The Book of Changes

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Huan / Dispersion (Dissolution)

Wind blowing over water disperses it, dissolving it into foam
and mist. This suggests that when a man's vital energy is
dammed up within him (indicated as a danger by the attribute
of the lower trigram), gentleness serves to break up and
dissolve the blockage.

This hexagram has a double meaning:

To disperse the obstacles for the union or the
misunderstandings and;
To avoid to be dispersed or separated by obstacles,
illusions and prejudices.


The king approaches his temple.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Perseverance furthers.

The text of this hexagram resembles that of Ts'ui, GATHERING
TOGETHER (45). In the latter, the subject is the bringing together of
elements that have been separated, as water collects in lakes upon the
earth. Here the subject is the dispersing and dissolving of divisive
egotism. DISPERSION shows the way, so to speak, that leads to
gathering together. This explains the similarity of the two texts.

Religious forces are needed to overcome the egotism that divides men.
The common celebration of the great sacrificial feasts and sacred rites,
which gave expression simultaneously to the interrelation and social
articulation of the family and state, was the means employed by the great
ruler to unite men.
The sacred music and the splendor of the ceremonies
aroused a strong tide of emotion that was shared by all hearts in unison,
and that awakened a consciousness of the common origin of all

In this way disunity was overcome and rigidity dissolved. A
further means to the same end is co-operation in great general
undertakings that set a high goal for the will of the people; in the
common concentration on this goal, all barriers dissolve, just as, when a
boat is crossing a great stream, all hands must unite in a joint task.

But only a man free of all selfish ulterior considerations, and who
perseveres in justice and steadfastness, is capable of so dissolving the
hardness of egotism.

It is referred here what has been dispersed and what is convenient to
join again. What separates (dispersion forces) represents everything
that makes a difference and does not allow integration. What separates
implies those points the different fractions or factors don't have in
common. The king, in this case, represents the highest value and, also,
represents the sense of unit. The ancestral temple means what is before
everything, the essence of things, which all have in common and
identifies to all the elements that have been dispersed.

Therefore, the king who approaches to his temple means to look for the
unit. This implies a great will and a cooperation sense, hence it will be
convenient to cross the great river, that is to say, and it is convenient to
carry out the effort. To cross the great river also means to undertake a
common project that establishes a new stage, one after another.

In another analysis level, the sentence mentions to find the answer of
something that in fact is in oneself and not outside. For that reason, the
king means to assume a meditation and elevation attitude. The
ancestral temple is the unconscious thing that keeps the answer. To
come closer to the ancestral temple means introspective attitude; for
that reason to cross the great river would mean to move to the
conscious, daily plane.


The wind drives over the water:
The image of DISPERSION.
Thus the kings of old sacrificed to the Lord
And built temples.

In the autumn and winter, water begins to freeze into ice. When the warm
breezes of spring come, the rigidity is dissolved, and the elements that
have been dispersed in ice floes are reunited. It is the same with the
minds of the people. Through hardness and selfishness the heart grows
rigid, and this rigidity leads to separation from all others. Egotism and
cupidity isolate men. Therefore the hearts of men must be seized by a
devout emotion. They must be shaken by a religious awe in the face of
eternity --stirred with an intuition of the one creator of all living beings,
and united through the strong feeling of fellowship experienced in the
ritual of divine worship.

The old kings symbolize the man's essence, his connection with the
cosmic energy, his innate tendency to look for his origin in the universal
entirety. In fact, the sacrifices to God represent the search for the unit in
which the objective is not always achieved.

The sacrifice to the Lord implies to give what should be given by a
superior cause. They also mean to leave the individual interests for a
general, supreme interest.

To build temples refers to leave a sign, to create a connection point to
summon the parts that have been dispersed ahead.


Six at the beginning means:

He brings help with the strength of a horse.
Good fortune.

It is important that disunion should be overcome at the outset, before it
has become complete --that the clouds should be dispersed before they
have brought storm and rain. At such times when hidden divergences in
temper make themselves felt and lead to mutual misunderstandings we
must take quick and vigorous action to dissolve the misunderstandings
and mutual distrust.

This one is located at the beginning of Dispersion and he tries to
prevent the dissension. To help with the strength of a horse means to go
quickly to fix the problem, and to do it with energy.

