788698 · 3.4.5Hexagram 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 51

Shaken in his being.

Line image

Line 6 is yin while line 1 is yang, so we change innerly in this tao but not from the activity of the emerging life force. The outer world (line 3) is active, while line 4 shows us to be ignorant about this outer activity. When our outer world is the centre of activity and we ignore this we are likely to meet the unexpected and to be unprepared. “Shock” is the common name of the hexagram.

Trigram image

The strong surge of energy in Chên is met by the immovable Kên. This flow is a severe jolt to the being, which, in its established peace is quite unprepared for such force; it resists and then succumbs (K’an), only to recover again as we recognize and co-ordinate a new reality.

Shock occurs when new experience appears too fast for our co-ordination to deal with it. Feeling cannot come up with a feeling and there may be rejection and disorganization (panic) or withdrawal of feeling (numbness). All this may be fleeting, as when we meet someone suddenly in a doorway, or profound. All this feeling cannot move outwards, cannot be identified, so it moves in our inner being (Chên at the top).

The Chinese Oracle

Shock (thunder), success.
Shock then laughter.
Frightening tumult for 100 miles around.
He does not spill the sacrificial vessel.

Comments

Shock by its nature is sudden and short, followed by relief and laughter. 100 miles around is symbolic of it going the whole distance—it is total in us. The sacrificial vessel is ourself (as in the Ting, hexagram 50), we do not go outwards in shock, we centre very severely, so the self or sacrificial vessel is not externalized, spilt. The movement of the energy in our inner being can make changes there and this is the success the tao offers.

Manifestations

The pattern
The world is shaken
to its foundation.
Unparalleled relief
must follow.
For humans
Shock follows shock
until his reality
itself is shaken.
Then he will laugh from his belly
at his alarm, at his escape,
at his relief;
and examine his weaknesses.
In nature
Lightning tears the air
and all beasts cower.
Strikes at the earth
and they tremble.
Its thunder rolls away,
uncovering the sun
and beautiful normality.
In forms we make
Authority stamps,
shaking its power;
and withdraws,
creating order.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

Here we react to shock immediately by stirring our inner peace into activity. We are alert and not taken much off our guard, or the shock is such that it is quickly recognized; either way it is quickly followed by relief.

The Chinese Image
Shock roars
then speaks smilingly.
Good fortune.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

This is the numbness reaction to shock. Feeling cannot co-ordinate and so does not function, creating a strange separateness but this will pass.

The Chinese Image
Shock signals danger.
He loses his valuables
and climbs nine hills.
He should not go after them,
in seven days he will have them again.

The danger of overload is a danger to our ability to distinguish what is happening to us, a danger to identity itself. When we cannot distinguish because of shock we lose all of value because confusion has no values.
Over nine hills is nine times up and down again, a vacillation about the number nine, which is 3 × 3 or symbolically change which is changing—all is confusion as we try to follow the change but cannot. But it all comes back again at the end of the process, the seven days. This symbolism just describes the shock syndrome.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

With shock, action becomes confused; but it is action that leads out of shock so instinctive action is an effective outlet; it also involves acting without caution.

The Chinese Image
Thunder (shock) is impetuous;
reacting likewise is not harmful.

It is necessary to move to get out of shock and our lightning-like reflexes operate, knowing in their own way what is needed; but here we control this and do not move.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

Here we are taking possession of the action of shock, using it for our purposes, conscious or unconscious. This is a misunderstanding; shock is by its nature spontaneous and although we may serve our purposes by this means we narrow our reality.

The Chinese Image
Shock in mud.

In mud we get stuck and here we get stuck in shock, using it, entangling with it. Allow shock and it flows out, try to define or use it and it stays.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

This fifth line is our recognition of intuitive feeling. Here the shock to feeling causes withdrawal from it—yet we cannot withdraw successfully from something so evident.

The Chinese Image
Shock comes and goes repeatedly.
Danger.
Nothing is lost and things need doing.

The danger is that we are distracted from outer action needed in response to the shock, “things need doing”. We are wildly seeking but nothing is lost so we need not seek.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

This line of our inner being does not accept the shock, it is a matter for our outer coordination to deal with it.

The Chinese Image
Shock creates disorder and terrified eye movements.
Advance brings misfortune.
His neighbours are shocked
but not he himself, no error.
The neighbours criticize him.

The outer boundary of self, the identified self which has many facets, are the “neighbours” who are disoriented, not the inner self, they look around with frightened eyes for some help but get none and feel let down.

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.