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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

In case you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex page.

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het Hexagrammenboek

In case you prefer to ask a question or if you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex.






Table 1,

Select a hexagram by combining the trigrams:


Trigrammemindeling
Trigrammemindeling


Table 2,

Select a hexagram from the drop-down list.
The hexagrams are ordered by number:









39. Jian

Obstruction



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上六:往蹇来硕,吉;利见大人。

Six at the top means:

Going leads to obstructions,

Coming leads to great good fortune.

It furthers one to see the great man.



This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own salvation and abandon the world to its adversity. Duty calls him back once more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom one can achieve the work of rescue.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:大蹇朋来。

Nine in the fifth place means:

In the midst of the greatest obstructions,

Friends come.



Here we see a man who is called to help in an emergency. He should not seek to evade the obstructions, no matter how dangerously they pile up before him. But because he is really called to the task, the power of his spirit is strong enough to attract helpers whom he can effectively organize, so that through the well-directed co-operation of all participants the obstruction is overcome.
六四:往蹇来连。

Six in the fourth place means:

Going leads to obstructions,

Coming leads to union.



This too describes a situation that cannot be managed single-handed. In such a case the direct way is not the shortest. If a person were to forge ahead on his own strength and without the necessary preparations, he would not find the support he needs and would realize too late that he has been mistaken in his calculations, inasmuch as the conditions on which he hoped he could rely would prove to be inadequate. In this case it is better, therefore, to hold back for the time being and to gather together trustworthy companions who can be counted upon for help in overcoming the obstructions.
九三:往蹇来反。

Nine in the third place means:

Going leads to obstructions;
Hence he comes back.



While the preceding line shows the official compelled by duty to follow the way of danger, this line shows the man who must act as father of a family or as head of his kin. If he were to plunge recklessly in to danger, it would be a useless act, because those entrusted to his care cannot get along by themselves. But if he withdraws and turns back to his own, they welcome him with great joy.
六四:损其疾,使遄有喜,无咎。

Six in the second place means:

The King's servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction,

But it is not his own fault.



Ordinarily it is best to go around an obstacle and try to overcome it along the line of least resistance. But there is one instance in which a man must go out to meet the trouble, even though difficulty piles upon difficulty: this is when the path of duty leads directly to it - in other words, when he cannot act of his own volition but is duty bound to go and seek out danger in the service of a higher cause. Then he may do it without compunction, because it is not through any fault of his that he is putting himself in this difficult situation.
初六:往蹇,来誉。

Six at the beginning means:

Going leads to obstructions,
Coming meets with praise.



When one encounters an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on how best to deal with it. When threatened with danger, one should not strive blindly to go ahead, for this only leads to complications. The correct thing is, on the contrary, to retreat for the time being, not in order to give up the struggle but to await the right moment for action.
the Sign of hexagram Obstruction 4is:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep, inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming them.

The sequence:
Through opposition difficulties necessarily arise. Hence there follows the hexagram of Obstruction. Obstruction means difficulty.

Miscellaneous notes:
Obstruction means difficulty.The idea of obstruction is expressed by danger without (Kan), in the face of which one keeps still within (Gen). This distinguishes the hexagram from Youthful Folly (4), where Kan is within and Gen is without. The obstruction is not a lasting condition, hence everything in the hexagram is centered on overcoming it. It is overcome in that the strong line moves outward to the fifth place and from there initiates a countermovement. The obstruction is overcome not by pressing forward into danger nor by idly keeping still, but by retreating, yielding. Hence the text alludes to the words of the hexagram Kun, the Receptive (2). Kun is in the southwest, it is the earth, that which is level; friends are there. Gen is in the northeast, it is the mountain, that which is steep; there it is lonely. For overcoming danger one has need of fellowship; hence retreat. The great man is seen because he stands at the top of the nuclear trigram Li, which means light and the eye. The movement indicated is expressed also in the individual lines.
the Judgement for hexagram Obstruction 4is:

蹇:利西南,不利东北;利见大人,贞吉。

Obstruction. The southwest furthers.
The northeast does not further.
It furthers one to see the great man.
Perseverance brings good fortune.



