What had prompted Confucius to issue a dire warning 2,500 years ago on the top line of Chun: ”Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this” , we may never know.
Diviners who had previously obtained this line from the Yi may understand its true meaning or perhaps not. I recalled a forum discussion where a fellow diviner sought clarification on the same line. Upon explaining the meaning of the line to him, he told a story on the mistake he had made by following a wrong teacher and the sufferings thereafter. The Yi had given him the prognostication just before he chose to study inner alchemy under a new teacher.
Since the top line of Chun forms part of the prognostication of President Bush’s annual hexagram for 2006, and with three more months to go before the Chinese Year ends, it could be timely to explore this line in a bit more detail. We may be able to find out more about what the Yi wanted to tell us before the Democrats sit with majority control over both US House and Senate.
In the Yi’s oracle given to Professor Sam Crane, there were two line changes, the second and the sixth or top, which changed Chun to Hexagram 61 Zhong Fu / Inner Truth. According to the rules of interpretation, both changing lines need to be considered while the higher line, in this instance the sixth or top line, forms the ruler.
The Judgment of Chun says: Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success, Furthering through perseverance. Nothing should be undertaken. It furthers one to appoint helpers.
The Image says: Clouds and thunder: Thus the superior man brings order out of confusion.
With a pronouncement of supreme success in the judgment, many a diviner could jump to a conclusion that Chun promises great success. It will, provided there is much perseverance since nothing should be undertaken. It is in reality a time to appoint efficient and effective helpers who can lead out of the chaotic situations depicted by the hexagram. Only when the chaos clears up, can there be supreme success. (Think of the current civil war situation in Iraq.)
A diviner who receives this hexagram from the Yi may tend to think that they are the Junzi (superior man) depicted in the image and is able to bring order out of confusion. Perhaps they should think again when they next receive this hexagram since not everyone except those with good leadership skills and the necessary experience can bring order to chaos. A Junzi is someone sincere who leads with proper conduct and justice. Remember the adage: To rule is to truly serve? (Compare the characteristics of a Junzi with that of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.)
Six in the second place means: Difficulties pile up. Horse and wagon part. He is not a robber; he wants to woo when the time comes. The maiden is chaste, she does not pledge herself. Ten years – then she pledges herself.
Difficulties have piled up. (Think of Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, Libby’s case, Corruption cases and others.) The wagon cannot move since there is no horse to pull it. (It depicts a situation of no proper leadership, teamwork and/or coordination.) Someone proffers advice and help but the help is not accepted since it looks inappropriate. (It could either be from the Yi, the Democrats or someone outside the Republican Party.)
Under the circumstances, there is no ten years to wait (Bush has to leave office by 2008). Nothing was done during the ten months from January 2006 until the US elections – there was no appointment of efficient and effective helpers (or capable leaders) to lead the nation and/or the failed projects out of chaos. Because of that, the prognostication moves up to the top line of Chun, the subject of this discussion.
Six at the top means: Horse and wagon part. Bloody tears flow.
The accompanying commentary in Wilhelm’s translation says: The difficulties at the beginning are too great for some persons. They get stuck and never find their way out; they fold their hands and give up their struggle. Such resignation is the saddest of all things. Perhaps from a similar reasoning or from his previous divination experience brought forth the warning from Confucius: “Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this.”
When there was sufficient time to do something such as a fresh appointment of capable helpers to lead the nation out of chaos and to pacify the people (both in the US and in Iraq), as indicated by the Yi and suggested by a number of his top generals and other well meaning officials, the President ignored them. Surely in a great nation like USA, there would be a wealth of wise and capable leaders to choose from. This shows that President Bush persisted in incorrect action(s) – he still insisted till the last minute before the voting results came in that he will continue to stay the course in Iraq.
(In case Yi students misunderstand the meaning of ‘Furthering through perseverance’ in the judgment, the phrase means to persevere in a right or virtuous course of action which gladdens the hearts of the people.)
Now that the horse and wagon has parted – the team (Bush’s officials) is going or gone – the partisan control of both the House and the Senate by the Republicans has gone – he is isolated. Therefore the Difficulty in the Beginning has not been overcome. The only thing left is to wait for bloody tears to flow.
From divination experience where blood is indicated in a prognostication, it literally means blood with much pain and torment. To escape the current situation depicted by the top line, there need to be change. The best option for anyone facing this situation is to leave or move on. (Think of leaving office or leaving an incompetent teacher, which gives rise to the alternate meaning of 'Unemployment' for this hexagram.)
Then the person may escape to Inner Truth or Sincerity (Hexagram 61 Zhong Fu) in this prognostication to avoid further suffering and bloodshed. (Our fellow Yi diviner had left his teacher and on the path of recovery when he sought the meaning to the top line of Chun.)
Whether President Bush would resign his office to escape further pain and torment and bloody tears remains to be seen. But he is isolated and has lost the Way. The sad thing is that he need not have come to face this dire situation but he persisted and chose to ignore the advice of the many good and sincere (depicted in the second line) who had clamored for change. In fact there was a much earlier warning from the Yi given to Professor Sam Crane on the leadership issues of President Bush and his officials.
In September 2005, the Yi prognostications were given in Hexagram 3 Chun which changed to Hexagram 7 Shih / The Army. One had then taken the fifth line that changed to represent the US President. Yi’s warning then (as posted in the Sept 23 2005 entry) was milder:
“An individual is in a position in which he cannot so express his good intentions that they will actually take shape and be understood. Other people interpose and distort everything he does.” And Yi’s advice to the US President, “He should then be cautious and proceed step by step. He must not try to force the consummation of a great undertaking, because success is possible only when general confidence already prevails.” [W/B]
Since September 2005, because he chose to ignore good advice and take appropriate corrective measures to win back the hearts of the people, and not force the consummation of a great undertaking such as the Iraqi war, the fifth line has moved up a notch to the top line of Chun.
The advice given by ancients to rulers of states had always been to serve the people with sincerity, benevolence and justice. Do the rulers nowadays really understand what humanity is? If they do, perhaps the Yi may not have to tell President Bush, the ruler of a great nation: ‘Horse and wagon part. Bloody tears flow.’
What can anyone do now except wait for the finale of the unfolding of the Oracle in time and space. That would be a full manifestation of fate, the fate of the most powerful man on Earth. How can man ever win Heaven?