Yi Jing Introduction Table of content – I Ching, the Book of Changes

This famous system of 64 hexagrams plus their commentaries and trans­for­mations is at the root of Chinese thought. Tr. Wilhelm (en, fr).

36. Ming I / Darkening of the Light
K´un, the Receptive
  devoted yielding
  mother Sky's two strokes trait 0 6      
trait 0 5 Chên, the Arousing
  inciting movement
  first son

K´an, the Abysmal
  second son
Man's two strokes trait 0 4  
Li, the Clinging
  second daughter trait 1 3  
Earth's two strokes trait 0 2  
trait 1 1      

    current       binomial       swap trig.       opposite       flip   X leading master   X constituent master

The Hexagram

Ming I / Darkening of the Light

Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally "wounding of the bright"; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man.

The Judgment

It furthers one to be persevering.

One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities.

In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.

The Image

The light has sunk into the earth:
Thus does the superior man live with the great mass:
He veils his light, yet still shines.

In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.

Lower line

Nine at the beginning means:
Darkening of the light during flight.
He lowers his wings.
The superior man does not eat for three days
On his wanderings.
But he has somewhere to go.
The host has occasion to gossip about him.

With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation. Never the less he has a fixed goal to strive for even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him.

Second line

Six in the second place means:
Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh.
He gives aid with the strength of a horse.
Good fortune.

Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting according to duty.

Third line

Nine in the third place means:
Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.
Their great leader is captured.
One must not expect perseverance too soon.

It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly because the abuses have been in existence so long.

Fourth line

Six in the fourth place means:
He penetrates the left side of the belly.
One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light,
And leaves gate and courtyard.

We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his mot secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.

Fifth line

Six in the fifth place means:
Darkening of the light as with Prince Chi.
Perseverance furthers.

Prince Chi lived at the court of the evil tyrant Chou Hsin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnished the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Chi was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from the court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions.

This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.

Upper line

Six at the top means:
Not light but darkness.
First he climbed up to heaven,
Then plunged into the depths of the earth.

Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.

previous to receiving this hexagram, I was relating personal, spiritual info on another web site. I do not know what I hit on my keyboard, but all of the info disappeared. having written so much, I became "entranced" in my work and forgot to "save". poof, gone:(
so upon reading this...I wonder if I said too much or perhaps what had been saved was enough.
xander – 2007/12/03
I have taken this time to reflect on the response my initial post received and after several of daily consultations I confidently reiterate the position that the Oracle will guide and reveal that which is needed to understand the world around us but to pollute such a text with a transitory and inflammatory remark regarding one's personal political or social ideation's simply detracts from the ethereal magnificence of a work such as the I-Ching. Use it however you will but have enough respect for it to add text only if it serves to further understanding, not to forward an ideology.
Aleph – 2007/12/01
love sent
Anon. – 2006/12/09
This has shed much light in a time of great darkness for me.
Ai Ju Li – 2005/12/09
Your comment only provokes arrogant hostility.Unfortunately this humble person , agrees.
Perhaps you could try and examine the answer to your question Ming I further,as best as you can, in the light of recent events..
Anon. – 2005/12/07
Your comment suggests that you have only an academic understanding of the I Ching. Your attempt to limit its shpere to the highest shows a distinct lack of working comprehension with the divinatory process that this magnificent work so completely embodies. If "true profunidty" shows us nothing of our own lives, then it is neither true nor profound.
James – 2005/12/06
Your political ideology is uncecessary and equally inappropriate within the context of this historic piece. Ones social discontent should be addressed by adherence to this great work, that being said a comment as trite as this should not be set forth in commentary following a work of true profundity
Aleph – 2004/11/02
I threw the I Ching before the US election and got Ming Yi - Sinking Light and I came here to read a fuller description. Thank you. I want to tell the world that I am very sorry about our president. We all tried so hard to vote him out but his time is not yet over.
gail – 2003/11/01
Yi Jing I. 36. (36) IntroductionTable of content
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