Category Archives: 2. Kun (The Receptive)

K’un – the Receptive



This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken line represents the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth [Earth is devoted to Heavens in relation to the Creative Superiority orders straying from this proportion and analogy and bound to create disharmony and disarray, both on an individual and societal level. Yet this order is to be created within, Buddhist creed “I alone am revered in heavens”, the Self finds its way, that is an arrogant statement at first, but carries a penetrating truth, that one following the way is the way itself in accord with the way of the greater whole. The Emperor sat on the throne of his consciousness, gathering his senses, mind, heart and soul, and thus directed affairs of his Self in accord with Heavens. That is the sole ruler – of himself, herself –  any societal arrangements spring forth from people that order, renew, and further the Heavenly expression. If an Emperor is pulled into political bickering, partiality, distractions, compromising his inner Self and truth, his consistency and perseverance in the way, the heaven withdraws and he is but a man on a facadic throne, commanding people left and right with no sense at all. Chuang Tzu, although fit to be an emperor, denied the crown, as not to compromise himself in the way; The Confucian decision is to carve order and tie oneself with the world, thus laying foundations for the next generations. Self-sacrifice is based on assessment of one’s inner Self and capacity, to many “wanted to benevolently rule” in disregard of their strenght that turned into petty weakness, they got defeated. And how are we better then these who were before, if our weaknesses may testify against such self-sacrifice. Mahayana Buddhism assumes that one judged by the “net-effects of one’s actions”, not by intentions, because by rule of causality one launches karmic strands and ideational threads soaking into hearts, souls and minds that are co-arising and inter-dependent and the more the world is globalized and inter-dependent, the graver the consequences, individual and societal. As in complex societies they regulate the flow of minds and hearts, or rather indicate in guidance, when they may rely upon a charismatic authority that itself is not mislead, deluded, ignorant, greedy, and petty].


Stanza 11.

The Master said, Be thoroughly versed in the old, and understand
the new—then you can be a teacher

Confucius and B. Watson (2007). The analects of Confucius. New York ; Chichester, Columbia University Press., p.21

It is the perfect complement of THE CREATIVE—the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does not combat the Creative but completes it [The Cosmic Order compliments each other, disharmonius order – manmade – for example on Earth bears no relevance to it, or semblance –  these orders are within the diversity of potential, they obey determined laws of change, although from the perspective of permanence they seem completely wrong, that is a valuation set against valuation reference, as in – the “fallen times” from the perspective of the spirit, are the “thriving times” from perspective of superabundance, the “corrupt, immoral, failed” times defaulted against the ancients are the “only thing we see and take as normal” in business-as-usual in the modern day, the “above does not relate to the below” from the perspective of one who perceived the above, and Earth is a catastrophy, yet “there are still free spirits that fight” from the perspective of restoring and building and order in stillness, the “surrogate and lie” from the perspective of pure idea, is the “true form of things” from the perspective of habit, the world is upside down from the perspective of the seer, it is in proper form and shape according to the ignorant]. It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal as against the male-paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the principle of this complementary relationship is found not only in the relation between man and woman, but also in that between prince and minister and between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles [the dualism appears in perception that is dividing, in discerning union there is none, the latter “hovers above the land” the former “is pulled into it” The most dangerous are “dualities within dualities” or splitting the negative into two negatives, or the positive into two positives, it splits harmong of a man and woman open and soars the wound, cutting it deeper, or rather – conceptualization, when we over-conceptualize “right and wrong”, the right may be furnished with concepts that turn it into two wrongs, and the other way around. For example, splitting the harmony into two, and furnishing the Yang with the concept of masculine vulagarity or murdersome wrath, and Yin with completele irresolute self-destructive passions brings about a fall; Similarly, if we take “good” and conceptualize it as a set of doctrines and beliefs that are subverting the good in discord and disharmony then the idea of good is merely a name that justifies all forms of wrongdoing and evil, similarly evil that becomes a name, although may be firm and correct, as branded as evil, whereas it may be good]

One error of the anarchists is their belief that human nature is intrinsically good. They thereby castrate society, just as the theologians (“God is goodness”) castrate the Good Lord. This is a Saturnian trait. Natural law has been twisted every which way-from legitimation to brutal violence to a paradisal idyll. This is grounded in the possibility of reading anything at all into nature. “It is everything at once:’ Well, fine; then let every human being get his own bit fom Being.

