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39. Chien / Obstruction

rosada

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39. Chien / Obstruction

-- --
----- above K'AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
-- --

-----
-- -- below KEN KEEPING STILL, MOUNTAIN
-- --

The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and
a steep, inaccessible mountain rising up behind us. We are sur-
rounded with obstacles; at the same time, since the mountain has
the attribute of keeping still, there is the implicit hint as to how
we can extricate ourselves.

This hexagram represents obstructions that appear in the course of time but can and should be overcome. Therefore all instruction given is directed towards overcoming them.
 

Trojina

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Welcome Back Rosada :)
 

Sparhawk

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There you are! Welcome back, Rosada!

yicard39.jpg
 

Trojina

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Ok the picture - a deluge of custard ? Well thats how it looks on my monitor :rofl:
 

Sparhawk

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Peach custard, to be precise... :rofl:
 

fkegan

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Hex 39 Valley Forge or Maximum potential energy

Hi Luis, Trojan, and Rosada,

In terms of line places, structure, and decad: Two Yang lines in the third and fifth lines. Open Yin lines in the first, second, fourth and top places. This is the situation of focus upon personal passion and overall organization or mental control. The Yang line in the third place is attracted to the two open Yin places below it and the one above it. The Yang line in the fifth place is attracted by the open yin spaces both before it and after it. The result is a potential to draw forth and express the maximum of inner energy into this current situation without moving on toward the next. This is the maximum effort of inner development without explicit process or progress objectively.

In terms of the trigrams, water over mountain, it is the image of the High Himalayas as an example of personal challenge of climbing the snow covered peaks, or Mao's long march or Gen. Washington's terrible winter at Valley Forge, PA. The snow (rain water originally) on the high mountain top represents the maximum energy potential of elevation trapped up on top of the mountain until it melts.

This is the 9th hexagram of this set representing human romance or the tension of human relationship energy. As the pair of 7th &8th hexagrams show the horizontal dynamic of inner and outer essence. The 9th & 10th indicate the vertical dynamic of maximum tension and final resolution. So this is the hexagram of maximum tension of romance. This is the time of greatest romance--facing the terrible situation without doing anything about it. The danger is visible, but not crashing down upon you. The planning and the apprehension is what is engaged. The human dynamic is at its maximum though the objective situation is calm.

In objective family relationship terms from the initial courtship of sexual attraction in hex 31, this is the ninth hexagram, one short of the satisfying completion of the set of 10 or the maximum of sexual tension motivating the continuity of marital relations.

Frank
 

hilary

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Another way of setting this in a Sequence-related context:

You were safe and secure as part of the family (37). You moved outside and beyond it, isolated yourself (38). This may have been essential, but it makes life more difficult (the sequence from 38 to 39 says as much). So the first steps in negotiating obstructions - and finding your way to Release, which is simply another way of looking at this... - is to step back from the action and move southwest.

You're no longer just looking for people you fit with and a place where you feel secure. Now you're looking for allies you can work with, and people who share that different vision you followed through 38. Stop struggling and limping uphill, turn to the southwest, get help, and orientate yourself by seeing great people. (Seeing what's possible? Going to see the diviner? Getting a mentor?)

Implicit in this is a personal turnaround - which is explicit in the Image. It's also implied in the story of Gun and Yu - specifically in the birth of Yu from Gun's body where it was laid out on the mountain.
 

fkegan

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Narrative and sequence meaning

Hi Hillary,
I take it that your sequence narrative refers only to the hexagram immediately before and after this one. How do you fit your sequence narrative into the entire set of 10 hexagrams from 31 to 40 (the relationship between a man and woman which starts with their mutual attraction and completes in their regular sexual relations with marriage and family in the middle?

Frank
 

rosada

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Thank you, it's good to be back.
:)
 

rosada

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THE JUDGEMENT
OBSTRUCTION. The southwest furthers.
The northeast does not further.
It furthers one to see the great man.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In such a situation it is wise to pause and view the danger and to retreat. However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming obstacles. One must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one willl succeed in removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of adversity.
 
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hilary

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Hi Frank,

Except in the most general terms, I don't. (Though on this occasion I did start the 'story' at 37, and of course it would be possible to go further back.) I'll leave that to you. ;)
 

fkegan

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What decads do you relate to?

Hi Frank,

Except in the most general terms, I don't. (Though on this occasion I did start the 'story' at 37, and of course it would be possible to go further back.) I'll leave that to you. ;)

So, when you mentioned that you study the Yi in terms of the decads what were you referring to?

In terms of your post, who is your narrative about? What started for whom in hex 37 and how does it progress through 38 to 39? The traditional commentary usually limits the remarks about the judgment and lines to the overall meaning of that one hexagram. There is a sequence commentary, but that I thought was more about a rhyming text to aid in memorizing the order of the hexagrams for Imperial civil service exams back in the day.

