30 – the clinging

787787Is it good for me – or is harmful? How can I find out? The easiest method is probably: to try it out. But before marching off we should carefully examine the whole situation. Nothing is ever so new to us that we have no prior experience at all. What do we already know? What is the situation’s background? Well-being? Stomach ache?

The next step is to choose a direction and: go! After the first meters: how does that feel? What is the environment’s feedback? Positive, negative? Again: evaluation, examination, readjusting the direction. There is a catch to this type of analysis: we lie to ourselves quite often and very willingly. We close our eyes and dream our world much nicer than it is. However, if we are honest, we know what is going on.

Scope of Questions
  • A user has the following concern: “There is a colleague in my current job and I do not know exactly to what extent I can rely on her support …. Consulting the I Ching resulted in 30 – the clinging.”
  • A user asks: “How do I get out of this?” The I Ching’s response is 30 – the Clinging.*
  • A user asks “What will be the outcome of my with K.?”

* This was the user’s third question to the I Ching. Question 1 was “What situation I am in” and resulted in hexagram 12 – Standstill; question 2 “What about it [my situation] is good, and what happens next?” resulted in hexagram 20 – Contemplation.

Case Study

Hexagram 30 – the clinging takes its name from the trigram Li, the fire, that is repeated twice. Li means both fire and clinging, with the latter labeling the entire hexagram. Clinging refers to an important quality of fire, which is to cling to what it burns.
Li, lower and upper trigram, stands for careful distinction and clarity as to whether something is good for us / nourishes us, or is harmful / does not nourish us. In our body, this clear distinction is made in the small intestine – with the objective to absorb what is useful and to eliminate what is bad for us. In no2DO I associate Li with the small intestine, which is described in the classical texts of Traditional Chinese Medicine as the organ that separates the “clear” (= that what is useful for us) from the “unclear” (= that what does not serve us). This capacity refers not only to the material world but also includes the mental level.

The user’s question (see above, first question) regarding his colleague is a case that requires clear distinction. Does she support / protect the user – or does she not? How can we find out? If we stay with the metaphor of the body: how do we know what is good for us? How do we find out if a food is good for us – or is not?
I think the easiest method is to try it out. Today we know of most food crops whether they are good for us or not. But where does all this knowledge come from? I think our ancestors probably ate small amounts of plants and then just observed what happened then. Did they feel well after eating the plant – or did their stomach ache?
Finding out by trial is the path hexagram 30 – the clinging suggests: at the beginning there is Li, careful distinction, which chooses a direction – almost like choosing a path at an intersection. We then follow this path (Sun, the wind / tree; first core character; “pressing forward on our very own, perfect path”) and in a next step check whether our environment’s feedback of is positive or negative (Dui, the lake; second core character; “fresh impulses from the environment penetrate to us, are inspiration, feedback and reality check”). This way we are able to find out if something works for us – or does not.
It is certainly since quite a while that the user works with his colleague. What is their shared history? One of well-being? One of stomach ache? The answer to whether the user should count on the colleague’s support lies within the distillate of all prior experiences.
There is a catch to this type of analysis: we lie to ourselves quite often and very willingly. We close our eyes to realities that do not please us. We dream our world much nicer than it is. And whatever cannot be must not be. However, if we are honest, we know what is going on.
Hexagram 30 – the clinging ends with Li: reconsideration. Any really profound realization is the result of a long process of adherence to reality, one of “clinging” to what is. Only through repeated assessment we are able to uncover discrimination errors.

Another Case Study

What is the way out of the user’s situation (see above, second question)? (Remember, the earlier questioning brought about that it is important for her to maintain a buffer between herself and traditional evaluation criteria which on one hand she already questions due to her professional experience but on the other hand still applies in her own self-assessments.)
Hexagram 30 – the Clinging starts out with Li, our clear intellect, which is able to separate what is useful to us from what unnecessarily burdens our existence . This differentiation and clarification is specially helpful when it comes eg to check our own thought patterns and judgements. Unfortunately enough, far too often our own inner voices disturb our peace of mind and / or hinder our progress.
The results of this self-assessment will serve us as a compass for future growth: Sun, (wind / tree; first core character) represents a gentle, yet relentless pushing forward on our very own path – a path just too often overseen but blueprint-like perfectly mapped out before us since our beginnings. In the user’s case this would mean to ideally let go of thoughts and traditional evaluation criteria which weaken her while encouraging thoughts that strengthen her.
In the following Sun transforms into the second core character Dui (the lake). Dui represents an opening, allowing the outside / environment to penetrate our inside, while we express ourselves outwardly. The safe shelter of cocooning is being loosen up and fresh new ideas from our environment now pass through as inspiration, feedback and reality check for our worldview.
And to check reality is vitally important because, while Li represents an instance within our self that can distinguish the world, it is rooted in our human condition and thus imperfect and prone to mistake. This is why any really deep insight is always the result of a continuing process of adhering to reality and progressively double checking any to uncover inconsistencies. And this way hexagram 30 – the Clinging ends in  re-examination.

Some Observations

Insight, “fire“, is the result of our free encounter with our environment, with the latter being our mirror to match up old and new experiences. In that sense hexagram 30 – the Clinging presents us with a learning environment where we can gain knowledge about ourselves. Sometimes this environmental mirror is merciless and quite drastically shows us any entanglement or attachment. But it isn’t an option to smash the mirror (= actively influencing an “disturbing” environment). Rather it is to draw conclusions regarding our own inner condition, because it is the only place where we can actually make a change. Anything else wouldn’t be but treating symptoms.
Inner and outer worlds reflect each other. The path towards deeper insight is a continuous process shifting between analytical thinking and intuition. And at its end we’ll find our peace with the world.

The current interpretation can be found here: http://www.no2do.com/hexagramme_en/787787.htm