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Blog post: Hexagram 53 musings

hilary

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‘Gradual advance. The woman marries.
Good fortune.
Constancy bears fruit.’

Hexagrams 53 and 54, Gradual Advance and the Marrying Maiden, are what Stephen Karcher calls ‘The Great Marriages’. So what does ‘marriage’ mean?

To a large extent, that depends on your perspective: in old China, marriage for the man means opening his home to a newcomer and all the change she will bring, while marriage for the woman (as in this hexagram pair) means coming home into a new place. Those are two quite different experiences that work quite differently as images in readings. But in the most general terms, marriage means joining, becoming part of something larger than you are, to some extent merging your identity into it, so that your growth and its growth coincide. And ongoing growth and movement is a core theme for Hexagram 53: the geese are still in flight in the sixth line, and the commentary on the Oracle says, ‘Keeping still and penetrating: this makes the movement inexhaustible.’

Of course, this is a fascinating hexagram to receive about a relationship – and of course, it also describes many other things: how a career is transformed through a new job; how a business evolves through growing relationships; how someone ‘comes home’ into health, as a whole, integrated individual. All kinds of journey-growth-transformation in joining-union-homecoming – all kinds of marriage.

Hexagrams 53 and 54 are both about a woman’s marriage: coming into a new and bigger place, which is also coming home. They’re an inverse pair, two perspectives on the same experience. (To see what I mean, draw hexagram 53, and turn the paper through 180 degrees so you’re looking at it from the other end
icon_smile.gif
. ) They’re also a complementary pair, polar opposite experiences that fit together to create something complete. You can be compelled to change by being transplanted, like the marrying maiden, into something you’re not ready for and must grow into. Or you can evolve as part of a situation that evolves with you -*though naturally this has to happen at the pace of the slowest partner or element in the union:

‘Gradual Progress: the marrying woman waits for the man to act.’

says the Zagua. (This sometimes means waiting for another person, sometimes waiting for some part of yourself to catch up.) Without this waiting, the tremendous*gradualness of Hexagram 53, it couldn’t be a marriage at all. ‘Constancy bears fruit’ because the journey is so gradual that it’s easy (not least in our instant-gratification culture) to forget where we’re going, or imagine that we’re making no progress at all.

On the face of it, it seems odd that the marriages would come where they do in the Sequence. We undergo Radical Change and revolution; the old is overthrown, the new is established as the Vessel is cast. We experience this as Shock and respond with Stilling. Next there will be the eclipse at Feng and the Mandate of Heaven – but first,interspersed abruptly into all this epic historical drama, there are marriages. At 53.3, we even get an unexpected insight into these grand military campaigns from a more human perspective:

‘The wild geese gradually progress to the high plateau.
The husband marches out and does not return,
The wife is pregnant, but does not raise the child.
Pitfall.
Fruitful to resist outlaws.’

The husband has marched out to war (it’s the same character I usually translate as ‘setting out to bring order’), and the wife is left alone. We’re in the territory of many soldiers’ laments in the Shijing, as they trudge in the dust behind the carts, wondering who will feed their families. The best anyone can do is to resist outlaws – fight off bandits, and hence fight to stay within the fabric of marriage and society, even as it’s stressed to its limits.

So on the one hand Hexagram 53 is an abrupt switch into domesticity… and on the other hand, maybe not so abrupt or strange, if you think of how the eldest son works through Shock to restore a sense of continuity, and how family is its ultimate guarantee.

This hexagram’s traditionally associated with the ceremonial preparations that lead up to marriage – only, if you look at the moving lines, it’s clearly also about the course of the marriage itself. Successful child-rearing is supremely important: it maintains the chain of connections from the living world through the ancestral spirits to heaven.

It seems as though the journey through the lines is travelling in the same direction, from the shore to the high plateau and beyond. The high plateau is no place for geese to live, of course, and so in the third line it’s associated with the disastrous failure to raise the child. But in the sixth line, I imagine we have a couple who have travelled beyond childbearing age. ‘Their feathers can be used to perform the sacred dances. Good fortune.’ Richard Rutt says this is a ‘ritual dance before the ancestral shrine.’ And Bradford Hatcher says, ‘See the Buddhist Heart Sutra’s line: gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha. Gone, gone, gone beyond, completely gone beyond: waking up: hooray!’

