766696 · 3.2.3.4.5.6Hexagram 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 14

Fulfilment.

Line image

The only activity here is the acceptance of feeling (line 5), not even of active feeling but of the potentiality of feeling and also the feeling of potentiality. This hexagram is called “great possessions” and we always possess things for something we expect from them—peace, security, pleasure, or power for instance—and this is their potentiality. Having a lot of potentiality is about having a lot of possibilities.

Also this acceptance (by line 5) of the inactivity of intuitive feeling of the life force (line 2) can be expressed as accepting that we “make nothing of” the life force, meaning that we let it be what it will.

Trigram image

Here we observe potentiality through the hesitant attentiveness of the trigram Li. This makes it a tao of many outlets, for by accepting the feeling of potentiality without trying to bring it to manifestation we will next move into activity through the natural flow of the cycle. Because of this the moving lines of the hexagram do not lead us against the flow, as in many hexagrams, although they do lead us out of it. Potentiality becomes manifest because it is its nature to do so, not because we ourselves do anything.

In a wider view of this tao, our potentiality is to express what we have kept out of our view (this is our karma) because the power of identity rests upon its ability to be ignorant of “the other”; then this tao becomes a recognition of the reality of feelings we are not having (recognition of line 2 which is yang). This is recognition of the whole reality and so is great possession indeed.

The Chinese Oracle

Great possession.
Greatest success.

Comments

Possession of what is great; it is wide awareness that creates this success (possession of a great lot of meanness does not). This is about the greatness of what is possessed, not its great quantity, and as we know that identity narrows its spectrum of reality as it grows and becomes more specifically itself, this possession of wide awareness shows a maturity of identity where the attention is again turned to the whole.

Manifestations

The pattern
Creative power
comes from the inner reaches
to shine on the returning tide
which possesses the day.
For humans
The energy now comes
as the flow is inwards.
It is a gift of beauty,
of power mellow from experience.
In nature
The sun shines all day,
setting in glorious moments
for which it has prepared.
In forms we make
The wise ruler becomes sage
whose certainty of touch
knows the outcome
after living the pattern.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

The emerging energy moves out naturally, in this tao we do not have an activity-seeking attitude.

The Chinese Image
No involvement with evil.
No error.
Being aware of difficulties
he remains free of error.

That our own activity would create problems is evident, so evident that we are able to follow the tao and do not get involved with these difficulties.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

In this tao where our attention is open to feeling (line 5 is yin) if our feelings are active, as they become here, there is no blockage to the flow.

The Chinese Image
Large waggons for transport.
If there is a direction
it can be taken without error.

Open feeling is very versatile and will carry our lives in whatever direction is suitable. Directions are suitable when they are there in our circumstances, if we need to create them with our desires there would be error but here we can follow and the tao contains all that we need and think we need.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

The potential feeling becomes manifest activity. We are not manipulating the energy into activity but accepting what it does, going with our circumstances; thus we are in direct communication with whole reality.

The Chinese Image
A prince in an exchange with heaven; something a mean man could not do.

When we are identified narrowly (the mean man) we cannot be aware of whole reality by the very nature of identification.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

Our involvement in the lack of activity of the outer world (line 3) in this tao is not because we are worried by it, we can see the difference between our ego-activity and that of the life force; we see that if our activity is not that of the life force we become separate or out of phase with it, and being out of phase is full of effort.

The Chinese Image
He restrains his great resources.
No error.

This also implies that realizing that others have different needs, we do not impose our way upon them.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

Here we become less aware of a feeling of stillness and one of two consequences may arise: either we become still as our actions come directly from our centre of stillness, or our disinterest in stillness shows itself in an interest in activity. In this tao the first of these is indicated, but our activity-seeking identity may also be active.

The Chinese Image
He who shows inner truth and dignity has good fortune.

Inner truth and dignity are attributes that come from the still centre of our being; acting from there we remain whole during action instead of becoming polarized and identified.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

To become more involved in the emerging energy of this tao is not to be in possession of it but to be possessed within it.

The Chinese Image
He has heaven’s blessing which brings great good fortune and success.

He is blessed by heaven because the experience comes upon us like a gift, not by effort. What occurs is the achievement of the life force—but we are a part of this and in no way left out.

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.