Hexagram #40 Liberation

For liberation, the southwest is beneficial. When going nowhere, the return brings good fortune; when going somewhere, promptness brings good fortune.

 Liberation means freeing. As for the qualities of the hexagram, above is Thunder ☳ active, and below is Water ☵, dangerous. When yang energy moves out of danger, action beyond danger moves according to the will; so it is called liberation. This hexagram represents taking advantage of the right time to gather the medicine. It follows on the previous hexagram Disharmony. Disharmony means yin and yang are not in harmony, delight and illumination not appropriate, yin energy is in charge of affairs, while yang energy is trapped. So this work of liberating yang energy is essential.

Liberating the yang energy is gathering the medicine. In gathering the medicine, it is important to know the right time; otherwise you will fumble, and yin energy will remain while yang energy will again slip away – then even though the medicine be nearby, you cannot avail yourself of it. -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram #40 Liberation

Understanding Reality says, When lead meets the arising of the younger water you should quickly gather it; after the full moon, metal is worthless. When the first yang is born on the ground of Earth ☷ (thereby producing thunder ☳), primordial energy comes from within nothingness, and the heart of Heaven and Earth turns. This is what is called finding companionship in the south-west.

Just when lead meets the arising of the younger water and the great medicine appears, when the mind of Tao becomes active and the human heart is still, this spontaneous liberation is the portent of good fortune. Therefore, for liberation, the southwest is beneficial; when going nowhere, the return brings good fortune. Returning without going anywhere does not come about by human effort; it appears spontaneously at a given time, and comes from Heaven.

But once Heaven's time' has arrived, human exertion is necessary; one should hasten to set about fostering yang energy and suppressing yin energy, When the celestial and the human act together, one uses the return of this one bit of yang energy to return, back to where there is pure yang without yin, Only then is one liberated from danger and difficulty, and able to act freely in any way, just as one wills. This is why "when going somewhere, promptness brings good fortune. -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram #40 Liberation


EXPLANATION: In extreme danger, weak and helpless, unable to get out by oneself, still if one knows to associate with people imbued with the Tao, borrowing the knowledge and wisdom of others to solve one's own ignorance, one who is blameworthy can still become blameless. This is borrowing strength when weak to be released from danger. 
 -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram #40 Liberation


Being ignorant and acting arbitrarily, with vain imaginings about the celestial treasure, trying to coerce the human mind without having the mind of Tao, using the mind to rule the mind, one is not only unable to get rid of the human mentality, one in fact invites the human mentality. This is like trying to get on a cart while carrying something, bringing injury on oneself. Even though one's resolution be correct, still if one relies on one's personal yin and does not seek yang from another, this brings humiliation on a practitioner of the Tao. This is trying to force release from danger when one is weak. -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram #40 Liberation

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Hexagram #40 Liberation

An angel leading St. Peter out of prison.

The mind of Tao is not riding the elephant,
it is inside the elephant. It means that
the human mentality is in control.
(Click to enlarge)

At the extreme of disharmony, the mind of Tao has been long buried away, and people don't pay attention to it. With the mind of Tao buried away and the human mentality taking 
charge of affairs, the influence of habit becomes one's nature, and doubts and ruminations come forth by the hundreds; this is being like a pig covered with mire, a wagon full of devils.
-- Liu Yiming, the Taoist I Ching, hexagram #38, Disharmony