The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat. However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of adversity.

Commentary on the Decision:

蹇,难也,险在前也。见险而能止,知矣哉!蹇利西南,往得中也;不利东北,其道穷也。利见大人,往有功也。当位贞吉,以正邦也。蹇之时用大矣哉!

Obstruction means difficulty. The danger is ahead. To see the danger and to know how to stand still, that is wisdom.
In Obstruction “the southwest furthers,” because he goes and attains the middle.
“The northeast does not further,” because there the way comes to an end.
“It furthers one to see the great man,” because he goes and wins merits.
In the right place, “perseverance brings good fortune,” because through it the country comes into order.
The effect of a time of Obstruction is great indeed.



Danger, the trigram Kan, is in front. To see the danger (upper nuclear trigram Li, light, eye) and to stop short in time (inner trigram Gen, Keeping Still) is true wisdom, in contrast to the situation in Youthful Folly (4), where the positions of danger and standstill are reversed. In order to overcome the danger it is important to take the safe-road, the road toward the southwest, where one attains the middle, that is, sees oneself surrounded by helpers. The nine in the fifth place does this. When the ruler of the hexagram is in the outer trigram it is said, “He goes,” and when it is in the inner trigram, “He comes.” In the northeast (north means danger, northeast means mountain) one comes to an impassable road, leading no farther. It is favorable to see the great man - the nine in the fifth place, standing at the top of the nuclear trigram Li. Through going something is achieved: in that the ruler of the hexagram “goes,” he takes part in the downward movement of the trigram Kan, water, which flows toward the earth and thus accomplishes something. Abiding in the right place brings good fortune, because one’s activity is directed not outward but inward, to one’s own country. Turning inward is achieved through obstructions, and the improvement brought about by this turning inward (“conversion”) is the great value inhering in the effect of a time of obstruction.
the Image going with hexagram Obstruction 4is:

山上有水,蹇;君子以反身修德。

Water on the mountain:
The image of Obstruction.
Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself
And molds his character.



Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the inferior man seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and education.




the nuclear hexagram:
未济
64. Wei Ji
Before Completion

P
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep, inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming them.

The sequence:
Through opposition difficulties necessarily arise. Hence there follows the hexagram of Obstruction. Obstruction means difficulty.

Miscellaneous notes:
Obstruction means difficulty.The idea of obstruction is expressed by danger without (Kan), in the face of which one keeps still within (Gen). This distinguishes the hexagram from Youthful Folly (4), where Kan is within and Gen is without. The obstruction is not a lasting condition, hence everything in the hexagram is centered on overcoming it. It is overcome in that the strong line moves outward to the fifth place and from there initiates a countermovement. The obstruction is overcome not by pressing forward into danger nor by idly keeping still, but by retreating, yielding. Hence the text alludes to the words of the hexagram Kun, the Receptive (2). Kun is in the southwest, it is the earth, that which is level; friends are there. Gen is in the northeast, it is the mountain, that which is steep; there it is lonely. For overcoming danger one has need of fellowship; hence retreat. The great man is seen because he stands at the top of the nuclear trigram Li, which means light and the eye. The movement indicated is expressed also in the individual lines.


the Judgement:

蹇:利西南,不利东北;利见大人,贞吉。

Obstruction. The southwest furthers.
The northeast does not further.
It furthers one to see the great man.
Perseverance brings good fortune.



The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat. However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of adversity.

Commentary on the Decision:

蹇,难也,险在前也。见险而能止,知矣哉!蹇利西南,往得中也;不利东北,其道穷也。利见大人,往有功也。当位贞吉,以正邦也。蹇之时用大矣哉!

