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Hexagram 3: Difficulty at the Beginning

A friend of mine has a very responsible job looking after many staff and a huge budget. What he really wants to do is to write and at the moment he feels uncertain about what to do next.

In late August, he asked me to consult the I Ching with this question : "What is my situation at work? How should I proceed in order to write my book?"

The answer was Hexagram 3 (Difficulty at the beginning) changing line 5 to give Hexagram 24 (The turning point). This struck me as a very positive message asking him to wait for the moment and then everything would happen very naturally.

Hexagram 3 refers to the very beginning of something new. It is the first hexagram to be formed as a combination of yin and yang. For me, this was a very powerful judgement.

Hexagram 3 says that nothing should be undertaken and that one should appoint helpers. This seemed to be saying that now was not the time to do anything drastic. It was a time to get plenty of support. This meant a radical change of attitude for my friend who is a very active person, constantly taking on more and more work. The judgement seemed to be asking him to start to delegate more.

Wilhelm says of the moving fifth line, "An individual is in a position where he cannot so express his good intentions that they will actually take shape and be understood. Other people interpose and distort everything he does."

This quote completely sums up my friend's situation at work. The line judgement points to taking things very gently and not forcing the issue. My friend found this to be very helpful. He described it as "liberating".

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