Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hexagram Fifty and the Lines

As has been said, one aspect of hexagram fifty is about transformation. This is a complete makeover. The old world has to be completely removed, and the new world must be created. It is not a matter of simple reform. In the same way there is often a need to transform ourselves, our relationships, our spiritual lives, and our physical lives. The six lines show the various stages of accomplishing this.

We have already discussed fairly well line one, and discussed line two a little bit. Line two is a yang line in a yin place so we can look at both hexagram one and two for ideas about the meaning of the line. Hexagram one line two says, "Dragon appearing in the field. It furthers one to see the great man." The dragon refers to the yang energy, and the field refers to the yin energy. The commentary says, "This means that the great man makes his appearance in his chosen field of activity." So hexagram fifty carries on this theme saying of the great man that "he achieves something significant." First we get rid of the refuse in line one so that we can carry on the business of "lining the well." In other words, once we have purified ourselves we are ready to carry on the great work. The "great work" is nothing less than "bringing order out of chaos," as described in hexagram three. But in order to accomplish something the great man must "limit himself to his actual accomplishments." If he involve himself in extracurricular activity, except as an occasional diversion, he lessens the value of his work. He cannot accomplish all that fate would have him to accomplish. And that puts him in a dangerous position because it gives others a means of attacking him in some way. One should, in the performance of the great work, of bringing order out of chaos, strive to attain all that he or she can attain in the allotted time given each person. It is in that way only that he or she "consolidates his fate and makes his position correct." Hexagram four line one tells us that we "must be taught the seriousness of life." Without a strict discipline our accomplishments will be minimal. In order to bring order out of chaos we must "practice chariot driving daily."

Line two of fifty says, "There is food in the Ting." It is only when we are willing to set out to accomplish something, and make something of our lives, and make something out of our society, that we are rewarded with the "fat of the pheasant." There are at least three themes in this line. The first is that of the availability of sustenance if we will work for it. The second is that through accomplishing something it is much harder to be seriously criticized, and thirdly, that we must limit ourselves to the task at hand. When the old form of government has been overthrown, a new one needs to replace it, and that can only happen when we unite ourselves to the task, and do each task for its own sake. This is a great gift given to mankind in that, in finding his or her path, and following it, we are taken care of by the universe. Our needs our met. There is food in the Ting.

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