A matter of dispersing attention…

Luis Andrade
5 min readJul 22, 2017
59–5,6>7 // Dispersion to The Army

As I sometimes do, here is a random Yijing reading regarding world affairs and about our country within that context. It may sound odd to most people but it helps me make sense of what the Hell is going on in our present. This is an answer I obtained on June/24/2017 and appears to refer to the president’s trip in May/2017 to Europe and the Middle East (crossing the great waters, etc.). As you can appreciate, actual affairs proved to be pretty much on the mark of how things resulted later on after the trip, in late June. Grab your copy of the Yijing (I Ching) and look it up, or go here: I Ching at Deoxi.org (Wilhelm/Baynes translation)

Mind you, for public consumption, it is better to satirize with some cartoons after the fact than “prophesy” something that can come back to bite you (bad puppies, bad!!). Health wise, court jesters always fared better than court diviners, so, I rather elaborate here a few clarifying thoughts and share a few quotes related to the reading and not at Yitoons.com. What’s the point of elaborating on a cartoon where they are published? Or rather, as the saying goes, if you have to explain a joke…Mind you, I’m not ‘explaining’ anything but rather ‘seasoning’ it with a few literary spices…

The reading itself resulted on hexagram 59, Dispersion, with moving lines in the 5th and 6th position, the top two lines, which would then result in hexagram 7, The Army.

In my collection of Yijing related books I have an old copy of Dr. R.G.H. Siu’s book, “The Man of Many Qualities, A Legacy of the I Ching”. Dr. Siu was a fascinating and supremely well read person and that book is a tour de force in connecting Western literature with the concepts contained in the Yijing. Interestingly, Dr. Siu names hexagram 59 (“Dispersion” in the Wilhelm/Baynes translation) as “Overcoming Dissension,” which is an interpretation of the theme of hexagram 59 and not a translation of the Chinese character that serves as its name, (disperse, dissipate, dissolve, melt, vanish, scatter). Siu’s interpretation of the overall hexagram is:

The ruler overcomes divisive egotism through filial piety within himself, which leads to unity and progress throughout the country. The time is favorable to undertake a great project.

Then he adds three literary quotes of which I’ll transcribe two:

The reason [for the inability of the Arabs to establish an empire unless they are imbued with religion by a prophet or a saint, or generally inspired by religious enthusiasm] is that , being naturally wild, they are of all peoples the the most reluctant to submit to one another owing to the rudeness of their manners, their arrogance, their high spirit, and their jealousy of authority. Seldom, therefore, are the unanimous. But when they follow a prophet or a saint, they are restrained by something within themselves, their pride and jealousy depart from them, submission and concord are no longer difficult. Religion brings them together: it takes away their rudeness and insolence, it removes envy and jealousy from their hearts. If there be among them the prophet or saint who urges them to fulfill the command of God, and bids them be of one voice to make the truth prevail, they will become completely united and gain victory and empire.
Ibn Khaldun, Tunisian (1332–1406)


Of the second-rate rulers, people speak respectfully saying, “He has done this, he has done that.”
Of the first-rate rulers they do no say this. They say: We have done it all ourselves.”
Lao-Tzu, Chinese (604–531 B.C.)

Reading Siu’s interpretation for the top two lines, we have first the 5th line and a literary quote:

The man announces a great policy during a period of disunity and deadlock which serves as a rallying point for reforms. Misunderstanding is thereby dissipated by his proclamation.

and the literary quote is:

Speak against covetousness, and cry out upon it. Stand not ticking and toying at the branches nor at the boughs, for then there will be new boughs and branches spring again from them; but strike at the root and fear not these giants of England, the great men and men of power, these men that are the oppressors of the poor; fear them not, but strike at the root of the evil, which is mischievous covetousness.
Hugh Latimer, English (1485–1555)

The 6th line goes as:

The man removes the sources of danger and bloodshed.

With this quote:

There is no such test of a man’s superiority of character as in the well-conducting of an unavoidable quarrel.
Sir Henry Taylor, English (1800–1886)

For hexagram 7, The Army, this:

The overall judgement: discipline in the army is achieved by the mature and experienced man who gains the support of the ruler and aroused the spirit of the people. Passions of combat, however, should not lead to cruelty and revenge. Form-heartedness and correctness should form the basis of action.

With this quote:

Nothing in Washington’s military career shows the kindliness of his heart and his indifference to personal autocracy more poignantly than an overlooked little memorandum that he ordered destroyed…

Realizing that by going south he automatically superseded Greene in command and robbed him of his independence, he tried to soften the blow by a personal message sent with a letter of congratulation following Greene’s success at Eutaw Springs…

This is the message:

“Col. Morris will inform General Greene in the sincerest manner that there are but two motives which can possibly indice Genl. (sic.). Washington to take command to the southward: one, the order of Cornwallis to repair thither; the other, the French army going there. In the last case Count Rochambeau would command if Genl. Washington did not go in person. General Washington wishes, not only from his personal regard to Genl. Greene, but from principles of generosity and justice, to see him crowned with those laurels which from his unparalleled exertions he so richly deserves.”
Rupert Hughes, American (1872–1956)

Make of this what you will, but, in my experience, were you to believe it has any usefulness and wisdom, as I do, the way to read the Yijing is to heed what’s been said and either improve the odds of a good omen happening or correct the course shown to you by a bad one in order to avoid it.



Luis Andrade

Occasional translator. Making no sense in more than one language. Yixue student. Non-locality guru. Likely to piss you off.