I Ching #23: Splitting





A fisherman at Atitlan Lake in Guatemla




This post is #23 of 64 hexagrams in a series of posts about the I Ching, an ancient Taoist text that has many ties to the Tao Te Ching. For those of you new to this series, you may want to start by reading my post called “What is a Hexagram?” that helps to explain more about the general idea of the I Ching.

If you look at the image of this hexagram, there is a solid (yang) line atop five dashed (yin) lines. This top line represents a solid roof atop a rather unstable home. It is in danger of being destroyed. What will destroy this roof is the support that is underneath it.

We are only as strong as our weakest link.

As we attempt to live our lives in the best way possible, there are undoubtedly going to be times that test us. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid these difficult times. When bad things happen, the first thing we may want to do is run in the opposite direction but that is not what is suggested by this hexagram. I believe that sometimes difficult events are put in our lives to test our fortitude and this is one of those times.

What came to mind as I read this hexagram’s suggestions was the current state of the U.S. economy. With this hexagram, it suggests that powers that wish to remain in power need to consider their support. If they do not do this in such a way that it appeals to those underneath, it will destroy itself. The most appealing way to be is to be just and true. Why is this so difficult? It seems, as a nation, that we are destined to destroy ourselves. When those in power continue to ignore the needs of the people, it does not work. The so-called “common people” are the entire support structure of the entire operation! This is becoming very apparent as U.S. Presidential candidates are starting to make their intentions known. Everyone is vying for the biggest piece of the voter pie to capture the presidency. But will it be enough? I know that many companies are overworking their employees and burning them out. This is to say nothing of the factory workers or the plantation pickers that work long days for less than $50.

This hexagram suggests that, to avoid destruction, we must remain virtuous and gain support through our virtue. Globally, this is being tested. All over the world, the financial markets are seeing unusual fluctuations because of dishonesty in practices. These practices are destroying our financial structure. We’ve allowed these unstable financial practices to grow too large and they are now working against us, globally. The food situation is another example. By using all of these harsh chemicals to spray our foods and make them easy to grow, we are destroying the bees that support the pollen distribution, which will inevitably destroy the plants. I could go on… but I think you get the picture.

As I review this hexagram, I am also thinking of my own little circle of influence – my family. As my daughter enters her teen years, I am challenged to stay connected with her in ways that are supportive and meaningful for her during these difficult teenage years. So many times, the teenage years are difficult for parents because our children are making their own way in the world and that separation can cause some anxiety for us parents and angst for our children as they want to be on their own terms. This hexagram might suggest that we trust and remain virtuous through these times and we will ultimately come through it. For me, the practice of trying to stay present for her is my challenge. Next month, in May, I am hosting a book study on GoodReads.com and we will study a book called The Conscious Parent. If you are also challenged with parenting as consciously as possible, I hope you will join me. I think it will be a lot of fun.

So what about you? What does this bring up for you? Can you think of other examples of how this hexagram might play out in our lives?


  1. Hello Amy,

    Your post had me reflecting. I love how you think out of the box. I see a hexagram in my life too. My husband and I have been married for 6 years. We don’t have kids yet. We moved from Mauritius and started from scratch in Australia and now settled down here. We have so many projects on our minds. Currently working towards having our own home. Situation’s getting tougher with thousands of things to consider. I see my husband lost in thoughts at times, doing all sorts of calculations, working towards making our dream come true. He’s currently the bold line and I’m his support. I’m supporting him in all the ways possible so he can be at ease doing what he does best!
    Thank you Amy for a post that I could relate to and remind myself to continue being strong and supportive:)

  2. My family is going through some financial adjustments, too, at the moment, with both my husband and I wanting to start new things but trying to do it safely, so that our family doesn’t suffer. It doesn’t always work out that way, sometimes to make space for the new we have to let go of the old first, and there’s a period of not knowing in between. Feeling supported while you do what you need to do definitely helps.. Hm, I can see The Conscious Parent can probably help me be more conscious in more ways that just parenting.
    Tat recently posted…Learning from children: don’t give up!My Profile

  3. You are so right about those teenage years! When I was challenged, what got me through was reminding myself they would make really great adults.
    Michele Bergh recently posted…12 Tips for Successfully Completing an Online CourseMy Profile

  4. For some reason I always think of this hexagram as a door out. Things may be falling apart, but for me the invitation to step outward out of the old.
    Deborah Weber recently posted…Fool: P is for…My Profile

  5. What an interesting post! How you were able to take the hexagon and have it pertain the the US economy and then the state of the world and end up with your daughter’s teenage ages was so surprising to me. All those thoughts came out of that symbol, so interesting…wow!
    Elda recently posted…7 Ways to Help Your Friends Deal with EstrangementMy Profile

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