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

hilary

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Hi Trojan,

I just meant that this particular line doesn't mention punishment, sin etc. It offers you the image of someone with their 'nose in the trough', as it were, and you get to apply the image in context. Which might be immersing oneself in a relationship, 'getting stuck in' to solving a problem, or something else altogether. The 'relationship' theme emerges from the relationship to 22.5, and maybe the relationship to 38 and 38.2 as well.

As for whether there's a problem with getting immersed in this way - I think having the nose disappear indicates a loss of powers of discrimination, and it's not that much of a stretch to say these are powers you'd normally use to keep yourself safe. So one might think this was misguided... if Yi didn't say, 'No mistake'.
 

Trojina

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Hi Trojan,

I just meant that this particular line doesn't mention punishment, sin etc. It offers you the image of someone with their 'nose in the trough', as it were, and you get to apply the image in context. Which might be immersing oneself in a relationship, 'getting stuck in' to solving a problem, or something else altogether. The 'relationship' theme emerges from the relationship to 22.5, and maybe the relationship to 38 and 38.2 as well.

As for whether there's a problem with getting immersed in this way - I think having the nose disappear indicates a loss of powers of discrimination, and it's not that much of a stretch to say these are powers you'd normally use to keep yourself safe. So one might think this was misguided... if Yi didn't say, 'No mistake'.

Hi, yes later on as I was cleaning I thought to myself I bet Hilary was just talking about line 2 not the whole hexagram, :rolleyes:

Anyway thats a really new and interesting interpretation of line 2 for me,thanks ! I have also always associated it with a 'cut your nose off to spite your face' scenario - its never fitted but I've clung to it with nothing much else to go on.
 
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bruce_g

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I've not looked at line 2 that way (the way Hilary described), either, but it sure makes a vivid picture. Reminds me of a watermelon eating contest, or else someone so famished that they lose themselves in it.

I like it very much! Thanks, Hilary.
 

Sparhawk

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

Phew!! For a moment I thought the site was channelling departed sages... :D

L
 

rosada

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Ditto for me, this interpretation makes more sence. Like Trojan, I was visualizing somebody losing their nose, like the expression to get mad and "bite someone's head off".
 

rosada

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Six in the third place means:
Bites on old dried meat
And strikes on something poisonous.
Slight humiliation. No blame.
 

Sparhawk

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Bites through tender meat,
So that his nose disappears.
No blame.

Ahem... Let me clear my voice.. (grrlll... grrrllll...) Here we go:

Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song ...

I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style.
And so I came to see him to listen for a while.
And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes.

Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song ...

I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd,
I felt he found my letters and read each one out loud.
I prayed that he would finish but he just kept right on ...

Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song ...

He sang as if he knew me in all my dark despair.
And then he looked right through me as if I wasn't there.
But he just came to singing, singing clear and strong.

Strumming my pain with his fingers,
Singing my life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song ...

He was strumming, oh, he was singing my song.
Killing me softly with his song,
Killing me softly with his song,
Telling my whole life with his words,
Killing me softly with his song ...
With his song ...

:rofl:

L
 

Trojina

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Dear Luis I don't understand what you are trying to convey in your last post :confused:

You have line 21,2 from Wilhelm, the lyrics to 'Killing me Softly' and then you ROFL ?

What is the connection ? You can't mean killing someone softly by eating them beginning with their nose, thats too weird even for you :rofl:
 

Sparhawk

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Dear Luis I don't understand what you are trying to convey in your last post :confused:

You have line 21,2 from Wilhelm, the lyrics to 'Killing me Softly' and then you ROFL ?

What is the connection ? You can't mean killing someone softly by eating them beginning with their nose, thats too weird even for you :rofl:

This is where I play the mystic and cryptic sage, grasshopper... :D

L
 
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L

lightofreason

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to catch up:

Image :
"[With enlightement comes direction(ideology)]. Thunder, lightning. Biting through (Revealing the essential). In primal times one heightened awareness by enforcing the laws through flogging."

Line 1
"A deviation occurs. It is punished. Social Balance must be maintained."

with/from problem-solving (issue of deviating) comes congregating. The focus on 'social balance' elicits a link to 45 where we are all 'of one mind celebrating such'. By association we get into one mind as one god and one god as law etc etc etc thus going against such is a threat to the congregation (collective) as a whole. The controlling line of 24 is returning where it also covers a return to the 'right' path after being distracted.

Line 2
"A further deviation occurs. In punishing, one goes too far. despite this the punishment is just."

with/from problem-solving comes opposing/mirroring. The mirror aspect of 38 reflects (!) the use of such to hide behind. This itself can be considered deceitful and encourage more severe punishment than is needed for some deviation. IOW whilst hiding one makes a deviation that is detected but in that detection so is discovered the hiding.

The line position is ruled by hexagram 07 and its focus on uniforming (look the same) as well as social hierarchy (we get 'orders' from without). Here the 38 reflects (!) a considered deceitful form of uniforming.

Line 3
"In developing and applying rules (guides), an unexpected error is found. It acts like poison, causing confusion and distress. Once fixed no harm is done."

with/from problem-solving comes guidance/direction-setting, issues of ideology. Any ideology can be accepted, welcomed and then turn to poison (and so 'deviate') - a bit like a virus attacking a cell by injecting its DNA into the cell to then take over and produce more virii.

The line position is controlled by hexagram 15 and its focus on levelling out, keeping words close to facts. Here there is an exaggeration that needs to be 'levelled out'.


All the way through 21 is a focus on dealing with deviations from some rule/guide. Implicit in this is the meaning of the hexagram as a whole in that the line comments are made WITHIN the generic meaning of the hexagram. As such line comments do NOT reflect 'begin to end' in the creation of the hexagram, they cover details after its generic form is completed - Iow the begin-end comments are within the completed form not leading to the completed form. As such there is another form of interpretation that leads us from a generic 'begin' to a completion at the 'top' where that completion is of the hexagram in general meaning.
 

rosada

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21.3 experience.
Had to talk to the person in charge of the senior home where my mother lives. Over the weekend Mom had a ferocious leg cramp. The caregiver on duty said she would come to the room, but didn't show for several HOURS. She's a sweet woman and ya hate to make waves but this was the second time in a week Mom's needed help and no one's come. Anyway, perhaps my squeeling on her was an example of "Punishment carried out by someone who lacks the power and authority to do so". I felt some "slight humiliation" saying anything, like I was tatling, but if this line does indeed fit the situation, then perhaps there is "no blame."
 

rosada

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21.4

Nine in the fourth place means:
Bites on dried gristly meat.
Receives metal arrows.
It furthers one to be mindful of difficulties
And to be persevering.
Good fortune.
 
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lightofreason

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21.4

Line 4
"In law there are times when rigidity makes achieving results difficult. One must get to the core of the matter for success, avoid the technicalities."

line position 4 is ruled by hex 16 and its focus on foresight/planning and all with enthusiasm. The issue here is one can get too carried away and so wrapped up in details - the line position also maps to the minister and so ties to bureaucracy etc. and so technical issues covering definitions of 'deviation' etc can make one deviate from the core of the matter!

the changing line focus is: with/from problem solving comes hungering (and the associated issues re quality control etc)
 
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bruce_g

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Good one, Chris.

Determination sometimes creates more problems than it solves. "I'll do this, even if it kills me!" comes to mind.

I give the steak bones to Mojo. He bites through them with ease.
 
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bruce_g

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I see 21.4 a lot in various spiritual practices. Meditation, for example: the determination to achieve Satori prevents Satori from being ingested (fan yao 27).

And where would Viagra be if not for line 4?
 

Trojina

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Anyone know what the 'metal arrows' signify ?
 

Trojina

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Ah rewards hmm. I thought the arrows might symbolise the kinds of 'tools' or rather qualities one needs to bite through the problem ?
 
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bruce_g

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Ah rewards hmm. I thought the arrows might symbolise the kinds of 'tools' or rather qualities one needs to bite through the problem ?

I did too for a long while. But I never found much practical use for a metal arrow.

On the other hand, I have heard of the metal arrow as referring to the arrowhead, left inside the game being eaten. But that makes less sense to me than the idea of a metal medal or trophy which represents an accomplishment.
 

getojack

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I did too for a long while. But I never found much practical use for a metal arrow.

