48 – the well

Graphic hexagram 48

Scope of Questions
  • A user asks the I Ching about his entrepreneurial orientation and several times (!) he receives hexagram 48 – the Well as an answer. More precisely his question refers to the criteria by which he should make future professional and business decisions. Should he concentrate on more conventional criteria (security, pay) or rather on his personal beliefs (ethics, philosophy) and interests (development, innovation)?
  • One user asks: “Will I have a relationship with my first lover?”
  • A user asks: “Why is it always me who listens and who gives – without ever being listened to, without getting anything myself?”

Case Study

The following case study is already somewhat older; it does not yet consider  the anthropologically-psychologically oriented interpretation model “Follow the Path of the Dao: A Western Approximation” which I developed and published in early 2022. Nevertheless, this case study shows well how to work with the dynamics within the hexagram.

Sun, the wind / tree as the lower trigram shows opportunities coming up consistently and powerfully. The user should seize these opportunities and try different things now – in his case carry out some conventional projects and some which meet his personal inclinations – and pay close attention to the specific feed-back he receives from his surroundings (first core character; Dui, the lake). Questions like “How does this project develop?”, “Which project is running smoothly, which one has major problems?”, “Which project seemed lucrative at first glance but now turns out to be disproportionately exhausting?”, “Which project seemed to pay less but now opens up a new clientele?”, “Which project makes me happy… (and: why)?” can provide important clues.
Our culture has developed a fairly simple system to ease our choices: whatever brings more money is better, whoever has more money is more important, and the stronger one wins anyway. And as long as we do not know what we really want in life we will be urged by the equally unconscious people around us to decide according to this simple system.
But decisions that follow that pattern quite often do not at all correspond with our deepest beliefs, our spiritual roots – of which we are, however, often unaware. It is our environment’s feed-back that makes these unconscious parts of our being visible. And if we pay close attention to this feed-back we can consequently draw conclusions regarding our deepest convictions and gain awareness.
Li, the fire, (second core character) points out clarity, the ability to distinguish the clear from the unclear. In this case our careful observation of how individual projects develop will lead us to select criteria that really correspond to our own nature. If then, in the future, we apply these criteria to our actions, they will become consistent with our own roots (upper trigram; Kan, the water) and this kind of well-rooted action and assertiveness is a cornerstone for any long-time success.
The hexagram’s title “the Well“, and also what is implied in the judgment, indicates that at times it may very well be possible to act contrary to our own deeply held beliefs (ie to carry out projects that do not match 100 % our own ethic standards). This, however, will not change our own roots/our innermost convictions (“The town may be changed, but the well cannot be changed.”). Only if we permanently turn our back to our own rooting we will risk that our roots break off our source of being – and that’s then a really big disaster.

The current interpretation can be found here: https://www.no2do.com/hexagramme_en/877878.htm