766878 · 3.2.3Hexagram 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 5

Lack of a path.

Line image

All is stillness in the lower, manifesting half of the hexagram, and we accept this (lines 4 and 6) but not the feeling of stillness (line 5 does not accept line 2). We cannot make ourselves feel still and look for activity, a feeling which is not supported by the life force. In this situation we either have to await the return of active energy or to await our own stillness (the only stillness we can create by doing something is repression). The common name of this hexagram is “waiting”.

Trigram image

With Ch’ien in the position showing the emerging life force, there is no new manifestation of reality into relating parts—it is at rest and whole. Then with Tui in the place of outer activity there is a tendency to act, a feeling that activity is just about to come, but Li follows in the way personality acts and Li always clings to stillness. This makes for little change in the inner self which is shown by K’an in the top place.

When the manifesting aspect of the life force is still, yet we cannot feel ourselves to be still, we have impatience or imposed patience; for this tao to work peacefully we need to give ourselves to stillness while witnessing our impatience.

The Chinese Oracle

Intentional inaction.
Waiting with confidence produces results.
Perseverance is beneficial.
To cross the great water is progress.

Comments

Knowing that there is learning to be had in this process of waiting gives us confidence that we are not missing something; if we are to persevere in waiting we cannot be continually regretting our inactivity—we have to change sides, cross the great water, change our attitude so that we can experience waiting as the natural order as much as activity.

Manifestations

The pattern
From tranquil to fluid without course.
Intimations desire action.
No channel to guide the flow.
For humans
Mood for action slowly stirred
finds no path.
Danger of floundering,
do not run, swim gently.
In nature
There is no track,
just forest.
In forms we make
The wise do not listen
to the cries of their opponents.
Quench them with silence.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

When the life force is still and we are impatient to make it move, we shift our experience towards some activity and so miss the experience of actually waiting.

The Chinese Image
Waiting at the outer edges.
To maintain constancy
guards against error.

The “outer edges” are the boundaries of our personal self beyond which we project our pattern into the world. When we are awaiting outer events we should not project new activities but be constant in our waiting or we miss the experience of the tao. We live for our experience, not for our achievements.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

We are trying to feel the tao here, either looking for a flow or to feel the stillness. This is certainly not intentional inaction but it does absorb the energy of our impatience and keeps us alive to our intuitive feelings.

The Chinese Image
Waiting on the river sands.
There is gossip but eventual good fortune.

A river in this line represents a flow of feeling which, here, we stand beside and watch. Within us are urges to activity (the gossip against all this waiting) but as we are following the tao the end result is good fortune, which is the experience of what actually exists in the life flow.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

Here we cannot wait and have to act, yet acting does not result in the outer flow we seek because it is not supported by the life force. This results in an unclear and worrying state in which our action becomes a stress between us and our environment.

The Chinese Image
Waiting in mud invites evil.

Evil is always a narrowing of our reality, the outcome of unawareness. Mud is unclear and we get stuck in it as we also get stuck in these unclear and worried states of mind.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

The outer world is inactive in this tao (shown by yang line 3); here we are having difficulty with so much stillness.

The Chinese Image
Waiting amongst blood.
Emerging from the pit.

We wait amongst the unflowing life-fluid but we want to flow, we feel it ought to flow, and this waiting in inactivity feels both unhealthy and confined like the pit; In this line we turn our attention from it and so we emerge from this abysmal feeling.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Intuitive feeling is inactive in this tao and here we become more involved with this inactivity, we feel the reality of there being no way forward and so become more aware of our present, which nourishes us.

The Chinese Image
Waiting while eating and drinking.
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.

It is good fortune to be nourished by our circumstances rather than straining towards the future. Being alert and aware in the present also enables us to recognize the re-emergence of activity in the life force when this arrives.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Here we close ourselves to the life force because it is inactive when we want activity; this will only make us insensitive to it when it changes into activity again. That which will come from the life force in the next phase will be unexpected and when we have fixed attitudes we miss the unexpected.

The Chinese Image
Entering the pit.
Three guests arrive unexpectedly,
honour them and good fortune comes.

The unexpected guests (three of them which shows change) are symbolizing a new flow of the life force. If we are aware and “honour” them, being attentive, good fortune comes. If on the other hand we allow our impatience to overcome our waiting for change, we are entering the pit.

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.