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Wei Chi – Before Completion


This hexagram indicates a time when the transition from disorder to order is not yet completed. The change is indeed prepared for, since all the lines in the upper trigram are in relation to those in the lower. However, they are not yet in their places. While the preceding hexagram offers an analogy to autumn, which forms the transition from summer to winter, this hexagram presents a parallel to spring, which leads out of winter’s stagnation into the fruitful time of summer. With this hopeful outlook the Book of Changes comes to its close.


BEFORE COMPLETION. Success. But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing, gets his tail in the water, there is nothing that would further.The conditions are difficult. The task is great and full of responsibility. It is nothing less than that of leading the world out of confusion back to order. But it is a task that promises success, because there is a goal that can unite the forces now tending in different directions. At first, however, one must move warily, like an old fox walking over ice. The caution of a fox walking over ice is proverbial in China. His ears are constantly alert to the cracking of the ice, as he carefully and circumspectly searches out the safest spots. A young fox who as yet has not acquired this caution goes ahead boldly, and it may happen that he falls in and gets his tail wet when he is almost across the water. Then of course his effort has been all in vain [when we move swiftly like a fox and avoid dangers alert, confront the necessary in a cunning fashion, yet time does not further we age and then the greatest of our efforts go to waste, there is a proper mean to proper age and time]. Accordingly, in times “before completion,” deliberation and caution are the prerequisites of success.


Fire over water: The image of the condition before transition.Thus the superior man is careful. In the differentiation of things, so that each finds its place. When fire, which by nature flames upward, is above, and water, which flows downward, is below, their effects take opposite directions and remain unrelated. If we wish to achieve an effect, we must first investigate the nature of the forces in question and ascertain their proper place. If we can bring these forces to bear in the right place, they will have the desired effect, and completion will be achieved [all rounding is done through combining the perceived dualisms through a transcendent which sees the whole]. But in order to handle external forces properly, we must above all arrive at the correct standpoint ourselves, for only from this vantage can we work correctly.


Six at the beginning means:

He gets his tail in the water. Humiliating. In times of disorder there is a temptation to advance oneself as rapidly as possible in order to accomplish something tangible. But this enthusiasm leads only to failure and humiliation if the time for achievement has not yet arrived. In such a time it is wise to spare ourselves the opprobrium of failure by holding back.

Nine in the second place means:

He brakes his wheels.Perseverance brings good fortune.Here again the time to act has not yet come. But the patience needed is not that of idle waiting without to any success. Instead, an individual must develop in himself the strength that will enable him to go forward. He must have a vehicle, as it were, to effect the crossing. But he must for the time being use the brakes [if one loses breaks, it is wise to limit his action through forcing new ones in, otherwise he falls apart in degeneration and disorder]. Patience in the highest sense means putting brakes on strength. Therefore he must not fall asleep and lose sight of the goal. If he remains strong and steadfast in his resolve, all goes well in the end.

Six in the third place means:Before completion, attack brings misfortune.It furthers one to cross the great water.The time of transition has arrived, but one lacks the strength to complete the transition. If one should attempt to force it, disaster would result, because collapse would then be unavoidable. What is to be done? A new situation must be created; one must engage the energies of able helpers and in this fellowship take the decisive step—cross the great water. Then completion will become possible.

Nine in the fourth place means: Perseverance brings good fortune.Remorse disappears. Shock, thus to discipline the Devil’s Country. For three years, great realms are awarded thought of the morrow. Kept up indefinitely, this would not lead. Now it is the time of struggle. The transition must be completed. We must make ourselves strong in resolution; this brings good fortune. All misgivings that might arise in such grave times of struggle must be silenced. It is a question of a fierce battle to break and to discipline the Devil’s Country, the forces of decadence. But the struggle also has its reward. Now is the time to lay the foundations of power and mastery for the future.

Six in the fifth place means:Perseverance brings good fortune.No remorse.The light of the superior man is true.Good fortune.The victory has been won. The power of steadfastness has not been routed. Everything has gone well. All misgivings have been overcome. Success has justified the deed. The light of a superior personality shines forth anew and makes its influence felt among men who have faith in it and rally around it. The new time has arrived, and with it good fortune. And just as the sun shines forth in redoubled beauty after rain, or as a forest grows more freshly green from charred ruins after a fire, so the new era appears all the more glorious by contrast with the misery of the old.

Nine at the top means:There is drinking of wineIn genuine confidence. No blame.But if one wets his head,He loses it, in truth. Before completion, at the dawning of the new time, friends foregather in an atmosphere of mutual trust, and the time of waiting is passed in conviviality. Since the new era is hard on the threshold, there is no blame in this. But one must be careful in all this to keep within proper bounds. If in his exuberance a man gets drunk, he forfeits the favorableness of the situation through his intemperance [moderation in golden times of great joy are dignified, they don’t turn to excess]

NOTE. The hexagram AFTER COMPLETION represents a gradual transition from a time of ascent past a peak of culture to a time of standstill. The hexagram BEFORE COMPLETION represents a transition from chaos to order. This hexagram comes at the end of the Book of Changes. It points to the fact that every end contains a new beginning. Thus it gives hope to men. The Book of Changes is a book of the future.


Chi Chi – After Completion


This hexagram is the evolution of T’ai, PEACE (11). The transition from confusion to order is completed, and everything is in its proper place even in particulars. The strong lines are in the strong places, the weak lines in the weak places. This is a very favorable outlook, yet it gives reason for thought. For it is just when perfect equilibrium has been reached that any movement may cause order to revert to disorder. The one strong line that has moved to the top, thus effecting complete order in details, is followed by the other lines, each moving according to its nature, and thus suddenly there arises again the hexagram P’i, STANDSTILL (12).Hence the present hexagram indicates the conditions of a time of climax, which necessitate the utmost caution.



AFTER COMPLETION. Success in small matters. Perseverance furthers. At the beginning good fortune, at the end disorder. The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In principle, everything stands systematized, and it is only in regard to details that success is still to be achieved.In respect to this, however, we must be careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let things take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil [indifference at the apex gives birth to decay, if there is no regenerative force it corrodes and begins to rot, all the weak parts of the system become exposed and turn into wounds] Symptoms of decay are bound to be the result. Here we have the rule indicating the usual course of history. But this rule is not an inescapable law. He who understands it is in position to avoid its effects by dint of unremitting perseverance and caution.


Water over fire: the image of the condition. In AFTER COMPLETION. Thus the superior man takes thought of misfortune and arms himself against it in advance [pondering upon misfortune to prepare oneself for everything does not mean dwelling on it, it is a realistic armanent]. When water in a kettle hangs over fire, the two elements stand in relation and thus generate energy (cf. the production of steam). But the resulting tension demands caution. If the water boils over, the fire is extinguished and its energy is lost. If the heat is too great, the water evaporates into the air. These elements here brought into relation and thus generating energy are by nature hostile to each other [masterful handling of opposing elements means a transcending command over them, and focus fixed in transcendend union, when the focus deflates towards one of the elements, the experiment backlashes on the experimenter, if two violent chemicals are used without proportion, they explode]. Only the most extreme caution can prevent damage. In life too there are junctures when all forces are in balance and work in harmony, so that everything seems to be in the best of order. In such times only the sage recognizes the moments that bode danger and knows how to banish it by means of timely precautions [free of all personal preoccupations, he knows when to act, when to be still, he does not know cowardice, he does not know what is to be courageous – he is at one with all that he does – superior character never shirks his duty, inferior one ponders upon the act when things need to be done, a fools acts when he is prompted and asked, a wiseman engages in independent acts all the time, a degenerate acts in the wrong ways, a man of superior qualities works in the right at all times]


Nine at the beginning means:

He brakes his wheels. He gets his tail in the water.No blame.In times following a great transition, everything is pressing forward, striving in the direction of development and progress. But this pressing forward at the beginning is not good; it overshoots the mark and leads with certainty to loss and collapse. Therefore a man of strong character does not allow himself to be infected by the general intoxication but checks his course in time. He may indeed not remain altogether untouched by the disastrous consequences of the general pressure, but he is hit only from behind like a fox that, having crossed the water, at the last minute gets its tail wet. He will not suffer any real harm, because his behavior has been correct.

Six in the second place means:

The woman loses the curtain of her carriage. Do not run after it; On the seventh day you will get it.When a woman drove out in her carriage, she had a curtain that hid her from the glances of the curious. It was regarded as a breach of propriety to drive on if this curtain was lost. Applied to public life, this means that a man who wants to achieve something is not receiving that confidence of the authorities which he needs, so to speak, for his personal protection. Especially in times “after completion” it may happen that those who have come to power grow arrogant and conceited and no longer trouble themselves about fostering new talent.This as a rule results in office seeking. If a man’s superiors withhold their trust from him, he will seek ways and means of getting it and of drawing attention to himself. We are warned against such an unworthy procedure: “Do not seek it.” Do not throw yourself away on the world, but wait tranquilly and develop your personal worth by your own efforts. Times change. When the six stages of the hexagram have passed, the new era dawns. That which is a man’s own cannot be permanently lost. It comes to him of its own accord. He need only be able to wait.

Nine in the third place means:

The Illustrious Ancestor Disciplines the Devil’s Country. After three years he conquers it. Inferior people must not be employed.“Illustrious Ancestor” is the dynastic title of the Emperor Wu Ting of the Yin dynasty. After putting his realm in order with a strong hand, he waged long colonial wars for the subjection of the Huns who occupied the northern borderland with constant threat of incursions.The situation described is as follows. After times of completion, when a new power has arisen and everything within the country has been set in order, a period of colonial expansion almost inevitably follows. Then as a rule long-drawn-out struggles must be reckoned with. For this reason, a correct colonial policy is especially important. The territory won at such bitter cost must not be regarded as an almshouse for people who in one way or another have made themselves impossible at ome, but who are thought to be quite good enough for the colonies. Such a policy ruins at the outset any chance of success. This holds true in small as well as in large matters, because it is not only rising states that carry on a colonial policy; the urge to expand, with its accompanying dangers, is part and parcel of every ambitious undertaking.

Six in the fourth place means: The finest clothes turn to rags.Be careful all day long.In a time of flowering culture, an occasional convulsion is bound to occur, uncovering a hidden evil within society and at first causing a great sensation. But since the situation is favorable on the whole, such evils can easily be glossed over and concealed from the public. Then everything is forgotten and peace apparently reigns complacently once more. However, to the thoughtful man such occurrences are grave omens that he does not neglect. This is the only way of averting evil consequences.

Nine in the fifth place means: The neighbor in the east who slaughters an ox Does not attain as much real happinessAs the neighbor in the west with his small offering.

Religious attitudes are likewise influenced by the spiritual atmosphere prevailing in times after completion. In divine worship the simple old forms are replaced by an ever more elaborate ritual and an ever greater outward display. But inner seriousness is lacking in this show of magnificence; human caprice takes the place of conscientious obedience to the divine will. However, while man sees what is before his eyes, God looks into the heart. Therefore a simple sacrifice offered with real piety holds a greater blessing than an impressive service without warmth [true ceremonies that are honest in simplicity in a Theurgic ritual are effective, one does not need sophisticated ceremonies and outward displays of religious power to work with the Divine]

Six at the top means: He gets his head in the water. Danger.Here in conclusion another warning is added. After crossing a stream, a man’s head can get into the water only if he is so imprudent as to turn back. As long as he goes forward and does not look back, he escapes this danger. But there is a fascination in standing still and looking back on a peril overcome. However, such vain self-admiration brings misfortune. It leads only to danger, and unless one finally resolves to go forward without pausing, one falls a victim to this danger.


Hsiao Kuo – Preponderance of the Small


The rulers of the hexagram are the second and the fifth line, because they are yielding and hold the middle. They are in a time when a transition must be made, but without going too far.

The Sequence

When one has the trust of creatures, one sets them in motion; hence there follows the hexagram of PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL.

Miscellaneous Notes

PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL signifies a transition.

Appended JudgmentsThe rulers split wood and made a pestle of it. They made a hollow in the ground for a mortar. The use of the mortar and pestle was of benefit to all mankind. They probably took this from the hexagram of PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL.

The Chinese word kuo cannot be translated in such a way as to render all its secondary meanings. It means to pass by, and then comes the idea of excessiveness, preponderance; in fact, it means everything that results from exceeding the mean. The hexagram deals with transitional states, extraordinary conditions. It is so constructed that the yielding elements are on the outside. When, given such a structure, strong lines predominate, the hexagram of PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT (28) results; but when the weak lines are in the majority, we have PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL [as in centrifugal force, when the strong is dominant, all rotate around, when on the contrary, what circulated becomes stronger, the concentric strong force loses its force to the lesser and hence the small is dominant] . The nuclear trigrams of the present hexagram produce the same structure as the primary trigrams of hexagram 28. This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one.


PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL. Success. Perseverance furthers. Small things may be done; great things should not be done. The flying bird brings the message:It is not well to strive upward,It is well to remain below [ability for a great nature to keep one’s head low when necessary and apply it to resourceful enterprises by small means and small steps is humility despite the times, or indeed – they are in accord with the times]. Great good fortune.

Commentary on the Decision

PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL. The small preponderate and have success. To be furthered in transition by perseverance: this means going with the time.The yielding attains the middle, hence good fortune in small things.The hard has lost its place and is not in the middle: hence one should not do great things. The hexagram has the form of a flying bird.“The flying bird brings the message: It is not well to strive upward, it is well to remain below. Great good fortune.” [the falcon lowers his flight among the little birds he finds a companion] Striving upward is rebellion, striving downward is devotion. In exceptional times exceptional measures are necessary for reestablishing the norm. The point here is that the time demands a restraint that would appear to be excessive. It is a time like that of King Wên and the tyrant Chou Hsin, and this restraint, which might appear exaggerated, is exactly what the time calls for.

Preponderance of the small is indicated by the fact that yielding, i.e., small lines hold the middle places and thus are rulers of the hexagram, while the strong lines have been forced out of key positions outside into places inside, without being central. PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT is like a beam; its danger lies in excessive weight, therefore it must be supported in the middle from below. PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL is like a bird; the danger for it lies in mounting too high and losing the ground under its feet. THE IMAGE Thunder on the mountain:The image of PREPONDERANCE OF THE SMALL. Thus in his conduct the superior man gives preponderance to reverence [contemplating the Heavens, he acts in simple, decent manner] .In bereavement he gives preponderance to grief [contemplating the situation, he casts the bitter thoughts away and overcomes them in committment]. In his expenditures he gives preponderance to thrift.

Thunder rising from the plain to the heights becomes gradually fainter in transition. From this is taken the idea of overweighting, of doing a little too much in the right way. For it is precisely by doing a little too much in the direction of the small that we hit the mark as to what is right [nothing excessive in regular conditions of life, sometimes a superior nature may adapt to the pettiness of life, but it should not trade it’s nature nor suffocate it, it should show only this face of his or hers nature that is regular in conduct, the rest remains hidden and shows face only to the Heavens]. It is thus that we attain the right degree of reverence in our conduct, the right degree of mourning at a burial, and the right degree of economy in expenditures. Conduct is suggested by the upper trigram Chên, movement, and burial by the position of the nuclear trigrams—Tui, the lake, over Sun, wood (cf. hexagram 28, in which the idea of burial is likewise represented by this combination). Thrift in spending is suggested by the trigram Kên, mountain, which indicates limitation.


Six at the beginning:

a) The bird meets with misfortune through flying.

b) “The bird meets with misfortune through flying.” Here there is nothing to be done. This line is in the lowest place in the trigram Kên, mountain. It ought to keep still, but since according to the meaning of the hexagram, the weak preponderates, and since there is a secret relationship between it and the nine in the fourth place, it will not suffer restraint, but seeks to soar like a flying bird. But in doing so it willfully endangers itself; for if a bird flies up when it is time for it to keep still, it is sure to fall into the hands of the hunter.

Six in the second place:

a) She passes by her ancestor and meets her ancestress. He does not reach his prince and meets the official. No blame.

b) “He does not reach his prince.” The official should not wish to surpass (the prince) [feuds of natures lead to humiliation, and destroy the order of hierarchy, if a inferior nature aspires to the greater, it polishes its nature and assumes a position out of accord, if an inferior nature attempts to surpass a superior nature by force, deceit, flawed repetitions, or ungenuine likeness, than it may achieve something for a while, but then collapses into its real standing and true nature, leading to humiliation of both].

The nine in the third place is the father, the nine in the fourth place the grandfather, the six in the fifth place the grandmother. Congruity relates the present line to the six in the fifth place. But because it is presupposed in this hexagram that the small passes by and surmounts the great, and because furthermore the six in the fifth place is the ruler of the hexagram, the image of the ancestress is chosen. In another aspect, the present line represents an official who does not surpass the yielding prince, the six in the fifth place, because he himself is yielding in nature. In the nine in the third place he meets with an official with whom he is united through the relationship of holding together.

Nine in the third place:

a) If one is not extremely careful, Somebody may come up from behind and strike him. Misfortune.

b) “Somebody may come up from behind and strike him.” What a misfortune this is! This line is strong, it is true, but the six in the second place is in a more favorable position, because it is not only central but also a ruler of the hexagram. The nine in the third place, being at the top of the primary trigram Kên, can guard itself against unexpected accidents. If it fails to do this, disaster comes from behind [poisonous arrows of the enemy strike in the background, scheming does not come to the fore until misfortunes ensue]

Nine in the fourth place:

a) No blame. He meets him without passing by. Going brings danger. One must be on guard. Do not act. Be constantly persevering.

b) “He meets him without passing by.” The place is not the appropriate one. “Going brings danger. One must be on guard.” One must on no account continue thus.The strength of the nine in the fourth place is modified by the weakness of the place. It is the place of the minister. He does not seek to surpass his prince but meets him, so that all is well. However, as ruler of the upper trigram Chên, the line is too readily inclined to be drawn into excessive movement, which would be dangerous. Hence the warning against action.

Six in the fifth place:

a) Dense clouds,No rain from our western territory. The prince shoots and hits him who is in the cave.

b) “Dense clouds, no rain”: he is already above.The oracle, “Dense clouds, no rain,” appears also in THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL (9), which deals with a somewhat similar situation. There, however, it is the strong lines at the top that finally cause the clouds to condense to rain. Here, where the small passes by the great, the six in the fifth place is too high up. There is no strong line above it that could condense the clouds. The upper trigram Tui is the west. It also means metal, hence the image of shooting. The man in the cave is the six in the second place. The word for shooting means shooting with an arrow attached to a line for the purpose of dragging in the game that has been shot. The connection arises from the fact that the present line and the six in the second place are related through similarity of kind.

Six at the top:

a) He passes him by, not meeting him.The flying bird leaves him.Misfortune.This means bad luck and injury.

b) “He passes him by, not meeting him.” He is already arrogant. The six at the top really stands in the relationship of correspondence to the nine in the third place, but at a time when the small passes by the great, this relationship does not apply. The six at the top is directed upward only. Thus the image of the bird appears again. In the case of the six at the beginning, disaster results from impatience; here it comes from the fact that the line is too high, too arrogant, and unwilling to come back. As a result, it loses its way, leaves the others, and draws disaster upon itself from both gods and men [being in an isolated tower, out of necessity, or without, does not further anything]


Chung Fu – Inner Truth



The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the water. Thus visible effects of the invisible manifest themselves. The hexagram consists of firm lines above and below, while it is open in the center. This indicates a heart free of prejudices and therefore open to truth. On the other hand, each of the two trigrams has a firm line in the middle; this indicates the force of inner truth in the influences they represent.The attributes of the two trigrams are: above, gentleness, forbearance toward inferiors; below, joyousness in obeying superiors. Such conditions create the basis of a mutual confidence that makes achievements possible.The character fu (“truth”) is actually the picture of a bird’s foot over a fledgling. It suggests the idea of brooding. An egg is hollow. The light-giving power must work to quicken it from outside, but there must be a germ of life within, if life is to be awakened. Far-reaching speculations can be linked with these ideas. [inner truth is a condition of correct, natural, transparent, honest and firm resonation with the Heavens within, that is also a form of a philosopher’s stone, it is neither a conviction or certainty, but may become such, it is neither opinion or tought, although it may appear as such, it is neither belief nor worldview, although it may manifest as such, none of these factors define it, they may emanate it truly or be false and non-representative of this inner genii of truth, it is the inner gold that strenghtens all other endeavours and is developed as a thread, whether the mind becomes deformed and the heart suffers – inner truth calls from within, and is called up, or recalled from the creative Heavens]


INNER TRUTH. Pigs and fishes. Good fortune .It furthers one to cross the great water. Perseverance furthers.

Pigs and fishes are the least intelligent of all animals and therefore the most difficult to influence. The force of inner truth must grow great indeed before its influence can extend to such creatures. In dealing with persons as intractable and as difficult to influence as a pig or a fish, the whole secret of success depends on finding the right way of approach. One must first rid oneself of all prejudice and, so to speak, let the psyche of the other person act on one without restraint [Strong personalities may let others penetrate them with their own views and natures, they are not harmed or shaken by this, they may let other’s psyches work intrusively without a degenerating influence on their own natures, and then as they are exposed, they are understood, the thread of their psyche’s is overtaken, and guided towards a greater thing]. Then one will establish contact with him, understand and gain power over him. When a door has thus been opened, the force of one’s personality will influence him. If in this way one finds no obstacles insurmountable, one can undertake even the most dangerous things, such as crossing the great water, and succeed. But it is important to understand upon what the force of inner truth depends. This force is not identical with simple intimacy or a secret bond. Close ties may exist also among thieves; it is true that such a bond acts as a force but, since it is not invincible, it does not bring good fortune. All association on the basis of common interests holds only up to a certain point. Where the community of interest ceases, the holding together ceases also, and the closest friendship often changes into hate. Only when the bond is based on what is right, on steadfastness, will it remain so firm that it triumphs over everything.


Wind over lake: the image of INNER TRUTH. Thus the superior man discusses criminal cases in order to delay executions.

Wind stirs water by penetrating it. Thus the superior man, when obliged to judge the mistakes of men, tries to penetrate their minds with understanding, in order to gain a sympathetic appreciation of the circumstances. In ancient China, the entire administration of justice was guided by this principle. A deep understanding that knows how to pardon was considered the highest form of justice. This system was not without success, for its aim was to make so strong a moral impression that there was no reason to fear abuse of such mildness. For it sprang not from weakness but from a superior clarity.


Nine at the beginning means:Being prepared brings good fortune. If there are secret designs, it is disquieting.

The force of inner truth depends chiefly on inner stability and preparedness. From this state of mind springs the correct attitude toward the outer world. But if a man should try to cultivate secret relationships of a special sort, it would deprive him of his inner independence. The more reliance he places on the support of others, the more uneasy and anxious he will become as to whether these secret ties are really tenable. In this way inner peace and the force of inner truth are lost.

Nine in the second place means:

A crane calling in the shade. Its young answers it.I have a good goblet.I will share it with you.This refers to the involuntary influence of a man’s inner being upon persons of kindred spirit. The crane need not show itself on a high hill. It may be quite hidden when it sounds its call; yet its young will hear its note, will recognize it and give answer. Where there is a joyous mood, there a comrade will appear to share a glass of wine. This is the echo awakened in men through spiritual attraction. Whenever a feeling is voiced with truth and frankness, whenever a deed is the clear expression of sentiment, a mysterious and far-reaching influence is exerted. At first it acts on those who are inwardly receptive. But the circle grows larger and larger. The root of all influence lies in one’s own inner being: given true and vigorous expression in word and deed, its effect is great. The effect is but the reflection of something that emanates from one’s own heart. Any deliberate intention of an effect would only destroy the possibility of producing it.[nature cannot be falsely replicated, recycled or reproduced, it comes from a deeper instinct of a genii]

Confucius says about this line: “The superior man abides in his room. If his words are well spoken, he meets with assent at a distance of more than a thousand miles. How much more then from near by! If the superior man abides in his room and his words are not well spoken, he meets with contradiction at a distance of more than a thousand miles. How much more then from near by! Words go forth from one’s own person and exert their influence on men. Deeds are born close at hand and become visible far away. Words and deeds are the hinge and bowspring of the superior man. As hinge and bowspring move, they bring honor or disgrace. Through words and deeds the superior man moves heaven and earth. Must one not, then, be cautious?” [thus commandering silence is always superior to flawed speech, even if one had a voice commanding, influencing many worlds, is it not better to keep silent, even when under influence, than to speak unwisely, how much worse thus to lose all sense and speak filth and dwelling on insanity and obsessions, that corrupts and destroys our natures?]

Six in the third place means: He finds a comrade.

Now he beats the drum, now he stops.Now he sobs, now he sings. Here the source of a man’s strength lies not in himself but in his relation to other people. No matter how close to them he may be, if his center of gravity depends on them, he is inevitably tossed to and fro between joy and sorrow. Rejoicing to high heaven, then sad unto death—this is the fate of those who depend upon an inner accord with other persons whom they love. Here we have only the statement of the law that this is so. Whether this condition is felt to be an affliction or the supreme happiness of love, is left to the subjective verdict of the person concerned.

Six in the fourth place means:

The moon nearly at the full. The team horse goes astray. No blame. To intensify the power of inner truth, a man must always turn to his superior, from whom he can receive enlightenment as the moon receives light from the sun. However, this requires a certain humility, like that of the moon when it is not yet quite full [the eye reflecing the stars, the planets and the moon, the mighty Sun, in act of hypostasis or elevation to the Creative Heavens, the Divine Elements, and hypostasis of one’s own Self and inner Truth towards them we find ourselves guided and at home in the Divine currents of being and life]. At the moment when the moon becomes full and stands directly opposite the sun, it begins to wane. Just as on the one hand we must be humble and reverent when face to face with the source of enlightenment, so likewise must we on the other renounce factionalism among men. Only by pursuing one’s course like a horse that goes straight ahead without looking sidewise at its mate, can one retain the inner freedom that helps one onward.

Nine in the fifth place means:He possesses truth, which links together. No blame. This describes the ruler who holds all elements together by the power of his personality. Only when the strength of his character is so ample that he can influence all who are subject to him, is he as he needs to be. The power of suggestion must emanate from the ruler. It will firmly knit together and unite all his adherents. Without this central force, all external unity is only deception and breaks down at the decisive moment.

Nine at the top means:

Cockcrow penetrating to heaven.Perseverance brings misfortune.The cock is dependable. It crows at dawn. But it cannot itself fly to heaven. It just crows. A man may count on mere words to awaken faith. This may succeed now and then, but if persisted in, it will have bad consequences.

Chieh – Limitation


A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit. The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions—the limits of loyalty and disinterestedness [not exceeding the boundaries of inner truth, and conducting oneself in a right manner]


LIMITATION. Success. Galling limitation must not be persevered in. Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective [what is strongly bound in limitation, grows elsewhere, if this growth is wise and directed, it leads to supreme effects in character, similar to mental yoga or meditation, disciplining the mind serves to toughen and render it more attentive, perceptive and intelligent]. If we live economically in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter, day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way, economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property and prevent injury to the people. But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel. Therefore it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation [limitations turning into rigour is a stiff attachment, contracting and expanding to shape the nature, to give it direction according to command over self polishes the men and women]


Water over lake: the image of LIMITATION. Thus the superior man creates number and measure and examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct [virtues are resolved through reason, they are therefore reasonable in the light of the whole, what is a vice is unreasonable in the light of the whole, and resolves itself in darkened delusion, or ignorance, when reason is tied with Intellect, we are hunting for mirroring the Divine. When sets the proportion and content, maps the inner and outer boundaries of the worldly, the human, and the Divine, and thus measures it in a fine harmony, contemplaing the structure and the web of inter-relations and causality he incorporates and sees the essence within and without]. A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination and the setting of limits. Therefore what concerns us here is the problem of clearly defining these discriminations, which are, so to speak, the backbone of morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man [they destroy him, excessive passions and attachments consume him until he destroys himself, and then finding himself on the bottom, he raises himself above them, never to suffer them again, similarly, men is not infinite, he has a form and nature, half animal, aspiring to the divine, the bodies and minds have their limit in exposure to chaos beyond order, thus one unwisely subject to excess is corrected or perishes, one dwelling on chaos becomes insane if he truly meets these forces, and as soon as he sobers up, sets limits to his activity, creating a new order] if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man’s life needs the limitations ordained by duty [if one is dutiless, may he judge – what can he apply himself into, what skills and talents does he possess – and thus the duties may be self-forged, giving sense and meaning to life, otherwise one is lost in discouragous stagnation, taking effective action in one’s area is important, pioneers are characterized by such boldness, people of strenght are self-tone and self-directed towards greated aims and duties, they don’t need to be asked or forced to perform their duties] and voluntarily accepted. The individual attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is.


Nine at the beginning means: Not going out of the door and the courtyard is without blame. Often a man who would like to undertake something finds himself confronted by insurmountable limitations. Then he must know where to stop. If he rightly understands this and does not go beyond the limits set for him, he accumulates an energy that enables him, when the proper time comes, to act with great force. Discretion is of prime importance in preparing the way for momentous things.

Concerning this, Confucius says:

“Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet, he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet, he loses his life. If germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is impeded. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain silence and does not go forth.” [if a young plant is exposed to scorching sunlight as in droughts, it dies, the scorching sunlight are the unsurmountable difficulties, it needs to gather strenght and emerges at the right time, least all will be spoiled, become too accustomed to count, losing its initial break-through force and disappear without notice]

Nine in the second place means:Not going out of the gate and the courtyard brings misfortune. When the time for action has come, the moment must be quickly seized. Just as water first collects in a lake without flowing out, yet is certain to find an outlet when the lake is full, so it is in the life of man. It is a good thing to hesitate so long as the time for action has not come, but no longer. Once the obstacles to action have been removed, anxious hesitation is a mistake that is bound to bring disaster, because one misses one’s opportunity [missing opportunity and not taking decisive action by whatsoever reason, inner or outer, cognizant or ignored should not however be lamented upon, one may lose a major strategical move, but let him settle for what he may still achive, and thus progress, otherwise one becries a lost moment and freezes in a stagnant mindset of ‘what if?’ Life has its own laws, and they need to be accommodate to their fullest, like the lake that sets the limit to water]

Six in the third place means: He who knows no limitation will have cause to lament. No blame. If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences free us of errors [the wheel of karma has turned, may all blame be banished to self-grasping, seeking fault in the world means we have a wrong relation to occurences of events, and need to change our perspective, similarly – seeking blame in others is outsourcing our command over our self to something outside of our control, and disables us in perfecting and rounding ourselves, for every misdeed against us, we should think “if we wouldn’t exist in a network of causality, would such a chain of events happen, it does not mean that we should abhor our existence, but accept it as a whole, and have enough willpower to forge ourselves bravely in relation to the worlds events, ameliorating the negative mishaps, and overcoming looking towards the creative Heavens]

Six in the fourth place means: Contented limitation. Success. Every limitation has its value, but a limitation that requires persistent effort entails a cost of too much energy. When, however, the limitation is a natural one (as for example, the limitation by which water flows only downhill), it necessarily leads to success, for then it means a saving of energy. The energy that otherwise would be consumed in a vain struggle with the object, is applied wholly to the benefit of the matter in hand, and success is assured.

Nine in the fifth place means:Sweet limitation brings good fortune.Going brings esteem. The limitation must be carried out in the right way if it is to be effective. If we seek to impose restrictions on others only, while evading them ourselves, these restrictions will always be resented and will provoke resistance [be expectant of yourself, don’t expect too much of others, in this way no disillusionments occur, don’t rely on others too much, build your own resilience and direction, if your friends on which you relied abandon you, you have only your own mind and muscles to rely on, as in a saying ‘if we rely too much on others in our own inner battles, our own astuteness and muscles fade’, take friendship in good conduct and cheer, but don’t put the weigh on others when it comes to your independence, everything you have carry within, people come and go like mirages, busying themselves like mirages, you are a mirage in their life after a while. Better it is to be remembered in Heavens in solitude, then caught amongst people moving hither and tither with joys and sorrows, and joining the family of the grave, better to win Heavenly memory, then erect a monolith of fame or memory on Earth. The dead want to be remembered, they thrive on memory, millions of lights and candles are aflame in the underworld when we remember all these small and great who passed away, that is the memory of the human race]. If, however, a man in a leading position applies the limitation first to himself, demanding little from those associated with him, and with modest means manages to achieve something, good fortune is the result. Where such an example occurs, it meets with emulation, so that whatever is undertaken must succeed [self-sacrifice of the little creates a following in self-sacrifice in others, the nobility of spirit rises in the whole].

Six at the top means: Galling limitation.Perseverance brings misfortune. Remorse disappears. If one is too severe in setting up restrictions, people will not endure them. The more consistent such severity, the worse it is, for in the long run a reaction is unavoidable [that which is free in nature will not bear the yoke of limitation that denies it and forcefully breaks its nature]. In the same way, the tormented body will rebel against excessive asceticism. On the other hand, although ruthless severity is not to be applied persistently and systematically, there may be times when it is the only means of safeguarding against guilt and remorse. In such situations ruthlessness toward oneself is the only means of saving one’s soul, which otherwise would succumb to irresolution and temptation. [ruthless methods of limitations should be used on oneself, when transgressions of our principles, due to external or internal incitement occur, however ruthlessness that is turned outward becomes bloody hatred, and cruelty without boundaries. Drakon laws of ancient Greece foresaw legal genocide, but it was never used, it stood as a dead law and a terrifying warning]

Huan – Dispersion (Dissolution)


Wind blowing over water disperses it, dissolving it into foam and mist. This suggests that when a man’s vital energy is dammed up within him (indicated as a danger by the attribute of the lower trigram), gentleness serves to break up and dissolve the blockage [continuous working of gentleness cleans up the clogs in the vital impulses of men, when under such block frustration or tirelessness develops, or combating against the blockade, we lose our standing and contribute to the distorted state of affairs, it is sometimes better to still oneself in gentleness and let the blocks be removed out of themselves, or engage in calm countermeasures – not leaving the situation as it is, but persistently and lightly working to clear the way. The muddy river is cleared up by a stream of fresh water arriving from the spring, and thus all is seen in clarity]


DISPERSION. Success. The king approaches his temple. It furthers one to cross the great water. Perseverance furthers. The text of this hexagram resembles that of Ts’ui, GATHERING TOGETHER (45). In the latter, the subject is the bringing together of elements that have been separated, as water collects in lakes upon the earth. Here the subject is the dispersing and dissolving of divisive egotism. DISPERSION shows the way, so to speak, that leads to gathering together. This explains the similarity of the two texts. Religious forces are needed to overcome the egotism that divides men [binding which is transcendent and lines within and above the communities]. The common celebration of the great sacrificial feasts and sacred rites, which gave expression simultaneously to the interrelation and social articulation of family and state, was the means employed by the great rulers to unite men. [feasts and ceremonies, holidays and celebrations, commemorate and strenghten the bonds and affection between men, women, the world and Heavens] The sacred music and the splendor of the ceremonies aroused a strong tide of emotion that was shared by all hearts in unison, and that awakened a consciousness of the common origin of all creatures. In this way disunity was overcome and rigidity dissolved. A further means to the same end is co-operation in great general undertakings that set a high goal for the will of the people; in the common concentration on this goal, all barriers dissolve, just as, when a boat is crossing a great stream, all hands must unite in a joint task. But only a man who is himself free of all selfish ulterior considerations, and who perseveres in justice and steadfastness, is capable of so dissolving the hardness of egotism [within and by conviction and presentable nature – without]


The wind drives over the water:The image of DISPERSION.Thus the kings of old sacrificed to the Lord and built temples. In the autumn and winter, water begins to freeze into ice. When the warm breezes of spring come, the rigidity is dissolved, and the elements that have been dispersed in ice floes are reunited. It is the same with the minds of the people. Through hardness and selfishness the heart grows rigid, and this rigidity leads to separation from all others. Egotism and cupidity isolate men. Therefore the hearts of men must be seized by a devout emotion. They must be shaken by a religious awe in face of eternity—stirred with an intuition of the One Creator of all living beings, and united through the strong feeling of fellowship experienced in the ritual of divine worship [they must be taken by individual awe, sincere sacrifices and religious ordeals coupled with realizations of the vastness, the insignificance, the terror, the beauty cannot be imposed on anyone – it is an issue of personal re-living of such circumstances within that is why it is rather difficult to arouse people to such a feeling – in sincerity it is an individual mask, tradition is a bond – but it is a repetition, it is to be discovered within]


Six at the beginning means: He brings help with the strength of a horse.Good fortune.It is important that disunion should be overcome at the outset, before it has become complete—that the clouds should be dispersed before they have brought storm and rain. At such times when hidden divergences in temper make themselves felt and lead to mutual misunderstandings, we must take quick and vigorous action to dissolve the misunderstandings and mutual distrust [all is explained with great clarity, in all outposts of discord, otherwise misunderstandings amount on on top of another and lead to conflict, disunison, suspicion, and the greatest of friends are separated not knowing what exactly happened each with a blackened heart, each with a conviction of being right, each with a conviction of being betrayed – when things cannot be perfectly put into unison immediately, then one needs to go around the stubborness of the other presenting openly his intent and heart, sacrificing oneself for the other]

Nine in the second place means: At the dissolution He hurries to that which supports him. Remorse disappears. When an individual discovers within himself the beginnings of alienation from others, of misanthropy and ill humor, he must set about dissolving these obstructions. He must rouse himself inwardly, hasten to that which supports him. [that requires great discipline and strenght to overcome, but should never left to itself, conquered by good deeds and acts] Such support is never found in hatred, but always in a moderate and just judgment of men, linked with good will [not misjudging the fates, let us consider the dead who through countless fates lived and perished, if we become pettily judgmental towards the living, we shrink our perspective and observation, knowing nothing of men, ancestor worship did secure the bond between the living and the dead]. If he regains this unobstructed outlook on humanity, while at the same time all saturnine ill humor is dissolved, all occasion for remorse disappears.

