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Thoughts on 46. Pushing Upward



Thanks all of you who posted your own insights about 45. Okay, now what do we know about 46? According to Wilhelm, 45 means things "massing" together and I guess that forms the image of a little hill Pushing Upward. Seems to me we don't hear much about 46. I was just noticing the first line is

PUSHING UPWARD has supreme success.

I hadn't realized 46 was one of the Supreme Success hexagrams. Well, that's nice to know. The Image is understandable advice too. It's refering to how a blade of grass adapts to obstacles - the wood trigram under the obstacle earth -bends around them and grows upward without haste and without rest, never pausing in its progress. I guess this willingness to bend and adapt, not rush, but never give up is why ultimately there is the prediction of supreme success.

Well, that's just a little byte. Hopefully others will post what they know and we can really get a sence of 46. 46.1 ought to be a pretty easy line to fill...


Mar 16, 1970
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ICPlus 46 (some properties of)

46 Pushing Upward
In a context of cultivation we utilise trust-in-others.

"SHENG : go up; climb step by step; rise in office; advance through effort; accumulate; bring out and fulfill; lit: a measure of fermented liquor, ascension as distillation."ERANOS p562

Trigrams : cultivation (bottom), dual-mindedness (top) : with/from cultivation comes dual-mindedness. [earth over wind]

The mud from which 46 has emerged (skeletal form, 27-ness) is best described by analogy to the under-stated qualities of hexagram 26 - holding firm.

As a marker of context, where context acts to PUSH instincts, 46 'demands' a preferred response of the qualities of hexagram 20 - admiring.

In the binary sequence hexagram 46 pairs with hexagram 18.

This pair reflects issues of 'getting involved', where in 46 we see the increase in unconditional entanglement with someone/something, and in 18 we see the involvement in the form of actively focusing on cleaning-up corruption.

In the binary sequence hexagram 46 opposes hexagram 25.

This pairing reflects issues of disentangling oneself to assert one's opinion/faith (25) vs becoming more entangled with a particular perspective (46).

At the LOCAL level we are dealing with an octet of hexagrams with the WIND trigram as base. In this sequence hexagram 44, the focus upon persuading and seducing, 'opposes' hexagram 46, becoming willingly more entangled. More so, the exaggerated sense of persuation/seduction (44) is reflected in a more balanced format through a focus in increased entanglement (46).

In the traditional sequence hexagram 46 pairs with hexagram 45.

In this pairing, both hexagrams reflect getting more involved, becoming commited; 46 from the level of the personal, 45 from the level of the collective.


45 : entanglement - through (low to high); a crowd; 45 congregating, massing comes from a context described by hexagram 25 - disentangle, stand-up to express

46 : entanglement - through (low to high); self; 46 entangling, push upwards comes from a context described by hexagram 26 - hold firm

In the traditional sequence hexagram 46 opposes hexagram 19.

Both of these hexagrams cover dealings with the 'high', be it to become one of them (46 - become more entangled and so move 'up') or to associate high and low but retain the distinctions (19 - low approach high, high defer to low).

The generic properties of hexagram 46 reflect the mixing of the generic properties of hexagram 18 with the generic properties of hexagram 26.
A combination of correcting corruption (18) with a focus on holding firm to traditions (26) is reflected in the need to become more entangled with things (46).

In the variations on a theme sequence, hexagram 46 complements hexagram 11.

Hexagram 11 focuses on harmonising and with that a sense of a positive future. This sense is also reflected in hexagram 46 where the entanglement is considered an 'upward' step and so a seemingly positive future. The variation here is on the explicit nature of 11, and so the focus on perseverence, as compared to the cultivating focus of hexagram 46.

Interpretation of traditional single line comments:

Line 1 -
"Sincere processing (refining) Greatly favourable." [Sincerely following the steps in refining. Favourable.[do EXACTLY as required (else neutralized? standstill?)]

