766676 · 3.2.3.4.6Hexagram 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 1

Responses to creative potential.

Line image

Here there is no activity to be experienced, all the energy of the life force is in a quiet state which we call potential (or potentially active as we feel activity to be more real and important). The non-active is, however, not only an absence of activity, it is a real state in its own right, an expansion of what we consider to be real; activity on the other hand contracts and sharpens what we experience to be real until we “actualize” a reality, making experience.

This selectivity which is the action of having a point of view forms our identity which in turn selects; thus out of the nothingness of Ch’ien creation comes.

Hexagrams 1 and 2 picture unselective non-doing and unselective doing and so neither has a point of view or pattern; these come from selected mixtures of doing and non-doing.

When we cast this hexagram, we are in a tao of unselective non-doing, so our situation is not cast in a shape and has great possibilities which are not at present actualized. The tao is to experience this state as a real way of being so we should not create activity so as to get out of it as soon as possible. Action will follow of its own volition; here we can experience and practise non-doing and see what it creates.

Trigram image

We cannot distinguish the flow of Ch’ien because there is no point of view here, which is needed to distinguish anything, yet it contains flows in their unmanifest form, or formlessness. It is like the raw material from which our world is formed, or the whole reality in which identity selects paths to travel upon.

Before we make a new path for ourselves, we will do well to savour this time in Ch’ien. We can see from the trigram flow analysis that each of our normally active-seeking functions need to relax their effort; from this silence, we may be able to hear things that our noise would otherwise obscure. In this way, Ch’ien creates without any effort and produces no stress.

The Chinese Oracle

The creative principle.
Sublime success.
Continuance furthers.

Comments

The sublime success of the creative element is its inevitability, so when we are one with this tao there is an inevitability about our actions also. Perseverance is needed in following the tao or we may think that we are creating (indeed we usually do think this) and then we try to lead events instead of following the life force with our actions. Following the tao is a constant theme of the oracle. Following creates the wholeness, leading creates the ten thousand things, but in either case we do not stand aside—we take part in creation.

Manifestations

The pattern
The creative power is ready.
Awaits your sympathy
like a new page.
For humans
His decision, what form evolves.
He is the king,
head of his household.
The world awaits the karma
which is his endowment.
In nature
The sun warms the earth.
What will grow?
Everything there is to flow
and overflow.
In forms we make
The form is not yet.
Riches are liquid, uncrystallized.
The state has power.
Its will is to be something.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

It is the deep emerging life force that is showing activity, so it is not yet time for us to manifest this—that will come in due course. Having deep knowing that this activity is there helps us to restrain our impatience for action, and holding this like a secret love in our heart is part of the richness of this tao.

The Chinese Image
Hidden dragon. Do not act.

The dragon is an ominous symbol, it is a dynamic expression of the life energy which, here, is still hidden from conscious manifestation.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here, activity begins to show in our feelings, which are our earliest manifestation of the life force, but we need to avoid narrowing this down to action too soon; keep it open and feel, for this is the tao of creation itself and if we do not interpose with our own pattern, we are privileged to know ourselves as part of the inevitable. In practice, we keep our options open.

The Chinese Image
Dragon in the open. It is an advantage to see the great man.

The life energy is in the open because it is manifesting in our feeling and it benefits us to experience this widely; to see the great man is to attend to our greater awareness. In terms of the oracle greatness is always wideness, including more—it is not power.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

In the tao of the creative there is great power and when this comes to manifestation, we may feel overburdened by it if we think it is we who are doing it. This only brings on unnecessary worry, but if we remember that taking part is not taking possession, there is no danger in this line.

The Chinese Image
All day the superior man is busy and at night his mind is active. Danger, no error.

The day symbolizes the activity in the world and the night a withdrawal of activity to the inner. The superior man is the one who follows the tao, and the danger to him (to our following the tao) is over-involvement, yet we have to be involved. There is no dividing line here to observe, hence the danger.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

Here we interest ourselves in the inactivity of line 3 and we may be tempted to be intentionally inactive, but this is doing and not in keeping with this tao of the creative doing itself. It is necessary to fall effortlessly into the activity of the creative, which is neither being active nor withholding activity.

The Chinese Image
To and fro on the brink of a chasm.
No error.

The chasm is this void that happens when we discount ourselves, trying not to do. Here we hesitate to relax because we feel the need to control even our inactivity. Identity feels threatened by not doing and this is part of its nature, not an error or failure on our part.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Here we are identifying ourselves with unchanging feeling (line 2). We have difficulty in identifying with the non-active as there seems to be nothing there.

The Chinese Image
Dragons flying in the heaven.
It is an advantage to see the great man.

Dragons are the flow of earth energy—things we normally identify with—and here our identifications are out of place unless heaven itself (Ch’ien) can be felt.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

To accept ourselves as the life force and tao is to confuse ourselves with the whole—in the tao of the creative we then think we are the creators.

The Chinese Image
Arrogant dragon. Regret.

It is particularly contrary to this tao for us to take charge of things. We are then deprived of the experience of the creative itself; we only experience ourselves.

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.