26 – the taming power of the great

777887“I, I, all I!” – I am standing at the summit, I have achieved something. And now? For a moment I rest, enjoying spectacular views. And then?
I’m standing at the summit. I have achieved something. I enjoy the views… What else do I see? More summits. Summits which I could set out for. And reenter the course of the world.

Conquered summits are just milestones. Nothing more, nothing less. Beyond them: more summits. Summits, which we can only can see from the taken ones.

So, where is my next summit? I can already perceive it. Once I’m ready, I will make my decision: Let go of what I have reached. And set out again. Like a… novice.

Scope of Questions

Concerning hexagram 26 – the taming power of the great descriptions of quite different situations were sent in:

  • A user who has been working as a freelance software developer asks about what kind of work he should do in the future. His current occupation ceased pleasing him, but so far he has not yet encountered any other vocation.
  • Another user just had her 65th birthday and feels lonely in her neighborhood. She lacks joy and zest for life, and is looking for a fresh start, a new apartment, a new environment.
  • “In the future, how should I act towards my mother?” was the question of yet another user. The mother is a difficult person, she is in a deplorable condition, needs help, but refuses to accept it. After an episode of massive (own) heart problems, the user has decided to break off contact, however quietly doubting whether this is the right thing to do. Hexagram 26 – the taming power of the great feels like a confirmation to him. crossing of the great water in his experience feels like crossing the Valley of Tears: An (painful) end to the old, a farewell, a turn to the new.
Case Study

Hexagram 26 – the taming power of the great starts with Qian (the heaven) as lower trigram. Qian refers to our own mind, which ideally has a high degree of clarity and coherence, undisturbed by worries, desires, thought loops. Qian describes a person who is whole and well within himself, someone who knows who he is, what he needs, what he is able to do.
The (first two) users have achieved a lot in their respective lives: they have reached positions for which they may have been working for a long time and with lots of efforts. They have finally reached their respective goals: a well-doped activity, deserved retirement.
Just like a wanderer who has finally climbed the mountain. For yet another moment enjoying a spectacular view from the top, and then…? It is nice to have experienced Qian. But Qian is only a way station in the cycle of life that never stops and continues to evolve constantly. In exagram 26 – the taming power of the great Qian (the heaven, lower trigram) evolves into Dui (the lake; first core character).
Dui invites us to open ourselves, allowing the outside to penetrate our core. Dui stands for opening, for the interplay of receiving (the external / environmental penetrates into our core) and releasing (we express our inner self towards the outside). Dui invites us to open the border of our self, to welcome the environment, the “you”, and to engage in a lively exchange with the world around us, with what we encounter. If Qian is the perfectly developed butterfly that has just left its chrysalis, then Dui the butterfly’s true birth into the living world: its first beat of wings, the gentle breeze, the sun’s warmth, a scent of nectar.
The ideal attitude for Dui is to rest with empty hands, to be ready to receive whatever there is to come. It is an attitude of openness, curiosity, willingness to engage completely and without any prior knowledge or prejudice with the un-known.
In the further course of hexagram 26 – the taming power of the great Dui (the lake; first core character) develops into Zhen, the thunder (second core character): decision, impulse, movement. The encounter with our environment induces a change within us, something germinates, begins to grow now and we embark on a new journey.
Hexagram 26 – the taming power of the great ends in Gen (the mountain; upper trigram).
Once we decide, once we start moving (Zhen), we will separate things into what there is to keep, and what there is to disengage from (Gen, the mountain; upper trigram). We have climbed a mountain, but the old summit lies behind us now. Before us: a new one.

Admittedly this interpretation goes far beyond the traditional texts, the image, the judgment. When the original texts were written down, society’s moral ideals gave every human a position within the community, radical changes or outbreaks were not accepted. Unlike today, goals archived consolidated a status quo. Today, however, any achievement encourages change and invites us to move on.
The deeper meaning of the associated acupuncture point’s name is “Path of the Dao.” According to Hicks et al. it helps patients who feel miserable and sad to helps find their way.

The current interpretation can be found here: http://www.no2do.com/hexagramme_en/777887.htm