Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Symbolism of Hexagram Fifty

Hexagram fifty finds itself in a situation where the old has been destroyed in hexagram forty nine, and the new has been established. Hexagram forty eight line four gives a hint of this in line four where it says, "The well is being lined." The well had fallen into disrepair and it needed to be repaired. Hexagram forty nine informs us of the nature of this change. In hexagram forty nine, the well is being repared. In hexagram fifty the well is once again suitable for drinking from, and therefore hexagram fifty has the connotation once again of nurturance. Hexagram fifty however, carries the idea of nurturing through food whereas hexagram forty eight carries the idea of nurturance through water. Both are necessary for an individual's, a society's, and a relationship's survival. Food is prepared through fire, so in this comes the understanding that true Chinese yoga is the establishment of a proper balance between fire and water. Books by Mantak Chia, and Yang Jwing Ming delve into this in more detail, with descriptions of how to do this. Yang Jwing Ming's books go more into the theory of fire and water. Ironically, in an allegorical manner, Jesus also described this process in the saying that "unless a man be born of water and spirit (fire) he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven." This is not talking about heaven after you die. It is talking about a process to be practiced that can be performed on a daily basis. As it says in the commentary though, these were secret teachings.

Hexagram fifty therefore, has the connotations of knowing how to put together a new kingdom that is more righteous and fair to the people than the old kingdom. But line one tells us that before we can begin we must "remove the stagnating stuff." Just as before we can use the water in the well we have to make sure the bucket can hold the water, (we must be sure that we retain the things we have been taught or we cannot go to the next level) so too, the refuse from the prior regime must be removed from the kingdom. In the same way, in all of our relationships, we must make sure that we let go of the old ways, before we got into the relationship, and become like the "king who approaches his family," in hexagram thirty seven. Some things have got to go or the relationship will not work. In that way, the new man "takes a concubine," (a new approach) to the old problem. Hexagram three line six tells us that we must not give up, but at the same time, the old way will not work. What is required is "an entirely new point of departure." If we keep doing the same old things we get the same old results, and nothing has changed. The revolution has not taken effect, we have not "shot the hawk on the highest wall," and we are still living under the old stagnated (hexagram twelve and eighteen) regime. In our personal lives we are still in the same rut. New the new man takes on the new he finds he has a son (his new kingdom, his new departure, his relationship is renewed, etc..)

"Lining the well" and "purifying himself" have similar connotations. In each he or she is preparing for the new. In our relationships, if we are willing to remove the causes of separation, of resentment and fearfulness, we find that "we are accepted." But we must be willing to do the work. The commentary says, "He attains a station in which he can find himself fruitful in accomplishment." When we get hexagram fifty, or a number of other hexagrams with related topics, we must find out what we are doing that keeps us from the new kingdom. (The fixed relationship, the fixed emotional problem, the fixed life.) When we take the steps necessary to start a "new point of departure," we find in line two that "our comrades are envious." They do not like the new ways, and they resent our success. In the same way, many unintegrated parts of our own personality do not want to conform to the new structure, and they will create problems as in hexagram fifty one, where they create shocking events in order to disrupt the new order, but the ruler does not let the "sacrificial spoon" (the rule of power) drop. He or she maintains control. As long as we continue the work, limit ourselves to producing a better person, doing the right thing, the "comrades are envious but the cannot harm us."

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