36. MING YI
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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Time of Darkness / Ignorance / Difficulty
Respond correctly to difficulty.
This hexagram, similarly to 28 and 29, is a challenging one. The image is one of light vanishing and darkness appearing. Some kind of hierarchical relationship is indicated where the upper one is ignorant and the lower one bright. The I Ching teaches that even if one is mentally or morally superior, one should never show it, for it will trigger envy or jealousy in others. Each line of this hexagram teaches that, in times of darkness, people of virtue have a hard stand in society. But the developed person in this position is advised to keep still and run a low profile, using the general darkness as a protection, instead of fighting against it.
1. When you feel you are misunderstood, it is vain to discuss and explain, it may even make you enemies. The better attitude is to retreat and get centered, then to move on by choosing a safer pathway. With inner peace, steadfastness and strong faith in a good delivery, every problem can be solved. The art in life is to not develop resentment when things go awry, and let others have their way. It saves you a lot of trouble and safeguards your health and inner peace.
2. This is a strong line, traditionally associated with a horse, which has the power to carry you to safety. Sometimes in life we need to artfully and tactfully confront ignorance, but it should always be one’s own ignorance, not the projection of it we see in others. Hence the metaphor of moving away from something; in reality, this something is within yourself. You may call it your shadow, ignorance, stubbornness, or whatever, but it’s the lesser perfect self in you. When you do not compromise in matters of principle, you set a high standard for yourself which will bring you success and recognition down the road.
3. You may meet a person who thinks in the wrong way. When you meet people who are mentally crippled because they abuse the law of life by projecting hatred and revenge into the world, you should have compassion with them as you would have with a physically crippled person. Then you may go your way and let them go in peace. There is no harm if you are careful and remain faithful to inner guidance.
4. This line represents the borderline between light and darkness. Your inner light can now show you the way out of darkness. You are not responsible for the negative thoughts and emotions of those around you. Do not get entangled, wish them well, but go your way. You can now easily get out of this situation without being harmed.
5. If you see that your motives and good intentions are misunderstood, it is better to keep your ideals for yourself. It is favorable in such a situation to run a low profile and keep to oneself without stirring resistance in others. Down the road you will be rewarded for your inner firmness and your faith in a good delivery.
6. If you are depressed or foster feelings of revenge, you may experience loss in life. Even hostility you find in others only reflects your own hostile attitude. When you act against the law of harmony, you experience decoherence and lack of success is the result. Forgive yourself and get back on the right path. This time will pass, and it may have been good for your developing a stoical mindset and a positive attitude.