Line 2 -
"A balanced moment because of an advantageous small offering."

Line 3 -
" Ascending: an 'empty' but fertile centre." [A place to gather support(?) Empty in spirit]

Line 4 -
" [One has reached a new level, the climb up the bottom trigram is over, here is the start of the top trigram; a form of graduation]" [change levels]

Line 5 -
" Favourable but testing times as one slowly works one's way through the grades." [Lifting the fog]

Line 6 -
" An 'dark/obscure/immature' ascent. Advantageous NOT to stop here. Testing times." [Attempted to mature too soon]

Hexagram Spectrum
00 :: (02) : What is this hexagrams's potential form? :: 46
01 :: (24) : How does this hexagram 'start', express 'beginning'? :: 11
02 :: (07) : How does this hexagram express uniformity, establishment of? :: 15
03 :: (19) : How does this hexagram express approaching the 'high'; defer to the 'low'? :: 36
04 :: (15) : How does this hexagram level things out, keep words close to facts? :: 7
05 :: (36) : How does this hexagram protect its 'light' when not its time? :: 19
06 :: (46) : How does this hexagram become more entangled with something/someone? :: 2
07 :: (11) : How does this hexagram balance/harmonise, mediate? :: 24
08 :: (16) : How does this hexagram express foresight/planning? :: 32
09 :: (51) : How does this hexagram express surprise, enlightenment, shock? :: 34
10 :: (40) : How does this hexagram express tension release through relaxing structure? :: 62
11 :: (54) : How does this hexagram expend early energy, imaturity? :: 55
12 :: (62) : How does this hexagram express overacting to establish unconditional loyalty? :: 40
13 :: (55) : How does this hexagram deal with abundance/overflowing? :: 54
14 :: (32) : How does this hexagram express commitment? :: 16
15 :: (34) : How does this hexagram actively invigorate others? :: 51
16 :: (08) : How does this hexagram passively attract? :: 48
17 :: (03) : How does this hexagram 'sprout'? :: 5
18 :: (29) : How does this hexagram assert containment/control? :: 39
19 :: (60) : How does this hexagram standardise? :: 63
20 :: (39) : How does this hexagram obstruct, go against, stand up to, the flow? :: 29
21 :: (63) : How does this hexagram complete, 'get it right'? :: 60
22 :: (48) : Where does this hexagram get its nutrition, what sustains it, keeps it going? :: 8
23 :: (05) : How does this hexagram wait for opportunity to come? :: 3
24 :: (45) : How does this hexagram celebrate its 'faith'? :: 28
25 :: (17) : How does this hexagram find a faith? What is its faith? :: 43
26 :: (47) : How does this hexagram integrate with the context, be it by choice or otherwise? :: 31
27 :: (58) : How does this hexagram express itself intensely, self-reflect? :: 49
28 :: (31) : How does this hexagram 'woo', express restrained enticement? :: 47
29 :: (49) : How does this hexagram reveal, unmask? :: 58
30 :: (28) : How does this hexagram express excess, go beyond what is required? :: 45
31 :: (43) : How does this hexagram 'seed', spread the word? :: 17
32 :: (23) : How does this hexagram 'housekeep', clear chaff to bring out the wheat? :: 18
33 :: (27) : What is the basic, skelatal form of this hexagram, The mud from which it has emerged? :: 26
34 :: (04) : How does this hexagram learn social skills? :: 52
35 :: (41) : How does this hexagram achieve clarity, concentration, distillation? :: 22
36 :: (52) : How does this hexagram express blocking, discernment? :: 4
37 :: (22) : What does this hexagram look like, how does it present itself to the outside? :: 41
38 :: (18) : How does this hexagram correct corruption, express that correction? :: 23
39 :: (26) : How does this hexagram express 'holding firm' to traditions? :: 27
40 :: (35) : How does this hexagram bring something into the 'light'? :: 50
41 :: (21) : How does this hexagram resolve problems? :: 14
42 :: (64) : How does this hexagram remain 'open', mis-sequence? :: 56
43 :: (38) : How does this hexagram 'mirror', deal with opposition? :: 30
44 :: (56) : How does this hexagram demonstrate conditional loyalty; loyalty at a distance? :: 64
45 :: (30) : How does this hexagram express guidance/direction setting? :: 38
46 :: (50) : How does this hexagram express conversion of the raw to the cooked, transformation? :: 35
47 :: (14) : How does this hexagram manage from the centre? Direct operations? Push ideology? :: 21
48 :: (20) : How does this hexagram elicit admiration and so invigorate others passively? :: 57
49 :: (42) : How does this hexagram reflect augmentation? :: 9
50 :: (59) : How does this hexagram make things clear, dispell illusions? lift the fog? :: 53
51 :: (61) : How does this hexagram express empathy? yielding, soft core, hard exterior? :: 37
52 :: (53) : How does this hexagram express gradual development, maturity? :: 59
53 :: (37) : How does this hexagram reflect rigid structure as a form of tension release? :: 61
54 :: (57) : How does this hexagram cultivate and become influencial? :: 20
55 :: (09) : How does this hexagram express making small gains to be noticed? :: 42
56 :: (12) : How does this hexagram neutralise attacks on its core beliefs? :: 44
57 :: (25) : How does this hexagram stand up to say its piece, ignoring consequences, disentangle? :: 1
58 :: (06) : How does this hexagram compromise, meet half way? :: 33
59 :: (10) : How does this hexagram traverse a path carefully? :: 13
60 :: (33) : How does this hexagram draw-in its enemies, competitively entice? :: 6
61 :: (13) : How does this hexagram express association with the likeminded? :: 10
62 :: (44) : How does this hexagram persuade/seduce? :: 12
63 :: (01) : How does this hexagram express singlemindedness, competitiveness? :: 25


