Here (at last!) are that reading’s moving line texts:
‘Bound with yellow cow-hide.’
‘Your own day, so make radical change
And set out to bring order: good fortune, no mistake.’
‘Regrets vanish, there is truth and confidence.
Changing mandate, good fortune.’
I’m posting just the pure text to start with, as I always encourage Course students to begin by reading text without commentary. Commentary is great, but it also occupies mind-space that might be better filled with questions like, ‘Bound with yellow rawhide? What kind of need is that?’ – or meditations on the trigrams – or reading over and over the line texts trying to get a sense of how they work together.
(And having said that, of course I’m going to write reams of stuff and hope you’ll read it. I feel like diving deep into line pathways for this one. One line at a time, then…)
These three lines seem to be a journey through layers of involvement in change – from grounding in the present, through personal commitment, to becoming part of something bigger.
The need and the change begin at line 1:
‘Bound with yellow rawhide.’
Experience suggests this one is about the connection to present reality – with all its awkwardness, its obligations, and reminders of the joke about the man you ask for directions who responds,
‘Well, I wouldn’t start from here.’
I think it’s probably literally alluding not just to the strength of rawhide in general, but also to leather bound on as simple shoes for a long march – because, of course, nothing can change unless you will start from here.
This line – changing alone – points you to hexagram 31, Influence. The way in to Radical Change starts with openness to influence, availability to be moved. This is maybe a little surprising: you might imagine it would start with a shining, inspiring vision of possibilities. But no – it feels more like 31.1,
‘Influence in your big toes’
- itchy feet, in fact. You may not know quite what needs to change or why, but you’re restless – aware that something needs to move.
I think – from personal experience and talking to others – that this is how guidance first makes itself felt. Before you consult an oracle, you’re moved to do so. Sometimes the reason is clear – a decision to make, for instance – and sometimes there’s a much less defined sense that this is a Changing kind of time, and there’s something you need to ask. Oracles call people rather like honey pots call Pooh Bear. So when we feel that inkling of influence – more and more I’m finding that this part of the pathway, the fan yao, indicates something you’re aware of (or need to be) – Yi responds by binding us firmly to present realities, or helping us tie on our shoes for a long march.
Continuing round the line pathway takes us from 31.1 to 32.6 (draw hexagram 31 with line 1 changing, turn your paper upside down, and you’ll see how that happens), the place most remote from the original line cast:
‘Shaking up lasting, pitfall.’
It hints at a counterbalancing realisation: change does have to start from here, and on the other hand, constantly re-starting isn’t at all useful. The point of Radical Change isn’t just to create upheaval indefinitely – it’s looking towards a new Vessel.
‘The vessel has a jade handle
Great good fortune,
Nothing that does not bear fruit.’
That’s 50.6, the paired line of 49.1, where the story it’s part of continues to unfold. As this is a jump from line 1 to line 6, it looks a long way ahead – from the changing, prosaic stuff of leather to the enduring, unchanging jade. Being moved (31) founds enduring relationship (32); radical change (49) creates new ways of being (50) – and this line pathway (49.1, 31.1, 32.6, 50.6) combines the two, so when you’re being moved by or into radical change you know an enduring way of being is becoming possible.