Frank
 

hilary

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I'm not sure I said I study the Yijing in decades - if I did, I was overstating the case wildly. I've noticed that much of the trigram-patterning in the sequence seems to be organised by decades, and I'm drawn to the idea of hexagram decades as decades of life - that's about all there is to it. Nothing systematic.

The narrative is about whoever receives the hexagram in divination. In fact, I wouldn't generally look more than one step back except with an unchanging reading, which seems like an invitation to take more time exploring the hexagram in all its contexts.

There is indeed a Wing describing the sequence, and yes, it's generally regarded as a mnemonic that contains no particular information. I'd agree it's a mnemonic, but it seems to me to be a reminder not only of the order of the hexagrams, but also its internal logic. I don't think its authors were so clueless as is generally supposed.

I can't help noticing we've taken this thread on something of a detour. ('No harvest in the northeast: your path peters out.') We should let it get back on track and take this over to the Sequence thread if there's more.
 

rosada

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Commentary on the Decision
Obstruction means difficulty. The danger is ahead. To see the danger and to know how to stand still, that is wisdom.
In OBSTRUCTION "the southwest furthers," because he goes and obtains the middle.
"The northeast does not further," because there the way comes to an end.
"It furthers one to see the great man," because he goes and wins merits.
In the right place, "perseverance brings good fortune," because through it the country comes into order.
The effect of a time of OBSTRUCTION is great indeed.

Danger, the trigram K'an, is in front. To see the danger (upper trigram Li, light, eye) and to stop short in time (inner trigram Ken, Keeping Still) is true wisdom, in contrast to the situation in YOUTHFUL FOLLY, where the positions of danger and standstill are reversed. In order to overcome the danger it is important to take the safe road, the road toward the southwest, where one attains the middle, that is sees oneself surrounded by helpers. The nine in the fifth place does this. When the ruler of the hexagram is in the outer trigram it is said, "He goes," and when it is in the inner trigram, "He comes." In the northeast (north means danger, northeast means mountain) one comes to an impassable road, leading no farther. It is favorable to see the great man - the nine in the fifth place, standing at the top of the nuclear trigram Li. Through going something is achieved: in that the ruler of the hexagram "goes," he takes part in the downward movement of the hexagram K'an, water, which flows toward the earth and thus accomplishes something. Abiding in the right brings good fortune, because one's activity is directed not outward but inward, to one's own country. Turning inward is achieved through obstructions, and the improvement brought about by this turning inward ("conversion") is the great value inhering in the effect of a time of obstruction.
 
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bradford

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For me this is one of the most obvious Ba Gua pictures -
impasse, or a closed pass due to storms in the highlands.
But the Gua Ming "Jian3" has this secondary meaning of
progress halted not by exterior obstacles but by something
wrong with the feet. Related bit of trivia - the Greek word
for a rough pebble caught in your sandal, that made you
interrupt your progress, was "scruple." Getting scruples
is yet another way to read this gua, or questioning your
direction or progress.
 
M

meng

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For me this is one of the most obvious Ba Gua pictures -
impasse, or a closed pass due to storms in the highlands.
But the Gua Ming "Jian3" has this secondary meaning of
progress halted not by exterior obstacles but by something
wrong with the feet. Related bit of trivia - the Greek word
for a rough pebble caught in your sandal, that made you
interrupt your progress, was "scruple." Getting scruples
is yet another way to read this gua, or questioning your
direction or progress.

Thanks for this. I'll frequently pick up a stone in my sandal while fetching the mail from across the road, and can see the connection with impedance to progress.

What I'm unsure of is: whether "scruple" is the stone/obstruction, or what is needed to extricate the obstruction. Scruples can most certainly impede progress. Rich men are rarely known for their integrity.
 

fkegan

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Hex 39 is deferred gratification not giving up high goals.

This hexagram is not about giving up one's progress, just not having a quick and easy path so that it is important to hold to the goal while changing the current path. The trigrams Water over Mountain are about a snow covered high mountain. The snow will melt and be the source of perhaps a mighty river, it just isn't convenient to cross the mountain right now. Time to try another path or another temporary activity until the pass clears in spring.

The Greeks expressed ambition by walking (not an aristocratic lot where the important folks rode horses). The play Oedipus Rex is also about being lame--actually a comment upon the reckless ambition of the lame boy Oedipus(name being lame foot in Greek) who is so taken with his hard won ability to walk, that when he meets a royal entourage insisting he let them pass, he only notices they would interfere with his walking and attacks and murders the entire party. So walking is getting to one's goal. The ideogram Tao is about the Head Walking or Trail to follow.