Six in the third place means: He dissolves his self. No remorse. Under certain circumstances, a man’s work may become so difficult that he can no longer think of himself. He must set aside all personal desires and disperse whatever the self gathers about it to serve as a barrier against others [in fact self-sacrifice when under heavily burdens is one of the greatest feature that a human spirit may achieve]. Only on the basis of a great renunciation can he obtain the strength for great achievements. By setting his goal in a great task outside himself, he can attain this standpoint.

Six in the fourth place means: He dissolves his bond with his group [he sacrifices his group identity and a sense of belonging to a group by overcoming oneself, this should not develop into later scorn of the group, but one thus is beyond all sectarian interests of a particular group, having in mind the good of the whole] Supreme good fortune. Dispersion leads in turn to accumulation.This is something that ordinary men do not think of.When we are working at a task that affects the general welfare, we must leave all private friendships out of account. Only by rising above party interests can we achieve something decisive. He who has the courage thus to forego what is near wins what is afar. But in order to comprehend this standpoint, one must have a wide view of the interrelationships of life, such as only unusual men attain.

Nine in the fifth place means:His loud cries are as dissolving as sweat. Dissolution! A king abides without blame. In times of general dispersion and separation, a great idea provides a focal point for the organization of recovery. Just as an illness reaches its crisis in a dissolving sweat, so a great and stimulating idea is a true salvation in times of general deadlock [hush, the idea that transcends, annihilates conflict, dissolves, elevates, amends, sews, and promotes, reaching to Heavens like a falcon, inspires the below. Inasmuch as the Deities thought is merging of idea with subject of their thought, impressions of the sacrificer, the oracle, the magician, the priest, the priestess upon the Deities is done through clear, great ideas, than a human being is a for a while god-like, his idea directed to the Heavens merges with the subject of thought of Gods, mixes and becomes sealed and mutually impressed upon each other]. It gives the people a rallying point—a man in a ruling position who can dispel misunderstandings.

Nine at the top means: He dissolves his blood. Departing, keeping at a distance, going out is without blame. The idea of the dissolving of a man’s blood means the dispersion of that which might lead to bloodshed and wounds, i.e., avoidance of danger. But here the thought is not that a man avoids difficulties for himself alone, but rather that he rescues his kin—helps them to get away before danger comes, or to keep at a distance from an existing danger, or to find a way out of a danger that is already upon them. In this way he does what is right.

Tui – The Joyous (Lake)


This hexagram, like Sun, is one of the eight formed by doubling of a trigram. The trigram Tui denotes the youngest daughter; it is symbolized by the smiling lake, and its attribute is joyousness. Contrary to appearances, it is not the yielding quality of the top line that accounts for joy here. The attribute of the yielding or dark principle is not joy but melancholy. However, joy is indicated by the fact that there are two strong lines within, expressing themselves through the medium of gentleness.True joy, therefore, rests on firmness and strength within, manifesting itself outwardly as yielding and gentle. [Joy representing an inner accord of harmony within in proportional, strong binding is overcoming and not touched by worry and anxiety. It is an inner state of happiness that resolved itself through resolute gentleness. It is guarding of principles, yet yielding to others in a wise and composed calmness, without servitude but in good, well-balanced and humble cheer]


THE JOYOUS. Success.Perseverance is favorable.The joyous mood is infectious and therefore brings success. But joy must be based on steadfastness if it is not to degenerate into uncontrolled mirth.  [Steadfastedness and regulationof the affairs of one’s nature and character in the environment of change and events]

Truth and strength must dwell in the heart, while gentleness reveals itself in social intercourse. In this way one assumes the right attitude toward God and man and achieves something. Under certain conditions, intimidation without gentleness may achieve something momentarily, but not for all time. When, on the other hand, the hearts of men are won by friendliness, they are led to take all hardships upon themselves willingly, and if need be will not shun death itself, so great is the power of joy over men. [In the right course of events hearts are won in friendly accord, intimidation used even sparcely leaves grudges in the hearts of others and may provoke vengeance and ill-will, or sings of these who are broken by intimidation. These are further divided into strong natures thaat can’t be intimidated and may be approached only out of accord, perseverant natures that even when intimidated temporarily by force seek return to the strong genuine and free conditions. Weak natures that fall under intimidation that protest at first but then join the intimidators, these who seek vengeanve and these who gossip and work through silent deceit against the intimidator. Thus never break the strong, dignified nature of lions, they will strike when healed sweeping everything under their course. Never break the dignity of a serpent, it will wait, gathering its venom as it grows deadly strongg. Never break the dignity of a wolf, it will attack once the pack gathers, and it will have a strenght of a bear when cornered.]


Lakes resting one on the other:The image of THE JOYOUS.Thus the superior man joins with his friendsFor discussion and practice.A lake evaporates upward and thus gradually dries up; but when two lakes are joined they do not dry up so readily, for one replenishes the other. It is the same in the field of knowledge. Knowledge should be a refreshing and vitalizing force. It becomes so only through stimulating intercourse with congenial friends with whom one holds discussion and practices application of the truths of life. In this way learning becomes many-sided and takes on a cheerful lightness, whereas there is always something ponderous and one-sided about the learning of the self-taught. [mutual inspiration is at he strongest when two springs continuously exchange in cordial respect and join forces to propel each other in a culured conversation. Most self-taught learning is one-sided, the waters of knowledge become murky and one becomes a follower of one view. Soon he grows estranged from he rest and is no capable of taking another’s view. Only the highes quality of masters, after proper training may set a wedge and develop themselves in silence and solitude – they consult the Heavens by their astute discerning and intelligence nevertheless. It is, however, advisable to exchange views and put oneself in the position of other, to penetrate into others hidden thoughts, grab the loose threads and pull them towards better, if we have enough wisdom and skill in dealing with people]

The metaphor of the chorus, with the key and melody set by the whole – drowning out the discordant voices or influencing them for the better – and with individuals now and again offering solos that resonate with the harmony of the whole, is evidently suited not only to the gathering bu also to the relationship between past and present. The ‘common culture’ against which the poet, for example, defines himself both sets limits that are freely acknowledged and finds preservation in his work. Just so, the “partnership” of dialogue enjoys a reciprocal relationship with “modest restraint,” on the one hand encouraging and rewarding it, on the other governed and preserved by it. Both the “partnership” and the individual are well served.

Macrobius, Ambrosius Theodosius, and Robert A. Kastner. 2011. Saturnalia. 1, 1. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard Univ. Press, Introduction, XLIII


Nine at the beginning means:Contented joyousness. Good fortune.A quiet, wordless, self-contained joy, desiring nothing from without and resting content with everything, remains free of all egotistic likes and dislikes. In this freedom lies good fortune, because it harbors the quiet security of a heart fortified within itself. [To want what we circumstantially have and nothing more, to be wantonless, not moved by likes and dislikes is a profound joy. A destitute man’s song is not meerely for him alone, for if we put ourselves in his shoes with our understanding – wha more is there to ask for? Poverty is not praised but it has to be dealt with, one master – according to Chuang Tzu – after receiving a rank in the Imperial Court, uttered: -“Lady poverty has abandoned me”- with sadness, as if he would lose his most loyal friend that was assuring his inner joy even in times of turmoil.]

Nine in the second place means:Sincere joyousness. Good fortune.Remorse disappears.We often find ourselves associating with inferior people in whose company we are tempted by pleasures that are inappropriate for the superior man. To participate in such pleasures would certainly bring remorse, for a superior man can find no real satisfaction in low pleasures. When, recognizing this, a man does not permit his will to swerve, so that he does not find such ways agreeable, not even dubious companions will venture to proffer any base pleasures, because he would not enjoy them. Thus every cause for regret is removed. [Do not seek affiliation in order to indulge yourself in low pleasures, that wane as quickly as they are a cause of regret, they pass like the wind, the high pleasures of an aesthetical mind enrich his or hers nature, and they benefit from them. Learn to take pleasure from rounding and excelling yet do not indulge in them for their own sake. Buddhists uttered a phrase that one is bound by the golden chain of virtue, the other the iron chain of vice]

Vincula non attingunt rationem, intellectum et mentem, nisi quae iocunda sunt, bona et vera, nempe perfectiva.

Omnis enim falsitas, ignorantia, improbitas et iniustitia sunt extra rationem, intellectum et mentem, non in ratione, intellectu et mente.

Do not attain reason, intellect and thinking, for the sake of nothing that is not splendid, good and truhful, nothing that is perfect, for all falsity, ignorance, and injustice is incompatible with the notions of intellect, memory, reason, intellect and thinking.

— Giordano Bruno, Theses De Magia, LIV

[Once a certain stage of inner refinement and self-sacrifice is reached, base and low things no longer hold us prisoners – they are not scorned but unappealing. One recognizes such urges in others but let’s them go without contempt, but understanding, not separating himself or herself by his quality, otherwise one turns into a snob with outer refinement but no real essence and connection with the rest.]


Six in the third place means: Coming joyousness. Misfortune.True joy must spring from within. But if one is empty within and wholly given over to the world, idle pleasures come streaming in from without. This is what many people welcome as diversion. Those who lack inner stability and therefore need amusement, will always find opportunity of indulgence. They attract external pleasures by the emptiness of their natures. Thus they lose themselves more and more, which of course has bad results. [Empty within – the world offers so many diversions and distractions. Complete and contentful – all is a found wihin. Diversions are not sought away from focused commitments. When diversions are tied with attachments – losing the outer leads to an inner catastrophy and woe. Detachment is the way of the sage, spacious broad and uncomapssing mind its pursued star. Thoughts like falcons come to the falconer as his heavenly companions.]

Nine in the fourth place means:Joyousness that is weighed is not at peace.After ridding himself of mistakes a man has joy.Often a man finds himself weighing the choice between various kinds of pleasures, and so long as he has not decided which kind he will choose, the higher or the lower, he has no inner peace. Only when he clearly recognizes that passion brings suffering, can he make up his mind to turn away from the lower pleasures and to strive for the higher. Once this decision is sealed, he finds true joy and peace, and inner conflict is overcome.

Nine in the fifth place means:Sincerity toward disintegrating influences is dangerous.Dangerous elements approach even the best of men. If a man permits himself to have anything to do with them, their disintegrating influence acts slowly but surely, and inevitably brings dangers in its train. But if he recognizes the situation and can comprehend the danger, he knows how to protect himself and remains unharmed. [Transparency and sincerity is preferable, but compete openness when disintegrating, degenerating elements are recognized one should preserve a careful, concealed stance. Pondered and recognized danger has not as much influence when it asserts its power over us, it can be counteracst, and if that is not possible – it’s influence lessened.]

Six at the top means:Seductive joyousness.A vain nature invites diverting pleasures and must suffer accordingly (cf. the six in the third place). If a man is unstable within, the pleasures of the world that he does not shun have so powerful an influence that he is swept along by them. Here it is no longer a question of danger, of good fortune or misfortune. He has given up direction of his own life, and what becomes of him depends upon chance and external influences. [Losing direction in life and submersing oneself in immoderate, destructive life is making oneself a plaything of fortunes and misfortunes. Here swept into woe, there into consummation, like a flag on the wind, a doll of fates incapable of commanding oneself]



Sun – The Gentle (Penetrating Wind)


Sun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter and symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark hidden motives [it is enough to apply the knowledge of causation and that of roots of suffering and evil to unmask all hidden plans, there everything lays in the open, there knowledge of opponents moves are all known, for darkness works according to known motives, its strenght lays in forgetfulness and concealment of these laws and its basis for functioning is the same as that of obscured light, purposefully pursuing reversal, for the ultimate principle of darkness is rest from toil, pain and suffering, from unbearable heaviness, existence in a negative state, and it’s ultimate motive is destruction to achieve that rest, through annihilating the ever-moving world, it’s scheming on the human plane is that of reflection, whereas through imitation of choice, it absorbs the vivid particle, mind, heart, and spirit and makes it alike to itself]. In the life of the community it is the powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.


THE GENTLE. Success through what is small.It furthers one to have somewhere to go.It furthers one to see the great man. Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects [a small wedge in the field of understanding expands slowly as it lets more light in, and we move deeper into darkness with our torches lit, carrying inner truth and a star of our consciousness with us] It should be effected not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses [light persistence]. Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction can the object be attained. Small strength can achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who is capable of creating order.


Winds following one upon the other: The image of THE GENTLY PENETRATING. Thus the superior man. Spreads his commands abroad and carries out his undertakings.The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the ruler’s thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when the command has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with it possible. Action without preparation of the ground only frightens and repels [a commander’s voice that is polluted, contaminated, and makes no sense soaks into souls and hearts of people doing them harm, and leaving them heart-broken, wise words enlighten and set their heart aflame]


Six at the beginning means:In advancing and in retreating,The perseverance of a warrior furthers.Inborn gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. [when in doubt and left to our own devices, in accord with inner truth one decisively steps upon the way and does not linger on the crossroads]  A thousand doubts crop up; one is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively to and fro. In such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing, so that one resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is far better than irresolute license.


Nine in the second place means:Penetration under the bed.Priests and magicians are used in great number [these applied in drawing Heaven down to Earth, preparing oracles, counselling the Deities].Good fortune. No blame.At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with [when roots are found, so are the remedies and antidotes]. This is the task of the priests; removing the influences is the task of the magicians. The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well worth while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light and branded, they lose their power over people.

Nine in the third place means: Repeated penetration. Humiliation.Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the power of decision [investigative indecision prolongs the process and helps the enemy reorganize] After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is essential to form a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings fresh doubts and scruples, and thereby humiliation, because one shows oneself unable to act.

Six in the fourth place means:Remorse vanishes.During the hunt Three kinds of game are caught.When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to combine innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured. The three kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods, for feasting guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch answered all three purposes, the hunt was considered especially successful.

Nine in the fifth place means: Perseverance brings good fortune.Remorse vanishes.Nothing that does not further. No beginning, but an end. Before the change, three days. After the change, three days.Good fortune.In the situation described in Ku, WORK ON WHAT HAS BEEN SPOILED (18), an entirely new point of departure must be set up, whereas here it is only a question of reforms. The beginning has not been good, but the moment has been reached when a new direction can be taken. Change and improvement are called for. Such steps must be undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with a firm and correct attitude of mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will disappear. But it must be remembered that such improvements require careful consideration. Before a change is made, it must be pondered over again and again. After the change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for some time after how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such careful work is accompanied by good fortune.

Nine at the top means:Penetration under the bed. He loses his property and his ax. Perseverance brings misfortune.A man’s understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has the strength to combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to penetrate into the personal domain of darkness would only bring harm [we would be ill-equipped to defeat or remedy it]

Lu – The Wanderer

The mountain, Kên, stands still; above it fire, Li, flames up and does not tarry. Therefore the two trigrams do not stay together. Strange lands and separation are the wanderer’s lot [the themes may be plotted with the Hymn of the Pearl by Thomas Judas and Epic of Gilgamesh, whereas the son and daughter visits strange lands, and forgets about their origins, but upon parting with the land, they are once again partaking in the Force of Heavens in their Forefathers and Foremothers worlds, these are vertical or transcendent separations, horizontal is that of wondering in unknown, hostile, or strange territories whether geographical or spiritual or psychological]


THE WANDERER. Success through smallness.Perseverance brings good fortune to the wanderer [in Mongolia there is a tradition of leaving a rock on a pile of rocks nearby, that rock respresents woes and toils and worries and weariness that is cast into the rock and lef behind, thus the journey continues].When a man is a wanderer and stranger, he should not be gruff nor overbearing. He has no large circle of acquaintances, therefore he should not give himself airs. He must be cautious and reserved; in this way he protects himself from evil [and unnecesary gossip and talk]. If he is obliging toward others, he wins success.A wanderer has no fixed abode; his home is the road. Therefore he must take care to remain upright and steadfast, so that he sojourns only in the proper places, associating only with good people. Then he has good fortune and can go his way unmolested [one may be at home yet he is perceived as a wonderer and a stranger, if such is the case although a prisoner of circumstances, or of necessity, one remains the same] THE IMAGE

Fire on the mountain:The image of THE WANDERER.Thus the superior man Is clear-minded and cautiousIn imposing penalties,And protracts no lawsuits.When grass on a mountain takes fire, there is bright light. However, the fire does not linger in one place, but travels on to new fuel. It is a phenomenon of short duration. This is what penalties and lawsuits should be like. They should be a quickly passing matter, and must not be dragged out indefinitely. Prisons ought to be places where people are lodged only temporarily, as guests are. They must not become dwelling places [if judgments and penalties are not quick and wise, they only work towards degeneration of justice, the penitent, and in the end – society that relies on this regulation].


Six at the beginning means:If the wanderer busies himself with trivial things,He draws down misfortune upon himself.A wanderer should not demean himself or busy himself with inferior things he meets with along the way. The humbler and more defenseless his outward position, the more should he preserve his inner dignity. For a stranger is mistaken if he hopes to find a friendly reception through lending himself to jokes and buffoonery. The result will be only contempt and insulting treatment [what is strange yet seems acquainted provokes inner fear, thus small people defeat it by mockery and soon one may be encircled and beaten, defeated, or killed by them, witch-hunts worked in similar ways]’

Six in the second place means:The wanderer comes to an inn.He has his property with him.He wins the steadfastness of a young servant.The wanderer here described is modest and reserved. He does not lose touch with his inner being, hence he finds a resting place. In the outside world he does not lose the liking of other people, hence all persons further him, so that he can acquire property. Moreover, he wins the allegiance of a faithful and trustworthy servant—a thing of inestimable value to a wanderer.

Nine in the third place means:The wanderer’s inn burns down.He loses the steadfastness of his young servant.Danger.A truculent stranger does not know how to behave properly. He meddles in affairs and controversies that do not concern him; thus he loses his resting place. [you ought not to meddle in affairs of strangers in an alien territory, being a stranger] He treats his servant with aloofness and arrogance; thus he loses the man’s loyalty. When a stranger in a strange land has no one left on whom he can rely, the situation becomes very dangerous.

Nine in the fourth place means:The wanderer rests in a shelter.He obtains his property and an ax.My heart is not glad.This describes a wanderer who knows how to limit his desires outwardly, though he is inwardly strong and aspiring. Therefore he finds at least a place of shelter in which he can stay. He also succeeds in acquiring property, but even with this he is not secure. He must be always on guard, ready to defend himself with arms. Hence he is not at ease. He is persistently conscious of being a stranger in a strange land.

Six in the fifth place means:He shoots a pheasant.It drops with the first arrow.In the end this brings both praise and office.Traveling statesmen were in the habit of introducing themselves to local princes with the gift of a pheasant. Here the wanderer wants to enter the service of a prince. To this end he shoots a pheasant, killing it at the first shot. Thus he finds friends who praise and recommend him, and in the end the prince accepts him and confers an office upon him. Circumstances often cause a man to seek a home in foreign parts. If he knows how to meet the situation and how to introduce himself in the right way, he may find a circle of friends and a sphere of activity even in a strange country. [kindness of the wonderer towards strangers]

Nine at the top means:The bird’s nest burns up.The wanderer laughs at first,Then must needs lament and weep.Through carelessness he loses his cow. Misfortune.The picture of a bird whose nest burns up indicates loss of one’s resting place. This misfortune may overtake the bird if it is heedless and imprudent when building its nest. It is the same with a wanderer. If he lets himself go, laughing and jesting, and forgets that he is a wanderer, he will later have cause to weep and lament. For if through carelessness a man loses his cow—i.e., his modesty and adaptability—evil will result.

Feng – Abundance (Fullness)


Chên is movement; Li is flame, whose attribute is clarity. Clarity within, movement without—this produces greatness and abundance. The hexagram pictures a period of advanced civilization. However, the fact that development has reached a peak suggests that this extraordinary condition of abundance cannot be maintained permanently [apex is followed by waning and zenith]


ABUNDANCE has success.The king attains abundance.Be not sad.Be like the sun at midday.It is not given to every mortal to bring about a time of outstanding greatness and abundance. Only a born ruler of men is able to do it, because his will is directed to what is great. Such a time of abundance is usually brief. Therefore a sage might well feel sad in view of the decline that must follow. But such sadness does not befit him [knowledge of fates and time brings about sadness to the heart of these of sight, when others rejoice, ye it is not a heavy bitter sadness, it is a paternal sadness of foresight, as if that of parents who see their children leave their nest]. Only a man who is inwardly free of sorrow and care can lead in a time of abundance. He must be like the sun at midday, illuminating and gladdening everything under heaven. [like the dance of the stars in unison, a man of leadership has a clear and joyful goal, these whose hearts are struck with bitterness cannot contribute]


Both thunder and lightning come:The image of ABUNDANCE.Thus the superior man decides lawsuits and carries out punishments.This hexagram has a certain connection with Shih Ho, BITING THROUGH (21), in which thunder and lightning similarly appear together, but in the reverse order. In BITING THROUGH, laws are laid down; here they are applied and enforced. Clarity [Li] within makes it possible to investigate the facts exactly, and shock [Chên] without ensures a strict and precise carrying out of punishments.


Nine at the beginning means: When a man meets his destined ruler,They can be together ten days,And it is not a mistake.Going meets with recognition.To bring about a time of abundance, a union of clarity with energetic movement is needed. Two individuals possessed of these two attributes are suited to each other, and even if they spend an entire cycle of time together during the period of abundance, it will not be too long, nor is it a mistake. Therefore one may go forth, in order to make one’s influence felt; it will meet with recognition.

Six in the second place means:The curtain is of such fullness That the polestars can be seen at noon.Through going one meets with mistrust and hate.If one rouses him through truth,Good fortune comes.It often happens that plots and party intrigues, which have the darkening effect of an eclipse of the sun, come between a ruler intent on great achievement and the man who could effect great undertakings. Then, instead of the sun, we see the northern stars in the sky. The ruler is overshadowed by a party that has usurped power. If a man at such a time were to try to take energetic measures, he would encounter only mistrust and envy, which would prohibit all movement. The essential thing then is to hold inwardly to the power of truth, which in the end is so strong that it exerts an invisible influence on the ruler, so that all goes well [one awaits silent retrat and withdrawal from the times by the force of inward and Heavenly recognition]

Nine in the third place means:The underbrush is of such abundance That the small stars can be seen at noon.He breaks his right arm. No blame.The image is that of a progressive covering over of the sun. Here the eclipse reaches totality, therefore even the small stars can be seen at noon.In the sphere of social relationships, this means that the prince is now so eclipsed that even the most insignificant persons can push themselves into the foreground. This makes it impossible for an able man, though he might be the right hand of the ruler, to undertake anything. It is as though his arm were broken, but he is not to blame for being thus hindered in action. [incapacited, and without an arm, one submerses in the world of heavens, and the world of heavens submerses in him]

Nine in the fourth place means:The curtain is of such fullnessThat the polestars can be seen at noon.He meets his ruler, who is of like kind.Good fortune.Here the darkness is already decreasing, therefore interrelated elements come together. Here too the complement must be found—the necessary wisdom to complement joy of action. Then everything will go well. The complementary factor postulated here is the reverse of the one in the first line. In the latter, wisdom is to be complemented by energy, while here energy is complemented by wisdow.

Six in the fifth place means: Lines are coming, Blessing and fame draw near.Good fortune.The ruler is modest and therefore open to the counsel of able men. Thus he is surrounded by men who suggest to him the lines of action. This brings blessing, fame, and good fortune to him and all the people.

Six at the top means:His house is in a state of abundance.He screens off his family.He peers through the gate And no longer perceives anyone.For three years he sees nothing.Misfortune.This describes a man who because of his arrogance and obstinacy attains the opposite of what he strives for. He seeks abundance and splendor for his dwelling. He wishes at all odds to be master in his house, which so alienates his family that in the end he finds himself completely isolated.

Kuei Mei – The Marrying Maiden


Above we have Chên, the eldest son, and below, Tui, the youngest daughter. The man leads and the girl follows him in gladness. The picture is that of the entrance of the girl into her husband’s house. In all, there are four hexagrams depicting the relationship between husband and wife. Hsien, INFLUENCE (31), describes the attraction that a young couple have for each other; Hêng, DURATION (32), portrays the permanent relationships of marriage; Chien, DEVELOPMENT (53), reflects the protracted, ceremonious procedures attending the arrangement of a proper marriage; finally, Kuei Mei, THE MARRYING MAIDEN, shows a young girl under the guidance of an older man who marries her.


THE MARRYING MAIDEN.Undertakings bring misfortune.Nothing that would further.A girl who is taken into the family, but not as the chief wife, must behave with special caution and reserve. She must not take it upon herself to supplant the mistress of the house, for that would mean disorder and lead to untenable relationships.The same is true of all voluntary relationships between human beings. While legally regulated relationships evince a fixed connection between duties and rights, relationships based on personal inclination depend in the long run entirely on tactful reserve.Affection as the essential principle of relatedness is of the greatest importance in all relationships in the world [it is the feeling of community that strenghtens the bond, the further people are set apart, the less healthy affection in the whole, that leads not to union but to conflict and war, where each is for his own and none is for the rest] . For the union of heaven and earth is the origin of the whole of nature. Among human beings likewise, spontaneous affection is the all-inclusive principle of union.


Thunder over the lake:The image of THE MARRYING MAIDEN.Thus the superior man Understands the transitory In the light of the eternity of the end [perceiving transience while not being a prisoner to it is walking a path of immortals gaining sight from beyond, being arrested by the transient body, one looks towards the immortal spirit, nothing is lost, the Great Being simply puts on masks that as a form are returned to the drawing pool of forms, but the Great Being loses nothing of itself, it merely borrows its essence that is returning to it] .Thunder stirs the water of the lake, which follows it in shimmering waves. This symbolizes the girl who follows the man of her choice. But every relationship between individuals bears within it the danger that wrong turns may be taken, leading to endless misunderstandings and disagreements. Therefore it is necessary constantly to remain mindful of the end [being mindful of ends, transience and deaths, how can we live a life mindlessly, quarrels over petty things, do they not hinder our life?]. If we permit ourselves to drift along, we come together and are parted again as the day may determine. If on the other hand a man fixes his mind on an end that endures, he will succeed in avoiding the reefs that confront the closer relationships of people.


Nine at the beginning means:The marrying maiden as a concubine.A lame man who is able to tread.Undertakings bring good fortune.The princes of ancient China maintained a fixed order of rank among the court ladies, who were subordinated to the queen as are younger sisters to the eldest. Frequently they came from the family of the queen, who herself led them to her husband.The meaning is that a girl entering a family with the consent of the wife will not rank outwardly as the equal of the latter but will withdraw modestly into the background. However, if she understands how to fit herself into the pattern of things [every arrangement has a pattern, perceiving societal and political patterns and accommodating them to amend and pull them towards wise resolutions and solutions is a thing of the statesman and the master]  her position will be entirely satisfactory, and she will feel sheltered in the love of the husband to whom she bears children.The same meaning is brought out in the relationships between officials. A man may enjoy the personal friendship of a prince and be taken into his confidence. Outwardly this man must keep tactfully in the background behind the official ministers of state, but, although he is hampered by this status, as if he were lame, he can nevertheless accomplish something through the kindliness of his nature [even when of low, unsignificant status, one may achieve something through his and hers nature and let it shine inwardly, the deeper this is developed, the greater the outward lustre]

Nine in the second place means:A one-eyed man who is able to see.The perseverance of a solitary man furthers.Here the situation is that of a girl married to a man who has disappointed her. Man and wife ought to work together like a pair of eyes. Here the girl is left behind in loneliness; the man of her choice either has become unfaithful or has died. But she does not lose the inner light of loyalty. Though the other eye is gone, she maintains her loyalty even in loneliness. [indeed, sometimes the one-eyed see more with inner sight than these with a pair of healthy eyes, who nevertheless are blinded]

Six in the third place means:The marrying maiden as a slave.She marries as a concubine.A girl who is in a lowly position and finds no husband may, in some circumstances, still win shelter as a concubine.This pictures the situation of a person who longs too much for joys that cannot be obtained in the usual way. He enters upon a situation not altogether compatible with self-esteem [selling oneself into an arrangement for anything is losing oneself in the process and becoming a slave to a situation or a thing one sold oneself to]. Neither judgment nor warning is added to this line; it merely lays bare the actual situation, so that everyone may draw a lesson from it.

Nine in the fourth place means:The marrying maiden draws out the allotted time. A late marriage comes in due course.The girl is virtuous. She does not wish to throw herself away, and allows the customary time for marriage to slip by. However, there is no harm in this; she is rewarded for her purity and, even though belatedly, finds the husband intended for her.

Six in the fifth place means:The sovereign I gave his daughter in marriage. The embroidered garments of the princess Were not as gorgeous As those of the servingmaid.The moon that is nearly full Brings good fortune.The sovereign I is T’ang the Completer. This ruler decreed that the imperial princesses should be subordinated to their husbands in the same manner as other women (cf. hexagram 11, six in the fifth place). The emperor does not wait for a suitor to woo his daughter but gives her in marriage when he sees fit. Therefore it is in accord with custom for the girl’s family to take the initiative here.We see here a girl of aristocratic birth who marries a man of modest circumstances and understands how to adapt herself with grace to the new situation. She is free of all vanity of outer adornment, and forgetting her rank in her marriage, takes a place below that of her husband, just as the moon, before it is quite full, does not directly face the sun.

Six at the top means:The woman holds the basket, but there are no fruits in it.The man stabs the sheep, but no blood flows.Nothing that acts to further.At the sacrifice to the ancestors, the woman had to present harvest offerings in a basket, while the man slaughtered the sacrificial animal with his own hand. Here the ritual is only superficially fulfilled; the woman takes an empty basket and the man stabs a sheep slaughtered beforehand—solely to preserve the forms. This impious, irreverent attitude bodes no good for a marriage. [when only apparitions and surrogates are preserved, an outward decorum that has no essence to it, the ritual loses its purpose, men and women is living as mere shells, for the illusions they engaged themselve into grow into them as well]

Chien – Development (Gradual Progress)


This hexagram is made up of Sun (wood, penetration) above, i.e., without, and Kên (mountain, stillness) below, i.e., within. A tree on a mountain develops slowly according to the law of its being and consequently stands firmly rooted. This gives the idea of a development that proceeds gradually, step by step. The attributes of the trigrams also point to this: within is tranquility, which guards against precipitate actions, and without is penetration, which makes development and progress possible.

[Time is running quickly for human beings, if we equate time with thoughts, it is never at ease. Our mind is changing much faster than the body. Human hair grows 1.25 cm per month, how many thoughts did you think today, even the silent ones? Trees think slowly, their pondering is deep. The forest is timeless by standards of a human being. Attempting to think like a tree our thoughts gain in profundity, in the oneiric slow motion dream. The roots are firm, our branches slowly in ascent; maybe leaves were akin to thoughts for a tree. The same moment of a flash, a break from deep meditation lasts two seasons for a tree that bears leaves. It takes some months for a tree to change its mind and gather new thoughts to ponder about — but it is always in concord, proportion and harmony with its nature, it is not stubborn, or determined, it is expressing its essence. Then in autumn it sheds its thoughts, it stills in recognition, as if in a positive deep void it retreats its thoughts deep within, but it gathers its force as if holding some inner truth that continuously leads to its renewal. Maybe that is why the Axis of the World Soul is compared to a tree, these are the deep thoughts that change according to sequence, repetitive laws. When we translate the language of the forest there is only wisdom, but it is silence that is not conveyable in human words. The Gods think like that, wordlessly, without a human voice or word, they are ideas that merge with the slow timeless subject of their doing, arising in great, wonderful things, according to beauty, proportion, truth. Slow decisions with penetrative insight that foresees are the greatest ones, spontaneous ones that are made quickly arise from the same source, as in a whirlwind that occurs in the ocean. Everything else seems like harshness or misjudgement, triviality and frivolity of little birds that too have their place in the world. The great Falcon hovers above, with great long thoughts it gathers the little birds and embraces them. The great pondering of all that is below.] – excerpt from the ‘Eternal Migrator Papers’


DEVELOPMENT. The maiden is given in marriage. Good fortune.Perseverance furthers.The development of events that leads to a girl’s following a man to his home proceeds slowly. The various formalities must be disposed of before the marriage takes place. This principle of gradual development can be applied to other situations as well; it is always applicable where it is a matter of correct relationships of co-operation, as for instance in the appointment of an official. The development must be allowed to take its proper course. Hasty action would not be wise. This is also true, finally, of any effort to exert influence on others, for here too the essential factor is a correct way of development through cultivation of one’s own personality [perseverant in mind – what a feature! perseverant in time – what greatness!]. No influence such as that exerted by agitators has a lasting effect.

Within the personality too, development must follow the same course if lasting results are to be achieved. Gentleness that is adaptable, but at the same time penetrating, is the outer form that should proceed from inner calm. The very gradualness of the development makes it necessary to have perseverance, for perseverance alone prevents slow progress from dwindling to nothing [it does not collapse due to lack of motivation and running towards new entertainments, projects, which collapse is similarly out of lack of perseverance and attention put to work].


On the mountain, a tree: The image of DEVELOPMENT. Thus the superior man abides in dignity and virtue, in order to improve the mores.The tree on the mountain is visible from afar, and its development influences the landscape of the entire region. It does not shoot up like a swamp plant; its growth proceeds gradually. Thus also the work of influencing people can be only gradual. No sudden influence or awakening is of lasting effect. Progress must be quite gradual, and in order to obtain such progress in public opinion and in the mores of the people, it is necessary for the personality to acquire influence and weight. This comes about through careful and constant work on one’s own moral development.


Six at the beginning means: The wild goose gradually draws near the shore. The young son is in danger. There is talk. No blame. All the individual lines in this hexagram symbolize the gradual flight of the wild goose. The wild goose is the symbol of conjugal fidelity, because it is believed that this bird never takes another mate after the death of the first.The initial line suggests the first resting place in the flight of water birds from the water to the heights. The shore is reached. The situation is that of a lonely young man who is just starting out to make his way in life. Since no one comes to help him, his first steps are slow and hesitant, and he is surrounded by danger [thus he must be pioneering to himself, if there is no one else to rely on, he is the sole cartographer of his steps – may he silently observe and learn]. Naturally he is subjected to much criticism. But these very difficulties keep him from being too hasty, and his progress is successful [in solitude one develops maturity faster, and by trial and error one learns from others and oneself the ways of life, it makes heavier and more profound steps with time, being more certain]

Six in the second place means: The wild goose gradually draws near the cliff.Eating and drinking in peace and concord. Good fortune.The cliff is a safe place on shore. The development has gone a step further. The initial insecurity has been overcome, and a safe position in life has been found, giving one enough to live on. This first success, opening up a path to activity, brings a certain joyousness of mood, and one goes to meet the future reassured.It is said of the wild goose that it calls to its comrades whenever it finds food; this is the symbol of peace and concord in good fortune. A man does not want to keep his good luck for himself only, but is ready to share it with others.

Nine in the third place means:The wild goose gradually draws near the plateau.The man goes forth and does not return.The woman carries a child but does not bring it forth. Misfortune.It furthers one to fight off robbers.The high plateau is dry and unsuitable for the wild goose. If it goes there, it has lost its way and gone too far. This is contrary to the law of development.It is the same in human life. If we do not let things develop quietly but plunge of our own choice too rashly into a struggle, misfortune results. A man jeopardizes his own life, and his family perishes thereby. However, this is not at all necessary; it is only the result of transgressing the law of natural development [tightening the strings and grip of causality by strong moves, instead of detaching, cutting through it, and observing]. If one does not willfully provoke a conflict, but confines himself to vigorously maintaining his own position and to warding off unjustified attacks, all goes well [defensive victory when on is in the right and follows the inner truth that is in tune with Heavens]

Six in the fourth place means:The wild goose gradually draws near the tree.Perhaps it will find a flat branch. No blame.

A tree is not a suitable place for a wild goose. But if it is clever, it will find a flat branch on which it can get a footing. A man’s life too, in the course of its development, often brings him into inappropriate situations, in which he finds it difficult to hold his own without danger. Then it is important to be sensible and yielding. This enables him to discover a safe place in which life can go on, although he may be surrounded by danger.

