K’un – Oppression (Exhaustion)

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The lake is above, water below; the lake is empty, dried up. Exhaustion is expressed in yet another way: at the top, a dark line is holding down two light lines; below, a light line is hemmed in between two dark ones. The upper trigram belongs to the principle of darkness, the lower to the principle of light. Thus everywhere superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men.

THE JUDGMENT

OPPPRESSION. Success. Perseverance.The great man brings about good fortune.No blame.When one has something to say, it is not believed [one withdraws into silence and guards his speech and thoughts, whenever possible, carrying the burden in silence is wiser than unsolicited speech, the thoughts too should be guarded, but not at the cost of losing depth and the connection with the Divine, otherwise shallowness is the result and forgetfulness is the result, in darker times it is better to be taken for a madman, considerations, when at odds with darker forces gravity, intelligence and seriousness of purpose may lead to terrible outcomes when exposed and used towards the bad or the spoiled, a madman outwardly may be a sage inwardly – the darker force is not threatened by a foolish madman and thus he may pursue his tasks with sadness – silently, whether that is the act of deliberation or true madness does not matter, inasmuch as in the latter case one may gather his composition within, and yet certain eccentricities protect him from being a threat to others when used by darkness, and protect him from unnecessary risks and foolish moves when with all force he tries to strike and charge with woe and heavy heart, what appears as an offensive against the windmills, is a reactive attack against the image of times that one clearly sees. That move is that of youthful foolishness, but it must be done, to withdraw and compose oneself later, one needs to recognize the times without growing into the fall and retain a strong sense of principles, the enemies are forgetfulness and corruption, one follow the other, what is contaminated with corruption needs to be held by extraordinary effort in check, as tainted minds bear greater strikes than these that are unburdened, otherwise the darkness spreads through their veins and soon poisons the heart and mind, destroying the character and nature, all that it does is replaces factual realization and greatness of mind with pettiness of delusion, ignorance, forgetfullness, irrationality, stupidity, viciousness, anger, hatred, envy, it cuts short superior people bringing them down by inferior machinations, by mass they may outdo many, but re-iterating Buddhist teachings ‘even an army cannot harm us, if we do not grasp at our selfhood’, ‘we are not slain, nor slay’, how can an enemy slay us if there is no self? how can we slay if the enemy has no self? To slay us the darkness need to make us believe in our selfhood as a property, and then attach us to this illusion, then we may easily be defeated, and deformed, as long as we detach we are unconquered].Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they befall the right man. When a strong man meets with adversity, he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate [overcoming with joyfulness, or as one friend of mine used to say, when in torment overcome towards the positive, if indifferent and detached, strive for loving kindness, when in great pain do not turn to the ill, least it will become a misery stronger than our will – then we truly fall, how to come about that? In the mind one overcomes, in discrete acts one overcomes the darkness with good deeds]. He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success [it becomes a feast of darkness and soon it feasts on darkness itself, it will turn against the world soon, accustomed to it, it is not even recognized as such, it grows into our minds, hearts and veins and soon becomes a natural way of acting, as masked malice – when we refuse to recognize it and allow ourselves to act in such ways as if natural, it becomes so natural that we no longer discern that all that we are is soaked to the depth with darkness – and it masquarades as something superior, overriden, we see nothing of our past selves, we become forgetful and our faces twisted turn into grotesque masks]. But if adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest itself. No inferior man is capable of this. Only the great man brings about good fortune and remains blameless. It is true that for the time being outward influence is denied him, because his words have no effect. Therefore in times of adversity it is important to be strong within and sparing of words [it is of extreme importance to know that all words are heard, not only amongst humans, but among the worlds of the spirits, when we forget about this simple statement that we should accept as truth even in modern days, then we keep our tongue in check and proceed to use words sparingly and wisely, only when such necessity arises, and these of strenght and direction we use with foresight]

THE IMAGE

There is no water in the lake: The image of EXHAUSTION.Thus the superior man stakes his life On following his will.When the water has flowed out below, the lake must dry up and become exhausted. That is fate. This symbolizes an adverse fate in human life. In such times there is nothing a man can do but acquiesce in his fate and remain true to himself. This concerns the deepest stratum of his being, for this alone is superior to all external fate. [it is also important to recognize one’s environment, circumstances, to inspect it clearly, to see with insight, to assess properly one’s situation and despite great misfortunes know how to navigate around a minefield, and once we learn the ‘rules of the game’, to be forever knowledgeable that that too may change, and that hidden, deeper games are played when on the surface all appears as understood, whereas at the depths a great malice may work, or a greater good may exist, that does not invite non-action, but rather fortifies conduct and composition, as well are perseverance in one’s spirit at its depth, untiringly like a toiling scarab]

