Here's What Hexagram 39 Reveals: Obstruction Leads To Intelligent Decisions

Here's What Hexagram 39 Reveals: Obstruction Leads To Intelligent Decisions

The Decision of this Hexagram in The Book of Changes commands that when a man is besieged by insurmountable obstacles, the only proper course of action is to retreat

Kamakshi Francis FernandesUpdated: Friday, June 14, 2024, 11:54 PM IST
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The Decision of this Hexagram in The Book of Changes commands that when a man is besieged by insurmountable obstacles, the only proper course of action is to retreat. A man in retreat has merely made a rational judgement that his advances of moving ahead are not good and it would be sensible to back off till such a time so as to reassess the situation, acquire additional forces and then formulate a new plan to overcome the insurmountable obstacles. Retreat is man’s strategic move and not a command to abandon and give up his goals.

Man’s Advance

Here and now, he finds like-minded people who can aid him in his quest. He solicits the help of someone capable of mastering this situation and solving the problems that he faces. With the combined strength and expert guidance, he can see the path advancing with ease. 

There is a possibility of a foolish move if he forcibly tries to advance in spite of the obstacles. He may need additional help in developing a plan which is the only sensible move to make.

The Inferior Man

The inferior man dislikes the idea of a retreat or even the idea of seeking help considering it as a weakness. Such men feel compelled to present a fake image of strength and unassailability in the face of difficulty. Such patterns often lead to disaster showing that his emotions and not intelligence is directing his actions.

The Superior Man

An intelligent man looks upon a difficult situation with a strictly rational eye. His purpose is to accomplish the goal that he has set for himself, not to project some glorious self image. His focus of moving ahead with the best chances of success will mean that he will be more likely to achieve good fortune than the inferior man felt with bravado. Obstructions that force a person to make intelligent decisions develop a man’s character. They force him to swallow his pride, hold his emotions in check and let his rational mind direct his activities.

The Maxim: Problems that arise in the course of life are occasions for developing character. Obstacles, in one way or another, force a person to find mature, correct and healthy ways of dealing with the situation.

The Difference

An inferior man typically curses his bad luck and the evil intentions of others seizing any evil means just to get even! The superior man on the other hand looks within himself for the proper way to deal with the situation. He faces problems squarely and unemotionally, while the inferior man lashes out at any and all that he thinks may be responsible for his difficulties often trying to punish someone else for his inability to find a proper solution! For the superior man however, adversaries are a credible way to learn about life and his character development. 

Interpreting The Lines   

LINE 1 (Bottom, Yang)

‘Avoid the place’, ‘wait and watch’, are phrases associated with this line. The presence of too many complications and obstructions calls for the man to wait till the way gets simpler and clearer for smooth navigation. Avoid trying to overcome any obstacle. Hold your horses and wait for it to make way for you. Just ‘be’ is the message. As Lao Tsu suggests, being taught without words and taking “no action” are the most incomparable thing in the entire universe and the whole of creation. Go to Hexagram 63 for more.

LINE 2 (YANG)

A selfless and unconditional self-sacrifice is seen where the work is deemed more important than the person. There is a method spoken of wherein distress, pain, frustration, disappointment are introduced such as to instigate the fire of ambition, strengthen character, and improve the capability of one who found himself as incapable in all ways earlier. The moral value attached to action here is independent of aiming at success or being a failure. Someone important could be in difficulty and hurt physically.

LINE 3 (YIN)

A tender desire for union with what it is not ‘supposed to’ be with is seen. What is set free is not meant to return, just as what is let go off is never welcome. What is given up cannot appear on the scene; such is the nature of return, avoid it, says the Book of Changes. Evade any former lifestyle, discipline, thought pattern, partnership, attitude….just stay away from returning. Read Hexagram 8 to know how to hold on.

LINE 4 (YANG)

The message of this line is to know that everything in life is in perpetual service while serving a meaningful purpose; even one that stands still, waits, or what just exists. Confident with the reassurance of this, be steady where you are while developing your higher potential. Lone advancement encounters greater obstacles; centering and blossoming where one is planted can invite esprit de corps and that is the way forward.

LINE 5 (YIN)

A dead end appears, a deadlock conflicted space is unexpectedly resolved by an intuitive force from outside one’s conscious awareness. However bad a situation may seem, however great an error or deep trouble one could have managed get into, the spirit of belief in a divine will working its agenda, is the essential message here. All and any kind of obstacles disappear.

LINE 6 (YANG)

This line directs will inwards, surrendering to the great noble man within, the higher self, attuned and superior to our conscious little self that is not familiar or aware of this hidden truth within, its intents, movements or its nature. External achievements seem unattainable but always know that the real work is within. We are all self employed to address our truths, know our beliefs, correct our attitudes, guide our expectations and monitor our thoughts. As the work enhances on the inner planes, changes take place on their right time to serve a greater good, which ultimately leads to success.

(The columnist is a Naturopath and Reiki practitioner and pursues astrology as a hobby)

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