Nine in the fifth place means:The wild goose gradually draws near the summit.For three years the woman has no child.In the end nothing can hinder her.Good fortune.The summit is a high place. In a high position one easily becomes isolated. One is misjudged by the very person on whom one is dependent—the woman by her husband, the official by his superior. This is the work of deceitful persons who have wormed their way in. The result is that relationships remain sterile, and nothing is accomplished. But in the course of further development, such misunderstandings are cleared away, and reconciliation is achieved after all [without suspicion and accusations, one does with deceit away in his mind, if one is betrayed, one remains steadfast and is not troubled, but carries on]

Nine at the top means: The wild goose gradually draws near the cloud heights.Its feathers can be used for the sacred dance. Good fortune.Here life comes to its end. A man’s work stands completed. The path rises high toward heaven, like the flight of wild geese when they have left the earth far behind. There they fly, keeping to the order of their flight in strict formation. And if their feathers fall, they can serve as ornaments in the sacred dance pantomimes performed in the temples. Thus the life of a man who has perfected himself is a bright light for the people of the earth, who look up to him as an example.

Ken – Keeping Still, Mountain


The image of this hexagram is the mountain, the youngest son of heaven and earth. The male principle is at the top, because it strives upward by nature; the female principle is below, since the direction of its movement is downward. Thus there is rest because the movement has come to its normal end.In its application to man, the hexagram turns upon the problem of achieving a quiet heart. It is very difficult to bring quiet to the heart. While Buddhism strives for rest through an ebbing away of all movement in nirvana, the Book of Changes holds that rest is merely a state of polarity that always posits movement as its complement [and thus finding a harmonious motion that is swift in stillness along with change is the middle position]. Possibly the words of the text embody directions for the practice of yoga.


KEEPING STILL. Keeping his back still so that he no longer feels his body [a state of deep concentration when body and mind is dropped].He goes into his courtyard And does not see his people.No blame.True quiet means keeping still when the time has come to keep still, and going forward when the time has come to go forward. In this way rest and movement are in agreement with the demands of the time, and thus there is light in life [one dances when music plays, and ceases when it stops, one moves when the music of change plays, one stops when it ceases, all in complete submersion in the dance, what is learned expresses itself in dance and stopping and thus the quality of result is the sum of all the movements, the greater whole is the summa summarum of all dances and stops and is a swift adaptation to the situation as the events flow, when it is congested we trip and fall, when we move when it is time to still ourselves, we are swept under its current].

The hexagram signifies the end and the beginning of all movement. The back is named because in the back are located all the nerve fibers that mediate movement. If the movement of these spinal nerves is brought to a standstill, the ego, with its restlessness, disappears as it were. When a man has thus become calm, he may turn to the outside world [practical yoga]. He no longer sees in it the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe and for acting in harmony with them. Whoever acts from these deep levels makes no mistakes [How to differentiate this from personal impulses and instincts? One knows through complete honesty of all movements in moments, that flow through one’s whole being – that is a thing of mysticism, spontaneity, and transparency, freedom, true impulse and true feeling appears from the worlds of ideas, that is Heavens, and flows through the man and woman that serve as a vehicle for the transformation of themselves and the world, taking off the mask in front of the world and becoming clear minded and transparent is the first step, for no false self-image nor defensive, conjured illusion or delusion about ourselves and the world will let the depths of ideas and currents through themselves] .


Mountains standing close together: The image of KEEPING STILL. Thus the superior manD oes not permit his thoughts To go beyond his situation.The heart thinks constantly. This cannot be changed, but the movements of the heart—that is, a man’s thoughts—should restrict themselves to the immediate situation. All thinking that goes beyond this only makes the heart sore [that does not mean lack of foresight and insight into future events, it is being committed to the immediate, and having a peerless view on the whole of time, causality and events].


Six at the beginning means: Keeping his toes still.No blame.Continued perseverance furthers.Keeping the toes still means halting before one has even begun to move. The beginning is the time of few mistakes. At that time one is still in harmony with primal innocence. Not yet influenced by obscuring interests and desires, one sees things intuitively as they really are. A man who halts at the beginning, so long as he has not yet abandoned truth, finds the right way. But persisting firmness is needed to keep one from drifting irresolutely [sometimes the lure of advancement, furthering our desires and false refinement, or competition may drag one on a wrong path, sometimes we are pushed into the wrong way by circumstances and need to react, thus losing original innocence of the way, but experience harnessed in such a way is assisting us if we correct ourselves later, it is however advised to persist in this inner truth and innocent moves for as long as possible – then errors are rarely made]

Six in the second place means: Keeping his calves still.

He cannot rescue him whom he follows.His heart is not glad.The leg cannot move independently; it depends on the movement of the body. If a leg is suddenly stopped while the whole body is in vigorous motion, the continuing body movement will make one fall.The same is true of a man who serves a master stronger than himself. He is swept along, and even though he may himself halt on the path of wrongdoing, he can no longer check the other in his powerful movement. Where the master presses forward, the servant, no matter how good his intentions, cannot save him [here the tragedy of loyalty and autonomy plays forth, if one is truly loyal, he persists and falls with the master, or wisely prevents his fall, when one breaks this vow, the open space seems poisoned, and the freedom gained blackened, when one is autonomous one rarely enters into such loyal relation, for it would compromise his or hers own freedoms, loyalty abounds in high times, in low times there is mere opportunism of self-interest]

Nine in the third place means: Keeping his hips still.Making his sacrum stiff.Dangerous. The heart suffocates.This refers to enforced quiet. The restless heart is to be subdued by forcible means. But fire when it is smothered changes into acrid smoke that suffocates as it spreads.Therefore, in exercises in meditation and concentration, one ought not to try to force results. Rather, calmness must develop naturally out of a state of inner composure [one does not cut and pick the lotus flower out of the pond of one’s heart, but acts to nourish it within our own nature, in other words, if natural stances co-arise and inner circumstances for tranquility are developed, they bloom out of themselves, when a beginner sits to meditate and sees no results, or becomes unsettled at heart and impatient, but forces oneself to sit still without understanding, only annoyance will develop, if on the other hand one sits like a baby and slowly merges by teaching, focus, and prepares and develops his mind, slowly he rounds and completes himself and herself]. If one tries to induce calmness by means of artificial rigidity, meditation will lead to very unwholesome results.

Six in the fourth place means:Keeping his trunk still.No blame.As has been pointed out above in the comment on the Judgment, keeping the back at rest means forgetting the ego. This is the highest stage of rest. Here this stage has not yet been reached: the individual in this instance, though able to keep the ego, with its thoughts and impulses, in a state of rest, is not yet quite liberated from its dominance. Nonetheless, keeping the heart at rest is an important function, leading in the end to the complete elimination of egotistic drives. Even though at this point one does not yet remain free from all the dangers of doubt and unrest, this frame of mind is not a mistake, as it leads ultimately to that other, higher level.

Six in the fifth place means:Keeping his jaws still. The words have order.Remorse disappears.A man in a dangerous situation, especially when he is not adequate to it, is inclined to be very free with talk and presumptuous jokes. But injudicious speech easily leads to situations that subsequently give much cause for regret. However, if a man is reserved in speech, his words take ever more definite for and every occasion for regret vanishes.

Nine at the top means:Noblehearted keeping still.Good fortune.This marks the consummation of the effort to attain tranquility. One is at rest, not merely in a small, circumscribed way in regard to matters of detail, but one has also a general resignation in regard to life as a whole, and this confers peace and good fortune in relation to every individual matter.

Chen – The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)


The hexagram Chên represents the eldest son, who seizes rule with energy and power. A yang line develops below two yin lines and presses upward forcibly. This movement is so violent that it arouses terror. It is symbolized by thunder, which bursts forth from the earth and by its shock causes fear and trembling.


SHOCK brings success. Shock comes—oh, oh!Laughing words—ha, ha!The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice [one commands the moment].The shock that comes from the manifestation of God within the depths of the earth makes man afraid, but this fear of God is good, for joy and merriment can follow upon it.When a man has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean, he is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences. Let the thunder roll and spread terror a hundred miles around: he remains so composed and reverent in spirit that the sacrificial rite is not interrupted [even when the Earth splits asunder, he walks his path unabashed even if in the void of the stars – persistence in what is holy and great]. This is the spirit that must animate leaders and rulers of men—a profound inner seriousness from which all outer terrors glance off harmlessly [terror’s gaze slips off the men, for he gives it no special attention]


Thunder repeated: the image of SHOCK.Thus in fear and trembling The superior man sets his life in order And examines himself [sober moments of return to the path when wrongdoing, or fortifying the path when in moments of doubt or stagnation] The shock of continuing thunder brings fear and trembling. The superior man is always filled with reverence at the manifestation of God; he sets his life in order and searches his heart, lest it harbor any secret opposition to the will of God. Thus reverence is the foundation of true culture.


Nine at the beginning means:Shock comes—oh, oh!Then follow laughing words—ha, ha! [rejoice in the rolling thunder, laugh with it like a madman, even if at heart, dance amongst its shines, there one finds unity with nature and the Divine, in ecstasy and laughter!] Good fortune.The fear and trembling engendered by shock come to an individual at first in such a way that he sees himself placed at a disadvantage as against others. But this is only transitory. When the ordeal is over, he experiences relief, and thus the very terror he had to endure at the outset brings good fortune in the long run [may the terrors that have not swept us under fear, be our future silent resilient strenghts]

Six in the second place means: Shock comes bringing danger.A hundred thousand times You lose your treasures And must climb the nine hills.Do not go in pursuit of them.After seven days you will get them back again [fates return out of their own accord, if they must, chasing after them is forcing one’s way in the causasative chain, losing oneself as in spider’s web, do not await anything that is not certain, in the process of life one in waiting never deals with the present]

This pictures a situation in which a shock endangers a man and he suffers great losses. Resistance would be contrary to the movement of the time and for this reason unsuccessful. Therefore he must simply retreat to heights inaccessible to the threatening forces of danger [climbing in the mind’s and heart’s hights, finding a secure ground and training oneself to stay in this territory, to deflect the losses, and to sacrifice certain things, in order to withstand misfortunes – that teaches patience and fortitude, a wiseman in his crystal starcastle gazes down upon his mortal toil, and in the purple palace of emptiness he revers the Deity, there are two maneuvers worth noticing, one similar to Scipio’s Dream, perceiving oneself as an ant from great distance away from Earth, the other is detachment from everything that requires training and a still mind, and as for the defects of mind and body, our minds are fixed to a star as reference, consciousness or Self, which has the flaws and grace of body and mind under command to the extent that the mind and body allows, then he positive void as the content – from whence we engage, deflect, act, withdraw and still ourselves; whether a psychological maneuver or a magical, ceremonial one, it has to be engaged with complete honesty and commitment in the space of will, imagination, construction, and ontic displacement, bi- multi- and omni-location of one’s being] He must accept his loss of property without worrying too much about it. When the time of shock and upheaval that has robbed him of his possessions has passed, he will get them back again without going in pursuit of them.

Six in the third place means: Shock comes and makes one distraught.If shock spurs to action One remains free of misfortune.There are three kinds of shock—the shock of heaven, which is thunder, the shock of fate, and, finally, the shock of the heart. The present hexagram refers less to inner shock than to the shock of fate. In such times of shock, presence of mind is all too easily lost: the individual overlooks all opportunities for action and mutely lets fate take its course. But if he allows the shocks of fate to induce movement within his mind, he will overcome these external blows with little effort. [thunder of events and one does not lose his composition and acts – what a great deed of overcoming, hesitation and act – one commits greatly, shock and petrification – one does not proceed, that is normal, withdrawal – that is the common man]

Nine in the fourth place means:Shock is mired.Movement within the mind depends for its success partly on circumstances. If there is neither a resistance that might be vigorously combated, nor yet a yielding that permits of victory—if, instead, everything is tough and inert like mire—movement is crippled [if the mind is a sword, and it is cast into a swamp, it is strong, it’s blade sharp, but it simply drowns to the very bottom, the qualities of the object are useless in such circumstances, nevertheless it retains its qualities, until the process of rusting begins]

Six in the fifth place means: Shock goes hither and thither.Danger. However, nothing at all is lost.Yet there are things to be done.This is a case not of a single shock but of repeated shocks with no breathing space between [earthquakes of fates]. Nonetheless, the shock causes no loss, because one takes care to stay in the center of movement and in this way to be spared the fate of being helplessly tossed hither and thither.

Six at the top means:

Shock brings ruin and terrified gazing around.Going ahead brings misfortune.If it has not yet touched one’s own body But has reached one’s neighbor first, There is no blame.One’s comrades have something to talk about.When inner shock is at its height, it robs a man of reflection and clarity of vision. In such a state of shock it is of course impossible to act with presence of mind. Then the right thing is to keep still until composure and clarity are restored. But this a man can do only when he himself is not yet infected by the agitation, although its disastrous effects are already visible in those around him [agitation is a ruiner of concentration and composition, avoid it at all costs!]. If he withdraws from the affair in time, he remains free of mistakes and injury. But his comrades, who no longer heed any warning, will in their excitement certainly be displeased with him. However, he must not take this into account.

Ting – The Caldron



The six lines construct the image of Ting, THE CALDRON; at the bottom are the legs, over them the belly, then come the ears (handles), and at the top the carrying rings. At the same time, the image suggests the idea of nourishment. The ting, cast of bronze, was the vessel that held the cooked viands in the temple of the ancestors and at banquets. The head of the family served the food from the ting into the bowls of the guests. THE WELL (48) likewise has the secondary meaning of giving nourishment, but rather more in relation to the people. The ting, as a utensil pertaining to a refined civilization, suggests the fostering and nourishing of able men, which redounded to the benefit of the state. This hexagram and THE WELL are the only two in the Book of Changes that represent concrete, man-made objects. Yet here too the thought has its abstract connotation.Sun, below, is wood and wind; Li, above, is flame. Thus together they stand for the flame kindled by wood and wind, which likewise suggests the idea of preparing food.


THE CALDRON. Supreme good fortune.Success.While THE WELL relates to the social foundation of our life, and this foundation is likened to the water that serves to nourish growing wood, the present hexagram refers to the cultural superstructure of society. Here it is the wood that serves as nourishment for the flame, the spirit. All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible [the branches of nature in men and women reach for the branches of the heavens which have their roots in the transcendent, here transcendent is understood as vertical, from Earth we gaze upon the stars, yet when a vertical line is drawn from Earth to Heaven, thus it should become a radius, it is the distance between human microcosm and the macrocosm, then by drawing a full circle between two points it draws a perfect monad, and then produces a sphere with another full angular turn of the cirle around its axis, thus all is within contained. Sometimes the microcosm is in the centre of the Monad, surround by the Divine spheres, sometimes the Macrocosm is the centre of the Monad, surrounded by microcosms, or another way: our spirit in the middle is surrounded and enclosed in the Macrocosmic One – there we are the center of our acts and being, the sole ones, on the other hand we are a part of the macrocosmic sphere, whereas the transcendent One is the spirit in the middle: these are shifts in observation as useful as practical in meditation and ceremony, although they are essentially one and the same]. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order.Here we see civilization as it reaches its culmination in religion. The ting serves in offering sacrifice to God. The highest earthly values must be sacrificed to the divine. But the truly divine does not manifest itself apart from man. The supreme revelation of God appears in prophets and holy men. To venerate them is true veneration of God. The will of God, as revealed through them, should be accepted in humility; this brings inner enlightenment and true understanding of the world, and this leads to great good fortune and success.


Fire over wood:The image of THE CALDRON.Thus the superior man consolidates his fate by making his position correct [character may sow fates, by perfecting the character, one straightens the understanding of fates] .The fate of fire depends on wood; as long as there is wood below, the fire bums above. It is the same in human life; there is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing. These words contain hints about the fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.


Six at the beginning means:A ting with legs upturned.Furthers removal of stagnating stuff.One takes a concubine for the sake of her son.No blame.If a ting is turned upside down before being used, no harm is done—on the contrary, this clears it of refuse. A concubine’s position is lowly, but because she has a son The legs of the ting are broken.The prince’s meal is spilled and his person is soiled. Misfortune. A man has a difficult and responsible task to which he is not adequate. Moreover, he does not devote himself to it with all his strength but goes about with inferior people; therefore the execution of the work fails. In this way he also incurs personal opprobrium. Confucius says about this line: “Weak character coupled with honored place, meager knowledge with large plans, limited powers with heavy responsibility, will seldom escape disaster.” [when force or power is bottlenecked out of proportion, or when executive is bestowed on the petty that deform and twist the endower power with their own flaws, it contaminates both the doer, the done, and becomes volatile, or destructive, the force flows with proportion according to its strenght, thus requires people able to handle it, otherwise it damages the structure of one’s mind and the societal fabric]

Six in the fifth place means: The ting has yellow handles, golden carrying rings. Perseverance furthers.Here we have, in a ruling position, a man who is approachable and modest in nature. As a result of this attitude he succeeds in finding strong and able helpers who complement and aid him in his work. Having achieved this attitude, which requires constant self-abnegation [selfless rule over oneself without an superficial airs, any attachments to qualities of mind, body, status etc. quickly inflate, it is to be conscious of one’s art, yet not attach and superficial egotic meaning to it, one treats oneself as a transmitter, a mediator in-between that is somewhat strong, self-contained and full, somewhat hollow, empty, yet deep] it is important for him to hold to it and not to let himself be led astray.

Nine at the top means: The ting has rings of jade. Great good fortune.Nothing that would not act to further.In the preceding line the carrying rings are described as golden, to denote their strength; here they are said to be of jade. Jade is notable for its combination of hardness with soft luster. This counsel, in relation to the man who is open to it, works greatly to his advantage. Here the counsel is described in relation to the sage who imparts it. In imparting it, he will be mild and pure, like precious jade. Thus the work finds favor in the eyes of the Deity, who dispenses great good fortune, and becomes pleasing to men, wherefore all goes well.

Ko – Revolution (Molting)


The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an animal’s pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by molting. From this the word is carried over to apply to the “moltings” in political life, the great revolutions connected with changes of governments.The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in K’uei, OPPOSITION (38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Tui. But while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of revolution.


REVOLUTION. On your own day You are believed.Supreme success,Furthering through perseverance. Remorse disappears [striving for exposition of certain ideas, putting things into motion and amassing support means that we also take full responsibility for the network of people that are swept under its influence and movement, if we lack recourse to an insightful and strategical plan that accommodates everything with foresight, we are guiding people into disillusionment at best, or bloodshed at worst, opposition, dissidency, rebellion, revolution for its own sake is eating its own children, and the reactive order that is restored is rarely ever better than the last, although it accommodates some ideational postulates of the revolutionaries].Political revolutions are extremely grave matters. They should be undertaken only under stress of direst necessity, when there is no other way out. Not everyone is called to this task, but only the man who has the confidence of the people, and even he only when the time is ripe. He must then proceed in the right way, so that he gladdens the people and, by enlightening them, prevents excesses. Furthermore, he must be quite free of selfish aims [selfless guidance by ideas in service of the common good] and must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to regret.Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.


Fire in the lake: the image of REVOLUTION.Thus the superior man sets the calendar in order and makes the seasons clear [perceives the trends, threads, inclinations and tendencies and in good judgement sets himself aligned, in opposition, co-operative or combative in reference to the perceived flow of events and the noosphere of societies].Fire below and the lake above combat and destroy each other. So too in the course of the year a combat takes place between the forces of light and the forces of darkness, eventuating in the revolution of the seasons. Man masters these changes in nature by noting their regularity and marking off the passage of time accordingly. In this way order and clarity appear in the apparently chaotic changes of the seasons, and man is able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times [with transcendent motions in mind above, alte-cendent motions of currents and astralistic influences instorming and re-shaping the constellations of forces, themselves being tied with transcendent motions and one looks down upon Earth, and attempting to know and perceive the transcendent motions relates it to diverse and complex orders and bifurcations of events in terrestrial affairs]


Nine at the beginning means: Wrapped in the hide of a yellow cow. Changes ought to be undertaken only when there is nothing else to be done. Therefore at first the utmost restraint is necessary. One must become firm in one’s mind, control oneself—yellow is the color of the mean, and the cow is the symbol of docility—and refrain from doing anything for the time being, because any premature offensive will bring evil results.

Six in the second place means: When one’s own day comes, one may create revolution.Starting brings good fortune.No blame. When we have tried in every way to bring about reforms, but without success, revolution becomes necessary. But such a thoroughgoing upheaval must be carefully prepared. There must be available a man who has the requisite abilities and who possesses public confidence. To such a man we may well turn. This brings good fortune and is not a mistake. The first thing to be considered is our inner attitude toward the new condition that will inevitably come. We have to go out to meet it, as it were. Only in this way can it be prepared for.

Nine in the third place means:Starting brings misfortune.Perseverance brings danger.When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times,One may commit himself,And men will believe him.When change is necessary, there are two mistakes to be avoided. One lies in excessive haste and ruthlessness, which bring disaster. The other lies in excessive hesitation and conservatism, which are also dangerous. Not every demand for change in the existing order should be heeded. On the other hand, repeated and well-founded complaints should not fail of a hearing. When talk of change has come to one’s ears three times, and has been pondered well, he may believe and acquiesce in it. Then he will meet with belief and will accomplish something.

Nine in the fourth place means:Remorse disappears. Men believe him.Changing the form of government brings good fortune.Radical changes require adequate authority. A man must have inner strength as well as influential position. What he does must correspond with a higher truth and must not spring from arbitrary or petty motives; then it brings great good fortune. If a revolution is not founded on such inner truth, the results are bad, and it has no success. For in the end men will support only those undertakings which they feel instinctively to be just.

Nine in the fifth place means:

The great man changes like a tiger.Even before he questions the oracle. He is believed.A tigerskin, with its highly visible black stripes on a yellow ground, shows its distinct pattern from afar. It is the same with a revolution brought about by a great man: large, clear guiding lines become visible, understandable to everyone [adapting to circumstances he holds to inner truth not bended by them, and emanates greatness] Therefore he need not first consult the oracle, for he wins the spontaneous support of the people.

Six at the top means:The superior man changes like a panther.The inferior man molts in the face.Starting brings misfortune.To remain persevering brings good fortune.After the large and fundamental problems are settled, certain minor reforms, and elaborations of these, are necessary. These detailed reforms may be likened to the equally distinct but relatively small marks of the panther’s coat. As a consequence, a change also takes place among the inferior people. In conformity with the new order, they likewise “molt.” This molting, it is true, does not go very deep, but that is not to be expected. We must be satisfied with the attainable. If we should go too far and try to achieve too much, it would lead to unrest and misfortune. For the object of a great revolution is the attainment of clarified, secure conditions ensuring a general stabilization on the basis of what is possible at the moment. [so it is with all reform, preventive in the state of disarray and fall, preservative in the state of decay, stability, stagnation, growth, or permeative in the state of growth and rise]

Ching – The Well


Wood is below, water above. The wood goes down into the earth to bring up water. The image derives from the pole-and-bucket well of ancient China. The wood represents not the buckets, which in ancient times were made of clay, but rather the wooden poles by which the water is hauled up from the well. The image also refers to the world of plants, which lift water out of the earth by means of their fibers.The well from which water is drawn conveys the further idea of an inexhaustible dispensing of nourishment [denoting the heavens, which are the springsource of all energy, and the waters of chaos, the solid underpinning from which all form draws forth inseminated by the heavenly motions]


THE WELL. The town may be changed, But the well cannot be changed.It neither decreases nor increases.They come and go and draw from the well. If one gets down almost to the water and the rope does not go all the way, or the jug breaks, it brings misfortune. In ancient China the capital cities were sometimes moved, partly for the sake of more favorable location, partly because of a change in dynasties. The style of architecture changed in the course of centuries, but the shape of the well has remained the same from ancient times to this day. Thus the well is the symbol of that social structure which, evolved by mankind in meeting its most primitive needs, is independent of all political forms. Political structures change, as do nations, but the life of man with its needs remains eternally the same—this cannot be changed [reference of a human being, with human as the centre for the ponderings, alone with the alone, the finger points back to our essence, what is thus Hsing of the Golden Flower, if the human nature in the world of nature is contested, how to define his or hers Heavenly nature that is entwined between nature, form, human, and spirit? That a human stripped in agony to the wildest motions, broken-hearted like a crack exposing the abyss and in woe and pain, after silencing his heart, longs for the stars, for return, for the idea – masks of forces and powers, that he and she refines his cravings and wishes to the forces, pure ideas diversified in his comprehension, diverse in the universe but in whole completely One and Pure. Then in vulgarity of the world and tormented by lesser evils he stills and forgets this Beauty and Proportion, the Longing and the Holy Tranquility, he becomes vulgar himself, because he no longer feels it, it is with us yet withdraws from us, a flirtatious game, in this Ascent of life and his intellectual spirit leaving a trace of certainty, of continuous labours, in great solitude of cities, plains, deserts, mountains and the seas, he becomes an astronomer who is also the subject of his astronomy, inasmuch as the he is contained in the whole, in a unity. He fills broken, incomplete and hurt, always having in mind and feeling this image of utter perfection, but this is a sweet wound, it seeks a resolution] . Life is also inexhaustible. It grows neither less nor more; it exists for one and for all. The generations come and go, and all enjoy life in its inexhaustible abundance.However, there are two prerequisites for a satisfactory political or social organization of mankind. We must go down to the very foundations of life. [penetrate insightfully nature as it is, life as it is, perceive the Starry heavens, then order, in proportion foundations for oneself, and if such a calling be – for others] For any merely superficial ordering of life that leaves its deepest needs unsatisfied is as ineffectual as if no attempt at order had ever been made [thus the split and injustice, that in an organized society that is incomplimentary with laws of life and nature although on the surface all works well, but human beings and unsettled, anxious, weary, uneasy, when the disease creeps into them they become wounded, insane, mad, when they realize they become torn, pained, until they return the harmony within themselves individually, heal themselves like watchman on the mountain, sending signals to the rest, the continuous substitution of illusions with illusions as it is spun forces us to take the sword and cut through them in our mind and heart first, then defend ourselves against the spinner continuously, and assist others]

Dialogues between Fuomo (Saturnian Intelligencer, a mortal and a philosopher) and Peripsol (Angel of the Sun):

Proportion is a geometrical ordering in which diversity according to its nature and without the loss of its essence is swept into equal and harmonious parts both in vertical and horizontal ways, that harmony of tension in co-arising proportion is sculpting the character, nature and spirit and resolves opposition in a way compatible between individuation human nature and its divine refinements.

Carelessness—by which the jug is broken—is also disastrous. If for instance the military defense of a state is carried to such excess that it provokes wars by which the power of the state is annihilated, this is a breaking of the jug.This hexagram applies also to the individual. However men may differ in disposition and in education, the foundations of human nature are the same in everyone. And every human being can draw in the course of his education from the inexhaustible wellspring of the divine in man’s nature. But here likewise two dangers threaten: a man may fail in his education to penetrate to the real roots of humanity and remain fixed in convention—a partial education of this sort is as bad as none—or he may suddenly collapse and neglect his self-development.

“Natural law has been twisted every which way-from legitimation to brutal violence to a paradisal idyll. This is grounded in the possibility of reading anything at all into nature. “It is everything at once:’ Well, fine; then let every human being get his own bit fom Being – Ernst Junger, Eumeswil, p. 209


Water over wood: the image of THE WELL.Thus the superior man encourages the people at their work, And exhorts them to help one another [good judgment in discerning between people is a way in which they are supported in wise ways, and our furthering appears to them as clear, reasonable and inspiring, all ambiguous situations both regarding our conduct and that in guidance of others should be resolved either by inner, tested laws and principles, or if we have a discerning, spontaneous mind by wisdom, the latter is prefered, but the letter of law and principles of conduct were established to resolve many situations by the force of tradition or reason, jurisprudent and wise people resolve every case and handle every person differently, according to need; Winning an argument is never good, contradiction is not a wise stance – we win the personal fight but leave the other with a sense of distrust, doubting, and antagonism, all debates should be resolved in a way that it brings about something fruitful and wise to the other party, not to break their wills or beliefs. In the writing of Chuang Tzu it was written that a master was giving oracles at the marketplace, resigning from official duties, for a scant pay he always pretended he is divining, but indeed he masquaraded good, wise advice for every person he met, he saved the scant resources he earned for his elder years].The trigram Sun, wood, is below, and the trigram K’an, water, is above it. Wood sucks water upward. Just as wood as an organism imitates the action of the well, which benefits all parts of the plant, the superior man organizes human society, so that, as in a plant organism, its parts co-operate for the benefit of the whole.


Six at the beginning means:One does not drink the mud of the well. No animals come to an old well.If a man wanders around in swampy lowlands, his life is submerged in mud. Such a man loses all significance for mankind. He who throws himself away is no longer sought out by others [if that is a conscious decision, one should not foolishly complain about it]. In the end no one troubles about him any more.

Nine in the second place means:At the wellhole one shoots fishes.The jug is broken and leaks.The water itself is clear, but it is not being used. Thus the well is a place where only fish will stay, and whoever comes to it, comes only to catch fish. But the jug is broken, so that the fish cannot be kept in it.This describes the situation of a person who possesses good qualities but neglects them. No one bothers about him. As a result he deteriorates in mind. He associates with inferior men and can no longer accomplish anything worthwhile. [how much better to associate with the Deities, spirits than with inferior men, although the sense of association and belonging with the human race is hard to overcome, when we feel solitary and alone, let us strongly ask for the support of Heavens, and thus find the great company above and in the world of nature, one thus is on a thread of a Heavenly path, although if we are not of strong character complete withdrawal may turn to isolation, misanthropy, and contempt – let us seek thus good friendship, most of the time, they arise from affinity of spirits and minds. On the other hand, let us not discard people who are deficient in some qualities, that breeds contempt, lack of association and affinity does not mean scorn, are they any better than the grass on the meadow, are we not a similar blade of grass? Some Buddhist masters advised to avoid bad company, some advised to seek it out – if the aspirant was strong enough, he could change the bad company for the better, otherwise he turned into the worse, or left them with contempt]

Nine in the third place means:The well is cleaned, but no one drinks from it.This is my heart’s sorrow, for one might draw from it.If the king were clear-minded,Good fortune might be enjoyed in common.An able man is available. He is like a purified well whose water is drinkable. But no use is made of him. This is the sorrow of those who know him. One wishes that the prince might learn about it; this would be good fortune for all concerned.

Six in the fourth place means:The well is being lined. No blame.True, if a well is being lined with stone, it cannot be used while the work is going on. But the work is not in vain; the result is that the water stays clear. In life also there are times when a man must put himself in order. During such a time he can do nothing for others, but his work is nonetheless valuable, because by enhancing his powers and abilities through inner development, he can accomplish all the more later on. [continuously work, if you can carve parts of your nature into composition, and convey it forth, also – both inner and outer work is not without fruition]

Nine in the fifth place means:In the well there is a clear, cold spring. From which one can drink. A well that is fed by a spring of living water is a good well. A man who has virtues like a well of this sort is born to be a leader and savior of men, for he has the water of life. Nevertheless, the character for “good fortune” is left out here. The all-important thing about a well is that its water be drawn. The best water is only a potentiality for refreshment as long as it is not brought up. So too with leaders of mankind: it is all-important that one should drink from the spring of their words and translate them into life.

Six at the top means:One draws from the well Without hindrance.It is dependable.Supreme good fortune. The well is there for all. No one is forbidden to take water from it. No matter how many come, all find what they need, for the well is dependable. It has a spring and never runs dry. Therefore it is a great blessing to the whole land. The same is true of the really great man, whose inner wealth is inexhaustible; the more that people draw from him, the greater his wealth becomes. [as he becomes completed and expands through this drawing, so the blood of his essence becomes stronger, and grows in richness, spirit gets stronger and blooms, inasmuch the mind allows]

K’un – Oppression (Exhaustion)


The lake is above, water below; the lake is empty, dried up. Exhaustion is expressed in yet another way: at the top, a dark line is holding down two light lines; below, a light line is hemmed in between two dark ones. The upper trigram belongs to the principle of darkness, the lower to the principle of light. Thus everywhere superior men are oppressed and held in restraint by inferior men.


OPPPRESSION. Success. Perseverance.The great man brings about good fortune.No blame.When one has something to say, it is not believed [one withdraws into silence and guards his speech and thoughts, whenever possible, carrying the burden in silence is wiser than unsolicited speech, the thoughts too should be guarded, but not at the cost of losing depth and the connection with the Divine, otherwise shallowness is the result and forgetfulness is the result, in darker times it is better to be taken for a madman, considerations, when at odds with darker forces gravity, intelligence and seriousness of purpose may lead to terrible outcomes when exposed and used towards the bad or the spoiled, a madman outwardly may be a sage inwardly – the darker force is not threatened by a foolish madman and thus he may pursue his tasks with sadness – silently, whether that is the act of deliberation or true madness does not matter, inasmuch as in the latter case one may gather his composition within, and yet certain eccentricities protect him from being a threat to others when used by darkness, and protect him from unnecessary risks and foolish moves when with all force he tries to strike and charge with woe and heavy heart, what appears as an offensive against the windmills, is a reactive attack against the image of times that one clearly sees. That move is that of youthful foolishness, but it must be done, to withdraw and compose oneself later, one needs to recognize the times without growing into the fall and retain a strong sense of principles, the enemies are forgetfulness and corruption, one follow the other, what is contaminated with corruption needs to be held by extraordinary effort in check, as tainted minds bear greater strikes than these that are unburdened, otherwise the darkness spreads through their veins and soon poisons the heart and mind, destroying the character and nature, all that it does is replaces factual realization and greatness of mind with pettiness of delusion, ignorance, forgetfullness, irrationality, stupidity, viciousness, anger, hatred, envy, it cuts short superior people bringing them down by inferior machinations, by mass they may outdo many, but re-iterating Buddhist teachings ‘even an army cannot harm us, if we do not grasp at our selfhood’, ‘we are not slain, nor slay’, how can an enemy slay us if there is no self? how can we slay if the enemy has no self? To slay us the darkness need to make us believe in our selfhood as a property, and then attach us to this illusion, then we may easily be defeated, and deformed, as long as we detach we are unconquered].Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they befall the right man. When a strong man meets with adversity, he remains cheerful despite all danger, and this cheerfulness is the source of later successes; it is that stability which is stronger than fate [overcoming with joyfulness, or as one friend of mine used to say, when in torment overcome towards the positive, if indifferent and detached, strive for loving kindness, when in great pain do not turn to the ill, least it will become a misery stronger than our will – then we truly fall, how to come about that? In the mind one overcomes, in discrete acts one overcomes the darkness with good deeds]. He who lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success [it becomes a feast of darkness and soon it feasts on darkness itself, it will turn against the world soon, accustomed to it, it is not even recognized as such, it grows into our minds, hearts and veins and soon becomes a natural way of acting, as masked malice – when we refuse to recognize it and allow ourselves to act in such ways as if natural, it becomes so natural that we no longer discern that all that we are is soaked to the depth with darkness – and it masquarades as something superior, overriden, we see nothing of our past selves, we become forgetful and our faces twisted turn into grotesque masks]. But if adversity only bends a man, it creates in him a power to react that is bound in time to manifest itself. No inferior man is capable of this. Only the great man brings about good fortune and remains blameless. It is true that for the time being outward influence is denied him, because his words have no effect. Therefore in times of adversity it is important to be strong within and sparing of words [it is of extreme importance to know that all words are heard, not only amongst humans, but among the worlds of the spirits, when we forget about this simple statement that we should accept as truth even in modern days, then we keep our tongue in check and proceed to use words sparingly and wisely, only when such necessity arises, and these of strenght and direction we use with foresight]


There is no water in the lake: The image of EXHAUSTION.Thus the superior man stakes his life On following his will.When the water has flowed out below, the lake must dry up and become exhausted. That is fate. This symbolizes an adverse fate in human life. In such times there is nothing a man can do but acquiesce in his fate and remain true to himself. This concerns the deepest stratum of his being, for this alone is superior to all external fate. [it is also important to recognize one’s environment, circumstances, to inspect it clearly, to see with insight, to assess properly one’s situation and despite great misfortunes know how to navigate around a minefield, and once we learn the ‘rules of the game’, to be forever knowledgeable that that too may change, and that hidden, deeper games are played when on the surface all appears as understood, whereas at the depths a great malice may work, or a greater good may exist, that does not invite non-action, but rather fortifies conduct and composition, as well are perseverance in one’s spirit at its depth, untiringly like a toiling scarab]


Six at the beginning means: One sits oppressed under a bare tree and strays into a gloomy valley. For three years one sees nothing. [from the perspective of depression, misery, failure, opppression, antagonism, hatred, one may not see anything else, yet one needs to bear and survive, with all resources commit to the act of defiance of the condition within and without, subjective states are objective in the eyes of Divinities, no hell lasts forever, although it may seem so] When adversity befalls a man, it is important above all things for him to be strong and to overcome the trouble inwardly. If he is weak, the trouble overwhelms him. Instead of proceeding on his way, he remains sitting under a bare tree and falls ever more deeply into gloom and melancholy. This makes the situation only more and more hopeless. Such an attitude comes from an inner delusion that he must by all means overcome [as a person who hit the bottom of mental torment, I realized it after years, that if I don’t crawl out of he basement, harassed by many forces, and don’t grow stronger then they are, then that’s when I stay, the only dream that I had was that of death, the only vision is to be something else than my mind and myself – hence after crossing the line, I regained myself overcoming the delusion]

Nine in the second place means: One is oppressed while at meat and drink.The man with the scarlet knee bands is just coming.It furthers one to offer sacrifice.To set forth brings misfortune. No blame. This pictures a state of inner oppression [for example mental malady, mental turmoil, inner negative motions, negative possessions, contradicting motives, inner conflict] Externally, all is well, one has meat and drink. But one is exhausted by the commonplaces of life, and there seems to be no way of escape. Then help comes from a high place. A prince—in ancient China princes wore scarlet knee bands—is in search of able helpers. But there are still obstructions to be overcome. Therefore it is important to meet these obstructions in the invisible realm by offerings and prayer. To set forth without being prepared would be disastrous, though not morally wrong. Here a disagreeable situation must be overcome by patience of spirit.