Jun 13, 1971
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Chris, how do you get entanglement from 46? Never mind, don't answer that question because I don't want to read through a 500-word essay.

Being the inverse of 45, and using the metaphor of a tree growing upward, I see 46 sort of as turning over a new leaf. The sacrifice in 45 has been performed and the people can move on with the next step... if the people were gathered together to build a nation, then maybe Growing Upward is about a sort of period of enlightenment. If they were gathered together to form an army then maybe it's about conquest of new territories, or promotion through the ranks.

Any other ideas?



Mar 16, 1970
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review the spectrum.
review the pairings (46, 18) etc etc

You are obviously limiting your self to your interpretations of traditional sequence material. To 'get' what is going on you will have transcend all of that and that means reading 500-word essays. ya gonna havta do some work! ;-)


I was thinking 46, Pushing Upward sort of sounds like a Peasant Uprising. Like, after the group mind gets together in 45, it becomes easy to move mountains - well, lift earth anyway - when everyone contributes what they know. I always think it's interesting to note what's happening in the world or else where on this board in light of where we are on the I Ching thread. Is what's going on in Nepal a peasant uprising? Or would the generals speaking out against Rumsfield count?


Mar 16, 1970
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Nepal and the generals cover issues of ideology and so hexagrams with a fire base - e.g. 36, 49 etc

46 and other wind-based hexagrams covers issues of cultivation/anticipation.


Mar 16, 1970
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If you want to consider change in its sudden, immediate, gun in your face format then thunder based hexagrams work. If you see change as implicit like a rising mist that forces adaptation to context then wind based hexagrams work. Issues of ideology (acceptance) are with fire, containment/control (rejection etc) are with water.

