…or ‘Where did Hilary go?’
Well… I sit myself down in front of a task and my brain goes on strike. It’s got quite radical about it: ‘Sit and stare at the screen all you like,’ it says, ‘but if you think anything useful is getting done here, you’ve got another think coming. Or you would have, if I weren’t on strike. See – nothing happening, is there?’
And there isn’t. It’s not as if there were a shortage of things to get done, either – but somewhere between my ears, the hamster has got off the emailreadingemailsitemaintenanceemailemailforumemailblogemailtranscriptsproductsemailwebsitesemailemailemail wheel, curled up and fallen asleep. I’m enjoying doing readings, and meeting deadlines by the skin of my teeth, but all the other things have been falling by the wayside.
Hm. I rather hoped this might be a cue that I should have a holiday, but of course it might just be a cue to give myself a good kick. Well, I’d find out if I asked Yi and it gave me hexagram 7, wouldn’t I?
So I asked Yi: ‘How to respond to this aversion to work?’
And Yi responded with hexagram 7 (heh…) changing at lines 4 and 6 to 64. So there is an army, yes, but it’s not yet across – and specifically, it’s camping on the left, no mistake. That’s a literal translation of what Wilhelm simply has as ‘retreat’, and Brad calls a ‘fallback encampment’. Exactly. So… despite the very amusing experience of getting hexagram 7, this is not time to try to kick myself into action. It’s OK not to fight this. I can relax from the campaign for a bit… and of course this line points, beautifully, towards 40, Release.
Another meaning of this line would be to stay in a defensible, supply-able position, not to overextend the army. (One of those intriguing notes in Lynn’s book connects this with the ideal position according to the Art of War.) Hence not, for instance, to commit myself to things I can’t carry through. This makes me feel better about not squeezing in a Yijing Class this year.
The other line in my reading is a bit more of a challenge:
‘The great leader has a mandate
To found a state and receive the households.
Don’t use small people.’
Clearly the sleeping-hamster-scenario doesn’t mean it’s time to wind the business down and become a librarian or something. It seems to be about expansion, community, and creating something self-sustaining.
The small people are raising an inner ruckus, and the connection between this line and Hexagram 4 – aka Being Clueless – has never been so apparent…