Hexagram Fifty-two explores the passive strength of a mountain. A mountain rises gradually, remaining at complete rest, yet possessing great strength to block a traveler's way. The greatest strength is passive resistance, like that of a mountain.
The first line, yin, shows one who makes no forward motion, not even moving the toes. Through firm diligence this inaction will work.
The second line, yin, shows one who keeps the calves of the legs at rest. Wishing to join the subject of the first line, this person is somewhat dissatisfied by inaction.
The third line, yang, shows its subject keeping the lower part of their body at rest, while wishing to move the upper part. The situation grows dangerous because there is a desire for movement that must be suppressed.
The fourth line, yin, shows one who keeps their heart at rest. This is auspicious because there is truth in purpose.
The fifth line, yin, shows one who keeps their jaw at rest. All will be made right because the words are carefully chosen.
The sixth line, yang, shows one who keeps their peace easily and sincerely.
Hexagram Fifty-two Commentary
This hexagram describes the importance of passive resistance. This is a theme that flows through Daoist philosophy. Yin and yang, passive and direct energy, are both equally strong. In fighting off an attacker in martial arts, strength comes through passive energy, rather than aggression. This power is compared to a mountain. The introduction explains: "A mountain rises gradually, remaining at complete rest, yet possessing great strength to block a traveler's way." The remaining lines refine the notion of passive strength.
The subject of the first line, yin, demonstrates passive strength. The line says the person "makes no forward motion, not even moving the toes." This is what it takes.
The subject of the second line, yin, cannot quite get it. Although this person keeps their legs at rest, they want to join the subject of the first line. This restlessness is different from the passive strength of a mountain.
The subject of the third line, yang, is in a similar state of mind as the subject of the previous line. It's another example of someone who cannot quite achieve the state of passive resistance. In this case, the person keeps the lower half of the body still, but wants to move the upper part. Plus, the person is busy thinking about the need to stand still. The line indicates danger because instead of passive strength, the person is wrapped up in a desire to suppress all movement.
The subject of the fourth line, yin, achieves passive strength . The only thing this person needs to do is to keep their heart at rest.
The subject of the fifth line, yin, "keeps their jaw at rest," signifying the careful choice of words before speaking. This is an important aspect of passive strength.
The subject of the sixth line, yang, is a practiced master and keeps their peace easily.
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.
Click here for another hexagram.
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: