Bi (Grace)

I Ching Hexagram 22
Bi (Grace)

Action: Accept

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 40 Liberation: Untangle

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 47 Oppression/Exhaustion: Adapt

When you lose your way,
life always hands you a map that says: ‘you are here.’

If a man carefully examines his thoughts, he will be surprised to find
how much he lives in the future. His well being is always ahead. —Emerson

Reading at a Glance: The master said: “untangle the knots and soften the glare.” This means if you stalk life with a scowl expecting difficulty, you will find it. When meeting Oppression we had the opportunity to learn to Adapt or make changes to better fit in with the changes around us, but now it is time to connect with your inner source of light. Grace is an attitude of Acceptance that radiates outwardly as joy regardless of what is unfolding around you. Anxiety and constant worry can make you unattractive both inside and out. You can cover yourself with nice clothes and possessions but if the scowl remains you remain unattractive. The hidden influence of Liberation from worry is at the heart of Taoism because if you are following life on its terms with an Accepting attitude you will discover more and lose less. The greatest lesson Bi teaches you is that no amount of outward adorning will ever conceal what is going on inside of you. If you want to attract others to you, begin within. Loving the self makes one loving. Accepting the way makes one accepting. When you have no preconceived expectations you will open to the beauty of Grace. Brilliant inner beauty is like a magnet that others can’t resist. If circumstances are less than favorable, turn within and release the expectations that are making your outlook hardened. Take a breath and return to the moment. You may have the opportunity for Grace to shine down upon you where your wish is granted.

Open

what is closed -

Light the darkness.

Grace is the life

of the lifeless.

“Fire at the foot of the Mountain: the image of grace.” Seasons can change gracefully or destructively; either way, nature’s behavior cannot be classified in terms of good and bad. We build homes in what was once a desert, irrigate our gardens during times of drought, and wonder why the trees in the hillside catch on fire. The seeds of higher elevation plants actually require fire for regeneration.

In the image of how things are valued, the master said: “the Way is benevolent and excels on bestowing.” Through wildfires, nature accomplishes new growth by removing old growth. Although you may put labels of value on experience, you sometimes cannot see how “good fortune perches on apparent disaster.”

Mountains and islands are created by the violent shifting of tectonic plates; nature paves the way for renewal through fire, floods and landslides. Living within a sliver of time in geological terms, we erect our structures on an ever-changing landscape. Since the beginning of its existence, the earth has always been very much alive.

Obstruction ‘in here’ is often overcome through the breaking down of what we cling to ‘out there.’ Over time, you will recognize all experience as the graceful way that life leads you where you need to be. Pi is translated to mean ‘because;’ and suggests that life doesn’t happen to you, it happens because of you.

“One, who is open to the Way, will gladly embrace it. One, who is not open to it and told about it, will laugh out loud at it.” Similarly, one, who is crying might not realize how life nourishes the unseen garden within through tears. Something has yet to grow and in this case, awareness must evolve before value can be found in the experience.

Bi is a message about seeing the silver lining: “who knows what is good and what is bad?”

“Once a farmer’s mare ran away and afterward, his neighbor came by to console him. The farmer said: "Who knows what is good and what is bad?” The next day the mare returned with a stallion and the neighbor congratulated him. The farmer responded: “Who knows what is good and what is bad?” The following day the farmer’s son was thrown from the stallion and broke his leg and again the neighbor consoled him. “Who knows what is good and what is bad,” said the farmer. Within the same week, the army came to conscript the farmer’s son, who was dismissed because of his broken leg. The neighbor finally agreed: “Who knows what is good and what is bad?”

The Mountain has a Fire within it, like a volcano where pressure accumulates and demands release. You can emulate grace and open joyfully, or you will find that events will force this energy out of hiding. Whenever you become lost, life hands you a map that says: ‘you are here.’

Grace works to soften the vicissitudes of your emotional states. As you grow older, the sharp edges of extremes are made softer by experience. All that remains is the light of understanding, which grows within and illuminates the eyes. Capturing your journey of a thousand miles in this way, no matter the trial, everything always works out.

The monuments you build to commemorate the past can become prisons. In proportion to your unwillingness to leave them, you will experience the power of grace. If you measure the vicissitudes of life, all things become equal over time. Grace is a message of optimism without judgment or the silver lining you have yet to see. On the pathway, you will discover: it is all good.