Hex 39 isn't about giving up what you seek as impossible; it is about holding on to the ultimate goal although it isn't available until things change. This hexagram has hex 64 for its nuclear with the environment around those inner feelings, the first and 6th lines both open Yin, so the inner quest of nuclear 64 is being isolated and channeled by being disconnected from any roots or opportunity to move on now. Gia-Fu Feng related this to Mao's Long March, and I associated it to Valley Forge in the American Revolution. My visual image for hex 39-Valley Forge is General Washington around the campfire with his cold troops that winter, but looking up into the sky at the Full Moon, he alone sees the Eagle of the Moon landing touching down eventually.

The current impediment (also a foot term) that forces a turning inward to focus upon the ultimate goal--and how flexibility and new friends and support will help to make the final successful push later in another timing.

As part of the decad of family, this is the penultimate hexagram of maximum tension and built up energy which has no release yet, that is the next hexagram 40. This is the time to take the limitations of that impasse with its high energy and make the most of it for the accomplishment of really big long range goals eventually.

Frank
 

frank_r

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39 is standing in the circle of the karmick hexagrams on the place of februari-march, the starting of the day from 3.00 till 5.00 in the morning. In that sense it has a connection with the Lung and also with hexagram 11.
It is the first cry of the baby when he/she is born.
It is the first obstruction when somebody is coming on earth. How to get air and survive ouside the the womb of the Mother.

Lung is belonging to the element of metal and has in this sense to do with deep senses.
Metal is the element where also trigram Heaven and lake belong to, so 5 yang lines. It is the element/phase with the most yang energy of all 5.
Lung is the feeling of our individualty, the Lung is seen in TCM as the minister who has audience with the Emperor every morning. He is bringing the messages from the Emperor to all the parts of the Empire. So The Lung is the connection between the Emporor and his people.
The Lung is the meridian where the energy is starting, it gets his energy from the Liver. The Liver has a connection with death on Earth, the Lung has one with the beginning of life on Earth.

With the start of 37 there are 4 karmick(nucleur hexagrams in a row), with 39 we are over the middle from this 4. With the end of 40 there will be a huge change in this regard.

Once read somewhere that this row is bordered by prime numbers. Interesanting I found.
 

fkegan

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Each person gets to select their own ultimate goal.

That's a lot of 'is nots'. And what "ultimate goal"?

Contrast of one view with another requires starting with noting how A is not B as stated and then going on to state what A is. Why do you focus upon the 'is nots' and ignore all the 'is thus'?

What is the ultimate goal, pupal of hex 4? Since the Oracle is established to express how things unfold for each of us from a 'relevant-process perspective' we each get to have our own ultimate goal, not one objective overwhelming something for every and all.

Hex 39 describes a situation (and a process in the background) where what is desired and what is currently achievable don't quickly come together. Most ultimate goals take a long time to achieve with times and situations where the easy and direct path is not accessible right now. How do you deal with this thwarting of immediate gratification? That is the subject matter of hex 39.

In the examples cited by Frank r, being born or even more ultimate growing up and living a whole life with the development of family and children would be one ultimate goal for a concrete example. Founding a new dynasty or nation were others cited in my earlier post. Coming up with an answer to earnest student questioner that brings calm rather than just more cries of "what's that? what's that" is an eternal ultimate goal.

Frank
 
M

meng

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Well, Frank, I just think that when you state absolutes you should be able to qualify them, which you haven't done. You've just wishy-washed your way into relativism: the very thing you habitually "is not". That's the problem with using so many words, my friend - they eventually contradict each other.
 
M

maremaria

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I wonder, can one have a goal in a 39 situation? When one can’t even move, then what big goals one can set? If 39 is a time when one fells like being stuck in a dead-end situation , imo, the only *goal) one can have in mind is to just *escape * from that situation , in any way (positive or negative).

Setting long-term goals in a case like that seems like a luxury , one can not afford it.

(I’m not quite sure if that is what you are talking about)
 
M

maremaria

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How do you perceive, as a image, water above mountain?
Seems like a mountain covered with mist, where the water is just droplets suspended in air.
 
M

meng

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How do you perceive, as a image, water above mountain?
Seems like a mountain covered with mist, where the water is just droplets suspended in air.

My mental image (not saying the mental image) is of a river running down a mountain, which encounters obstacles along the way. My image for conduct during such a time is water. When meeting an obstruction to its course, water backs up upon itself, causing deepening, and gathers enough volume to find a way around the obstacle, along the lines of least resistance.
 

fkegan

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Abstract concept or Absolute--in the eye of the beholder

I wonder, can one have a goal in a 39 situation? When one can’t even move, then what big goals one can set? If 39 is a time when one fells like being stuck in a dead-end situation , imo, the only *goal) one can have in mind is to just *escape * from that situation , in any way (positive or negative).

Setting long-term goals in a case like that seems like a luxury , one can not afford it.

