Home Contents Contribute your experiences Text of the hexagrams More I Ching resources

Hexagram 7: the Army

Background: problems with a web hosting company (not NSdesign, who host this site) - the web logs that were supposed to be included in the price I paid aren't being updated. After three emails and one phone call, at last a reply - saying they were working on it. Hmm. So I wondered how best to get a result out of them (should I indulge my natural desire to blacken their name on the newsgroups, or be more conciliatory?).

The answer: 7, moving to 15. I took this as an indication that I had quite a campaign ahead and would be needing my resources and ingenuity. Certainly it doesn't seem that pacificism will get me anywhere. Mustering resources can also indicate that there are other ways for me to get the information I need, so I've been looking into those.

The contrast between the two moving lines (2 and 3) seems to indicate two ways it could go. If I stay balanced, centred and in control, I should be all right (though there's no guarantee here that the campaign will succeed!). If I let the mass of irritation and desire to get back at them take over, things will not go well. The 'Pattern of Change' is Hexagram 25, Without Entanglement, which reinforces the idea of not getting too caught up in it...

Continue to second hexagram

This is the second part of an account that begins at Hexagram 52

...Introductory notes begin with general remarks about an army. An army is present in the people. Its strength is invisible except in times of war The Judgment The Army. The army needs perseverance And a strong man. Good fortune without blame. Here is described the danger of an army which lacks discipline and obedience. It talks of the need for an efficient general to maintain authority. To provide discipline without force. To do so requires one to capture the heart of the people, awaken enthusiasm and risk no war rashly, but only as a last resort. If justice and perseverance are the basis of action, all goes well. In the change it seems the oracle has moved from describing me to describing the world in which I will conduct this project; i.e., GMP [Graduate Management Programme] 98. It quite accurately picks up on dominant themes of our cohort: Search for authority. Lack of discipline and obedience. The desire for someone to stand up and show us the way! We have avoided war so far. Are justice and perseverance at play?

The final piece of the answer now arrives in the Image, where the oracle counsels to build a strong economy, improve the lot of the people, build a bond between the government and the people. Then victory is assured. Again the oracle captures the work of GMP in the first year. Toward building our emotional capital. Establishing the relationships between faculty and students. It points to success if we do our work well. The final message is one of the environment. I find the image of The Army and its attendant descriptions so revealing of the GMP 98 cohort as to once again confirm the ability of the oracle to provide meaning and enlightenment to everyday events. As it impacts this project it confirms the nature of the group upon which the project will be conducted. It goes even further, in that it also provides a clue as to how to be more successful in our coming year; by building a bond between the faculty (government) and students (people). Interestingly enough that is also the advertised theme of our second year of study: working across the boundaries of authority.

Anthony Granillo

My brain does not work the way it should. I don’t know if it never did or if it is becoming worse with age. It feels scary, am I becoming demented?

Other people can think from A to B and on and on, reaching a real destiny just thinking, but I can’t. When I try, I get lost in some kind of mist. In personal contacts with people it is the same thing. I can talk about superficial things, but my real interests stay without words, I can not talk about them in some kind of logical sequence, so I don’t say anything real.

Now, today, in the daylight, I know that I am good at letting my mind find out things by itself. I assemble the facts and let them get hazy somewhere in my head, and then a solution emerges. Last night, in the dark, I could not think that up and break loose of my gloomy thoughts about mental disintegration, so I got up and cast the coins. ‘What can I do about it?’

The Yi said: 7, changing to 52. The moving lines were 2, 3 and 6.

7.2: live in the center of the legion. I should do what I do, with full attention and without any other thoughts. Certainly without fears about my mental abilities. This line changes to 2.2: complete things without skills or practicing, just do them. Wei wu wei. This reminded me of my ability to ‘let things emerge’, and it was the first little light turning on again in my mind.

7.3: do not carry along what is useless or dead. So I decide to live more and think less (the best thing to do when you cannot think is probably not to think) and to trust the other half of my brain. It changes to 46.3: ascent in an empty city. The commentary says: without doubt. My explanation is that ascent cannot be made by logical thinking or doing special things. To ascend is an instinct, if one makes circumstances as fostering as possible and empties the mind, then one ascends just like that. Like birds finding back their home across continents. If they could think about it, they would probably get lost. If you want to ascend, then don’t think about it, just move and live.

7.6: a great mind is able to do great things, a small one is able only to small things. So listen to your mind, do not find out conscious thoughts but listen to your inner guides. You never can reach any higher than they are anyway, so it is no use trying. It is better to reach your own highest possibility than to try finding a super one. Besides – hex.7 is about organizing, only if you reach what is akin to yourself, you will stay organized. It changes to 4.6: beating the ignorant in order to bring him up to be a good person is no good, it will bring him up to violence. Converted to matters of my own mind: hitting my head to make it think straight will only make it shake. I will have to stimulate and trust its own way of solving things.

Continue to second hexagram