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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

43: Determination


A resolution points to a breakthrough, but decisive action is necessary. If you diligently hold your ground and ward off negative tendencies or bad influences, good will prevail.

The persistence of evil is a factor in human affairs; just when you think it has been eradicated, it will pop up again, sprouting through some crack in the pavement of decent society. Evil need not take extravagant forms, such as those exhibited in Nazi Germany. Garden-variety lies and deceit are more common and persistent, but should be rooted out just as diligently. One must be determined against negativity — whether in one’s social or professional life, or in one’s own soul. In either case, certain rules must be followed for the effort to succeed.

The first rule: Do not compromise with evil. Negative actions must be identified for what they are, and quickly discredited. The second: One cannot successfully resist negativity on its own terms. Positive alternatives that lead away from the source of the problem are more successful and appropriate than trying to counter negativity with raw power. The third rule: The means used to counter negativity must be consistent with the end to be achieved. One cannot stop the spreading of lies by spreading more of them.

By adding to the good elements of a situation, one automatically diminishes the bad. This is the only way in which to successfully battle negativity. The time calls for consistent self-awareness and sharing one’s bounty and virtue with others.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

To press forward when you are not equal to the task invites mistakes and misfortune. Gauge your own strength carefully before undertaking any new initiative, and venture only as far as you can go with certainty of success. To plunge ahead blindly at the beginning is not skillful, because this is the time when an unexpected setback produces the most disastrous results. Beware of self-confidence that is not well grounded.

Line 2

Determination requires sensitivity, readiness and caution. Expect the unexpected, move through life with the calm alertness of someone driving through a mountain forest at night, watchful for movement around each new bend in the road. Be optimistic, but take care. A strong character will triumph in the end.

Line 3

This particular line points to someone caught in an ambiguous situation, where existing relationships interfere with a struggle against negative forces. In such a situation, you may have to use your position to turn things around, even though others question your motives, with the result that your reputation could become slightly muddied. But if you keep your motivation pure, even association with disruptive influences will leave you free of blame in the end.

Line 4

A restless person with an obstinate attitude invariably meets with misfortune. Failure to heed good advice when confronting antagonistic forces is bound to lead to failure.

Line 5

Uprooting corruption in high places is difficult, and can only be accomplished by a steady and determined effort. Just as weeds spring back to life after they have been chopped down, corruption tends to reemerge even after initial efforts to be rid of it seem to have worked. Only a persevering effort will succeed over time against deeply rooted negative forces.

Line 6 (top line)

The image is of someone who seems to have overcome adversity, and is ready to begin anew. But beware -- the seed of negativity still remains, and a lax attitude is what will allow destructive forces to reassert themselves. Thoroughness is required when preparing new soil, so that the remnant seeds of past problems cannot sprout up again. When starting a new project after solving a problem, take care to see that destructive tendencies in your personality are overcome or balanced at the beginning.