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.
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 (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.
Line 1 goes yinlife 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.
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 yinintuitive 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.
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 yangouter 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.
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 yinaccepting 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.
Line 5 goes yangless 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.
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 yangour 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.
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.