the proper conduct of relationships

majeed badizadegan


In relationships,

desires lead to misfortune.

Behave with discipline

and balance.


Kuei Mei is concerned with the guidelines for the proper conduct of relationships, whether they be social, romantic, or work related. The image here is of thunder roiling the surface of a lake, and it suggests that relationships can be disturbing to our peace of mind unless they are established and governed under proper principles.

The nature of relationships is that they lead us into the desire state: we begin to desire another, desire recognition, desire retribution, desire a particular outcome in a given situation. All of these desires lead us away from the equanimity that we aim to maintain as students of the I Ching. This hexagram often comes as a sign that you are in danger of sacrificing your composure in an effort to affect a relationship.

When someone does not treat you as you would like, you are faced with a choice as to what to do. While it may be tempting to abandon the relationship in anger or act aggressively to produce a result, neither of these is consistent with proper principles.

You are counseled instead to return to inner independence, acceptance, modestly, and gentleness. The greatest influence is always had through inner discipline and balance; less subtle measures may produce more immediate results, but they are seldom lasting.

This hexagram also teaches us that rushing into a relationship, rushing to resolve a relationship, or rushing to escape a relationship are all akin to rushing on ice: each invites a panful fall. Seek to establish relationships slowly and on proper principles, to allow them to evolve naturally, and to resolve disputes with patience and reserve.

If your primary relationship — that with the Sage — is open and ongoing and devoted, then all other relationships will fall into place.


The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 54, Kuei Mei / The Marrying Maiden

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