Overcoming Hardships (Hexagram 39)

What do the ancients say about hardships and obstructions in our lives?

Firstly, hardships and obstructions are signified by hexagram 39 which is made up of water at the top (outer trigram) and mountain at the bottom (inner trigram).

Water during the olden days represents danger. Mountain denotes stillness. Unchanging danger or difficulty sounds like hardship/obstruction all right. The nature of water is to flow downwards while a mountain is to remain still. So we have a situation or an image where you have this huge mountain to be surmounted. As if it’s not enough, there’s torrent of water running down the slopes of the mountain, adding to the difficulty and challenges. It’s like the rushing rapids + the Himalayas combined.

One way of understanding hardships/obstructions in our lives is to view the inner trigram i.e. mountain as within as the outer as without. The external condition is dangerous, challenging and fluctuating which you imagine requires some adaptability, ingenuity to overcome it. But this is not possible if the person is still and doggedly remaining in one’s position, refusing to budge – mountain as represented by the inner trigram. It’s like you have to get to your destination and there’s a river separating you and the destination. You can’t cross the river by staying put at your location. A change of some sort is required. Therefore, a change in approach is suggested to overcome the obstacle or hardship that you are facing now. A change in mindset or perspective is also considered a change that might just get you over the hump.

Yet another way of viewing hardships/obstructions in our lives is to think of our plans or intentions as being in line with God’s, destiny’s, the universe’s, etc but temporarily out of sync with our current situation and physical reality. This is great, isn’t it? That you are on your destined path, assuming that it’s good to be on our destined path if there’s such a thing in the first place. Or you may prefer to see the hardship/obstruction as a necessary evil that’s required to realise your potential. Therefore, it makes sense to persist in dealing with the hardships or obstructions. [The top 2 lines symbolises heaven, the 3rd and the 4th, us and the 1st and 2nd lines earth. The heavenly lines and the manly lines are the same].

Are there more insights about hardships/obstructions? Yes. That’s for another post.





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