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Memorizing the I Ching Hexagram 21. Shih Ho / Biting Through

rosada

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21. Shih Ho / Biting Through

-----
-- -- above LI THE CLINGING, FIRE
-----
-- --
-- -- below CHEN THE AROUSING, THUNDER
-----

This hexagram represents an open mouth (cf. hexagram 27) with an obstrution (in fourth place) between the teeth. As a result the lips cannot meet. To bring them together one must bite energetically through the obstacle. Since the hexagram is made up of the trigrams for thunder and for lightening, it indicates how obstacles are forcibly removed in nature. Energetic biting through overcomes the obstacle that prevents joining of the lips; the storm with its thunder and lightning overcomes the disturbances of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanders. The theme of this hexagram is a criminal lawsuit, in contradistinction to that of Sung, CONFLICT (6), which refers to civil suits.

The ruler of the hexagram is the six in the fifth place. The Commentary on the Decision says of it: "The yielding receives the place of honor and goes upward."

The Sequence
When there is something that can be contemplated, there is something that creates union. Hence there follows the hexagram of BITING THROUGH. Biting through means union.

Miscellaneous Notes
BITING THROUGH means consuming.

Appended Judgements
When the sun stood at midday, the Divine Husbandman held a market. He caused the people of the earth to come together and collected the wares of the earth. They exchanged these with one another, then returned home, and each thing found its place. Probably he took this from the hexagram of BITING THROUGH.

The hexagram here explained the light of the meaning of the two trigrams Li and Chen. Li represents the sun high above, while Chen represents the turmoil of the market below. The inner structure of the hexagram is by no means as favorable as the outer form might lead one to conclude. It is true that clarity and movement are present, but between them, as opposing elements, there stand the nuclear trigrams K'an, danger, and Ken, Keeping Still - both formed by reason of the one fateful line in the fourth place.

-Wilhelm
 
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Sparhawk

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Now, this is cool. How about this card interpretation of 21 where there is a judge, a judgement with a ruling and a punishement?

yicard21.jpg


L
 
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lightofreason

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21 Biting Through
Ruling, Problem Solving
In a context of enlightenment, a new beginning, we utilise setting a direction (an ideology).

"SHIH HO -
SHIH : bit away, chew; bite persistently and remove; snap at, nibble; reach the essential by removing the unnecessary. The ideogram: mouth and divination, revealing the essential..

HO : close the jaws, bite through, crush between teeth. The ideogram: mouth and conver, jaws fit together as a lid fits a vessel." ERANOS p276

Trigrams : enlightenment (bottom), direction (top) : with/from enlightenment comes direction. [heaven over thunder]

Some pairs:

In the binary sequence hexagram 21 pairs with hexagram 51.
This pair reflects the focus on 'enlightenment', here expressed in the particular 'solving' of a problem, as compared to the unconditional form expressed in hexagram 51.

In the binary sequence hexagram 21 opposes hexagram 48.
This pairing reflects a focus on dealing with issues through (a) problem solving, a dynamic focus (21), and (b) foundation setting, a more static focus (48).
At the LOCAL level we are dealing with an octet of hexagrams with the THUNDER trigram as base. In this sequence hexagram 03, the focus on sprouting, difficult beginnings, 'opposes' hexagram 21, the focus on problem-solving. More so, the exaggerated sense of chewing over a problem is reflected in a more balanced format in the process of sprouting, 'natural' getting over of difficulties.

In the traditional sequence hexagram 21 pairs with hexagram 22.
The overall focus in this pair seems to be in problem solving, with 21 we 'chew it over' whereas in 22 we cover it up. The focus on 'chewing it over' reflects the need to 'removing the unnecessary' and so avoiding any further action. With 22 the focus on covering up can develop into a focus on beautyfying (as in such an act is needed), facading, gloss over.

