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I ching

Sung (Conflict)

I Ching Hexagram 6
Sung (Conflict)

Action: Let Go

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 37 Family: Support

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 36 Brightness Hiding: Reignite

When you open, all obstacles will disappear.

Truth fears nothing but concealment. – Chinese Proverb

Reading at a Glance: You are being sincere but may feel obstructed. A cautious halt halfway brings success in the sense of meeting another in the middle to regain trust. You are asked to let go of defenses in order to find proper support. The hidden influence of Family suggests that discussing expectations and agreeing upon roles can aid the situation. The underlying cause of Brightness Hiding shows there are times where we must avoid contention and hide our inner light but a purely selfish approach may have brought this situation about. It is important to confront and discuss any disagreements rather than remain silent. Conflict is the driving force of evolution and life. Opposites are what turn the wheel of Tao. Do not be put off by a sense of opposition or conflict. Expect it and plan for it but understand its creative nature rather than respond to the friction defensively. Allow Conflict to lift you to a higher level in your thinking. This open and accepting attitude ensures that any difficulty can be treated with respect and transformed into an opportunity.When meeting contention in another, it is wise to let go of your point of view and look within.

Water rushing over rocks

Where the river flows,

the wounded

let go.

Holding loosens

a circular turning.

“Heaven and water go their separate ways: The image of conflict.” The profound and Abysmal Water moves downward, while the Creative pushes upward and away in a situation of conflict and separation. Yet, in the Water, you can see your reflection in life’s ‘mysterious mirror.’ Conflict offers an opportunity to see the truth of what you keep hidden. It may appear that something is taking place out there, when it is actually energy rising in here.

Although you may feel you are being sincere, opposition can still emerge. To hold to a hard line ensures failure so it is important to approach conflict with an open mind. How might looking at the situation with a fresh perspective alleviate conflict?

Like a trapped log in a river that encounters a spinning leaf, if two things are stuck and doing similar things, it is only a matter of time before they meet in the river of life. Believing in the idea of conflict is simply how you remain oblivious to how you may have become 'stuck.'

Meeting contention in another offers an opportunity that will teach you about your condition. "When meeting another of contrary character, one would do well to examine themselves." Difficulty out there seems to come out of nowhere, but nature reveals how the energy released was always inherent in the things that crash together. From a psychological standpoint, we are drawn to explore theShadow in another. Whatever you try to repress ‘in here’ finds expression in the situations we are unwittingly caught up in ‘out there.’

Without defensiveness, try opening to a situation that you would rather not face. Like nuclear fission, there is enormous energy released in the ‘bonds’ that tie things together and bind things up. Obstacles may block your progress, but they also present a tangible vehicle that allows you to understand how you become stuck. Conflict comes to release you.

“When you open, all obstacles immediately disappear. When you learn not to contend with others, you no longer contend with the Way.” Any barrier to your forward progress will always fill you with inner strength and clarity. As the image of pleading your case before an official, you can sometimes only understand what is important to you, when you are forced to defend it. Through conflict, your true potential finds definition.


Conflict, sincere, but obstructed = what is not ‘out there’ is ‘in here.’ Sung unchanging can have a variety of meanings. On one hand, conflict can emerge that serves no real purpose other than allowing for someone to vent their frustration. At other times, we may be timid about speaking up or rocking the boat in a situation in which we feel frustrated. Indecision and sweeping frustration under the rug leads us out to meet the world with a sour attitude. Conflict festering in a stagnant condition is unhealthy and needs to be addressed. You may feel wronged by another when you must realize that they made their choice based on their needs and there is nothing to be done except to seek closure. While conflict always offers a fertile atmosphere for constructive change, there may be no other solution other than to chalk the event up to a learning experience. The good news is that all things change in time so whatever the conflict, it too will pass. Trust has stopped and the only way to regain it is through sincerity.

Line 1:

Conflict over a small matter = talk it out and in the end good fortune. Changes to (10) Treading. The matter is small and ultimately isn’t worth fighting about. Treading is a way of dealing with difficult situations with care and respect, so as not to arouse anger. Whatever the conflict, try talking it out to improve the situation. The situation improves by dropping the issue.

Line 2:

Don’t engage conflict, give way = three hundred households without guilt. Changes to (12) Standstill. Everywhere you go, there you are. If you are having trouble with one person, fine. If you are having trouble with everyone, perhaps the issue resides in you. Standstill is a stagnant mindset that needs to be released. There is no disgrace in backing down. It is better to let the matter go and move with the consensus. You can’t win them all.

Line 3:

Basing expectations on past conduct = complete the task without recognition. Changes to (44) Coming to Meet. Not all situations should be judged on what happened in the past. This can lead to an unnecessary defensiveness that has nothing to do with reality. Coming to Meet is associated with Shadow projection where the present is overlaid with judgments from the past. What may feel like punishment may be a trial showing you that whatever strength you hold within your nature, cannot be lost. Do what needs to be done and let righteousness go. You are made stronger in the process.

Line 4:

One cannot win = go on peacefully. Changes to (59) Dispersion. When situations dissolve, room is made for something new. This line suggests that there is no winning in this situation and a return to your center is necessary. To go on peacefully, forget the ‘why’ and replace it with the word ‘acceptance.’ There will be greater opportunities by letting this one go.

Line 5:

Conflict and arguing = a satisfactory result. Changes to (64) Before Completion. Because the conflict has encouraged discourse, a satisfactory result is achieved. This last step was required to move all parties forward in agreement. There is a need to state your argument clearly without emotion to achieve success. The energy of two people arguing lifts both to a higher level.

Line 6:

A leather belt won = stripped three times by the end of morning. Changes to (47) Oppression/Exhaustion. This line suggests you may be bullying and not thinking in terms of a win/win solution. Just like a prize fighter, winning the belt only guarantees that further battles will ensue with others having the intention of taking it back from you. Carrying a battle to the bitter end may wear others down, but given time, they will rise again in revolt. Conflict is solved through solutions that serve all parties, not through Oppression that can only exhaust energy.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 6 unchanging Hexagram 6.1 Hexagram 6.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 6.2 Hexagram 6.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 6.3 Hexagram 6.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 6.4 Hexagram 6.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 6.5 Hexagram 6.5.6 Hexagram 6.6