Obstruction means difficulty. The danger is ahead. To see the danger and to know how to stand still, that is wisdom.
In Obstruction “the southwest furthers,” because he goes and attains the middle.
“The northeast does not further,” because there the way comes to an end.
“It furthers one to see the great man,” because he goes and wins merits.
In the right place, “perseverance brings good fortune,” because through it the country comes into order.
The effect of a time of Obstruction is great indeed.



Danger, the trigram Kan, is in front. To see the danger (upper nuclear trigram Li, light, eye) and to stop short in time (inner trigram Gen, Keeping Still) is true wisdom, in contrast to the situation in Youthful Folly (4), where the positions of danger and standstill are reversed. In order to overcome the danger it is important to take the safe-road, the road toward the southwest, where one attains the middle, that is, sees oneself surrounded by helpers. The nine in the fifth place does this. When the ruler of the hexagram is in the outer trigram it is said, “He goes,” and when it is in the inner trigram, “He comes.” In the northeast (north means danger, northeast means mountain) one comes to an impassable road, leading no farther. It is favorable to see the great man - the nine in the fifth place, standing at the top of the nuclear trigram Li. Through going something is achieved: in that the ruler of the hexagram “goes,” he takes part in the downward movement of the trigram Kan, water, which flows toward the earth and thus accomplishes something. Abiding in the right place brings good fortune, because one’s activity is directed not outward but inward, to one’s own country. Turning inward is achieved through obstructions, and the improvement brought about by this turning inward (“conversion”) is the great value inhering in the effect of a time of obstruction.


the Image:

山上有水,蹇;君子以反身修德。

Water on the mountain:
The image of Obstruction.
Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself
And molds his character.



Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the inferior man seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and education.


the Lines:


上六:往蹇来硕,吉;利见大人。

Six at the top means:

Going leads to obstructions,

Coming leads to great good fortune.

It furthers one to see the great man.



This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own salvation and abandon the world to its adversity. Duty calls him back once more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom one can achieve the work of rescue.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:大蹇朋来。

Nine in the fifth place means:

In the midst of the greatest obstructions,

Friends come.



Here we see a man who is called to help in an emergency. He should not seek to evade the obstructions, no matter how dangerously they pile up before him. But because he is really called to the task, the power of his spirit is strong enough to attract helpers whom he can effectively organize, so that through the well-directed co-operation of all participants the obstruction is overcome.


六四:往蹇来连。

Six in the fourth place means:

Going leads to obstructions,

Coming leads to union.



This too describes a situation that cannot be managed single-handed. In such a case the direct way is not the shortest. If a person were to forge ahead on his own strength and without the necessary preparations, he would not find the support he needs and would realize too late that he has been mistaken in his calculations, inasmuch as the conditions on which he hoped he could rely would prove to be inadequate. In this case it is better, therefore, to hold back for the time being and to gather together trustworthy companions who can be counted upon for help in overcoming the obstructions.


九三:往蹇来反。

Nine in the third place means:

Going leads to obstructions;
Hence he comes back.



While the preceding line shows the official compelled by duty to follow the way of danger, this line shows the man who must act as father of a family or as head of his kin. If he were to plunge recklessly in to danger, it would be a useless act, because those entrusted to his care cannot get along by themselves. But if he withdraws and turns back to his own, they welcome him with great joy.


六四:损其疾,使遄有喜,无咎。

Six in the second place means:

The King's servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction,

But it is not his own fault.



Ordinarily it is best to go around an obstacle and try to overcome it along the line of least resistance. But there is one instance in which a man must go out to meet the trouble, even though difficulty piles upon difficulty: this is when the path of duty leads directly to it - in other words, when he cannot act of his own volition but is duty bound to go and seek out danger in the service of a higher cause. Then he may do it without compunction, because it is not through any fault of his that he is putting himself in this difficult situation.


初六:往蹇,来誉。

Six at the beginning means:

Going leads to obstructions,
Coming meets with praise.



When one encounters an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on how best to deal with it. When threatened with danger, one should not strive blindly to go ahead, for this only leads to complications. The correct thing is, on the contrary, to retreat for the time being, not in order to give up the struggle but to await the right moment for action.