The Abyss Over Keeping Still 
The Deep/Water Above, Mountain Below

— x —
— 0 —DangerEarWoodRedWinterNorthMiddle Son
— x —
—  —InertiaHandStoneGreenEarly SpringNorth EastYoungest Son
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The deep is over the mountain.
There are obstacles to be overcome.
The great man preserves his uniqueness of character.
And this way shapes his own integrity.
He finds assistance in the southwest.
He should avoid those in the northeast.
Inferior men should seek out the great man.
Auspicious if he is determined.

When faced with problems and obstacles, a man should look within for solutions to his troubles. A man of lesser character will assign blame for his predicament to outside elements while moaning about the harsh conditions destiny has bestowed upon him. A man of a superior nature will, under the same conditions, look within himself for any possible fault of his own which might of caused his troubles. Through this type of inner self-analysis, obstacles always become a source of self knowledge and thus the superior man finds his character strengthened by his hardships. The obstacles with which the man must deal in this situation are hurdles which can and should be surmounted. The hexagram depicts the abyss without and stillness within. This is a good indication of how these obstacles are to be overcome. The southwest depicts withdrawal while the northeast represents proceeding forward. The obstacles that stand in the mans path can not be conquered head on so the characteristics of the hindrance calls for a pause in order to determine the nature of the obstacles and a retreat in order to gain time to fortify oneself before attempting to defeat these obstacles. When men are faced with such obstacles they should unite with others who of similar mind. The group should then seek out the man who through the proper attitudes and correct authority can lead them out of their dire straits. With proper leadership and the power of a united alliance, obstacles will in time be effectively eliminated. Determination in ones ambitions is of primordial importance here even if one must at first act as if he is backing away from his goal. Such resolve of inner purpose will ultimately lead to good fortune.

1 –X– Ominous if he proceeds forward. He will be honored if he retreats. 

When one must face an obstacle, he is better off to take the time to think things through. He should not irrationally try to move forward without having first prepared himself properly by having a plan of some kind. To press forward would only cause him more problems. The proper way to act, in such a situation, would be to withdraw until the proper moment for action emerges. 

2 –X– The ruler’s attendant if faces with Obstacle upon obstacle. He can not be blamed for this situation. 

At times it is best for the man to try and circumvent obstacles by following the path of least resistance but this is not one of them. The man must go out and deal with his difficulties otherwise they will only accumulate. The man may not be the cause for all of these difficulties but he is compelled by a higher purpose to see to the resolution of the conflict. By disregarding personal risks he will remain free of blame since this is the right path to follow. 

3 –0– Ominous if he proceeds forward. For this reason he decides to return. 

The man has responsibilities towards others. To carelessly endanger his own position at this time would be unwise since he must see to the care of others. If he decides to avoid the difficulties and return to the tending of those under his care he will be greeted with extreme gratitude. 

4 –X– Ominous if he proceeds forward. He will combine forces if he retreats. 

This is a situation which can not be resolved independently. If the man decided to press forward without assistance he will fail and be humiliated. He should, for the time being, wait and gather strength and personal support for his cause. In time he will associate himself with the proper people and together they will be able to conquer the obstacles in their way. 

5 –0– When faced with the harshest of obstacles, Allies will approach and offer assistance. 

The man has been called upon to assist in the face of a crisis. He should not try to shirk his responsibilities towards others, even if the situation seems insurmountable and risky. Since he is truly needed in overcoming these hard times, the strength of his spirit will help him in finding capable men who under his guidance will conquer the obstacles to the proper path. 

6 –X– Ominous if he proceeds forward. Auspicious if he withdraws. Seek the assistance of the great man. 

When difficulties arises it might seem simpler for the man to withdraw within himself and forget about the situation. However, this is not the proper path for him. He must not become selfish by seeking only his own liberation and deserting others to their difficult fate. The responsible thing to do would be to face the turmoil with the others and give the some of his inner strength. He will be able to help in the salvation of the others and together they will accomplish an important task.