Hexagram # 37. People in the Home (Members of a Family)

For people in the home it is beneficial that the women be chaste.

EXPLANATION: People in the home means there are people in the home; this is the path of governing the inner. As for the qualities of the hexagram, above is Wind, ☴, entering, and below is Fire ☲, luminous: when illumined one can follow the Tao, and by following it one can gradually develop the illumination. Receptivity and illumination are necessary to each other, like wind blowing fire so that fire grows with the wind. Here is a way to govern the home, so it is called People in the Home.

This hexagram represents refining the self, mastering the mind, turning the attention around to gaze inward. It follows on the previous hexagram advance. In advance, illumination grows from receptivity; it is the work of advancing the fire and employing illumination. To advance the fire and employ illumination, it is necessary to first illumine the inner; illumination of the inner is refining the self. Refining the self simply means refining the yin within oneself. What yin is this? It is the human mentality.

In the human body, the vitality, spirit, soul, psyche, and intent all be long to yin and all take orders from the human mentality. When the human mind is calm, they all are calm, and when the human mind is agitated, they all are agitated. Refining the self simply means refining away this human mind. When you refine away the human mind, the mind of Tao spontaneously becomes manifest. When the mind of Tao becomes manifest, the mind is illumined; then the vitality, spirit, soul, psyche, and intent all transform into guardian spirits of truth.

The human body is like a home; the human vitality, spirit, soul, psyche, and intent are like the people in a home. When you refine the human mind and produce the mind of Tao, the vitality, spirit, soul, psyche, and intent each rests in its own position and each discharges its own affairs; joy, anger, sadness and happiness are all harmonious and balanced, like a family being orderly. This is represented as the benefit in women being chaste.

Women consider preservation of chastity valuable. Refining the self is like a woman preserving her chastity and not getting engaged. Then the true yin within oneself will become manifest; when the true yin is manifest, the open awareness of the mind is unobscured, and outside things cannot get in. Thereby one can gradually progress in an orderly manner, to seek the yang of the other, to the benefit of all.

Being gentle but balanced, turning the gaze around to inward examination, the heart pure and the mind quiet, not concentrating on externals but carefully watching over one's inner state, controlling movement by stillness, preventing fragmentation by unity, not taking in external things, impervious to outside influences, is like a wife in the kitchen, remaining chaste, invariably gaining good fortune. This is refining the self and using the path of gentility.

The writings of the masters say that if refinement of the self is immature, the restorative elixir will not crystallize. The first step of spiritual alchemy is to refine the self. When self-refinement reaches selflessness, "light appears in the empty room" - the primal energy comes from nothingness and solidifies into a tiny pearl, whose light pervades heaven and earth. How can any bewilderment or befuddlement befall you then? Certainly refinement of the self is no small matter. -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram # 37. People in the Home
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Hexagram # 37. People in the Home




On the left the Liushutong character and on the right the present shape of the character
for Hexagram #37 People in the Home

The Torment of Saint Anthony (Michelangelo) Demons (the human mind) are agitated and captured the mind of Tao
(Click to enlarge)


Veronese, The Allegory of Wisdom and Strength, The Frick Collection, New York, New York. The woman, representing wisdom, gazes heavenward and is not interested in worldly matters. She represents a pure chaste heart.


Pictures 1 to 6 represent refining the (lower) self. After the lower self, represented by the bull is brought under control, selflesness is experienced in picture 8. The ten oxherding pictures, by Tomikichiro Tokuriki