Misfortune.

The surface of the bed is the layer or skin between the outer reality—where we (identity) lie—and the inner; if consciousness penetrates this boundary it damages the function of identity in manifestation.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

In this tao our identifying leads us astray and our intuitive feeling which is the basis of our identifying is rejected by our inner being. Here our identity gives up following the feeling, seeing it as being in error.

The Chinese Image
A string of fishes.
Favour alike to being at court.
All is advantageous.

Fish are often used to symbolize our identifications (which nourish identity) in the uncharted waters of the whole reality. Here is a string of fishes, on a common thread and the fish are caught, so our identifications threaded together are captured. A court is where the ruler is ruling, and the ruler of identity is the identifying process, so here this act of catching identifications brings favour and advantage in every way.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

Here is a change in the separation depicted by the tao. The inner self witnesses and we have a possibility of realizing the tao, the experience of our self as separate from any identification.

The Chinese Image
A ripe fruit is not eaten.
The superior man has a carriage.
The inferior man loses his habitation.

To see whole we have to leave what we were doing, our identifications, however incomplete they seem to be; this ripe fruit could be eaten but we leave it. Wide-seeing superior man is carried in this, and allowing ourselves to be carried in our circumstances we find that there is more order in our lives, not less; if we do not grasp at life our inner needs take care of themselves. The inferior or narrow reality of chosen identifications has no place to be after this realization, he is not needed.