The manifesting, lower, half of the pattern is active throughout and the upper, receptive half is manifested by feeling (line 5); so the tao is about activity of manifestation which we join in feeling but we do not attach ourselves either outwardly or inwardly (lines 4 and 6 are yang). This is developing our outer-inner relationship; we stand between them and feel.
We hesitate to identify our inner being in this tao (Li) and our identified self cannot take advantage of our circumstances (K’an). This slows our response and stills our outer flow of activity (Kên). The common name of the hexagram is “progress”; when we have doubt and hesitation in our being the question of progress arises.
The Chinese Oracle
This image tells us what the progress is about. Our reality is ruled by what we distinguish or identify, so this process is the king and ruler and his progeny the prince is our identified self. Having audience with the king is being privy to the process of identifying, so our reality here is not in what we identify but in our being part of the cyclic process that rules our reality. The cycle is symbolized by “one day” and its changes by the number three; here is the progress, and without tranquillity we cannot be part of this; the many horses symbolize that many directions become available at one time when we do not identify in the process of the cycle.
Line 1 goes yanglife force shows less change
This tao is about being in the flow and not manipulating it. Here the life force ebbs and this is not our doing, so if we just continue to be, the flow will come back.
By remaining alert amongst small activity we will not only see its first signs of regrowth but also experience awareness with no objective. This change in experience is itself progress although we cannot conceive it until it happens.
Line 2 goes yangintuitive feeling less active
Our intuitive feeling of the life force diminishes while we are attached to progress outside in the world. In this tao outer activity is stilled (in trigram Kên) so looking for activity here is disappointing.
The grandmother symbolizes an old generation of feeling, past feeling, and past feeling coming into the present is emotion; so as we feel less of our present circumstances, past feelings find their release; they needed release so this is a blessing.
Line 3 goes yangouter world changes less
We normally make activity in order to control our circumstances; here we do not do this but trust in the tao of progress itself.
To live without manipulating requires giving up our hoping; we can only regret if we have been hoping for something.
Line 4 goes yinaccepting the outer state more
The progress of being in the flow is towards balancing the inner and the outer; if we keep returning to our outer reality for a sense of realness we repeat habit tracks.
The rodents have typically quick, darting movements, running for cover, and here it is as though we were using the outer reality as safe cover. We feel unsafe when we cannot distinguish and identify our circumstances but the greater danger lies in our being trapped in distinguished reality as the only way of being that we can recognize.
Line 5 goes yangless awareness of intuition
In this tao progress is toward the balance of inner and outer (the non-defined and the defined), so in this moving line we are following the tao as we become less involved in identifying our feelings—we still feel but our mind does not take over the feeling.
The choice between gain and loss is something we experience by going out from our centre into definition; without this there is no regret, no hope to be dashed. When we act in the movement of the moment everything is furthered, not just that which would lead to a particular outcome.
Line 6 goes yinour inner being accepts more
In this tao the inner being holds back from identifying itself, but here it does accept responsibility for its circumstances, which has dangers in a tao of not having particular identification.
To move out of the centre to any identified state involves regret, but to deal with identified parts of our being, a stance is necessary—it is necessary and so correct and it is also dangerous in case we lose the centre again.