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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

6: Conflict

Conflict

Conflict arises when a person who is convinced that he or she is entitled to something meets with opposition. In such cases, the wise choice is not to push things to the bitter end, because knocking heads would only perpetuate ill will. Creative solutions that meet others halfway are more valuable and longer lasting than victories achieved through force.

Conflicts in which one party is not sincere inevitably lead to subterfuge and distortions. In such situations, those of strong character keep a clear head, protect their own integrity, and look out for their own interests, even while seeking compromise. Sometimes this means finding a fair-minded mediator who can settle matters.

In these times of conflict and turmoil, new ventures and new initiatives are to be avoided.

This is a good time to examine the sincerity of your own beliefs and those around you. Seek advice or arbitration from an impartial and mature person. Consider everything carefully before making any major decisions. It may be a time to compromise. Clarify the roles and responsibilities of those you live and work with to reduce conflict in the future.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Disputes and a dangerously charged atmosphere seem likely, but the storm will blow over if you remain cautious. Do not force things; avoid fighting. There still may be a simple solution at hand, since it is possible that a minor misunderstanding is at the root of the present conflict. If you face an adversary who is much stronger than you, drop the dispute quickly. If you are engaging an equal, seek allies.

Line 2

When challenging a superior force, retreat is a good tactic, not a disgrace. In the face of insurmountable obstacles, misplaced valor -- perhaps fueled by a sense of personal pride -- is not only a mistake, it’s dangerous to those around you: your allies, your friends and your community. If an adversary with a loaded rifle has you in his sights, it furthers you to duck.

Line 3

People with large personalities can generate conflict by attempting to acquire more -- more credit for accomplishments or more material possessions -- than is really their due. Don’t let yourself be like this! Learn to live within your means, to possess most dearly only those things, which cannot be taken away. You can avoid much conflict by working solely to produce good results, and to receive fair compensation for your efforts. Let the prestige go to others.

Line 4

Winning isn’t everything. In situations where you face a weaker opponent, winning is not always even the strategic thing, particularly if you are not totally sure of the absolute rightness of your position. Remember that all conflict, no matter how much the odds may favor you, carries a price. Learn to demonstrate goodwill when you hold the upper hand, and you will find that in the long run your position will be strengthened.

Line 5

In disputes where you know you are in the right, look for a just arbiter who can bring influence to bear on the other side. This person must be strong and above reproach, so that he or she has both moral authority and personal clout. In such situations it behooves you to just let go, and let the arbiter take over. If you have satisfied your own conscience that your cause is just, chances are that you will convince others of good conscience as well. And remember, not every field is a battleground; many conflicts simply resolve themselves.

Line 6 (top line)

Conflict may have gone too far. When success over others is achieved through sheer force of authority or superior position, the victory will not last. Those who can win only by the sword are condemned to carry shields with them everywhere. Beware of hollow victories.