Gradual Advance is a steady flow, through to its objective and beyond. You can see from the name of the hexagram, the old Chinese character, that it isn’t a headlong rush:

LiSe explains the components: the flowing water, the wheel, and the channel cut for the water to flow through. Running water is a potent force – flowing free, it can sweep away all you have; channelled, it brings life and power. Or as Ernest Thompson Seton (one of my favourite authors growing up) puts it:

“There is magic in running water. Who does not know it and feel it? The railroad builder fearlessly throws his bank across the wide bog or lake, or the sea itself, but the tiniest rill of running water he treats with great respect, studies its wish and its way and gives it all it seems to ask.”

Marriage is a ‘channel’ itself:

“The love between man and woman that marriage engendered and the emotions and jealousies it provoked was considered a potent and dangerous emotion that doubled the creative force of the cosmos, the connection between Heaven and Earth. It was channelled and articulated in the marriage rites and the River-Mountain festivals and was seen as an image of the fundamental process of Change.”

This is from Karcher’s Total I Ching, and I think it’s an important aspect of 53: we’re channelling a potent, potentially destructive moving force into creative and life-sustaining ways. Other hexagrams also talk about handling and responding to great energies (10 and 11 come to mind), but 53 lays especial emphasis on how gradual this is, so that it becomes a journey, and ‘constancy bears fruit.’

The Image also talks about a gradual change:

‘On the mountain is a tree. Gradual advance.
A noble one abides in virtuous character and improves the ordinary.’

The noble one abides like the mountain and grows in influence like the tree.

“The tree on the mountain grows very slowly compared to the one in the valley; it needs to put down strong roots. As it grows, it creates a micro-habitat around it, gradually, subtly changing the nature of its environment. The noble one’s good character has the same effect, causing a gradual evolution in the habits of ordinary life. Inwardly as still and firm as the mountain, she settles into her high standards as if into a home, and reaches out in kindness like a growing tree.”

(That’s from my own book – I can’t think of much to add just yet!)

It’s interesting to compare this to the hexagram of betrothal: 31, Influence.*(31, for the record, is not paired with its complementary hexagram, but it is formed of complementary trigrams, which is a whole other subject.) It also talks of marriage, but from the male perspective: ‘taking a woman, good fortune.’ And it also has an inner mountain, which allows space for the lake above it – or you could say that the lake opens up the mountain, so the noble one ‘accepts people with emptiness.’ Hexagram 53 is the woman’s marriage, integrating with the new place, and its outer trigram is xun: it puts down roots into the mountain, or transforms the mountain (inherited from Hexagram 52) into organic matter, turning independence into growth through connection.

Enough musings for now. Thoughts?
 

pocossin

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Legge connects this hexagram to an official's gradual advance to high office. The first wife becomes an authority in the family as an official becomes an authority in the government. So the hexagram represents an ascent to power. From the Image: the superior man abides in dignity and virtue in order to improve the mores.

dignity and virtue = proper social form
abides
 

mythili

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Exhausting! Sounds like it takes 30 years for all this to happen. Any way it can be made to go a bit faster?:brickwall:
 

rodaki

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Exhausting! Sounds like it takes 30 years for all this to happen. Any way it can be made to go a bit faster?:brickwall:

Every time I stop to take a breath I fall head first on that very thought damn it! :brickwall:

:eek:uch:

:D
 

pocossin

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My off-the-top-of-my-head explanation of components: Water + chariot = goose (or boat). The goose rides upon the water like a chariot on the land. The object on the right in lise's primitive looks like a harpoon arrow (arrow with string attached) that the Chinese used in hunting birds. So the character suggests the cautious approach used in stalking birds.
 

anemos

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Enough musings for now. Thoughts?

Hex 53 always bring in mind the following quote.

Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.

-- Captain Corelli's Mandolin

The roots of the tree or the wings of the geese is what needed to blossom , to fly . The substance of grow, development , an enduring one.

This image reminds me of 53 too. There is a sense of aloness , the way I see it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/96614226@N00/390467939/in/set-72157600093744595/lightbox/

Just saw that the 53-54 pair , in term of time are Longlasting/enduring (53) and shortlasting/ephemeral (54). Ummm, need to think more about it.
 

hilary

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Exhausting! Sounds like it takes 30 years for all this to happen. Any way it can be made to go a bit faster?:brickwall:
About the first 50 times I received 53 I was thinking more or less exactly that, and asking questions that boiled down to, 'Everything's stuck! How can I move this along already?'
 

rodaki

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The roots of the tree or the wings of the geese is what needed to blossom , to fly . The substance of grow, development , an enduring one.