PROBLEM SOLVE:

21 : problem solve - through chew over; 21 problem solving comes out of a context described by hexagram 16 - foresight, plan, enthuse

22 : problem solve - through gloss over; 22 facade, beautify comes out of a context described by hexagram 15 - modesty, to level-out

In the traditional sequence hexagram 21 opposes hexagram 44.
The generic properties of hexagram 21 reflect the mixing of the generic properties of hexagram 51 with the generic properties of hexagram 16.
Combining a sense of enlightenment/awareness (51) with a focus on the use of foresight (16) is reflected in the problem-solving focus of hexagram 21.

From XOR : the basic infrastructure is described by analogy to 16 with its focus on use of foresight to plan ahead. IN 21 this is brought out locally through establishment and use of laws etc., to resolve issues.

21 starts with, keeps coming back to, a context described by analogy to 35, a need to 'bring something into the light' - and so to bring to one's attention. (where that 'one' covers a legal system etc etc. When we notice something then it is in an inbalanced state, it sticks out and so draws attention as an inbalance in need of correction or legislation to prevent future forms)

21 gets its nourishment from a source described by analogy to hex 01 with its focus on singlemindedness,competitiveness, skill refinement (and so instincts/habits aka 'rules of engagement' etc)

For a listing of the hexagram's full spectrum see line positions section in:

http://members.iimetro.com.au/~lofting/myweb/lofting/x101001.html

Chris.
 

rosada

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I think it's noteworthy that there is all this activity at line 4 in hexagram 20 that suggests our conciousness, our vibrations, whatever, have become entangled or distorted, or involved with the intentions of others, and then when we move on to hexagram 21, the confusion or block which must be bitten through occurs at line 4, as if now the confusion has solidified into a real traffic jam.
 
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rosada

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THE JUDGEMENT

BITING THROUGH has success.
It is favorable to let justice be administered.

When an obstacle to union arises, energetic biting through brings success. This is true in all situations. Whenever unity cannot be established, the obstruction is due to a tale bearer and traitor who is interfering and blocking the way. To prevent permanent injury, vigorous measures must be taken at once. Deliberate obstruction of this sort does not vanish of its own accord. Judgement and punishment are required to deter or obviate it.

However, it is important to proceed in the right way. The hexagram combines Li, clarity, and Chen, excitement. Li is yielding, Chen is hard. Unqualified hardness and excitement would be too violent in meting out punishment; unqualified clarity and gentleness would be too weak. The two together create the just measure. It is of moment that the man who makes the decisions (represented by the fifth line) is gentle by nature, while he commands respect by his conduct in his position.
 

martin

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21. Jupiter (Fire) over Mars (Thunder)

Jupiter and Mars are both energy planets, the energy of Jupiter is more refined and less physical, more mental.
When this hexagram comes up Jupiter may represent what is considered to be 'higher' (secular or religious ideals, or 'the law') and Mars may stand for 'lower' tendencies. The beast ... :)

With Mars inside Jupiter there is a need for refinement or sublimation of the raw or 'lower' Martial energy.
When we bite through something - and chew it - we refine it. We break it into smaller more manageable pieces.
Punishment also serves to refine. It is used to enforce sublimation.

It is interesting that in both cases what needs to be refined is represented by Mars/Thunder (raw food, aggressive/criminal tendencies) while the method of refinement is also Martial (aggressive).
There is an opposition/conflict between the two trigrams or what they represent (the criminal and the law, for example) but they also cooperate. The bottom trigram 'works for' the top trigram, aggression is used for the purpose of sublimation.
 

Trojina

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I think it's noteworthy that there is all this activity at line 4 in hexagram 20 that suggests our conciousness, out vibrations, whatever, have become entangled or distorted, or involved with the intentions of others, and then when we move on to hexagram 21, the confusion or block which must be bitten through occurs at line 4, as if now the confusion has solidified into a real traffic jam.