Ernst Junger, Eumeswil, p. 209

In itself of course the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it is productive of good. Only when it abandons this position and tries to stand as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil [losing proportion, and inflation of a man or a woman does a damage first to himself/herself, then to Earth, without the correct hierarchy, disparity, envy, arrogance, ignorance and delusion is born which charges forth through this inflation, forgetting about its proper accord and place]. The result then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of evil to both.


THE RECEPTIVE brings about sublime success, Furthering through the perseverance of a mare. If the superior man undertakes something and tries to lead, He goes astray; But if he follows, he finds guidance.It is favorable to find friends in the west and south, To forego friends in the east and north.Quiet perseverance brings good fortune.The four fundamental aspects of the Creative—“sublime success, furthering through perseverance”—are also attributed to the Receptive. Here, however, the perseverance is more closely defined: it is that of a mare. The Receptive connotes spatial reality in contrast to the spiritual potentiality of the Creative [the Phenomenal space is the area of action of the Numinous-Noumenal Creative Forces of Heavens]. The potential becomes real and the spiritual becomes spatial through a specifically qualifying definition. Thus the qualification, “of a mare,” is here added to the idea of perseverance [the idea is denoted through similarity, depending on the cultural context, these are finite reflections, but are tokens of analogy]. The horse belongs to earth just as the dragon belongs to heaven. Its tireless roaming over the plains is taken as a symbol of the vast expanse of the earth. This is the symbol chosen because the mare combines the strength and swiftness of the horse with the gentleness and devotion of the cow.Only because nature in its myriad forms corresponds with the myriad impulses of the Creative can it make these impulses real. Nature’s richness lies in its power to nourish all living things; its greatness lies in its power to give them beauty and splendor [it is perceived with a naked eye as self-evident, nature likes to hide, it reveals its aspects in ways of the biologists, the holy man, the philosopher, the occultist, the aesthete]. Thus it prospers all that lives. It is the Creative that begets things, but they are brought to birth by the Receptive. Applied to human affairs, therefore, what the hexagram indicates is action in conformity with the situation. The person in question is not in an independent position, but is acting as an assistant. This means that he must achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead-that would only make him lose the way-but to let himself be led. If he knows how to meet fate with an attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from fate [good discernment and judgment is a thing of experience, but also pondering, contemplation, insight, one’s fundamental feeling of reference and right and wrong]. Since there is something to be accomplished, we need friends and helpers in the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set. The time of toil and effort is indicated by the west and the south, for west and south symbolize the place where the Receptive works for the Creative, as nature does in summer and autumn. If in that situation one does not mobilize all one’s powers [determined perseverance is a thing of discipline, discipline is not rigour, but overcoming emotions and demotivating factors in pursuit of what is proper to time and situtation, one does not push through one’s position recklessly, but in-between nature, genuine impulse, sincerity, honesty and volitional sustainment] the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and effort, there is also a time of planning, and for this we need solitude. The east symbolizes the place where a man receives orders from his master, and the north the place where he reports on what he has done. At that time he must be alone and objective. In this sacred hour he must do without companions, so that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by factional hates and favoritism [naturally may arise from differences of opinion, mixing with people is burdened with such, although one retains his composure by inner strenght and truth] .


The earth’s condition is receptive devotion.Thus the superior man who has breadth of character carries the outer world.

Just as there is only one heaven, so too there is only one earth. In the hexagram of heaven the doubling of the trigram implies duration in time, but in the hexagram of earth the doubling connotes the solidity and extension in space by virtue of which the earth is able to carry and preserve all things that live and move upon it. The earth in its devotion carries all things, good and evil, without exception. In the same way the superior man gives to his character breadth, purity, and sustaining power, so that he is able both to support and to bear with people and things.