I really like that . .
It doesn't have to be about love though, it's about any big changes we want to see prosper . . all of our 'big' decisions flash off like lightning before our eyes and await for us to bring them to life: changing place of residence, job, personal patterns, all these have in them the notion of creating a new life, putting down roots, a process painstaking and slow . . and after the time of growing comes the blow of the first big flop that sets you back to repeat an 'internship' position -that could be a 54 . .

another thing to consider about it could be that not only the tree changes its surrounding space but it is itself gradually and persistently changed to fit its surroundings:

tree.bmp

source

this is how trees growing on mountainsides that are exposed to the winds often look like . .

going back to my papers now, lots of slow, grinding work to finish -ahem . .
 

my_key

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In Wilhelms 53 he says "The maiden is Is given in marriage" and for me a key part of the gradual advancement is to learn the habit of giving. Giving love, giving of ourselves and giving away old habits, thoughts and behaviours until we can 'abide in dignity and virtue'. Maybe, only when we are able to marry the two sides of ourself in a fully sustainable way are we able to see enough of the situation to truely lead by being an example for others to follow.

The waterwheel always turning reminds me of this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJGoNeM3WzY
Tina's - been working on this one for 30 years. look's kinda good to me compared to the earlier versions with Ike.
Proud Mary
Left a good job in the city,
Workin' for The Man every night and day,
And I never lost one minute of sleepin',
Worryin' 'bout the way things might have been.

CHORUS:
Big wheel keep on turnin',
Proud Mary keep on burnin',
Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river.

Cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis,
Pumped a lot of 'tane down in New Orleans,
But I never saw the good side of the city,
'Til I hitched a ride on a river boat queen.

CHORUS

Rollin', rollin', rollin' on the river.

If you come down to the river,
Bet you gonna find some people who live.
You don't have to worry though you have no money,
People on the river are happy to give.

Mike
 

anemos

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But in the most general terms, marriage means joining, becoming part of something larger than you are, to some extent merging your identity into it, so that your growth and its growth coincide. And ongoing growth and movement is a core theme for Hexagram 53: the geese are still in flight in the sixth line, and the commentary on the Oracle says, ‘Keeping still and penetrating: this makes the movement inexhaustible.’

:) I like that . A Hero's journey


A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. ~Joseph Campbell
 

my_key

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Hi Maria
A heroes journey indeed. As Joseph said
"if you do not find the way, no one will"


We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us. The labyrinth is thoroughly known. We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god. And where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves. Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of our own existence. And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world....Joseph Campbell
 

rodaki

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Of course. I see this quote describing a "good Marriage" iow, how to walk on an ordeal

I wasn't disagreeing, just adding, I guess all growth is an ordeal of sorts . .

(to all Campbell readers) I'm intrigued by Campbell's words
A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. ~Joseph Campbell

I'm reading this and wondering what is the difference of this to a positive spin of 54? accepting that we are the little wife in the face of a larger scheme?
 
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anemos

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:) you like Campbell too Mike?

This aloneness in 53 was very vague in my mind. The connection with the Hero's Journey makes sense. And the geese at line 6 , flies away. The "can't undo" of the journey.

Interesting thread :)
 
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anemos

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I'm reading this and wondering what is the difference of this to a positive spin of 54? accepting that we are the little wife in the face of a larger scheme?

Not sure about your question but will try to answer anyway.

I don't think Campbell's hero is a little wife. He was choosen to bring the boon to the humanity a someone/something calls him to leave the old world and travel to a new one find the boon and return to share it . Now, in my eyes that resembles with 53's image.

Thus the superior man abides in dignity and virtue,
In order to improve the mores.

The difference with the Hero journey and Hex 54, at a first glance is that the maiden has to find herplace in that enviroment and not try to change it. But the Hero, actually brings a change.

yet, I need to think more about it.
 

rodaki

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But the Hero, actually brings a change.

yes, this makes sense . . . still 54 could also bring a change if it helps in producing an heir,no? I'm not well-versed in Campbell's writings but maybe then the Hero is more about a revolutionary change where 54 complies more?? I need to think more about it too . .
 

anemos

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i 'ld see many hexs at Hero's Journey, as Campbell outlines it, and 54 is one of them, no doubt and i'm not sure if 53 is the most representative one. A very very new connection for me. Perhaps should be another thread. Have the feeling i'm derailing this thread.:blush:
 