Sorry, I think this is a pretty artistic vision of 20,4. I just don't see it as anything to do with our vibrations becoming 'distorted' or 'entangled' or confused'. I think this is so far away from the meaning of 20.4 I felt compelled to say so even if it should appear i am simply being contrary. It is about increasing clarity, vision and guidance IMO through benefiting from other views, theres no mention of confusion or entanglement.
 

rosada

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"artistic vision" - Ha! Ha! Very diplomatically said, Trojan!
Yes, it's true, line

20.4 "Contemplation of the light of the kingdom.
It furthers one to exert influence as the guest of a king",

actually could be said to be making things especially clear, that one can only exert influence as the GUEST, and thus to behave accordingly. But this advice is given because it is especially needed at this point. That is, the natural inclination at 20.4 is to feel, "Ah ha! Now I get it, now I see the light...and now I know what needs to be done!" so the IChing cautions, "Other consciounesses co-habit this Universe, exert your influence knowing you are not the sole authority." So I'm saying I think it's interesting that a possible problem is foretold at 20.4, that is, that some might over step their authority, and then, Lo!, in the very next hexagram we are being told how to deal with people who create problems by overstepping authority, and this blockage manefests in the same place where we had the warning it would in hex.20, that is, at line 4.

Of course, there can be other ways of interpreting 20.4. A born again Christian might think he is being reassured that he has indeed Seen The LIght and has been given carte blanche to go about The Kingdom proclaiming the Good News. Maybe this explains why 20.4 leads to 12 Stagnation.

Anyway, didn't mean to create obstacles this early in 21.0!

Folks, if these insights don't thrill you, perhaps they can still be useful as a memory jog.
 
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rosada

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THE IMAGE

Thunder and lightening:
The image of BITING THROUGH.
Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws
Through clearly defined penalties.

Penalties are the individual application of the law. The laws specify the penalties. Clarity prevails when mild and sever penalties are clearly differentiated, according to the nature of the crimes. This is symbolized by the clarity of lightening. The law is strengthened by a just application of penalties. This is symbolized by the terror of thunder. This clarity and severity have the effect of instilling respect; it is not that the penalties are ends in themselves. The obstructions in the social life of man increase when there is a lack of clarity in the penal codes and slackness in executing them. The only way to strengthen the law is to make it clear and to make penalties certain and swift.
 

rosada

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21.1

Nine at the beginning means:
His feet are fastened in the stocks,
So that his big toes disappear.
No blame.

If a sentance is imposed the first time a man attempts to do wrong, the penalty is a mild one. Only the toes are put in the stocks. This prevents him from sinning further and thus he becomes free of blame. It is a warning to halt in time on the path of evil.

Chen is foot; here it is below, hence toes. Chen also stands for the stocks. The line at the beginning is hard and stubborn, and must therefore be punished. But since it is seized at its first movement, it will improve under light punishment, hense there is no blame.
-Wilhelm
 

rosada

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21.1

This is only a minor storm. Learn your lesson now and it will not be repeated.
-Healing Lines, Robert Leichtman

It is a time of loss, demotion or even punishment for past 'crimes', real or imagined. In relationships, persistent dishonesty is beginning to undermine bonds between the parties. With caution and care, the situation can be saved, if not fully restored.
-Unerstanding the I Ching, Tom Riseman

He is punished for a little crime to prevent him from committing a bigger one. Learn from mistakes.
-The I Ching An Illustrated Guide to the Chinese Art of Divination, Koh KIang

--
As I write this, the news is reporting a story about a 13 year old boy being arrested for sexual harassment. Seems he was smacking girls on their bottoms at school. People think it's weird the school choose to make a criminal case out of this, but I bet the kid wont do that again!
 
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bruce_g

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Kids today haven't been taught right. I taught my sons to always receive a girl's consent before smacking her bottom. :mischief:
 
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bruce_g

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Ok, pardon my un-PC-like comment, but it is a mild and playful form of 21.1.

Personally, I think the 13 year old boy would have been better taught by letting the girls exact his punishment in like manner as they received. Primitive, I know, but, charging a 13 yo kid with sexual harassment, for swatting the tush of some girls… that’s a poor execution of 21.1.
 

Trojina

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Ok, pardon my un-PC-like comment, but it is a mild and playful form of 21.1.

Personally, I think the 13 year old boy would have been better taught by letting the girls exact his punishment in like manner as they received. Primitive, I know, but, charging a 13 yo kid with sexual harassment, for swatting the tush of some girls… that’s a poor execution of 21.1.


