766896 · 3.2.3.5.6Hexagram 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 26

The flow and the channel.

Line image

In lines 4 and 5 we accept an inactive outer world and inactive feeling while line 6 shows that we do not accept the inner quietness of line 1. This pattern indicates that what we are feeling and doing is real to us but we do not see the movement of the tao, the way our circumstances are moving, and so we are ruled by our situation. The common name of the hexagram is “power or nourishment of the great”, and this “great” is the greater reality that surrounds our known reality, so it is inner (not distinguished) and produces little show outside.

Trigram image

The flow is in ourselves (Chên); we are changed by the great silence of the bottom trigram Ch’ien although we can hear nothing coming from it. It is an effect we call fate, not essentially separate from us but made to seem so by the focus of identity which creates the illusion of separateness. In this tao the illusion is tested, our acceptance of the greater reality is tested.

The Chinese Oracle

Nourishment by the great is furthered by persistence.
Not eating at home and crossing the great water are favoured.

Comments

The outer is nourished by the inner, this is the power that the great has. There are barriers of our ignorance, however, which have to be overcome before we can accept what the great offers, so persistence is necessary in whatever contact we have with our inner sources; this involves being aware of how unaware we are. This is both not eating at home and crossing the great water, it is trying nourishment not already in our identity (home) and experiencing in a different manner (across great waters culture is different).

Manifestations

The pattern
Great actions achieve their purpose.
Outer obeys inner,
becoming quiet and still.
For humans
He is inspired;
works all day outside,
discovering the form of things
he thinks he has made.
In the evening
he sits on the mountain.
In nature
Life force unfolds
in evolution of form.
The peak of form is order.
In forms we make
A pipe through which water flows.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

The tao is about allowing the inner forces to flow as they will, and here the greater activity of the life force may cause us to think we can move (there is some pressure for personal activity).

The Chinese Image
Danger is about
We should halt our activities.

The danger comes from our not being aware of the wider nature of our circumstances (lines 2 and 6 being yang).

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

When intuitive feeling reacts to the life force it is interpreting it and so stands between the whole reality and identity; in identity’s terms it is a link but as reality is whole it is also a barrier.

The Chinese Image
A carriage with its under-connection removed.

Identity is our carriage which is part of whole reality except for its self-identification, when feeling does not interpret, the inner and outer are undivided, here feeling becomes active and so divides the outer from the inner. The image is a statement, not a judgement.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

Outer activity is part of the flow in the whole, provided we allow it to flow as it will.

The Chinese Image
Urging fine horses.
Awareness of danger,
practice of martial arts,
and persistence (in the tao)
give advantage in any direction.

There is some danger in urging the life force onwards, it is the beginning of manipulating, so we need to be mindful of the tao. Martial arts are practised to enhance alertness and alertness to the circumstances we are in allows freedom of movement.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Here we are becoming less involved in, less worried by, the outer inactivity and this has a quietening effect on us.

The Chinese Image
The headboard of a young bull.

A headboard over the horns was used to restrain and quieten the bull’s too-high spirits. The image sees this as an advantage to the whole.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

The less we interpret the life force the freer is the flow of the whole, for interpretation restricts possibilities; the less we interpret the more we accept.

The Chinese Image
The tusk of a gelded boar.
Good fortune.

The tusk is not changed when the boar is castrated but the drive that makes it dangerous is removed; this neatly pictures our personalization of activity, the way we own it.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

This line is our contact with the greater reality that surrounds us, our personal part in it, so this present involvement of our inner being with the greater undistinguished reality is a culmination of the tao.

The Chinese Image
He arrives at the way of heaven.

This is an acceptance of the great tao, it does not invest identity with some power or other but we are open to the inner silence (of the lower half of the hexagram, Ch’ien). In experience this may involve a deep discovery which brings us into deep peace with ourselves, or it may be that we simply feel more in tune.

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.