Posts Tagged I Ching

47. K’un / Oppression (Exhaustion) – The Dark Night of the Soul

I_Ching_47_Kun I_Ching_Tui Above TUI
THE JOYOUS, LAKE
I_Ching_Kan Below K’AN
THE ABYSMAL, WATER

The lake is above, water below; the lake is empty, dried up. Exhaustion is expressed in yet another way: at the top, a dark line is holding down two light lines below, a light line is hemmed in between two dark ones. The upper trigram belongs to the principle of darkness, the lower to the principle of light. Thus everywhere superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men.

	THE  JUDGMENT
	OPPRESSION. Success. Perseverance.
	The great man brings about good fortune.
	No blame.
	When one has something to say,
	It is not believed.

Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they befall the right man. When a strong man meets with adversity, he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate.

He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. But if adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest itself. No inferior man is capable of this. Only the great man brings about good fortune and remains blameless. It is true that for the time being outward influence is denied him, because his words have no effect. Therefore in times of adversity it is important to be strong within and sparing of words.

	THE IMAGE
	There is not water in the lake:
	The image of EXHAUSTION.
	Thus the superior man stakes his life
	On following his will.

When the water has flowed out below, the lake must dry up and become exhausted. That is fate. This symbolizes an adverse fate in human life. In such times there is nothing a man can do but acquiesce in his fate and remain true to himself. This concerns the deepest stratum of his being, for this alone is superior to all external fate.

	THE LINES
	Six at the beginning means:
	One sits oppressed under a bare tree
	And strays into a gloomy valley.
	For three years one sees nothing.

When adversity befalls a man, it is important above all things for him to be strong and to overcome the trouble inwardly. If he is weak, the trouble overwhelms him. Instead of proceeding on his way, he remains sitting under a bare tree and falls ever more deeply into gloom and melancholy. This makes the situation only more and more hopeless. Such an attitude comes from an inner delusion that he must by all means overcome.

	Nine in the second place means:
	One is oppressed while at meat and drink.
	The man with the scarlet knee bands is just coming.
	It furthers one to offer sacrifice.
	To set forth brings misfortune.
	No blame.

This pictures a state of inner oppression. Externally, all is well, one has meat and drink. But one is exhausted by the commonplaces of life, and there seems to be no way of escape.

Then help comes from a high place [the higher I]. A prince- in ancient China princes wore scarlet knee bands- is in search of able helpers. But there are still obstructions to be overcome.

Therefore it is important to meet these obstructions in the visible realm by offerings and prayer [Contemplation]. To set forth without being prepared would be disastrous, though not morally wrong. Here a disagreeable situation must be overcome by patience of spirit. [Trust in God, in Fate.]

	Six in the third place means:
	A man permits himself to be oppressed by stone,
	And leans on thorns and thistles.
	He enters the house and does not see his wife.
	Misfortune.

This shows a man who is restless and indecisive in times of adversity.

  • At first he wants to push ahead, then he encounters obstructions that, it is true, mean oppression only when recklessly dealt with. He butts his head against a wall and in consequence feels himself oppressed by the wall.
  • Then he leans on things that have in themselves no stability and that are merely a hazard for him who leans on them.
  • Thereupon he turns back irresolutely and retires into his house, only to find, as a fresh disappointment, that his wife is not there.
	Nine in the fourth place means:
	He comes very quietly, oppressed in a golden carriage.
	Humiliation, but the end is reached.

A well-to-do man sees the need of the lower classes and would like very much to be of help. But instead of proceeding with speed and energy where there is need, he begins in a hesitant and measured way. Then he encounters obstructions. Powerful and wealthy acquaintances draw him into their circle; he has to do as they do and cannot withdraw from them. Hence he finds himself in great embarrassment. But the trouble is transitory.

The original strength of his nature offsets the mistake he has made, and the goal is reached.

	Nine in the fifth place means:
	His nose and feet are cut off.
	Oppression at the hands of the man with the purple knee bands.
	Joy comes softly.
	It furthers one to make offerings and libations.

An individual who has the good of mankind at heart is oppressed from above and below (this is the meaning of the cutting off of nose an defeat). He finds no help among the people whose duty it would be to aid in the work of rescue (ministers wore purple knee bands).

But little by little, things take a turn for the better. Until that time, he should turn to God, firm in his inner composure, and pray and offer sacrifice for the general well-being.

	Six at the top means:
	He is oppressed by creeping vines.
	He moves uncertainly and says, "Movement brings remorse."
	If one feels remorse over this and makes a start,
	Good fortune comes.