On the other hand, I have heard of the metal arrow as referring to the arrowhead, left inside the game being eaten. But that makes less sense to me than the idea of a metal medal or trophy which represents an accomplishment.

Agreed. 40.2 also talks about finding a golden arrow...

From Cleary's translation of 40.2:
Catching three foxes on a hunt, finding a golden arrow, you will be lucky if upright and true.

Makes more sense as a reward than as a tool here.
 
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bruce_g

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Agreed. 40.2 also talks about finding a golden arrow...

From Cleary's translation of 40.2:
Catching three foxes on a hunt, finding a golden arrow, you will be lucky if upright and true.

Makes more sense as a reward than as a tool here.

The question that begs to be asked: was it worth the effort? I guess that depends on the actual accomplishment, rather than on the shiny arrow. Still, I imagine there's a lot of pride in wearing a Super Bowl ring - to say nothing of the seven figure annual income.
 

Trojina

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I did too for a long while. But I never found much practical use for a metal arrow.

.


:rofl: to be honest I can't say I've much use for a metal arrow either but I also would not value one as a trophy much. I don't know I've never given the arrow much thought before.. so you and Getojack see it as an emblem of recognition,an acknowlegment of accomplishment, hmm. Wilhelm seems to take it that one needs to 'be hard as metal and straight as an arrow to surmount the difficulties'. Karcher sees it as acquiring something of value.

This is one of those lines I've never been able to apply meaningfully in real life so I don't really get it, and interpretations seem to vary enormously.
 
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bruce_g

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:rofl: to be honest I can't say I've much use for a metal arrow either but I also would not value one as a trophy much. I don't know I've never given the arrow much thought before.. so you and Getojack see it as an emblem of recognition,an acknowlegment of accomplishment, hmm. Wilhelm seems to take it that one needs to 'be hard as metal and straight as an arrow to surmount the difficulties'. Karcher sees it as acquiring something of value.

This is one of those lines I've never been able to apply meaningfully in real life so I don't really get it, and interpretations seem to vary enormously.

I think you're not alone in uncertainty. I'm not certain by any means, but it's how the line has seemed to play out in real life for me.

Bradford renders it:
Biting on dry, bony meat
Securing funding and arrows
Warranting difficult persistence
Promising

Lise renders it:
Biting dried-out meat with the bone. Finding a metal arrow head. Harvest: a difficulties determination. Auspicious.

Both seem to agree, it's worth the effort. But I think that's a subjective call.

I had a garage full of trophies, which did nothing but gather dust. I eventually tossed them all into the garbage. What matters more to me are the memories of participating in the sport, the shear enjoyment of the activity. There's such thing as vaingloriously trying too hard.

On the other hand, the task and trophy, in some cases, can be worth the effort, and even essential, such as when grinding through preparing annual taxes :p. I'd hardly call that auspicious, though. :rolleyes:
 

Sparhawk

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Man, I'm not kidding, even though I seem to be here 24/7, I've little time to come up with something like what Bruce and others write. I seem to be limiting myself to agree or disagree with what other say, all in an internal dialogue. Perhaps a blessing for this captive audience... :D

In any case, just to offer something, I recently found an old book by Ellery Littleton called "Old rocks, new streams; 64 Poems from the I Ching". Here is the poem for 21:

Biting through

Not too much Li.
Not too much Chen.

When softness
tempers hardness
the just measures
only then
may be achieved.

Lightning is clear,
thunder severe.
Together
they explode
the tension
in the air.

Control
must be imposed
from without
should it fail
to arise
from within.​

Luis
 

RindaR

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How about this idea... finding the arrow could mean that someone else tried to kill the game animal before you did, and did not succeed. You however, succeeded, and get the meat. You also benefit from the efforts of the one who tried earlier - thus the idea of reward - something not *directly* related to one's effort, but received because of it from someone else - from another vector as it were....
 

Trojina

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How about this idea... finding the arrow could mean that someone else tried to kill the game animal before you did, and did not succeed. You however, succeeded, and get the meat. You also benefit from the efforts of the one who tried earlier - thus the idea of reward - something not *directly* related to one's effort, but received because of it from someone else - from another vector as it were....

