Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Even more hexagram thirty

Perhaps the core of hexagram thirty is teaching us of the trasitoriness of life and how to deal with it. First the sun rises, then it sets, then rises again, then it sets, then we die. It is important both at the beginning and the end to maintain composure and a recognition of the seriousness of life. Line one tells us "not to allow ourselves to be swept along by the bustle of life." We must maintain clarity of mind even among the currents of activity and haste. Line three develops this concept even further. When men see the end approaching they tend to either try to become a child again, and enjoy all the pleasures they can before their approaching death, or they give up in melancholy, as hexagram forty seven line one says, "straying into a gloomy valley." Here too, composure and clarity of mind must be maintained. The superior man "understands the transitory in light of the eternity of the end," the image in hexagram fifty four tells us. Line three of hexagram thirty goes on to tell us, "He cultivates himself, awaits the alloted time, and in this way secures his fate."

Hexagram thirty line five carries this theme even further. The Wilhelm Baynes commentary says, "Instead, understanding the vanity of all things, one may put aside both hope and fear." And this brings us to the subject of attachment, which we will deal with next.

No comments: