6 Arguing SONG


Dispute. The connection to the spirits is blocked. Be wary.
Wise Words! Staying in the center opens the Way.
Completing the conflict closes it.
Advantageous to see the Great People.
Not advantageous to step into the Great Stream.

Retreat from conflict and seek a real judgment. Use persuasive words, not action. Arouse the desire to serve. Beware of aggression, greed and insistence on your own point of view. Use conciliation and self-reflection to defuse possible conflicts.

The Image
The old character shows an open mouth from which words come and the sign for a high feudal lord who has the power to divide property and assign rights.

Circle of Meanings
Conflicts, quarrels, arguments, power struggles, legal disputes; plead your case before an authority, express what you feel; retreat from conflict, affirm loyalties, seek consensus. Heart Theme: 37 Establishing a new Dwelling.  



Spirit Helpers
Heaven works in the Ghost River. Father and Middle Son, the Creator and the Navigator, are working to find effective strategies. This is a time to express yourself clearly without taking aggressive action. Do not be afraid. Stay centered and ready to withdraw. Visit those who can give you advice. Do not force your plans to completion. This is not the time to embark on a significant enterprise. If you cannot win, retreat from the conflict. Do not be carried away by anger or passion. Taking the argument to the bitter end will close the Way. See people whose influence will help you. Be aware of your real purpose and recognize what is truly great. There are too many contradicting movements. It is not a harmonious time. Do not try to bring everyone together. Heaven is preparing something new. Do not compromise what you truly believe in.

Voice of the Mothers
Actively express your views and retreat from open conflict. Do not be intimidated. Express what you truly feel. Containing your fear and impulse now brings you the ability to connect action with the spirit. Strip away your old ideas and patterns (23). Do not try focus on dissolving obstacles (59).

In Arguing we confront the world of duties, laws and responsibility. These laws   are designed to prevent personal conflict from becoming destructive, to establish loyalties and to create the union that enables a people to use collective force. The root of “song, argue” is words. It is a response from the oracle and a ritual announcement, language charged with meaning. It suggests the pipes or flutes used to set armies marching and send signals that coordinate their movement. Arguing is making a complaint and contesting it before authority and revolves around questions of loyalty and duty, bonds and struggles, oaths taken, fulfilled or neglected. It involves praise, persuasive speaking, the necessity to submit personal matters to the authority of King and Heaven and the need to retreat from the corruption of existing authority. It is a council of war and the loyalties of the powers involved, for connection is necessary to any great endeavor while dissention, disloyalty or corruption blocks it. So the arguing words here suggest both pleading a case and taking or refusing to take an oath of loyalty. It might portray the council when the conflict between the Zhou nobles and their Shang overlords first emerged, an encounter that led King Wen and King Wu to raise the armies to invade Shang.

  • Fall (6): Harvest the crop. Don’t get lost in power plays. Create a solid vision for your goal and you will find support.
  • Winter (47): Find the seed of the new by moving beyond old beliefs.  Don’t be isolated. Solve problems and bring out the best in others.
  • Spring (58): Rouse new growth through joyous communication. Make alliances. Use your time wisely. Don’t let this opportunity slip through your fingers. This connection is bigger than you and personal ambition.
  • Summer (10): Ripen the fruits. Be simple and pure in your efforts. Don’t try to control people, respect them.

Voice of the Fathers
This is a Realizing Figure, an experience of the Centers of Power in the stage of the Symbolic Life when the child seeks to create a world in which to discover a self.

The Situation: Confrontation, dispute, and non-productive negotiation.

Caring for Others: Primary goals need serious modification. Avoid open confrontation and rivalry. If one party forces his view, the other may appear to retreat but will use underhand means to get his way. The only way forward is compromise. Abandon your short-term plans and re-think your position. Avoid steering your ship into a collision.

Setting Intentions: Rethink goals and strategies. Consider sharing or a complete change of plan. Possibilities for growth and productivity are temporarily impaired. Avoid risks. Do not commit resources. Your creative judgment is unreliable now. Further negotiation is critically important.

Communication and Interaction: Be receptive. Listen more than you speak. Check facts. Examine your own assertions. Don’t listen to hearsay. Actual feedback is negative. You are to a great extent responsible for this.