Ah yes, I'm nearing the source of my confusion that I hadn't quite spelt out to myself before, bear with me as my thought wheels grind exeedingly slow hmm. Anyway some interpretations/translations describe someone biting into meat and hitting an arrow embedded in the flesh - as in above interpretation, where to others the arrow is not within the flesh of the meat at all but something external awarded or given.

I'm wondering over this because surely this would give rise to very different understanding of the line. I have generally subconsciously visualised the arrow as lodged within the meat rather than something external to it. And its something in the meat that shouldn't really still be in there - it will break your teeth and spoil the food, guess it would be like eating a plate of fish and finding a hook within it. If I look at it like this, like Rinda says, then the arrow is something to be removed, an obstacle to get out, something inadvertantly come across that isn't where it belongs. Yet most are seeing the arrow as a reward ?

Some say he 'receives' the arrow others that he 'finds' it, there seems a world of difference between 'receives' and 'finds' here to me. I don't know why but finding it in the meat is far more plausible to me - otherwise what does eating and finding arrows have to do with each other - what does biting through meat have to do with gaining rewards, one is merely getting to an obstacle to dislodge it. Finding an arrowhead in the meat makes more sense to me, haven't yet come across any interpretation I can connect with for this one.
 

rosada

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Hmmm, interesting..As i posted a couple of days ago with 21.3, I was feeling uncomfortable about the fact that I had reported to the director of the nursing home where my mother lives that one of the nursing staff had been very slow to respond to my mom's need for attention. I felt uneasy because the nurse herself is a very nice lady. Well, yesterday while we have been focused on 21.4 I happened to overhear the head nurse being very curt with a resident, telling her it was too late in the day to fulfill some request. From this I gather that this attitude of sticking to the letter of the law -"It's too late, you are required to give us 24 hours notice" - rather than, "How can I help you?" comes from the top down, and is and also may be a long standing problem. Thus "old dried meat".
Also the fact that I was overhearing someone else may be the finding a "metal arrow".
"It furthers one to be mindful of difficulties"? Of whose difficulties? Perhapsthe head nurse may be abrupt as a way of keeping people from always wanting her attention? Or just mindful that I will be leaving soon but my mother has to live here so how much hell do I want to raise?
"Good fortune" makes me feel there may yet be some resolution...

Meanwhile I am going to go ahead and post 21.5 but of course folks may still have thoughts on earlier lines.
 
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rosada

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21.5
* Six in the fifth place means:
Bites on dried lean meat.
Receives yellow gold.
Perseveringly aware of danger.
No blame.
 
B

bruce_g

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Ah yes, I'm nearing the source of my confusion that I hadn't quite spelt out to myself before, bear with me as my thought wheels grind exeedingly slow hmm. Anyway some interpretations/translations describe someone biting into meat and hitting an arrow embedded in the flesh - as in above interpretation, where to others the arrow is not within the flesh of the meat at all but something external awarded or given.

I'm wondering over this because surely this would give rise to very different understanding of the line. I have generally subconsciously visualised the arrow as lodged within the meat rather than something external to it. And its something in the meat that shouldn't really still be in there - it will break your teeth and spoil the food, guess it would be like eating a plate of fish and finding a hook within it. If I look at it like this, like Rinda says, then the arrow is something to be removed, an obstacle to get out, something inadvertantly come across that isn't where it belongs. Yet most are seeing the arrow as a reward ?

Some say he 'receives' the arrow others that he 'finds' it, there seems a world of difference between 'receives' and 'finds' here to me. I don't know why but finding it in the meat is far more plausible to me - otherwise what does eating and finding arrows have to do with each other - what does biting through meat have to do with gaining rewards, one is merely getting to an obstacle to dislodge it. Finding an arrowhead in the meat makes more sense to me, haven't yet come across any interpretation I can connect with for this one.

Chuckling here, Trojan, as you gnaw away on that bone. Ironic, isn't it, how these discussions sync up with our reality?

I wish Brad, LiSe or Hilary would pipe up on this one.
 
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bruce_g

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21.5
* Six in the fifth place means:
Bites on dried lean meat.
Receives yellow gold.
Perseveringly aware of danger.
No blame.

Again the idea of reward for effort, only here it is easy.
 

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