866678 · 8.2.3.4Hexagram 8

The Diverse.

Line image

The fifth line is the only one that is yang, showing that we are not noticing our intuitive feel of our situation. The intuitive feel is there actively (line 2), and we are not interpreting it, judging it, making consequences from it.

As all the other lines are yin or actively carrying out their functions, this is the state of “witnessing” where we experience naturally—including experiencing ourselves—but we do not make consequences (which come from interpreting what we feel and so taking up an attitude). The common name of the hexagram is “union” or “unity” which is the effect witnessing has upon our personal self; no part has the opportunity to take charge of identity.

Trigram image

The effect of witnessing is to lessen further growth of our separate individuality because, as the trigram flow shows, we participate in activities of feeling and doing but do not relate these to our feelings of self—we witness that these things happen although we do not do them with intention. This halts the growth of our separate reality as the trigram K’an shows in the top place.

Witnessing is an act of active meditation whose only characteristic is that the feelings we have of reality are not taken as our own person but as something that is happening; allowing this, we change the perspective of our reality—yet it is not an aim, it is experiencing the life flow without aim.

The Chinese Oracle

Unity, coalescence.
Good fortune.
Enquire again for signs. No error.
The troubled join together,
those who are too late have misfortune.

Comments

In the process of witnessing, no part is allowed to take charge, the absence of acting out consequences makes sure of this. The result is an equality in the different aspects of our identity—all become equally available and as there is no contest, this is unity or collection of the parts into an effective whole. Here is the good fortune.

Making this unity is a very individual act depending upon our make-up so a new enquiry is needed for advice on how to proceed; this is natural and not due to an error.

In this process of unification, the parts which are coming together are troubled, worried at losing their right to possess identity each in turn as they have been used to; however, by witnessing they are joined. Any that stay separate must be lost to this new unified whole.

Such is the basic inner interpretation. This is of course reflected in our outer happenings, which bear a symbolic likeness; it is this likeness that causes us to say that the outer world is a projection of the inner, but it is more that it happens in sympathy, in resonance.

Manifestations

The pattern
Activity from the indivisible one
becomes high and low,
the still and the flowing.
For humans
Where we are diverse
we have need to complement one another.
Where we need to overcome an obstacle
we co-operate.
When divided in ourselves
we need to ask for guidance.
In nature
A mountain rises from the land,
beyond is water in the deep.
In forms we make
He who sits on high
is able to see land and water
and provide what is lacking
from one to another.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

We witness our life energy as being inactive and this inactivity is rather irksome to us, so at first our witnessing is not very fulfilling; we need to have confidence however because not only will our energy become active as the cycle moves but we will also find that witnessing the silence is something great in itself.

The Chinese Image
Unity with confidence is without fault, like a bowl that is full.
Good fortune will be added.

The good fortune that appears as a bonus is our realization of stillness; this happens when we have enough confidence in our inner being existing like a bowl that is full without overspilling into outer projections.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

Our witnessing is about not acting on feelings, just letting them be there, and here feeling becomes less when it is not stimulated by interest.

The Chinese Image
Unity originates from the inner.
Continuance in the way brings good fortune.

The action of the life force in this lower half of the hexagram is from inner to outer, which is the process of distinguishing or manifesting; the normal channel of this flow is feeling followed by distinguishing the outer consequences. As we are forgoing these consequences we concentrate on their inner source, and even when this is inactive we need to continue to witness it, for witnessing is to see what exists without choosing to have or reject.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Here we stop outer activity in order to witness, and see through the distinguishing mind which stops experiencing in order to look. By stopping what we witness, we do not witness with our whole self and so we form a point of view, which is different from witnessing. Witnessing allows everything to be witnessed without consequence so we do not need a point of view.

The Chinese Image
He joins with the wrong people,
with evil.

Evil is the outcome of narrow awareness always, so here we are joining things together in a narrow way to make unity; externally we will join with people who do the same. It is not necessary to stop activity in order to witness the silence, which is inner, so we are looking in the wrong place.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

We witness by being less involved in the outer world; if this is done without changing the activity, it brings unity to it—it is seen as a whole.

The Chinese Image
Seeking unity outside.
Continuance in the way
brings good fortune.

Continuing to follow the tao brings the good fortune of learning to join without manipulating. As long as we are trying to make something in our outer world “better” we cannot join it—we can observe it but not witness it.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

This opening ourselves to intuitive feeling is the only moving line that also permits the freedom of witnessing, all the others are traps of the mind that are doing witnessing. In feeling, we flow with activity and this shows that witnessing is not an observation of reality but a unity with it.

The Chinese Image
The kings of old in China used beaters on three sides only when hunting game: the game on three sides were trapped but those in front ran free. The citizens need no warning.

The king is the ruler, and our ruler is the identifying process. The process of identifying captures all the ways we try to witness by doing, but not this one which requires no doing, no trapping of the life force. The act of flowing without doing requires that we take no precautions, so the citizens need no warning.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

If we do not witness, there is no realization that although we are separate, we can experience whole. Witnessing is the first learning experience of this.

The Chinese Image
There is no head to the process of unifying. Misfortune.

No head symbolizes no co-ordinating function between our inner being and the outer world; creating unity, or witnessing, is the act of seeing that these are one by dropping our habit of having identity as a separate judge of reality. The misfortune is that we miss unity with a greater reality by keeping our own separate one.

Secondary HexagramHexagram 28

Rigidity.

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

Excess.
The ridgepole sags.
Movement is favourable.
Success.

Comments

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.

Manifestations

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.
Misfortune.

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.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 23

Solitude.

Line image

The only yang line is in the place of our inner being where we are not accepting all the free flow of the other lines. Our inner being is standing apart, separated from outer experience. Outer identification is not accepted.

Trigram image

All is freely flowing (K’un) until we reach our inner being where Kên shows silence and meditation on events, not participation.

The Chinese Oracle

Splitting.
No objective is favourable.

Comments

It is not favourable to have objectives when identity is divided from the inner self because all the directions that can attract us involve us more in the separate outer reality which is not being accepted by the whole personal self; any identification we make causes us to split further. There are however important chances of change and discoveries to be made in this tao about the way we are identifying.

Manifestations

The pattern
When inner reality
forsakes all outer activity
We contemplate in solitude.
For humans
When there are no bonds
things do not remain together.
In nature
To spin a cocoon
heralds inner change
and chrysalis.
In forms we make
Each into himself,
each unto himself,
leaves nothing to share.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

Because our outer identifications are not being accepted by our inner self, the source, the emerging life force, withers away.

The Chinese Image
The leg of the bed breaks.
Not continuing in the way
brings misfortune.

The bed is where we enter the great unknown and sleep. Here the leg of the bed breaks, which is its connection with the rest of reality. Our identifications, our conscious interests, are somehow at variance with the way or out of tune with our circumstances, too narrowly based.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

Here we become separate from the flow by ceasing to feel it. Feeling is our meeting with the flow so if we lose feeling in this tao we do not identify in the whole but only in the outer part.

The Chinese Image
The bed frame or edge is broken.
No continuance in the way.
Misfortune.

Here it is the bed frame, its structure, that comes apart. Our feeling of the life force is the base construction of our world reality; without a feeling of manifesting whole reality, our personal reality becomes isolated fragments. This feeling of whole reality we are lacking is the continuance in the way of the great tao.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

By decreasing outer activity we become more in tune with our inner being which has rejected our identifications out in the world.

The Chinese Image
He separates from all.
No error.

All our identifications are out there in the world, and here we discard them. In this way we separate ourselves from the factors that divided us.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

The most obvious danger in this tao about how we identify is our becoming too externalized and here we seem to realize this and cut off our involvement outside. As our being is at present concentrated in identifying, however, this now slips into identifying the boundary of the inner and outer self.

The Chinese Image
The bed and skin is split.
Misfortune.

The surface of the bed is the layer or skin between the outer reality—where we (identity) lie—and the inner; if consciousness penetrates this boundary it damages the function of identity in manifestation.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

In this tao our identifying leads us astray and our intuitive feeling which is the basis of our identifying is rejected by our inner being. Here our identity gives up following the feeling, seeing it as being in error.

The Chinese Image
A string of fishes.
Favour alike to being at court.
All is advantageous.

Fish are often used to symbolize our identifications (which nourish identity) in the uncharted waters of the whole reality. Here is a string of fishes, on a common thread and the fish are caught, so our identifications threaded together are captured. A court is where the ruler is ruling, and the ruler of identity is the identifying process, so here this act of catching identifications brings favour and advantage in every way.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

Here is a change in the separation depicted by the tao. The inner self witnesses and we have a possibility of realizing the tao, the experience of our self as separate from any identification.

The Chinese Image
A ripe fruit is not eaten.
The superior man has a carriage.
The inferior man loses his habitation.

To see whole we have to leave what we were doing, our identifications, however incomplete they seem to be; this ripe fruit could be eaten but we leave it. Wide-seeing superior man is carried in this, and allowing ourselves to be carried in our circumstances we find that there is more order in our lives, not less; if we do not grasp at life our inner needs take care of themselves. The inferior or narrow reality of chosen identifications has no place to be after this realization, he is not needed.