19 – approach

We open ourselves to our environment – and become inspired… Not an easy one, if our head and mind are full. Ok, once again: we open ourselves, make ourselves empty and perceptive, curious, without prejudiced, without any prior knowledge. We listen carefully: what does the external world want to tell us? And all off a sudden: we perceive it – and are inspired! Nourished, fertilized, refreshed… connected with what previously was alien, non-familiar. From this contact with the external world a decision arises, followed by a long period of growth and materialization. Maybe it will take some time before we see results. But we need not do anything. Only trust: in our inspiration, in our decision.

Scope of Questions
  • A user asks the following question: “Was it just my own thought … or did I really hear his voice? ” The I Ching’s response is hexagram 19 – approach.
  • A user asks: “What does the man I love want from me?”
Case Study

Hexagram 19 – approach starts out with Dui, the lake as the lower trigram. Dui represents opening: the interior opens outwards and the exterior penetrates inwards. It is about the boundary between these two poles, and about overcoming it. More specifically: external inspiration touches our inside and we express our inner being outwardly.
Listening is one of these movements: whatever we hear penetrates from the exterior into our inner being and touches us. But we also experience Dui while breathing: we allow something – new breath – to penetrate us, and entrust ourselves to this penetration. In return we release something from within ourselves – our breath permeated with our existence – into the environment.
Perhaps the user’s uncertainty (“was it his voice?”) indicates that she has a slight doubt whether indeed something from the external world has touched her inside. Dui means that we shall entrust ourselves openly to the external world’s inspiration, to the extrinsic, to the un-familiar. Because it is precisely the ability of the un-familiar to nourish us, to fertilize and to refresh us.
For Dui, the ideal posture is to receive empty-handed that what is offered. This attitude requires openness, curiosity, and the willingness to engage with the un-known without any prior knowledge or bias. That is how children are, sometimes, and: spiritual masters.
In the further course of the hexagram Dui‘s openness and receptiveness evolves into impulse and decision (Zhen, the thunder; first core character). The encounter with the un-familiar triggers a change from within ourselves. Something starts shifting, starts germinating and growing within our core. This impulse, Zhen, is then followed by a phase of growth and materialization (Kun, the earth; second core character and upper trigram). This growth happens within us, invisibly, and though we may not notice it, it happens.
It may be most difficult for us to just allow this growth without interfering. Because we are used to do things, to act, to manipulate. And non-acting, while apparently nothing happens, is a real challenge and may irritate us.
We should trust this seed, this inspired impulse. And give it space and time, so that it can materialize into the world. Although we are used to being active, this time it makes sense to do just nothing. And to trust. In our inspiration, in our decision.

The current interpretation can be found here: http://www.no2do.com/hexagramme_en/778888.htm