I Ching 41 Hexagram sǔn (Diminishing)
I Ching 41 Hexagram sǔn (Diminishing)
Reduction. Simplicity. Reduce to the essential to give space to what will come.
Short Interpretation of Hexagram 41 – The Decrease
The hardest part is recognizing the essential from all that is superfluous.
I Ching – General Description
The sign represents a minoration of the lower sign in favor of the superior, as the originally strong third line has gone up, while the originally weak top line has taken over. The lower part is then reduced in favor of the upper one. But this is certainly a minority. If the foundation of a building is undermined by reinforcing its upper walls, the interior loses its solidity. And so a decrease in popular welfare in favor of the government is certainly a handicap. And the whole trend of the sign is aimed at indicating how this transposition of well-being can take place without the sources of well-being in the people, in its lower strata, therefore withering away.
I Ching – Comment on sentence
Minoration joined with truthfulness Sublime work, successful without blemish. One can be persistent in doing so. It is propitious to undertake something. How is this done? Two small bowls should also be used for the sacrifice.
Minoration does not in any case mean something bad. Growth and impairment come in their time. Then it is appropriate to adapt to the times and not want to hide poverty under vain appearances. When through an age of insignificant things an intrinsic truth comes to express itself, one need not be ashamed of simplicity. It is then precisely the right thing that confers inner strength with which, in turn, one can undertake something again. We must not hesitate even if the outward beauty of civilization, if indeed the perfection of religious relationships had to suffer under this simplicity. Some strength must be subtracted from the inner attitude, adding it as a complement to the pettiness of the outward appearance.Then the strength of intrinsic value helps overcome the straightforward simplicity of form. Before God there is no need for false appearances. Even with small means, the feelings of the heart can manifest themselves.
I Ching – Image
At the foot of the mountain is the lake: the image of the disabled. Thus the nobleman tames his anger and restrains his instincts.
The lake at the foot of the mountain evaporates. With this he is diminished in favor of the mountain, which in turn is enriched by the humidity of the lake. The mountain is the image of stubborn strength that can materialize in anger; the lake is the image of the uncontrolled joy that can develop, when it is generated at the expense of vital forces, until it becomes instinctive passion. Then it is appropriate to diminish: anger must be diminished by stopping, instincts must be restrained by limiting them. With this impairment of the lower soul forces the higher parts of the soul are enriched.
I Ching – Series
With relaxation something is certainly lost. This is why the sign follows: the Decrease.
I Ching – Single Lines
Analytical description of each individual line
I Ching – First line:
Nine at the beginning means:
Go there quickly when business is over. It’s not a stain. But we need to consider how lawful it is to impair.
It is selfless and good who, after having carried out their tasks of immediate importance, puts their strength at the service of others and, without giving themselves airs or bragging, quickly goes to help where help is needed. But the man in a superior position, to whom help is given in this way, must ponder carefully what it is lawful for him to accept without essentially harming the helpful and friendly servant. Only where such delicacy exists can we devote ourselves to others without hesitation.
I Ching – Second line:
Nine in the second place means:
Auspicious is perseverance. To undertake something is unfortunate. Without impairing oneself One is able to increase others.
A noble awareness of one’s own worth and constant seriousness, which do not in any way derogate from one’s dignity, is the necessary attitude if one wants to serve others. Whoever throws himself away by surrendering to the will of a superior, in fact, undermines his own position without however making himself useful to the other permanently. And this is bad. Without giving up on oneself to serve another, this is hardly the true service of lasting value.
I Ching – Third line:
Six in the third place means:
When three people go the same way they decrease by one person. When the traveler is alone, he finds his companion.
Where three are together, jealousy arises. Then one has to give up. A truly intimate union is possible only for two. But where someone is isolated he certainly finds a companion who completes him.
I Ching – Fourth line:
Six in the fourth place means:
Decreasing one’s defects One makes the other come promptly and have joy, No stain.
Often our faults prevent even willing people from approaching us. These defects are also reinforced and made uglier by the environment in which we find ourselves. If one is capable of overcoming oneself through condescension and eliminating them, the well-disposed friends are freed from an inner tension and are induced to approach us much more quickly, with joy for both sides.
I Ching – Fifth line:
Six in the fifth place means:
Certainly someone increases it. Ten pairs of turtles cannot oppose this. Sublime health!
When someone is destined for luck by fate, it comes undeniably. All oracles, such as those obtained with turtle shells, must coincide in the propitious signs in his favor. He need not fear anything, as his fortune is decreed from above.
I Ching – Sixth line:
Nine above means:
If one is increased without impairing others This is not blemish. Perseverance brings health. It is propitious to undertake something. You get servants, But you no longer have any particular abode.
There are people who bestow prosperity on the whole world. Every increase in strength, every increase that is conferred on them, is resolved in favor of the whole of humanity, and therefore does not mean any impairment for others. By working with perseverance and diligence you are successful and you will find the helpers you need. But what is done is not a private advantage in any limited way, but it is open and accessible to anyone.