All is stillness in the lower, manifesting half of the hexagram, and we accept this (lines 4 and 6) but not the feeling of stillness (line 5 does not accept line 2). We cannot make ourselves feel still and look for activity, a feeling which is not supported by the life force. In this situation we either have to await the return of active energy or to await our own stillness (the only stillness we can create by doing something is repression). The common name of this hexagram is “waiting”.
With Ch’ien in the position showing the emerging life force, there is no new manifestation of reality into relating parts—it is at rest and whole. Then with Tui in the place of outer activity there is a tendency to act, a feeling that activity is just about to come, but Li follows in the way personality acts and Li always clings to stillness. This makes for little change in the inner self which is shown by K’an in the top place.
When the manifesting aspect of the life force is still, yet we cannot feel ourselves to be still, we have impatience or imposed patience; for this tao to work peacefully we need to give ourselves to stillness while witnessing our impatience.
The Chinese Oracle
Knowing that there is learning to be had in this process of waiting gives us confidence that we are not missing something; if we are to persevere in waiting we cannot be continually regretting our inactivity—we have to change sides, cross the great water, change our attitude so that we can experience waiting as the natural order as much as activity.
Line 1 goes yinlife force shows more change
When the life force is still and we are impatient to make it move, we shift our experience towards some activity and so miss the experience of actually waiting.
The “outer edges” are the boundaries of our personal self beyond which we project our pattern into the world. When we are awaiting outer events we should not project new activities but be constant in our waiting or we miss the experience of the tao. We live for our experience, not for our achievements.
Line 2 goes yinintuitive feeling more active
We are trying to feel the tao here, either looking for a flow or to feel the stillness. This is certainly not intentional inaction but it does absorb the energy of our impatience and keeps us alive to our intuitive feelings.
A river in this line represents a flow of feeling which, here, we stand beside and watch. Within us are urges to activity (the gossip against all this waiting) but as we are following the tao the end result is good fortune, which is the experience of what actually exists in the life flow.
Line 3 goes yinouter world changes more
Here we cannot wait and have to act, yet acting does not result in the outer flow we seek because it is not supported by the life force. This results in an unclear and worrying state in which our action becomes a stress between us and our environment.
Evil is always a narrowing of our reality, the outcome of unawareness. Mud is unclear and we get stuck in it as we also get stuck in these unclear and worried states of mind.
Line 4 goes yangaccepting the outer state less
The outer world is inactive in this tao (shown by yang line 3); here we are having difficulty with so much stillness.
We wait amongst the unflowing life-fluid but we want to flow, we feel it ought to flow, and this waiting in inactivity feels both unhealthy and confined like the pit; In this line we turn our attention from it and so we emerge from this abysmal feeling.
Line 5 goes yinmore awareness of intuition
Intuitive feeling is inactive in this tao and here we become more involved with this inactivity, we feel the reality of there being no way forward and so become more aware of our present, which nourishes us.
It is good fortune to be nourished by our circumstances rather than straining towards the future. Being alert and aware in the present also enables us to recognize the re-emergence of activity in the life force when this arrives.
Line 6 goes yangour inner being accepts less
Here we close ourselves to the life force because it is inactive when we want activity; this will only make us insensitive to it when it changes into activity again. That which will come from the life force in the next phase will be unexpected and when we have fixed attitudes we miss the unexpected.
The unexpected guests (three of them which shows change) are symbolizing a new flow of the life force. If we are aware and “honour” them, being attentive, good fortune comes. If on the other hand we allow our impatience to overcome our waiting for change, we are entering the pit.