The Steps for Applying I-Ching are:
- Identify the Your Current State or Position.
(the superstitious fortune-telling way was to cast lots for the hexagram and stage-line. Unnecessary and Not recommended.)
- Refer to the Relevant Hexagram.
- Read the Advice Given for the Hexagram and check your stage in the 6-Stage-line.
- present danger or opportunities for the position
- the actions or non-action needed to avoid danger or make progress
- Apply and review. Don't be stuck at a stage. Learn how to go to the next stage smoothly and harmlessly. It may take time for your situation to change but continue in right and just ways. Seek advice from mentors if you are still uncomfortable.
At the Hexagram Level, 1-Heaven Force is the Yang of initiative and creative action, 2-Earth Receptive-Love is Yin's way of responding with gentleness, following. When we meet an obstacle, we can choose the 1-Heaven-Yang way for forcing our way through head-on. We will succeed if we have greater force than the obstacle. Or we can choose the 2-Earth-Yin way of understanding the obstacle and then finding alternative routes, or even better, channelling the opposing force to open up new way for us. Or we can choose to test the strength of the opposing force first and then deciding sometime to force through and some other time to by-pass. The key is that there are many ways to solve a problem. It calls for understanding of the situation, referencing the knowledge base of I-Ching patterns, then wise and innovative applications to progress. Let's go to the more detailed level of the 6-Stage-lines.
Let me summarized advices given at the various the stages of 1-Heaven and 2-Earth Hexagrams.
1-Heaven-Yang Force 2-Earth-Yin Follow,Respond Ages
- hidden, no showoff --- watch the trend, prepare, plan ahead. 0-19
- appear, get mentors --- show integrity and work quietly 20-29
- diligence --- patience 30-39
- jump across chasm --- keeping secrets 40-49
- fly --- race 50-59
- Regrets (no) --- fight (don't) 60-69
From personal experience, I am already at stage 6 at present and transforming to the next S-curve, going or doing the from "success to significance" process. If I have studied i-ching earlier and apply the wisdom in my life, may be I could fly higher, prepare for stage 6 better and get transform to the next S-curve earlier.
For a fresh graduate starting out in his/her career, the 6 stage-lines for both hexagram offered much guidance. Firstly, he/she must know to keep a balance between 1-Heaven taking initiatives and 2-Earth responding appropiately to people and circumstances.
At stage 1, one should just be humble and learn as much and do our work without showing off as taught by 1-Heaven. (Learning is covered in "4蒙 Naive - Learning" which we will do in future posting). We must watch the trend and plan ahead as taught by 2-Earth. If not, we will most likely end in dispute or worse be fired and would not be able to progress at all. (Dispute is covered in "6訟 Litigation - Conflict Resolution"!).
Good performance and foresight bring promotion to stage 2. The advices are to get mentors, work with integrity and quietly. Have good relationships with colleagues and bosses. Practice the Yang of creating value and the yin of acceptance and respect of others.
Stage 3 is small success where we are promotion to be team/branch head or project leader. It still calls for diligence and patience--- be watchful for opportunity.
Promotion to Stage 4 brings forth "danger" + "opportunities". We must decide whether we want to take the risk to jump across the chasm to next level of bigger success. If we succeed, we progress to stage 5, if not, we may need fall back to stage 3 and sometime to another place to start again. The 2-Earth tells us to hold secrets and not to betray trust. It is an important advice for making the crossing. Opportunities are given here in stage 4.
Successful crossing bring us to Stage 5 the highest level of success. At this time, we must prepare for the next stage 6 of retirement. Building network is key when we go into stage 6 of retirement. We should not 'fight' with other leaders and know how to work well in a new community.
By further reflection and meditating on the teaching of I-ching, we can acquire fresh wisdom that we can apply to make our lives better.
Hope this is a useful clarification.