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Thread: Confused

  1. #1


    Hi all,

    I am considering asking my employer to fund a distance learning Msc, so I asked the I Ching 'when should I ask - now or wait a while?'
    The answers came as 42, with 1st and 5th changing to give 23.

    These appear to contradict, #42 "it furthers one to undertake something...to cross the great water"
    Line 1 changing => "it furthers one to accomplish great deeds"

    so this would suggest it's a good thing and I should go ask, but then ...

    Line 5 changing => "If in truth you have a kind heart, ask not....Truly, kindness will be recognised as your virtue"

    #23 is "It does not further one to go anywhere"

    Confused now


  2. #2
    richardz Guest


    Hi Binz,

    The text 'ask not', I'm not sure if you should take this literally. The emphasis is more on having a kind heart than on the 'ask not' IMHO.

    Kind regards,

    Richard Zwart

  3. #3



    Maybe the conflict is because your question implies two different scenarios. Possibly try being more specific, such as, "what affect would asking NOW bring..." or "what affect would asking LATER bring..."

    It's worth a try. - Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 1970
    Oxfordshire, UK


    Brian, are you really a beginner at this?? You're certainly spot on: either/or questions don't work well, and people have been dividing them up into 'what about doing this?' and 'what about doing that instead?' for 3,000 years or more.

    I agree with Richard on the 'ask not', I think: it's more 'if you have a generous spirit, you don't need to ask (the oracle)'. Though quite how this might apply to Binz's situation is another matter... Time to ask a more focussed question, I think.

  5. #5


    Hello Binz, I would take you answer to mean go ahead and ask your employer and you have no need to worry, ie you need not even have asked the I Ching. Whenever I have received line 5 it has always come about that I find I need never have worried about the issue - I did not need to ask - the situation being so positive. As for 23 from what I have read here, this relating hexagram is more likley to refer to what HAS happened, or what the situation was that led up to you asking your question. So maybe things WERE in a state of deterioration for you at work, but this has led to 42. I think its a totally positive answer. Go and ask him.

  6. #6


    Hi Binz,
    I frequently use a translation by R.L. Wing as the first reading of a cast because I can relate to his interpretations quickly and he seems to have done a great job of condensing the advice given. Should I feel that I still require more information I go on to study earlier translations. In the case you have stated Wing regards hex 42 as 'Benefit' and indeed it would appear to be positive, but there is a qualification stated that its positivity depends very much on the beneficial effects of your request as regards everyone involved. I quote here as follows: "Keep in mind that your immediate goals should serve to Benefit your entire milieu in order to attain the successes implied in this hexagram. The kind of energy available can be utilized only on worthwhile endeavours." He also includes a great deal of emphasis on the inquirer(you, in this case)being personally 'generous' toward the situation, even to the point of possibly sacrificing some of your personal resources. The worthiness of the project as regards everyone concerned seems to be at the core of its success. As to line 1, and I quote: "You are blessed with the energy to approach a large task, which at any other time you may not have considered. Success is yours if your goal is worthwhile and can Benefit others. In this way your reputation will remain above reproach" As to line 5 he says: "A true kindness on your part, something you did or will do without thought of your own gain, will bring you recognition. Good fortune"

    As regards hex 23 which he defines as Deterioration, he begins by saying "There is an impressive display of Deterioration in nearly every aspect of the current affair. These lesser elements, and those who represent them have gained complete control over the situation." "If possible, do nothing to progress your own interests. You will simply be advancing into adversity and possibly disaster. The situation is in the hands of persons lacking in vision. Reach out benevolently and consolidate your relationships with those below you. This will provide for you a secure foundation while you wait."

    I'm not quite sure what is involved with your request as regards your employer, but to me this cast on the whole(utilizing both hexagrams and in the sequence that they are normally thought to occur), represents a situation where your request is successful but the implementation of it is mismanaged by incompetent people, perhaps to the point of total disaster. Are there possibly political factions within the company which would gain face by having you appear to lose face? This last paragraph is based entirely on intuition as I know none of the particulars. If I had to condense both hexagrams into one sentence I would say "Great idea,executed horribly"


  7. #7
    candid Guest


    I read it as, ?go for it.? Your motives needn?t be in question. I?d read 23 as a separation from what you have been used to ? a breaking away from. Its just the other half. To every thing we approach, we depart from another. Every increase we receive is at the decrease of what we?ve left behind, even if that means leaving decrease. But as for an interpretation of your answer, I see it as a go, all the way.

  8. #8


    A big thank you to all who have responded to my confusion.

    Having pondered the answers meaning and your understandings it all makes a lot more sense.

    My understanding now is:
    Yes, it is the right thing to do - but not necessarily the right time to do it.

    Richard and Leonard, in relation to your comments; this made me question why I was going to ask - looking inside I feel it was my ego trying get its own way, rather than my 'self' following what was good for the whole me.

    Louise and Candid, I agree with your feelings that this is a strong positive. wrt 23, you both suggest this is what has happened, my current situation is one of transition between two jobs (with the same employer) and I now feel that this transition should be sorted before I start a new comitment - perhaps that once 23 is in the past, then will be the right time. It does not further one to go JUST anywhere. Once this transition period is done I will know where I have gone, at that point 23 is in the past and it could be the right time to ask.

    Brian and Hilary. I asked a more focussed question; "is today the right day to ask" (I have a 1 to 1 meeting with my boss today) and was answered by 51 with 4 changing to give 24. I interpret this as a 'no, not yet' answer.

    wrt 24, this is a common answer for me - in the few weeks since i've started using the I ching again this has come up a few times, but no other hex has been repeated.

    anyway, thanks again for all your help



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