678666 · 7.1.4.5.6Hexagram 7

Many forms within one.

Line image

The only inactive line in this hexagram is that concerning intuitive feeling, direct awareness of our circumstances; without this awareness of the “other” we are insensitive to feelings other than our own, which is necessary to the way the tao operates. The common name of the hexagram is “the army” and an army could not fight if it was aware of and sensitive to the feelings of the other, its enemy; we do not have any real awareness of another’s feelings unless we can share them. This single yang line 2 also gives conditions for dispassionate, pragmatic judgement such as the professional soldier has.

Trigram image

At the base of the hexagram we have doubt and an inability to flow outwards and then a forceful outer action which overcomes this obstruction and permits movement again. The outcome of this is often unpleasant and disruptive but this violence is compensating for a lack of ability to flow.

Whether this effect is showing in our personal or collective identity, our difficulty with this pattern is that by its nature, its movement goes too far; an army that rights wrongs and then stops is rare, more often there is vengeance, so to control the situation, discipline is necessary.

The Chinese Oracle

The army.
Perseverance.
Strong leadership.
Good fortune not error.

Comments

For individual or social identity to maintain itself these qualities are necessary. As in an army, there has to be an indisputed leader and coherent action. That this is good fortune and not error needs to be said because so much strict dominance has a bad name, its power being abused throughout the whole history of identities. Power and dominance are not in themselves evil (narrowing) but may easily be used by the narrow; perseverance in following the tao makes the leader a vital link in a chain instead of the despot he may otherwise become.

Manifestations

The pattern
An appearance everywhere
of activity without rest.
A rising,
collecting together of like.
many effects without a single cause.
For humans
Pervaded by one motivation
all fields of our activity
take their form.
In nature
From pressure in the earth
out of every crevice
growth comes.
In forms we make
From a single control
the mass obeys.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

In this tao of forceful outer action, it is important that we assess the outer situation correctly or the force we use will be destructive only. The outer situation depends upon inner energy emerging in this line so we note that this energy is becoming inactive.

The Chinese Image
The army requires correct orders or there is disaster.

The “orders” or the ordering of our action need to take account of the life force. With the life force creating less change, we need to be in firm control of our forcefulness so that it does not go beyond what the situation requires.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here we expand our awareness of the tao by feeling both inner and outer, both the life force and its outer effects (as the three top lines are all accepting).

The Chinese Image
The general is in the centre of his army.
The king makes three awards.

The number three, meaning change, here shows that a change in our approach is the outcome, or award, of this moving line.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Here we become less active in a situation which requires activity. We are perhaps applying a rule we have learned which is against aggressive action, some conditioning. No rule applies to all situations and what we need in action is spontaneous response as well as experience to guide us. Experience comes from the dead past whereas the present is alive and changing.

The Chinese Image
The army waggons carry corpses.
Misfortune.

The past is dead, it cannot change to meet circumstances and the warrior requires spontaneous reactions to avert disaster. This is our situation also; our progress depends upon our present awareness, not rules we have learned.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Identity withdraws its interest from the outer world. This is not to say that our activity ceases but that our identification in the activity lessens.

The Chinese Image
The army withdraws.
No blame.

It may serve us better if we are not immersed in the outer battles. We may see more clearly if we are not.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

A difficult situation arises as we become less aware that our intuition is not active so that our present reading of our situation is governed solely by rules we learned in the past.

The Chinese Image
Wild beasts in the field.
There is advantage in catching them.
No error.
The elder leads the army and the younger carries corpses.
Continuing brings misfortune.

For the inner interpretation, the wild beasts are rampant autonomous feelings which we need to bring under control so that we do not commit errors. The elder is our older (past) experience which is in control of the situation while the younger and present experience is saddled with all these dead ideas or feelings. Continuing in the old way will bring misfortune.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

When our inner being, our ongoing self, changes less in this tao the forceful reaction to being blocked has completed itself.

The Chinese Image
A prince builds up his domain.
A man of low ability would be useless.

In this context, the man of low ability is one who has little control so that not much cohesion comes to the inner self. The prince, or young king symbolizing new identifications, has to be able to bring our various aspirations into one picture after the disruption.

