Hexagram #7 The Army/Discipline

For the leader of the army to be right, a mature person is good; then there is no error.

What superior people see in this is that the human body is like a country, and the mind is like the ruler. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram # The Army, The Taoist I Ching
EXPLANATION: The army is a group. This has the meaning of one person leading a group. The qualities of the hexagram are Earth above, submissive, and Water below, dangerous: Following obediently in danger, it is therefore called the army. This hexagram represents using yang to drive back yin.The method of repelling yin is to get rid of wrong by means of right, to destroy falsehood by truth, like righteousness in the leader of an army.

Only mature and developed people understand good and bad, distinguish wrong from right, know what bodes well and what bodes ill, perceive when to hurry and when to relax, are not confined to either firmness or flexibility, apply both humanity and justice together, are able to obey in danger and by obedience neutralize danger, use the temporal to restore the primordial, use the primordial to transmute the temporal, not only do not let yin trap yang, but even get all yin to follow yang-this is the path of good fortune without error. If people are immature, their perception of truth is not clear. They do not distinguish wrong from right, and so enter aberrated detours. They set out impulsively and not only are unable to make yin retreat, they even accentuate yin. They are sure to bring on error; how can they effect good results and achieve the Tao?

When people have not yet lost the primordial, this is pure natural re- ality. It is like when the nation is at peace – even if there are intelligent knights and good generals, there is no need for them. When people get mixed up in acquired conditioning, the six senses trouble them and the seven emotions run wild. It is like when there is trouble in the land, with rebels causing disturbance; if there is no way of rooting them out by punishment and execution, it is impossible to restore peace in perilous times.

Therefore the method of action in spiritual alchemy is to burn away all the pollution of acquired conditioning, and not let the slightest flaw remain in the heart, so that one may eventually re-experience original completeness. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #7, The Army, The Taoist I Ching

First yin: The army is to go forth according to the principles: Otherwise, even good turns out bad.

In the beginning, it is necessary to know the stages of the firing process, the rules of advance and withdrawal, to progress according to the proper order and act in sequence with the appropriate method; if one is able to be careful in the beginning, one will naturally be victorious in the end. This is like an army going forth in an orderly manner. If one rushes to act without understanding the firing process, that is like an unruly army, which is disastrous regardless of whether its intentions are good or bad. In causing yin to retreat, it is important to understand the firing process. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #7,The Army, The Taoist I Ching

2nd yang line: At the center of the army, good fortune, no error; the king gives orders thrice.

Good fortune in the middle of the army relates to the effort of adjustment of the external furnace, and also requires the mind, as leader, to be sincere and single-minded, without fragmentation; only when inside and outside assist each other is it possible to be completely fortunate, without error. This is also like a king giving orders thrice; if the king trusts the ministers and the ministers respond to the king, all can accomplish their tasks. So causing yin to retreat requires mutual assistance of inside and outside. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #7, The Army, The Taoist I Ching

Top yin: The great leader has orders, to establish states and families; do not employ petty people.

At the end of direction of the army, acquired energy has all been sublimated; the basis stable, the country peaceful, the mental ruler at peace, there is no more need for punishment and execution. Then when external ills have been removed and the master sits peacefully in the center, it is possible to discern subtleties, keeping even a single thought of good and getting rid of even a single bad thought. This is also like a great leader with orders to establish states and families, for which petty people should not be employed. It is necessary to root out the seeds of ages of vicious circles before one is done. Making yin energy withdraw requires inward and outward purity and calm. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram # 7 Army, The Taoist I Ching

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On the left the ancient shape of the
character for The Army On the right
the present-day shape.

Hexagram #7 The Army

Terracota Army, Xian, China
(click to enlarge)

The mind of Tao is following a bull, the lower self. This means that the primordial has been lost. A mural paintings in the Tomb of Seti I, Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.

Lao Tzu riding a bull, symbolizing that the primordial has been preserved.

Fudo Myo, the immovable King of Light, representing the ruler or the mind of Tao holding the sword of wisdom. He is acting according to the firing process, burning away yin energy. (Unkei, 1195 AD. Jyōraku-ji Temple, Kanagawa, Japan

Buddha, the mental ruler, sitting peacefully in the center, ignoring the people (the many thoughts and emotions representing yin energy) around him that are trying
to get his attention.
Click to enlarge.