Change from the Inside Out: New initiatives are inauspicious. Resources are not adequate. Abide by the rulings of independent and mutually agreed upon arbitrators. Study agreements and guarantees in detail. Make no major decisions. Solve the problems first. Do not seek outside support.

  • Immediate Future: in the middle of conflict you find a time to be heard.
  • Personal Development: restrain desires to let your real voice emerge.
  • Working within the Family: present things clearly and expect positive results. 
  • Expanding the Circle: primary goals need serious modification.  
  • Partnership: share problems and feelings. Express your needs clearly.

Pairing: Bringing Change to Life
Each hexagram is part of a Pair that that activates hidden paths of transformative energy through the interaction of the trigrams or Spirit Helpers, connecting phases of Inspiration and Realization. You are in the Realizing phase of this Pair.

The transformative process of the Pair 5:6 Attending and Arguing develops the patience to wait on events and the courage to express yourself when facing real authority.

Outer to Inner: The process of the pair shifts the Navigator trigram from the outer world of 5 to the inner world of 6. This turns your need to manage the flux of events into a containment of fear and impulse.

Inner to Outer: This interiorisation shifts the energy and intuitive power of the Creator trigram from the inner world of 5 to the outer world of 6. This turns inner perseverance into the ability to connect your actions with the spirit.

Transforming Lines

Mothering Change presents Transforming Lines as Steps of Change that show you where and how to focus your energy. Click on the links to connect with the Relating Figure generated by each line.

Inner World

Step 1 Beginnings: This return of the spirit attracts a new fate.
This is not a place to prolong your service.
Use Small words to bring it to completion. Wise Words! The Way opens.
This is not a place for you to be of service. Bow out gracefully. Changes are coming so abide in your power and virtue. Do not try to discipline others. Simply follow your real desire and welcome the signs of the new. Step outside the norms. You will soon find supportive friends. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (10 Treading)

Step 2 Inner Center: This inner re-organization leads to harmony with others.
You cannot master this Dispute through pleading.
Flee to your capital, your people’s three hundred doors. This is not an error.
You cannot win this fight so flee quickly. Go to where you feel secure. When the distress ends, friends will seek you out. You are facing oppression and blocked communication but a new time is approaching. Join those with whom you feel a true connection. Let yourself be led and you can realize the hidden potential. Co-operate with the ongoing process of change. (12 Obstruction)

Step 3 Threshold: This inner re-balancing lets you make your way in life.
Eat the ancient power and virtue. Trial: Wise Words! The Way is open.
Complete the adversity. Face the hungry souls and angry ghosts.
If someone follows a King’s service, it will not be accomplished now.
To deal with this you need the insight of ancient wisdom. Do the inner work and go through the adversity. You are surrounded by cruel people intent only on mastery and power. Part from the past and go on alone, even if you move haltingly. Keep a sense of the great within. You are connected to a creative force. (44 Coupling)

Outer World

Step 4 Arrival: This inner preparation leads to what is greater.
Do not try control this Dispute through pleading. There will be changes.
Return to the source, your Mandate is approaching.
Trial: Wise Words! You are safe and secure. The Way is open.
Retreat from this conflict for a great change is coming. Things will deteriorate at first, but you are safe. You must articulate real needs, goals and desires now or you will soon have cause to lament. Retreat and ponder what is of true worth. Do not simply wait in the swamps of despair. Take in the lessons of the past. The new will come shining through. Be open and provide what is needed. (59 Dispersing)

Step 5 Outer Center: This inner re-grouping lets your real purpose shine.
Dispute. Wise Words! Plead your case. The Way to the Source is open.
State your case with clarity and confidence and expect positive results. What you have lost will return by itself and let the light of your real purpose shine through. Complete this task and move to the center. Your sorrows will disappear and new connections arise. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (64 Not Yet Crossing)

Step 6 Culmination: This inner stripping leads to a breakthrough.
Dispute. Someone bestows a leather belt on you.
Complete dawn three times and you will be deprived of it.
Contesting for mastery in a corrupt situation brings you no real honor. Anything you gain will vanish. You are trapped in your own doubts and fears now. Do not follow these old ways. It may feel like the spirit is far away but the new connection is certain. Create a clear image of your real goal. Step outside the norms. You will soon find supportive friends. Gather energy for a decisive new move. (47 Confining/Oppression)