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28.2

dobro p

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In just about every version I look at, the woman mentioned is young - 'maiden consort', 'young wife', etc. I see how that fits in nicely with the imagery of the dry willow producing new shoots or twigs, but I don't see 'youngness' in the words involved, nu and ch'i. What am I missing?
 

dobro p

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The same problem occurs in 28.5. Some translations call the man involved 'young'. I see the logic of it, but not the lexis of it.
 

bradford_h

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Hi Dobro-
You might have to give up your idea of Chinese words being independent of context. It's not going to serve you well. Meanings are always adapting in this language. And here the context is broader than most, as it spans two changing line texts. True, Nu can also mean lady or woman, not just girl. But Qi implies that she is not yet married. Shi in line 5 is maybe a little mor often a male scholar or student, but it can also mean officer, teacher or gentleman. But here Fu also implies that he is "eligible". There is also, by way of context, the clear intent of the authors to justapose these four characters, and to have some fun with the double standard.
b
 

dobro p

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Brad - thanks again for the nudge. Okay, a contextual approach it is.
 

chrislofting

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Dobro,

28.2 reflects a context of 41. 41 = concentration, focus, and the outcome is 31 - entice, woo.

"An old willow gives birth to a new shoot and an old man marries a young woman. Great potential. By stepping back one can advance." IOW by focusing, concentrating, distilling I can attract. (the dynamic WITHIN 41 is that failure in distillation leads to nothing but a mess.)

28.5 reflects a context of 42. 42 = augmentation and the outcome is 32 - commitment. IOW by augmenting 'something' I get commitment. The PARTICULAR format of that dynamic is here reflected in 28.5.

"A withered willow flowers. An elderly lady marries a learned man. No harm. No praise. One attempts to augment one's appearance."

The overall focus of 28 is on exaggerations but in two forms, (a) as an extreme that is interpreted negatively, and (b) as an act of going beyond the norm, to go the extra distance etc.

Chris.
 

heylise

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28.2 A withered poplar tree grows shoots. An old man gets a real woman as wife. There will be harvest. I translateted nu qi as 'real woman as wife' (nu is woman, qi is legitimate wife; wife of the emperor).
The first 4 characters together mean: beget a child at an advanced age (of a man); marry a young wife at an advanced age. Maybe as expression coming from the Yi. So there is no mention of the woman's being young, but it is understood as such. I think it is important though, that the woman is named as a legitimate one. It is for a stable relation, a future together. The man gives the sustenance, which can be material or mental, the woman gives the care, feelings and warmth.
The Wings: Exceed use (through, cause) mutual support (Lynn: they take what is too much on each side and share it).
'Old man', lao fu: old fellow like me; I (used by an old man); old husband.

Changing to:
31.2 Affect one's calf. Pitfall. To settle is auspicious. Also about stability: to run after (or run caused by) an influence is not good, it is good to settle.

28.5 A withered poplar grows foliage. An old woman gets a real man as husband. Without fault, without honor. (here I translated 'scholar, officer, gentleman' as real: a man who won his spurs, or who has a position or status).
Old poplar puts forth blossoms, how can that last. ? and yet (also) permit ugly (Lynn: but how disgraceful that is). The Wings are not very positive about this one, but IMO that has to do with the morals of their time.
Blossoms or foliage is literally 'glory': hua, glory, splendor, surname, name of a mountain in Shanxi: Hua Shan.
Being an old woman, I can imagine what she is doing. Old men finally find their female side, and old women their male side. In reality or in their mind. For women it is especially important to find it inside, to find their own power, their ability to stand on their own feet, to do what they want to do, instead of helping others to stand.
'Old woman', lao fu, is old (married) woman. Fu is (probably) NOT a woman with a broom, but a woman with a token of rank.

Changing to:
32.5 Steadying one's character determination. Married women auspicious, young men pitfall.
Steadying one's character determination: in many places zhen is preceded by 'what' should be divined about. E.g. settling determination. So I think it is here "to divine about steadying one's character", and the answer is: good for married women, bad for young men (or men and children).

Line 2 is earth line of the hexagram and man line of the trigram, so it is about human reality.
Old men (or men who search for wisdom) want a real, warm, and if possible tangible, woman, to project their anima upon. It enters their life into the next phase, one which should not be skipped. For the alchemists she was the soror mystica.

Line 5 is heaven of the hexagram and man of the trigram, about human spirit.
Old women (all women who search for spirit) want a spiritual man, not necessarily a real one, to do the same.

Old is not only being of high age, it is also a sign of having lived a full life.

LiSe
 

anita

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Dear LiSe,

Thank you for your interpretation of 28.5 - for that's what I drew yesterday when asking about my future with my boyfriend. Here it is literally so - the older woman with the much younger man. But the 'shame' business I think - as you do too- is to do with the morals of the time. I think the Yi says go ahead. If you make adjustments, you'll be fine. Which of course I have decided to do. I will be moving abroad next year to join him and am travelling in a month's time to Germany for a holiday with him. After that he will come to India again as soon as he completes his thesis.

The old woman does need to look after her appearance though = as Chris mentions- which I always do. My boyfriend however, pays more attention to the inner me and says that although he delights in my appearance, my inner beauty is more important to him...so a few grey hairs, when they do pop up, will matter more to me than to him! Lucky me. I'm 47, and he's 26. But we've never felt this age difference.

Best for your Quest
Anita
 

heylise

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I am very happy for you.

The old Yi does not have a judgment on this line. It says no blame no praise. Something like 'not possible to judge this, it is entirely up to themselves'. The judgment comes from the commentaries, which have been written much later.

Maybe it is larger than the things of human worlds which can be judged. Changing to 32, which is all about finding your own true course. Of course there cannot be any judgment, how else can one find one's true path.

LiSe
 

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