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bamboo

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why would hex 54 be short-term/ephemeral , Maria? the enduring of 53 I thought of as the slow sure progress of advancement ( interms of "courtship", preparing, finding the place to rest)
54..did not see it as short-term, ephemeral, but more like the nitty gritty of the situation. the time when you come to terms with new situation. How does one convert from maidenhood? by becoming the wife. entails loss, too, of innocence, of freedom,the pleasures of girlhood. This is a huge change!( I have heard many women say that they unexplainedly cried through their whole honeymoon.) This could also be a Hero's journey. culminating in line 5, where the bride is more modestly dressed than the bridesmaids. Her upper hand comes when she accepts her transformation, to womanhood, not just wifehood. Karcher calls this line a great omen of future happiness.
 

anemos

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why would hex 54 be short-term/ephemeral , Maria? the enduring of 53 I thought of as the slow sure progress of advancement ( interms of "courtship", preparing, finding the place to rest)
54..did not see it as short-term, ephemeral, but more like the nitty gritty of the situation. the time when you come to terms with new situation. How does one convert from maidenhood? by becoming the wife. entails loss, too, of innocence, of freedom,the pleasures of girlhood. This is a huge change!( I have heard many women say that they unexplainedly cried through their whole honeymoon.) This could also be a Hero's journey. culminating in line 5, where the bride is more modestly dressed than the bridesmaids. Her upper hand comes when she accepts her transformation, to womanhood, not just wifehood. Karcher calls this line a great omen of future happiness.

Hi Bamboo,

With ephemeral, i was refering to the "nitty gritty situation" as you called it and the advise of Yi, as I read it, to concent and focus on the more long-lasting potential.

I agree with what you say about the maiden. I also could see 54 in each geese's step.
 
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i 'ld see many hexs at Hero's Journey, as Campbell outlines it, and 54 is one of them, no doubt and i'm not sure if 53 is the most representative one. A very very new connection for me.

Referring to another Chris Lofting-ism (paraphrasing): All hexagrams apply to every given question or situation in a given time.

To me, that matches the concept of a wave. Everything is happening in every possible combination at once, in the form of a wave. A Particle is when it all breaks down to a singular question, person, situation, or relationship with a significant other.

Hadn't ever associated 54 with a Hero's Journey, but I did have to time to mull it over. There's a point you made, which grabbed me: there is the temporal in 54, but there's also the eternal. It is not one or the other, it is both. I can see how this would require the soul of a hero, or a junzi.

53 seems to share this same dualism of temporal and eternal. Not only is it a long flight, it's possibly an eternal one. The flock in flight forms a wave (like surfing the dao).

It breaks down in 54, and it's up to the individual to manage - not in the nice collective lift of a flock in flight, but in the lowlands, on your own two feet, where you, as an individual, have to do what you have to do, even if it's just to get by for awhile. A Campbellesque Hero would have to do that.

The mythical irony is, once the goal is reached, the Hero turns right around, and leaves the eternal, to exist in the temporal, yet not losing sight of the eternal; bringing back eternal light; carried on angels' wings, or were they geese? Examine the feather which falls from heaven. Perhaps you can use in a dream catcher.
 
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anemos

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Hadn't ever associated 54 with a Hero's Journey, but I did have to time to mull it over. There's a point you made, which grabbed me: there is the temporal in 54, but there's also the eternal. It is not one or the other, it is both. I can see how this would require the soul of a hero, or a junzi.

.

Yes, both. this is how I saw it, or reveal to me while i was making the 54 image. Ever since, I don't see 54's maiden as a little wife. she is more than that. And it takes a hero's soul to turn the ephereral sandcastle to a long lasting stone castle.



53 seems to share this same dualism of temporal and eternal. Not only is it a long flight, it's possibly an eternal one. The flock in flight forms a wave (like surfing the dao).

It breaks down in 54, and it's up to the individual to manage - not in the nice collective lift of a flock in flight, but in the lowlands, on your own two feet, where you, as an individual, have to do what you have to do, even if it's just to get by for awhile. A Campbellesque Hero would have to do that.

.

Yes. As I said earlier, always felt the sense of aloneness in 53 but couldn't assocciate it with 54. The maiden doesn't need to fight for her rights in an agressive way. She examines and act as 53 perhaps , growing strong roots

The mythical irony is, once the goal is reached, the Hero turns right around, and leaves the eternal, to exist in the temporal, yet not losing sight of the eternal; bringing back eternal light; carried on angels' wings, or were they geese? Examine the feather which falls from heaven. Perhaps you can use in a dream catcher.

yup. a 54 situation
 

charly

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漸 ... The goose rides upon the water like a chariot on the land. The object on the right in lise's primitive looks like a harpoon arrow (arrow with string attached) that the Chinese used in hunting birds. So the character suggests the cautious approach used in stalking birds.