Secondary HexagramHexagram 10

Becoming real.

Line image

Here, the only yin or active line is in the place of the outer world (line 3). Our response shown by line 4 is inactive which both means that we are not manipulating it and that we are not very aware of its nature. This unawareness is accentuated by the other yang lines in the top half of the hexagram to make a situation where we have to learn by experience of what happens, to handle the unexpected. The common name for the hexagram are “treading” and “conduct”.

Trigram image

In this flow the life force is tentative (Tui), our activity hesitant (Li), and our personality reactions are structured (Sun); so we are using our previously acquired experience to deal with new forms of experience and so we treat warily. This is an outer learning tao and the inner being (Ch’ien) is not affected.

The Chinese Oracle

Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
It does not bite him. Success.

Comments

Walking into new situations. Wondering if it will turn out all right. All this is necessary to gain outer experience, and it is only by treading on the tiger’s tail that we can discover that it does not bite us. Without risk there is no success, everything is a foregone conclusion; so outer success is here as part and parcel of risk, not because in all cases we shall achieve it. Our personal self has success anyway because it increases its experience.

Manifestations

The pattern
Life force shines through,
linking the outer with inner.
For humans
A knowing of inner knowing
gives a realization.
Making this firm in ourselves
increases potential.
Each realization takes a liberty
with the reality of the one,
but is also a link with it.
In nature
The fire of heaven
draws the water in the earth.
In forms we make
To enter where power is
can easily be confused
with being that power.
To enter gently is not dangerous.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

The top three lines of the hexagram, being yang, show that our responses are withheld, so this return of activity in the emerging life force is not our anticipation but the natural turn of events.

The Chinese Image
Simple energy.
going forward blamelessly.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here we open our awareness to a quiet inner energy (line 1), we feel quiet and in tune with the tao. In general it is more difficult for our acutely identified form of identity to feel something inactive, for the quieter it gets the less there is for identity to do, but here it is beneficial to learn about this quietness and to persevere with these feelings.

The Chinese Image
Treading a smooth level path.
A dark man perseveres and brings good fortune.

In an inner interpretation the dark man is an unconscious element in us, a feeling (as this is the line of feeling) that has not been defined in consciousness.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

The way in which we are ignorant of outer activity in this tao (line 4 is yang) leads to its decrease; in a sense, we are controlling outer activity and miss-seeing the tao, which is to learn from the tao rather than manipulate it. We may think that we are awake but our ignorance makes it more like dream-walking and this not-quite-seeing in the outer world leads to mistaking our situation; we learn, but through making mistakes.

The Chinese Image
With one eye he can still see.
With one leg he can still walk.
He treads upon the tail of the tiger and it bites him.
Warriors act thus in service of their overlord.

This is symbolic of identity out there on the battlefield of the outer world to learn the lessons needed by his greater self (the overlord). In this greater sense our errors are inevitable and so no error at all.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

In this tao the outer state has the only manifest activity. As we become more absorbed in outer activity we lose sight within (insight) and are liable to lose contact with the tao. The third line is yin and to accept the natural activity of the tao is in keeping with it, but to accept it as our activity is to lose the experience that the tao can give us.

The Chinese Image
Great caution is required when treading on the tiger’s tail but the outcome (of treading with caution) is fortunate.

The distinction between action and self-involved action is not always easy to make while we are in activity; here we need the caution.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Our direct knowing is inactive in this tao and being aware of this quietness is different to being involved in it and making it our way of being; there is no dividing line to make this difference distinct so we need to be very wary of being absorbed in the quietness until we lose the witnessing of events and also of stimulating feeling into activity.

The Chinese Image
Treading with care and attention to danger. There may be trouble.

The trouble would arise if we were not attentive enough and think we were being bold or if we become afraid and fail to tread at all.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

Inner change is not yet manifesting in this tao, so it is about being with quietness inside and activity outside. In this moving line we accept learning this by a balance of witnessing with participation which provides a very effective living technique. The balance is dynamic, it is constantly modified and never made into rules to live by. This becomes the art of riding life, responding to its every movement yet never falling into the role of mastering it.

