It’s the questions we can’t answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he’ll look for his own answers.
— Li Fire
— Dui Lake
Fire, in the upper position, rises upward, and lake in the lower position sinks downward.Therefore, the movement of this hexagram is one of separation. In addition, fire symbolizes the middle daughter, while lake symbolizes the youngest daughter: two sisters who live in the same house disagree.
Separation. Opposition.To squint.To stare. Unusual,
In small matters: fortune.
ESTRANGEMENT is the very opposite of family. It can happen to every other kind of relationship as well. A longtime friend suddenly becomes cold. A comrade who usually supports us turns hostile. We seek allies for a
project, but find others against us. Frustrated, we begin to think the worst of others, and we drag out the barricades.
Opposition leads to separation. Separation leads to alienation. If the two sides never build new bridges between them, the separation becomes lasting. Alienation results, and the situation becomes dangerous: No revolution was
ever begun by happy people. Revolts come from the disenfranchised. When Di Xin degenerated into drunkenness and debauchery, ruling by murder rather than reason, others in his government began to oppose him.
King Wen, in a separate fiefdom that still owed allegiance to the Shang dynasty, also opposed the emperor’s moral lapses. Both Di Xin’s more enlightened ministers and King Wen first tried to change the situation diplomatically. But as communication with Di Xin became more difficult, opposition grew. The Shang dynasty might not have been overthrown by the Zhou had Di Xin heard what was being said and had he worked to remedy the difficulties of estrangement.
Opposition. Separation. Alienation. Once these three factors became overwhelming, there was no saving Di Xin .
Opposition can be positive if it is managed correctly. Democratic government incorporates opposition. By having at least two sides ruling, there is a constant struggle within the government to find the superior choice in any situation. Excesses are balanced, and the government is animated by the opposing forces. Just as it takes two people to move a teeter-totter, it takes at least two political parties to make a democracy work.Such embracing of opposition implies that the best results cannot be gained by one person’s judgment. We do not trust any one person or any one political view to lead our country. We want opposing sides in balance against one another. This system is not perfect. It can also degenerate into estrangement, and the inherent inefficiency of human endeavors can sometimes dominate the process. In the long run, however, there will be progress. If we delve deeper into this hexagram, we will find that it has multiple meanings, like the other hexagrams, and that these meanings must be understood simultaneously. Opposition, separation, and estrangement can refer to the separation of things. They also refer to the very yin-yang dichotomy that underlies all assumptions in the Changes. Thus, opposition, separation, and alienation can refer to separation or can refer to the inherent tension that animates all things. Nevertheless, we have to know what to do in the time of estrangement. The Statement tells us that this is a situation where the forces of separation are dominant and we can succeed only in small matters. We have to accept our circumstances and work within those limitations.
The Image closes with the timeless observation that a leader can never truly be like the masses. A leader is different—strange—but that is the way it is. Although we must work with others, we must remain individuals and continue to cultivate our personal excellence. Frankly, people can turn on you at any time. The risks for a leader are considerable. If you must lead, fulfill your responsibilities but realize that you must maintain your own resources
should you and the multitude one day part. Fire above the lake means that there are times when the leader must separate from the gather throng below. Fire above the lake also means that when the opposing forces of a society are
joined (as the lake pools all streams), wisdom rises like the sun. Only then is there a chance of some small success in the time of estrangement.
As I consulted the I-ching today, My changing Line was:
■ Top yang : Disharmony results in isolation ; see a pig covered with mire, a wagon carrying devils . First you
draw the bow, later you put the bow down . It is not an enemy but a partner . Going on, it is fortunate if you
At the extreme of disharmony, the mind of Tao has been long buried away, and people don’t pay attention to it; this is disharmony resulting in isolation. With the mind of Tao buried away and the human mentality taking charge of affairs, the influence of habit becomes one’s nature, and doubts and ruminations come forth by the hundreds; this is being like a pig covered with mire, a wagon full of devils.
If you want to restore the mind of Tao, it is necessary to first understand the human mind. But to understand it, it is important to see it :Seeing it as a pig, as devilish, is truly seeing the human mentality and how injurious it is. Once you can see and understand it clearly, your former use of the human mind without understanding is like first drawing a bow, while your later ability to understand and restore the mind of Tao is like afterward putting the bow down. Without the human mind, you don’t see the mind of Tao; without the mind of Tao, you cannot know the human mind. Using the human mind temporarily to restore the mind of Tao, even though the human mind is
the chief of villains, it is also the chief in merit ; it is not an enemy, but really a partner. Once the human mind is seen and the mind of Tao is restored, at this point if you empty the human mind and activate the mind of
Tao, and go on to solve disharmony, then yin and yang combine harmoniously. It is like encountering rain, which washes away the filth of all the pollution of the past, so one is restored to original wholeness and soundness . What can compare to that fortune? This is taking advantage of the time to solve disharmony, inasmuch as disharmony must ultimately be reconciled. So, using the Mind to kill the mind….I may have left you with more Questions then Answers with this post, but that will help you more then me laying it all out for you. Stay Gold….
Art work; A wagon carrying devils , Copyright 2015
Sources: The complete I ching : the definitive translation from the Taoist Master Alfred Huang., The Living
I Ching By: Deng Ming-Dao, The Taoist I Ching Translated by Thomas Cleary.