Ides of March walk 2013

Hexagram 56, Travelling — from the Chinese IChing

Hexagram 56, Travelling —  from the Chinese IChing

Key Questions

What do you bring with you into each new situation?
What does this place ask of you?


‘Traveller, creating small success.
Travelling, constancy brings good fortune.’

The traveller is on a journey of his own, just passing through this place and staying for a while. To be the traveller means you are not at home here – you know you don’t belong. Also, you have a strong personal direction: wherever you find yourself for now, you know it does not define you. As the traveller, you might be like King Hai, an early leader of the Shang. His people were nomads, who stopped to pasture their animals at a place called Yi (‘Change’). They were welcomed by the local people – until Hai danced for their ruler and seduced his wife. Then the Yi ruler had Hai executed and took his herds, and his people fled.

Since you are only passing through, your creative involvement is limited. You can have the small success of being well received if you fit in responsively, rather than dancing your own dance regardless of where you are. You cannot expect to change your surroundings – and nor should your surroundings change you: it is good to be constant to your own way as you travel. As Hai discovered, this can be a difficult balance to keep: to be true to yourself, and still fit in to a place that is not your own.

56. Lü / The Wanderer


the mountain, Kên, stands still; above it fire, Li, flames up and does not tarry.
Therefore the two trigrams do not stay together. Strange lands and separation
are the wanderer’s lot.


The Wanderer. Success through smallness.
Perseverance brings good fortune
To the Wanderer.

When a man is a wanderer and stranger, he should
not be gruff nor overbearing. He has no large circle of acquaintances,
therefore he should not give himself airs. He must be cautious and reserved;
in this way he protects himself from evil. If he is obliging toward others, he
wins success.
A wanderer has no fixed abode; his home is the road. Therefore he must
take care to remain upright and steadfast, so that he sojourns only in the
proper places, associating only with good people. Then he has good fortune
and can go his way unmolested.


Fire on the mountain:
The image of THE WANDERER.
Thus the superior man
Is clear-minded and cautious
In imposing penalties,
And protracts no lawsuits.

When grass on a mountain takes fire, there is bright light. However, the fire
does not linger in one place, but travels on to new fuel. It is a phenomenon
of short duration. This is what penalties and lawsuits should be like. They
should be a quickly passing matter, and must not be dragged out indefinitely.
Prisons ought to be places where people are lodged only temporarily, as guests
are. They must not become dwelling places.


April 13, 2012 - Posted by | Walking Blog

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: