You can learn a lot about moving lines in the Yijing by looking at where they’re headed – that is, the hexagram that would be generated if this line alone were changing. Arguing doesn’t lead to good fortune – unless it’s done in an awareness of being ‘Not Yet Across’. Returning that’s moved by a desire for Nourishment is disastrous. Very often, when we’re inclined to ask why a particular line works out the way it does, the answer is already waiting for us in the zhi gua.
So I’ve found it very useful, over the years, to work out some ideas on what connects each line to its zhi gua. With just 384 lines to consider, that’s a manageable task. But increasingly I’m realising that there are also patterns to be seen on a larger, more complex scale – that lines changing together can also have a distinctive relationship to their zhi gua, one that stands out clearly and makes immediate sense even outside the context of a reading.
One of the first I noticed was changing the first two lines of Hexagram 60:
‘Not going out of the door to the family rooms.
Not a mistake.’
‘Not going out of the gate from the courtyard.
Here we are, working out when to stay in our family group and when to move beyond them: Articulating the Quest for Union. (60.1.2 changes to 8 )
Another example – Hexagram 41, ‘Decrease’ or ‘Offering’, makes the strange assertion that ‘this will not decrease, but increase’ in lines 2 and 6. (This won’t be visible in all translations, but the two lines are using the same text.) ‘Increase’ is the name of the hexagram that follows, the inverted pair of Decrease. So changing these two lines marks Decrease’s Turning Point. (41.2.6 changes to 24.)
How many more of these patterns are just waiting to be seen? How about lines 2 and 4 in Hexagram 27, Nourishment, that speak of ‘a jolt to the jaws’ or ‘reversing the Nourishment process’ – shaking things up, overthrowing, unbalancing the hexagram’s equilibrium? One goes to the hilltop, one sees like a tiger, and the two together reach the strange visions of Hexagram 38 – maybe they deliberately nourished themselves in ‘unbalancing’ ways to overthrow their normal vision?
Why would the two lines of Hexagram 53, Gradual Development, that mention the geese reaching the highlands, together point towards Seeking Union? Or the noble one’s two lines in 15 take us back to 24, ‘turning around and returning on your Dao‘?
Has anyone else gone out looking for these connections – if so, what have you found?