The 2nd Hexagram
No changing lines
The attribute of the hexagram is devotion. It is the perfect compliment of the Creative, and completes it. It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female maternal as against the male paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the principle of this complimentary relationship is found not only in relation between man and woman, but also between prince and minister and between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.
But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles. In itself of course the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the Creative; then, it is productive of good only if it abandons this position and tries to stand as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil. The result then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of evil to both. (The story of Lucifer and his fall from grace.)
The Receptive brings about sublime success...if he follows, he finds guidance...quiet perseverance brings good fortune. The four fundamental aspects of the Creative.
1. Sublime success
2. Furthering through perseverance are also attributed to the Receptive. Here, however, the perseverance is more closely defined; it is that of a mare. The Receptive connotes spatial reality in contrast to the spiritual potentiality of the Creative. The potential becomes real and the spiritual becomes spatial through a specifically qualifying definition. Thus, the qualification ‘of a mare” is here added to the idea of perseverance.
Only because nature in its myriad forms corresponds with the myriad impulses of the Creative can it make these impulses real. Nature’s richness lies in its power to give them beauty and splendor. Thus it prospers all that lives. It is the Creative that begets things but they are brought to birth by the Receptive. Applied to human affairs, therefore, what the hexagram indicates is action in conformity with the situation. The person in question is not in an independent position, but is acting
as an assistant ( not servant to God and the universe). This means that he must achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead-that would only make him lose his way-but to LET HIMSELF BE LED. If he knows how to meet fate with an attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided. He does not go blindly ahead, but learns from the situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from fate.
Since there is something to be accomplished, _we need friends and helpers in the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set...if in that situation one does not mobilize all one’s powers, the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and effort, there is also a time of planning and for this we need solitude...in this sacred hour he must do without companions, so that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by factional hates and favoritism.
The earth’s condition is receptive devotion, thus the superior man who has breadth of character carries the outer world. Just as there is only one heaven, so, too, there is only one earth. In the hexagram of heaven (the 1st hexagram) the doubling of the tri-gram implies duration in time, but in the hexagram of the earth (the 2nd hexagram) the doubling connotes the solidity and extension in space by virtue of which the earth is able to carry and preserve all things that live and move upon it. The earth in its devotion carries all things good and evil without exception. In the same way the superior man gives to his character breadth, purity and sustaining power, so that he is able to support and to bear with people and things.
COMMENTARY ON THE DECISION
Perfect indeed is the sublimity of the Receptive, all beings owe their birth to it, because it receives the heavenly with devotion. The greatness of the Receptive is characterized as perfect. That which attains the ideal is perfect. This means the Receptive is dependent upon the Creative...the Receptive in its riches carries all things. Its nature is in harmony with the Boundless. It embraces everything in its breadth and illumines everything in its greatness. Through it, all individual beings attain success.”
-From the I Ching Chinese Book of Oracle by Wilhelm/Baynes.
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