We need a true leader to help us emerge from the oppression that has been imposed on us. If we choose wisely, that person will teach us how not to repeat the mistakes that brought us here.
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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.
Nine in the fourth place means:
He who acts at the command of the highest
Remains without blame.
Those of like mind partake of the blessing.
The time of standstill is nearing the point of change into its opposite. Whoever wishes to restore order must feel himself called to the task and have the necessary authority. A man who sets himself up as capable of creating order according to his own judgement could make mistakes and end in failure. But the man who is truly called to the task is favored by the conditions of the time, and all those of like mind will share in his blessing
4 – Four Mêng / Inexperience
A fresh Spring at the foot of the Mountain:
The Superior Person refines his character by being thorough in every activity.
The Sage does not recruit students; the students seek him.
He asks nothing but a sincere desire to learn.
If the student doubts or challenges his authority, the Sage regretfully cuts his losses.
This is a time of interchange between a mentor and pupil.
Whether you are the teacher or the student, it is a time of companionship along a mutual path.
This hexagram also emphasizes the eternal, cyclical nature of the mentor/student relationship — a mentor is merely a more seasoned pupil, further along on the journey.
A pupil holds within himself the seed of a future Master.