I Ching 29 Hexagram kǎn (The Abyss)
I Ching 29 Hexagram kǎn (The Abyss)
Crisis. Danger. Trap.
Short Interpretation of Hexagram 29 – The Abyssal
I Ching – General Description
The sign consists in the repetition of the Kkann sign. It is one of the eight double signs. The Kkann sign means a rush in. A yang line has fallen between two yin lines and is enclosed by them like water in a mountain gorge. He is the middle child. The receptive got the average line of the creative, and so Kkann was born. Taken as an image it is water and in particular the water that comes from above and that on earth is moving in rivers and streams and causes all life on earth. Transferred to the human world this sign represents the heart, the soul which is enclosed in the body, the luminous which is contained in the dark, reason. The name of the sign has, because it is repeated, the addition: repetition of the danger. By this it indicates an objective situation to which one must get used to, not a subjective state of mind; as danger as a subjective state of mind means either recklessness or pitfall. Therefore the danger is also designated as a mountain gorge, that is, as a state in which one is, as the water is in a gorge, and from which one comes out like water if one acts properly.
I Ching – Comment on sentence
The repeated abyssal. If you are true you have success in your heart, And what you do is successful.
By repeating the danger we become addicted. Water sets the example for convenient behavior in such situations. It continues to flow constantly and fills all the points it barely touches, it does not shy away from any dangerous point, from any fall, and does not lose its essential nature for any reason. It remains true to itself in all conditions. Thus truthfulness in difficult conditions makes it possible to penetrate the situation to the very end in the heart. And once one has become inwardly master of a situation, the spontaneous result will be that the external acts will be accompanied by success. In danger, it is a question of acting with the utmost seriousness and soundness so that everything that needs to be done is also actually carried out; and it is a question of progressing, in order not to perish by remaining in danger. Actively used, danger can be of very great importance as a protective measure. Thus the sky has its dangerous height which protects it against any attempt at intervention. Thus the earth has its mountains and its waters which separate the countries with their dangers. So also the sovereigns apply danger as a protective measure to guarantee themselves against attacks from outside and against riots inside.
I Ching – Image
The water flows uninterruptedly and reaches the goal: The image of the repeated abyssal. Thus the noble walks in lasting virtue And practices the art of the teacher.
The water reaches its goal by flowing uninterruptedly. It fills in each groove before continuing to flow. So does the noble. He wants the good to become a firm quality of character, and not to remain accidental and limited to single moments. Even in teaching others everything depends on consequentiality. For only by repeating the teaching subject does it become the property of the learner.
I Ching – Series
Things cannot be permanently preponderant. For this he follows the sign: the Abyssal. The Abyssal means a pit.
I Ching – Single Lines
Analytical description of each individual line
I Ching – First line:
Six at the beginning means:
Repetition of the abyssal. In the abyss you end up in a hole. Misfortune.
Addiction to danger easily produces the penetration of danger into one’s nature. You are familiar with it and get used to evil. With this the right way has been lost and disaster is the natural consequence.
I Ching – Second line:
Nine in the second place means:
In the abyss there is danger. You tend to only get small things.
In the midst of danger we must certainly not strive to get out of it at all costs; instead, at first, one must be content with not being overwhelmed by it. We must calmly ponder the conditions of the moment and be satisfied with small things since for now we cannot achieve a notable result. Even a spring flows poorly at first and it takes some time before it is able to dig its way in the open.
I Ching – Third line:
Back and forth, abyss upon abyss. In such danger stop for now, otherwise in the abyss you end up in a hole. Don’t act like that.
Every step back and forth puts you in danger. There is no need to even think about running away. Therefore we must not let ourselves be seduced by the action, since it would only push us even deeper than the danger. Indeed, however painful it is to remain in such a situation, we must stop until a way out is revealed.
I Ching – Fourth line:
A jug of wine, a bowl of rice as an addition, Clay pottery, You simply carry through the window. This does not constitute any blemish.
In times of danger, complimenting forms cease. Sincere feelings are the main thing. An official usually needs certain gifts and introductory recommendations before being installed. Here everything is simplified to the extreme. The gifts are poor, there is no one to recommend. It presents itself to us, yet there is no need to be ashamed of it, only that you have the honest intention of helping each other in danger. The situation also suggests another idea: the window is the place through which clarity enters the room. When in difficult times someone wants to enlighten opinions, they must start with what is certainly clear and bright, and proceed from there with simplicity. Remark: The usual translation: ″ Two bowls of rice ″ was corrected based on some Chinese comments.
I Ching – Fifth line:
Nine in the fifth place means:
The abyss is not filled too much, It is filled only to the brim. No stains.
The danger comes from the fact that you want to climb too much. The water in the gorge does not accumulate, but only goes to the lower edge in order to get out. Thus in danger it is enough to follow only the line of least resistance to proceed, and then the goal is reached. Great works cannot be accomplished in such times; it is enough if you can get out of danger.
I Ching – Sixth line:
Six above means:
Bound with ropes and hawsers, enclosed between prison walls enclosed by thorns: For three years he cannot orient himself. Woe!
A man who has lost his way in extreme danger and who is entangled and hardened in his sins has no prospect of getting out of danger. He resembles a criminal who sits chained behind thorny prison walls.