The Chinese Image
Watch your conduct and be alert to signs and great good fortune will follow.

Riding life, never adrift and never entangled is the greatest good fortune.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 24

Return and make new.

Line image

Our whole personal self is accepting and active in this tao where the outer is fully active but its source, line 1, is inactive. We are fully acting out and experiencing a phase of the life force which has now ceased to provide new impetus—we are carrying through something we have already begun. This heralds the end of a cycle of activity because all of our activity comes from the inner and is expressed outwardly. The hexagram is called “return” or “turning point”.

Trigram image

The impetus from the inner life force is great (Chên). It flows freely in our outer world, in our identity, and in our inner being (all K’un). The flow is fully outwards and fully accepted, a clearing out operation in which energy returns to its source, the inner, which makes it also a turning point in the cycle, an emptying out which makes room for the new to appear.

The Chinese Oracle

Return. Success.
Going and coming without distress.
Friends come without error
and he returns in seven days.
All directions are advantageous.

Comments

Here the cycle is pictured as a coming and going, its free flow being the success and harmony. He relates for the full cycle of identifying (7 symbolizes the cycle as seen in consecutive steps like the days of our week) and then returns to his centre, the inner, the non-identified state. When we go through the outer experience and allow it to finish when it has no more energy all directions are favourable because none are selected or grasped.

Manifestations

The pattern
That which arises
returns to its source.
For humans
To the place where we have been
we return.
To the mood we have lived
we return.
But returning is arising anew.
In nature
The nature of nature in the earth
at the moment of interchange.
In forms we make
Returning to a form we reform it
and make it new.
By this the form of society evolves.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

As the top line of the hexagram is accepting this line, it is not we who see the life force as becoming active, it is itself returning to an active phase already and we do not have difficulty in making things anew.

The Chinese Image
A return from a short journey
No regret.
Great good fortune.

Life force activity returns from a short journey, a short time away; there was not a great trough of inactivity to cause us regret and our normal urge to activity is in keeping with the tao, which brings harmony to our actions and is the great good fortune.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

When we do not interpret the life force in feeling we are not separated from it by our selection; this is in keeping with the free flow we are in.

The Chinese Image
A quiet, blessed return.
good fortune.

We react to the tao without fuss or stress. Whenever we can be one with the tao we are blessed with good fortune.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

In this situation of finishing off a cycle of activity it is necessary to completely finish or there are remainders, karma is made which will still need expression; these retained forms are habit.

The Chinese Image
Many returns. Danger.
No error.

The cycles come and go and if we are slaves to our habits we repeat ourselves; this is the danger. No blame because in habit we cannot see ourselves.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Here we project ourselves less into outer activity in a tao which is the end part of a cycle of the life force; this has the effect of centring us, making us more one in ourselves.

The Chinese Image
He moves in the midst of them
and returns alone.

By choosing the middle way, not identifying in the outer nor the inner, the multitude we are becomes a whole, returning alone is returning as one.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

At the turning point where old activity of the life force is spent and new is about to arrive we remove our involvement from the old, now silent and gone. This is in preparation for a new cycle.

The Chinese Image
A noble return. No regret.

The nobleness of this return is symbolic of the withdrawal of self interest, of priority to the way we are feeling, allowing it to die away with a readiness to take on something new. As this opens out into new activity in the coming cycle there is no regret.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

If we become less involved in the emerging tao when it is in an inactive phase we are likely to miss the next emergence of activity and be out of phase with it.

The Chinese Image
Confusion about return.
Misfortune.
Armies marching bring defeat.
Disaster for the ruler.
Ten years without return to order.

It is self-evident that if we do not recognize that we are at a turning point of the cycle and press on, we shall miss the changes that are taking place and all our responses will be inappropriate. We will be ruled by desire patterns of our already formed identity, so disaster is stated for the ruler (the identifying process is the ruler of identity). If the turning point of the cycle is completely ignored nothing can be done about it until the next turning point, a complete cycle away and symbolized by ten, the whole, and year, the cycle.