I see where your're coming from Bruce but probably there was more to this than meets the eye, perhaps it was far more sexual and agressive than playful slaps ? Media twists everything up to look ridiculous. Here in England I think theres been cases of boys aged 13 or 14 raping little girls of 8 or 9 years old, my point being theres 13 year olds and theres 13 year olds, some far less childlike than others. Of course a 13 year old who commits such an act is probably pretty damaged himself so I personally think 'feet in the stocks' would be worse than useless, likely hes a victim of abuse and needs help himself.


Over the years there been some pretty horrible murders of children by children here, quite deliberate with prolonged sustained violence - yet here again I don't think 'feet in the stocks' is the appropriate way to deal with it.

Yeah I'm tired of how media grabs attention by making things look stupid then when you look into it they've completely misrepresented it. Recently here a mother was threatened with having her son put into care becauue her 8 year old boy was overweight.
Of course it sounds absolutely outrageuosly stupid and makes good headlines. However watching a more in depth investigation of it seemed his mother was deeply depressed, not coping and the little boy demanded food every minute of the day, there was clearly something going very wrong when you saw it making you realise considering taking him into care was not as crazy as the papers suggested.

Hey this is off topic, isn't it ?
 

Sparhawk

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I see where your're coming from Bruce but probably there was more to this than meets the eye, perhaps it was far more sexual and agressive than playful slaps ?

Yeah! A playful slap on a round bottom should always be given with an open hand, not too soft as to be considered an accident, not to hard to be considered an aggression, and with a charming smile in your face. Having some good looks, and having an attractive bottom yourself, helps a lot too. BTW, this has never worked for me... :rofl:

L
 

Trojina

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I knew it was merely a matter of time before you joined us here Luis, like a moth to the flame, where theres a mention of buttocks Luis shall appear :mischief:

Anytime we lose him folks this is a good way to round him up.
 
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bruce_g

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I see where your're coming from Bruce but probably there was more to this than meets the eye, perhaps it was far more sexual and agressive than playful slaps ? Media twists everything up to look ridiculous. Here in England I think theres been cases of boys aged 13 or 14 raping little girls of 8 or 9 years old, my point being theres 13 year olds and theres 13 year olds, some far less childlike than others. Of course a 13 year old who commits such an act is probably pretty damaged himself so I personally think 'feet in the stocks' would be worse than useless, likely hes a victim of abuse and needs help himself.


Over the years there been some pretty horrible murders of children by children here, quite deliberate with prolonged sustained violence - yet here again I don't think 'feet in the stocks' is the appropriate way to deal with it.

Yeah I'm tired of how media grabs attention by making things look stupid then when you look into it they've completely misrepresented it. Recently here a mother was threatened with having her son put into care becauue her 8 year old boy was overweight.
Of course it sounds absolutely outrageuosly stupid and makes good headlines. However watching a more in depth investigation of it seemed his mother was deeply depressed, not coping and the little boy demanded food every minute of the day, there was clearly something going very wrong when you saw it making you realise considering taking him into care was not as crazy as the papers suggested.

Hey this is off topic, isn't it ?

A little, but not too far off topic. Offense and judgment/punishment/discipline are at least part of what 21's about.

Yes, who knows what really happened with the kids incident? It could have been playful kid stuff, or a seriously misguided youth. But in theory, at least, a swift and decisive punishment is better than branding a kid as a pervert for the rest of his life. At least that seem closer to line 1 to me. A lot of full time adult criminals learned they were criminals from their teachers as a youth.
 

Trojina

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Yes I associate line 1 with mild humiliation or embarrasment as a deterrant.
 

hilary

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21.1 points towards 35, which I associate with seizing opportunities and exploiting them to the full. Which is great, provided you have some clue what you're getting yourself into. At least as long as you have your feet in the stocks, you'll stay 'without fault'. Also, you can make the most of your opportunity to sit and think!
 

Sparhawk

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I knew it was merely a matter of time before you joined us here Luis, like a moth to the flame, where theres a mention of buttocks Luis shall appear :mischief:

Anytime we lose him folks this is a good way to round him up.

