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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

30: Clinging Like Fire

Clinging Like Fire

Flames cling to their fuel in order to keep the fire burning. Likewise, in the human world, everything that radiates light or love is dependent upon something else. Through the webs of dependencies, we see that everything is related, each thing to the other. Awareness of your own attachment to other people is the key that opens the door to knowing your true place in the world. No human being is an island.

Fire is also a symbol of liberation — crackling little molecules flying away from home. Paradoxically, by clinging to what is natural and appropriate, we gain inner freedom.

Given perseverance on your part, this reading indicates success. In spite of challenges, cling to what is luminous in yourself, in others, and in life itself, never forsaking your belief in the highest good. When events seem foreboding, or people seem oppressive, remember the good that has been and is yet to be. Holding to this idea is to cling to the power of the light, the only force that can illuminate darkness.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

When awakening to a new day, some concentration is necessary, so that your central tasks are not obscured by frenzied activity. It is at the beginning that one needs to compose oneself, for as seeds are planted, so shall they grow. Do not begin a new project without careful consideration.

Line 2

The sun has reached its highest spot in the heavens. Supreme good fortune. When the central fires of life are at their peak, light shines evenly over the entire world. It furthers you to remain active at a time like this, and to persevere in steady, moderate action.

Line 3

At the end of the day, the setting sun calls to mind the transitory nature of all existence. The great souls understand that death comes in its allotted time and that, until that moment, life is for living. Enjoy simple pleasures while they last. You hold your fate in your own hands.

Line 4

Clarity of mind is most valuable when it illuminates events slowly and evenly. True intelligence must be tied to sincerity and genuine feeling; otherwise, it will burn itself out like a fire in dry straw. Those in possession of brilliance must learn to temper their insights, so as not to arouse enmity in others. Those who are restless and impatient with others may rise to prominence quickly, but are likely to descend just as rapidly. It is possible to be too clever.

Line 5

Clarity of vision can empower you to penetrate the veil of life’s illusions. This can bring good fortune, if such a vision is accompanied by a change of heart and you can let go of delusion. But once the vanity of human endeavors becomes clear, one of two extremes can happen. Either you continue to struggle for life’s rewards as if they were real or you find yourself falling into the depths of despair. But after despair, then what? First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is. No blame.

Line 6 (top line)

Discipline that is too severe, like punishment that is too cruel, fails to achieve its true purpose. Seek the underlying cause of difficulties, and take strong action to cut off negativity at its roots. Be merciful and reasonable about small imperfections. Does the fact that the sun has spots mean that it should be removed from the sky?