Hi, Pocossin:

Maybe, as you say, JIAN has something to do with SHOOTING BIRDS, or maybe with BIRDS SHOOTING, say, geese making their females PREGNANT.

See that in each line there is at the begining a GANDER making JIAN (1) in different places or positions.

Some of these beginings were often retouched in translations for to better the sense of gradual increase not always present in the received text.

I have read that the corded arrow in LiSe character was a hatchet, always weapons. That´s GO CAUTIOUS is always a good advice.

Yours,


Charly
__________________
(1) JIAN means SOAKING, soaking the bread.
 

charly

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...
The roots of the tree or the wings of the geese is what needed to blossom , to fly . The substance of grow, development , an enduring one.
...
Just saw that the 53-54 pair , in term of time are Longlasting/enduring (53) and shortlasting/ephemeral (54). Ummm, need to think more about it.

Hi, Maria:

I´m with you in that H.53 is more about LOVE than about MARRIAGE. LOVE in a wide sense that includes passion but also commitment between wife an husband (or between lovers) and even with children´s welfare.

Of course, old chinese knew that all begins BEFORE marriage, that´s why so many consults with diviners and phisiognomists.

It´s LOVE that leads to marriage and not marriage that leads to love.

This sort of phylosophy was in the core of PEASANTS MARRIAGE, say, a philosophy before Philosophy.

I have the feeling that JIAN, the tag for H.53 acquired the sense of GRADUAL INCREASE from commentaries about the changes, but that before it had the sense of WETING, SOAKING, PERMEATING (1) and... PREGNATING, MAKING PREGNANT, than anciently happened before marriage.

And, please, think more about H.54 "shortlastingness", I don´t understand it.


Best regards,


Charly

_______________________
(1) meanings tha we can get at any current dictionary.
 

charly

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I wasn't disagreeing, just adding, I guess all growth is an ordeal of sorts . .

(to all Campbell readers) I'm intrigued by Campbell's words


I'm reading this and wondering what is the difference of this to a positive spin of 54? accepting that we are the little wife in the face of a larger scheme?
Hi, Dora:

DON´T ACCEPT IT! Better a BIG LOVER than a LITTLE WIFE, although for chinese both are pretty the same.

My memory is weak, does H.54 say anything about little wives? Isn´t it about Princesses like you and villains like we?

Yours,

Charly
 

charly

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why would hex 54 be short-term/ephemeral , Maria? the enduring of 53 I thought of as the slow sure progress of advancement ( interms of "courtship", preparing, finding the place to rest)
54..did not see it as short-term, ephemeral, but more like the nitty gritty of the situation. the time when you come to terms with new situation. How does one convert from maidenhood? by becoming the wife. entails loss, too, of innocence, of freedom,the pleasures of girlhood. This is a huge change!( I have heard many women say that they unexplainedly cried through their whole honeymoon.) This could also be a Hero's journey. culminating in line 5, where the bride is more modestly dressed than the bridesmaids. Her upper hand comes when she accepts her transformation, to womanhood, not just wifehood. Karcher calls this line a great omen of future happiness.
Hi, Barbara:

I´m curious, what is a nitty gritty? Becoming a woman is heroic, I know.
What if not a heroine would support us?

That said, all bride is beautiful, all bride is a princess, no matters if lame or blind said Hillel. All bride is loved, that´s the promess of marriage, then don´t trust in modest bride´s clothes, they are all luxuriant. All bride is of good omen.

If the maid were the bride, her clothes were the best.

The comparison in the received text is with the Prince (1), say, the BEAUTY and the BEAST (2), and of course, the Beauty is the best, like cellophane.

Later commentarists were men, didn´t like what was written and changed the sense. Translators followed the drawn path, of course, they were also men. What if not were Wilhelm, Legge, Blofeld, Lynn... pure men.

Yours,

Charly


________________________________
(1) The Noble, JUN, don´t think at the Little Prince, JUNZI, that´s the son of the JUN. ZI means son, child, young, egg, seed, fruit but also master. Ancient oracle bone characters for ZI are said by learned scholars to depict phalluses!

(2) Boys: for avoiding to become beasts, don´t be stingy with women.
Ch.
 
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rodaki

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Hi, Dora:

DON´T ACCEPT IT! Better a BIG LOVER than a LITTLE WIFE, although for chinese both are pretty the same.