Hey, I've never denied being predictable... :D

L
 

Sparhawk

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It's a tough job, man, but somebody's got to do it. You're one brave (and kinky) junzi.

Sigh... It is an ungrateful and unappreciated job, Bruce. :D

L
 

rosada

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21.2
Six in the second place means:
Bites through tender meat,
So that his nose disappears.
No blame.

It is easy to discriminate between right and wrong in this case; it is like biting through tender meat. But one encounters a hardened sinner, and, aroused by anger, one goes a little too far. The disappearance of the nose in the course of the bite signifies that indignation blots out finer sensibility. However, there is not great harm in this, because the penalty as such is just.

The nuclear trigram Ken means nose. This is a yielding line in a yielding place, and it rests on the hard nine at the beginning; hence it goes a little too far in punishment.
-Wilhelm
 

rosada

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Hi,
Sorry to be a bit slow in getting this up. I'm in transit and have only just now gotten to a computer.
By the way, I don't know how the case was finally resolved, but the newscaster did mention that the girls, the spankees, were not the ones protesting.
 
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bruce_g

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Quit slackin' and get with the program here, Rosada. :p :hug:

Didn't know you're moving? Must have missed that post.
 

Sparhawk

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By the way, I don't know how the case was finally resolved, but the newscaster did mention that the girls, the spankees, were not the ones protesting.

Quantum mechanics down to the level of human behaviour: It is usually the "observer", not the particles, that determines their state... :D

L
 

rosada

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Fascinating insight, sparhawk!

Thanks for caring, Bruce. Not moving, just visiting Mom in Pasadena for a month. I did this before back at hex.12 when Chris did such a fine job of keeping everyone focused. I have access to my sister's computer this trip but I do miss my I Ching library. If other's feel to post their favorite (or not so favorite!) translations of these lines I think it really enhances the discussion...
 

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21.2
Six in the second place means:
Bites through tender meat,
So that his nose disappears.
No blame.

It is easy to discriminate between right and wrong in this case; it is like biting through tender meat. But one encounters a hardened sinner, and, aroused by anger, one goes a little too far. The disappearance of the nose in the course of the bite signifies that indignation blots out finer sensibility. However, there is not great harm in this, because the penalty as such is just.

No doubt. Yi, though, doesn't mention right, wrong, hardened sinners, anger, indignation or penalties. It just shows someone so pleased to have good food that they get stuck in with gusto and without second thoughts. With your nose in the food, you're not sniffing at it to check for decay.

As 'biting through opposition' (it leads to 38), this seems like immersing yourself in a relationship regardless of differences, enjoying the immediate experience and not asking questions. And looking at the paired line, 22.5, it seems there is something to be said for not being too picky.
 

hilary

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(I forgot it'd say 'originally posted by' when quoting!)
 

Trojina

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No doubt. Yi, though, doesn't mention right, wrong, hardened sinners, anger, indignation or penalties. It just shows someone so pleased to have good food that they get stuck in with gusto and without second thoughts. With your nose in the food, you're not sniffing at it to check for decay.

As 'biting through opposition' (it leads to 38), this seems like immersing yourself in a relationship regardless of differences, enjoying the immediate experience and not asking questions. And looking at the paired line, 22.5, it seems there is something to be said for not being too picky.

Not being a scholar I'm at a disadvantage...buuut..are you sure the Yi has no mention of penalties, wrongs, indignation or angers ? I mean penalties and wrongs are part of human life so it would seem odd to me the Yi does not include these.
If the stocks in line 1 aren't some kind of penalty then what are they ?

I don't think 21 is exclusively about criminal and wrong doing etc etc, also about problem solving, cutting through yes, but seems pretty way out to say its just not there - as it would be to say its not there at all. Harmens belief article comes to mind.

The interpretation of 21,2 is one I haven't come accross before. I always thought it was maybe about taking too harsh measures, but you think it is about being fully immersed in the problem. Do you see that immersion as a positive thing or does it blind one to something ? Why do you see it as being about being immersed in a relationship ?

Er no you think its about being immersed in enjoying food - nothing to do with problem solving ? The food is the relationship ?
 
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