because it's a little crazy how every reading points to trouble.
(not to say it's Jason I'm actually curious about.)
Line-1Legge: The first line, dynamic, seems to be thus addressed: "You leave your efficacious tortoise, and look at me till your lower jaw hangs down.” There will be evil.
Wilhelm/Baynes: You let your magic tortoise go, and look at me with the corners of your mouth drooping. Misfortune.
Blofeld: You released your sacred tortoise and stared at me with mouth agape -- misfortune! [The shells of tortoises were used for divination. Here, the implication seems to be that someone abandons his sacred duty in his greed (symbolized by ‘mouth agape') to obtain what he wants from the person to whom “me” refers. It may be that contemporaries of the authors of the I Ching were familiar with a story to which this sentence pertains.]
Liu: If you leave your divine tortoise and look at me with mouth drooling, there will be misfortune.
Ritsema/Karcher: Stowing-away simply the psyche tortoise. Viewing my pendant jaws. Pitfall.
Shaughnessy: Dispensing with your numinous turtle, and viewing our shortened jaw; inauspicious.
Cleary (1): Abandoning your spiritual tortoise, you watch my moving jaw – this is unfortunate.
Cleary(2): To give up your sacred tortoise and watch me greedily leads to misfortune.
Wu: “Abandon your spiritual tortoise and watch me with your mouth watering.” Foreboding.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: He thus shows himself unfit to be thought noble. Wilhelm/ Baynes: This is really not to be respected. Blofeld: Looking at me like that is hardly to be regarded as admirable behavior. Ritsema/Karcher: Truly not the stand to value indeed. Cleary(2): To watch me greedily is not worthy of respect. Wu: He who watches with his mouth watering is also unworthy of respect.
Legge: The first line is dynamic and in his proper place. He might suffice for the nourishing of himself like a tortoise, which is said to live on air. But he is drawn out of himself by desire for the magnetic line four, his proper correlate, at whom he looks till his jaw hangs down, or, as we say, his mouth waters. Hence the auspice is bad. The symbolism takes the form of a reprimand addressed by the fourth line to the first. As Mencius said, "He who attends his smaller self becomes an inferior man, and he who attends to his greater self becomes a superior man."
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: At the outset, the man is envious of the prosperity of others.
Wing: You are so actively aware of the prosperity of others that you lose control of your own destiny. This is deplorable behavior and will result in misfortune.
Editor: This line is a reprimand for an unworthy attitude. Since in China the tortoise was associated with divination, it refers to a higher realm of perception. The other translations render Legge's "efficacious" as "magic,""sacred," "divine," "psyche," and "numinous." The line tells you that you are out of touch with what is best in you and suggests a “victim,” a self-made loser, who has repudiated his source of power or nourishment and then begs for sympathy because he “has nothing.” Often the line can suggest that you have misread a previous oracle: i.e., "I already told you, but you paid no attention.”
A. You've lost touch with your spiritual Self.So it will be seen that spiritual growth is best attained by getting fully to grips with life in the world. It is a common pathology with esoterically inclined students that they want to find the easiest way out of it. This accounts for many of the "muzzy mystical" societies which give such a bad name to occultism. In a genuine occult school the student should be rammed good and hard into the maelstrom of life; and until he can cope efficiently with the physical plane the higher planes of experience should be barred to him -- for his own sake as well as others. Gareth Knight -- Qabalistic Symbolism
B. Image of a "needy” victim. Grow up!
Line-2Legge: The second line, magnetic, shows one looking downwards for nourishment, which is contrary to what is proper; or seeking it from the height above, advance towards which will lead to evil.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Turning to the summit for nourishment, deviating from the path to seek nourishment from the hill. Continuing to do this brings misfortune.
Blofeld: Nourishment on the mountain peak; he abandons normal ways to seek nourishment in the hills -- misfortune! [From ancient times, there has been a large body of opinion in China that Taoists and other mystics leading the life of a recluse are odd people who have abandoned their duties to family, state and mankind. However, the Book of Change, revered by both Taoists and Confucians, is not likely to be guilty of bias; indeed, in the fourth place, “nourishment on the mountain” brings good fortune. Perhaps the implication is that those who withdraw from ordinary life more on account of their oddity than because of any genuine desire for spiritual guidance waste their talents and their time.]
Liu: Seeking nourishment from the top, one strays from the path to the hill. To set forth leads to misfortune.
Ritsema/Karcher: Toppling jaws. Rejecting the canons, tending-toward the hill-top. Jaws chastising: pitfall.
Shaughnessy: Say upside-down jaw; threshing the warp at the northern jaw; to be upright is inauspicious.
Cleary (1): Perverting nourishment goes against the constant. Feeding on high ground – to go brings misfortune.
Cleary(2): Perverting nourishment brushes aside the constant. Feeding on high ground, an expedition bodes ill. [For those above to nourish those below is the rational constant. Here one in a higher position is recessive and weak, and relies on strength from below for nourishment; so this “brushes aside the constant.]
Wu: There is reversed nurturing. It violates the normal order of offering nurture to the one above. The action is foreboding. [The second (line) has the responsibility of offering nurture to its correlate, the fifth (line). On the contrary, it nurtures the one below, i.e., the first (line). Hence the judgment calls the action a misplaced reversed nurturing.]
Hua-Ching Ni: One neglects the constancy and stability which can benefit life and seeks nourishment from the wrong source. Misfortune.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: The evil of her advance is because her movements abandon her proper associates. Wilhelm/Baynes: In going it loses its place among its kind. Blofeld: The misfortune is due to his having separated himself from his own kind. Ritsema/Karcher: Movement letting-go sorting indeed. Cleary(2): The action loses companionship. Wu: It is out of order.
Legge: The magnetic second line, insufficient for herself, seeks nourishment first from the dynamic first line below, which is improper, and then from the dynamic sixth line above, which is too far removed and also not her proper correlate. In either case the thing is evil because neither of the dynamic lines is her proper associate.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: The man does not provide for his own support. He improperly takes what he needs from below and also cravenly begs for it from above. Such unworthiness leads to misfortune.
Wing: Although you are able to properly nourish yourself in this situation, you rely upon inappropriate methods or persons to fulfill your needs. If this continues, it will rob you of your independence and create an unhealthy state of mind. Difficulties will follow.
Editor: There seems to be disagreement among the translators about which “order of nourishment” (above or below), is appropriate. Legge’s commentary and Siu’s paraphrase offer the most coherent interpretations. The line usually symbolizes one who doesn't know her proper place, who tries to exceed her authority or go beyond herself. Issues pertaining to self-righteousness, spiritual materialism and “wannabe gurus” are sometimes addressed here. The line can also refer to shirking one's responsibility. For example, begging the oracle for information one can easily decide for oneself.
A. You are seeking nourishment from inappropriate sources -- get back where you belong.If a man sleeps in a damp place, his back aches and he ends up half paralyzed, but is this true of a loach? If he lives in a tree, he is terrified and shakes with fright, but is this true of a monkey? Of these three creatures, then, which one knows the proper place to live? Chuang Tzu
B. Seeking that which is beneath you is base; seeking that which is beyond your grasp is futile. Don’t strive above your proper station.
(they're all, you know, possibilities, potential directions "real life" might take.)