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Earlier this year I made a post, Ask I Ching for Beginners and did some interpretations for two people. I just received a new comment in that post from a reader saying,

“i am an i ching practitioner since 12 years ago. however, i still some lines confusing, specially the six in the second place of hexagram 12, Stagnation, in the wilhelm edition.

¿Could you give an alternative text or explanation? regards.”

The comment didn’t say what the question was, if there were any other changing lines, or if the person just wanted more insight into that particular line.

I later received an email from the commentator explaining that this was not really a question but an inquiry about a difficult work situation that involved a nasty confrontation and, I gather, an unethical work situation. When asking the I Ching about the situation the response had the second line change in Hexagram of Standstill which left the inquirer confused by the meaning of that line.

The commentator used the Wilhelm interpretation which can be seen HERE.

The reader asked for an alternative explanation other than the Wilhelm interpretation. I will post my response here instead of in the Comment section. It appears to me that I Ching is reflecting back just what the situation is. When consulting I Ching I find that to be true most of the time.

I think Steven Tarcher’s line 2, Hexagram 12 is an interesting one here:

“Do not disturb the flock. Accept that you are isolated, Make a hidden offering to the retreating spirit. Adapt to what crosses your path. Your great idea is obstructed. Do not worry. Stay true to yourself, like a fetus in the womb, and the Way will soon open. Direction: Retreat from conflict. Find supportive friends. Gather energy for a decisive new move.”

As I wrote in my History of working with I Ching, I am in the process of re-working the images for I Ching Meditations. I have not finished  translating some of my original drawings into color. So I will post a new image for the main image of Standstill and my old black and white drawings with the words. I plan on re-doing these images but will use these for now.

The questioner asks if I have another interpretation for line two. But to do that I need to explain my process for how I arrived at the meaning by showing the entire Hexagram.

Hexagram 11, Peace, the image of Earth Over Heaven is the opposite of Hexagram 12, Standsill, the image of Heaven over Earth.  I used the image of a flower in the process of developing for Peace which is about flowering and prosperity. In the Wilhelm version the first lines of both Hexagram 11 and 12 are the same,

“When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.
Each according to his kind.”

I see Standstill as part of the organic process of what preceded it with Peace and flowering. When I get around to translating these images into color in a style to match the Hexagrams now posted 1 through 8, they most likely will change a bit. But this is what I have for now which can be found under the category for Hexagram 12.

Like all I Ching readings, a changing line within any given Hexagram needs to be understood with the context of the whole. For the questioner, line 2 can be seen HERE.

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2 Comments on Question about Hexagram 12 – Standstill

  1. floatNo Gravatar says:

    i ching the evokation of demons
    if you suggest no well then angels????

  2. voetNo Gravatar says:

    hello again: thanks for the post. i am the person who asked about this line… but you didn’t understood me fine. i’m not a native english speaker and my knowledge of the idiom is not very effective to explain some things.

    i didn’t had any problem with the meaning of the hexagram: simply with the translation. i think it is very confusing because it speaks of the superior man and the great man as if they were the same person, and it’s not the case.

    i think a schematic explanation of the hexagram, according to my own view, is something like:

    – inferior people dwelling with a servile, awful or meaningless stuff.
    – superior man, confronting with them very consciuous of the real consequences of the inferior people plans.
    – great man, ignoring the superior man because he is really taking advantage of the situation planned by inferior people: he is receiving bribes or getting some degree of “success” due to corruption.

    as you say, the changing line conduces 12-stagnation to 6-conflict. it can be translated as “a noble man entangling in conflict in a corrupt ambient”.

    but i want the opinion from people wiser than me about this interpretation of the line as a whole, disregarding specific questions.


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