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Same Question, Same Answer, Same Changing Lines X 2

jillc

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At Hilary's suggestion, I have become Friend and hope others can provide insight on a perplexing situation.

I am working with a relationship in a state of flux, and received the hexagram 64 changing to 2, and 64 changing to 16 in response to the same open-ended question (what is the situation now?) asked at the beginning and end of last week. In both cases lines 2 and 5 were changing, with the addition of line 4 in the first instance and line 1 in the second. The second question was asked because of new information received toward the end of the week.

Both results seemed quite encouraging about the trend and eventual outcome, despite the apparently unfavorable situation. However, in both cases the resulting hexagrams seemed rather ambiguous to me, although the primary advice was very specific and uncannily described his situation as I know it.

An interim question midweek concerning the likelihood of an enduring relationship received the response 47 changing to 7, difficulty and hardship, but seeming to offer some hope.

Then today, I asked the initial question again because everything seems to have completely fallen apart -- although that is a fairly common occurrence with this man! Today's response was 60 changing to 61, seeming to advise discretion and restraint, which I do anyway, and to me in my exhaustion some ambiguity about the outcome.

Perhaps I Ching thinks I'm being a pest, as Mom sometimes declared. I generally consult the oracle less than twice a month -- almost always concerning this relationship. I have been amazed at the consistency and appropriateness of the responses. But I know, too, that I have a strong preference for a certain outcome -- and no one has ever accused me of being objective. So I'd welcome some unbiased perspective on this issue.

I use Alfred Huang's book as my primary source, plus two others that I find helpful to clarify or amplify Huang's work. I've just ordered The Book of Changes and Unchanging Truth, as recommended on this site.

My apologies for the length of this query. Your thoughts would be most appreciated. Thanks!
 

willow

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Hi Jillc,

The one thing that lept out at me was "exhaustion," and what I have to contribute sort of revolves around that. I know I've been dealing with the issue myself lately, so I hope I'm not distorting my perception of the situation too much with my own concerns.

But you mention it in a few ways, and then, when I went to my books, I happened to open Wilhelm to the Book III part, (where I hardly ever go), and for #64, the first thing I read was: "Miscellaneous notes. Before Completion is the exhaustion of the masculine." So my first question would be, does that seem to apply? Does everything fall apart for him frequently because of some sort of exhaustion?

The Ritsema Karcher intro to #64 (Not Yet Fording) says, "This hexagram describes your situation in terms of being on the edge of an important change in the situation. It emphasizes that waiting and accumulating energy to begin the upcoming move is the adequate way to handle it. To be in accord with the time, you are told to not-yet-ford the stream of events."

Just to be totally eclectic tonight, here's LiSe on the changing lines:
2nd: "Don't let anything make you move faster than your own pace, and move even a little bit slower. Your speed goes down, but your strength and oversight go up. Learn from your sewing machine: the low speed is the power speed."

5th: "To make chaos yield all its creativity, let your light shine on it and make the possibilities emerge. Intent does not work, it can at the best cause something human, but never something alive, no art, no love. Put your whole self in it. Of every possibility or opportunity, half is always out there, half is in you: it is up to you to put them together."

About Line 4, the one about the "Devil's Country," the one that also changes to make #2, LiSe says, "It is the battle between light and dark which makes creativity and life emerge. The light side and the dark side will both make no progress if they are on their own. They need each other."

The author David Whyte (Crossing the Unknown Sea) has an interesting take on exhaustion. He describes being told, "You know, the antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest. The antidote to exhaustion is *wholeheartedness*."

He goes on about a Rilke poem in which a swan waddles awkwardly across land, but as soon as it settles into the water, it glides beautifully. "The swan doesn't cure his awkwardness by beating himself on the back, by moving faster, or by trying to organize himself better. He does it by moving toward the elemental water, where he belongs. It is simple contact with the water that gives him grace and presence. You only have to touch the elemental waters in your own life, and it will transform everything. But you have to let yourself down into those waters from the ground on which you stand, and that can be hard."

That imagery seems to me to support #64 changing to #2 (ground!).

Whyte goes on about "that can be hard," saying, "Particularly if you think you might drown...this takes courage, and the word courage comes from cuer, heart. You must do something heartfelt."

