There is activity outside (line 3) and acceptance of this (line 4); the emerging life force is quiet (line 1) and so is our feeling for this (line 2); so energy is flowing outside and not being replaced from within. In line 5 identity accepts the quietness of feeling, so the tao is about emptying ourselves of activity, not seeking the new.
We become one with the flow of activity outwards, shown by trigrams Chên and K’un, while our inner being (Kên) is observing and not creating new impulses out of this. It is as though we were breathing out without thought for our next breath to come, it will come but for now we need to be in the emptying out so that the new breath comes entirely of itself. It is important not to be goal-seeking here for this retains the old as a plan for the future, when we do this the tao becomes a failure of expectations.
The Chinese Oracle
Really genuine involvement in emptying out is necessary to make the decrease complete so that it will fill of its own accord, and this self-filling of the life force is the great good fortune. Having a direction we do not need to seek for one, so we need to complete directions we have already started upon. When we sacrifice with two small bowls, one in each hand, we no longer choose, we sacrifice both, and only then is it possible to be empty.
Line 1 goes yinlife force shows more change
As this tao is about finishing off activity, now the emerging life force becomes active again we are talking about the beginnings of a new activity.
The work is done, the outgoing breath is finished so there is a new breath coming. In practical life there are many breaths taking place together and out of phase so that they interact. Our breathing out in one respect is the breathing in of somebody or something else and if we leave suddenly this is a shock to the shared experience.
Line 2 goes yinintuitive feeling more active
To feel for finishing off activity is following the tao, but if we feel for making a new course of action it would be out of place.
Translators do not agree on the last line, making different sense of this basic idea that they have in common. Our intuitive feeling is normally looking for how to act in our circumstances, so a simple warning that we may be facing the wrong direction seems in keeping.
Line 3 goes yangouter world changes less
The single aim of completing activity will make the way clear for a new flow.
Three symbolizes transition, change. Change is what the journey is about and during it we may become polarized in choice and so become two and lose our wholeness, one. So if we are trying to be empty, and so whole and symbolically one, as well as choosing, which is symbolically two, we are three and we lose our wholeness, one. If, on the other hand, we are alone in our wholeness and do not choose we have the company of all things.
Line 4 goes yangaccepting the outer state less
The outer state shown by line 3 is active, so here we are accepting this activity less, identifying in it less.
When we are not always choosing our aims, our future, all the other futures we would not choose are available to us; these others arising spontaneously are happiness.
Line 5 goes yangless awareness of intuition
Here we are no longer watching the feelings we have of the life force, we are trusting it and allowing it to be what it will.
Tortoise shells were used in China for oracle reading. When we are unconcerned whether we are feeling correctly, we feel naturally and flow in the tao; this is the same as having the oracle in abundance.
Line 6 goes yinour inner being accepts more
Accepting the life force is genuine decrease of separate self; we do not choose and it is choice that separates the one who chooses.
When we choose we increase what we choose and diminish others, but this increase in acceptance does not do this. If we have a direction we have no need to choose one so it is easier for us. Our home is where we identify and here we do not identify and so have no home, but if we are just part of the life force this is where people identify and we will appear to have followers.