Hold to your course in this hard time. Do not venture forward with new plans. Do not fall prey to the lies of corrupt power brokers. Do not betray your principles. Wait and see what develops.
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12 – Twelve 12 – Twelve P’i / Stagnation
Heaven and Earth move away from each other.
In the ensuing void, the small invade where the great have departed.
There is no common meeting ground, so the Superior Person must fall back on his inner worth and decline the rewards offered by the inferior invaders.
Difficult trials as you hold to your course.
It is natural to assume that, if Earth above Heaven forms the hexagram for Peace and Paradise, then the opposite configuration, with Heaven over Earth would represent the antithesis of Paradise, Hell.
This hexagram is actually the Dark side of Peace, its unsavory byproduct, Stagnation.
In a time when most of our wants are provided, there is little need for the heroes, the artists, the great thinkers and innovators.
As they recede into the shadows, Idleness, Apathy, and Lassitude come to the forefront.
Peace has become boring, bland, unchallenging — Stagnant.
Now our attention turns to the quick fix, the instant celebrity, the fad, the one-nighter, the current buzz.
There is no room for depth.
If you are a passionate soul, you must wait for a better time to find kindred spirits.
In these times, they are only curious legends, bas-relief, dead poets.
|above: Ch’ien / The Creative, Heaven|
|below: K’un / The Receptive, Earth|
This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one (11). Heaven is above, drawing farther and farther away, while the earth below sinks farther into the depths. The creative powers are not in relation. It is a time of standstill and decline. This hexagram is linked with the seventh month (August – September), when the year has passed its zenith and autumnal decay is setting in.
STANDSTILL. Evil people do not further
Heaven and earth are out of communion and all things are benumbed. What is above has no relation to what is below, and on earth confusion and disorder prevail. The dark power is within, the light power is without. Weakness is within, harshness without. Within are the inferior, and without are the superior. The way of inferior people is in ascent; the way of superior people is on the decline. But the superior people do not allow themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their principles and withdraw into seclusion.
Heaven and earth do not unite:
When, owing to the influence of inferior men, mutual mistrust prevails in public life, fruitful activity is rendered impossible, because the fundamentals are wrong. Therefore the superior man knows what he must do under such circumstances; he does not allow himself to be tempted by dazzling offers to take part in public activities. This would only expose him to danger, since he cannot assent to the meanness of the others. He therefore hides his worth and withdraws into seclusion.