A man is oppressed by bonds that can easily be broken. The distress is drawing to an end. But he is still irresolute; he is still influenced by the previous condition and fears that he may have cause for regret if he makes a move.

But as soon as he grasps the situation, changes this mental attitude, and makes a firm decision, he masters the oppression.

Richard Wilhelms translation.

See also “What I Ching tells about hexagram 47“.

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Tao – The Equilibrium of Yin and Yang

When looking for the Caduceus Staff I thought about the Yin-Yang symbol, as they also have the curves of the serpents. As the Staff in Caduceus and the Middle Pillar of the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the symbol of Yin and Yang has an imaginary line separating the two sides: Tao! In Christianity we call the line for The Golden Middle Way and in India its called the “Middle Way” by the Buddhists and the “razor-edged path” in the Upanishads. Our way through life is lead by two powers, dharma and karma, where dharma is the idea behind our life, the plan that we follow, that lead us to the people we share karma with and karma is what gives form to the idea, what we have to transform to wisdom through understanding.

The Taiji Diagram's Early History by Francois Louis.

Yin – Tao – Yang

Dharma is the white half, our super-conscious with our higher I, and karma is the black half, in our subconscious with lower feelings, desires and instincts. The line separating the two are TAO, the soul with the I.

All creation starts with the unity splitting in two and later unifies again. From The Gold Egg Model:

According to Chinese myth, before the world began there was chaos shaped like a hen’s egg. The huge Pan Gu separated this egg into Yin and Yang. Yin formed the earth, Yang formed the sky. Yin stood for all the female, wet, dark things of nature, while Yang stood for all the male, dry and bright things. There could be no perfect happiness till there was a balance between Yin and Yang.

Wuji is the uncreated, the primordial, limitless void, the possibility for the created and Taiji is the created, Yang and Yin, heaven and earth. From the interaction between Yin and Yang emanates the soul of man, binding Heaven and Earth together.

TAO-Yin-Yang-Creation
Creation

The description of Tao (from“About the Tao”):

It is so very deep
So tranquil
It seems to barely exist at all.
Its origin is unknown
It preceded the Gods themselves.

Matches the Sephira Keter, which represents the infinite, and is found in the first triangle of the Tree of Life,  separated from Man by the Abyss.

YinAndYang2

From WikiPedia

“Dion Fortune describes Keter as pure consciousness, beyond all categories, timeless, a point that crystallises out of the Ein Soph, and commences the process of emanation that ends in Malkuth.”

From “The Middle Way” byRadha Burnier:

Hearing the term “the razor-edged path,” one might think it is the most dangerous, but it is the safest of all paths because it is where a complete equilibrium is preserved and therefore there is complete security. It is a path where there is a profound peace, a path where there is absolute harmony. If you stray from that path, get lost in the surroundings, and find other paths, there maybe conflict, there may be hesitation, but when you tread the middle path, it is secure, because it is one-pointed and in it, harmony can be found from the beginning to the end.

Rudolf  Steiner calls Yin for Ahriman and Yang for Lucifer, and the imaginary separating line for Christ.

All things in the universe are either Yin or Yang, but there are no absolutes:  nothing is ever all Yin or all Yang, but a balance between the two forces, when for example day changes into night, it is an example of Yang changing into Yin; when winter turns into spring; it is considered a changing from Yin to Yang. These forces are opposite and yet complementary, and share an interdependent relationship; without Yin, there is no Yang, and without Yang, no Yin. Yang is generally associated with what are bright, warm, and in motion. Yin is generally associated with what are dark, still and cold.

Neijing says,

“Yin and yang are the law of Heaven and Earth, the outline of everything, the parents of change, the origin of birth and destruction, and the house of shen ming( God or higher consciousness, the spirit, Tao), when curing sicknesses we should base our point of view on the roots (Yin and Yang)”.

The principle of Yin and Yang is the basic principle of the entire universe. It is the principle of everything in creation.”

If Yin and Yang change the people will change likewise and their destiny can then be prefigured. … In ancient times those people who understood Tao patterned themselves upon the Yin and the Yang and they lived in harmony with the arts of divination.”

Obedience to the laws of Yin and Yang means life; disobedience means death.”

In Heaven there are ethereal spirits; upon earth there is form and shape.”

Heaven was created by an accumulation of Yang, the element of light; Earth was created by an accumulation of Yin, the element of darkness.”

From I Ching

In the heavens phenomena take form; on earth shapes take form.”

