...life can be translucent


Hexagrams 13 and 14


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Sep 15, 1970
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Hex.13 and 14 are about sameness, and standing out

Hexagram 13, TONG REN.
Tong, the character at the top, is composed of a molding box and a mouth or opening, or maybe object: same, alike (same castings).
Or maybe cover with opening ('fit together'): like a cover fitting tightly on a vase.
The meanings of TONG: all, similar, equal, identical, resemblance, together, communion, common, to share, to agree, the same as, identical, and, with, to be associates, to conspire, to act in concord, flow together (rivers), to uniformize measures, a domain of 100 square li, gathering and audience of feudatory lords every 12 years, the female musical tones, on oracle bones: to perform the Tong sacrifice.

REN, the character at the bottom, means man or people.

"Heaven associating with fire: union of people. The noble one classifies the clans and reads the trails of creatures". (Wilhelm says: "makes distinctions between things, but 'reading trails' is more literally what the characters say).
Fire below Heaven: the forms and manifestations of all beings below the laws of Heaven. Then there is order in the world. Then one can read the trails and recognize which creatures are one of a kind.

Hexagram 14, DA YOU.
The upper character, DA, is a grown up man: big or great.
The lower one, YOU, is a hand: to have, to be, there is. Later a piece of meat was added, to emphasize possessing. According to others it is the moon, which resembles 'meat' very much, but the little diagonal lines are straight in the moon, and in meat they are not.
In former times YOU also meant a good harvest, and DA YOU 'best year' or 'best harvest'. According to Wieger the oldest meaning of YOU was eclipse or phase of the moon. But on the oracle bones YOU does not yet have the moon (or meat), only a hand. Usually the one above, sometimes this one:

DA: great, big, tall, large, much, very, extremely, eldest, senior, an adult, to make large.
YOU3: To possess, to have, to exist, there is, to acquire, to get, again, to be rich, offer.
So DA YOU can mean 'big possession', but other meanings are also interesting: big existence, big offer. The offer is in old texts usually (or always?) referring to blessings from heaven.

Fire high in Heaven: great assets.
The noble one by terminating evil raises good, by yielding to Heaven relaxes in fate.
If you live according to what you have received from heaven, then you achieve great things. Heaven will bestow its blessings on you, because you avail of Heaven's own gifts. They are always stronger than man's choices and achievements.

For hex.13 I quote Chris: all members of that species, despite attempts to be 'different' will only be so at the particular level and summing the differences will bring-out the sameness that makes them a species.
. . The ONE set of meanings in the form of qualities, feelings, is what allows us to sympathise, empathise, with fellow species-members, we resonate since we share the same general pool of meanings.

Hex.14 is 'Primus inter pares': what makes one stand out among one's fellow-men. The one who uses all his assets, everything heaven has bestowed on him, lives a true life of high value.

(I posted the first 12 hexagrams to the beginners room in "Pictures on the wall", but got stuck when 13 and 14 were not yet clear to me. Maybe it is better to continue here)



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Sep 15, 1970
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Uploading the image of the hand went wrong, hope it comes through this time:


Feb 27, 1972
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Does it get much better than this?

Our Higher Self has grown. Our physical being has matured. We are young, strong, and very energetic. Our personality has grown to maturity. Though our personality is whole it is at a very early stage. And though it continues to evolve, perhaps forever, it has reached the level of self awareness. This allows us to intermingle with other personalities in a new and seemingly unique way.

The first thought that comes to my mind is the image of college. I picture finding friends who had similar interests and exploring those interests. I picture staying up until 3 AM reading Shakespeare in a group, discussing every line. I picture talks about psychology and the state of the world that gave promise to a new world order.

What brings us together with others can be anything from the trivial to the profound. I think of my friend Ed, who went to a Buddhist monastery and devoted his life to practice. I think of the footballers who became a team. I think of the fans of a particular band. Each in their own way came together, in a common interest. They were individuals who forgot their individualism for a moment. There were no secret agendas, special treaties, factions, bickering, or divisions. All that would come later.

I remember when the Beatles became famous. I did not much like them until I first heard the Rubber Soul album. It not only changed my attitude about them, it had an effect on my life as a whole. I now joined with others in a deep appreciation of their music. I was in awe. Later I came to love John, and was negative to Paul. When the White album came out I thought that it couldn?t get any better than this. The world of Beatle lovers seemed to draw into factions and argue. But those early days were indeed something special.

Hex 13, Fellowship with Man, speaks of the beginnings of our individual paths. We have joined together with common interest. It is not about physical youth. All of us, most of whom are not exactly young, joined together in Fellowship because of our interest in and admiration of the I Ching. If we could just have stopped at that point, we would have a true fellowship. But life is change and fellowship is just a point in that change.

It is inevitable that we can not remain in Fellowship. Secret agendas, factions, alliances, different sides, choosing sides, bickering, strong opposing opinions and clashing personalities eventually intervene. Though the ideal of Fellowship seems far more attractive, all the seemingly extraneous weather brings us eventually to an even deeper Fellowship.

But that magical time, when we first join with others in some way brings us a sense of great security and accomplishment. We indeed have hex 14, Possession in Great Measure. This does not mean things, though things do give us security too. I think it means the sense of belonging. Our sense of belonging to a small group may pale in comparison to the true belonging with God, but it is magical nonetheless. It gives us our first glimpse at Heaven.

Like all glimpses, we are given a choice. We can long for the time when we had that glimpse, or we can seek longer and deeper glimpses by going forward. We tend toward holding on or going back because there is a familiarity to it. But once the magic is broken by our natural human flaws, it is indeed impossible to go back with the same awe. Reminiscence is very attractive but it does not work very well.