Six in the third place means:A man permits himself to be oppressed by stone,And leans on thorns and thistles.He enters his house and does not see his wife.Misfortune.This shows a man who is restless and indecisive in times of adversity. At first he wants to push ahead, then he encounters obstructions that, it is true, mean oppression only when recklessly dealt with. He butts his head against a wall and in consequence feels himself oppressed by the wall [the oppression is illusory, but subjectively causes more havoc, if one restlessly plunges into this notion, he finds no inner space of stability to commitingly think over the situation]. Then he leans on things that have in themselves no stability and that are merely a hazard for him who leans on them. Thereupon he turns back irresolutely and retires into his house, only to find, as a fresh disappointment, that his wife is not there. Confucius says about this line:“If a man permits himself to be oppressed by something that ought not to oppress him, his name will certainly be disgraced [if one is oppressed by a wasp and screams ‘havoc!’, or is afraid of small pain and a little insect, then how should he deal with things of greater magnitude and proportion?] If he leans on things upon which one cannot lean, his life will certainly be endangered. For him who is in disgrace and danger, the hour of death draws near; how can he then still see his wife?”

Nine in the fourth place means:He comes very quietly, oppressed in a golden carriage.Humiliation, but the end is reached.A well-to-do man sees the need of the lower classes and would like very much to be of help. But instead of proceeding with speed and energy where there is need, he begins in a hesitant and measured way. Then he encounters obstructions. Powerful and wealthy acquaintances draw him into their circle; he has to do as they do and cannot withdraw from them [if one sees such circumstances one should immediately withdraw and not even associate oneself with such people, least he will lose himself to them]. Hence he finds himself in great embarrassment. But the trouble is transitory. The original strength of his nature offsets the mistake he has made, and the goal is reached. [if there is not strength of nature, his nature falls to them like a tree cut at its roots]

Nine in the fifth place means:His nose and feet are cut off.Oppression at the hands of the man with the purple knee bands.Joy comes softly.It furthers one to make offerings and libations.An individual who has the good of mankind at heart is oppressed from above and below (this is the meaning of the cutting off of nose and feet). He finds no help among the people whose duty it would be to aid in the work of rescue (ministers wore purple knee bands). But little by little, things take a turn for the better. Until that time, he should turn to God [Providence, Starry Heavens, Divinitity, Deities, or one’s inner god within and Divinity without, with which there is an affinity] firm in his inner composure, and pray and offer sacrifice for the general well-being.

Six at the top means:He is oppressed by creeping vines.He moves uncertainly and says,“Movement brings remorse.”If one feels remorse over this and makes a start,Good fortune comes.A man is oppressed by bonds that can easily be broken. The distress is drawing to an end. But he is still irresolute; he is still influenced by the previous condition and fears that he may have cause for regret if he makes a move. But as soon as he grasps the situation, changes this mental attitude, and makes a firm decision, he masters the oppression [otherwise he remains in the vines, and in such circumstances his mental setting cannot allow him to move any further, the difference between traumatized conditions of oppression in the mind, and true events in the worlds is of great degree]


Sheng – Pushing Upward


The lower trigram, Sun, represents wood, and the upper, K’un, means the earth. Linked with this is the idea that wood in the earth grows upward. In contrast to the meaning of Chin, PROGRESS (35), this pushing upward is associated with effort, just as a plant needs energy for pushing upward through the earth. That is why this hexagram, although it is connected with success, is associated with effort of the will. In PROGRESS the emphasis is on expansion; PUSHING UPWARD indicates rather a vertical ascent—direct rise from obscurity and lowliness to power and influence [regarding spiritual and mental endeavoursfrom conditioned life to mastership]


PUSHING UPWARD has supreme success.One must see the great man.Fear not.Departure toward the south brings good fortune. The pushing upward of the good elements encounters no obstruction and is therefore accompanied by great success. The pushing upward is made possible not by violence but by modesty and adaptability [just like a plant develops according to it’s phenotypic layout, with variables in expression, diversity and environment]. Since the individual is borne along by the propitiousness of the time, he advances. He must go to see authoritative people. He need not be afraid to do this, because success is assured. But he must set to work, for activity (this is the meaning of “the south”) brings good fortune.


Within the earth, wood grows: The image of PUSHING UPWARD.Thus the superior man of devoted character heaps up small things [each one contributing and furthering other elements, and pushing it upwards, it is important to be great in small things and small steps so that they may unfold at a later stage, unveiled in character]. In order to achieve something high and great.Adapting itself to obstacles and bending around them, wood in the earth grows upward without haste and without rest. Thus too the superior man is devoted in character and never pauses in his progress.


Six at the beginning means:Pushing upward that meets with confidence brings great good fortune.This is the situation at the beginning of ascent. Just as wood draws strength for its upward push from the root, which in itself is in the lowest place, so the power to rise comes from this low and obscure station. But there is a spiritual affinity [characters and natures understand themselves with hidden spiritual links that some relegate to unconscious recognition, it is the affinity in spirit, when in fallen times all ruling elites are of inferior spirit to ours, let us find affinity in the low, yet great spirits equal or similar to our own, they will be immediately recognized] with the rulers above [rulers may be considered also as the Heavenly forces, the Deities, masters nad mistresses, liberated spirits] and this solidarity creates the confidence needed to accomplish something.

Nine in the second place means:If one is sincere, it furthers one to bring even a small offering.No blame.Here a strong man is presupposed. It is true that he does not fit in with his environment, inasmuch as he is too brusque and pays too little attention to form. But as he is upright in character, he meets with response, and his lack of outward form does no harm. Here uprightness is the outcome of sound qualities of character, whereas in the corresponding line of the preceding hexagram it is the result of innate humility.

Nine in the third place means:One pushes upward into an empty city. All obstructions that generally block progress fall away here. Things proceed with remarkable ease. Unhesitatingly one follows this road, in order to profit by one’s success. Seen from without, everything seems to be in the best of order. However, no promise of good fortune is added. It is a question how long such unobstructed success can last [one loses guard when charging upwards without obstruction, and thus at a certain point impetus may collapse, the famed ‘fall from on high’]. But it is wise not to yield to such misgivings, because they only inhibit one’s power [sometimes excessive caution may be hindering one’s act]. Instead, the point is to profit by the propitiousness of the time.

Six in the fourth place means:The king offers him Mount Ch’i.Good fortune. No blame.Mount Ch’i is in western China, the homeland of King Wên, whose son, the Duke of Chou, added the words to the individual lines. The pronouncement takes us back to a time when the Chou dynasty was coming into power. At that time King Wên introduced his illustrious helpers to the god of his native mountain, and they received their places in the halls of the ancestors by the side of the ruler. This indicates a stage in which pushing upward attains its goal. One acquires fame in the sight of gods and men, is received into the circle of those who foster the spiritual life of the nation, and thereby attains a significance that endures beyond time.

Six in the fifth place means:Perseverance brings good fortune.One pushes upward by steps.When a man is advancing farther and farther, it is important for him not to become intoxicated by success. Precisely when he experiences great success it is necessary to remain sober and not to try to skip any stages; he must go on slowly, step by step, as though hesitant. Only such calm, steady progress, overleaping nothing, leads to the goal.

Six at the top means:Pushing upward in darkness.It furthers one To be unremittingly persevering.He who pushes upward blindly deludes himself. He knows only advance, not retreat. But this means exhaustion. In such a case it is important to be constantly mindful that one must be conscientious and consistent and must remain so. Only thus does one become free of blind impulse, which is always harmful.

Ts’ui – Gathering Together (Massing)


This hexagram is related in form and meaning to Pi, HOLDING TOGETHER (8). In the latter, water is over the earth; here a lake is over the earth. But since the lake is a place where water collects, the idea of gathering together is even more strongly expressed here than in the other hexagram. The same idea also arises from the fact that in the present case it is two strong lines (the fourth and the fifth) that bring about the gathering together, whereas in the former case one strong line (the fifth) stands in the midst of weak lines.


GATHERING TOGETHER. Success. The king approaches his temple. It furthers one to see the great man.This brings success. Perseverance furthers.To bring great offerings creates good fortune.It furthers one to undertake something.The gathering together of people in large communities is either a natural occurrence, as in the case of the family, or an artificial one, as in the case of the state. The family gathers about the father as its head. The perpetuation of this gathering in groups is achieved through the sacrifice to the ancestors, at which the whole clan is gathered together [ancestral bonds that are commemorated, and offerings to spirits of one’s clan with whom there is an affinity]. Through the collective piety of the living members of the family, the ancestors become so integrated in the spiritual life of the family that it cannot be dispersed or dissolved.Where men are to be gathered together, religious forces are needed [reference that binds communitas beyond mere mortal ties, that dissolve and break without a unifying idea that each one incorporates separately, but acts in unison together]. But there must also be a human leader to serve as the center of the group. In order to be able to bring others together, this leader must first of all be collected within himself. Only collective moral force can unite the world [morality is regulating the natural instinctual law, as well as that which aspired to the higher, and sets  behavioral and introceptive* boundaries, it is the permeating of laws, traditions and codes established in a culture or civilization, it’s taboo and sacred, its sanctified ways of acting, Intellect and reason that becomes refined platonically and from the world of ideas and forms shines down upon Earth is wholly moral (approximation of conduct), yet in this case many things may be written from morality into nature and it is not so, citing Ernst Junger: ‘There is a difference between ethos and morality. A warrior follows his ethos, it may be morally undermined. Traditional law and being are in conflict with each other“]

*Inwardly reflected perception.

Such great times of unification will leave great achievements behind them. This is the significance of the great offerings that are made. In the secular sphere likewise there is need of great deeds in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER.


Over the earth, the lake: The image of GATHERING TOGETHER.Thus the superior man renews his weapons in order to meet the unforeseen [sharpening the blade of mind and character at all times]. If the water in the lake gathers until it rises above the earth, there is danger of a break-through. Precautions must be taken to prevent this. Similarly where men gather together in great numbers, strife is likely to arise; where possessions are collected, robbery is likely to occur. Thus in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER we must arm promptly to ward off the unexpected. Human woes usually come as a result of unexpected events against which we are not forearmed. If we are prepared, they can be prevented.


Six at the beginning means:If you are sincere, but not to the end, there will sometimes be confusion, sometimes gathering together.If you call out,Then after one grasp of the hand you can laugh again.Regret not. Going is without blame.

The situation is this: people desire to gather around a leader to whom they look up. But they are in a large group, by which they allow themselves to be influenced, so that they waver in their decision. Thus they lack a firm center around which to gather. But if expression is given to this need, and if they call for help, one grasp of the hand from the leader is enough to turn away all distress [ambiguity of interests is conquered with a single-pointed aim, it is irrelevant from this position whether it will turn to the good or the bad, the masses energies are chanelled where the wind flows, or where the leader goes, the intellect and feeling of free individuals follow reasonable aims and prospects and thus it is a greater feature to rally such people towards a common aim]. Therefore they must not allow themselves to be led astray. It is undoubtedly right that they should attach themselves to this leader.

Six in the second place means: Letting oneself be drawn brings good fortune and remains blameless.If one is sincere,It furthers one to bring even a small offering.In the time of GATHERING TOGETHER, we should make no arbitrary choice of the way. There are secret forces at work, leading together those who belong together. We must yield to this attraction; then we make no mistakes. Where inner relationships exist, no great preparations and formalities are necessary. People understand one another forthwith, just as the Divinity graciously accepts a small offering if it comes from the heart.

Six in the third place means: Gathering together amid sighs.Nothing that would further.Going is without blame.Slight humiliation.Often a man feels an urge to unite with others, but the individuals around him have already formed themselves into a group, so that he remains isolated. The whole situation proves untenable. Then he ought to choose the way of progress, resolutely allying himself with a man who stands nearer to the center of the group, and can help him to gain admission to the closed circle. This is not a mistake, even though at first his position as an outsider is somewhat humiliating.

Nine in the fourth place means:Great good fortune. No blame.

This describes a man who gathers people around him in the name of his ruler. Since he is not striving for any special advantages for himself but is working unselfishly [sacrificing the selfhood and associated interests] to bring about general unity, his work is crowned with success, and everything becomes as it should be.

Nine in the fifth place means:If in gathering together one has position, this brings no blame. If there are some who are not yet sincerely in the work, sublime and enduring perseverance is needed [thouroughness and sincerity at all times guides the lose ends of mind, guard your mind against falsehood that appears as honesty, it is self-deceipt that should be removed].Then remorse disappears.When people spontaneously gather around a man, it is only a good. It gives him a certain influence that can be altogether useful. But of course there is also the possibility that many may gather around him not because of a feeling of confidence but merely because of his influential position [the weak that surround the strong work in corruptive fashion, he strong treat each other in respective equality and fortify each other, guiding the weaker]. This is certainly to be regretted. The only means of dealing with such people is to gain their confidence through steadfastness and intensified, unswerving devotion to duty [Pymander: To the Heavens, to the World, to the people -in this order precisely]. In this way secret mistrust will gradually be overcome, and there will be no occasion for regret.

Six at the top means: Lamenting and sighing, floods of tears.No blame.It may happen that an individual would like to ally himself with another, but his good intentions are misunderstood. Then he becomes sad and laments. But this is the right course. For it may cause the other person to come to his senses, so that the alliance that has been sought and so painfully missed is after all achieved.

Kou – Coming to Meet


This hexagram indicates a situation in which the principle of darkness, after having been eliminated, furtively and unexpectedly obtrudes again from within and below. Of its own accord the female principle comes to meet the male. It is an unfavorable and dangerous situation, and we must understand and promptly prevent the possible consequences [be watchful, insightful and equipped with foresight, armed in method and dynamic caution, not over-eager, but observant in a well-settled equipose] .The hexagram is linked with the fifth month [June–July], because at the summer solstice the principle of darkness gradually becomes ascendant again.


COMING TO MEET. The maiden is powerful.One should not marry such a maiden [least one should lose oneself in such an arrangement and submit one’s composition to the ruling female – a wise powerful female is a great person equal to great men and in no way inferior to them, but seeking submission to such a female by a sage weakens his nature and independence, Samson and Dalila, mens strenght and wits wither when they become domesticated by a female].The rise of the inferior element is pictured here in the image of a bold girl who lightly surrenders herself and thus seizes power. This would not be possible if the strong and light-giving element had not in turn come halfway. The inferior thing seems so harmless and inviting that a man delights in it; it looks so small and weak that he imagines he may dally with it and come to no harm.The inferior man rises only because the superior man does not regard him as dangerous and so lends him power. If he were resisted from the first, he could never gain influence.

The time of COMING TO MEET is important in still another way. Although as a general rule the weak should not come to meet the strong, there are times when this has great significance. When heaven and earth come to meet each other, all creatures prosper; when a prince and his official come to meet each other, the world is put in order. It is necessary for elements predestined to be joined and mutually dependent to come to meet one another halfway [as in proportion in co-dependent co-arising preserves harmony and measure]. But the coming together must be free of dishonest ulterior motives, otherwise harm will result.


Under heaven, wind: The image of COMING TO MEET. Thus does the prince act when disseminating his commands and proclaiming them to the four quarters of heaven. The situation here resembles that in hexagram 20, Kuan, CONTEMPLATION (VIEW).

In the latter the wind blows over the earth, here it blows under heaven; in both cases it goes everywhere. There the wind is on the earth and symbolizes the ruler taking note of the conditions in his kingdom; here the wind blows from above and symbolizes the influence exercised by the ruler through his commands. Heaven is far from the things of earth, but it sets them in motion by means of the wind. The ruler is far from his people, but he sets them in motion by means of his commands and decrees.


Six at the beginning means:It must be checked with a brake of bronze. Perseverance brings good fortune.If one lets it take its course, one experiences misfortune.Even a lean pig has it in him to rage around.If an inferior element has wormed its way in, it must be energetically checked at once. By consistently checking it, bad effects can be avoided. If it is allowed to take its course, misfortune is bound to result; the insignificance of that which creeps in should not be a temptation to underrate it. A pig that is still young and lean cannot rage around much, but after it has eaten its fill and become strong, its true nature comes out if it has not previously been curbed.

Nine in the second place means: There is a fish in the tank. No blame. Does not further guests.The inferior element is not overcome by violence but is kept under gentle control. Then nothing evil is to be feared. But care must be taken not to let it come in contact with those further away, because once free it would unfold its evil aspects unchecked.Nine in the third place means:There is no skin on his thighs, and walking comes hard.If one is mindful of the danger, no great mistake is made.There is a temptation to fall in with the evil element offering itself—a very dangerous situation [gifts of darkness should not be accepted, they are a method to creep into one’s mind, whathever the intent, eventually it is corroded by the nature of such a gift and it’s source]. Fortunately circumstances prevent this; one would like to do it, but cannot. This leads to painful indecision in behavior. But if we gain clear insight into the danger of the situation, we shall at least avoid more serious mistakes. [if darkness put us into motion we set reference with heavens at heart and preserve a strong posture and a principled vanguard in an exposed position, yet vaulted in one’s inner truth and its resilient, perseverant defense]

Nine in the fourth place means:No fish in the tank.This leads to misfortune.Insignificant people must be tolerated in order to keep them well disposed [not giving in to their ways, we appear as if of their liking]. Then we can make use of them if we should need them. If we become alienated from them and do not meet them halfway, they turn their backs on us and are not at our disposal when we need them. But this is our own fault.

Nine in the fifth place means:A melon covered with willow leaves.Hidden lines.Then it drops down to one from heaven.

The melon, like the fish, is a symbol of the principle of darkness. It is sweet but spoils easily and for this reason is protected with a cover of willow leaves. This is a situation in which a strong, superior, well-poised man tolerates and protects the inferiors in his charge. He has the firm lines of order and beauty within himself but he does not lay stress upon them. He does not bother his subordinates with outward show or tiresome admonitions but leaves them quite free, putting his trust in the transforming power of a strong and upright personality. And behold! Fate is favorable. His inferiors respond to his influence and fall to his disposition like ripe fruit.

Nine at the top means:He comes to meet with his horns.Humiliation. No blame.When a man has withdrawn from the world, its tumult often becomes unbearable to him. There are many people who in a noble pride hold themselves aloof from all that is low and rebuff it brusquely wherever it comes to meet them. Such persons are reproached for being proud and distant, but since active duties no longer hold them to the world, this does not greatly matter. They know how to bear the dislike of the masses with composure.

Kuai – Breakthrough (Resoluteness)


This hexagram signifies on the one hand a break-through after a long accumulation of tension, as a swollen river breaks through its dikes, or in the manner of a cloudburst. On the other hand, applied to human conditions, it refers to the time when inferior people gradually begin to disappear [if corruption eats us, we may be demoted to the inferior lot, and then we are gradually removed, that harbors a lot of injury and ill-will towards the rest, even if the superior people to whom we belonged once begin to rise, we then turn either towards inferior scheming, or withdraw with injured natures from the scene to contemplate things that are still possible, not adding evil from an injured nature is also a gigantomachy]. Their influence is on the wane; as a result of resolute action, a change in conditions occurs, a break-through. The hexagram is linked with the third month [April–May].


BREAK-THROUGH. One must resolutely make the matter known at the court of the king.It must be announced truthfully. Danger.It is necessary to notify one’s own city.It does not further to resort to arms.It furthers one to undertake something.Even if only one inferior man is occupying a ruling position in a city, he is able to oppress superior men. Even a single passion still lurking in the heart has power to obscure reason. Passion and reason cannot exist side by side—therefore fight without quarter is necessary if the good is to prevail.In a resolute struggle of the good against evil, there are, however, definite rules that must not be disregarded, if it is to succeed. First, resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness. Second, a compromise with evil is not possible; evil must under all circumstances be openly discredited. Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over. Third, the struggle must not be carried on directly by force. If evil is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred and passion [only cold-blooded animals have venom, never underestimate the bloodthirst and vengeance of a bitter and defeated person, in wisdom he still tries to warn, in malice he begins to observe the foolishness and self-destruction of others]. Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapons of evil become dulled. For the same reasons we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.


The lake has risen up to heaven: The image of BREAK-THROUGH. Thus the superior man dispenses riches downward and refrains from resting on his virtue.When the water of a lake has risen up to heaven, there is reason to fear a cloudburst. Taking this as a warning, the superior man forestalls a violent collapse. If a man were to pile up riches for himself alone, without considering others, he would certainly experience a collapse. For all gathering is followed by dispersion [Epictetus “Nothing belongs to us, when we ‘lose’ something, we simply return it to the world”]. Therefore the superior man begins to distribute while he is accumulating. In the same way, in developing his character he takes care not to become hardened in obstinacy but to remain receptive to impressions by help of strict and continuous self-examination [especially on the rise or in elevated position, one needs to be especially on guard for the sake of himself and others, a man with a dagger and a status of a downthrodden vile beggar is more dangerous, for he is free to use it as he pleases, not checked by hierarchical and traditional sentiments, or societal constraints, a magician with a sharp tongue may use it to kill, negotiate or create, but a downcast dog with such power will use it in a manner appropriate to the treatment he received, wheels of fortunes turn, overcoming is especially important in a matter of force and command, regardless of the status]


Nine at the beginning means: Mighty in the forward-striding toes. When one goes and is not equal to the task, one makes a mistake.In times of a resolute advance, the beginning is especially difficult. We feel inspired to press forward but resistance is still strong; therefore we ought to gauge our own strength and venture only so far as we can go with certainty of success. To plunge blindly ahead is wrong, because it is precisely at the beginning that an unexpected setback can have the most disastrous results. [measure means against odds at all times]

Nine in the second place means:

A cry of alarm. Arms at evening and at night.Fear nothing.Readiness is everything. Resolution is indissolubly bound up with caution. If an individual is careful and keeps his wits about him, he need not become excited or alarmed. If he is watchful at all times, even before danger is present, he is armed when danger approaches and need not be afraid [continuous danger should not blunten the senses too, by the force of being accustomed to it, we lower our guards, we should be ever-fresh like in a spontaneous sabre dance, focused, and ready to confront, interact, withdraw, hit, and defend, watch and assess]. The superior man is on his guard against what is not yet in sight and on the alert for what is not yet within hearing; therefore he dwells in the midst of difficulties as though they did not exist. If a man develops his character, people submit to him of their own accord. If reason triumphs, the passions withdraw of themselves. To be circumspect and not to forget one’s armor is the right way to security.

Nine in the third place means: To be powerful in the cheekbones brings misfortune. The superior man is firmly resolved. He walks alone and is caught in the rain.He is bespattered, and people murmur against him.No blame.Here we have a man in an ambiguous situation. While all others are engaged in a resolute fight against all that is inferior, he alone has a certain relationship with an inferior man. If he were to show strength outwardly and turn against this man before the time is ripe, he would only endanger the entire situation, because the inferior man would too quickly have recourse to countermeasures. The task of the superior man becomes extremely difficult here. He must be firmly resolved within himself and, while maintaining association with the inferior man, avoid any participation in his vileness. He will of course be misjudged. It will be thought that he belongs to the party of the inferior man. He will be lonely because no one will understand him. His relations with the inferior man will sully him in the eyes of the multitude, and they will turn against him, grumbling. But he can endure this lack of appreciation and makes no mistake, because he remains true to himself. [while murmuring, gossip and vile slander and lies develop, while one’s enterprises are openly mocked without asking, and censored, being steady on the path with the inner truth, if it is truly wise, is a way of strenghtening the principle and steadfast maturation, one should move away form such a place, if not possible one should assume a silent, kind and withdrawn posture to avoid being injured, or attacked]

Nine in the fourth place means:

There is no skin on his thighs,And walking comes hard.If a man were to let himself be led like a sheep, remorse would disappear.But if these words are heard they will not be believed.Here a man is suffering from inner restlessness and cannot abide in his place. He would like to push forward under any circumstances, but encounters insuperable obstacles. Thus his situation entails an inner conflict. This is due to the obstinacy with which he seeks to enforce his will. If he would desist from this obstinacy, everything would go well. But this advice, like so much other good counsel, will be ignored. For obstinacy makes a man unable to hear, for all that he has ears.

Nine in the fifth place means:

In dealing with weeds, Firm resolution is necessary. Walking in the middle Remains free of blame.Weeds always grow back again and are difficult to exterminate. So too the struggle against an inferior man in a high position demands firm resolution. One has certain relations with him, hence there is danger that one may give up the struggle as hopeless. But this must not be. One must go on resolutely and not allow himself to be deflected from his course. Only in this way does one remain free of blame.

Six at the top means: No cry.In the end misfortune comes. Victory seems to have been achieved. There remains merely a remnant of the evil resolutely to be eradicated as the time demands. Everything looks easy. Just there, however, lies the danger. If we are not on guard, evil will succeed in escaping by means of concealment, and when it has eluded us new misfortunes will develop from the remaining seeds, for evil does not die easily. So too in dealing with the evil in one’s own character, one must go to work with thoroughness. If out of carelessness anything were to be overlooked, new evil would arise from it. [contemplate on one defects – correct them – Buddhist stanza]

I – Increase


The idea of increase is expressed in the fact that the strong lowest line of the upper trigram has sunk down and taken its place under the lower trigram. This conception also expresses the fundamental idea on which the Book of Changes is based. To rule truly is to serve [by understanding an elevated position in relation to heaven is to understand the whole of the events set into motion and thus to ameliorate, harmonize, weave, and amend according to justice].A sacrifice of the higher element that produces an increase of the lower is called an out-and-out increase: it indicates the spirit that alone has power to help the world [a Boddhisatva sacrifices complete liberation out of compassion, a sage sacrifices the motions of his freedom to commit to people, masters and mistresses that could return to TAO committed to this world and stayed behind to guide others,yet the higher element refines the lower and strenghtens it at its foundations].

[at times weary, we want to leave, and crave for liberation amongst measure, then another relief as we look around and there is too much to do, these who once fell for the world do not abandon it easily]


INCREASE. It furthers one to undertake something.It furthers one to cross the great water .Sacrifice on the part of those above for the increase of those below fills the people with a sense of joy and gratitude that is extremely valuable for the flowering of the commonwealth [whether to sacrifice one’s higher nature is a question of discernment, and sound judgement, it should not be kept as a property, nor disposed off freely, it should guide thouroughly and should not be severed from the lower nature nevertheless]. When people are thus devoted to their leaders, undertakings are possible, and even difficult and dangerous enterprises will succeed. Therefore in such times of progress and successful development it is necessary to work and make the best use of the time. This time resembles that of the marriage of heaven and earth, when the earth partakes of the creative power of heaven, forming and bringing forth living beings. The time of INCREASE does not endure, therefore it must be utilized while it lasts.


Wind and thunder: the image of INCREASE.

Thus the superior man: If he sees good, he imitates it; If he has faults, he rids himself of them.While observing how thunder and wind increase and strengthen each other, a man can note the way to self-increase and self-improvement. When he discovers good in others, he should imitate it and thus make everything on earth his own [ancient traditions are there not only for study, but contemplation and incorporation, there is a treasury in books that may be applied in consideration of times]. If he perceives something bad in himself, let him rid himself of it. In this way he becomes free of evil. This ethical change represents the most important increase of personality [Gigantomachy, or the battle of the Titans within, that of nature, character, ethos, principes, spirit etc. is continuous, one progresses, sets foundations, survives sieges etc. one develops ethos and then defaults his or hers actions against it, there is a difference between a consciously developed ethos and a conditioned one, there is a difference between moving hither and tither willessly and committing right and wrong consciously, ethos developed consciously is reasonable and finds in basis in insight, observation and understanding, a conditioned one is what was thought and is performed unconsciously and is prone to be shaky, there are  people that are moving opportunistically across the fields of events without a spine, and adapt, they are people that are half-ethical but don’t know why, and they are fearful of transgressions of their limits but it is a soundless yet healthy sentiment, they are these who are pursuing a path of reckless abuse of half-ethical and conditioned people taking a superior hand at exploiting them, and there are these who consciously oppose them seeing the damage they perform on the whole, whose ethos relies on observation of laws governing humans and their natures diverse, being foresightful]


Nine at the beginning means:

It furthers one to accomplish great deeds.Supreme good fortune. No blame. If great help comes to a man from on high, this increased strength must be used to achieve something great for which he might otherwise never have found energy, or readiness to take responsibility. Great good fortune is produced by selflessness, and in bringing about great good fortune, he remains free of reproach.

Six in the second place means:

Someone does indeed increase him;Ten pairs of tortoises cannot oppose it. Constant perseverance brings good fortune.The king presents him before God. Good fortune.

A man brings about real increase by producing in himself the conditions for it, that is, through receptivity to and love of the good. Thus the thing for which he strives comes of itself, with the inevitability of natural law. Where increase is thus in harmony with the highest laws of the universe, it cannot be prevented by any constellation of accidents. But everything depends on his not letting unexpected good fortune make him heedless; he must make it his own through inner strength and steadfastness. Then he acquires meaning before God and man, and can accomplish something for the good of the world.

Six in the third place means:

One is enriched through unfortunate events.No blame, if you are sincere and walk in the middle, and report with a seal to the prince. A time of blessing and enrichment has such powerful effects that even events ordinarily unfortunate must turn out to the advantage of those affected by them. These persons become free of error, and by acting in harmony with truth they gain such inner authority that they exert influence as if sanctioned by letter and seal.

Six in the fourth place means:

If you walk in the middle and report to the prince, he will follow.It furthers one to be used in the removal of the capital.It is important that there should be men who mediate between leaders and followers. These should be disinterested people, especially in times of increase, since the benefit is to spread from the leader to the people. Nothing of this benefit should be held back in a selfish way; it should really reach those for whom it is intended. This sort of intermediary, who also exercises a good influence on the leader, is especially important in times when it is a matter of great undertakings, decisive for the future and requiring the inner assent of all concerned.Nine in the fifth place means:

If in truth you have a kind heart, ask not. Supreme good fortune. Truly, kindness will be recognized as your virtue.True kindness does not count upon nor ask about merit and gratitude but acts from inner necessity. And such a truly kind heart finds itself rewarded in being recognized, and thus the beneficent influence will spread unhindered.

Nine at the top means:He brings increase to no one. Indeed, someone even strikes him.He does not keep his heart constantly steady. Misfortune.The meaning here is that through renunciation those in high place should bring increase to those below. By neglecting this duty and helping no one, they in turn lose the furthering influence of others and soon find themselves alone. In this way they invite attacks. An attitude not permanently in harmony with the demands of the time will necessarily bring misfortune with it. Confucius says about this line:“The superior man sets his person at rest before he moves; he composes his mind before he speaks; he makes his relations firm before he asks for something. By attending to these three matters, the superior man gains complete security. But if a man is brusque in his movements, others will not co-operate. If he is agitated in his words, they awaken no echo in others. If he asks for something without having first established relations, it will not be given to him. If no one is with him, those who would harm him draw near.”

Sun – Decrease


The hexagram Sun is based on the idea that the top line of the lower trigram is decreased in order to increase the top line of the upper trigram; hence it is the six in the third place and the nine at the top that are the constituting rulers of the hexagram. But, since the ruler is the one who is enriched through decrease of what is below and increase of what is above, the governing ruler of the hexagram is the six in the fifth place.

The Sequence

Through release of tension something is sure to be lost. Hence there follows the hexagram of DECREASE.

Miscellaneous Notes

The hexagrams of DECREASE and INCREASE are the beginning of flowering and of decline. This hexagram consists of Tui below and Kên above. The depth of the lake is decreased in favor of the height of the mountain. The top line of the lower trigram is decreased in favor of the top line of the upper trigram. In both cases, what is (below is decreased in favor of what is above, and this means out-and-out decrease. When decrease has reached its goal, flowering is sure to begin. Hence DECREASE is the beginning of flowering [as in fortunes, decrease of misfortune brings about fortune, fortune is not recognized by abundance after misfortune ceases – sometimes decrease of burden is a fortune valued for its own sake, as if – freedom from some misfortune is fortunate enough], as INCREASE, through fullness, ushers in decline. [likewise, increase of fortune may create satiation, or by fates this fortune may be taken away, thus bringing about misfortune, also of laws of organizational, informational entropy and negentropy in biology]

Appended Judgments

DECREASE shows the cultivation of character [note the annotation on fortunes, stances and decisions in misfortunes strenghten character, if it overcomes them]. It shows first what is difficult and then what is easy. Thus it keeps harm away.

[some cultivate great characters under great burdens and have enough strenght to move into the field of action, harness the resources, some simply withdraw, with the lack of living impetus or enthusiasm to perform such actions, again the delineation between a hero and a sage]


DECREASE combined with sincerity. Brings about supreme good fortune. Without blame.One may be persevering in this.It furthers one to undertake something.How is this to be carried out? One may use two small bowls for the sacrifice.

Commentary on the Decision

DECREASE. What is below is decreased, what is above is increased; the direction of the way is upward. [harmony of tension – the bow is pulled, liberation through opposition – the arrow is released, upward movement – towards the Heavenly spheres] DECREASE combined with sincerity [an inner transparency, at one with the world, honest with its movement and self-evident, better to be in honest wrath than in fake sympathy, better to honestly love, than to conceal antagonism – the latter are simply not transparent in the light of unfoldment of cosmos, they are not true tensions in which two polar opposites battle, but false facades of tensions, that twist the root and deform the nature towards grotesque theatrical masks, when they grow into us, we suffer like suffocated trees, when we take them off, we re-assert our characters, natures and inclinations] brings about supreme good fortune without blame. One may be persevering in this. It furthers one to undertake something. How is this to be carried out? One may use two small bowls for the sacrifice.”“Two small bowls” is in accord with the time. There is a time for decreasing the firm, and a time for increasing the yielding. In decreasing and increasing, in being full and being empty, one must go with the time.The firm top line of the lower trigram is decreased, that is, replaced by a yielding line; at the same time, the yielding top line of the upper trigram is increased, that is, replaced by a strong line, and this strong line makes its way upward. The upper element is enriched at the expense of the lower. Those below bring a sacrifice to the ruler. If this sacrifice is offered sincerely it is not wrong; rather, it results in success and all things desirable. Nor is thrift then a disgrace. All that matters is that things should happen at the right time.


At the foot of the mountain, the lake: The image of DECREASE. Thus the superior man controls his anger [cuts its roots, resolved and disarms it, overcomes] and restrains his instincts [trains them continuously]. The lake evaporates; its waters decrease and benefit the mountain’s vegetation, which thereby is furthered in its growth and enriched. Anger rises mountain high; the instincts drown the heart like the depths of a lake. Inasmuch as the two primary trigrams represent the youngest son and youngest daughter, passions are especially strong. The anger aroused must be restrained by keeping still (upper trigram Kên), and the instincts must be curbed by the confining quality of the lower trigram Tui, as the lake confines its waters within its banks [everything shaped in proper form, a fountain, the top is the spring of consciousness, as it falls and fill the lowers spheres of human intellectual, emotional, and instinctual life, it is all evened and put to motion harmoniously and in a splendid fashion]


Nine at the beginning:

a) Going quickly when one’s tasks are finished is without blame.But one must reflect on how much one may decrease others.

b) “Going quickly when one’s tasks are finished”: this is right because the mind of the one above accords with one’s own.The lowest line stands for people of the lower classes.

Though strong itself, it stands in the relationship of correspondence to the weak six in the fourth place, which represents an official. The one above needs help from the one below, and it is readily offered by the latter. Instead of the word for “finished” the word for “through” or “with” appears in old texts (cf. the Shuo Wên,1 where the wording is cited); thus the sentence would read: “Going quickly with services”—i.e., to help the one above—”is without blame.” This means self-decrease on the part of the one below for the benefit of the one above [in an order when that is not corrupt, one assists the greater]. The second half of the line, which reads literally, “One must weigh how much one may decrease him,” refers to the one above, who claims the services of the one below. It is his duty to weigh in his mind how much he may require without injuring the one below [responsibility in dealing with the lower, or how much one may say, act, give and do not to spoil, not to harm, not to damage the one below, self-restriction in distribution, a master does not babble about everything he knows to his student, but waters the disciple and lets him/her grow on him/her own, as the roots the latter develops are strong and his/hers own to cherish and develop further]. Only when this is the attitude of the one above does it fit in with the self-sacrifice of the one below. If the one above should make inconsiderate demands, the joy in giving felt by the one below would be decreased.Nine in the second place:

a) Perseverance furthers.To undertake something brings misfortune.Without decreasing oneself, One is able to bring increase to others.

b) That the nine in the second place furthers through perseverance is due to the fact that it has the correct mean in its mind.The nine is strong and stands in a central place. Hence perseverance in this attitude serves to further. The line stands at the beginning of the nuclear trigram Chên, the Arousing. This would suggest that it might of its own initiative go to the six in the fifth place, with which it has a relationship of correspondence. If it did this, however, it would demean itself somewhat. It is in keeping with its central position to increase the other without decreasing itself.

Six in the third place:

a) When three people journey together, their number decreases by one. When one man journeys alone, He finds a companion.

b) If a person should seek to journey as one of three, mistrust would arise.The text says that three persons journeying together are decreased by one, but one man journeying alone finds a companion.

This refers to the change that has taken place within the lower trigram. At the outset it consisted of the three strong lines of the trigram Ch’ien, the Creative. They have been journeying together. Then one leaves them and goes up to the top of the upper trigram. The weak line entering the third place in its stead is lonely in the company of the two other lines of the lower trigram. But it stands in the relationship of correspondence to the strong line at the top, hence finds its complement in the latter. Through this separation, three become two; further, through the union one becomes two. Thus what is excessive is decreased, and what is insufficient is increased [thus with character, virtue and vice, one should have it in mind, aware of one’s deficiencies and excesses, to round it to be whole]. Through this process of interchange between the trigrams Ch’ien and K’un of the original hexagram, there come into being the two youngest children, Kên and Tui. On the other hand, the present line, the six in the third place, which is lonely in the lower trigram, should not again consider going along with the other two, for this would give rise to misunderstandings. Confucius says about this line:“Heaven and earth come together, and all things take shape and find form. Male and female mix their seed, and all creatures take shape and are born. In the Book of Changes it is said: ‘When three people journey together, their number decreases by one. When one man journeys alone, he finds a companion.’ This refers to the effect of becoming one.”

Six in the fourth place:

a) If a man decreases his faults,It makes the other hasten to come and rejoice.No blame. [autonomous self-correction is a trait of a mature mind that developed a feeling of good and evil, right and wrong, and is learning to balance it in a wise and just fashion, one extends it into inner recognition and contemplation, yet one does not put demands outside of oneself, if enemies, or misunderstandings attempt to force one into obedience to a wrong enerprise, one has to be resilient and cannot let himself/herself be pulled into their line of action, violation, belief even when threatened, intimidated, mind tied to a star of consciousness is not afraid of punishments to the body or mind, it is ever-free, if the enemies are stubborn, foolish, violent, one perseveres in silence and abides in his inner truth, no strikes should be made until a mean of dissolution, disarming or slaying of the enemy is found]

b) “If a man decreases his faults,” it is indeed something that gives cause for joy. The fault of the six in the fourth place is excessive weakness. A weak line in a weak place, it is inclosed above and below by weak lines. However, through its relationship of correspondence to the strong first line, these faults are compensated. Through elimination of these faults, the six in the fourth place hastens the helpful coming of the nine at the beginning, which brings joy to both and is not a mistake.

Six in the fifth place:

a) Someone does indeed increase him.Ten pairs of tortoises cannot oppose it.Supreme good fortune.

b) The supreme good fortune of the six in the fifth place comes from its being blessed from above.If he is enriched, ten pairs of tortoise shells cannot oppose it, and supreme good fortune comes. The number ten is suggested by the nuclear trigram K’un. The tortoise belongs to the trigram Li—which of course can be read into this hexagram only by straining the point considerably. A large tortoise used for fortune telling costs twenty cowrie shells. A double cowrie shell is called a pair. Accordingly, one explanation takes the line to mean a tortoise worth ten pairs of cowrie shells. Another explanation reads it as referring to ten pairs of tortoise shells. Blessing from above is suggested by the strong top line covering the hexagram protectively.

Nine at the top:

a) If one is increased without depriving others,There is no blame.Perseverance brings good fortune.

It furthers one to undertake something. One obtains servants but no longer has a separate home.

b) Without decreasing, he is increased; that is, he attains his will in great measure.The top line is enriched by the six in the third place. It accepts this increase, but in such a way that the other is not decreased by it. Therefore the relationship here is the opposite of that represented by the nine in the second place, which increases others without decreasing itself. Hence the outlook is favorable throughout, because harmony is maintained between those above and those below. Kên, mountain, denotes a house. As the line changes, the upper primary trigram Kên turns into the trigram K’un, which knows no house, i.e., no mountain, its place being the southwest; hence there are loyal helpers, but not for promoting family interests.

Hsieh – Deliverance


Here the movement goes out of the sphere of danger. The obstacle has been removed, the difficulties are being resolved [the thorn is removed from the Camel’s hoof, the threads of events depend on the method of their resolution]. Deliverance is not yet achieved; it is just in its beginning, and the hexagram represents its various stages.


DELIVERANCE. The southwest furthers.If there is no longer anything where one has to go, Return brings good fortune [two steps behind, one finds oneself at home] .If there is still something where one has to go, Hastening brings good fortune.This refers to a time in which tensions and complications begin to be eased [harmony amongst tensions is established]. At such times we ought to make our way back to ordinary conditions as soon as possible; this is the meaning of “the southwest.” These periods of sudden change have great importance. Just as rain relieves atmospheric tension, making all the buds burst open, so a time of deliverance from burdensome pressure has a liberating and stimulating effect on life [the fates are cathartic, the wonderer that almost reached an abiding place observes the rain falling through the mist]. One thing is important, however: in such times we must not overdo our triumph. The point is not to push on farther than is necessary. Returning to the regular order of life as soon as deliverance is achieved brings good fortune [any pressures that go beyond might lead to a new strife]. If there are any residual matters that ought to be attended to, it should be done as quickly as possible, so that a clean sweep is made and no retardations occur.


Thunder and rain set in: The image of DELIVERANCE. Thus the superior man pardons mistakes and forgives misdeeds [it has an effect of releasing one from the burden primarily, a grudge is our burden not that of others, hate is a subjective attachment to the subject of our hate, it also resolved the guilt or shame in others, that lets them carry forth, if they understand the mistake and correct it – that is a punishment enough, if they don’t – that is not within our strenght to change it].A thunderstorm has the effect of clearing the air; the superior man produces a similar effect when dealing with mistakes and sins of men that induce a condition of tension [awe! awe! the dragon lightning strikes! it disperses and corrects, it puts things into messages and motions, it straightens the spoiled roots of natures, it brings the limits to these who grown lose in mind]. Through clarity he brings deliverance. However, when failings come to light, he does not dwell on them; he simply passes over mistakes, the unintentional transgressions, just as thunder dies away [he does not ponder upon mistakes, but firmly corrects them, he does not dwell on the past errors, but resolutely carries a proper view into the present and future, like rain that washes stains away, he should not let be caught bewailing an error, least he commits more and grows accustomed to them, reality should not be frozen in this light, these who are prisoners of the past and transpose it into the present are the prisoners of reality, they are more busy living over the past then living the present taking wisdom from past experiences]. He forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes everything clean.


Six at the beginning means:

Without blame.In keeping with the situation, few words are needed. The hindrance is past, deliverance has come. One recuperates in peace and keeps still. This is the right thing to do in times when difficulties have been overcome.

Nine in the second place means:One kills three foxes in the field and receives a yellow arrow. Perseverance brings good fortune.The image is taken from the hunt. The hunter catches three cunning foxes and receives a yellow arrow as a reward. The obstacles in public life are the designing foxes who try to influence the ruler through flattery. They must be removed before there can be any deliverance. But the struggle must not be carried on with the wrong weapons. The yellow color points to measure and mean in proceeding against the enemy; the arrow signifies the straight course [the truth is brought to light by means of a single masterful strike, it unmasks the enemy and renders him powerless, the arrow is carrying support as it jets through the air, Buddhist saying applies ”achieve everything with a single mean”, this mean applied to time and change with natural force is resolving everything towards the better, if one knows throughout life what means need to be used, he shoots his arrows at the right time and space, and always pierces through three heads, the heavenly archer, like a Mongolian horseman, rides and measures the distance and through intuitive flash hits his target in an almost impossible manner, wisdom is a a skill to do the same thing in affairs of men, heavens and hells either through speech, command, action, action, withdrawal or stillness, one knows when, how and why] . If one devotes himself wholeheartedly to the task of deliverance, he develops so much inner strength from his rectitude that it acts as a weapon against all that is false and low.

Six in the third place means:

If a man carries a burden on his back and nonetheless rides in a carriage,He thereby encourages robbers to draw near.Perseverance leads to humiliation.This refers to a man who has come out of needy circumstances into comfort and freedom from want. If now, in the manner of an upstart, he tries to take his ease in comfortable surroundings that do not suit his nature, he thereby attracts robbers [one should adopt measures that are continuous and not grow to attached to his temporary well-being, if one loses his guard and gets carried away by the situation, he wastes his habits and ways, methods and wisdom, one should confront and engage life in every instance, not losing his hard-won experiences and not forgetting about them]. If he goes on thus he is sure to bring disgrace upon himself. Confucius says about this line:“Carrying a burden on the back is the business of a common man; a carriage is the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the appurtenance of a man of rank, robbers plot to take it away from him. If a man is insolent toward those above him and hard toward those below him, robbers plot to attack him. Carelessness in guarding things tempts thieves to steal. Sumptuous ornaments worn by a maiden are an enticement to rob her of her virtue.”

Nine in the fourth place means:Deliver yourself from your great toe.Then the companion comes, and him you can trust.In times of standstill it will happen that inferior people attach themselves to a superior man, and through force of daily habit they may grow very close to him and become indispensable, just as the big toe is indispensable to the foot because it makes walking easier. But when the time of deliverance draws near, with its call to deeds, a man must free himself from such chance acquaintances with whom he has no inner connection. For otherwise the friends who share his views, on whom he could really rely and together with whom he could accomplish something, mistrust him and stay away.

Six in the fifth place means:

If only the superior man can deliver himself, it brings good fortune.Thus he proves to inferior men that he is in earnest.Times of deliverance demand inner resolve. Inferior people cannot be driven off by prohibitions or any external means. If one desires to be rid of them, he must first break completely with them in his own mind [the mind is the basis of all inner accords, and thus outter things in resolution and effectuation]; they will see for themselves that he is in earnest and will withdraw.

Six at the top means:

The prince shoots at a hawk on a high wall.He kills it. Everything serves to further.The hawk on a high wall is the symbol of a powerful inferior in a high position who is hindering the deliverance. He withstands the force of inner influences, because he is hardened in his wickedness. He must be forcibly removed, and this requires appropriate means. Confucius says about this line:“The hawk is the object of the hunt; bow and arrow are the tools and means. The marksman is man (who must make proper use of the means to his end). The superior man contains the means in his own person. He bides his time and then acts. Why then should not everything go well? He acts and is free. Therefore all he has to do is to go forth, and he takes his quarry. This is how a man fares who acts after he has made ready the means.” [the means should be prepared and regenerated, they should nott be brought to a standstill, least we lose them, like tools, through carelessness]

Chien – Obstruction


The ruler of the hexagram is the nine in the fifth place. Therefore it is said in the Commentary on the Decision: “He goes and attains the middle.” The reference to “the great man” in the Judgment always relates to the fifth place.The Sequence Through opposition difficulties necessarily arise. Hence there follows the hexagram of OBSTRUCTION. Obstruction means difficulty.

Miscellaneous Notes

OBSTRUCTION means difficulty.The idea of obstruction is expressed by danger without (K’an), in the face of which one keeps still within (Kên). [the inner perseverance overcoming the storms and harassments around, one is perceiving and noticing everything with a keen mind, predicts the movement of opposition, and predicts potential obstacles without shirking them away, yet one pulls the strings and weaves it into a steel rod with which one commands oneself, it forges character, whereaupon weak people engage in all forms of retorts and engagement with unworthy things thus not developing a strong nature, moreover one gains a superior position in one’s spirit that commands the field of one’s sight without a smallest gain from the advancing enemies, one does not lose one’s star easily] This distinguishes the hexagram from YOUTHFUL FOLLY (4), where K’an is within and Kên is without. The obstruction is not a lasting condition, hence everything in the hexagram is centered on overcoming it. [in change, even the greatest torment is not permanent, even the greatest joy cannot last forever, things come and go like waves] It is overcome in that the strong line moves outward to the fifth place and from there initiates a countermovement. The obstruction is overcome not by pressing forward into danger nor by idly keeping still, but by retreating, yielding [persevereance of a blade of grass]. Hence the text alludes to the words of the hexagram K’un, THE RECEPTIVE (2). K’un is in the southwest, it is the earth, that which is level; friends are there. Kên is in the northeast, it is the mountain, that which is steep; there it is lonely. For overcoming danger one has need of fellowship; hence retreat. The great man is seen because he stands at the top of the nuclear trigram Li, which means light and the eye. The movement indicated is expressed also in the individual lines.



OBSTRUCTION. The southwest furthers.The northeast does not further.It furthers one to see the great man.Perseverance brings good fortune.

Commentary on the Decision

OBSTRUCTION means difficulty. The danger is ahead. To see the danger and to know how to stand still, that is wisdom [how to wrap action, stillness and thought around the danger, so it is resolved within and without]. In OBSTRUCTION “the southwest furthers,” because he goes and attains the middle.“The northeast does not further,” because there the way comes to an end.“It furthers one to see the great man,” because he goes and wins merits.In the right place, “perseverance brings good fortune,” because through it the country comes into order.The effect of a time of OBSTRUCTION is great indeed.Danger, the trigram K’an, is in front. To see the danger (upper nuclear trigram Li, light, eye) and to stop short in time (inner trigram Kên, Keeping Still) is true wisdom, in contrast to the situation in YOUTHFUL FOLLY, where the positions of danger and standstill are reversed. In order to overcome the danger it is important to take the safe-road, the road toward the southwest, where one attains the middle, that is, sees oneself surrounded by helpers. The nine in the fifth place does this. When the ruler of the hexagram is in the outer trigram it is said, “He goes,” and when it is in the inner trigram, “He comes.” In the northeast (north means danger, northeast means mountain) one comes to an impassable road, leading no farther. It is favorable to see the great man [it is worthy to propitiate and ask audience with the Gods, by which true interaction is meant, that they may guide us and converse in silent idea and inspiration, if people are unreliable, or we cannot afford any hidden ties that would corrupt our commitments]—the nine in the fifth place, standing at the top of the nuclear trigram Li. Through going something is achieved: in that the ruler of the hexagram “goes,” he takes part in the downward movement of the trigram K’an, water, which flows toward the earth and thus accomplishes something. Abiding in the right place brings good fortune, because one’s activity is directed not outward but inward, to one’s own country. Turning inward is achieved through obstructions, and the improvement brought about by this turning inward (“conversion”) is the great value inhering in the effect of a time of obstruction.


Water on the mountain:The image of OBSTRUCTION.Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself and molds his character.Water on the top of a mountain cannot flow down in accordance with its nature, because rocks hinder it. It must stand still. This causes it to increase, and the inner accumulation finally becomes so great that it overflows the barriers. The way of overcoming obstacles lies in turning inward and raising one’s own being to a higher level.


Six at the beginning:

a) Going leads to obstructions,Coming meets with praise.

b) “Going leads to obstructions, coming meets with praise,” because it is right to wait.

Going, as this weak line at the beginning would be inclined to do, would lead into danger. Coming back is in accord with the trigram Kên, Keeping Still.

Six in the second place:

a) The king’s servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction,But it is not his own fault.

b) “The king’s servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction.” But in the end there is no blame in this.

This line is in the relationship of correspondence to the ruler of the hexagram, the nine in the fifth place. The ruler stands in the very center of the danger (upper primary trigram K’AN). His servant hastens to his aid, but since his path leads through the nuclear trigram K’an, he meets with one obstruction after another. However, this situation is not due to his own position; the line is in the trigram Kên, Keeping Still, hence it is not inherently necessary for it to go into these dangers. It is only duty, arising from the relation to the ruler, that leads it into peril. Therefore it remains free of fault even in the most dangerous situation.

Six in the third place:

a) Going leads to obstructions;Hence he comes back.

b) “Going leads to obstructions; hence he comes back.”

Those within rejoice over it.This strong line is the ruler of the trigram Kên and has two weak lines depending on it. Its strength might induce it to move outward, but there it encounters the trigram of danger (K’an). Hence it turns back, and the six in the second place, which has a relationship of holding together with it, rejoices.

Six in the fourth place:

a) Going leads to obstructions,Coming leads to union.

b) “Going leads to obstructions, coming leads to union.”

In the appropriate place one finds support [if it is not found, find support in the steel of one’s spirit, and amongst the Gods, may they fortify you, as you commit to the Heavens, beware for that may also lead to the development of distrust towards everyone, and then lead to contempt and hatred, one should disengage such feelings, and meet people as people, Gods as Gods].The six in the fourth place is related to the six at the top, but should it wish to go there, it would find a weak line at the pinnacle of danger. Return to its own place leads to union. The fourth place is that of the minister, who serves the strong ruler above, the nine in the fifth place, and who is supported from below by the strong assistant, the nine in the third place. In the appropriate place (the dark fourth place is the proper one for a yielding line), it achieves union with these two strong lines.

Nine in the fifth place:

a) In the midst of the greatest obstructions,Friends come.

b) “In the midst of the greatest obstructions, friends come.”

For they are ruled by the central position.The fifth line is the ruler of the hexagram. As the middle line of the upper trigram K’an, it is in the center of danger—that is, in the midst of the greatest obstructions. However, it is related to the six in the second place, to the six in the fourth place, and also to the six at the top, and these come as friends to help it, because it rules them by virtue of its central position.

Six at the top:

a) Going leads to obstructions,Coming leads to great good fortune.It furthers one to see the great man.

b) “Going leads to obstructions, coming leads to great good fortune,” for the will is directed to inner things.“It furthers one to see the great man.”

For thus does one follow a man of rank.If the weak line at the top should try to go forth and overcome the obstacles alone, it would meet with failure. Its nature, its will, direct it toward the great, i.e., strong nine in the third place, which has a relationship of correspondence with it. It furthers one to see the great man because the nine in the fifth place, the great man of the hexagram, stands at the top of the nuclear trigram Li, eye, light. He is seen in the sense that the present line, together with the nine in the third place, follows him as the man of rank under whose leadership the obstructions are overcome.

K’uei – Opposition


This hexagram is composed of the trigram Li above, i.e., flame, which burns upward, and Tui below, i.e., the lake, which seeps downward. These two movements are in direct contrast. Furthermore, Li is the second daughter and Tui the youngest daughter, and although they live in the same house they belong to different men; hence their wills are not the same but are divergently directed.


OPPOSITION. In small matters, good fortune.When people live in opposition and estrangement they cannot carry out a great undertaking in common; their points of view diverge too widely. In such circumstances one should above all not proceed brusquely, for that would only increase the existing opposition [the existing tension is not resolved by taking sides, any contribution or strenght of movement accentuates the opposition, for in times of discord, all moves are read into one side or another, further fragmenting and splintering all sides, as they all “read separately” into their own sides what in times of union is “read in unison”, what is vague becomes tainted with bias, what is radical is rewarded, what is wise is discarded, what is strong with opinion wins over subtlety of the discerning]; instead, one should limit oneself to producing gradual effects in small matters. Here success can still be expected, because the situation is such that the opposition does not preclude all agreement. In general, opposition appears as an obstruction, but when it represents polarity within a comprehensive whole, it has also its useful and important functions. The oppositions of heaven and earth, spirit and nature, man and woman, when reconciled, bring about the creation and reproduction of life [tense opposition resolved through the transcendent/wise Third or Other is redirecting the opposing energies into a creative common action in unison, whereaupon opposition starts to build up very slowly once more, if it is sustained however, the energies may implode and then scatter into a disaster, a social or personal catastrophy]. In the world of visible things, the principle of opposites makes possible the differentiation by categories through which order is brought into the world.


Above, fire; below, the lake: The image of OPPOSITION. Thus amid all fellowship The superior man retains his individuality. The two elements, fire and water, never mingle but even when in contact retain their own natures. So the cultured man is never led into baseness or vulgarity through intercourse or community of interests with persons of another sort; regardless of all commingling, he will always preserve his individuality.


Nine at the beginning means:

Remorse disappears.If you lose your horse, do not run after it;It will come back of its own accord. When you see evil people, Guard yourself against mistakes. Even in times when oppositions prevail, mistakes can be avoided, so that remorse disappears. When opposition begins to manifest itself, a man must not try to bring about unity by force, for by so doing he would only achieve the contrary [strenghtening the opposition] just as a horse goes farther and farther away if one runs after it. If it is one’s own horse, one can safely let it go; it will come back of its own accord. So too when someone who belongs with us is momentarily estranged because of a misunderstanding, he will return of his own accord if we leave matters to him. On the other hand, it is well to be cautious when evil men who do not belong with us force themselves upon us, again as the result of a misunderstanding. Here the important thing is to avoid mistakes. We must not try to shake off these evil men by force; this would give rise to real hostility. We must simply endure them. [with patience and decorum, it is all the more difficult to overcome and to be straight with one’s principles among wrong people, then amongst these with whom we find synthong of understanding and empathy, if we break in anger, we arise only enmity] They will eventually withdraw of their own accord. [after unconsciously seeing that they cannot achieve what they attempted, and that there is no parity, they go elsewhere without hatred, anger, or violence]

Nine in the second place means:

One meets his lord in a narrow street.No blame.As a result of misunderstandings, it has become impossible for people who by nature belong together to meet in the correct way. This being so, an accidental meeting under informal circumstances may serve the purpose, provided there is an inner affinity between them.

Six in the third place means:

One sees the wagon dragged back,The oxen halted,A man’s hair and nose cut off.Not a good beginning, but a good end. Often it seems to a man as though everything were conspiring against him. He sees himself checked and hindered in his progress, insulted and dishonored. However, he must not let himself be misled [even if an army of millions ariseth agains one, if he lets go of the self-grasping he is free, and pursues the firm and correct way, it has a benevolent effect of strenghtening the character in toil, humiliation, endurance and perseverance, in the end one does not become the victim of perception, whether truly conspired against, or paranoid – one in good faith predicts the movements of opponents in silence, and checks them in his mind, and discards any feeling of being harassed, overpowering the situation with a firm mind and line of thought] despite this opposition, he must cleave to the man with whom he knows he belongs [if one cannot find affinity with a close friend, may he find affinity with the Deities and their Providence, that established a correct relation to the Heavens and sweeps everything intto a necessary order]. Thus, notwithstanding the bad beginning, the matter will end well.

Nine in the fourth place means: Isolated through opposition, One meets a like-minded man with whom one can associate in good faith.Despite the danger, no blame.If a man finds himself in a company of people from whom he is separated by an inner opposition, he becomes isolated. But if in such a situation a man meets someone who fundamentally, by the very law of his being, is kin to him, and whom he can trust completely, he overcomes all the dangers of isolation [the dangers are many, starting with alienation, dehumanization, being naked in front of an enemy, opening the gates of abuse to opponents, inflation and megalomania, arrogance and too much self-worth, towering above the world in excess, being despaired and heart-broken, finding no affinity with anyone or anything anymore, collapsing into a void of nothingness, losing the thread, wasting one’s strenght, losing one’s principles, becoming a misantrope, becoming contaminated with vices that are difficult to uproot. The enemy always attempts to isolate its opponent, then destroy it from without and within, if the opponent attepts to isolate himself/herself too, he is ruined twice – by his enemy, and by himself, if one defeats himself in such a way, he falls, if he is inwardly undefeated, he perseveres. May one find continuous affinity to the Heavens and Deitites and returns to it in such a case, the enemy may attempt to subvert and overrun such affinities, but once the affinity is established, it is running as a lasting, well-weaved thread] . His will achieves its aim, and he becomes free of faults.

Six in the fifth place means:

Remorse disappears.The companion bites his way through the wrappings. [a loyal companion recognizes the wrapping, and goes through serious effort to bite through them, to see the diamond of affinity and friendship revealed] If one goes to him,How could it be a mistake? Coming upon a sincere man, one fails to recognize him at first because of the general estrangement. However, he bites his way through the wrappings that are causing the separation. When such a companion thus reveals himself in his true character, it is one’s duty to go to meet him and to work with him.

Nine at the top means:

Isolated through opposition,One sees one’s companion as a pig covered with dirt [one is disheartened and everywhere sees untrustworthy people] As a wagon full of devils.First one draws a bow against him, Then one lays the bow aside.He is not a robber; he will woo at the right time.As one goes, rain falls; then good fortune comes.Here the isolation is due to misunderstanding; it is brought about not by outer circumstances but by inner conditions. A man misjudges his best friends, taking them to be as unclean as a dirty pig and as dangerous as a wagon full of devils. He adopts an attitude of defense. But in the end, realizing his mistake, he lays aside the bow, perceiving that the other is approaching with the best intentions for the purpose of close union. Thus the tension is relieved. The union resolves the tension, just as falling rain relieves the sultriness preceding a thunderstorm. All goes well, for just when opposition reaches its climax it changes over to its antithesis.


Chia Yen – The Family (The Clan)


This hexagram represents the laws obtaining within the family. The strong line at the top represents the father, the lowest the son. The strong line in the fifth place represents the husband, the yielding second line the wife. On the other hand, the two strong lines in the fifth and the third place represent two brothers, and the two weak lines correlated with them in the fourth and the second place stand for their respective wives. Thus all the connections and relationships within the family find their appropriate expression. Each individual line has the character according with its place. The fact that a strong line occupies the sixth place—where a weak line might be expected—indicates very clearly the strong leadership that must come from the head of the family. The line is to be considered here not in its quality as the sixth but in its quality as the top line.

THE FAMILY shows the laws operative within the household that, transferred to outside life, keep the state and the world in order. The influence that goes out from within the family is represented by the symbol of the wind created by fire.

THE JUDGMENT THE FAMILY. The perseverance of the woman furthers.The foundation of the family is the relationship between husband and wife. The tie that holds the family together lies in the loyalty and perseverance of the wife. Her place is within (second line), while that of the husband is without (fifth line). It is in accord with the great laws of nature that husband and wife take their proper places. Within the family a strong authority is needed; this is represented by the parents [paternal and maternal mind direced towards sublation of humanity, and nurturing the self]. If the father is really a father and the son a son, if the elder brother fulfills his position, and the younger fulfills his, if the husband is really a husband and the wife a wife, then the family is in order. When the family is in order, all the social relationships of mankind will be in order.Three of the five social relationships are to be found within the family—that between father and son, which is the relation of love, that between husband and wife, which is the relation of chaste conduct [mutual respect] and that between elder and younger brother, which is the relation of correctness. The loving reverence of the son is then carried over to the prince in the form of faithfulness to duty; the affection and correctness of behavior existing between the two brothers are extended to a friend in the form of loyalty, and to a person of superior rank in the form of deference. The family is society in embryo; it is the native soil on which performance of moral duty is made easy through natural affection, so that within a small circle a basis of moral practice is created, and this is later widened to include human relationships in general.


The image of THE FAMILY.

Thus the superior man has substance in his words [the vile man runs out of hateful words, the lighthearted out of foolish words, and the foolish out of vain chattery, thus every word should be weighed, none provoked, and all guided by the inner essence in concord with the motions of Heavens, nature, society and men, silence is prized above all, speech carries heavy weight, although it is easily spoken] and duration in his way of life. Heat creates energy: this is signified by the wind stirred up by the fire and issuing forth from it. This represents influence working from within outward [how it is directed shows the class of men, for a misguided fire of passion loses foundations – without maturity. A young dragon repents when his violent, arrogant behavior is brought to a halt, and is forced to withdraw into silence, to gather strenght and become wise and observant of causality and effects he or she produces]. The same thing is needed in the regulation of the family. Here too the influence on others must proceed from one’s own person. In order to be capable of producing such an influence, one’s words must have power, and this they can have only if they are based on something real, just as flame depends on its fuel. Words have influence only when they are pertinent and clearly related to definite circumstances. General discourses and admonitions have no effect whatsoever. Furthermore, the words must be supported by one’s entire conduct, just as the wind is made effective by its duration. Only firm and consistent conduct will make such an impression on others that they can adapt and conform to it. If words and conduct are not in accord and not consistent, they will have no effect.


Nine at the beginning means:

Firm seclusion within the family. Remorse disappears.The family must form a well-defined unit within which each member knows his place. From the beginning each child must be accustomed to firmly established rules of order, before ever its will is directed to other things. If we begin too late to enforce order, when the will of the child has already been overindulged, the whims and passions, grown stronger with the years, offer resistance and give cause for remorse. If we insist on order from the outset, occasions for remorse may arise—in general social life these are unavoidable—but the remorse always disappears again, and everything rights itself. For there is nothing more easily avoided and more difficult to carry through than “breaking a child’s will.”

Six in the second place means:

She should not follow her whims.She must attend within to the food.Perseverance brings good fortune.The wife must always be guided by the will of the master of the house, be he father, husband, or grown son. Her place is within the house [note: the social arrangements of he Eastern Continent, Europe at different  times etc. differ from place to place and atempting to bring these standards, no matter how we view them, into the modern world seem at most to be punitive, let us thus understand her as the anima in Jungian sense, may our anima not overcome our animus, but melt together and co-operate in all due order]. There, without having to look for them, she has great and important duties. She must attend to the nourishment of her family and to the food for the sacrifice [imperial court of China knew such arrangements]. In this way she becomes the center of the social and religious life of the family, and her perseverance in this position brings good fortune to the whole house.In relation to general conditions, the counsel given here is to seek nothing by means of force, but quietly to confine oneself to the duties at hand [wish what you have, do what you may, and strive for excellence in what you are capable, according to rank, everything in moderation, nothing in excess, if our valuation goes beyond it we suffer either from inflation, envy, or expose ourselves to ridicule, and denigration, or punitive action, to overcome low conditions and contain greatness is punitive enough – our visions reaches beyond our cases and conditions, and our nature reaches beyond the impulse to put it to use, wear the burden until it becomes a reward, but reach for excess – you waste your greatness away, and quickly become arrogant, as if your nature is not enough, to overcome high conditions and remain humble is admirable]

Nine in the third place means:

When tempers flare up in the family, Too great severity brings remorse. Good fortune nonetheless. When woman and child dally and laugh,It leads in the end to humiliation.In the family the proper mean between severity and indulgence ought to prevail. Too great severity toward one’s own flesh and blood leads to remorse. The wise thing is to build strong dikes within which complete freedom of movement is allowed each individual. But in doubtful instances too great severity, despite occasional mistakes, is preferable, because it preserves discipline in the family, whereas too great weakness leads to disgrace [in situations of caution greater severity and alertness towards oneself and others is preferred to foolish steps, yet this severity should not turn into contempt nor putting too many expectations on others, severe to yourself, be kind to strangers, but keep them at a distance, this severity with overt caution may develop into stiff paranoia, so it has to be checked by an awareness that ‘what harm is done to us, does not matter’, it is carrying the shield, yet knowing when to lower it, when to raise it, without sticking it to oneself like a coward, forgetting that has a sword, too. It is also to remember, that under violent siege, the shield is useful, but after the siege is over, one should not stick to the shield, but swiftly move forward]

Six in the fourth place means:

She is the treasure of the house.Great good fortune. It is upon the woman of the house that the well-being of the family depends. Well-being prevails when expenditures and income are soundly balanced [justice of societal conditions also rely on just, proportional and redistributive economy, if just societal arrangements are met with just economy, all is thriving and no one lacks]. This leads to great good fortune. In the sphere of public life, this line refers to the faithful steward whose measures further the general welfare.

Nine in the fifth place means:

As a king he approaches his family.Fear not.Good fortune.A king is the symbol of a fatherly man who is richly endowed in mind. He does nothing to make himself feared; on the contrary, the whole family can trust him, because love governs their intercourse. His character of itself exercises the right influence. [thus approach companions, friends, and acquaintances not like an inflated, arrogant fool, or a thief, but a selfless king, magnanimously]

Nine at the top means:

His work commands respect.In the end good fortune comes.In the last analysis, order within the family depends on the character of the master of the house. If he cultivates his personality so that it works impressively through the force of inner truth, all goes well with the family. In a ruling position one must of his own accord assume responsibility.

Ming I – Darkening of Light


Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally “wounding of the bright”; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man [yet where does the bright nature becomes overshadowed by the dark, and reversely, when does the bright leader become darkened, or the the dark natures man of the low becomes bright? This is no only a question of conduct, but of causes, effects, and fates. Yet, one relates all to work and polishes his nature through yin and yang in tension to give birth to a diamond, toughened, shrewd minds accommodate both but steer in right conduct, despite the storms and gales they withstand, in light weather they do no change their perseverance and inner truth and integrity by an inch, returning to it at all costs when distubance forces its way in temporarily]


DARKENING OF THE LIGHT. In adversity It furthers one to be persevering.One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities [overcome to excel, the tension of overcoming builds permanent, strong characters].In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail in spite of difficulties in his immediate environment [and even when this light turns to darkness, to shield others from the devastating effecs despite the evil inclinations that contaminated one’s nature]. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.


The light has sunk into the earth: The image of DARKENING OF THE LIGHT. Thus does the superior man live with the great mass: He veils his light, yet still shines.In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.


Nine at the beginning means:Darkening of the light during flight.He lowers his wings.The superior man does not eat for three days on his wanderings.But he has somewhere to go [even if these movement is within one’s mind only, its motions must be read through the stars and free spirits, imprisoned, one contemplates inner shrine].The host has occasion to gossip about him.With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation [in conflict with the host, if one rejects the offers based on principles one insults him, but preserves one’s principles, if one is not thus undersood, he might be mocked, or even worse – if one’s principles are recognized as higher than that of the host, one becomes an enemy, like a thorn in someone’s eye, yet in the eyes of Heavens, one remains true to principles and honest with himself, transparent in his doings]. Nevertheless he has a fixed goal to strive for, even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him [they should be overcome by steadfast loyalty to one’s inner truth, practiced, so that one forges a steel path, if say – one has confirmation of one’s path, or indications of progress and accomplishment in the inner sphere, all naysayers and mocksters should be ignored, and done away with in silence, none of this should be exposed to unappropriate audiences, when someone’s privacy is abused from the air, yet one’s private revelations surpass that of the prying eyes, let him keep steadfast on the path, for even these who are in flight may be blinded nowadays. The wounded falcon without a wing sees and remembers more than a sparrow in flight, incessantly chattering to the falcon attempting to outwit him]

Six in the second place means: Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh.He gives aid with the strength of a horse.Good fortune.

Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting according to duty.

Nine in the third place means:Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.Their great leader is captured.One must not expect perseverance too soon.It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly because the abuses have been in existence so long [one may not quickly heal, nor repair broken people and societies, it is easier to spoil and ruin them, then to guide and guard them in recovery through firmness]

Six in the fourth place means:He penetrates the left side of the belly.One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light,And leaves gate and courtyard.We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his most secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.

Six in the fifth place means:Darkening of the light as with Prince Chi. Perseverance furthers.Prince Chi lived at the court of the evil tyrant Chou Hsin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnishes the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Chi was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions [by no means should we inform the Other of our inner sanity and deep undersanding of every situation, observant, sometimes traces of insanity  help us be discarded as potential threats, another thing is memory – one may forget his inner lamp and turn insane out of the act, one may forget he deep understanding – but once movements of the Other, and causes and effects are understood, they are a wellspring of act, if contempated upon and made intuitive, almos instinctive]

This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.

Six at the top means:Not light but darkness.First he climbed up to heaven,Then he plunged into the depths of the earth.Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration [it is dependendent in relation, without its referential point it collapses into nothingness, yet it continuosly claims to wear the light of the stars, like chaos giving forms to things, it captures the light to permeate itself]

Chin – Progress


The hexagram represents the sun rising over the earth. It is therefore the symbol of rapid, easy progress, which at the same time means ever widening expansion and clarity.


PROGRESS. The powerful prince is honored with horses in large numbers. In a single day he is granted audience three times.As an example of progress, this pictures a time when a powerful feudal lord rallies the other lords around the sovereign and pledges fealty and peace. The sovereign rewards him richly and invites him to a closer intimacy. A twofold idea is set forth here. The actual effect of the progress emanates from a man who is in a dependent position and whom the others regard as their equal and are therefore willing to follow [notion of brotherhood or comitas, in good friendship]. This leader has enough clarity of vision not to abuse his great influence but to use it rather for the benefit of his ruler [within a shell, a pearl is born, then out of all efforts it is offered to the Heavens]. His ruler in turn is free of all jealousy, showers presents on the great man, and invites him continually to his court. An enlightened ruler and an obedient servant—this is the condition on which great progress depends [no worry of betrayal, conflict or competition is inflicted on each other].


