Here the personal self has withdrawn from both inner and outer activity (lines 4 and 6) and we are in the peace of inactive feeling (lines 2 and 5). This uninvolvement and quiet feeling comes at the end of a cycle of involvement and the common name of the hexagram is “before completion”.
In this flow the energy is hesitant in our outer expression and inner being (both Li) so we will be unsure how to express in a situation that is somewhat empty and confusing. The emerging energy is low (K’an) and so is the energy in our identity (also K’an) which pictures our situation at the end of something we have been involved in, the energy has run out but it is not all completed yet and we are hesitant to invest more energy in it.
The Chinese Oracle
No chosen direction means not starting something new—for to do that we choose. The tail is in the water because the crossing is not yet complete and it is by keeping our choosing mind frozen that we can complete what we have been engaged in (when this becomes liquid the tail gets wet). So the success is in completing (the crossing) and the little fox is he who is learning to take advantage of his circumstances.
Line 1 goes yanglife force shows less change
Here we are not moving sufficiently with the tao we are in; the drive in the tao diminishes before we have completed our transition out of a habit-reality.
We are in transition so it is essential to keep moving, if we stop to consider our position we get submerged in where we are and the transition ceases.
Line 2 goes yinintuitive feeling more active
With our intuitive feelings active we are more aware, and to be more aware when in transition means witnessing, not being involved in action; we just feel our situation.
We stop our outer movement; it is this that carries us in the world and so is our carriage. Transition continues here while the old way of moving is stopped, so continuing with this is the way through.
Line 3 goes yangouter world changes less
If we stop movement during transition we may start off in a new direction to save ourselves the effort of inner change.
Change in our mode of being is not complete so to start any new movement now will be moving from our old motivations and endanger the change that is nearly complete.
Line 4 goes yinaccepting the outer state more
When a change is happening in our identifying pattern our old motivations turn up all sorts of new activities to keep themselves in being; these are the stumbling blocks to change.
We have to continue through the change (three years symbolically is a cycle of change) continually preventing old and habitual ways from keeping their footholds. Before completion means that we are on our way in a process of change and to complete the transition we must persist.
Line 5 goes yangless awareness of intuition
Our intuitive feeling is quiet in this tao; we have needed to accept this quietness also so that new action did not arise. Now we are further along the path of change and do not need this vigilance.
The transition has passed its doubting phase where we were subject to going back to the old ways. We now have confidence in the wider experience which is the reward of transition.
Line 6 goes yinour inner being accepts more
The life energy of this tao moves to create change, and here we go with the movement, identifying in it. We need to be careful of this identifying.
Confidence and over-confidence; in the first we trust providence and in the second we trust our heads.