Hexagram Twenty-two—External Decoration
Adorning oneself or being attracted to outer decoration in others is secondary to the real treasure, which lies within.
The first line, yang, shows one who has decorated the path, then gets out of the carriage to walk. This is the true wealth of simplicity and honest work.
The second line, yin, shows a man brushing and trimming his beard. Although he attends to details, he is not attached to outer appearances.
The third line, yang, shows one who wears jewels and gold. Remaining steady in purpose, respecting internal wealth as much as external, is the best attitude.
In the fourth line, yin, a winged angel dressed in white, riding a white horse, gives blessings to the subject of the first line. Another person follows, wishing to put differences to rest with one so blessed.
In the fifth line, yin, an opulent being appears, bearing a small bolt of silk. Although the gift appears meager, this being's real wealth lies in charm and good humor.
The sixth line, yang, shows its subject dressed in white with no jewelry or ornamentation. There is no error in this, for inward aims and purpose are more important than outward adornment.
Hexagram Twenty-two Commentary
Learning the lessons of great struggle from the previous hexagram, Hexagram Twenty-two addresses the real purpose of being. The treasures of wisdom and accomplishment held inside are more important than outward adornment. This hexagram gives examples of people who value inward adornment.
The first line, yang, shows a subject who has decorated a path, who gets out of the carriage to walk. In this case, outer adornment reflects the wealth of simplicity and honest. The person in the first line receives blessings from higher beings in subsequent lines.
The second line, yin, shows a man attending to the details of brushing and trimming his beard. The message is of detachment, taking care of one's beard not out of vanity, but because it grows and requires care.
The third line, yang, confirms the previous lines. If a person wears jewels and gold, it is not to show off status symbols, but to reflect and celebrate inner wealth.
The fourth line, yin, shows a luminescent being like an angel dressed in white, riding a white horse, who brings blessings to the subject of the first line. After that, another person arrives, "wishing to put differences to rest with one so blessed," as the line explains.
In the fifth line, yin, a third being appears. Although a god of infinite wealth, the being offers the subject of the first line a small bolt of silk. Although the gift is small, the real gift the being offers is mirth and blessings. This line confirms inner adornment as the real gift a being can offer.
The sixth line, yang, once again confirms inner adornment as the real worth. In this line, its subject appears "dressed in white with no jewelry or ornamentation." This shows inner strength is more important than outer adornment.
To the reader: Most of the hexagrams have at least one line that predicts bad results, but that does NOT mean you are fated to that result. The hexagrams illustrate different attitudes, so study the actions and reactions to learn the attitudes that will lead to better outcomes.
The I Ching teaches you to flow with changes and create positive change from the inside through conscious living. Your future is in your hands. Consult the I Ching for ideas that lead to clear thinking and positive mental attitude. Reading the I Ching helps you take the time to reflect on your attitudes and ideas. Continue asking until you feel positive about your course.
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A note about this interpretation of the I Ching: Nori Muster wrote this version of the I Ching in 1994 and put it online at Surrealist.org in 2000. It is also available at Amazon: