The Noble One: Wind

May 1, 2011

Hexagram 57, Wind, is one of the eight hexagrams consisting of two identical trigrams. Thus, it is one of the cardinal hexagrams of the entire set of 64 Hexagrams.

Wind represents gentle but steady power. It also represents a presence that interweaves through all things, just as the wind flows everywhere. Wind also includes the image of wood. This may seem like an odd linking until one considers that wood grows slowly, so its movement is similar to wind’s gentle pressure. Wood also grows everywhere, penetrates the earth, and cracks the rock and is again compatible with what wind symbolizes.

So what are we to learn from this symbolism? The Image says, the noble one gives further instructions and takes action.

It’s important to put this in context. There are other kinds of action depicted in the I Ching. There are times when we are supposed to mount a vigorous campaign, to cross the great water. Sometimes we are even supposed to attack. At other times we are advised to wait. But here, we are supposed to formulate thoughtful plans, communicate with others, and then take action. The implication, though, is that our action cannot be a single burst, but a long and steady effort.

The image of the wind even carries to the breath of the Noble One, giving instructions. The image of the wind carries to the vigor of the Noble One, working to take action.

It’s worth noting that the actions of a Noble One in keeping with the symbol of wind have to be subtle and far-seeing. The wind never flags. Can you carry on your plans with all the constancy of the ever-moving air?

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