55 – abundance

Graphic hexagram 55

Scope of Questions
  • A user asks the I Ching the following question: “How should I deal with my lack of jobs – and the corresponding low income? Is there maybe something good about the situation?” The I Ching’s answer is hexagram 55 – abundance. A wonderful response to a question which relates to scarcity…
  • A user writes: “Two weeks ago I decided to separate from my wife after 13 years of marriage. My question for the I Ching is, ‘What situation am I in?’”
  • A user asks: “My only son is leaving the house. I am currently not working. How should I deal with the future emptiness?”
  • A user asks how his professional situation will develop for him.
  • A user wants to buy an old oil mill in Italy to renovate and use it as a domicile. But everything keeps continuously getting delayed, while he lives in the mobile home and waits. The answer of the I Ching: 55 – abundance.
Some Reflections
LIcht am Ende des Tunnels
Light at the end of the tunnel

The last inquiry regarding hexagram 55 – abundance, the oil mill in Italy, was sent in recently. And at about the same time, on a walk, I came across an image that I find somehow fitting: Light at the end of the tunnel.
What I like about this image is that the tunnel itself is pretty. But exactly that is what you lose sight of when you only focus on the end of the tunnel, that single point, the problem. Yet the surroundings are full of beauty. And probably also full of alternative solutions.
Perhaps this is what is meant by abundance (in the hexagrams name): All the possible solutions that actually exist – but for which one is blind as long as one’s focus is exclusively on the problem.

Case Study

Hexagram 55 – abundance begins of with Li, representing clear discernment. In acupuncture the small intestine represents this function and is described as follows:

How does the heart gain such clarity and pioneering influence? Only through an entity that is able to discern between important and unimportant, to sort out what is essential and to put only the purest [substance] at the heart’s disposal. This function of the organism is attributed to the small intestine…
The small intestine, alchemist of the interior… Discernment is needed on all levels! Sorting out intellectually, differentiating facts, clarifying relationships and… feelings – all this falls under the responsibilities of the small intestine… This is why mental health is associated with the small intestine as well…

During our conversation I consequently I ask the user questions like: What exactly is the problem that led you to consult the I Ching? To what extent is your perception of scarcity actually true? Is your job situation really that bad? And what is your general financial outlook?
My inquiries bring up that she has a few small jobs, but not too many. Secretly, however, she sees this situation almost as a blessing, because currently she is intensively and with great joy engaged in a non-profit project – which certainly would not be possible if she had more “real” work. Financially, she has enough savings to make ends meet, although she would prefer not to touch her reserves and keep them for some ominous future (an attitude she was brought up with but gradually starts to feel doubtful about).
Clarity Bears Growth shows us here how an honest inventory may open up entirely new perspectives for dealing with a given situation. Originally the user was saddened because she did not receive what she believed to be wanting: more jobs. What she was given were not jobs but enough time for her non-profit work – without any real financial worries.
Admittedly, in our meritocracy it is an unusual attitude to use our own work force for charitable goals while living off savings. It’s definitely a new and unusual way, which certainly feels provocative to some people. The judgment of hexagram 55 says: Be not sad. Be like the sun at midday. This phrase seems to indicate that sometimes it is appropriate to not conform to others and not behave like everybody. In some situations it is advisable to make own decisions and to take new directions.
Step 2 (second core character) is Dui, the lake, a sign which refers to our connection with the environment and to our attentiveness towards the echoes of our actions. At this stage of development we are confronted with questions like: What exactly is reflected back to me through my environment (what is it really – not: what do I assume / am afraid of to get as a feedback!). The user’s clear answer is: Yes, she has less money available, but she feels very happy and fulfilled in her daily life. And contrary to her expectations she actually receives little criticism but is appreciated and supported.
Maybe that’s a good attitude for her to assume in the near future: to move forward with particular care and attention on this new path and to question again and again how she really feels – and what exactly it reflected to her through the environment.
We all are threads in the collective fabric of life: when one thread changes, it also affects the surrounding tissue. Quite often these changes are very subtle – but they can be perceived if we look really carefully at your environment.
In hexagram 55 – abundance the initial clarity finally becomes Zhen, clear determination: that which has slowly and perhaps even secretly grown will finally push outside, will become visible to all through determined action.

The current interpretation can be found here: https://www.no2do.com/hexagramme_en/787788.htm