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Nourished by synchronicity: 38 zhi 27

Nourished by synchronicity: 38 zhi 27

The relating hexagram, the one revealed by the moving line changes, can show the aspect or quality of the cast hexagram embodied in those lines. One way to imagine this is to say to yourself, ‘The reading shows how [primary hexagram] might do [relating hexagram].’ That works well in readings, because the relating hexagram typically represents where you are – the title for this chapter of your experience, as it were, where you stand, and probably the filter you’re seeing through.

If your relating hexagram is 27, Nourishment (literally ‘Jaws’), then the situation for you is going to be all about getting fed – on all levels. It’s not just having a framework in place that provides for you, but also – ‘See the jaws!‘ – bringing awareness to that framework as a way of transformation.

So suppose Hexagram 38, Opposing, is changing to 27. How might Opposing find – or transform – Nourishment? How does the outsider, alone and away from the home, get fed? Also, how is her way of living and nourishing herself to be changed? After all, the isolated eccentric, beyond social pressures to adjust, might get set in her ways.

Here’s how that happens: 38.2.4:

‘Meeting a master in the lane.
Not a mistake.’

‘Opposed, alone.
Meet an inspiring man.
Joining together in trust,
Danger, no mistake.’

This is one of those eye-opening two-line changes I’ve written about before, where two changing lines together reveal the connection between the hexagrams just as clearly as a single line usually does. (One of the examples in that post is the reverse of this one – 27.2.4 changing to 38 through ‘unbalanced nourishment’.)

How is the outsider nourished? Through meetings. While every line of 38 describes some kind of encounter, these are the only two to use the word ‘meeting’, 遇 yu4, and describe an encounter with a single person.

What’s a ‘meeting’, exactly? According to Richard Sears’ online dictionary, it means meet, run into, come across, encounter, treat, treatment, opportunity, luck, meeting of minds, to win confidence (of a superior), to rival, to match with. The signific part of the character means ‘walking on the road’. So there’s 38’s 27: the outsider runs into new people on the road, and can be nourished and changed by the encounter.

38 zhi 27 - path through the forest

3 responses to Nourished by synchronicity: 38 zhi 27

  1. And joining together in trust can be mutually beneficial; mutually nourishing. While the two lines are not neighbors or in corresponding positions, they nevertheless here work together; the second line being in the lower hexagram, the fourth in the upper: It is often that an inspiring moment with someone in a higher position can be of the greatest benefit to both people. Since both are yang it is a matter of meeting someone of “like mind”, someone we can have an accord with, a mutual understanding. Here we gain trust, friendship, and knowledge.

  2. Yes – thank you, – that’s what I was thinking, that this is how 38 gets into nourishment, and that can certainly be mutual nourishment. Interesting to think of it as the two lines meeting one another.

  3. Yes, and this works on many levels. For the idea of meeting a master, or having an encounter can refer not just to humans but to ideas as well. As I have said before, in every line, the I Ching is talking about itself. And meeting a master in the lane can be a metaphor for coming to a realization as we study the I Ching. We find an answer that we did not expect and have a miniature enlightenment so to speak. The I Ching nourishes us as we use it. As in the fourth line, it is often when we are opposed and alone that circumstances conspire to give us a new revelation. Suddenly we see things we have never seen before. That too, is a form of nourishment. The lane can be a narrow path, and it is when we are on the “straight and narrow path” that we are likely to suddenly encounter a bright light and attain a form of “enlightenment” in one respect at least.

    Hexagram twenty seven tells us to pay attention to what we are filling our mouths, (lives) with. Do we attain wisdom from the master in the lane? Or are we merely filling our jaws with more material substance that does not have any lasting quality? (Hexagram twenty seven line one).

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