The Hexagrams


Book Contents

Preface
Introduction
The Technique
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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Retreat / Withdrawal / Going Backward

Make a strategic withdrawal.

The cyclic alternation of yin and yang is a natural process. For a developed person, retreat at the right time ensures safety and peace of mind. This is not a form of weakness. A spiritually evolved person responds correctly to the situation and knows when to retreat. The lines of this hexagram describe different forms of retreat, depending on one’s involvement in the situation.

1. Do not advance. It is better to stand still now or to retreat. Do not challenge the difficulty!

2. In this situation, you should be flexible, unassertive and not express sharpness. If you are faithful to your inner guidance, a way out will be shown to you.

3. Do not seek public exposure at this time. Private life will offer you security and fulfillment while emotional attachment to mundane affairs may bring you disappointment and harm.

4. You may want to give up certain activities or involvements and begin others. While outwardly things may seem attractive to you, on a more subtle level you are actually entangled in something that long term will not bring you advantage. You have a good chance now to get out of it and start all over again.

5. Sometimes, especially when being in a leader position, retreat takes the form of an inner disentanglement rather than an open withdrawal. You can change any kind of situation by changing how you respond to it and how you see it in your mind. If there are negative emotions, overcome them and adopt a positive perspective. If you are surrounded by sycophants, simply remain centered and unresponsive to their flattery. If you are involved in a public discussion, remain steadfast but unobtrusive in your attitude. If the situation requires a real withdrawal, do it, but do it without making a fuss about it. Then you can remain in peace with yourself.

6. This is one of the rare occasions in the I Ching when the top line is bringing advantage. Here it means that retreat will bring you more advantage than staying the course. The situation is such that you can withdraw from your position without inner turmoil, thereby preserving both your poise and your reputation.

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