THE LINES

Six at the beginning means: One sits oppressed under a bare tree and strays into a gloomy valley. For three years one sees nothing. [from the perspective of depression, misery, failure, opppression, antagonism, hatred, one may not see anything else, yet one needs to bear and survive, with all resources commit to the act of defiance of the condition within and without, subjective states are objective in the eyes of Divinities, no hell lasts forever, although it may seem so] When adversity befalls a man, it is important above all things for him to be strong and to overcome the trouble inwardly. If he is weak, the trouble overwhelms him. Instead of proceeding on his way, he remains sitting under a bare tree and falls ever more deeply into gloom and melancholy. This makes the situation only more and more hopeless. Such an attitude comes from an inner delusion that he must by all means overcome [as a person who hit the bottom of mental torment, I realized it after years, that if I don’t crawl out of he basement, harassed by many forces, and don’t grow stronger then they are, then that’s when I stay, the only dream that I had was that of death, the only vision is to be something else than my mind and myself – hence after crossing the line, I regained myself overcoming the delusion]

Nine in the second place means: One is oppressed while at meat and drink.The man with the scarlet knee bands is just coming.It furthers one to offer sacrifice.To set forth brings misfortune. No blame. This pictures a state of inner oppression [for example mental malady, mental turmoil, inner negative motions, negative possessions, contradicting motives, inner conflict] Externally, all is well, one has meat and drink. But one is exhausted by the commonplaces of life, and there seems to be no way of escape. Then help comes from a high place. A prince—in ancient China princes wore scarlet knee bands—is in search of able helpers. But there are still obstructions to be overcome. Therefore it is important to meet these obstructions in the invisible realm by offerings and prayer. To set forth without being prepared would be disastrous, though not morally wrong. Here a disagreeable situation must be overcome by patience of spirit.

Six in the third place means:A man permits himself to be oppressed by stone,And leans on thorns and thistles.He enters his house and does not see his wife.Misfortune.This shows a man who is restless and indecisive in times of adversity. At first he wants to push ahead, then he encounters obstructions that, it is true, mean oppression only when recklessly dealt with. He butts his head against a wall and in consequence feels himself oppressed by the wall [the oppression is illusory, but subjectively causes more havoc, if one restlessly plunges into this notion, he finds no inner space of stability to commitingly think over the situation]. Then he leans on things that have in themselves no stability and that are merely a hazard for him who leans on them. Thereupon he turns back irresolutely and retires into his house, only to find, as a fresh disappointment, that his wife is not there. Confucius says about this line:“If a man permits himself to be oppressed by something that ought not to oppress him, his name will certainly be disgraced [if one is oppressed by a wasp and screams ‘havoc!’, or is afraid of small pain and a little insect, then how should he deal with things of greater magnitude and proportion?] If he leans on things upon which one cannot lean, his life will certainly be endangered. For him who is in disgrace and danger, the hour of death draws near; how can he then still see his wife?”

Nine in the fourth place means:He comes very quietly, oppressed in a golden carriage.Humiliation, but the end is reached.A well-to-do man sees the need of the lower classes and would like very much to be of help. But instead of proceeding with speed and energy where there is need, he begins in a hesitant and measured way. Then he encounters obstructions. Powerful and wealthy acquaintances draw him into their circle; he has to do as they do and cannot withdraw from them [if one sees such circumstances one should immediately withdraw and not even associate oneself with such people, least he will lose himself to them]. Hence he finds himself in great embarrassment. But the trouble is transitory. The original strength of his nature offsets the mistake he has made, and the goal is reached. [if there is not strength of nature, his nature falls to them like a tree cut at its roots]

Nine in the fifth place means:His nose and feet are cut off.Oppression at the hands of the man with the purple knee bands.Joy comes softly.It furthers one to make offerings and libations.An individual who has the good of mankind at heart is oppressed from above and below (this is the meaning of the cutting off of nose and feet). He finds no help among the people whose duty it would be to aid in the work of rescue (ministers wore purple knee bands). But little by little, things take a turn for the better. Until that time, he should turn to God [Providence, Starry Heavens, Divinitity, Deities, or one’s inner god within and Divinity without, with which there is an affinity] firm in his inner composure, and pray and offer sacrifice for the general well-being.

Six at the top means:He is oppressed by creeping vines.He moves uncertainly and says,“Movement brings remorse.”If one feels remorse over this and makes a start,Good fortune comes.A man is oppressed by bonds that can easily be broken. The distress is drawing to an end. But he is still irresolute; he is still influenced by the previous condition and fears that he may have cause for regret if he makes a move. But as soon as he grasps the situation, changes this mental attitude, and makes a firm decision, he masters the oppression [otherwise he remains in the vines, and in such circumstances his mental setting cannot allow him to move any further, the difference between traumatized conditions of oppression in the mind, and true events in the worlds is of great degree]

 

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