Hexagram Thirty-six—Faithful Service
Trouble may come to dedicated people even though they are pure and faultless. The subject of this line must acknowledge the threat and act accordingly.
The first line, yang, shows an advanced person compared to an angel with drooping wings. Although there is some injury, the subject can perform austerities to reach a state of mental peace.
The second line, yin, shows a person whose leg is pierced. They escapes danger on a strong and able horse.
The third line, yang, shows a king trying to relieve neighboring lands of a tyrant. It is a dangerous trip, but the evil one is captured. The battle is over, but progress in related matters may be slow.
The fourth line, yin, shows a king who travels into a neighboring land to conquer. Suddenly he realizes he is acting like the tyrant he tried to stop in the previous line. He resolves not to be like that and returns to his own kingdom.
The fifth line, yin, shows that the heir to the throne has become enlightened. Because the rest of his family was corrupt, the new vision feels almost like a curse. He has the chance to change history if he remains upright.
The sixth line, yin, shows one who has risen to the knowledge of the higher self, but failed to act on that level. Unfortunately, this person must sink back into the depths of earthly consciousness. The overall message is to take enlightenment when it is present—even if it requires tremendous courage.
Hexagram Thirty-six Commentary
This hexagram acknowledges the random nature of trouble. It says trouble may come, even to people who are "pure and faultless." We can prevent some trouble because we can change our attitude, learn from our mistakes, or get insights from people who have been through a situation before. However, there is also the type of trouble nobody could prevent. For these situations, the introduction recommends that we "acknowledge the threat and act accordingly."
The first line, yang, shows "an angel with drooping wings." It says this may symbolize good people who feel unfairly injured. A person in this situation knows how to make their way back to peace of mind.
The second line, yin, shows a person with an injury to the leg. Although this person cannot run, "they escape danger on a strong and able horse." The horse is a metaphor for spiritual reserves.
The third line, yang, shows a king who sets off to capture a tyrant and bring him to justice. Although the tyrant is captured and the battle is over, it cannot and does not end all evil in the world.
The fourth line, yin, shows the same king set off to conquer neighboring lands. However, he realizes his behavior is as bad as the tyrant he brought to justice in line three. He realizes what he was doing is wrong and returns to his own kingdom.
The fifth line, yin, shows an enlightened prince who has taken the throne after a long line of corrupt kings. He has a chance to change history, but change is difficult. The line explains, "Because the rest of his family was corrupt, the new vision feels almost like a curse."
The sixth line, yin, shows one who had an enlightening vision like the king in line four, or the prince in line five. However, the subject of line six fails to live up to his vision, and thus "must sink back into the depths of earthly consciousness."
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 iChing in 1994 and put it online at Surrealist.org in 2000. It is also available as an e-book. Click here to see Learning to Flow with the Dao at Amazon.com..