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The original Richard Wilhelm translation for the hexagram line...


Hexagram 64
Wei Chi - Before Completion

yin above: Li / The Clinging, Flame
yang below: K'an / The Abysmal, Water


Hexagram Sixty-Four/Line One

Six at the beginning [yin at bottom] means:
He gets his tail in the water.

Female blackbird taking bath

Female blackbird taking bath - Landsmeer Holland 2010
photo Lex van den Bos

In times of disorder there is a temptation to advance oneself as rapidly as possible in order to accomplish something tangible. But this enthusiasm leads only to failure and humiliation if the time for achievement has not yet arrived. In such time it is wise to spare ourselves the opprobrium of failure by holding back.1

1. Note how this situation differs from that in the first line of the preceding hexagram 63.
There the tail gets wet as well, but after completion.

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