Hexagram 5, line 4:
Six in the Fourth. Waiting in blood. Leaving your cave.
The cave of blood, a vivid and dark image. We do not know what was intended by the early text. This line is Yin and in a Yin position and its corresponding line at one is correct. So even though both of them are not central, their interplay is beneficial.
Redmond (2017) has an interesting angle on this, that the blood is the blood of sacrifice and thus is not a negative factor, but a norm. The participants in a sacrifice would at points in the ritual rub the blood onto objects (such as bells and drums) or themselves (for instance a sacrifice held at an oath ritual would involve smearing the lips with blood in descending order of the hierarchy of honor).
The position is difficult, in the usually problematic fourth place. It is a time for a change of pace, as in the American expression ‘you need to get out more’. A slavish conformance to routine can slowly dig us into such a rut that we can no longer see the outside world. It’s time, then, to get out of the cave and take a walk in the sunshine.
Huang Dao Zhou cites the Book of Songs, Mao 218, verse 3:
Even though I have no good wine, the drink will be fairly good;
Even though I have no fine viands, the food will be fairly good;
Even though I have no bounty to give you, we will have song and dance.
Iulian Shchutskii’s Book of Changes version:
After the crisis situation shown in the previous line further movement takes on a new aspect of waiting. This is a not a passive waiting, it is active, full of inner strength acquired in the previous stages. In order to take acquired knowledge into the future here will require defending it and liberating it from the opposing forces. The seemingly peaceful act of waiting is transformed into such intense activity that it can only be shown with the image of bloody battle. This is not waiting on the sandy bank or in the mud…but in blood. But only here is here an exit from the dark cave of ignorance into a world clearly and openly perceived. The text couches this in the following phrases:
Weak line in the fourth place.
Waiting in blood.
Leaving the cave.
Oracle of the Singularity version from Second Life:
If you are a warrior, go into a fighting area.
If you are not. Get to a safe area and outside any building.
Commentary: In Second Life one of the land settings is a little heart for ‘damage’. When turned on, it allows people to inflict ‘damage’ on an avatar. This is measured in percent and when it goes to zero the avatar is teleported home, a symbolic death. Many roleplaying areas have more advanced combat systems, usually worn as a HUD (head up display).
Forest of Changes verse for today:
5 - 43
By clothing and cap establishing the central.
By using benevolence establishing virtuous power,
Great are the repeated blessings.