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Hexagram 39: Obstruction

My sister often does things she does not want my father to know. She usually tells them to me and makes me promise not to give her away.

I hate it. Very often I do not agree with what she does, but I don't want to be a tattletale. And besides, I also am not always prim and proper. I am going to do it different, but how?

The Yi says: 39, with moving lines 4 and 6. Changing to 33.

39.4: if you go on the same way: limping. If you 'come' (meaning to go on with expectancy): union. (31.4, which this line changes to: if you go hither and thither, a friend will follow you). What I make out of this answer: do it different, but not in a rigid way. Decide in every new situation how you will react now. Sometimes there is nothing really wrong, and I will not tell my father, other times I do not agree, and I will say so to her, and tell my father if that is the best thing then .. and my sister will accept it.

39.6: To proceed: limping. To come: splendid. Auspicious. Harvest when seeing the great man.
This harvest when seeing the great man probably means that my father will appreciate it too, even though he does not know everything right now. Maybe he guesses more than we think. This line changes to 53.6, about the feathers of the wild goose which can be used for the Holy Dances. This promises a lot for the future. If I can really find a good solution, well - I don't expect to become holy, but a little crumb of holiness would be a great new experience.

Hexagram 33: Withdraw. "The noble man keeps distance from small people, without dislike and yet severe". So that is how the future will be.


Continued from Hexagram 4

There was one more problem to solve: my own feelings. After all this time of being on the edge of my nerves I had lost faith in myself. So I went on thinking the way this friend had done. The lower trigram gives more or less the unchangeable base of a situation, the upper one what you can do yourself. So this time I put the dogs – mountain – below, and the trouble, being the part I still had to solve inside myself, above. This is hexagram 39: Obstruction. The Chinese character ‘obstruction’ is a picture of a man hiding in a cabin in a pile of straw, with cold feet. Anybody who ever had a depression will recognize this. It is exactly what you want to do then.

I had no special line, but several lines say ‘to go, obstruction – to come, praise (or return, union, good fortune). Obviously coming is the solution. The characters for coming and going are very revealing. ‘To go’ is king + go: to proceed like someone with an inheritance, a task, not free to follow impulses. ‘To come’ is a picture of a wheat plant. It also means future. For a farmer his cornfield is his hope for the future. A good crop will safely bring him and his family through the winter. In my imagination I can see him looking at the plants, urging them to come up and grow big. So I decided not to look anymore to the past, even if this past is only minutes away. But to live only now and towards the future. And in that same instant I felt that this is the solution for any sense of inferiority. It has always to do with failure, but without past all failures are swept out of your life. You start every minute with a new clean life.

When all the lines with coming and going in them change, then you have hexagram 25, Innocence. Indeed a state of bliss after feeling low and a failure. It is being entirely free of prejudice, towards others, but also towards yourself.