The sun rises over the earth: The image of PROGRESS. Thus the superior man himself Brightens his bright virtue.The light of the sun as it rises over the earth is by nature clear [in it’s evident light, representing illuminating Truth, there is no superficiality or falsehood]. The higher the sun rises, the more it emerges from the dark mists, spreading the pristine purity of its rays over an ever widening area. The real nature of man is likewise originally good [Hsing – or the unborn nature of consciousness, equally – refining the spirit through alchemy until it becomes itself again, it is not in a state of fall, it is in a state of new birth, potentiality and return] but it becomes clouded by contact with earthly things and therefore needs purification [through spiritual techniques, excercises, and a good life, or primarily – through instinctive understanding and becoming this understanding through practice] before it can shine forth in its native clarity.



Six at the beginning means: Progressing, but turned back. Perseverance brings good fortune. If one meets with no confidence, one should remain calm.No mistake. At a time when all elements are pressing for progress, we are still uncertain whether in the course of advance we may not meet with a rebuff. Then the thing to do is simply to continue in what is right [losing patience with the situation we divert our course, integrity of flowing water, when meeting disturbance or obstruction, it moves forward, that is a thing of character’s integrity, not of pushing one’s decisions through] in the end this will bring good fortune. It may be that we meet with no confidence. In this case we ought not to try to win confidence regardless of the situation, but should remain calm and cheerful and refuse to be roused to anger. Thus we remain free of mistakes.

Six in the second place means: Progressing, but in sorrow [between despair and affirmation there is a stance of sorrowful perseverance, it strengthens the character and infuses it with strength, that should be retained in mind, if we shirk this woe to early, we forget about the burden, throwing it away half-way, and degenerating into irresponsible arrogance, or child-like foolishness] .Perseverance brings good fortune.Then one obtains great happiness from one’s ancestress. Progress is halted; an individual is kept from getting in touch with the man in authority with whom he has a connection. When this happens, he must remain persevering, although he is grieved; then with a maternal gentleness the man in question will bestow great happiness upon him. This happiness comes to him—and is well deserved—because in this case mutual attraction does not rest on selfish or partisan motives but on firm and correct principles.

Six in the third place means: All are in accord. Remorse disappears.A man strives onward, in association with others whose backing encourages him. This dispels any cause for regret over the fact that he does not have enough independence to triumph unaided over every hostile turn of fate.

Nine in the fourth place means: Progress like a hamster.Perseverance brings danger.In times of progress it is easy for strong men in the wrong places to amass great possessions. But such conduct shuns the light. And since times of progress are also always times in which dubious procedures are inevitably brought to light, perseverance in such action always leads to danger [misplaced perseverance borders on stubborn ignorant vileness, it brings restlessness]

Six in the fifth place means: Remorse disappears. Take not gain and loss to heart [in Epicurean school a loss is “returning things to nature, and to the Gods”, a gain is temporal thing, and utilized for right or wrong, we should be detached from the by-products of such things, and check gain in the right time not to amass things to which we are attached, otherwise we might threaten others with excessive loss and poverty. All gain of character is the effect of its brightness, but when the gain displaces the character, it kills the light and thus both the character is empty, corrupt, and the gain is put to bad use]. Undertakings bring good fortune. Everything serves to further.The situation described here is that of one who, finding himself in an influential position in a time of progress, remains gentle and reserved. He might reproach himself for lack of energy in making the most of the propitiousness of the time and obtaining all possible advantage. However, this regret passes away. He must not take either loss or gain to heart; they are minor considerations. What matters much more is the fact that in this way he has assured himself of opportunities for successful and beneficent influence [and thus shine it forth]

Nine at the top means: Making progress with the horns is permissible. Only for the purpose of punishing one’s own city. To be conscious of danger brings good fortune.No blame.Perseverance brings humiliation. Making progress with lowered horns—i.e., acting on the offensive—is permissible, in times like those referred to here, only in dealing with the mistakes of one’s own people. Even then we must bear in mind that proceeding on the offensive may always be dangerous. In this way we avoid the mistakes that otherwise threaten, and succeed in what we set out to do. On the other hand, perseverance in such overenergetic behavior, especially toward persons with whom there is no close connection, will lead to humiliation.

Ta Chuang – The Power of the Great


The great lines, that is, the light, strong lines, are powerful. Four light lines have entered the hexagram from below and are about to ascend higher. The upper trigram is Chên, the Arousing; the lower is Ch’ien, the Creative. Ch’ien is strong, Chên produces movement. The union of movement and strength gives the meaning of THE POWER OF THE GREAT. The hexagram is linked with the second month (March–April).


THE POWER OF THE GREAT. Perseverance furthers.

The hexagram points to a time when inner worth mounts with great force and comes to power. But its strength has already passed beyond the median line, hence there is danger that one may rely entirely on one’s own power and forget to ask what is right [misled, or focused perseverance may turn into fanaticism or zeal lacking wisdom, similarly persistence that is directed towards wrong aims is unwise, often strong and righteous person may strike the wrong rock blindly and continuously, to cut the Gordian knot with one move with resolve is to be ‘at one with nature and Heavens’]. There is danger too that, being intent on movement, we may not wait for the right time. Therefore the added statement that perseverance furthers. For that is truly great power which does not degenerate into mere force but remains inwardly united with the fundamental principles of right and of justice [when it loses the foundations it cuts itself from the creative impetus from below, it begins to doubt at the end and fails]. When we understand this point—namely, that greatness and justice must be indissolubly united—we understand the true meaning of all that happens in heaven and on earth.


Thunder in heaven above:

To continue is dangerous. A goat butts against a hedge. And gets its horns entangled. Making a boast of power leads to entanglements, just as a goat entangles its horns when it butts against a hedge [any inflation or hypertrophy of one’s qualities, perceived or not, inflates beyond what one is, entangling one in a spider’s web of illusions and a network of concepts, abstractions, illusory relations etc. when it bursts, one falls rarely gathering what one in truth – is, and with difficult regain his past standing, perspective, principle and direction]. Whereas an inferior man revels in power when he comes into possession of it, the superior man never makes this mistake. He is conscious at all times of the danger of pushing ahead regardless of circumstances, and therefore renounces in good time the empty display of force.

Nine in the fourth place means:

Perseverance brings good fortune.Remorse disappears.The hedge opens; there is no entanglement.Power depends upon the axle of a big cart.If a man goes on quietly and perseveringly working at the removal of resistances [preferably by removing the defects in his mind and heart, and moving wisely according to skill and circumstance, removing the torns from horns and head one by one] success comes in the end. The obstructions give way and all occasion for remorse arising from excessive use of power disappears. Such a man’s power does not show externally, yet it can move heavy loads, like a big cart whose real strength lies in its axle. The less that power is applied outwardly, the greater its effect [they are brought about through the inner gravity, the orbits of the subject of this gravity or one’s actions, demonstrations, conduct are the effectuating gesture]

Six in the fifth place means:

Loses the goat with ease.No remorse.The goat is noted for hardness outwardly and weakness within. Now the situation is such that everything is easy; there is no more resistance. One can give up a belligerent, stubborn way of acting and will not have to regret it [going back to foundations, cutting through a stubborn, afflictious delusion or ignorance has a beneficient and lasting effect]

Six at the top means:

A goat butts against a hedge.It cannot go backward, it cannot go forward.Nothing serves to further.If one notes the difficulty, this brings good fortune [awareness of a deadlock finds a way out, sooner or later, inwardly, or outwardly] If we venture too far we come to a deadlock, unable either to advance or to retreat, and whatever we do merely serves to complicate things further. Such obstinacy leads to insuperable difficulties. But if, realizing the situation, we compose ourselves and decide not to continue, everything will right itself in time [halting and resolving does not mean submitting or compromising one’s ideals, it means a co-operative resolution, found somewhere outside the situation of the deadlock]


Tun – Retreat



The power of the dark is ascending. The light retreats to security, so that the dark cannot encroach upon it. This retreat is a matter not of man’s will but of natural law [at first woe may be the result, as the light is withdrawing, soon one is forced to adapt]. Therefore in this case withdrawal is proper; it is the correct way to behave in order not to exhaust one’s forces. In the calendar this hexagram is linked with the sixth month (July–August), in which the forces of winter are already showing their influence.


RETREAT. Success.In what is small, perseverance furthers [no task is too small not to be turned into a purpose, even sweeping the streets with thoughts not straying from the task is a whole endeavour].Conditions are such that the hostile forces favored by the time are advancing. In this case retreat is the right course, and it is through retreat that success is achieved [one folds petals of his spirit within, shining forth and protecting it]. But success consists in being able to carry out the retreat correctly. Retreat is not to be confused with flight. Flight means saving oneself under any circumstances [and therefore disorderly], whereas retreat is a sign of strength [it is a wise resolution, one is leaving the field, without wasting determination on unsuccesful advances]. We must be careful not to miss the right moment while we are in full possession of power and position [in full possession of one’s mind, we do not step in check of power in retreat, if the darkness is rising, one does waste strenght through combating it but finding safer grounds to re-organize and wait, attempting to slow it’s progress if one may, individual dissent to the state of affairs is also an impulse that does not give parity to the contradiction of right and wrong, but one does not waste one’s fangs on a progressing state of downfall, no evil added to evil – one may easily be pulled into the darkness if one is caught between helplessness, despair, compassion, and wrath]. Then we shall be able to interpret the signs of the time before it is too late and to prepare for provisional retreat instead of being drawn into a desperate life-and-death struggle. Thus we do not simply abandon the field to the opponent; we make it difficult for him to advance by showing perseverance in single acts of resistance. In this way we prepare, while retreating, for the counter-movement. Understanding the laws of a constructive retreat of this sort is not easy [in life, find a safe ground, if encircled, fortify your integrity and clarity, when torn by madness, or sabotaged by the inferior, regain yourself and straighten the roots of your beings firmly, in death, withdraw to the grounds of great act and transpose your life into spiritual territory, continue thus]. The meaning that lies hidden in such a time is important.


Mountain under heaven: the image of RETREAT. Thus the superior man keeps the inferior man at a distance. Not angrily but with reserve [even if the crowd of inferior are nearing, or are close to use, spying and attempting to control us,  we retain a mask, and preserve the honesty with ourselves and our character, this way we are unacquainted, yet fully known inasmuch as the inferior may know us, they cannot penetrate into the core of our being, their foundations cannot allow that] The mountain rises up under heaven, but owing to its nature it finally comes to a stop [grow your nature strong according to capacity, then solidify at bottom, and straighten the peak]. Heaven on the other hand retreats upward before it into the distance and remains out of reach [the peak of the mountain is not touching the withdrawing heaven, but it remains in its integrity as taught and becomes an emblem of its foundations]. This symbolizes the behavior of the superior man toward a climbing inferior; he retreats into his own thoughts as the inferior man comes forward. He does not hate him, for hatred is a form of subjective involvement by which we are bound to the hated object. The superior man shows strength (heaven) in that he brings the inferior man to a standstill (mountain) by his dignified reserve [just like the superior man is brough to standstill by the recognized reserve of Heavens, in profound manner he does need to be said, he recognized the profundity and stills himself].


Six at the beginning means:At the tail in retreat. This is dangerous.One must not wish to undertake anything.Since the hexagram is the picture of something that is retreating, the lowest line represents the tail and the top line the head. In a retreat it is advantageous to be at the front. Here one is at the back, in immediate contact with the pursuing enemy. This is dangerous, and under such circumstances it is not advisable to undertake anything. Keeping still [perseverant in the task, strong in retreat, “one may retreat throughout life onto higher grounds, but fills this with greater thoughts, enterprises, acts of life and expression, yet within the frugal and simple contact with the retreat, one does not linger behind distracted by lesser things, it is not an inactivity that is unproductive and infertile, it is creative, still yet resolute”] is the easiest way of escaping from the threatening danger.

Six in the second place means:He holds him fast with yellow oxhide.No one can tear him loose.Yellow is the color of the middle. It indicates that which is correct and in line with duty. Oxhide is strong and not to be torn.While the superior men retreat and the inferior press after them, the inferior man represented here holds on so firmly and tightly to the superior men that the latter cannot shake him off. And because he is in quest of what is right and so strong in purpose, he reaches his goal. Thus the line confirms what is said in the Judgment: “In what is small”—here equivalent to “in the inferior man”—“perseverance furthers.”

Nine in the third place means:A halted retreat is nerve-wracking and dangerous.To retain people as men- and maid servantsBrings good fortune.When it is time to retreat it is both unpleasant and dangerous to be held back, because then one no longer has freedom of action. In such a case the only expedient is to take into one’s service, so to speak, those who refuse to let one go, so that one may at least keep one’s initiative and not fall helplessly under their domination. But even with this expedient the situation is far from satisfactory—for what can one hope to accomplish with such servants?

Nine in the fourth place means:Voluntary retreat brings good fortune to the superior man and downfall to the inferior man .In retreating the superior man is intent on taking his departure willingly and in all friendliness. He easily adjusts his mind to retreat, because in retreating he does not have to do violence to his convictions. The only one who suffers is the inferior man from whom he retreats, who will degenerate when deprived of the guidance of the superior man.

Nine in the fifth place means:Friendly retreat. Perseverance brings good fortune.It is the business of the superior man to recognize in time that the moment for retreat has come. If the right moment is chosen, the retreat can be carried out within the forms of perfect friendliness, without the necessity of disagreeable discussions. Yet, for all the observance of amenities, absolute firmness of decision is necessary if one is not to be led astray by irrelevant considerations.

Nine at the top means: Cheerful retreat. Everything serves to further.The situation is unequivocal. Inner detachment has become an established fact, and we are at liberty to depart. When one sees the way ahead thus clearly, free of all doubt, a cheerful mood sets in, and one chooses what is right without further thought. Such a clear path ahead always leads to the good.

Hêng – Duration


The strong trigram Chên is above, the weak trigram Sun below. This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one. In the latter we have influence, here we have union as an enduring condition. The two images are thunder and wind, which are likewise constantly paired phenomena. The lower trigram indicates gentleness within; the upper, movement without.In the sphere of social relationships, the hexagram represents the institution of marriage as the enduring union of the sexes. During courtship the young man subordinates himself to the girl, but in marriage, which is represented by the coming together of the eldest son and the eldest daughter, the husband is the directing and moving force outside, while the wife, inside, is gentle and submissive.


DURATION. Success. No blame.Perseverance furthers.It furthers one to have somewhere to go [the potential of choice and act opens itself in the portend of events] Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression [a tree that achieves its finest momentum focuses on strenghtening its branches and roots]. Duration is rather the self-contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly integrated whole [co-arising in co-dependence of firm harmony], taking place in accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward movement [after the act, we reflect and regenerate our forces, fortify the branches and roots], by inhalation, systole, contraction, and this movement turns into a new beginning, in which the movement is directed outward, in exhalation, diastole, expansion.Heavenly bodies exemplify duration. They move in their fixed orbits, and because of this their light-giving power endures [12-year cycle of the Sun’s repolorization may be taken for phoenix-like breath or a heartbeat]. The seasons of the year follow a fixed law of change and transformation, hence can produce effects that endure.So likewise the dedicated man embodies an enduring meaning in his way of life, and thereby the world is formed. In that which gives things their duration, we can come to understand the nature of all beings in heaven and on earth.


Thunder and wind: the image of DURATION.Thus the superior man stands firm And does not change his direction.Thunder rolls, and the wind blows; both are examples of extreme mobility and so are seemingly the very opposite of duration, but the laws governing their appearance and subsidence, their coming and going, endure. In the same way the independence of the superior man is not based on rigidity and immobility of character. He always keeps abreast of the time and changes with it. What endures is the unswerving directive, the inner law of his being, which determines all his actions.


Six at the beginning means: Seeking duration too hastily brings misfortune persistently. [analogies: works unfinished, breath untaken – to solidy something without running its full course brings no fruit,the former is of low quality, or falls into ruin, or brings about bad consequences, the latter may lead to suffocation and the next breath is harsh and quick] Nothing that would further.Whatever endures can be created only gradually by long-continued work and careful reflection. In the same sense Lao-tse says: “If we wish to compress something, we must first let it fully expand.” [expanding nature, works, imagination, notion requires exploration in its fullest, this mental activity let’s contract it to its essential parts and makes it fruitful, conveyable and understood well, when one masters a science well, one speaks about it in meaningful way to expert and non-expert audiences, in simple and complex ways, similarly when one masters one’s nature well, one expresses is in manifold ways, depending on the audiences – one does not act like a general in front of one’s friend, one does it in front of an army, one does not act like a beggar when he one has food to eat, but if he is destitute, what else is there to act like a mendicant and be one, even if one was a general before? ‘He hides his nature when it’s expression is superficial, he expands his nature when it’s expression is necessary’, and ‘Each time he expands his nature, he attempts to contract it to the finest’ according to situation, according to need] He who demands too much at once is acting precipitately, and because he attempts too much, he ends by succeeding in nothing [if one plots to many threads, bening, or malevolent, one get’s captured in anothers’ net]

Nine in the second place means:Remorse disappears.The situation is abnormal. A man’s force of character is greater than the available material power. Thus he might be afraid of allowing himself to attempt something beyond his strength. However, since it is the time of DURATION, it is possible for him to control his inner strength and so to avoid excess. Cause for remorse then disappears.

Nine in the third place means:He who does not give duration to his character Meets with disgrace.Persistent humiliation.If a man remains at the mercy of moods of hope or fear aroused by the outer world, he loses his inner consistency of character [detachment from the outer world, and engaging it when necessary is a question of discernment]. Such inconsistency invariably leads to distressing experiences. These humiliations often come from an unforeseen quarter. Such experiences are not merely effects produced by the external world, but logical consequences evoked by his own nature [‘characters and natures are sowing fates’ – which means that we do take responsibility for evoking consequences of our existence, but partially, being a part of the causality we may retrace selective trends of events with density-of-causality* to this, self-grasping defeats us, non-attachment to self and good conduct safeguards us] .

*The density of event-threads, similar to the weigh of nodes 
and connections in-between them related to a particular 
subject and actor of the event-threads, flashes of events etc. 
As in 'a dog barked and five people heard it', constitutes a
network of six, in which the dog is an actor, and people are
subjects; One person in this network is the subject in which
he is aware of the dog barking as a single event; The whole
net-density is greater then the sum of events and nods, but
it varies from node to node in varied ways, for example a couple
may hear the dog at once and the situation is triangulated in 
between the dog and the couple [two persons]

Nine in the fourth place means:No game in the field.If we are in pursuit of game and want to get a shot at a quarry, we must set about it in the right way. A man who persists in stalking game in a place where there is none may wait forever without finding any [seeking knowledge, wisdom, or keys in the desert leads nowhere, although we may be convinced we are looking in a treasury, this may be a mere illusion. people attached to studious knowledge related to soteriology may seek it all their lives, but a fool acting out may accidentally find it faster, too much distate of the former ones, both the studious master, and a brilliant fool may find a way arousing too much  feelings of disparity in the studious pedants, and miracle-seeking fools although they should not be discarded by a discerning sage – ‘a fools has a right to live, just like anyone else’, if ‘we can talk many ways’, yet preserve dignity and honesty of a clear mind, we may find allies amongst anyone without degrading or compomising our nature by an inch]. Persistence in search is not enough. What is not sought in the right way is not found.

Six in the fifth place means:Giving duration to one’s character through perseverance.This is good fortune for a woman, misfortune for a man. A woman should follow a man her whole life long, but a man should at all times hold to what is his duty at the given moment. Should he persistently seek to conform to the woman, it would be a mistake for him [wise female may see both perspectives]. Accordingly it is altogether right for a woman to hold conservatively to tradition, but a man must always be flexible and adaptable and allow himself to be guided solely by what his duty requires of him at the moment. [in some cultures a female was considered the ‘steel centre of societal core’, upon which one might rely, if she was wise and strong to know herself, the Huns were travelling, relying on a matriarchy, in China it was different, let us remember that  mixing modern concepts – like feminism or chauvinism – and applying them to these social and inter-sex arrangements misses the point: majority of ‘liberation’ of female was taken from ‘liberation from Judeo-Christian model of a female’, sex reality construed by a Judeo-Christian, a Roman patriarchate female, a Thracian female, a Hindi caste female had a different role, identity, and parity in their respectful societies]

Six at the top means:Restlessness as an enduring condition brings misfortune.There are people who live in a state of perpetual hurry without ever attaining inner composure. Restlessness not only prevents all thoroughness but actually becomes a danger if it is dominant in places of authority.

Hsien – Influence (Wooing)


The name of the hexagram means “universal,” “general,” and in a figurative sense “to influence,” “to stimulate.” The upper trigram is Tui, the Joyous; the lower is Kên, Keeping Still. By its persistent, quiet influence, the lower, rigid trigram stimulates the upper, weak trigram, which responds to this stimulation cheerfully and joyously. Kên, the lower trigram, is the youngest son; the upper, Tui, is the youngest daughter. Thus the universal mutual attraction between the sexes is represented. In courtship, the masculine principle must seize the initiative and place itself below the feminine principle.Just as the first part of the book I begins with the hexagrams of heaven and earth, the foundations of all that exists, the second part begins with the hexagrams of courtship and marriage, the foundations of all social relationship


Influence. Success. Perseverance furthers.To take a maiden to wife brings good fortune.The weak element is above, the strong below; hence their powers attract each other, so that they unite. This brings about success, for all success depends on the effect of mutual attraction. By keeping still within while experiencing joy without, one can prevent the joy from going to excess and hold it within proper bounds. This is the meaning of the added admonition, “Perseverance furthers,” for it is perseverance that makes the difference between seduction [inflated principle based on dishonest basis] and courtship [honest transparency in attraction]; in the latter the strong man takes a position inferior to that of the weak girl and shows consideration for her. This attraction between affinities is a general law of nature. Heaven and earth attract each other and thus all creatures come into being [this attraction is natural, but when blindness takes the human race, it needs to undusted within the mind and heart, and re-discovered, attained, and sustained, disruptions of this link of attraction is a scheme to separate the men and women from heavens, when ignorance is moved into realization, lies and deceptions are branded and the link is revealed, one is at peace and perseveres in strengthening the bond. Heaven is found in silence, there it is full of sound and non-verbal speech, signatures of ideas and notions that lend themselves to interpretion, all is revealed in this silence, as it is full of content, the hearing relies on the acumen of the heart and mind of men, it is spiritually received as the mind and heart wraps around it]. Through such attraction the sage influences men’s hearts, and thus the world attains peace. From the attractions they exert we can learn the nature of all beings in heaven and on earth.


A lake on the mountain:The image of influence. Thus the superior man encourages people to approach him By his readiness to receive them.A mountain with a lake on its summit is stimulated by the moisture from the lake. It has this advantage because its summit does not jut out as a peak but is sunken. The image counsels that the mind should be kept humble and free, so that it may remain receptive to good advice [it should not grow stiff, stubborn, or overly rigorous, open-minded like the steppes, perseverant in what is discovered within]. People soon give up counseling a man who thinks that he knows everything better than anyone else [he cannot see through his own errors, and falls into a trap of an attached delusion]


Six at the beginning means: The influence shows itself in the big toe.A movement, before it is actually carried out, shows itself first in the toes. The idea of an influence is already present, but it is not immediately apparent to others. As long as the intention has no visible effect, it is of no importance to the outside world and leads neither to good nor to evil [moving from a good intent to executive when in concord in what is right produces effects, likewise moving from an evil motive or intent to executive produces effects, both threads produce habits that are imprinting themselves on the mind and heart, it is of utmost importance to act in a manner that polishes a good character and elevates natures, the mind that is poisoned yet refuses to act should be ameliorated by personal commitment to reverting the poison and serving the antidote, wearing the armor of learned antidotes and healthy habits best protects against the poison]

Six in the second place means:The influence shows itself in the calves of the legs. Misfortune.Tarrying brings good fortune. In movement, the calf of the leg follows the foot; by itself it can neither go forward nor stand still. Since the movement is not self-governed, it bodes ill [autonomous moves with one’s genii is in concord with True Will which is revealed as one with the expression of Heavens, what is depriving us of genuinity of expression of this genii movens is impending the natural movements of our innermost animating essence]. One should wait quietly until one is impelled to action by a real influence. Then one remains uninjured.

Nine in the third place means:

The influence shows itself in the thighs. Holds to that which follows it. To continue is humiliating. Every mood of the heart influences us to movement. What the heart desires, the thighs run after without a moment’s hesitation; they hold to the heart, which they follow. In the life of man, however, acting on the spur of every caprice is wrong and if continued leads to humiliation [motions of desires, hearts motions, if not checked by the intellect and resilient spirit that guides through intellege towards wise resolutions are putting a waste to one’s life and higher, rectified nature, there is a difference between ‘being an excellent butcher that cuts everything with ease of spontaneity’, or a ‘warrior that slices three opponents with a graceful move of joy’ or ‘a wiseman that with one thought soars inspired by Heavens to highest mountains’, and ‘a butcher that in blood-lusts makes a rough effort bordering on being a murderer’, or a ‘warrior that engaged in a war is nothing more then a murderer for hire’, or ‘a sage that attempt to force his ways to heavens, without understanding that he is the obstacle himself’, in other words a difference in degree between ‘being in concord in transparent honesty and genuity between the being, man and heaven’ and ‘a notion of falsehood, non-genuine strife that is in discord both with the genii, spirit of the men and abolishing it’s synchrony with the Heavens, the animal ‘heart and soul’ will not be on a road of excess as a human, a human deprived of life and Hsing, heavenly nature, is more excessive than any animal might be]. Three considerations suggest themselves here. First, a man should not run precipitately after all the persons whom he would like to influence, but must be able to hold back under certain circumstances. As little should he yield immediately to every whim of those in whose service he stands. Finally, where the moods of his own heart are concerned, he should never ignore the possibility of inhibition, for this is the basis of human freedom [responsible self-binding is giving birth to a stronger, decisive spirit, that unbound acts with nobility, it is guiding the growth of a tree, if it is to stiff, it is like a Bonsai tree, if it is too free and loose, it is sick and malformed, as if leading on bad soil, how great the effort of a wonderful tree to grow to the fullest of its capacity, like large Sequoia trees!]

Nine in the fourth place means: Perseverance brings good fortune.Remorse disappears.If a man is agitated in mind, And his thoughts go hither and thither,Only those friends On whom he fixes his conscious thoughts Will follow. Here the place of the heart is reached. The impulse that springs from this source is the most important of all. It is of particular concern that this influence be constant and good; then, in spite of the danger arising from the great susceptibility of the human heart, there will be no cause for remorse. When the quiet power of a man’s own character is at work, the effects produced are right [from agitation within nothing good emerges, in such anxious agitation, or over-excitement one should not pursue any decisions, or act until one is still within] All those who are receptive to the vibrations of such a spirit will then be influenced [let us remember that one influences through what one is, men may follow the greatest wretch if he possesses fire within, and ignore the noblest of people, likewise, the inner fire of a noble person that guides things aright is of greatest praise! Be careful with people of inner fire, they may not know where they lead, or the effects of their vigor may work towards the detriment of the whole]. Influence over others should not express itself as a conscious and willed effort to manipulate them. Through practicing such conscious incitement one becomes wrought up and is exhausted by the eternal stress and strain [one falls into traps set on others himself, or prepares a miserable fates for others who are pulled into his secret schemes]. Moreover, the effects produced are then limited to those on whom one’s thoughts are consciously fixed [the great hearing is lended only to noble, open, honest instincts, the secret schemes only limited to a certain group of focus, however, the latter may spread as in imprisoning the people and arresting the great hearing, and removing these with noble, open, honest instincts as if they would sow their thoughts, words and actions on a barren or impoverished soil]

Nine in the fifth place means:The influence shows itself in the back of the neck.No remorse.The back of the neck is the most rigid part of the body. When the influence shows itself there, the will remains firm and the influence does not lead to confusion. Hence remorse does not enter into consideration here. What takes place in the depths of one’s being, in the unconscious, can neither be called forth nor prevented by the conscious mind. It is true that if we cannot be influenced ourselves, we cannot influence the outside world [movement inward reaches a breaking point when it shines forth, inspecting and reflecting on our innermost being is like a hawk that ascends in flight, then when he looks downwards, he is seen from afar, and sees everything that sees him]

Six at the top means:The influence shows itself in the jaws, cheeks, and tongue.The most superficial way of trying to influence others is through talk that has nothing real behind it [gladly, if it does not do any harm, if this chattery harms it is alike to slander, without essence, the wind blows emptily, if the greatest of words become empty, and they degenerate into vulgar self-appraisal, they are of greatest harm, they lose their sublimity and overarching wisdom, and become dangerous chatter, if a great sage is turuned into a vulgar maniac, his words are steal weighed, oft to the worst of effects]. The influence produced by such mere tongue wagging must necessarily remain insignificant. Hence no indication is added regarding good or bad fortune.

Li – The Clinging (Fire)


This hexagram is another double sign. The trigram Li means, “to cling to something,” “to be conditioned,” “to depend or rest on something,” and also “brightness.” A dark line clings to two light lines, one above and one below—the image of an empty space between two strong lines, whereby the two strong lines are made bright. The trigram represents the middle daughter. The Creative has incorporated the central line of the Receptive, and thus Li develops. As an image, it is fire. Fire has no definite form but clings to the burning object and thus is bright. As water pours down from heaven, so fire flames up from the earth [as the torches that guide and illumine our paths in darkness, as the Hermit’s lamp of his star, they are encroached upon the darkness of Yin, but the hold strong to the purpose thus they are supported from without by the strenght of Heavens and purpose]. While K’an means the soul shut within the body, Li stands for nature in its radiance [the bathing and fire of the soul, that through alchemy of various traditions ignites, rounds and is awakened into the higher body of consciousness]


THE CLINGING. Perseverance furthers.It brings success. Care of the cow brings good fortune.What is dark clings to what is light and so enhances the brightness of the latter. A luminous thing giving out light must have within itself something that perseveres; otherwise it will in time burn itself out [continuous spiritual fire is renewed by the Heavens, it never burns out, like the Suns its splendid light is renewed by Aions]. Everything that gives light is dependent on something to which it clings, in order that it may continue to shine.Thus sun and moon cling to heaven, and grain, grass, and trees cling to the earth [a man clings to nature on which he relies, and to Heavens, the middle is the watchtower from which he looks up and down and negotiates to incorporate the laws] So too the twofold clarity of the dedicated man clings to what is right and thereby can shape the world. Human life on earth is conditioned and unfree [that is not to say that he is a slave that lives a pre-determined life, he is free within the laws of the conditioned, whenever he pursues excess he is punished by the laws of worlds that surpass his animal form] and when man recognizes this limitation [responsible freedom is also responsible limitation, not by force, but by a free stance recognizing what are the limits, and by rounding what is given and known, according to capacity and skill, proportionally to need, pioneers and rebels find these limits themselves when they burn their fingers, and discover what their minds and feelings are capable of and establish new discoveries in the light of reason, traditionalists and followers are taught these limits by social contracts and exchange, there are these who explore, these who construct, and these who uphold, these who reform, and these who thrive] and makes himself dependent upon the harmonious and beneficent forces of the cosmos, he achieves success. The cow is the symbol of extreme docility. By cultivating in himself an attitude of compliance and voluntary dependence, man acquires clarity without sharpness and finds his place in the world.


That which is bright rises twice: The image of FIRE. Thus the great man, by perpetuating this brightness, Illumines the four quarters of the world. Each of the two trigrams represents the sun in the course of a day. The two together represent the repeated movement of the sun, the function of light with respect to time. The great man continues the work of nature in the human world. Through the clarity of his nature he causes the light to spread farther and farther and to penetrate the nature of man ever more deeply.


Nine at the beginning means:The footprints run crisscross.If one is seriously intent, no blame.It is early morning and work begins. The mind has been closed to the outside world in sleep; now its connections with the world begin again [the image of the world is re-arranged upon waking, renewed, the mind and senses memorize it, the selfhood creates an illusion of permant continuity, something graspable, it flows through consciousness]. The traces of one’s impressions run crisscross. Activity and haste prevail. It is important then to preserve inner composure and not to allow oneself to be swept along by the bustle of life [even upon waking, one brings oneself to discipline, light, not rigorous, continuity of the terrestrial scene]. If one is serious and composed, he can acquire the clarity of mind needed for coming to terms with the innumerable impressions that pour in [they are difficult to contain at first, but with clarity in mind we regain ourselves brightly grateful]. It is precisely at the beginning that serious concentration is important, because the beginning holds the seed of all that is to follow.

Six in the second place means: Yellow light. Supreme good fortune.Midday has come; the sun shines with a yellow light. Yellow is the color of measure and mean. Yellow light is therefore a symbol of the highest culture and art, whose consummate harmony consists in holding to the mean.

Nine in the third place means: In the light of the setting sun,Men either beat the pot and sing Or loudly bewail the approach of old age [if proportion, mean and measure were set through motion in life, old age is a gift, and a portend of going back home, after leaving the weary bones to decay in the cycles of nature] Misfortune. Here the end of the day has come. The light of the setting sun calls to mind the fact that life is transitory and conditional. Caught in this external bondage, men are usually robbed of their inner freedom as well [with age senses, body and mind refuse to obey our wills, we come close to recognizing the conditions of our animal bodies, in great sickness, and in old age we come close to this melancholic realization, how better it is to prepare oneself for old age knowing thus and training to retain our mind and composure for the senile times, when there is a greater chance we depart in wisdom and in full command of the sobriety of an old mind]. The sense of the transitoriness of life impels them to uninhibited revelry in order to enjoy life while it lasts, or else they yield to melancholy and spoil the precious time by lamenting the approach of old age. Both attitudes are wrong. To the superior man it makes no difference whether death comes early or late. He cultivates himself, awaits his allotted time, and in this way secures his fate.

Nine in the fourth place means: Its coming is sudden;It flames up, dies down, is thrown away. Clarity of mind has the same relation to life that fire has to wood. Fire clings to wood, but also consumes it. Clarity of mind is rooted in life but can also consume it. Everything depends upon how the clarity functions. Here the image used is that of a meteor or a straw fire. A man who is excitable and restless may rise quickly to prominence but produces no lasting effects. Thus matters end badly when a man spends himself too rapidly and consumes himself like a meteor [it is the case with withdrawn or introverted people, these who build their inner temple and carefully furnish it with strong, purposeful and beautiful things, shine them forth as mature works later, or in parallel to their development, these who shine strongly at first, but lack foundations are youthfull fires, they are also beautiful, but they lack the fixed conditions to last and built monoliths of their lives, after all both fames are rarely lasting, and they are soon forgotten – it is better to strife for the better in others, than that of preserving oneself in memory, the ideas put into motion for excelled effects in others are worth many a greater thing than short-lasted fames. Who remembers teachers of Confucius? Yet they trained the young boy and make him outgrow them, a master who did not leave a greater disciple than himself must surely consider himself peerless yet saddened, ‘if there are no monks, there are no masters’ – in other words, if there are no aspirants, the jewels are not found]

Six in the fifth place means: Tears in floods, sighing and lamenting.Good fortune.Here the zenith of life has been reached. Were there no warning, one would at this point consume oneself like a flame. Instead, understanding the vanity of all things, one may put aside both hope and fear, and sigh and lament: if one is intent on retaining his clarity of mind, good fortune will come from this grief. For here we are dealing not with a passing mood, as in the nine in the third place, but with a real change of heart [re-centering around great misfortunes, a new way is found, it shines brightly, as it is a different way, no longer we are troubled by any of these misfortunes that befall on other men, it is to be solved within by realization, it is not to be found elsewhere]

Nine at the top means:The king uses him to march forth and chastise.Then it is best to kill the leaders And take captive the followers. No blame.It is not the purpose of chastisement to impose punishment blindly but to create discipline. Evil must be cured at its roots. To eradicate evil in political life, it is best to kill the ringleaders and spare the followers. In educating oneself it is best to root out bad habits and tolerate those that are harmless. For asceticism that is too strict, like sentences of undue severity, fails in its purpose.

K’an – Abysmal (Water)


This hexagram consists of a doubling of the trigram K’an. It is one of the eight hexagrams in which doubling occurs. The trigram K’an means a plunging in. A yang line has plunged in between two yin lines and is closed in by them like water in a ravine. The trigram K’an is also the middle son. The Receptive has obtained the middle line of the Creative, and thus K’an develops. As an image it represents water, the water that comes from above and is in motion on earth in streams and rivers, giving rise to all life on earth.In man’s world K’an represents the heart, the soul locked up within the body, the principle of light inclosed in the dark—that is, reason. The name of the hexagram, because the trigram is doubled, has the additional meaning, “repetition of danger.” Thus the hexagram is intended to designate an objective situation to which one must become accustomed, not a subjective attitude. For danger due to a subjective attitude means either foolhardiness or guile. Hence too a ravine is used to symbolize danger; it is a situation in which a man is in the same pass as the water in a ravine, and, like the water, he can escape if he behaves correctly.


