18 – Remedying

Mountain over Wind


Intestinal worms (Gu3)

Structure of the hexagram: Mountain over Wind. The essence of mountain is standing still while that of wind is penetrating / proceeding. The mountain is at the top while the wind is at the bottom. Therefore, the mountain is leading while the wind is following. The wind proceeds forward but meets the immovable mountain and therefore is unable to proceed further and comes to a standstill. This image is extended to comparing it with an abandoned and unused wooden (as represented by the halted wind in the lower gua) container (which is the lower part of the ideogram as discussed below) which is rotten and decayed, leading to the development of worms in the container. What good is a rotten container infested with worms? It’s no good to anyone. It is time to take action to perhaps reuse it as fertilizer for the earth for new crops to sprout. It is time for new life to start again. A fresh start. A new beginning. This is in accordance with Confucius’s elaboration of King Wen’s decision “Every ending follows a new beginning”.

Ideogram assigned to the hexagram: . The upper half of the ideogram represents three worms while the lower half represents a container. Collectively, they represent worms in a container (e.g. intestines). This ideogram represents a container that has been left unused for a long time, resulting in decay and leading to the growth of worms.

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