21. SHI HO
Base Structure of the I Ching
The Hexagrams — 01 QIAN (Yang) — 02 KUN (Yin) — 03 TUN (Difficult Beginning) — 04 MENG (Immaturity) — 05 XU (Waiting Patiently) — 06 SONG (Dispute) — 07 SHI (The Army) — 08 BI (Fellowship) — 09 XIAO CHU (Small Accumulation) — 10 LI (Conduct) — 11 TAI (Peace) — 12 PI (Obstacle) — 13 TONG REN (Fellowship) — 14 DA YOU (Great Harvest) — 15 QIEN (Modesty) — 16 YU (Enthusiasm) — 17 SUI (Compliance) — 18 GU (Correcting the Corruption) — 19 LIN (Advancing) — 20 GUAN (Contemplation) — 21 SHI HO (Biting Through Hardship) — 22 BI (Adornment) — 23 BO (Erosion) — 24 FU (Return) — 25 WU WANG (Innocence) — 26 DA CHU (Great Potential) — 27 YI (Nourishment) — 28 DA GUO (Critical Mass) — 29 KAN (Watery Depths) — 30 LI (Fire) — 31 XIAN (Mutual Attraction) — 32 HENG (Constancy) — 33 DUN (Retreat) — 34 DA ZHUANG (Power of the Great) — 35 JIN (Success) — 36 MING YI (Time of Darkness) — 37 JIA REN (Family) — 38 KUI (Contradiction) — 39 JIAN (Obstruction) — 40 JIE (Dissolution of the Problem) — 41 SUN (Sacrifice) — 42 YI (Benefit) — 43 GUAI (Resolution) — 44 GOU (Contact) — 45 CUI (Congregation) — 46 SHENG (Rising) — 47 KUN (Adversity) — 48 JING (The Well) — 49 GE (Revolution) — 50 DING (The Cauldron) — 51 ZHEN (Force of Thunder) — 52 GEN (Keeping Still) — 53 JIAN (Gradual Progress) — 54 GUI MEI (The Maiden) — 55 FENG (Peak) — 56 LU (The Wanderer) — 57 XUN (Gentle Wind) — 58 DUI (Joyousness) — 59 HUAN (Scattered) — 60 JIE (Self-Restraint) — 61 ZHONG FU (Inner Truth) — 62 XIAO GUO (Predominance of the Small) — 63 JI JI (After Crossing the Water) — 64 WEI JI (Before Crossing the Water)
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Biting Through Hardship / Correction / Reform
Adopt severe measures.
The image of ‘biting through’ indicates that one needs to act decisively to correct the situation. It’s like cutting away an evil force. It was especially important for this hexagram to provide a new interpretation for punishment is not the way heaven acts, and should therefore not be the way a developed person acts. The teaching of this hexagram is to get entirely beyond toxic emotions, shame and self-condemnation, and to thereby ‘clean up’ and reform one’s inner and outer life.
1. Be always watchful that your thoughts and actions abide by the laws of universal harmony. Be aligned with the principles of truthful and respectful conduct, and do not allow others to drag you into any compromising situation. If you discover that you have failed to comply with this universal law, you are still able to reform yourself without suffering undesired social repercussions. This is how you can learn from your mistakes and avoid to repeat them!
2. While appearing as virtuous and kind outwardly, you should inwardly be firm and principle-minded. Such moral courage can transform gentleness into the highest form of virtue and power. If you have faith in your inner guidance, you will naturally do what is right.
3. Beware of mental poison in the form of negative thinking and emotions such as anger, rage, jealousy, envy, and feelings of revenge. They weaken your entire organism and block your progress. Cleanse your inner mind regularly from such toxic emotions by repeating positive and uplifting affirmations on a daily basis. Be persistent with this attitude and you will be able to reform yourself!
4. However difficult your problem may seem, whatever reaction you encounter from the outside world, and however stringent the adversity is you may be facing, persist, bite the bullet, and keep a positive attitude toward overcoming the difficulty. You must face the problem directly and work through it completely. This is how you can dissolve the obstruction.
5. There may be danger all around you, but if you persist in a constructive and positive attitude for overcoming the problem, you will be victorious. Adopt a somewhat stoical attitude and keep focused not on the problem, but on the solution!
6. Are you having ears and cannot hear, and eyes and cannot see? You cannot reform yourself by ignoring the advice of others or by closing your eyes in front of your inner and outer reality. If you try to force your ego through the situation instead of understanding it, you will suffer a setback or defeat and create conflict with others, and society. Listen to the voice of conscience timely enough to avoid any undesired outcome of the situation!