968876 · 3.1.2.6Hexagram 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 59

Dissipation of energy.

Line image

Owing to the fact that we are ignoring the inactive nature of feeling (lines 2 and 5) we are not in touch with the energy that will feed our outer action; this is neither good nor bad, but has the effect that we act in the outer world without any involvement in replacing this energy from within. We are finishing off an activity, clearing the system of commitment; the outer is active and we accept this (lines 3 and 4) while our inner being (line 6) is not involved in the emerging energy of line 1.

Trigram image

There is little energy to start with (K’an) and this rushes into outer activity (Chên); this rush is stilled by our identity which is not involved in it (Kên) and this forms mature structure in our inner being (Sun). Energy is dissipated or dispersed externally and as no new flow is identified from the emerging life force, our inner being becomes still.

Allowing this dissipation of what we may think of as our main assets, our activities or doing, creates an emptiness, and emptiness is itself creative in allowing new ways of being to enter.

The Chinese Oracle

Dispersing or scattering.
Success.
The king approaches his temple.
It brings advantage to cross the great water,
Continuance in the way is rewarded.

Comments

The king is our ruler, which for identity is the process of identifying; the temple of the whole process of identifying is where it sacrifices its separateness to the whole, not a physical place but a state of mind in which identifications are given up, sacrificed. The image says that a cycle of our identifying is dispersing and this scattering of our focus is the success our situation offers. To cross the great water is to change our way of being; to cross the mystical river is death and re-birth and across great stretches of water is always a different culture.

Sacrifice is not easy, but we do not approach our temple to ask for the continuance of what we are.

Manifestations

The pattern
Energy
working against resistance
is dissipated.
For humans
If he makes it a task
it is beyond his powers.
If he is wise he seeks help
and changes to new ways.
In nature
Thunder roars in the lowland
but is hardly heard up the mountain.
In forms we make
When resistance overcomes activity
systems lose their cohesion;
new ones form.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

When our own life force energies need no expression and have become silent we may follow the tao concerning some need outside ourselves.

The Chinese Image
He helps with the strength
of a horse.
Good fortune

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Feeling is our first interpretation of the life force, from it we define our reactions and outer actions in the world; here in this tao we are scattering a form of identity so it is counter-productive to turn feeling into attitudes.

The Chinese Image
Dispersion is occurring.
Hurry to protection
and regret disappears.

Feeling is protected if kept within; in sacrificing the formation of an attitude we must hurry because feeling turns into an attitude so quickly we hardly see it turning, if indeed we see it at all. If we can stop in time, regret will disappear because regret is only possible when we have invested in attitudes.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Our outer activity naturally wanes in this tao, and it is harmonious to allow it to die away so that we have no goal, no desire to achieve. We will then be empty, ready to allow the inner source to pass through and resonate in us.

The Chinese Image
He dissolves his self-centre
No regret.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Our own outer activity is normally directed towards achieving our desires in the world. Here we withdraw from this relationship, it is time to end what we have been doing to make room for something new.

The Chinese Image
He disperses his grouping.
Greatest good fortune.
Scattering leads to re-grouping;
The ordinary man does not consider this.

The ordinary man is our normal mode of creating a world out of our attitudes, it takes an extraordinary attitude to realize that our being is indestructible and our form one of continual change.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Feeling is not creating anything and we are living in this state of non-identification more where nothing leads identity and it becomes an awareness of being.

The Chinese Image
He makes great statements.
Perspiring, the king gives his valuables to the people.
No error.

The effort is great when the identifying process gives away the right to identify; identity gives up the ownership of what is there; it is a great statement, a great realization.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

Accepting dispersal in our inner being is the scattering of our ongoing self, the realization that this is not necessary to being.

The Chinese Image
Scattering his blood.
Keeping at a distance.
No error.

Blood is the life flow, the nourishing medium of our inner life which enables the separate parts to maintain themselves. To scatter this is to dissipate the established pattern of ourself or to keep it at a distance from our ability to be. It is to flow simply with the life force rather than with our own pattern of flow.

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.