In a movie called ?Waking Life? there is a description of life as ?the process of always saying ?No? to God, until in the end we of course say ?Yes??. I would modify this somewhat by saying that we always have two choices, to let God or not let God. Those are our only two real choices and we make those choices every second until our final choice which is inevitable.

So as attractive as these two hexagrams are, I believe that it does get better. But before it gets better, it is bound to get a lot worse.

In hex 13, nine at the beginning speaks of the need to keep common interests above all divergent possibilities. If we focus on what brings us together, then success. This line is linked with hex 33, Retreat. Retreat is not running away and scattering. Retreat is an organized tactical enterprise. It is something that all must do together to be effective. If we retreat into what brought us together, then success can still be achieved.

Six in the second place warns us of dividing into factions. This is both unproductive and humiliating. This is linked to hex 1, which as always reminds us that we all have one thing in common, our Source. This thought makes factions basically silly.

Nine in the third place shows the link between adversity and insight. We are embroiled in the fight of egos, whether with others or our lesser self. At some point it becomes clear that we are heading for a dead-end. Sometimes we have to go all the way to the end of a path to discover this, and sometimes we can believe the signs along the way. But when we do realize the futility of our attitude, we have an insight, and find the unexpected, Innocence which is hex 25.

Nine in the fourth place speaks of moving toward resolution but not quite getting there. It is difficult to put aside disagreements and focus on what brought us together in the first place. It is impossible to go back to the time before, and to move forward we have to let go of our grudge. This can be accomplished by being persevering within and docile without. This line is linked to hex 37, The Family, which speaks of the Superior man having substance in his words and duration in his way of life.

Nine in the fifth place is one of the most hopeful lines in the I Ching. If our belief at the core of our hearts is true, then no power on earth can stop the joining with others who believe likewise and eventually a unity with our Higher Power. The road is not always easy, there will be many pitfalls and distractions, but if we follow our hearts, we will find the way. This is linked to hex 30, The Clinging Fire, which shows the dark element clinging to the fire to create a brightness that can illuminate the four corners of the earth.

Nine at the top speaks of a time when fellowship is over. All people are not joined equally because of a common interest, but still there is a bond and a purpose. This is neither good nor bad, just the evolution of Fellowship. Fellowship has somewhat to do with innocence. Here innocence is gone, but purpose remains. This line is linked to hex 49, Revolution (Molting), which speaks to the change that is necessary for society to move forward.

In hex 14, Nine at the bottom tells us that trouble is ahead. If we are to avoid such trouble we need to think ahead. We have a natural tendency to enjoy the well being. If we do, then difficulties will take us by surprise. This is linked to hex 50, The Cauldron, which talks about keeping the correct relationship between our energy (wood) and our Spirit (fire). If we can keep the relationship in order, then our Higher Self will be nourished.

Nine in the second place advises us that it is not so important what we have learned, but how we use it. If our understanding is available to us at all times, then great undertakings are possible. If on the other hand we have hoarded it away, then we will not find the help that we need for such an undertaking. This line is also linked to hex 30, The Clinging Fire. Wood creates fire when it burns. It may be comforting to have a great storehouse of wood, but if one wants fire, then we have to use it. This is true of all the virtues too. In order to have love, we have to teach love. In order to have modesty, we must teach modesty. In order to have kindness, we have to teach kindness.

Nine in the third place speaks of sharing one?s possessions. It is only in their use that they are useful. It is only in giving them away that they have value. This leads to a natural dilemma and paradox. It seems to go against logic. Yet undeniably the richest people in the world are those that share, and the poorest people in the world are those that clutch. This line is linked to hex 38, Opposition. In Opposition we are advised not to become personally involved in commerce with others. Our possessions, our personal worth, and our relationship with God, do not give us superiority. It is our focus on developing our inner self that keeps us on the path. If we want credit, then we have a possession which is of no use.

Nine in the fourth place speaks of a time when our attentions are sought by various factions. Perhaps we are honored by attention, or by praise. Perhaps we take ourselves a little too seriously. We assume that our good luck is actually God smiling upon us. Perhaps God is smiling upon us. But if we take this too seriously we fall into a serious trap. We are advised with the link to hex 26, The Taming Power of the Great, to fortify our being with wisdom from the past, and strive for self improvement rather than self congratulation.

Six in the fifth place speaks of a very favorable time. We are indeed on the right path and moving easily. We realize that through perseverance and modesty we are progressing. We can continue this path if we realize that it is linked to hex 1, and our progress is linked to our reception of God.

Nine at the top refers to the continuation and improvement of line five. We have followed all the advice of the Sage. We have also honored the Sage for our improvement. Our Higher Self is in control of our progress. This leads to a true Abundance, hex 55, where we have an extra-ordinary time. ?Be like the sun at midday? we are advised. Do not be sad that the sun will decline. Such situations are momentary. We should be thankful that they exist and that they are a part of our existence.


May 3, 1971
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Fellowship with men as a rule relates more to a general fellowship with those of like mind. However, since the second and fifth lines are both central and correct, in this hexagram a marriage is possible also. The fifth line is yang, and the second, yin. When these two lines change, we have hexagram 14, which indicates that when two are meant to be together, great possession naturally ensues. Often a person is not successful truly until they have met their match. In hexagram 13 we have the nuclear trigram wind, which indicates a gradual penetration. Combined with clarity, the lower primary trigram we find that clarity penetrates within and gradually grows. In hexagram 14 we have the nuclear trigram of joy. In clarity, there is joyousness. After marriage to our correct partner there can be a true joyousness that is lasting and brings great treasures. Inherent in each hexagram is the nature of the creative. Through fellowship with others, through proper communion, we allow our creative arts to prosper and flourish. When yin and yang are in proper relationship, as in the second and fifth lines of 13 and 14, our lives flourish. We are in balance and we maintain good health. Possession in great measure can have many meanings.


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