877888Hexagram 46

New growth out of maturity.

Line image

The only yang lines, 2 and 3, are our first interpretation and the outer action of the life force. All the top three lines are yin so we accept whatever the tao brings; it brings an activity (line 1) that we do not interpret by feeling and do not act out. The common name of the hexagram is “pushing upwards” or “ascending”; it is activity coming to fruition that is not yet recognized.

Trigram image

This structured emerging life force (Sun) is hardly visible outside (Tui) but causes a great change (Chên) in our identity which is accepted by our inner being (K’un).

So this is about something happening in ourselves, though it will naturally be reflected in our outer actions later; it is a growth in our reality state because when accepting the energy into our inner being we become one with it rather than separating ourselves and trying to get what we want from it.

The Chinese Oracle

Greatest success.
It is necessary to see the great man
to get rid of anxiety.
Movement towards the south
brings good fortune.


In this tao it is the forces within us that are ascending, not we ourselves as identity. It is these forces that create success, not we ourselves in identity. It is necessary to see this widely (the great man) if we are not to become anxious about how well we will do, for when we own the life force we feel responsible for what is done, for what happens. Movement towards the south is towards the sun’s zenith or the full activity of the day and this brings good fortune, for the activity will be carried by the forces now ascending within us.


The pattern
After accumulation
there is much power
for activity later on.
For humans
He has gathered
and assimilated experience.
He can now
turn this into many forms.
He is mature yet young.
In nature
When roots are strong in the earth
they push up great growth.
New shoots from old stock.
In forms we make
Wealth has been made.
How to use it wisely?
Nature makes growth
in new directions.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

When we are fully accepting our situation this acceptance remains even when there is no activity; identity is naturally activity-seeking so accepting inactivity involves a faith that activity will return.

The Chinese Image
Confidence in the ascent.
Great good fortune.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

We feel the movement of inner energies by direct experience of intuitive feeling, so for this feeling to become more active is a natural outcome of the energies ascending within us.

The Chinese Image
Genuine involvement in the sacrifice.
No error.

To be in our feelings is to be genuinely involved, and the sacrifice in which we are involved is of the ownership of the ascent; we recognize that it is the life force which ascends and this is no error.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

When ascending energy reaches outer action there is no longer any doubt even in a doubting mind, for there it is for all to see.

The Chinese Image
He ascends into a more spacious city.

The life force moves outwards into the world and spreads out there. When this happens we in identity have a feeling of release, of enlargement we sometimes call our success; even if we do think of it in this narrow way we move with the life force.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

When we concern ourselves less with an outer experience which is inactive (line 3 is yang) we are taking it as the manifestation of the life force and not our own creation. In this way we offer something to the whole by sacrificing our attachment.

The Chinese Image
The king sacrifices on mount Chi.
Great good fortune and no error.

Mount Chi was in the homeland of King Wên, who is reputed to have put the Chinese oracle images in their present form. If King Wên sacrificed up mount Chi it was on the height of his homeland; innerly the height of our homeland is our mind reality, our separated position or point of view, and giving up our separateness is our ultimate sacrifice and good fortune.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

Here we no longer accept the absence of interpretation of the life force (the yang line 2), but the energy cannot ascend unchanged if we interpret it so the ascent is checked.

The Chinese Image
Continuance in the way
brings good fortune.
The ascent is by steps.

It is in steps if we do not continue in the way without stopping, as in the case of this line.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

When we try to fix our reality, narrow it to something that we can grasp, we feel more secure in our identity but we become more unaware of our actual situation (the movement of the life force).

The Chinese Image
A dark ascent.
Great continuance in the way
is needed.

The energy of the life force ascends in us but we are not aware of it now so it is “dark”.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 54

Held back—breaks forth.

Line image

There is contradiction in this structure. We accept what is inactive innerly (lines 6 and 5) and reject what is active outside (line 4), so all movement is held up and nothing can be done. Such restraints on change cannot last for long because without change there is atrophy and the structure gives way to another; commonly the danger signals of being contained cause identity to break out of the restraint in some way.

It is an awkward structure because anything we do will be to relieve our feelings of being trapped without really changing our situation. While held thus by circumstances we will benefit by witnessing our reactions to it; it is always identity that traps itself—outer identity (line 4) cannot recognize activity as valid, it may, indeed, have been afraid for a long time, and then activity becomes awkward and undisciplined.

