787788Hexagram 55

Plentiful relationship.

Line image

As our inner being (line 6) links with an inactive emerging life force (line 1) and the outer part of the hexagram (lines 3 and 4) is yang, the activity we are concerned with is feeling (lines 2 and 5); the inactivity we are concerned about is that of the emerging life force. The feeling line 2 is between two yang lines so it is contained by not being able to feel activity; the tao is full of feeling, great in feeling, and its common name is “abundance” or “fullness”.

Trigram image

The flow starts hesitantly (Li), becomes firm in the outer world (Sun) so does not cause movement there, then there is a budding of hope in our identified self (about activity) shown by Tui which turns into a torrent of change in our inner being (Chên). This is a fullsome flow that is occurring within ourselves, the abundance is there in the way we experience but it is not at present an abundance of outer activity.

This is a time when we can feel gladly, the outside is secure and we could think this to be an inevitably good experience; unfortunately our identity may be looking to outer achievement and this is a misunderstanding of where the abundance is; we are it, we have no need to seek, if we remain within, outer action follows in its natural course.

The Chinese Oracle

Abundance is followed by success.
The king has abundance,
do not feel anxious
but shine like the sun at midday.


What we usually call success is the happy conclusion of outer activity; the abundance is not there but the success follows out of the abundance which is inner. The inner identifying process which rules our identity is the king who has abundance, there is an abundance of material to identify amongst because it is feeling that is identified and the tao is full of feeling. It is all here and now, so we should be feeling complete like the sun at its zenith, but if our habit is to live for the future, planning always the next move and desire, we will be anxious.


The pattern
The life force finds a form
which enables it to act plentifully.
For humans
His energies flow naturally
into activity.
What he needs comes to hand.
Acting after maturing
has abundant success.
In nature
When the fire has fuel
there is a great blaze.
In forms we make
The idea
worked out in privacy
comes out with an easy force.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

When the life force is actively changing we can take part in this. We find it easier to take part in activity, which we see as progress, than in the inactive phase where we tend to create activity by planning.

The Chinese Image
He meets a prince of equal rank.
Ten days they are together
without error.
Going forward is favourable.

Our prince of equal rank is the unexpressed half of ourself. When the life force is active there is no barrier to conscious expression of the inner self so it is favourable to go forward with this for its full cycle (the ten days).

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

To feel less in this tao is to misunderstand, and to act on such misunderstanding courts disaster. When we do not feel the present we look to the future to seek a direction; we avoid feeling, but feeling is the essence of our present situation. We have arrived, we are here now and need no direction.

The Chinese Image
His vision is obscured.
At midday he sees only a star.
Going forward; mistrust and aversion.

A star is the guiding light of navigators, so here we are trying to navigate, mistaking the sun, the abundance, for a direction. Going forward, which is following the mood of looking forward, is a mistrust of the life force, an aversion to feeling the present.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

If we are engrossed in outer activity we are avoiding the abundance of feeling; abundance may seem to risk being overwhelmed by feeling, but go with it, it is the tao and outer action is not fruitful at present.

The Chinese Image
Abundant obscuration.
A small star at midday.
He breaks his right arm.
No error.

The abundance of feeling is obscured so as to seem tiny and far away, a guide to direction and not a warmth to bask in. We cannot act out in this tao and this symbolically breaks our right arm, our arm of action.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

The outer state which we are now taking to be a centre of interest is distracting us from feeling; we are asking where the abundance is when it is there inside. This line deals with our outer identity so here we are projecting the feeling of the tao to our outer reality; it will find a response, a reflection of the tao.

The Chinese Image
The midday sun a small star.
He meets his ruler,
who reflects him.
Good fortune.

We are still not seeing the tao for what it is and we still look for a direction, mistaking the sun that warms for a guiding star to some future event. Here we face the outer world as our reality and it becomes our ruler; its appearances are a reflection of our point of view, we see them through the filters of our choice. Our good fortune is being able to move (change) by accepting the tranquil (line 3, outer, as a substitute for line 1, inner).

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

Here the fullness of feeling is ending with the end of the resonance between the second and fifth lines. The abundance goes on to its next phase, the outer manifestation which we call success.

