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HEXAGRAM 08 – Pi – Holding Together [Union]

Above    K’AN    THE ABYSMAL, WATER

Below    K’UN    THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH

The waters on the surface of the earth flow together wherever they can,

as for example in the ocean,

where all the rivers come together.

Symbolically this connotes

  • holding together and
  • the laws that regulate it.

The same idea is suggested by the fact that

all the lines of the hexagram except the fifth, the place of the ruler, are yielding.

The yielding lines hold together because they are influenced by

  • a man of strong will in the leading position,
  • a man who is their center of union.

Moreover, this strong and guiding personality in turn holds together with the others,

finding in them the complement of his own nature.

THE JUDGMENT

HOLDING TOGETHER brings good fortune.

Inquire of the oracle once again

Whether you possess sublimity, constancy, and perseverance;

Then there is no blame.

Those who are uncertain gradually join.

Whoever comes too late

Meets with misfortune.

What is required is that we unite with others, in order that

all may complement and aid one another through holding together.

But such holding together calls for a central figure around whom other persons may unite.

To become a center of influence holding people together is a

  • grave matter and
  • fraught with great responsibility.

It requires

  • greatness of spirit,
  • consistency, and
  • strength.

Therefore let him who wishes to gather others about him ask himself whether he is equal to the undertaking,

for anyone attempting the task without a real calling for it

only makes confusion worse than if no union at all had taken place.

But when there is a real rallying point,

those who at first are hesitant or uncertain gradually come in of their own accord.

Late-comers must suffer the consequences, for in holding together the question of the right time is also important.

Relationships are formed and firmly established according to definite inner laws.

Common experiences strengthen these ties, and he who comes too late to share in these basic experiences must suffer for it if, as a straggler, he finds the door locked.

If a man

  • has recognized the necessity for union and
  • does not feel strong enough to function as the center,

it is his duty to become a member of some other organic fellowship.

THE IMAGE

On the earth is water: The image Of HOLDING TOGETHER.

Thus the kings of antiquity

  • Bestowed the different states as fiefs And
  • cultivated friendly relations With the feudal lords.

Water

  • fills up all the empty places on the earth and
  • clings fast to it.

The social organization of ancient China was based on this principle of the holding together of

  • dependents and
  • rulers.

Water flows to unite with water, because all parts of it are subject to the same laws.

So too should human society hold together through a community of interests that

allows each individual to feel himself a member of a whole.

The central power of a social organization must see to it that

every member finds that his true interest lies in holding together with it,

as was the case in the paternal relationship between king and vassals in ancient China.

THE LINES

Six in the third place means:

You hold together with the wrong people.

We are often among people who do not belong to our own sphere.

In that case we must beware of being drawn into false intimacy through force of habit.

Needless to say, this would have evil consequences.

Maintaining sociability without intimacy is the only right attitude toward such people,

because otherwise

we should not be free to enter into relationship with people of our own kind later on.

 

MOVING HEXAGRAM

 

HEXAGRAM 39 – Chien – Obstruction

Above     K’AN    THE ABYSMAL, WATER

Below     KEN    KEEPING STILL, MOUNTAIN

The hexagram pictures

  • a dangerous abyss lying before us and
  • a steep, inaccessible mountain rising behind us.

We are surrounded by obstacles;

at the same time,

since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still,

there is implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves.

The hexagram represents obstructions

that appear in the course of time but

that can and should be overcome.

Therefore

all the instruction given is directed to overcoming them.

THE JUDGMENT

OBSTRUCCION.

  • The southwest furthers.
  • The northeast does not further.
  • It furthers one to see the great man.

Perseverance brings good fortune.

The southwest is the region of retreat,

the northeast that of advance.

Here

an individual is confronted by obstacles that

cannot be overcome directly.

In such a situation

it is wise

  • to pause in view of the danger and
  • to retreat.

However,

this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions.

One must

  • join forces with friends of like mind and
  • put himself under the leadership of a man equal to the situation:

then

one will succeed in removing the obstacles.

This requires the will to persevere

just when

one apparently must do something that leads away from his goal.

This unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end.

An obstruction that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development.

This is the value of adversity.

THE IMAGE

Water on the mountain:

The image of OBSTRUCTION.

Thus the superior man

  • turns his attention to himself And
  • molds his character.

Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself.

While

  • the inferior man
    • seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate,
  • the superior man
    • seeks the error within himself, and

    through this introspection

  • the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for
    • inner enrichment and
    • education.

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