These all reduce to trigram relationships of:

blending - issues of wholeness (heaven-earth)

bonding - issues of sharing space with another/others (lake-mountain)

bounding - issues of parts, partitions, boundaries (fire-water)

binding - issues of sharing time with another/others (thunder-wind)

In turn, the upper position reflects a position of refinement compared to the lower so we can:

trigram - lower - upper
heaven - perseverence / singlemindedness
lake - self-reflection / intensity in expression
fire - guidance / direction-setting (ideology)
thunder - enlightenment / awareness
wind - cultivation / becoming influencial
water - containment / control
mountain - self-restraint / discernment
earth - devotion / absolute trust in another/others

Thus 46 covers total trust in others in a context of cultivation. Contractive Blending in a context of Contractive Binding. ANY particulars that fit into those generals will fit 46 - be they positive or negative.



Can you see an example in the world news today that would symbolize 46? I was just reading about how they are working on a new improved bionic arm that binds with the brain and nerve endings and will be experienced like a natural arm. Everything sorking together - would that fit 46?


Various takes on 46.1:

Pushing upward that meets with confidence
Brings great good fortune.

Your determination to succeed is recognized by people who have the influence to further your cause. Their confidence in your abilities will help you to achieve your goal.

Entrusted with a promotion. Good fortune at the first stages of promotion, from a low position to a higher one. Welcome into the group. Good fortune through being obedient and responsive. A meeting of the minds.

The time favours you with a natural advantage as you begin your rise from a possition of relative obscurity to a position in which your abilities and achievements are recognized. Because those higher than you share an important common feeling with the work, you receive help from them, and from this you gain confidence and the impetus to complete the work you have begun.

He rises up and is welcomed. There will be extremely good fortune.Like this line you should be willing to give way and accept others. Learn to work happily alongside your boss and soon you will be promoted.

You are just begining your advance. If the people in authority show you their confidence, great good fortune will prevail.
-wu wei

In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength..(Isaiah 30:15). This indicates that whatever plans you have, you should go forward with the absolute conviction that great blessings are yours - right now.

There is fantastic luck indicated and everything is blessed. This means that all your efforts will be fruitful, working out as planned and bringing you tremendous satisfaction. You can formulate plans to expand with confidence. Marriage will also meet with success.

Even though one's position is now insignificant, one's efforts will win approval. Success far beyond expectation is possible.
- Riseman

You are at the beginning of a new phase of growth. Step forwards confident in the knowledge that you are naturally forming an afinity with those people who have mastered the lessons that you are now learning, and they in turn will aid your progress.
- Baggott

As above, so below. The confidence needed to push upward is found not in our egos but in our relationship with the sage.

Do not let ambition blind you to learning the lessons inherent in your current position. When you are fully prepared for the next level of challenge, it will come to you.

The first line has weakness at the bottom of the state of obedience, and is the subject of obedience. Taking directions from the strength of the second yang it represents those who are perfectly obedient.
The second responds to the leadership above with the virtues of strength and balance - this represents those responcible for rising. The first line, being weak and docile, has no choice but to faithfully follow the second, trusting the second and rising along with it - this is very auspicious.
In terms of quality, the second line is strong and centered; in terms of power, it is responcible. The first line is yin and weak, and also has no complementary helper, so it cannot rise on it's own - it advances by following the wise who are strong and balanced. This is going by the path of strength and balance - what could be more auspicious?


Oct 2, 1971
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Hexagram 46 - wood in the earth. Roots?
Not much visible above the surface yet, empty land (the "empty city" of line 4?), it is winter.
But below the surface there is something that is alive and sooner or later, in the spring, it will surface. New shoots will appear.

I think 46 is similar to 24, that would be seed in the earth then, but a root is older, there is more history here, roots had shoots before, so we are thinking in terms of generations, cyclic time.

It depends a lot on the question how to interpret 46. Taken as an advice it could mean:

This is promising and you can trust it. But it needs patience ..

Look deeper. Don't let surface appearances fool you

Remedy the causes, not the symptoms

Try to make the subconscious conscious. Freudian psychoanalysis might be beneficial. But Jungean analysis is probably better

In any case, watch your dreams

It's perhaps better to develop something that already exists or has been tried before than to start something that is completely new


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