The Abysmal repeated.If you are sincere, you have success in your heart,And whatever you do succeeds.Through repetition of danger we grow accustomed to it [it no longer surprises us, but let us not be caught off guard]. Water sets the example for the right conduct under such circumstances. It flows on and on, and merely fills up all the places through which it flows; it does not shrink from any dangerous spot nor from any plunge, and nothing can make it lose its own essential nature. It remains true to itself under all conditions. Thus likewise, if one is sincere when confronted with difficulties, the heart can penetrate the meaning of the situation.  [not given to hypertrophy of any of the life’s content, we round it and complete it in proportion that it demands] And once we have gained inner mastery of a problem, it will come about naturally that the action we take will succeed. In danger all that counts is really carrying out all that has to be done—thoroughness—and going forward, in order not to perish through tarrying in the danger.Properly used, danger can have an important meaning as a protective measure. [it raises our attention to the situation and we think about it more vigorously] Thus heaven has its perilous height protecting it against every attempt at invasion, and earth has its mountains and bodies of water, separating countries by their dangers. Thus also rulers make use of danger to protect themselves against attacks from without and against turmoil within.

THE IMAGE Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its goal:The image of the Abysmal repeated.Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue And carries on the business of teaching [it is difficult to say if one is entitled to teach, or has the right spine and principled stature, or methodology, so many a charlatans and these who have something else in mind when exposing things to other people, similarly, people tend to open their eyes and ears to anything pleasing to their own gusto, they may justify anyone as a teacher, whereas we do not have the quality to teach, more harm is done in such a way]. Water reaches its goal by flowing continually. It fills up every depression before it flows on. The superior man follows its example; he is concerned that goodness should be an established attribute of character [that continuously fills in all situations] rather than an accidental and isolated occurrence. So likewise in teaching others everything depends on consistency, for it is only through repetition that the pupil makes the material his own.


Six at the beginning means: Repetition of the Abysmal. In the abyss one falls into a pit. Misfortune.By growing used to what is dangerous, a man can easily allow it to become part of him. He is familiar with it and grows used to evil. [without discarding it at every stage, defending one’s nature and character, we become contaminated] With this he has lost the right way, and misfortune is the natural result.

Nine in the second place means: The abyss is dangerous.One should strive to attain small things only.When we are in danger we ought not to attempt to get out of it immediately, regardless of circumstances; [casuality and the web, if we don’t find a way to cut through the co-dependencies yet, we might become strangled by the web’s threads, either perceived, illusory, or true ones, what is true on subjective level, may bring about objective results; i.e. if we are ensnared by illusory web cast upon our mind we live it out as if real, merely subjective, but it produces objective effects, namely suffering or delusion] at first we must content ourselves with not being overcome by it. We must calmly weigh the conditions of the time and be satisfied with small gains, because for the time being a great success cannot be attained. A spring flows only sparingly at first, and tarries for some time before it makes its way into the open.

Six in the third place means:Forward and backward, abyss on abyss.In danger like this, pause at first and wait, Otherwise you will fall into a pit in the abyss.Do not act in this way. Here every step, forward or backward, leads into danger. Escape is out of the question. Therefore we must not be misled into action, as a result of which we should only bog down deeper into the danger; disagreeable as it may be to remain in such a situation, we must wait until a way out shows itself.

Six in the fourth place means:A jug of wine, a bowl of rice with it;Earthen vessels Simply handed in through the window.There is certainly no blame in this.In times of danger ceremonious forms are dropped. What matters most is sincerity. Although as a rule it is customary for an official to present certain introductory gifts and recommendations before he is appointed, here everything is simplified to the utmost. The gifts are insignificant, there is no one to sponsor him, he introduces himself; yet all this need not be humiliating if only there is the honest intention of mutual help in danger.Still another idea is suggested. The window is the place through which light enters the room. If in difficult times we want to enlighten someone, we must begin with that which is in itself lucid and proceed quite simply from that point on [what is simple and transparent may well be understood, no need to mudden with over-sophisticated phrases when talking to someone who is not acuainted with them, it is eating the bowl of rice together, instead of preparing a great feast of a meal].

Nine in the fifth place means:The abyss is not filled to overflowing, It is filled only to the rim.No blame.Danger comes because one is too ambitious. In order to flow out of a ravine, water does not rise higher than the lowest point of the rim. So likewise a man when in danger has only to proceed along the line of least resistance [it is not to submit oneself to losing everything and abandoning principles to run towards the first gate open like a youthful goat, but seeing the way out in a discerning manner, and thus following the path of least resistance]; thus he reaches the goal. Great labors cannot be accomplished in such times; it is enough to get out of the danger.

Six at the top means:Bound with cords and ropes,Shut in between thorn-hedged prison walls:For three years one does not find the way.Misfortune.A man who in the extremity of danger has lost the right way and is irremediably entangled in his sins has no prospect of escape. He is like a criminal who sits shackled behind thorn-hedged prison walls [yet he should not while his time away, but put effort into inner amelioration, resolve and strength, building it up within]

Ta Kuo – Preponderance of the Great


This hexagram consists of four strong lines inside and two weak lines outside. When the strong are outside and the weak inside, all is well and there is nothing out of balance, nothing extraordinary in the situation. Here, however, the opposite is the case. The hexagram represents a beam that is thick and heavy in the middle but too weak at the ends. This is a condition that cannot last; it must be changed, must pass, or misfortune will result.



The ridgepole sags to the breaking point. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. Success.The weight of the great is excessive. [Towards the within: Even when one is not in the position of influence and the momentum is lost, the weight of perception and insight may to be too great to handle, the tension between greatness and breadth of character and perception and the inability to excercise it, may bring either humiliation and feelings of disparity of downthrodden frustration, that further leads from compassion into wrath, anger, or resolve itself into focusing it into the within, then one rounds and gathers oneself and strenghtens from the inside, whenever insight penetrates to the core of the Self, one reaches heaven, as if transcending the worldly affairs, that is a proper approach to sagehood: one may sacrifice all things worldly and keep a steady path of a sage, or choose to engage in the world, balancing between these two is a steep climb, and oft the result is a great fall; It is better not to look back at the things that were left behind, sacrificed, they won’t bring comfort as the mind developed into a completely different apprehension, a monk does not become a committed hero, a sage does not socialize with the lowlands to escape his mountain, yet it should not develop into isolation, aversion or misanthropy, but a detached wise retreat, a sanctuary is to be found even in a busy city – within oneself. Do not becry lost youth if you are tried by heavens, if you mature beyond your age, live in accord to maturation, don’t attempt to violate the time allotted to you and degrade yourself to youthful folly] The load is too heavy for the strength of the supports. The ridgepole, on which the whole roof rests, sags to the breaking point, because its supporting ends are too weak for the load they bear. It is an exceptional time and situation; therefore extraordinary measures are demanded. It is necessary to find a way of transition as quickly as possible, and to take action. This promises success. For although the strong element is in excess, it is in the middle, that is, at the center of gravity, so that a revolution is not to be feared. Nothing is to be achieved by forcible measures. The problem must be solved by gentle penetration to the meaning of the situation (as is suggested by the attribute of the inner trigram, Sun); then the change-over to other conditions will be successful [reinforcement through wise resolve, truly comprehending the situation]. It demands real superiority; therefore the time when the great preponderates is a momentous time. [to combine the sublime with the strong, the form into which iron is cast is gentle and may break, yet it holds a fierce element, when the iron solidifies, the form is done away with, although at first it supports the molten iron, then it is superficial, then all belongs to the hardening of the iron in crafty hands]


The lake rises above the trees: The image of PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT. Thus the superior man, when he stands alone, Is unconcerned, And if he has to renounce the world, He is undaunted. Extraordinary times when the great preponderates are like floodtimes when the lake rises over the treetops. But such conditions are temporary. The two trigrams indicate the attitude proper to such exceptional times: the symbol of the trigram Sun is the tree, which stands firm even though it stands alone, and the attribute of Tui is joyousness, which remains undaunted even if it must renounce the world. [perseverance in superior joyusness, loving-kidness as a Buddhist stanza, one breaks many evils in such a way, one survives and counters many misfortunes and sufferings through such strong resolve]


Six at the beginning means:To spread white rushes underneath.No blame.When a man wishes to undertake an enterprise in extraordinary times, he must be extraordinarily cautious, just as when setting a heavy thing down on the floor, one takes care to put rushes under it, so that nothing will break. This caution, though it may seem exaggerated, is not a mistake. Exceptional enterprises cannot succeed unless utmost caution is observed in their beginnings and in the laying of their foundations.

Nine in the second place means: A dry poplar sprouts at the root. An older man takes a young wife.Everything furthers.Wood is near water; hence the image of an old poplar sprouting at the root. This means an extraordinary reanimation of the processes of growth. In the same way, an extraordinary situation arises when an older man marries a young girl who suits him. Despite the unusualness of the situation, all goes well.From the point of view of politics, the meaning is that in exceptional times one does well to join with the lowly, for this affords a possibility of renewal

Nine in the third place means:The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.Misfortune.This indicates a type of man who in times of preponderance of the great insists on pushing ahead. He accepts no advice from others, and therefore they in turn are not willing to lend him support [pursuing his own endeavors, he antagonizes the rest, Chuan Tzu: ‘When the tune is pitched to high, no one can join the song’ – depending on times, pitching it to low makes us lose our inner composition, that has to be decided by discernment and signs of times]. Because of this the burden grows, until the structure of things bends or breaks [he is attempting to hover above his own tower without wings, falling down he falls with his tower that relied on him]. Plunging willfully ahead in times of danger only hastens the catastrophe.

Nine in the fourth place means:The ridgepole is braced. Good fortune.If there are ulterior motives, it is humiliating. Through friendly relations with people of lower rank, a responsible man succeeds in becoming master of the situation. But if, instead of working for the rescue of the whole, he were to misuse his connections to obtain personal power and success, it would lead to humiliation [quickly he would be considered another crook, and become nothing less then an inferior in position of power. It is too, to be judged by understanding the limits of one’s integrity, not to rise above what one feels that he or she may handle, knowing oneself, it is better to contain and limit oneself responsibly, rather than risk losing one’s integrity, composure, and inner strength]

Nine in the fifth place means:A withered poplar puts forth flowers.An older woman takes a husband.No blame. No praise.A withered poplar that flowers exhausts its energies thereby and only hastens its end. An older woman may marry once more, but no renewal takes place. Everything remains barren. Thus, though all the amenities are observed, the net result is only the anomaly of the situation.Applied to politics, the metaphor means that if in times of insecurity we give up alliance with those below us and keep up only the relationships we have with people of higher rank, an unstable situation is created [as if hanging on to position of either comfort in disregard of times or loyalty which is different, if the latter are derealized we create dangerous conditions, and further accumulate errors, that is the inferior are in a superior place, a wholly different situation emerges when inferior is on the rise, and the superior attempts to secure its position, despite the looming danger]

Six at the top means: One must go through the water.It goes over one’s head.Misfortune. No blame. Here is a situation in which the unusual has reached a climax. One is courageous and wishes to accomplish one’s task, no matter what happens. This leads into danger. The water rises over one’s head. This is the misfortune. But one incurs no blame in giving up one’s life that the good and the right may prevail. There are things that are more important than life.

I – The Corners of the Mouth


This hexagram is a picture of an open mouth; above and below are the firm lines of the lips, and between them the opening. Starting with the mouth, through which we take food for nourishment, the thought leads to nourishment itself. Nourishment of oneself, specifically of the body, is represented in the three lower lines, while the three upper lines represent nourishment and care of others, in a higher, spiritual sense.


Perseverance brings good fortune.Pay heed to the providing of nourishment And to what a man seeks To fill his own mouth with. In bestowing care and nourishment, it is important that the right people should be taken care of and that we should attend to our own nourishment in the right way. If we wish to know what anyone is like, we have only to observe on whom he bestows his care and what sides of his own nature he cultivates and nourishes [it is the direction of his affections and aspirations that reveal his inclinations and what he attempts to be]. Nature nourishes all creatures. The great man fosters and takes care of superior men, in order to take care of all men through them. Mencius says about this:

If we wish to know whether anyone is superior or not, we need only observe what part of his being he regards as especially important. The body has superior and inferior, important and unimportant parts. We must not injure important parts for the sake of the unimportant, nor must we injure the superior parts for the sake of the inferior. He who cultivates the inferior parts of his nature is an inferior man. He who cultivates the superior parts of his nature is a superior man.

[Natures of human beings and metamorphoses, as planets in Western astrology:a genii of a man or a woman in Excil – elevated individuation, aspiring to the highest of their nature, in refinement and pitched to the Divine; Domicile – at easy with their nature and inner genii, ‘wearing oneself as good clothes’, Banishment – abandoning or withdrawn from one’s nature to the negative, as if downgraded and perverted; Fall – the reversal of the Excelled parts of nature towards the vicious and vile, towards the worst]


At the foot of the mountain, thunder: The image of PROVIDING NOURISHMENT. Thus the superior man is careful of his words And temperate in eating and drinking.“God comes forth in the sign of the Arousing: when in the spring the life forces stir again, all things come into being anew. “He brings to perfection in the sign of Keeping Still”: thus in the early spring, when the seeds fall to earth, all things are made ready. This is an image of providing nourishment through movement and tranquillity. The superior man takes it as a pattern for the nourishment and cultivation of his character. Words are a movement going from within outward. Eating and drinking are movements from without inward. Both kinds of movement can be modified by tranquillity. For tranquillity keeps the words that come out of the mouth from exceeding proper measure, and keeps the food that goes into the mouth from exceeding its proper measure. Thus character is cultivated [guard the words, and train by the mean of words, otherwise the character gets spoiled]


Nine at the beginning means:Nine at the beginning means:You let your magic tortoise go, And look at me with the corners of your mouth drooping.Misfortune.The magic tortoise is a creature possessed of such supernatural powers that it lives on air and needs no earthly nourishment. The image means that a man fitted by nature and position to live freely and independently renounces this self-reliance and instead looks with envy and discontent at others who are outwardly in better circumstances [in a position of a free man, he seeks entanglement and traps of othes, unconsciously, as if incarceration would be a treasure] . But such base envy only arouses derision and contempt in those others. This has bad results.

Six in the second place means: Turning to the summit for nourishment,Deviating from the path To seek nourishment from the hill. Continuing to do this brings misfortune.Normally a person either provides his own means of nourishment or is supported in a proper way by those whose duty and privilege it is to provide for him. If, owing to weakness of spirit, a man cannot support himself, a feeling of uneasiness comes over him; this is because in shirking the proper way of obtaining a living, he accepts support as a favor from those in higher place. This is unworthy, for he is deviating from his true nature. Kept up indefinitely, this course leads to misfortune.

Six in the third place means:Turning away from nourishment.Perseverance brings misfortune.Do not act thus for ten years.Nothing serves to further.He who seeks nourishment that does not nourish reels from desire to gratification and in gratification craves desire. Mad pursuit of pleasure for the satisfaction of the senses never brings one to the goal. One should never (ten years is a complete cycle of time) follow this path, for nothing good can come of it.

Six in the fourth place means:Turning to the summit For provision of nourishment Brings good fortune.Spying about with sharp eyes Like a tiger with insatiable craving.No blame.

In contrast to the six in the second place, which refers to a man bent exclusively on his own advantage, this line refers to one occupying a high position and striving to let his light shine forth. To do this he needs helpers, because he cannot attain his lofty aim alone. With the greed of a hungry tiger he is on the lookout for the right people. Since he is not working for himself but for the good of all, there is no wrong in such zeal.

Six in the fifth place means:Turning away from the path.To remain persevering brings good fortune. One should not cross the great water.A man may be conscious of a deficiency in himself. He should be undertaking the nourishment of the people, but he has not the strength to do it. [proper measure of one’s skills, gifts, set against circumstances and realized assessment of one’s place and position, among the world, and social contracts makes us aware of our situtation and thus conscious of that we do not charge ahead to clash against all the bindings, or dissetle oneself further, neither we decline to do anything and rest in stupor] Thus he must turn from his accustomed path and beg counsel and help from a man who is spiritually his superior but undistinguished outwardly. If he maintains this attitude of mind perseveringly, success and good fortune are his. But he must remain aware of his dependence. He must not put his own person forward nor attempt great labors, such as crossing the great water.

Nine at the top means: The source of nourishment.Awareness of danger brings good fortune.It furthers one to cross the great water.This describes a sage of the highest order, from whom emanate all influences that provide nourishment for others. Such a position brings with it heavy responsibility [threads wrongly woven bring disasters, great foresight and insight, knowledge of effects and causes, time and its spirit, the state of the nature and spirit of people, principles, humaneness, and directions and spontaneous insight into the great image that guides it with wisdom and firmness are most required]. If he remains conscious of this fact, he has good fortune and may confidently undertake even great and difficult labors, such as crossing the great water. [shirking responsibility, or not being aware of this fact, or pretending to be ignorant to shirk responsibility  brings about a blind leader that is not conscious of damaging influences he creates in others] These undertakings bring general happiness for him and for all others.


Ta Ch’u – The Taming Power of the Great


The Creative is tamed by Kên, Keeping Still. This produces great power, a situation in contrast to that of the ninth hexagram, Hsiao Ch’u, THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL, in which the Creative is tamed by the Gentle alone. There one weak line must tame five strong lines, but here four strong lines are restrained by two weak lines; in addition to a minister, there is a prince, and the restraining power therefore is far stronger. The hexagram has a threefold meaning, expressing different aspects of the concept “holding firm.” [holding firm is also expanding within, it is a highly focused enterprise in which our inner strenght grows with time, an activity, not a passive enterprise] Heaven within the mountain gives the idea of holding firm in the sense of holding together; the trigram Kên, which holds the trigram Ch’ien still, gives the idea of holding firm in the sense of holding back; the third idea is that of holding firm in the sense of caring for and nourishing. This last is suggested by the fact that a strong line at the top, which is the ruler of the hexagram, is honored and tended as a sage. The third of these meanings also attaches specifically to this strong line at the top, which represents the sage.


THE TAMING POWER OF THE GREAT. Perseverance furthers.Not eating at home brings good fortune.It furthers one to cross the great water [undertake an endeavour, a great or small enterprise] .To hold firmly to great creative powers and store them up, as set forth in this hexagram, there is need of a strong, clearheaded man who is honored by the ruler. The trigram Ch’ien points to strong creative power; Kên indicates firmness and truth [if firmness and truth are abandoned, one pursues wrong images with strenght – it all goes to the wrong]. Both point to light and clarity and to the daily renewal of character. Only through such daily self-renewal can a man continue at the height of his powers. Force of habit helps to keep order in quiet times; but in periods when there is a great storing up of energy, everything depends on the power of the personality. However, since the worthy are honored, as in the case of the strong personality entrusted with leadership by the ruler, it is an advantage not to eat at home but rather to earn one’s bread by entering upon public office. Such a man is in harmony with heaven; therefore even great and difficult undertakings, such as crossing the great water, succeed.


Heaven within the mountain [the spirit of Heavens is contained in the mountain-like man]:The image of THE TAMING POWER OFTHE GREAT. Thus the superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity And many deeds of the past,In order to strengthen his character thereby [what is pondered and resolved within as right and wise is of greatest assistance throughout life].Heaven within the mountain points to hidden treasures. In the words and deeds of the past there lies hidden a treasure that men may use to strengthen and elevate their own characters. The way to study the past is not to confine oneself to mere knowledge of history but, through application of this knowledge, to give actuality to the past.


Nine at the beginning means:Danger is at hand. It furthers one to desist.A man wishes to make vigorous advance, but circumstances present an obstacle. He sees himself held back firmly. If he should attempt to force an advance, it would lead him into misfortune. Therefore it is better for him to compose himself and to wait until an outlet is offered for release of his stored-up energies. [such a composition is also a thing of self-sacrifice, when it is to long, one loses the momentum, but retains a sagely position, when it is to short, it ruins the composition]

Nine in the second place means:The axletrees are taken from the wagon.Here advance is checked just as in the third line of THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL (9). However, in the latter the restraining force is slight; thus a conflict arises between the propulsive and the restraining movement, as a result of which the spokes fall out of the wagon wheels, while here the restraining force is absolutely superior; hence no struggle takes place. One submits and removes the axletrees from the wagon—in other words, contents himself with waiting. In this way energy accumulates for a vigorous advance later on.

Nine in the third place means:A good horse that follows others.Awareness of danger,With perseverance, furthers.Practice chariot driving and armed defense daily.It furthers one to have somewhere to go.The way opens; the hindrance has been cleared away. A man is in contact with a strong will acting in the same direction as his own, and goes forward like one good horse following another. But danger still threatens, and he must remain aware of it, or he will be robbed of his firmness [if he lets his composure go by anger, or irritation, or aversion, of what good is his firmness from before? he must retain it or return to it all the time]. Thus he must acquire skill on the one hand in what will take him forward, and on the other in what will protect him against unforeseen attacks. It is good in such a pass to have a goal toward which to strive.

Six in the fourth place means:The headboard of a young bull.Great good fortune.This line and the one following it are the two that tame the forward-pushing lower lines. Before a bull’s horns grow out, a headboard is fastened to its forehead, so that later when the horns appear they cannot do harm. A good way to restrain wild force is to forestall it. By so doing one achieves an easy and a great success.

Six in the fifth place means:The tusk of a gelded boar.Good fortune.ere the restraining of the impetuous forward drive is achieved in an indirect way. A boar’s tusk is in itself dangerous, but if the boar’s nature is altered, the tusk is no longer a menace [change of the direction of nature, the opponent is disarmed, as if appeasing an armed man with diplomacy and mediating]. Thus also where men are concerned, wild force should not be combated directly; instead, its roots should be eradicated [one cannot fight with a greater force with equal force not possessing one, thus one should gather strenght and think of approach, only in chance one if destiny wills one has a chance at defeating the strenght of the opponent by hitting at the root of his strenght, it should be done in wisdom, better to have an ally, then the opponent dead] .

Nine at the top means: One attains the way of heaven. Success. The time of obstruction is past. The energy long dammed up by inhibition forces its way out and achieves great success. This refers to a man who is honored by the ruler and whose principles now prevail and shape the world.

Wu Wang – Innocence (The Unexpected)


Ch’ien, heaven, is above; Chên, movement, is below. The lower trigram Chên is under the influence of the strong line it has received from above, from heaven [it was empowered and fortified, strenghtened and equipped, so may be a sage or a hero]. When, in accord with this, movement follows the law of heaven, man is innocent and without guile. His mind is natural and true, unshadowed by reflection or ulterior designs [nothing hidden, sincerity and honesty with the Heavens, one does need masks for he is transparent, anything hidden comes from the dealings in the world of men, it is however in stark contrast with Heavens when this falsehood is arising in dealing with the Divine, when a human being masquarades himself in front of his kin to gain temporary superiority in his scheme, all is known, when he carries forth his habits and pretends to cheat or trick the Heavens, he is exposed at all times]. For wherever conscious purpose is to be seen, there the truth and innocence of nature have been lost [it is a spear that gathers air, and although straight in flight, it falls out of lack of kinetic energy, so with forced, hidden purposes, working to the bad, yet whenever one engages out of volition to enforce his vision per will, he ties himself with volition and the co-dependent network of events, he loses his innocence in the eyes of fates]. Nature that is not directed by the spirit is not true but degenerate nature. Starting out with the idea of the natural, the train of thought in part goes somewhat further and thus the hexagram includes also the idea of the unintentional or unexpected [lady chance, wheel of fortunes, the first characterizing the unforeseen, the latter the changes]


INNOCENCE. Supreme success. Perseverance furthers.If someone is not as he should be, He has misfortune, And it does not further him To undertake anything.Man has received from heaven a nature innately good, to guide him in all his movements [the spirits thriving in the Universal Mind, if we take a Panentheistic all-permeating view, are not devoid of it, they may be temporarily dusted or ensnared] By devotion to this divine spirit within himself, he attains an unsullied innocence that leads him to do right with instinctive sureness and without any ulterior thought of reward [one walks high-browed, without expectation of reward nor fear of punishment] and personal advantage [one does not seek advantage, but works, works set into motion may give advantage, but it is not a possession, and one should not be attached to any of that]. This instinctive certainty brings about supreme success and “furthers through perseverance.” However, not everything instinctive is nature in this higher sense of the word, but only that which is right and in accord with the will of heaven [for so many stubborn people confused that which is in accord with that which is their fanatical zeal, a personal projection, fool may have unshaken beliefs and faith, but does it make him any wiser? Out of natural wisdom come things in accord with the action of Heavens, then a Jade-like perception develops]. Without this quality of rightness, an unreflecting, instinctive way of acting brings only misfortune. Confucius says about this: “He who departs from innocence, what does he come to? Heaven’s will and blessing do not go with his deeds.” [and thus it is becried: how did this change of heart come about? return to us, to the path!]


Under heaven thunder rolls:All things attain the natural state of innocence. Thus the kings of old, Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time, Fostered and nourished all beings [paternal and maternal in mind, detached, impartial, perceiving the inter-dependent organism, perceiving and penetrating the whole, and contemplating how laws and reforms may ameliorate towards the good, and improve or rid of  that which is wrong and went to the bad]. In springtime when thunder, life energy, begins to move again under the heavens, everything sprouts and grows, and all beings receive from the creative activity of nature the childlike innocence of their original state. So it is with the good rulers of mankind: drawing on the spiritual wealth at their command, they take care of all forms of life and all forms of culture and do everything to further them, and at the proper time.


Nine at the beginning means: Innocent behavior brings good fortune. The original impulses of the heart are always good [in freedom of feeling, and focusing ideas through the heart, one with it – a feat of true men and women], so that we may follow them confidently, assured of good fortune and achievement of our aims.

Six in the second place means:If one does not count on the harvest while plowing,Nor on the use of the ground while clearing it,It furthers one to undertake something. We should do every task for its own sake as time and place demand and not with an eye to the result. [in most menial tasks to be at one thouroughly with the subject of our doing, in a similar fashion in great tasks to be thouroughly devoted and at one with subject of our doing – with no greater value attached to the latter over the former, whether cleaning the horse-stables, washing a plate, or rallying people, or governing oneself] Then each task turns out well, and anything we undertake succeeds.

Six in the third place means:Undeserved misfortune.The cow that was tethered by someone Is the wanderer’s gain, the citizen’s loss. Sometimes undeserved misfortune befalls a man at the hands of another, as for instance when someone passes by and takes a tethered cow along with him. His gain is the owner’s loss. In all transactions, no matter how innocent, we must accommodate ourselves to the demands of the time, otherwise unexpected misfortune overtakes us [innocence is not naivety, wise precaution and awareness is required to discern]

Nine in the fourth place means:He who can be persevering.Remains without blame.We cannot lose what really belongs to us, even if we throw it away. [omnia mea mecum porto: everything we have we carry within, the gifts of Heaven are suspended above, although stripped by fates to nought in terrestrial affairs, one finds consolation in the Greater Company of Heavens – refer to Chuang Tzu’s taoistic writings] Therefore we need have no anxiety. All that need concern us is that we should remain true to our own natures and not listen to others.

Nine in the fifth place means:Use no medicine in an illness. Incurred through no fault of your own.It will pass of itself.An unexpected evil may come accidentally from without. If it does not originate in one’s own nature or have a foothold there, one should not resort to external means to eradicate it, but should quietly let nature take its course [one’s nature will defeat the poison, yet means against it may tie our hands, perseverant natures conquer, these that save themselves from traps of illusionists become their victims!]. Then improvement will come of itself.

Nine at the top means: Innocent action brings misfortune.Nothing furthers.When, in a given situation, the time is not ripe for further progress, the best thing to do is to wait quietly, without ulterior designs. If one acts thoughtlessly and tries to push ahead in opposition to fate, success will not be achieved.

Fu – Return (Turning Point)


The idea of a turning point arises from the fact that after the dark lines have pushed all of the light lines upward and out of the hexagram, another light line enters the hexagram from below. The time of darkness is past. The winter solstice brings the victory of light. This hexagram is linked with the eleventh month, the month of the solstice (December–January).


RETURN. Success. Going out and coming in without error. Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. After a time of decay comes the turning point. The powerful light that has been banished returns. There is movement, but it is not brought about by force. The upper trigram K’un is characterized by devotion; thus the movement is natural, arising spontaneously. For this reason the transformation of the old becomes easy. The old is discarded and the new is introduced [as with a paradigm shift, or a revealed truth or a realization that settles in, the superficial withdraws]. Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results. Societies of people sharing the same views are formed. But since these groups come together in full public knowledge and are in harmony with the time, all selfish separatist tendencies are excluded, and no mistake is made.

The idea of RETURN is based on the course of nature. The movement is cyclic, and the course completes itself. Therefore it is not necessary to hasten anything artificially. Everything comes of itself at the appointed time [hastening times and charging ahead may result in builting a tower that fixes time in disregard of change and time, although it may be fixed for some time, ultimately it is destroyed completely by the times and change, inasmuch as the laws of the universe have a superior hand to play, the preservation based on wrong bases is bound to be demolished, the greater the enterprise at ‘freezing change’ in disregard of times, the greater the ruin of the enterprise that goes to the wrong through decay, corruption and change]. This is the meaning of heaven and earth. [if Earth in disregard of heavens preserves orders that cut themselves from the change and motion of heavens, the changes in heavens will be visible on Earth when through the laws of seasons, changes, the orders discordant with heavens start imploding, rottening, and falling apart] All movements are accomplished in six stages, and the seventh brings return. Thus the winter solstice, with which the decline of the year begins, comes in the seventh month after the summer solstice; so too sunrise comes in the seventh double hour after sunset. Therefore seven is the number of the young light, and it arises when six, the number of the great darkness, is increased by one. In this way the state of rest gives place to movement.

THE IMAGE Thunder within the earth: The image of THE TURNING POINT. Thus the kings of antiquity closed the passes. At the time of solstice. Merchants and strangers did not go about,And the ruler. Did not travel through the provinces.The winter solstice has always been celebrated in China as the resting time of the year—a custom that survives in the time of rest observed at the new year. In winter the life energy, symbolized by thunder, the Arousing, is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be strengthened by rest, so that it will not be dissipated by being used prematurely [what matures in patience, is stronger at wisely using it’s accents in need of accommodating times]. This principle, i.e., of allowing energy that is renewing itself to be reinforced by rest, applies to all similar situations. The return of health after illness, the return of understanding after an estrangement: everything must be treated tenderly and with care at the beginning, so that the return may lead to a flowering.


Nine at the beginning means:Return from a short distance.No need for remorse.

Great good fortune. Slight digressions from the good cannot be avoided, but one must turn back in time, before going too far. This is especially important in the development of character; every faintly evil thought must be put aside immediately, before it goes too far and takes root in the mind [bad mental habits are hard to uproot, mental discipline and aspiring to the right course, integrity and conduct should remedy the effects of illness, but they cannot be reversed completely, wounds may be healed, but the skin is weakened, any loseness of character should be avoided]. Then there is no cause for remorse, and all goes well.

Six in the second place means:Quiet return. Good fortune. Return always calls for a decision and is an act of self-mastery [being banished, or aversive is escapism, one is acting in tune with fortunes or times, and does not fixate on the weary bad times, when good times appear, although that requires strenght of mind and self-mastery, not everyone is capable of that, especially when living through plenty of afflictions – safeguarding himself against the return of agony]. It is made easier if a man is in good company. If he can bring himself to put aside pride and follow the example of good men, good fortune results.

Six in the third place means:Repeated return. Danger. No blame.There are people of a certain inner instability who feel a constant urge to reverse themselves. There is danger in continually deserting the good because of uncontrolled desires, then turning back to it again because of a better resolution. However, since this does not lead to habituation in evil, a general inclination to overcome the defect is not wholly excluded.

Six in the fourth place means:Walking in the midst of others, One returns alone.A man is in a society composed of inferior people, but is connected spiritually with a strong and good friend, and this makes him turn back alone. Although nothing is said of reward and punishment, this return is certainly favorable, for such a resolve to choose the good brings its own reward.

Six in the fifth place means :Noblehearted return. No remorse.When the time for return has come, a man should not take shelter in trivial excuses, but should look within and examine himself. And if he has done something wrong he should make a noblehearted resolve to confess his fault. No one will regret having taken this road.

Six at the top means: Missing the return. Misfortune.Misfortune from within and without.If armies are set marching in this way, One will in the end suffer a great defeat,Disastrous for the ruler of the country.For ten years It will not be possible to attack again.If a man misses the right time for return, he meets with misfortune. The misfortune has its inner cause in a wrong attitude toward the world. The misfortune coming upon him from without results from this wrong attitude. What is pictured here is blind obstinacy and the judgment that is visited upon it.

Po – Splitting Apart


The dark lines are about to mount upward and overthrow the last firm, light line by exerting a disintegrating influence on it. The inferior, dark forces overcome what is superior and strong, not by direct means, but by undermining it gradually and imperceptibly, so that it finally collapses [the may work in discord but persistently, if a man is stronger and withstands violent attacks from without,  if a man is not destroyed with lies, slander and intrigue yet stands still, the enemies attempt to break into his heart and mind, subverting the working of his nature, perverting, polluting, contaminating and corrupting it. If his nature is stronger, they persistently break the man from within and from without, it is of utmost importance to be phoenix-like, and by devotion to Heavens ask for assistance in reversing the damaging effects, one also needs to excercise mental discipline and a strong sense of integrity upon which to return, bad habits may develop, all bad thoughts seem like a mountain of filth, one must commit to excelling and to amending one’s ways and work against the dark force that is planting a seed of evil within, it is a battle of heart and mind one wages, and a man is recognized by the Heavens for waging this campaign, throughout life if may be, no matter how given to despair or corruption. One with a sickened and polluted mind and heart looks upward. As if a man taken by illness, has enough to whisper words of charity to his loved ones and smile upon them, so a man taken by great evil of mind and heart whispers songs to the Stars, despite the agony. When one is knocked off the firm holding, one stands up, when one’s thoughts, actions, words are polluted and full of filth, one focuses on open space and puts all his strife and focus to defeat the evil force – it is stupid and vulgar, in sophistication it uses the intelligence of the other, it has nothing that it owns, yet it possessess through delusion, ignorance, anger, attachments, and arrogance, attempting to render the man similar to itself. Beware, for this dark force may pollute us and our loved ones to overturn us from the path, thus when love becomes an affliction for both, it is time to part ways and seek solitude in hope to meet again, if Providence wills, away from this world] .The lines of the hexagram present the image of a house, the top line being the roof, and because the roof is being shattered the house collapses. The hexagram belongs to the ninth month (October–November). The yin power pushes up ever more powerfully and is about to supplant the yang power altogether.


SPLITTING APART. It does not further one To go anywhere. This pictures a time when inferior people are pushing forward and are about to crowd out the few remaining strong and superior men [outmanned, outgunned, and in solitude, broken-hearted and betrayed, it is better to seek the friendship of Starry Heavens and Deities, shielding us and adopting us]. Under these circumstances, which are due to the time, it is not favorable for the superior man to undertake anything. [all would be spoiled, or reversed, if our works wouldn’t be destroyed for mockery, then what would be ‘shining’ in the eyes of the dark force, would be appropriated by it, amongst the blind, one cannot single-handedly defeat the enemies but may remain still and loyal to Starry Heavens, and contain the essence of one’s work and nature within] The right behavior in such adverse times is to be deduced from the images and their attributes. The lower trigram stands for the earth, whose attributes are docility and devotion. The upper trigram stands for the mountain, whose attribute is stillness. This suggests that one should submit to the bad time and remain quiet [beware for speech may be heard in wrong and right quarters of the world, this too may be poisoned, ask about the effects you produce as if the world would be listening, ask – citing another – ‘is it wise, is it just, is it not judgmental?’]  . For it is a question not of man’s doing but of time conditions, which, according to the laws of heaven, show an alternation of increase and decrease, fullness and emptiness. It is impossible to counteract these conditions of the time. Hence it is not cowardice but wisdom to submit [not meaning: submissive: inner rebellion may be strenght in one’s virtues and principles, or their remnants, resilient, move along with the times] and avoid action.


The mountain rests on the earth:The image of SPLITTING APART. Thus those above can ensure their position. Only by giving generously to those below. The mountain rests on the earth. When it is steep and narrow, lacking a broad base, it must topple over [a mountain upside down starts to collapse under it own weight, a world upside down is bound to crumble]. Its position is strong only when it rises out of the earth broad and great, not proud and steep [as in – true support in enthusiasm, merit, not deception, alienation and propaganda]. So likewise those who rule rest on the broad foundation of the people. They too should be generous and benevolent, like the earth that carries all. Then they will make their position as secure as a mountain is in its tranquility.


Six at the beginning means: The leg of the bed is split. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune. Inferior people are on the rise and stealthily begin their destructive burrowing from below in order to undermine the place where the superior man rests. Those followers of the ruler who remain loyal are destroyed by slander and intrigue. The situation bodes disaster, yet there is nothing to do but wait.

[alas is not the superior men turning to the crowd of inferiors by submitting to them, betraying his past friends, and turning coats soon slandering these who remained loyal?]

Six in the second place means: The bed is split at the edge. Those who persevere are destroyed. Misfortune. The power of the inferior people is growing. The danger draws close to one’s person; already there are dear indications, and rest is disturbed. Moreover, in this dangerous situation one is as yet without help or friendly advances from above or below. Extreme caution is necessary in this isolation. One must adjust to the time and promptly avoid the danger. Stubborn perseverance in maintaining one’s standpoint would lead to downfall [sometimes, better to be insane, or play an idiot, then expose one’s face to the dark force, what is ‘won’ by defeat of superior people is much cherished by the enemy, unexpected change of circumstances is making the enemy unsure of itself and weakened]

Six in the third place means: He splits with them. No blame.An individual finds himself in an evil environment to which he is committed by external ties. But he has an inner relationship with a superior man, and through this he attains the stability to free himself from the way of the inferior people around him. This brings him into opposition to them of course, but that is not wrong.