Unchanging: Grace on the outside = the heart and mind made manifest. In some cases Grace will come up unchanging as a message about forgiveness. Sometimes we are given a break even when we might not deserve it as Grace shines upon us. Other times Grace unchanging can be a message that the situation is blocked by superficiality, as if appearance is held higher than the truth of what is actually transpiring. You may not realize that your own bitterness is causing the world to appear as a glass half full. Life only meets us halfway because the other half of the journey allows us to discover what we are capable of. You may be looking for answers as to why something isn’t happening or someone isn’t responding when the situation has resulted from your own actions and thoughts. Do not fall prey to believing that the projections you place on others are real. Open yourself to life’s Grace and benevolence. Celebrate your inner Grace and allow it to rise to the surface. Unleash any expectations and flow in the dazzling river of life. The greatest makeover begins within. If you want to be attractive adorn yourself with the Grace that resonates from the sincerity of trusting the Way.

Line 1 Grace to the feet = abandoning the carriage, walking instead. Changes to (52) Keeping Still. While one has the opportunity to take a path of ease or that is flattering and comfortable, it is more important to remain simple, humble and true to oneself. Don’t rely on others but stand on your own two feet. Keeping Still can show not taking an opportunity, but staying put.

Line 2 Grace to the beard = saying something and stroking the chin. Changes (26) Controlled Power. Give careful consideration to what is said in terms of substance by reflecting before speaking. Habitual responses will not do. Communication is measured so that it is not superficial. One is affected in a thoughtful way as if stroking the chin. A message is received that embodies Controlled Power in thoughtful and Graceful communication. Perhaps stroking the beard can suggest how one feels pleased with themselves.

Line 3 Graceful and moist = constant perseverance brings good fortune. Changes to (27) Nourishing Vision. You can find yourself in a position to help someone but that doesn’t mean you should be manipulative. Providing or taking comfort is not a replacement for real fulfillment. You may need to strip away the ‘glistening’ façade and look clearly at the situation because it may not be what it seems. Don’t cover feelings or the truth with denial or escapist behavior. This line can indicate that a deeper commitment is needed where being ‘impregnated’ by vision has lasting influences that will affect generations to come. Perpetual trials lead to stronger connections so persevere.

Line 4 Grace of simplicity, a white horse on wings = not a robber but he will woo at right time. Changes to (30) Clarity. While the situation seems threatening, positive forces are at work. Any misunderstanding is short lived and dies down. If you can return your thoughts to the purity and objectivity of Clarity you won’t complicate things by reacting inappropriately. Another’s feelings toward you are benevolent, not sinister. A winged horse embodies thoughts or a connection that transcends space and time. Through trust a commitment moves to a deeper level.

Line 5 Grace in the hills and gardens. Meager roll of silk = humiliation but good fortune in end. Changes to (37) Family. You may feel insecure about what you can offer the situation but if you are sincere you will be received well. Your inner worth shines so that your merit is acknowledged by another. Don’t be confused by appearances and remember that less is more. Good fortune comes to you in the end.

Line 6 Simple grace = no blame. Changes to (36) Brightness Hiding. Being unpretentious, your inner light radiates in Grace. If you can rely on this inner Grace rather than what you possess or what shows in outer appearances, you will know joy. Defer to your inspiration rather than ego and its aims and all will be well. In fact re-imagine yourself in a pure white garment untouched by the past to prepare to receive the future. If it is meant for you – it will come in its own time.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 22 unchanging Hexagram 22.1 Hexagram 22.1.2 Hexagram 22.1.2.3 Hexagram 22.1.2.3.4 Hexagram 22.1.2.3.4.5 Hexagram 22.1.2.3.4.5.6 Hexagram 22.2 Hexagram 22.2.3 Hexagram 22.2.3.4 Hexagram 22.2.3.4.5 Hexagram 22.2.3.4.5.6 Hexagram 22.3 Hexagram 22.3.4 Hexagram 22.3.4.5 Hexagram 22.3.4.5.6 Hexagram 22.4 Hexagram 22.4.5 Hexagram 22.4.5.6 Hexagram 22.5 Hexagram 22.5.6 Hexagram 22.6