[PD] interpretation of Li K'an icon

X. J. Scott xjscott at earthlink.net
Tue Oct 21 02:06:47 CEST 2003

Hey all,

I just realized that it may not be obvious to everyone the detailed
symbology of the red and blue icon I presented.

The trigram against the field of red fire is Li, which represents
fire, sun, and lightning as well as clarity, conscious thought,
and revelation.

The trigram against the field of blue water is K'an, which represents
moving water like rain, clouds, springs as well as a dangerous difficulty,
depth and the profundity of mystery, in other words an exceptional
challenge which brings growth.

The hexagram formed by the two, fire above moving water, is interpreted as
follows, and I believe you will see it is obvious that it is the hexagram
that best forms pd:

> Before the End comes progress. But if the young fox,
> having nearly crossed the stream, gets his tail wet,
> there will be no advantage.
                     -- translation from
                       "The Illustrated I Ching"
                        by R. L. Wing

This is the ancient origin of the term "getting your tail wet". It means
that to succeed at something that is a difficult challenge, it will not be
easy. You must completely immerse yourself in the moving water, the
difficulty that pd represents. Only by wilfully embracing the struggle of
exceptional difficulty can one emerge, wet, on the other side of the river.
Having mastered the challenge, one is ready to proceed to the new land that
awaits you, strengthened by the enlightenment and new powers that your
struggle has birthed.

This, is the message of pd and the only way to master pd -- to struggle and
to become immersed. Getting the tail wet, fooling around here and there,
will bring no benefits because the necessary price has not been paid. But
for every prize of such power as pd, there is a worthwhile price that must
be paid.

I believe that the excerpt from the I Ching I have quoted makes a beautiful
motto for pd itself.

-- X. J. Scott

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