“Since in this way man comes to resemble heaven and earth, he is not in conflict with them. His wisdom embraces all things, and his Tao brings order into the whole world; therefore he does not err.”

From A Holistic Look at an ancient Chinese Energy Modality I have

According to the Daoists the left of the body is Yang and the right is Yin . Yang represents the male aspects of the human being. Males according to Traditional Chinese Medicine mostly have anger issues . That would mean the acupressure therapist should start on the left side of the male body. All emotional issues , like anger, fear, worry, sadness and joy are functional aspects that involve an output of energy and are therefore described as Yang. Yin represents the female aspects of the human being . Traditionally women have mostly Yin related issues that have to do with blood, lymph and all the fluids . These are structural issues. In this case, the therapist starts on the right side of the body . Also, the area above the navel is described as Yang, while the area below is described as Yin.

Relating Yin and Yang to the sides and up and down of the body. Other traditions work with the same notion:  Serpents of the Kundalini Fire. Not all Chinese texts are in agreement here, just as many new age authors have it reversed.

Chart of the Great Ultimate (Taiji tu)

Rudolf Steiner on TAO:

“The Tao gives expression to the highest to which a large part of humanity can look up and has revered for thousands of years.It is something which was considered as a distant goal of the world and of humanity, the highest element which man carried as a germ within him, which would one day develop into a fully opened blossom from the innermost depths of human nature.

Tao signifies both a deeply hidden basis of the soul and at the same time an exulted future. Not only the name Tao, but the very thought of Tao filled those who had insight into it with timid reverence. The Tao religion is based on the principle of development, and it proclaims:

‘That by which I am surrounded today is but a stage which has to be overcome. I must clearly see that this development in which I am involved has a Goal, that I am going to work towards an exulted Goal and that within me there lives a power which spurs me on to come to the Great Goal of Tao.

If I can feel this great force within me and if I can feel that all creatures are aiming towards this great goal, then this force becomes the guiding force rushing towards me in the wind, sounding out of the stones, flashing its light to me from the sun. In the plant it is revealed as the force of growth, in the animal as feeling and perception. It is the force which will continually create form after form for every exulted aim, through which I know myself to be at one with the whole of nature, which flows out from me and into me with every breath I take, the symbol for the highest evolving spirit which I experience as life itself. I feel this force as Tao.” (November 16, 1905)

In Korea they have the Taegeuk, where Red symbolizes heaven and blue the material world, Earth.

From Wikipedia:

Taegeuk refers to the ultimate reality from which all things and values originate according to oriental philosophy.

The taegeuk is from the Eastern Zhou Dynasty in ancient China.The taegeuk design dates back to the 7th century BC in China but recent excavations go back even further. This shows that the taegeuk design and thought were utilized earlier in China than in elsewhere. There is a stone carved with the taegeuk design in the compound of Gameunsa Temple, built in 628 AD during the reign of Silla’s King Jinpyeong. Traces of taegeuk design have been found in the remains of the ancient cultures in China: in Longmen Grottoes and in YuyuanTai Chi village astrology. The taegeuk design was also used to drive off evil spirits. In the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties, the design was later used to represent Korean taoism and to express the hope for harmony of eun and yang to enable the people to live happy lives with good government. The blue and red swirling semicircles of the Taegeuk pattern have existed since ancient times.

Celtic Yin yang swirls on bronze plaque from Mairy, Marne, dated to 4th century BC; on display at Musée des Antiquités nationales in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.

Celtic bronze plaque

Roman shield pattern of the Roman Mauri Osismiaci (ca. AD 430), with the dots in each part kept in the same shade of color

Roman shield pattern

A Japanese futatsudomoe (two-fold tomoe)

Japanese Futatsudomoe

References

Doctrine of the Mean, Wikipedia.

Golden Mean(philosophy), Wikipedia.

Yin and Yang in medicine.

The Taiji Diagram’s Early History by Francois Louis

Dragon

According to the
Daoists the left of the body is Yang and the right is Yin . Yang represents the male
aspects of the human being. Males according to Traditional Chinese Medicine mostly
have anger issues . That would mean the acupressure therapist should start on the left side
of the male body. All emotional issues , like anger, fear, worry, sadness and joy are
functional aspects that involve an output of energy and are therefore described as Yang.
Yin represents the female aspects of the human being . Traditionally women have mostly
Yin related issues that have to do with blood, lymph and all the fluids . These are
structural issues. In this case, the therapist starts on the right side of the body . Also, the
area above the navel is described as Yang, while the area below is described as Yin.

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