|Name: The Heremit
||Ground: Li, Kên, Tui
TUN / Retreat
TUN / Retreat
Above CH'IEN THE CREATIVE, HEAVEN
Below KÊN KEEPING STILL, MOUNTAIN
power of the dark is ascending. The light retreats to security, so that
the dark cannot encroach upon it. This retreat is a matter not of man's
will but of natural law. Therefore in this case withdrawal is proper;
it is the correct way to behave in order not to exhaust one's forces.
the calendar this hexagram is linked with the sixth month
(July-August), in which the forces of winter are already showing their
In what is small, perseverance furthers.
are such that the hostile forces favored by the time are advancing. In
this case retreat is the right course, and it is not to be confused
with flight. Flight means saving oneself under any circumstances,
whereas retreat is a sign of strength. We must be careful not to miss
the right moment while we are in full possession of power and position.
Then we shall be able to interpret the signs of the time before it is
too late and to prepare for provisional retreat instead of being drawn
into a desperate life-and-death struggle. Thus we do not simply abandon
the field to the opponent; we make it difficult for him to advance by
showing perseverance in single acts of resistance. In this way we
prepare, while retreating, for the counter-movement. Understanding the
laws of a constructive retreat of this sort is not easy. The meaning
that lies hidden in such a time is important.
Mountain under heaven: the image of RETREAT.
Thus the superior man keeps the inferior man at a distance,
Not angrily but with reserve.
mountain rises up under heaven, but owing to its nature it finally
comes to a stop. Heaven on the other hand retreats upward before it
into the distance and remains out of reach. This symbolizes the
behavior of the superior man toward a climbing inferior; he retreats
into his own thoughts as the inferior man comes forward. He does not
hate him, for hatred is a form of subjective involvement by which we
are bound to the hated object. The superior man shows strength (heaven)
in that he brings the inferior man to a standstill (mountain) by his