Standstill and stagnation

  • February 13, 2023
I Ching 12 pi

This is a new series of blog posts which are based on the I-Ching.

12, 'pi'

Heaven is above drawing farther and farther away, while the earth is sinking into the depths. Creative energies are not in alignment. It is a time of standstill and decline.


Evil people do not further the perseverance of the superior individual. The great departs, the small approaches.

Heaven and earth are out of communion and all things are benumbed. What is above has no relation to what is below and on earth confusion and disorder prevail.

The dark power is within. The light power is without. Weakness is within, harshness is without. Within are the inferior, without are the superior. The way of inferior people is in ascent, the way of superior people is one of decline.

But the superior people do not allow themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their principles and withdraw into seclusion.

HEAVEN and EARTH do not unite.

In times of standstill the superior individual falls back on their inner worth in order to escape the difficulties. They do not permit themselves to be honored with revenue.

When owing to the influence of inferior individuals mutual distrust prevails in public life. Fruitful activity is rendered impossible because the fundamentals are wrong.

Therefore the superior individual knows what they must do under such circumstances, and they do not allow themselves to be tempted by dazzling offers to take part in public activities. This would only expose them to danger since they cannot assent to the meanness of others. Such individuals therefore hide their worth and withdraw into seclusion.


About the I-Ching

The I-Ching was developed somewhere between 3,500 and 3,800 years ago by mystics and shamen in the East. It started out by them observing the way the wind created sand dunes in the desert and somehow - please don't ask how - these sages and mystics figured out that there were 64 different patterns and DNA codes reoccurring throughout Nature. This information was brought to a Chinese king imprisoned for life for corruption, King Wen, who arranged these 64 different hexes into a sequence, known as the King Wen sequence, and this became the I-Ching.

I-Ching is a system of divination known as cleromancy where six numbers between six and nine are arranged into 64 different hexes made up of broken and unbroken lines. Traditionally yarrow sticks or coins are tossed and the combination or pattern is observed, the pattern conforming to one of 64 different hexes. Each hex has a top and a bottom, is made up of six lines which may be broken or unbroken, and one consults an oracle for the interpretation, as above with 12, or 'pi'.

The I-Ching is the earliest of the Chinese classics and is believed to be the first recording of human thinking. What is interesting is all binary systems, systems of logic, and all digital technology and information technology is based on the I-Ching.

yin yang

What is interesting is that the I-Ching was simplified around the 6th century BC into the Yin Yang School of the I-Ching, out of which the Chinese philosophers Lao Tzu and Zheng Zhou developed the Tao Te Ching and Taoism. Lao Tzu is the author of the Tao Te Ching and the concept of 'wu wei', the art of effortless living.

The great Tao flows everywhere.
All things are born from it,
yet it doesn’t create them.
It pours itself into its work,
yet it makes no claim.
It nourishes infinite worlds,
yet it doesn’t hold on to them.
Since it is merged with all things
and hidden in their hearts,
it can be called humble.
Since all things vanish into it
and it alone endures,
it can be called great.
It isn’t aware of its greatness;
thus it is truly great.

Verse 34, Tao Te Ching

Creative Law

The Principle and the Process, the set of mystical principles which form the basis of the four components which make up Qultura methodology, is essentially a simplified modern equivalent of the Tao Te Ching and is also very closely aligned with the I-Ching.

About Qultura

Qultura is a developing mystical community resource which is both an alternative dream weaving community and a Human Library project. Centred in Nine Elms, London we offer free access to Qultura methodology, the Qultura community and regularly scheduled Human Library events. Through what we do we offer opportunities to develop consciousness, mindfulness and community to anyone interested in exploring and developing ways of living alternative to modern mainstream social and cultural values.