Six at the beginning means:When there is hoarfrost underfoot,Solid ice is not far off.Just as the light-giving power represents life, so the dark power, the shadowy, represents death. When the first hoarfrost comes in the autumn, the power of darkness and cold is just at its beginning. After these first warnings, signs of death will gradually multiply, until, in obedience to immutable laws, stark winter with its ice is here.In life it is the same. After certain scarcely noticeable signs of decay have appeared, they go on increasing until final dissolution comes. But in life precautions can be taken by heeding the first signs of decay and checking them in time [one needs to be aware of the decay by having a continuous reference in what is right, to check it in time, or to revert what has been spoiled through effort, without fixing the movement in spoiled decay, degeneration, change is phoenix-like, so should be the sage, it has its inner nature unmoved, but undergoes transitions and mutabilities]

Six in the second place means: Straight, square, great.Without purpose,Yet nothing remains unfurthered.The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative. But all square things have their origin in a straight line and in turn form solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes, and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates itself to the qualities of the Creative and makes them its own. Thus a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance with the laws of the Creative; nothing is taken away, nothing added. Therefore the Receptive has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of any effort; yet everything turns out as it should.

Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its straightness. It is calm and still: this is its foursquareness. It tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness [so thus the sage should both be like Heavens, and embrace the things like nature, aspect of a great paternal, maternal mind. It is not blindness to wrongdoing, but an insightful, wise approach]. Therefore it attains what is right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height of wisdom when all that he does is as self-evident as what nature does.

Six in the third place means: Hidden lines.One is able to remain persevering.If by chance you are in the service of a king,Seek not works, but bring to completion. [round the things you already have, do not expand the sphere further] If a man is free of vanity he is able to conceal his abilities and keep them from attracting attention too soon; thus he can mature undisturbed [exposed works risk ambitious ruin of unfinished works]. If conditions demand it, he can also enter public life, but that too he does with restraint. The wise man gladly leaves fame to others [fame passes away and is a by-product of someone’s achievement, seeking fame or cherishing it is like attempting to worship a soap bubble on the air]. He does not seek to have credited to himself things that stand accomplished, but hopes to release active forces; that is, he completes his works in such a manner that they may bear fruit for the future [the gardener is content with his orchard, yet does not inflate or boast of that, he smiles with satiation and is natural and genuine with his works] .

Six in the fourth place means:A tied-up sack. No blame, no praise.The dark element opens when it moves and closes when at rest. The strictest reticence is indicated here. The time is dangerous, because any degree of prominence leads either to the enmity of irresistible antagonists if one challenges them or to misconceived recognition if one is complaisant [the latter attracts the former, one may lose all his or hers composure, and thus becomes imprisoned on the strings of recognition, while in truth he or she has done nothing worthy of such, and thus the self-gratification is leading to corruption]. Therefore a man ought to maintain reserve, be it in solitude or in the turmoil of the world, for there too he can hide himself so well that no one knows him.

Six in the fifth place means:A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.Yellow is the color of the earth and of the middle; it is the symbol of that which is reliable and genuine. The lower garment is inconspicuously decorated—the symbol of aristocratic reserve. When anyone is called upon to work in a prominent but not independent position, true success depends on the utmost discretion. A man’s genuineness and refinement should not reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as an effect from within [by the effects of their actions, they should be invisible, and thus remove themselves from claiming any credits for their actions, not even cherishing them within, they come and go like works completed, they appear and disappear, and should not be further admonished, bringing attachment to one’s hidden works and deeds beings about inflation of the Earth principle, credit goes to the Heavens, humility thus is a way of non-attachment and genuine, brave, solid movement].Six at the top means:

Dragons fight in the meadow. Their blood is black and yellow.In the top place the dark element should yield to the light. If it attempts to maintain a position to which it is not entitled and to rule instead of serving, it draws down upon itself the anger of the strong [the strong is attempting to restore order, the inflated principle retain its hard-won position, conflict emerges]. A struggle ensues in which it is overthrown, with injury, however, to both sides. The dragon, symbol of heaven, comes to fight the false dragon that symbolizes the inflation of the earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of the earth. Therefore, when black and yellow blood flow, it is a sign that in this unnatural contest both primal powers suffer injury.

When all the lines are sixes, it means: Lasting perseverance furthers. When nothing but sixes appears, the hexagram of THE RECEPTIVE changes into the hexagram of THE CREATIVE. By holding fast to what is right, it gains the power of enduring [good habits should be strenghtened and guided, once recognized as beneficial, likewise that what is recognized as counter-productive should be branded and eliminated as they appear, chased like thieves away] There is indeed no advance, but neither is there retrogression.