Category Archives: 5. Hsu (Waiting)

Hsu – Waiting (Nourishment)


All beings have need of nourishment from above [that is as self-evident as it is neglected nowadays, like any obvious laws that becomes a “forgotten known” in its simplicity, but the acts and events workings against it somehow seem to conceal these things from human minds]. But the gift of food comes in its own time, and for this one must wait. This hexagram shows the clouds in the heavens, giving rain to refresh all that grows and to provide mankind with food and drink [the seasons accompany the cyclicity and change in nature, the cosmos is an order which works according to its own law of cyclicity and change, the right reference is both an ability to fix points of stillness, discovering them, reflecting on them, and incorporating them and to move around the change and chance, dynamically re-adjusting the framework of one’s action]. The rain will come in its own time. We cannot make it come; we have to wait for it. The idea of waiting is further suggested by the attributes of the two trigrams—strength within, danger in front. [times resolve out of their natural laws, equip yourself in sincerity and overcome with character: the events exhaust themselves naturally, if you were engaged in wrongdoing, whether true or perceived,  arm yourself in patience and stillness – overcome the misfortunes with a shield of antidotes, whether treated in a just or injust manner, if one cannot take action, one remains strong and guiltless, ignoring provocations, and having a superiority of nature and character] Strength in the face of danger does not plunge ahead but bides its time, whereas weakness in the face of danger grows agitated and has not the patience to wait.



WAITING. If you are sincere,You have light and success [sincerity is transparency in one’s doings, within and towards the creative, nothing hidden from the laws and motions of the cosmos ‘one does not contradict the universe’].Perseverance brings good fortune.It furthers one to cross the great water.Waiting is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching the goal [certainty stemming from a sense of purpose]. Such certainty alone gives that light which leads to success. This leads to the perseverance that brings good fortune and bestows power to cross the great water.One is faced with a danger that has to be overcome. Weakness and impatience can do nothing [they only agitate and distract, bringing danger to any enterprise]. Only a strong man can stand up to his fate, for his inner security enables him to endure to the end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness (with himself) [to do this one needs to penetrate within, gnothi seauton, the process of getting to know oneself is through contemplation, self-observation, introspection, confrontation, decision, contrast, the pulse and impulse between one’s individuated nature and tension within, how it is resolved when encountering tension without, how it is harmonized, to know one’s nature one observes the net-movements of one’s intentions, motives, deeds]. It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events [often illusions and self-deceptions may show themselves as the path, but they are misthrodden], by which the path to success may be recognized. This recognition must be followed by resolute and persevering action. For only the man who goes to meet his fate resolutely is equipped to deal with it adequately [lacking the sprinsource and impulse within, or foundations, one wastes his/hers energies and starts his path half-way through a river, without building a bridge] . Then he will be able to cross the great water—that is to say, he will be capable of making the necessary decision and of surmounting the danger.


Clouds rise up to heaven

The image of WAITING.

Thus the superior man eats and drinks,Is joyous and of good cheer [perseverant in joyful kindness, even when there is nothing to be happy about].When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign that it will rain. There is nothing to do but to wait until the rain falls. It is the same in life when destiny is at work. We should not worry and seek to shape the future by interfering in things before the time is ripe. We should quietly fortify the body with food and drink and the mind with gladness and good cheer [we should prepare ourselves in waiting, not lagging behind, but furthering the practice of rounding, in good times we work, in bad times we work and overcome, we don’t abandon clarity of thought in fortune, we don’t give in to turmoil in misfortune]. Fate comes when it will, and thus we are ready.


Nine at the beginning means:Waiting in the meadow.It furthers one to abide in what endures.No blame.The danger is not yet close. One is still waiting on the open plain. Conditions are still simple, yet there is a feeling of something impending. One must continue to lead a regular life as long as possible. Only in this way does one guard against a premature waste of strength, keep free of blame and error that would become a source of weakness later on.Nine in the second place means:Waiting on the sand.There is some gossip.

The end brings good fortune.The danger gradually comes closer. Sand is near the bank of the river, and the water means danger. Disagreements crop up. General unrest can easily develop in such times, and we lay the blame on one another. He who stays calm will succeed in making things go well in the end. Slander will be silenced if we do not gratify it with injured retorts [extremely important, mixing in in self-defense during slander is pointless, one bides his time and remains strong of character, in the end the character and strenght is greater, these who have their minds fixed on purpose are not harmed by lies and slander].

Nine in the third place means:Waiting in the mudBrings about the arrival of the enemy.Mud is no place for waiting, since it is already being washed by the water of the stream. Instead of having gathered strength to cross the stream at one try, one has made a premature start that has got him no farther than the muddy bank. Such an unfavorable position invites enemies from without, who naturally take advantage of it [exposed weakness invites being taken advantage of by the robbers, or being forced to obey the will of inferior people, rarely does one encounter a helpful hand in encircled position in the wilderness or amongst the actions of enemies; If one is perceived as an enemy, one does not allow oneself to grow weak, he would not be pardoned, but crushed further, it is more difficult to regain strength from a weak position then from a balanced one]. Caution and a sense of the seriousness of the situation are all that can keep one from injury.Six in the fourth place means:Waiting in blood.Get out of the pit.The situation is extremely dangerous. It is of utmost gravity now—a matter of life and death. Bloodshed seems imminent. There is no going forward or backward; we are cut off as if in a pit. Now we must simply stand fast and let fate take its course. This composure, which keeps us from aggravating the trouble by anything we might do, is the only way of getting out of the dangerous pit. [in the most dangerous of situations, retain cold-blooded and of clarity, sharpen the senses and focus]

Nine in the fifth place means:Waiting at meat and drink.Perseverance brings good fortune.Even in the midst of danger there come intervals of peace when things go relatively well. If we possess enough inner strength, we shall take advantage of these intervals to fortify ourselves for renewed struggle [that should be always done, wasting the time away without preparation is pointless – when struggle comes we are swept under its force]. We must know how to enjoy the moment without being deflected from the goal, for perseverance is needed to remain victorious.

This is true in public life as well; it is not possible to achieve everything all at once. The height of wisdom is to allow people enough recreation to quicken pleasure in their work until the task is completed. Herein lies the secret of the whole hexagram. It differs from Chien, OBSTRUCTION (39), in the fact that in this instance, while waiting, we are sure of our cause and therefore do not lose the serenity born of inner cheerfulness.

Six at the top means:One falls into the pit.Three uninvited guests arrive.Honor them, and in the end there will be good fortune.The waiting is over; the danger can no longer be averted. One falls into the pit and must yield to the inevitable. Everything seems to have been in vain. But precisely in this extremity things take an unforeseen turn [the movement of chance]. Without a move on one’s own part, there is outside intervention. At first one cannot be sure of its meaning: is it rescue or is it destruction? A person in this situation must keep his mind alert and not withdraw into himself with a sulky gesture of refusal, but must greet the new turn with respect. Thus he ultimately escapes the danger, and all goes well. Even happy turns of fortune often come in a form that at first seems strange to us.