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Wait or Argue?

Here –
http://i-ching-news.blogspot.com/2011/06/two-different-approaches.html
– is a lovely post from Cesca, talking about hexagrams 5 and 6, Waiting and Arguing, as a pair. She describes them succinctly as ‘two very different ways of dealing with a situation that isn’t going in the way you would prefer.’

This – at least for me when I’m in full Hexagram-6-mode – is a rather delicate euphemism. I don’t have what I want, need and deserve; this is all wrong. Possibly just one other person is all wrong; possibly the whole world is all wrong. It is, in any case, frustrating, unspeakably unjust and not fair, and did I mention wrong?

I really like what Cesca’s written about the parallels and contrasts between the texts of the two: the presence of fu, ‘truth and confidence’, in both, but ‘blocked’ when arguing, and the usefulness or not of crossing rivers. To me this implies that you can have a clear, true grasp of how things are meant to be, perhaps of an ultimate order and harmony… and sometimes you can translate that into a radiant expectancy that inspires you to cross great rivers on the strength of it, and sometimes you’re brought up short by the fact that things are not like that, and then acting out of frustration and opposition (‘I’ll show them!’) is fruitless.

The Sequence has a more down-to-earth view:

‘Drinking and eating naturally mean Arguing.’

Hexagram 5, according to the Sequence, is a time for eating and drinking to nourish the young ignoramus of hexagram 4 – and this means arguing. Scratch the surface of Arguing, I think, and you find, ‘I’m not getting what I need to survive.’ And so we are possessed by the absolute miserable indignation of a hungry infant.

(And here’s an interesting thing… as infants, the only thing we can do about being hungry – the only concept we have of what to do about this – is to protest. That seems to me a pretty accurate reflection of Hexagram-6-mind, or at least of mine. It’s not about acting to change things, it’s just about contesting them. The clear, focussed intent to bring about change only arises in Hexagram 7, the Army, when the waters that were raging against heaven start to flow through the earth – and when we’re told, ‘Mature people, good fortune, no mistake.’)

Speaking of scratching the surface, though… if you look inside 5 and 6 to the nuclear hexagrams at their core, you find the pair 38 and 37, respectively. That is, the core of Waiting is Opposing, and the core of Arguing is People in the Home.

The more I look at nuclears, the more I find it helps to see this hidden core of the hexagram as its work: Waiting is one of the ways we do our Opposing work, find how to live with absolute difference. (The other three ways are Small Taming, the Well and Subtly Penetrating.) I see what is; I see what’s meant to be; the two are vastly, irreconcilably different and yet I must allow them to coexist and let their difference become, as Karcher puts it, ‘creative tension’.

And then Arguing, startlingly enough, is a way we work on creating a Home for People. (The whole set of hexagrams with 37 at their core is pretty surprising: Arguing, Treading, Oppression, and finally Opening. Apparently that nurturing stability takes quite some working out.) First step to a working system: protest what is not working. We won’t have a home, a working relationship between people, until all our protests are heard and we’re all fed.

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