The Chinese Image
Afterwards there are wonderful variations passing.
Blessings and fame approach.
Good fortune.

The variations which fill us with wonder are the changes that come to our outer lives as though undeserved, like blessings, they are not caused out there but come from the inner abundance.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Our inner being does not accept the abundance of feeling so it is inhibited from flowing in the next cycle of our being.

The Chinese Image
Abundance within his house
and within the wall.
Peering through the gate
he sees no one.
For three years he sees no one.

The abundance stays inside so he cannot share it outside his person. Until we change (the three years is a cycle of change) we can find no one to share with. We need to learn to allow the abundance within to flow outwards; this follows its inner acceptance.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 28


Line image

In our inner being, line 6, we accept the activity of change that is available in our circumstances (line 1 is yin), but our intuitive feeling in line 2 is inactive and so is our outer world in line 3; identity is not interested in changing any of this (lines 4 and 5 are yang). This is a picture of stress where there is inner pressure for change but no response from the outer, manifesting self. It is too still, too rigid, has no flexibility.

Trigram image

The energy emerges formed and structured by the trigram Sun, is inactive throughout its manifestation as Ch’ien both for identity and the outer world, and has just a hope of change in Tui for our inner being. Here is a flow only at the very borders of our awareness, everything manifest is held rigid and cannot move, yet the activity of the inner is pushing it to move. When rigid structures are forced to change shape something gives way suddenly.

The Chinese Oracle

The ridgepole sags.
Movement is favourable.


We recognize excess by the stress it creates, without stress excess is felt as abundance. So here we are in a situation of stress pictured as the ridge of a roof about to give way; the ridge is where the two sides of the roof meet, and the roof is what separates us from the elements—a picture of our duality which “protects” identity from being engulfed in the great unknown reality. This “protection” is threatened, and keeping the polarities of our choices apart is threatened when they become excessive, when we or our society becomes too polarized for the flow of manifestation to happen, for the flow of manifestation is interchange between polarities.


The pattern
From the inner there is no flow.
Action is all inactivity,
Making return a beginning.
For humans
When firm and inflexible,
the only way of moving is to break.
When so gentle it changes nothing,
the only way of living is to die
into a beginning.
In nature
The wood is too ripe for budding,
too rigid for change
until it returns to earth.
In forms we make
No longer supported, must fall.
Falling, finds support.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

The stress in this tao is created by the force of the life energy from the inner acting upon rigid form in our lives (in ourselves). Here the activity is lessened and the stress limited.

The Chinese Image
Spreading white rushes underneath.
No error.

This is protection by the inner being, rushes are put under something to soften the contact, they are white because there is no selection in this action (white light is all-coloured light).

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here the rigidity itself is loosening, we are starting to feel the life force again and this is the beginning of new feeling.

The Chinese Image
The wizened willow tree
puts out new shoots.
An old man has a young wife.
All is favourable.

The old finds a way to flow again, and it was the lack of flow that caused the excess of pressure.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

In this tao identity has excessively structured duality; to act out from this projects the stress into our circumstances.

The Chinese Image
The ridgepole sags to breaking point.

The ridgepole giving way is like our giving out the stress from within us, we give way to it and the consequences to our environment are unfortunate.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

What we are accepting here in this moving line is the inactivity of our outer world, so there is less stress because we are not struggling with our rigidity. This does not change the rigidity but makes it more manageable and may mask the basic problem.

The Chinese Image
The ridgepole has support.
Good fortune.
Reliance on weak support
is unfortunate.

Reliance on masking the stresses we have would be a weak support.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Becoming aware of intuitive feeling that is inactive is to be more aware but not to have more feeling.

The Chinese Image
The wizened willow flowers.
The old woman takes a husband.
No praise. No blame.

This is widening awareness, opening up, flowering; then old feeling (from memory) comes to thought, to consciousness. These do not change things, the flowering does not change the tree and the old woman cannot have children, in other words there is no new growth.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Here we give up the struggle and become unaware of the activity pushing us towards change. When we become unaware of forces they overtake us.

The Chinese Image
Fording a river, the water rises over his head.
Misfortune. No error.

To give way to the flow is no error, only uncomfortable; it overcomes the rigidity and so changes us.