Trigram image

The flow is self-restricting, starting with hope (Tui) and then tentative in the world (Li) and sluggish in identity (K’an), but then with great force in our inner being (Chên). We hope for release of pent-up energies, but realizing their difficulties we are hesitant to let them out, so our activity is full of plans but very little outer action is possible. When energy cannot flow outwards it moves in our inner being and then awaits another chance of expression; when this chance comes the feeling that comes with it is “emotional”—charged with a purposeful need for expression.

The Chinese Oracle

The maiden seeks marriage.
Active undertakings bring misfortune.
No direction is favoured now.


The maiden (feeling) seeks the “other”, seeks definition and sense of purpose; a goal or direction is other to feeling, it is the male element to the female element. This goal or direction is to express the feeling in outer activity but this need is now out of phase with the tao—against the circumstances we are now in—and we usually get into such a situation by having experienced frustration of action at some earlier time and that action still needs expression. At present the circumstances of that challenge do not exist so if we act we are out of context.


The pattern
Young and joyful
but shy to venture.
Jumps with both feet;
becomes an active force.
For humans
His natural flow,
too long held back,
accepts any course for action.
Desire long unfulfilled
breaks forth.
How else could it become?
In nature
The lake flows out.
A young river, reluctant to flow,
comes to an abyss
and turns into a torrent.
In forms we make
When great force
overcomes unmoving friction
it is suddenly unopposed.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

A change to greater activity of the life force cannot be fully used in this tao where we are without a feeling of it and not identifying in outer action.

The Chinese Image
The maiden marries as a concubine.
A lame man can walk.
Active directions bring good fortune.

She marries but not fully, he can walk but not fully; it is better to have this partial movement than none, it is better to participate in what is on offer than to live in our images of what ought to be on offer.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

As the emerging life force is tending to become active in this tao (the trigram Tui) and everything is slow in our outer world, it is natural for our feelings towards activity to turn to this line which feels the life force. Feeling seeks the “other”, something to feel, but in these circumstances there is nothing available so we can only feel our own responses.

The Chinese Image
The one-eyed man can see.
Continuance of the solitary man brings advantage.

Feeling “looks” both inwards and outwards, but here vision is only on offer inwards so continuing in this is the way to proceed.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

We do not properly take part in the outer activity of this tao; we long to share but we cannot (sometimes dare not) give ourselves up to it. When the activity decreases we are able to take some part in it, an entrance into a world we wish to share.

The Chinese Image
From being a servant
she becomes a concubine.

A servant does not participate, a concubine does; a servant has separate quarters, a concubine co-inhabits. Here we become a participator, we enter the world of others and our energies have some outlet.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

In this moving line we are involved, we are interested or even dedicated to becoming involved; but this tao is a result of a long time of denial of outer flow and of acceptance of inner inactivity, so becoming interested in feelings of flow does not cause a torrent of activity, it prepares for movement.

The Chinese Image
The maiden does not marry at the usual age, she delays and makes a late marriage.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

In this tao we have been accepting that feeling is inactive; here we no longer accept this and so create a mind-feeling, a feeling stimulated by mind rather than the life force.

The Chinese Image
The emperor’s daughter was married in a gown less impressive than that of the serving maid.
The moon is nearly full, good fortune.

Our feeling is, in this symbol, the serving maid of our identifying, supplying the experience that is then identified, and this moving line 5 is about what identity does with feeling, how it dresses it up. The emperor is the ruler and our ruler in identity is the identifying process; this dresses up the experience in a way that is less beautiful than its original natural self. But the moon is nearly full, the growth of the feeling influence is waxing and about to reach its full radiance, so this opening to feeling will allow natural feeling to show itself again and this is good fortune.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Here we cease to accept the life force as it emerges into manifestation and act as though we could create activity; but the life force is not active so our actions become gestures only.

The Chinese Image
The woman’s basket is empty.
When the man stabs a sheep
no blood flows.
No direction is now favourable.

In both these images the action of the person is empty, nothing in the basket and no blood in the sheep. Whether we feel (the woman) or try to make identifying nourishment for identity (the man) there is nothing there and no direction we take, no action we make, will produce the result we desire at present. It is something to learn that we are not the creators.