This part seems useful for illuminating the time when #64 changes into #16 (Enthusiasm). You have the first line changing (the little fox getting its tail wet). LiSe says, "When you act, then act, do not react. An action needs power and drive, if you are ready to turn back when things turn against, your action lacks energy. You waste it on apprehensiveness, instead of putting all in your aim."

So if, in fact there is an element of exhaustion at work, the counsel earlier in the week was perhaps to look for the ground of the situation -- both to discover where your (or his, or the situation's) wholeheartedness lies, and then, given that understanding, to, well, not exactly "prepare for" acting, but to "become more prepared" by moving toward wholeheartedness.

And the reinforcement later in the week, pointing toward enthusiasm, would suggest, yes, that Yi was encouraging you, and you were getting the message. Karcher's intro for #16 (called Provision, instead of Enthusiasm) says, "Accumulating strength through foresight and prudence so things can be fully enjoyed is the adequate way to handle the situation. To be in accord with the times, you are told to provide for."

As to #47 changing to #7, would you be too terribly surprised to learn that earlier this month Hskrkd got exactly that, and we just discussed it here:
http://www.onlineclarity.co.uk/i_ching_discussion/messages/92/353.html?1025823035
Of course, your situation is different, and so it's import to you will be different, but a lot about the Hexagrams is there.

#60 to #61 is interesting. 60 is called limitation, but it is also called Articulation - suggesting the kind of limitation that the joints of a piece of bamboo have - permeable barriers that both provide structure and move vital liquids across them.

Again, tonight, I'm seeing 60 to 61 as reinforcing the message of, "the situation calls for wholeheartedness, and for watching how extreme circumstances (galling limitation) reveal true character."

LiSe says of 60: "A very rigid hexagram, but giving value to the most free means of expression. Living moment after moment makes that possible. Restrictions need expiring dates, so every new cycle will have its own new energy. Life becomes a composition. Not the notes but their rhythm and succession make the music. Play your own song on your own flute. If your pitch is right, you will able to join in with others, and they with you."

Of the changing line at 6th: "The spirit should be restrained as little as possible. Fertility needs stimulation, if there isn't any, the field stays empty. Allowed size, space or time are not really important, but light and dark should be without limits."

And of 61: "Do not believe what a man says he is, or thinks he is. But when he is in real danger, then one can see his real nature. Truth does only show when all human things are gone, on the edge of life. And when a man has absolute power, he also shows himself. There will be no punishment, so he lets go all restrictions. Few are those who still have ethic when they are mighty. When you meet someone who stays in style in such circumstances, you know you met a man who can be trusted. You can build on the true kernel."

I hope this is helpful in some way.
Willow
 

hilary

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Hello Jill, and thanks for joining.

Could you look back at your original hexagrams again and clarify things for us? We seem to be in a very 'Hexagram 64' kind of situation here. (That is, a muddled, chaotic one where everything seems wrong and I can't start out...)

...I mean, if you change lines 2, 4 and 6 in #64 you get #2, but you'd need to change just 2 and 6 (and not 1) to get #16. So I can't quite work out what you meant...


Off now to have a look at 60 changing to 61!
 

jillc

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Hello Willow and Hilary

Willow, thank you for your most detailed and thoughtful answer. I've just printed it and will need to study your reply and get back to you. But "exhaustion" at this point probably describes us both. More to come...

Hilary, sorry to be unclear. I received 64 twice -- the first changed to 2 and the second changed to 16. So the common changing lines in both were 2 and 6. Is that what you asked?
 

jillc

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Hello Willow and Hilary

Willow, thank you for your most detailed and thoughtful answer. I've just printed it and will need to study your reply and get back to you. But "exhaustion" at this point probably describes us both. More to come...

Hilary, sorry to be unclear. I received 64 twice -- the first changed to 2 and the second changed to 16. So the common changing lines in both were 2 and 6. Is that what you asked?
 

willow

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And so am I! What a fundamental thing to miss, what a fundamental lesson! Check everything! Not only am I sorry for any confusion I've caused, but it also teaches me something about not attempting a "halfway" reading. I think I didn't check the lines because I thought, "oh, I'm just collecting thoughts on exhaustion, and Yi will take care of making the connections I'm not patient enough to work out myself."