Good fortune means that one can avoid further problems by taking early

Nine in the second place means:

At the dissolution
He hurries to that which supports him.
Remorse disappears.

When an individual discovers within himself the beginnings of alienation
from others, of misanthropy and ill humor, he must set about dissolving
these obstructions. He must rouse himself inwardly, hasten to that which
supports him. Such support is never found in hatred, but always in a
moderate and just judgment of men, linked with good will. If he regains
this unobstructed outlook on humanity, while at the same time all
saturnine ill humor is dissolved, all occasion for remorse disappears.

Here reference is made to the fact of trying not to be isolated when the
Dispersion is coming.

To hurry towards a support implies that one should keep in mind what
the protection factor really is. To hurry towards a support means that
one cannot solve the problem alone.

To hurry towards a support before the dispersion means to do as much
as possible for not being prey of the dispersive forces.

Six in the third place means:

He dissolves his self. No remorse.

Under certain circumstances, a man's work may become so difficult that
he can no longer think of himself. He must set aside all personal desires
and disperse whatever the self gathers about it to serve as a barrier
against others. Only on the basis of great renunciation can he obtain the
strength for great achievements. By setting his goal in a great task
outside himself, he can attain this standpoint.

To dissolve him means to leave aside all individual posture that would
cause a separation. This means to sacrifice the inner desires to secure
the external situation, to carry out the duty.

To dissolve the selfishness means to open up; for that reason, the zeal
goes towards the external thing, that is to say, towards the conquest.

Six in the fourth place means:

He dissolves his bond with his group.
Supreme good fortune.
Dispersion leads in turn to accumulation.
This is something that ordinary men do not think of.

When we are working at a task that affects the general welfare, we must
leave all private friendships out of account. Only by rising above party
interests can we achieve something decisive. He who has the courage
thus to forego what is near wins what is afar. But in order to comprehend
this standpoint, one must have a wide view of the interrelationships of
life, such as only unusual men attain.

To dissolve the bond with the group means to leave old positions
behind. The group ("clique" in other translations) represents the nucleus
of ownership, the nearest circle. The group is what congregates, what
protects one and keeps one safe. The group symbolizes the set of
rules, of customs which remain.

Therefore, to dissolve the bond with the group means to be projected
towards a great structural change. It means to break up with certain
rules, to look for a new direction in agreement with the own evolution.

Dispersion leads in turn to accumulation, it takes to the loss
experienced in the transition from the old way of life to the new one. This
is a real loss, which only will be counterbalanced when the new way
gets settled.

This can be done only by a clarified man, which can see beyond what
mass can see. Such change turns into personalities whose interior
feeling do not get satisfied by the norms or the established ways and
they notice that it is necessary to go beyond the formal thing.

Nine in the fifth place means:

His loud cries are as dissolving as sweat.
Dissolution! A king abides without blame.

In times of general dispersion and separation, a great idea provides a
focal point for the organization of recovery. Just as an illness reaches its
crisis in a dissolving sweat, so a great stimulating idea is a true salvation
in times of general deadlock. It gives the people a rallying point --a man
in a ruling position who can dispel misunderstandings.

The king can mean a personality that occupies an outstanding position
and that it tries to be the center of the unit. The king also means, the
common project.

His loud cries are as dissolving as sweat means to make all the
possible, although the fatigue prevails; it also means to disperse one's
own wealth to promote the cause. Therefore, it also means to
demonstrate the value of the thing, to make it notice, to inform about its

To abide without blame means that he gets recognized, that his efforts
are not in vain.

Nine at the top means:

He dissolves his blood.
Departing, keeping at a distance, going out,
Is without blame.

The idea of the dissolving of a man's blood means the dispersion of that
which might lead to bloodshed and wounds, i.e., avoidance of danger. But
here the thought is not that a man avoids difficulties for himself alone,
but rather that he rescues his kin, helps them to get away before danger
comes, or to keep at a distance from an existing danger, or to find a way
out of a danger that is already upon them. In this way he does what is

Here reference is made to eliminate everything that can cause serious
confrontations. It means to become safe, not to commit in extremely
risky matters, not to be exposed.

A similar text can be founded in Hsiao Ch'u, THE TAMING POWER OF
THE SMALL (9), fourth yin.