(I’m not quite sure if that is what you are talking about)

You quite exactly sum up the import of hex 39. You have a long term goal, but at the moment your situation appears to be a dead end. Do you declare your goal a luxury that must be abandoned in the desperate struggle to survive? Or do you still cherish your goal and deal with the current impediments as just another step along the journey.

That is why the image of Mao's Long March or Washington at Valley Forge comes up. Lesser folks would have been broken by their desperate situation. However, they maintained the luxury of their goals and became successful for it.

The hexagram illustrates the situation and the challenges and opportunities available in such a time. It only looks like this Obstruction is the dead end without a future. It is a temporary situation which handled correctly moves on to achieve great things.

Hi Meng,
Nice to meet you, though I doubt I would presume to call us friends at this early stage.
You appear to have a bad reaction to words like ultimate (goal) and to abstract concepts without sufficient context for you. You call them absolutes which is a peculiar choice of words. "when you state absolutes you should be able to qualify them, which you haven't done." As a technical matter, absolutes do not take qualifiers, that is what makes them absolutes.

So, I assume you object to what you hear as absolutes believing there should only be qualified statements. As a great professor of mine put it, back in the last century, objecting to Absolutes or claiming they should not be used is itself an unqualified, absolute statement and thus contradictory.

Why should the term "ultimate goal" be "qualified"? It is an abstract term, referring to whatever YOU might hold dear as the new future you seek to initiate. How would anyone else describe it or qualify it more than that--it's your inner ultimate that has yet to become manifest?

I do understand your general complaint, though you don't qualify your sets of absolute statements enough for me to exactly understand you.

"You've just wishy-washed your way into relativism: the very thing you habitually "is not"." is clearly a statement filled with your inner reaction, but it makes no sense to me at all. Is relativism (an abstract and absolute term) evil to you? And 'habitually "is not"' eludes me totally. I went back to my earlier posts that apparently so upset you. They were a simple statement, restated again in this post in reply above, that although it is a time of obstruction and impasse at the moment, it is not a time to give up on one's intent to progress--what in the world excited you so to enact hex 4.4?:)

Frank
 
M

maremaria

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yes, this is what mental image I have too. Obstacles, forbidding the flow of a river. But this is a image it came to my mind today. Like a not yet river just drops (mist). It’s not wise to walk. Rather wait till the sky get clearer
 

fkegan

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Water Above Mountain--staying there

How do you perceive, as a image, water above mountain?
Seems like a mountain covered with mist, where the water is just droplets suspended in air.
Just noticed your second post, maria--

The standard image for water atop a mountain is the snow covered tops of high mountains. That is what would close a road through a pass, lots and lots of snow up there. Mist above a mountain would be burned off by the morning sun, to stay up on the mountain requires more altitude and solid stuff.

Water trapped atop a mountain top has a lot of potential energy, when it melts it will rush down the mountain streams with great force. However, right now it is frozen in place. Thus another image for this hexagram

Frank
 
M

maremaria

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Frank,
The way i see it, there is a need to change direction because moving in a such way you come across to an obstacle. Maybe the long term goal you had once is what it took you in that dead-end situation. But in front of the obstruction, imo based on my personal experience, a new long term goal is something you have to consider in another time and not now.
This is why I said its like one is walking in a mountain that suddenly is covered by mist. It’s not wise to walk. Rather wait till the sky gets clearer.

The water from snow becomes river . Sounds interesting. First solid then liquid (flexible). Although there is not visible a change of direction (going/coming) it implies a need for change.
 

rosada

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I get value from looking at the trigram for mountain as being the outline of a pen, a fence, a limit.
-----
-- --
-- --

I see the trigram K'an as being a raft hurtling through raging waters.
-- --
-----
-- --
K'an being this raging river in the upper position reveals what is ahead. Ken, the mountain, limit, or fence in the lower position tells how one is to be in the face of this upcoming turmoil. Thus I see 39. Obstruction as saying that it is not time yet to enter the swirling energies. Stay behind the fence. Wait until traffic dies down a bit.
If you reverse the position of the trigrams you get 4.Youthful Folly, where you have Mountain in the upper position limiting the untamed energies of K'an in the lower position, as if to say, "There is a limit to my patience," but also it suggests that the wild energies of K'an are controlled by the higher wisdom - like a child aloud to run freely within the confines of the fenced playground.

As to sequence, if you consider that 37 is The Family, 38 is the siblings in Opposition within the family, 39 Obstruction might then mean the awareness that in situations where we are closely connected but in disagreement, we must hold back from vanquishing our opponent (Or else you have the "It was necessary to distroy the village in order to save it" situation.), and seek the problem within ourselves. Interesting that this exercise then leads to 40. and Forgiveness.

Not sure I understand the discussion on goals here, but I think of 48 as discribing the ultimate goal of the I Ching: to unite individual consciousness into working together and helping one another.
 
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