Sorry!
Willow
 

hilary

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Thank you for clearing that one up, Jill. I didn't dare guess whether it was the lines or the hexagram numbers you'd got right. And ah, Willow, if you only knew... this is the woman who cheerily posted readings for people on public lists with the wrong lines, and had a 'sample reading' online for about a year, also with the wrong lines interpreted. The other day I read Hexagram 3 as Hexagram 40 and had solemnly worked out a non-existent reading before I noticed what I'd done. It all leads to a healthy paranoia about such things...

Anyway, 64 says that someone is teetering like that small fox on the edge of a perilous commitment, and finds that the footing just isn't firm enough yet to go ahead. LiSe is right (surprise!) about the creative potential in this one, but the fact remains that for most of us, it feels as if everything has gone completely and exactly wrong - just as it seemed to have been set right. Nothing interacts creatively, and those masculine energies (I think they're the ones that would like to change and shape the world to meet their vision) are exhausted without fruit.

What is left to be said about the lines? Lines 2 and 6 seem to work together, alternative perspectives on the same theme: putting a drag on your wheels controls your momentum, prevents things from running away with you and perhaps causing injury. For someone here, it's important to stay in control of the pace of developments. Line 6 draws fine distinctions about how much control it's safe to lose: the intoxication of real sincerity (or the real sincerity of intoxication) as you shed inhibitions is not at all bad, though it may feel worrying; clearly, though, these things can go too far, and you can get out of your depth and lose control altogether. (Not a safe thing to do while crossing a river.)

I think of Hexagram 16 as being about dealing with a not-quite-tamed power, finding ways to work with it harmoniously and creatively. Hence the mixture of enthusiasm and caution among its various generations of commentary. Looking for ways to express the force that is present, when there is this prevailing feeling of insecurity - this brings up the issues of the lines.

I think the version of the reading with Hexagram 2, and line 4 also moving, is almost more encouraging. It suggests that the idea is to clear a space that allows things to happen, to offer support to what is growing here - and in addition to the efforts to control the speed of events there is also this image of a very determined attack on some demon-like foreigners. I would guess that this is about the inner demons, those that live on the edges of the mind, and perhaps they're related to those regrets for the past. They are being flushed out, and the rewards in new possibilities will be worth it, but it takes a very long time.

I hope some of this relates to real life for you!
 

jillc

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Willow and Hilary, thank you both so much. Hoo boy, do your insightful interpretations EVER relate to real life -- as I know it!

An important and possibly irreversible change has indeed taken place in the situation -- probably provoked by me, despite the strong, clear cautionary note in the hexagrams and your interpretations. Whether because of exhaustion on both of our parts, or simple disregard of many similar previous cautions by the various hexagrams, I have, for better or worse, broken through the boundaries that were really thwarting my purpose and progress. Or maybe the dam just burst and I had to confront the issue wherever it led.

At any rate, he acknowledged today that a longstanding friendship that has at times been more than that has once again heated up. I have suspected this for some time. So now it appears that our relationship is over, died a'borning, really, with imprecations having been hurled and apologies made and explanations advanced and loving, regretful goodbyes said. For now, anyway...

I will need to study both your observations in more depth. I can see that, had I heeded their counsel as I have done with so many other hexagrams I've received concerning this most challenging relationship, things might have evolved differently -- or not at all.

On the other hand, it couldn't have continued like this, repeating the same push-pull cycle over and over. So many times in the past I've received hexagrams indicating a new cycle is beginning -- I guess I just jump started it, for wherever it leads. Or maybe I completely misunderstood what the new cycle referred to -- the more likely scenario.

Willow, you were right on target when you asked whether things frequently seem to fall apart for him. Relationships have been a particular source of anguish for him (for me too, for that matter), which is why I have treaded so carefully with the curent situation. Up to today.

Hilary, your last paragraph could not have been more prescient. I unleashed my inner demons this afternoon, exactly as you describe. I do not know what will happen with us, but I try always to believe that whatever happens is for the best, whether I like it or not! And it usually turns out to be.

In a few days I may have the courage to ask the I Ching again what may lie in store. When I do, I will surely seek your wisdom and experience to help me separate my hopes from what should be.

Thank you both from the bottom of my heart.
 

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