My memory is weak, does H.54 say anything about little wives? Isn´t it about Princesses like you and villains like we?

Yours,

Charly

hi Charly (good to see you :) )

ehmm, my memory's gotten weak too you know, what was 54 really about:rolleyes:? have to re-visit my notes on it :p


anyway nothing wrong with being a little wife at times in our life, admitting it helps in outgrowing it. I think Bamboo is right, the way one goes around being 54 is what makes love big
 

charly

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hi Charly (good to see you :) )
... nothing wrong with being a little wife at times in our life ...
Maybe for you, but I doubt for me. To see you is a joy.

Are you thinking in something like this... ?

http://www.animationarchive.org/pics/blondie12-big.jpg
(Slow for loading but good to see)

I always remember Blondie, if not my first love, surely one of them.

Sometimes I even feel myself like Dagwood!


All the best,


Charly


P.D.:
H.54, among other things, is on pregnancy as requisite for marriage:
Sleeve ... has, as still in China and Japan, been used as a pocket, whence has come the phrase to have up one's sleeve, to have something concealed ready to produce ...
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1911
The bride is already pregnant.

Ch.
 
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Trojina

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‘Gradual advance. The woman marries.
Good fortune.
Constancy bears fruit.’

Hexagrams 53 and 54, Gradual Advance and the Marrying Maiden, are what Stephen Karcher calls ‘The Great Marriages’. So what does ‘marriage’ mean?

To a large extent, that depends on your perspective: in old China, marriage for the man means opening his home to a newcomer and all the change she will bring, while marriage for the woman (as in this hexagram pair) means coming home into a new place. Those are two quite different experiences that work quite differently as images in readings. But in the most general terms, marriage means joining, becoming part of something larger than you are, to some extent merging your identity into it, so that your growth and its growth coincide. And ongoing growth and movement is a core theme for Hexagram 53: the geese are still in flight in the sixth line, and the commentary on the Oracle says, ‘Keeping still and penetrating: this makes the movement inexhaustible.’

I have got stuck on your idea of this before. "joining, becoming part of something larger than you are " ? Depends how you are defining the 'you' here. We can sit alone and meditate and merge and become part of something 'larger', we don't need a contract for that. For me 54 is all about a contract one is basically drawn to either through necessity or desire. Why else would anyone sell themselves short ? One will be sold short in 54, Wilhelm says "Undertakings bring misfortune, nothing that would further.". Desire plays a big part in 54 which is what I link Wilhelms 54 Image to "Thus the superior man Understands the transitory In the light of the eternity of the end"

I take it as 'desire is temporary don't enter into a contract for the sake of this'. Necessity though can give one no choice other than to subjugate and shrink oneself in order to accomodate the will of another. If we want something/someone we will do that accomodating, if we need them we will do that...but it is hardly a path of spiritual transcendence. 'Joining with something larger' implies to me a loftier goal, more spritual values etc etc so I'm saying I don't see the contract in 54 as promoting that. I see 53 as also about a contract...but one it pays one to stick with, to go through all the slow motions of the progress.


You can be compelled to change by being transplanted, like the marrying maiden, into something you’re not ready for and must grow into. Or you can evolve as part of a situation that evolves with you -*though naturally this has to happen at the pace of the slowest partner or element in the union:

Same thought arises for me re 54. I've never known it to indicate something one isn't 'ready for and must 'grow into'. This is a contract where by its nature there won't be much room for your growth. What you are saying abut 54 doesn't tie in with all the 54 readings I've ever seen....to date.

53, another contract but one you can enter into without lopping bits of self off for the convenience of the contract.....I think of 53 as the phrase "terms and conditions apply" the endless spheel at the end of any contract you sign ( that people never read). 53 takes a long time because the metaphorical 'terms and conditions' are there to get through. Matters re 54 readings can be very quick, no terms and conditions to wade through. Its like the difference between employing virtual slave labour for minimum pay...easy come easy go for the employer, no protection for the employee, quick turnover possible (hex 54) and a employing someone in a long term position where they are guaranteed certain securities...buthave to go through long drawn out form filling and interviews and signing of terms and conditions to get there.

Neither of these scenarios to me really mean joining/merging with something larger than oneself as one isn't merging ones self just making a contract. But then I'm not clear how you are using this idea of merging with something larger than oneself. In what sense ? To answer that you'd have to say what you meant by 'oneself'. As I said earlier to transcend limits of what you might see as ones little ego self then no contract/marriage would really be needed for that.....indeed most often it would seem an impediment to it lol
 
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