36. Ming I / Darkening of the light

above K'UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH

below LI THE CLINGING, FIRE

K'un trigram

Capital H ere the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally "wounding of the bright"; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding.

Li trigram

The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man.


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THE JUDGEMENT

DARKENING OF THE LIGHT. In adversity
It furthers one to be persevering.


One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities.

In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.


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THE IMAGE


The light has sunk into the earth:
The image of DARKENING OF THE LIGHT.
Thus does the superior man live with the great mass:
He veils his light, yet still shines.


In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.


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THE LINES


Nine at the beginning means:
Darkening of the light during flight.
He lowers his wings.
The superior man does not eat for three days
On his wanderings.
But he has somewhere to go.
The host has occasion to gossip about him.


With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation. Never the less he has a fixed goal to strive for even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him.

"And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."
Matthew 8:19-20 (Also Luke 9:57-58)

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° Six in the second place means:
Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh.
He gives aid with the strength of a horse.
Good fortune.


Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting according to duty.


"Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory."
II. Timothy 2:9-10

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Nine in the third place means:
Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.
Their great leader is captured.
One must not expect perseverance too soon.


It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly because the abuses have been in existence so long.


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Six in the fourth place means:
He penetrates the left side of the belly.
One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light.


We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his most secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.


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° Six in the fifth place means:
Darkening of the light as with Prince Chi.
Perseverance furthers.


Prince Chi lived at the court of the evil tyrant Chou Hsin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnished the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Chi was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from the court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions.

This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.


Editor's note: This is similar to the situation of David and Saul in the Old Testament.

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◊ Six at the top means:
Not light but darkness.
First he climbed up to heaven,
Then plunged into the depths of the earth.


Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.


"Lay not in wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the LORD see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.
Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked: For there shall be no reward to the evil man; the candle of the wicked shall be put out."
Proverbs 24:15-20

" ... I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.
"For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
"Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood."
Isaiah 10:12-15