36 – darkening of the light


Scope of Questions
  • A user describes her situation as follows: “I feel lots of love for the children, the love for my partner, however, is gone. I wish it was different, but this is as things are now. I feel a great sense of duty towards my family.” Regarding this situation the user asks the following question: “How to proceed?” The I Ching responds with hexagram 36 – darkening of the light.
  • A user asks the I Ging: “What does she want me to do?”
Case Study

Hexagram 36 – darkening of the light begins with Li, the fire as the lower trigram. Li stands for our ability to differentiate facts and figures, influences, emotions – in short: the fullness of our overwhelming reality. The user’s example (above, first question) illustrates nicely how this ability to differentiate forms the basis of her question: she has already analysed her own situation and can describe her options: there are reasons to maintain her family situation (her love for the children, her sense of duty), but there are also reasons that suggest a change (the unfortunately extinct love for her partner). The user has won clarity (Li) and now wonders how to decide.
In hexagram 36 – darkening of the light Li develops into Kan (water; first core character). After analysing the situation and the pros and cons of possible actions (Li), Kan invites us to listen to our inner voice. For such a complex situation as the user describes, there is no simple solution, no short-cut to a pleasing outcome. The right, or better: the adequate decision cannot be found by means of mind.
But in addition to our mind we have yet another tool to deal with the world: our intuition, our gut feeling. This is where Kan points at. Which possible action feels right? To stay? To walk away? Which thought makes us feel strong – the call of duty or the desire for an individual, a fulfilled life? If we put moral prejudices aside both motivations – duty and desire – are legitimate. The user is at a crossroad and must decide: Will I follow the path of duty – or the path of desire?
Both paths will lead to a destination – just that the two destinations will be different. No path is wrong – yet which path to choose depends on user, what fits her best, what matches her personality, her personal motivation and strength. To follow the path of duty requires strength: the strength of renunciation. On this path one is supported by the approval of most others and fulfilment may be found in self-control. To follow the path of desire also requires strength: the strength to walk alone in self-responsibility, possibly against general morality. The reward will be an individual, a happy life.
Our mind will never be able to properly decide which of the two paths is right one for the user. Only our intuition, our gut feeling can adequately guide us./
In the course of the hexagram 36 – darkening of the light Kan develops into Zhen (the thunder; second core character). A pulse arises from our gut feeling: the seed of a new action. There will be a moment in which the user’s decision will become visible: packing a suitcase, leave the house. Or: burning the suitcase, staying forever.
The upper trigram of hexagram 36 – darkening of the light is Kun, the earth. The decision is growing. The lonely journey into a new life begins. Or: the reward of self-conquest is felt and fulfils with its quiet happiness.

The current interpretation can be found here: http://www.no2do.com/hexagramme_en/787888.htm