Six in the fourth place means:The bed is split up to the skin.Misfortune.Here the disaster affects not only the resting place but even the occupant. No warning or other comment is added. Misfortune has reached its peak: it can no longer be warded off. [when the torture chamber is our own bed,  nothing more to do than to grind our teeth and survive, or perish]

Six in the fifth place means:A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies. Everything acts to further. Here, in immediate proximity to the strong, light-giving principle at the top, the nature of the dark force undergoes a change. It no longer opposes the strong principle by means of intrigues but submits to its guidance. Indeed, as the head of the other weak lines, it leads all of these to the strong line, just as a princess leads her maids-in-waiting like a shoal of fishes to her husband and thus gains his favor. Inasmuch as the lower element thus voluntarily places itself under the higher, it attains happiness and the higher also receives its due. Therefore all goes well.

Nine at the top means:There is a large fruit still uneaten.The superior man receives a carriage.The house of the inferior man is split apart.

Here the splitting apart reaches its end. When misfortune has spent itself, better times return. The seed of the good remains, and it is just when the fruit falls to the ground that good sprouts anew from its seed. The superior man again attains influence and effectiveness. He is supported by public opinion as if in a carriage. But the inferior man’s wickedness is visited upon himself [even if once he retained in the superior position, his effects when contaminated are to be accounted for]. His house is split apart. A law of nature is at work here. Evil is not destructive to the good alone but inevitably destroys itself as well [old passions taught me well – they burn out in great fire, and they burn a young man, when there is nothing but self-destruction one is brough to one’s wits, and changes the course by 180 degrees, or destroys himself or others] For evil, which lives solely by negation, cannot continue to exist on its own strength alone. The inferior man himself fares best when held under control by a superior man.

Pi – Grace


This hexagram shows a fire that breaks out of the secret depths of the earth and, blazing up, illuminates and beautifies the mountain, the heavenly heights.


Grace—beauty of form—is necessary in any union if it is to be well ordered and pleasing rather than disordered and chaotic [in neoplatonism, the Heavens were identified with beauty, truth and grace, the metaphysics of beauty is that it inspires deep awe and reverence in the partaker by innate connection with the essential thing, the merging of one’s spirit with the sublime as its subject] .


GRACE has success.In small matters. It is favorable to undertake something.Grace brings success. However, it is not the essential or fundamental thing; it is only the ornament and must therefore be used sparingly and only in little things [likewise, grace moving through beauty is a rather delicate thing, it does not give in to vulgarity, like love it withdraws and disappears, likewise love between a strong woman and a strong man carries mountains and breaks the chains, in adornment it is subtle and light, as if young people that are enamored for the first time, in fierceness it is steel-clad and lion-like]. In the lower trigram of fire a yielding line comes between two strong lines and makes them beautiful, but the strong lines are the essential content and the weak line is the beautifying form. In the upper trigram of the mountain, the strong line takes the lead, so that here again the strong element must be regarded as the decisive factor. In nature we see in the sky the strong light of the sun; the life of the world depends on it [the star that shines upon us equally in other traditions is the ‘Eye of the Supreme Deity’]. But this strong, essential thing is changed and given pleasing variety by the moon and the stars. In human affairs, aesthetic form comes into being when traditions exist that, strong and abiding like mountains, are made pleasing by a lucid beauty. By contemplating the forms existing in the heavens we come to understand time and its changing demands. Through contemplation of the forms existing in human society it becomes possible to shape the world. [forms mutability, both that forms of ideas, narrations, social structures, arts and sciences, are as if clay to be worked from, if that is done in close mirroring to the demands or forms taking shape in heavens, astralistic configurations of change, then all is supported by the forces that have their rise and onset]


Fire at the foot of the mountain:The image of GRACE. Thus does the superior man proceed. When clearing up current affairs.But he dare not decide controversial issues in this way.The fire, whose light illuminates the mountain and makes it pleasing, does not shine far; in the same way, beautiful form suffices to brighten and to throw light upon matters of lesser moment, but important questions cannot be decided in this way [forcing one’s way through on all fronts brings disaster, attempting to solve all matters, running out of impetus, and collapse of social and personal enterprises into stagnation, chaos or decay]. They require greater earnestness.


Nine at the beginning means:He lends grace to his toes, leaves the carriage, and walks.A beginner in a subordinate place must take upon himself the labor of advancing. There might be an opportunity of surreptitiously easing the way—symbolized by the carriage—but a self-contained man scorns help gained in a dubious fashion [it would corrode his self-reliance and independence, and create falsehood that he could wear like a mask and undergo affliction of this self-imposed falsehood, losing all sense in the end]. He thinks it more graceful to go on foot than to drive in a carriage under false pretenses.

Six in the second place means:Lends grace to the beard on his chin.The beard is not an independent thing; it moves only with the chin. The image therefore means that form is to be considered only as a result and attribute of content. The beard is a superfluous ornament. To devote care to it for its own sake, without regard for the inner content of which it is an ornament, would bespeak a certain vanity. [attachment to an outer or inner image developed by others or oneself that is false and non-representative is such vanity, the way is to be genuinely honest and introspective, yet without attaching oneself to any such mirages of ideas of oneself, ultimately we cannot see each other from more perspectives that these of which we are capable, such mirages, self-images are the ‘ornaments’]

Nine in the third place means:Graceful and moist.Constant perseverance brings good fortune.

This represents a very charming life situation. One is under the spell of grace and the mellow mood induced by wine. This grace can adorn, but it can also swamp us. Hence the warning not to sink into convivial indolence but to remain constant in perseverance [we may lose earnestness and by lowering flight, the falcon might be caught and domesticated, it may lose its nature, then in forgetfulness what is lost fades away and no longer reminds us of the way that we underwent to arrive, we depart] Good fortune depends on this.

Six in the fourth place means:Grace or simplicity? A white horse comes as if on wings.He is not a robber,He will woo at the right time.An individual is in a situation in which doubts arise as to which is better—to pursue the grace of external brilliance, or to return to simplicity. The doubt itself implies the answer [when one is not confident, or trusts himself and in doubt, after assessing his strengths and skills, even when other pull him in area of influence, he should decline, and pursue the path of simplicity, he should strategically predict of what one is capable of and what implications might it have for the rest in the long run] Confirmation comes from the outside; it comes like a white winged horse. The white color indicates simplicity. At first it may be disappointing to renounce comforts that might have been obtained, yet one finds peace of mind in a true relationship with the friend who courts him. The winged horse is the symbol of the thoughts that transcend all limits of space and time [the way of the sage] .

Six in the fifth place means:Grace in hills and gardens.The roll of silk is meager and small.Humiliation, but in the end good fortune.A man withdraws from contact with people of the lowlands, who seek nothing but magnificence and luxury, into the solitude of the heights. There he finds an individual to look up to, whom he would like to have as a friend. But the gifts he has to offer are poor and few, so that he feels ashamed. However, it is not the material gifts that count, but sincerity of feeling, and so all goes well in the end.

Nine at the top means:Simple grace. No blame.Here at the highest stage of development all ornament is discarded. Form no longer conceals content but brings out its value to the full. Perfect grace consists not in exterior ornamentation of the substance, but in the simple fitness of its form.


Shih Ho – Biting Through


This hexagram represents an open mouth (cf. hexagram 27) with an obstruction (in the fourth place) between the teeth. As a result the lips cannot meet. To bring them together one must bite energetically through the obstacle. Since the hexagram is made up of the trigrams for thunder and for lightning, it indicates how obstacles are forcibly removed in nature.

Energetic biting through overcomes the obstacle that prevents joining of the lips; the storm with its thunder and lightning overcomes the disturbing tension in nature. Recourse to law and penalties overcomes the disturbances of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanderers. The theme of this hexagram is a criminal lawsuit, in contradistinction to that of Sung, CONFLICT (6), which refers to civil suits.


BITING THROUGH has success. It is favorable to let justice be administered. When an obstacle to union arises, energetic biting through brings success [sometimes separating to unite on solid grounds, that are agreed by both parties, and sweeping the resolution and direction, shaping it onto a new path is necessary, the process of gathering the freed social and personal energies and directing them in a masterful fashion, if that is not done, the by-products and splinters are hindering a correct resolution, biting through for it’s own sake is survival, or an attempt to grind one’s teeth and persevere, biting through with a view in mind, simultaneously engaging the direction, the course, and the solutions, tactical and strategical thinking about the effects is of utmost importance, child-like commitment with boy-like contemplation, or being reactive in a simplistic way, or retorting to misfortunes in egoistic fashion may corrupt many a man, with a broader view, one commits and discarding or self-grasping carries forth with resilience]. This is true in all situations. Whenever unity cannot be established, the obstruction is due to a talebearer and traitor who is interfering and blocking the way. To prevent permanent injury, vigorous measures must be taken at once. Deliberate obstruction of this sort does not vanish of its own accord. Judgment and punishment are required to deter or obviate it. However, it is important to proceed in the right way. The hexagram combines Li, clarity, and Chên, excitement. Li is yielding, Chên is hard. Unqualified hardness and excitement would be too violent in meeting out punishment; unqualified clarity and gentleness would be too weak. The two together create the just measure [discernment and proportion in knowing the circumstances, the context, and the human, restoring parity to the situation and avoiding cascading into disharmony on a greater scale]. It is of moment that the man who makes the decisions (represented by the fifth line) is gentle by nature, while he commands respect by his conduct in his position.


Thunder and lightning: The image of BITING THROUGH.

Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws, Through clearly defined penalties. Penalties are the individual applications of the law. The laws specify the penalties. Clarity prevails when mild and severe penalties are clearly differentiated, according to the nature of the crimes. This is symbolized by the clarity of lightning. The law is strengthened by a just application of penalties [the feeling of lawfulness and fairness, prevalent in societies in which the rule of just law and fairness is strengthened]. This is symbolized by the terror of thunder. This clarity and severity have the effect of instilling respect; it is not that the penalties are ends in themselves. The obstructions in the social life of man increase when there is lack of clarity in the penal codes and slackness in executing them. The only way to strengthen the law is to make it clear and to make penalties certain and swift.


Nine at the beginning means:His feet are fastened in the stocks,So that his toes disappear.No blame.If a sentence is imposed the first time a man attempts to do wrong, the penalty is a mild one. Only the toes are put in the stocks. This prevents him from sinning further and thus he becomes free of blame. It is a warning to halt in time on the path of evil.

Six in the second place means:Bites through tender meat,So that his nose disappears.

No blame.It is easy to discriminate between right and wrong in this case; it is like biting through tender meat. But one encounters a hardened sinner, and, aroused by anger, one goes a little too far. The disappearance of the nose in the course of the bite signifies that indignation blots out finer sensibility [vulgarity ruins openness and sublimity, Intellect and reason, it is reduced to the coarseness of a mind and heart and dwells on ignorance, the more one is inadvertadly pulled into such situations of anger and loses temper and composure – by the force of habit – the harder it is to discipline oneself and return to the openness] . However, there is no great harm in this, because the penalty as such is just.

Six in the third place means: Bites on old dried meat. And strikes on something poisonous. Slight humiliation. No blame. Punishment is to be carried out by someone who lacks the power and authority to do so. Therefore the culprits do not submit. The matter at issue is an old one—as symbolized by salted game—and in dealing with it difficulties arise. This old meat is spoiled: by taking up the problem the punisher arouses poisonous hatred against himself, and in this way is put in a somewhat humiliating position [more like an executioner, he does not command respect, but is seen as a henchman oppressing people, or a person]. But since punishment was required by the time, he remains free of blame.

Nine in the fourth place means:Bites on dried gristly meat.Receives metal arrows.It furthers one to be mindful of difficulties. And to be persevering.Good fortune.There are great obstacles to be overcome, powerful opponents are to be punished. Though this is arduous, the effort succeeds. But it is necessary to be hard as metal and straight as an arrow to surmount the difficulties. If one knows these difficulties and remains persevering, he attains good fortune. The difficult task is achieved in the end.

Six in the fifth place means:Bites on dried lean meat.

Receives yellow gold.Perseveringly aware of danger.No blame.The case to be decided is indeed not easy but perfectly clear. Since we naturally incline to leniency, we must make every effort to be like yellow gold—that is, as true as gold and as impartial as yellow, the color of the middle [the mean]. It is only by remaining conscious of the dangers growing out of the responsibility we have assumed that we can avoid making mistakes [the forgotten ‘unknowns’ still constitute greater danger than the known dangers and preparation for the unknown ones. To forget about a known danger is to be foolish, but the awareness of danger should not petrify nor arrest our movements, they should be pursued energetically, patiently, and cautiously. In a mine-field, one does move when forced to with extreme caution, in an open plain, one speeds on a horse swiftly]

Nine at the top means: His neck is fastened in the wooden cangue, So that his ears disappear. Misfortune. In contrast to the first line, this line refers to a man who is incorrigible. His punishment is the wooden cangue, and his ears disappear under it—that is to say, he is deaf to warnings. This obstinacy leads to misfortune.

Kuan – Contemplation (View)


A slight variation of tonal stress gives the Chinese name for this hexagram a double meaning. It means both contemplating and being seen, in the sense of being an example [govering above the difficulties, one overcomes and settles at the peak of the mountain within]. These ideas are suggested by the fact that the hexagram can be understood as picturing a type of tower characteristic of ancient China.


A tower of this kind commanded a wide view of the country; at the same time, when situated on a mountain, it became a landmark that could be seen for miles around. Thus the hexagram shows a ruler who contemplates the law of heaven above him and the ways of the people below, and who, by means of good government [taken both from contemplating the law of heaven and attempting to wisely incorporate them on Earth, and regulating the affairs of the people accordingly and justly, it is the observation and seeking of proportion , of the movement of stars and planets, of nature, and then knowing the divine by seeing an order that is numinous, science assists in discovering certain laws, but proportion are set by wise contemplation, the organic structure is seen, of having a greater view and attempting to mirror these ways on Earth, first within, then without, the way of coming about this is a question of understanding, and these who accomplish that set a might foundation], sets a lofty example to the masses.This hexagram is linked with the eighth month (September–October). The light-giving power retreats and the dark power is again on the increase. However, this aspect is not material in the interpretation of the hexagram as a whole.


CONTEMPLATION. The ablution has been made, But not yet the offering.

Full of trust they look up to him.The sacrificial ritual in China began with an ablution and a libation by which the Deity was invoked, after which the sacrifice was offered. The moment of time between these two ceremonies is the most sacred of all, the moment of deepest inner concentration. If piety is sincere and expressive of real faith [transparency and honesty are the way to let the heavens through the master of the ceremony], the contemplation of it has a transforming and awe-inspiring effect on those who witness it. Thus also in nature a holy seriousness is to be seen in the fact that natural occurrences are uniformly subject to law. Contemplation of the divine meaning underlying the workings of the universe gives to the man who is called upon to influence others the means of producing like effects. This requires that power of inner concentration which religious contemplation develops in great men strong in faith. It enables them to apprehend the mysterious and divine laws of life, and by means of profoundest inner concentration they give expression to these laws in their own persons. Thus a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing and dominating others without their being aware of how it happens.


The wind blows over the earth: The image of CONTEMPLATION.Thus the kings of old visited the regions of the world, Contemplated the people,And gave them instruction. When the wind blows over the earth it goes far and wide, and the grass must bend to its power. These two occurrences find confirmation in the hexagram. The two images are used to symbolize a practice of the kings of old; in making regular journeys the ruler could, in the first place, survey his realm and make certain that none of the existing usages of the people escaped notice [thus patiently observing their happiness and misery, their work and their fruit]; in the second, he could exert influence through which such customs as were unsuitable could be changed.All of this points to the power possessed by a superior personality. On the one hand, such a man will have a view of the real sentiments of the great mass of humanity and therefore cannot be deceived;  [neither through flattery not isolation, nor through self-elevation nor condescenscion one is distracted from seeing the sentiments and their threads, one may lock himself in the tower that he’s built and be blind and blinded, or one may observe with a dragon’s view with understanding, insight and foresight of the signs of times] on the other, he will impress the people so profoundly, by his mere existence and by the impact of his personality, that they will be swayed by him as the grass by the wind.


Six at the beginning means:Boylike contemplation [light-hearted, without contempating the depths, surface of things].For an inferior man, no blame. For a superior man, humiliation.This means contemplation from a distance, without comprehension. A man of influence is at hand, but his influence is not understood by the common people. This matters little in the case of the masses, for they benefit by the actions of the ruling sage whether they understand them or not. But for a superior man it is a disgrace. He must not content himself with a shallow, thoughtless view of prevailing forces; he must contemplate them as a connected whole and try to understand them.

Six in the second place means:Contemplation through the crack of the door.Furthering for the perseverance of a woman.Through the crack of the door one has a limited outlook; one looks outward from within. Contemplation is subjectively limited. One tends to relate everything to oneself and cannot put oneself in another’s place and understand his motives [egoistic contemplation, does to expand into anything else but the affirmation of one’s view of oneself and one’s affairs, it may not relate to a different perspective, thus one is entrenched in the subjective view and does not see beyond its limits]. This is appropriate for a good housewife. It is not necessary for her to be conversant with the affairs of the world. But for a man who must take active part in public life, such a narrow, egotistic way of contemplating things is of course harmful.

Six in the third place means: Contemplation of my life. Decides the choice. Between advance and retreat.This is the place of transition. We no longer look outward to receive pictures that are more or less limited and confused, but direct our contemplation upon ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-contemplation means the overcoming of naïve egotism in the person who sees everything solely from his own standpoint [we observe ourselves ‘from outside’ without collapsing into our cherished view, critically examining our shortcomings against principles and what is right – it is a normative and corrective contemplation]. He begins to reflect and in this way acquires objectivity [through dualistic tension the Third crystallizes, transcendent function of Carl Gustav Jung]. However, self-knowledge does not mean preoccupation with one’s own thoughts; rather, it means concern about the effects one creates. It is only the effects our lives produce that give us the right to judge whether what we have done means progress or regression.Six in the fourth place means:

Contemplation of the light of the kingdom.It furthers one to exert influence as the guest of a king. This describes a man who understands the secrets by which a kingdom can be made to flourish. Such a man must be given an authoritative position, in which he can exert influence. He should be, so to speak, a guest—that is, he should be honored and allowed to act independently, and should not be used as a tool [using anyone of independence as a tool for political, religious or societal bickering strips the man of effective prowes to assist as a sovereign proxy, a satellite that supports society, in the end he should not take sides, nor align oneself with violators and abusers of his independent decisions, insights etc. It brings about factional diseases, and pulling such a man into the line of one agenda or another creates great turmoil and conflict. He should remain strong and independent, impartial and withdrawn for as long as possible not to be pulled into these kind of ties].

Nine in the fifth place means: Contemplation of my life.The superior man is without blame. A man in an authoritative position to whom others look up must always be ready for self-examination. The right sort of self-examination, however, consists not in idle brooding over oneself but in examining the effects one produces. Only when these effects are good, and when one’s influence on others is good [In Mahayana Buddhism, one’s motions are judged by the net effects of one’s activities, if someone does not persevere in the good and breaks towards spoiling, then the good will be annuled and the spoilt will stay, this however is not a hopeless situation, as one may ameliorate the effect through continuous action, when the effects are spoiled by one’s actions] will the contemplation of one’s own life bring the satisfaction of knowing oneself to be free of mistakes.

Nine at the top means:Contemplation of his life.The superior man is without blame.While the preceding line represents a man who contemplates himself, here in the highest place everything that is personal, related to the ego, is excluded [the self-grasping is abandoned, and the world embraced]. The picture is that of a sage who stands outside the affairs of the world. Liberated from his ego, he contemplates the laws of life and so realizes that knowing how to become free of blame is the highest good.


Lin – Approach


The Chinese word lin has a range of meanings that is not exhausted by any single word of another language. The ancient explanations in the Book of Changes give as its first meaning, “becoming great.” What becomes great are the two strong lines growing into the hexagram from below; the light-giving power expands with them. The meaning is then further extended to include the concept of approach, especially the approach of what is strong and highly placed in relation to what is lower [as in the Heavens approach Earth, Equinox is the meeting point, or a patron in greater position approaching the lower, or the Intellect of a person meeting reason of the mind, the mind meeting the senses]. Finally the meaning includes the attitude of condescension of a man in high position toward the people, and in general the setting to work on affairs. This hexagram is linked with the twelfth month (January–February), when, after the winter solstice, the light power begins to ascend again.


APPPROACH has supreme success. Perseverance furthers. When the eighth month comes, There will be misfortune.The hexagram as a whole points to a time of joyous, hopeful progress. Spring is approaching. Joy [perseverance in joy, or loving kindness overcoming the negatives] and forbearance bring high and low nearer together. Success is certain. But we must work with determination and perseverance to make full use of the propitiousness of the time. And one thing more: spring does not last forever. In the eighth month the aspects are reversed. Then only two strong, light lines are left; these do not advance but are in retreat (see next hexagram). We must take heed of this change in good time. If we meet evil before it becomes reality—before it has even begun to stir—we can master it.

THE IMAGE The earth above the lake: The image of APPROACH. Thus the superior man is inexhaustible in his will to teach, And without limits In his tolerance and protection of the people [even when injured, he does not bear grudge, he overcomes people by looking with a dragon’s sight from above, he guards his mind and his spirit flies above, his foundations on Earth – he moves by double-engagement, on Earth and in heavens, he is one and in accord, simultaneous rounding is accomplished with a single mean, then spirit above and Earthly being are in tune. In other words, the instance does not overrule the general perspective and approach, even if bent it returns like a blade of grass] .The earth borders upon the lake from above. This symbolizes the approach and condescension of the man of higher position to those beneath him. The two parts of the image indicate what his attitude toward these people will be. Just as the lake is inexhaustible in depth, so the sage is inexhaustible in his readiness to teach mankind, and just as the earth is boundlessly wide, sustaining and caring for all creatures on it, so the sage sustains and cares for all people and excludes no part of humanity [the sage renders himself alike to nature, which is evident in it’s workings, and to Heavens, that with it’s light shines upon Earth].


Nine at the beginning means: Joint approach.Perseverance brings good fortune.The good begins to prevail and to find response in influential circles. This in turn is an incentive to men of ability. It is well to join this upward trend, but we must not let ourselves be carried away by the current of the time; we must adhere perseveringly to what is right [detached and withdrawn from the current of time if it opposes what is right, recognized by discernment, opposing it if engagement is necessary – the latter risks disaster and humiliation, as the mass of threads of events and the Zeitgeist will sweep us under, if we pick a stance to take energetic countermeasures, the worst risk is that of becoming even worse then the spirit of the times, and becoming an antithesis o spirit of humaneness, we turn into monsters]. This brings good fortune.

Nine in the second place means:Joint approach.Good fortune.Everything furthers.

When the stimulus to approach comes from a high place, and when a man has the inner strength and consistency that need no admonition, good fortune will ensue. Nor need the future cause any concern. He is well aware that everything earthly is transitory, and that a descent follows upon every rise, but need not be confused by this universal law of fate [the universal law is to be understood as necessity of destiny that chastises fates that are defined as freedom, chance, circumstance, fixed by Moires, or these threads of events that we cannot change, and these we can direct by being inwardly strong]. Everything serves to further. Therefore he will travel the paths of life swiftly, honestly, and valiantly.

Six in the third place means:

Comfortable approach.Nothing that would further.If one is induced to grieve over it,One becomes free of blame.Things are going well for a man: he achieves power and influence. But in this lies the danger that he may relax, and confident of his position, allow the easygoing, careless mood to show itself in his dealings with other people. This would inevitably be harmful. But there is possibility of a change of mood. If he regrets his mistaken attitude and feels the responsibility of an influential position, he frees himself of faults.

Six in the fourth place means:Complete approach.No blame.While the three lower lines indicate rise to power and influence, the three upper lines show the attitude of persons in higher position toward those of lower rank for whom they procure influence. Here is shown the open-minded approach of a person of high rank to a man of ability whom he draws into his own circle, regardless of class prejudice. This is very favorable.

Six in the fifth place means:Wise approach.This is right for a great prince.Good fortune.A prince, or anyone in a leading position, must have the wisdom to attract to himself people of ability who are expert in directing affairs [such people are attracted by one’s own merit, principled stance, inward strength that glows forth]. His wisdom consists both in selecting the right people and in allowing those chosen to have a free hand without interference from him. For only through such self-restraint will he find the experts needed to satisfy all of his requirements.

Six at the top means: Greathearted approach.Good fortune. No blame.A sage who has put the world behind him and who in spirit has already withdrawn from life may, under certain circumstances, decide to return once more to the here and now and to approach other men. This means great good fortune for the men whom he teaches and helps. And for him this greathearted humbling of himself is blameless.

Ku – Work on What Has Been Spoiled (Decay)


The Chinese character ku represents a bowl in whose contents worms are breeding. This means decay. It has come about because the gentle indifference of the lower trigram has come together with the rigid inertia of the upper, and the result is stagnation. Since this implies guilt, the conditions embody a demand for removal of the cause. Hence the meaning of the hexagram is not simply “what has been spoiled” but “work on what has been spoiled.”


WORK ON WHAT HAS BEEN SPOILED Has supreme success.It furthers one to cross the great water.Before the starting point, three days.After the starting point, three days.What has been spoiled through man’s fault can be made good again through man’s work. It is not immutable fate, as in the time of STANDSTILL, that has caused the state of corruption, but rather the abuse of human freedom [freedom should be constricted by responsibility of a mature unit, it is to be disposed of wisely by delimiting or continuous efforts to properly draw borders between one’s desire, or the movement of will and that which hinders, as well as self-control and weigh that directs freedom towards the good, shaping this freedom into worthy things, when one abuses one’s freedoms he damages the organic structure of the other and oneself, hence he is pursuing a whim, an irresponsible projection of one’s flawed desire upon the space of other, when two free strong, principled and responsible people meet, they are like figures of steel]. Work toward improving conditions promises well, because it accords with the possibilities of the time. We must not recoil from work and danger—symbolized by crossing of the great water—but must take hold energetically [preserving the stance and commanding the turning point]. Success depends, however, on proper deliberation. This is expressed by the lines, “Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days.” We must first know the causes of corruption before we can do away with them [these are denoted by Hindi-Buddhist kleshas at the basis, usually: ignorance, delusion against realization, delusion, self-attachment, pride, anger, aversion] hence it is necessary to be cautious during the time before the start. Then we must see to it that the new way is safely entered upon, so that a relapse may be avoided; therefore we must pay attention to the time after the start. Decisiveness and energy must take the place of the inertia and indifference that have led to decay, in order that the ending may be followed by a new beginning.




The wind blows low on the mountain:The image of DECAY.Thus the superior man stirs up the people And strengthens their spirit.When the wind blows low on the mountain, it is thrown back and spoils the vegetation. This contains a challenge to improvement. It is the same with debasing attitudes and fashions; they corrupt human society. To do away with this corruption, the superior man must regenerate society. His methods likewise must be derived from the two trigrams, but in such a way that their effects unfold in orderly sequence [to predict time, mean and effect is a masterful task]. The superior man must first remove stagnation by stirring up public opinion, as the wind stirs everything, and must then strengthen and tranquillize the character of the people, as the mountain gives tranquility and nourishment to all that grows in its vicinity.


Six at the beginning means:Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.If there is a son, No blame rests upon the departed father.Danger. In the end good fortune.Rigid adherence to tradition has resulted in decay [without true piety, understanding their profundity and devotion, the ceremonies are mere stiff repetitions, and soon they become a cold, meaningless, empty tradition]. But the decay has not yet penetrated deeply and so can still be easily remedied. It is as if a son were compensating for the decay his father allowed to creep in. Then no blame attaches to the father. However, one must not overlook the danger or take the matter too lightly. Only if one is conscious of the danger connected with every reform will everything go well in the end.

Nine in the second place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother.One must not be too persevering. This refers to mistakes that as a result of weakness have brought about decay—hence the symbol, “what has been spoiled by the mother.” In setting things right in such a case, a certain gentle consideration is called for. In order not to wound, one should not attempt to proceed too drastically. [weak spoiling should be remedied by a strong, effective movement, not by putting all strenght into it without proportion like a young disciple who is all-enthusiastic and agitated about himself remedying something as if that would be a great enterprise, but in an effective, decisive fashion, let things mature and no longer be discussed]

Nine in the third place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.There will be a little remorse. No great blame.This describes a man who proceeds a little too energetically in righting the mistakes of the past. Now and then, as a result, minor discords and annoyances will surely develop. But too much energy is better than too little. Therefore, although he may at times have some slight cause for regret, he remains free of any serious blame.

Six in the fourth place means:Tolerating what has been spoiled by the father.In continuing one sees humiliation.This shows the situation of someone too weak to take measures against decay that has its roots in the past and is just beginning to manifest itself. It is allowed to run its course. If this continues, humiliation will result [every point of reversal is of utmost importance, and it is a continuous engagement, too late of a realization brings about disaster]

Six in the fifth place means:

Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.One meets with praise.An individual is confronted with corruption originating from neglect in former times. He lacks the power to ward it off alone, but with able helpers he can at least bring about a thorough reform, if he cannot create a new beginning, and this also is praiseworthy.

Nine at the top means:

He does not serve kings and princes, Sets himself higher goals.Not every man has an obligation to mingle in the affairs of the world. There are some who are developed to such a degree that they are justified in letting the world go its own way and in refusing to enter public life with a view to reforming it. But this does not imply a right to remain idle or to sit back and merely criticize. Such withdrawal is justified only when we strive to realize in ourselves the higher aims of mankind. For although the sage remains distant from the turmoil of daily life, he creates incomparable human values for the future [plotting them in myriads of the echoes and thiving, living skies].

Sui (Following)


The trigram Tui, the Joyous, whose attribute is gladness, is above; Chên, the Arousing, which has the attribute of movement, is below. Joy in movement induces following. The Joyous is the youngest daughter, while the Arousing is the eldest son. An older man defers to a young girl and shows her consideration. By this he moves her to follow him.


FOLLOWING has supreme success. Perseverance furthers. No blame. In order to obtain a following one must first know how to adapt oneself. If a man would rule he must first learn to serve, for only in this way does he secure from those below him the joyous assent that is necessary if they are to follow him [first do the menial things, then work upwards, never forgetting about simple man’s position, the memories of misery are often washed away by periods of happiness and to the opposite, madness forgets sobriety, so does sobriety forgets lessons of madness, let these two polarities be remembered at all times, great terror in memory fades away, so does great pain, great happiness an instance is to be preserved at heart, but not fixed as a nostalgic torment]. If he has to obtain a following by force or cunning, by conspiracy or by creating factions, he invariably arouses resistance, which obstructs willing adherence. But even joyous movement can lead to evil consequences, hence the added stipulation, “Perseverance furthers”—that is, consistency in doing right—together with “No blame.” Just as we should not ask others to follow us unless this condition is fulfilled [and all following should be rejected, as it would inflict harm on the followers, if one is discerning enough to judge oneself as lacking method, merit, principle, and that exposure would lead to grave consequences, either to the exposer or the exposee, according to time and age judged by one’s reason that is done in accordance with one’s intellect, and assessment of others], so it is only under this condition that we can in turn follow others without coming to harm.The thought of obtaining a following through adaptation to the demands of the time is a great and significant idea; this is why the appended judgment is so favorable.


Thunder in the middle of the lake:The image of FOLLOWING.Thus the superior man at nightfall Goes indoors for rest and recuperation.In the autumn electricity withdraws into the earth again and rests. Here it is the thunder in the middle of the lake that serves as the image—thunder in its winter rest, not thunder in motion. The idea of following in the sense of adaptation to the demands of the time grows out of this image. Thunder in the middle of the lake indicates times of darkness and rest. Similarly, a superior man, after being tirelessly active all day, allows himself rest and recuperation at night. No situation can become favorable until one is able to adapt to it and does not wear himself out with mistaken resistance [fortifying defences in the wrong place and waiting for the attack, we waste our time and energy, may be attacked from another angle, or encircled and defeated, growing stiff in mind by building an armor of habits suffocates dynamic engagement of life – in ten times when the sword is swung and may fall on us, thirty missess should not raise our shield at all times, for ten times we should be prepared to defend ourselves swiftly, for twenty others to act].


Nine at the beginning means:The standard is changing.Perseverance brings good fortune.To go out of the door in company Produces deeds.There are exceptional conditions in which the relation between leader and followers changes. It is implicit in the idea of following and adaptation that if one wants to lead others, one must remain accessible and responsive to the views of those under him. At the same time, however, he must have firm principles, so that he does not vacillate where there is only a question of current opinion. Once we are ready to listen to the opinions of others, we must not associate exclusively with people who share our views or with members of our own party; instead, we must go out and mingle freely with all sorts of people, friends or foes. That is the only way to achieve something. [vaulting similar views in one group separates us from the rest, it creates unsurpassable differences after a while, and the upper does not relate to the lower, when the mingling comes, there is strife and slaughter, when one knows the perspectives and various differences and may be impartial, he speaks according to need, but preserves homogeneity of his composition or integrity without compromising it with views of others, but wisely discerning in how to speak to exchange perspective and guide one from the other’s party subjective viewpoint towards the greater. It is to penetrate the other character and overcome it through understanding, and then guiding it towards mutual understanding]

Six in the second place means:If one clings to the little boy, One loses the strong man.In friendships and close relationships an individual must make a careful choice. He surrounds himself either with good or with bad company; he cannot have both at once. If he throws himself away on unworthy friends he loses connection with people of intellectual power who could further him in the good. [if one follows one’s puer eternus, one loses the advise of the Senex, if one gives himself away to the whims of an inner child, he no longer listens to his mature understandings, likewise in dealing with people wise people should be sought out]

Six in the third place means:If one clings to the strong man,One loses the little boy.Through following one finds what one seeks.It furthers one to remain persevering.When the right connection with distinguished people has been found, a certain loss naturally ensues. A man must part company with the inferior and superficial. But in his heart he will feel satisfied, because he will find what he seeks and needs for the development of his personality [the superficial things are easily abandoned once development ensues, the whims and petty desires are sacrificed for the greater path, and no longer trouble us]. The important thing is to remain firm. He must know what he wants and not be led astray by momentary inclinations.

Nine in the fourth place means: Following creates success.Perseverance brings misfortune.To go one’s way with sincerity brings clarity.How could there be blame in this?It often happens, when a man exerts a certain amount of influence, that he obtains a following by condescension toward inferiors. But the people who attach themselves to him are not honest in their intentions. They seek personal advantage and try to make themselves indispensable through flattery and subservience. If one becomes accustomed to such satellites and cannot do without them, it brings misfortune. Only when a man is completely free from his ego, and intent, by conviction, upon what is right and essential, does he acquire the clarity that enables him to see through such people, and become free of blame [thus reflecting often on the shortcomings of oneself, and of impermanent and imperfect state of such affiliations, one guards himself three times as much in comparison to the position of a sage, he cannot develop delusion or paranoia, but remain strong and detached, not given to the interests of satellites, not losing the whole from sight, he who guards his thoughts, words and actions and the gates of senses] Nine in the fifth place means:Sincere in the good. Good fortune.

Every man must have something he follows—something that serves him as a lodestar. He who follows with conviction the beautiful and the good may feel himself strengthened by this saying. [reference needs to be developed, if referenced towards the good and beautiful, towards order, starry heavens, we absorbe these aspirations slowly, by knowing, understanding and persevering in them, the law of enantiodromia orwork of opposites’ may be at play, whenever the signs approach and reversion to danger is due, we should arm ourselves in patience and firm resolution, otherwise we will lose ourselves, ‘light that shines too much provokes darkness’ – Ernst Junger; What is in fullness, becomes empty, what is empty may become it’s opposite, that tao is within’.


‘Harmony of tension in opposition’. This axiom is presented here as it appears in Porphyry De antro nympharum 29, at the conclusion of a list of fundamental oppositions (e.g. night and day): palintonos he ¯ harmonie ¯ kai toxeuei dia to ¯n enantio ¯n. It was originally a saying of Heraclitus

Beck, R. The Religion of the Mithras Cult in the Roman Empire (OUP: 2006) p. 6

Six at the top means: He meets with firm allegiance And is still further bound.The king introduces him To the Western Mountain.This refers to a man, an exalted sage, who has already put the turmoil of the world behind him. But a follower appears who understands him and is not to be put off. So the sage comes back into the world and aids the other in his work. Thus there develops an eternal tie between the two.The allegory is chosen from the annals of the Chou dynasty. The rulers of this dynasty honored men who had served them well by awarding them a place in the royal family’s temple of ancestors on the Western Mountain. In this way they were regarded as sharing in the destiny of the ruling family.


Yu – Enthusiasm


The strong line in the fourth place, that of the leading official, meets with response and obedience from all the other lines, which are all weak. The attribute of the upper trigram, Chên, is movement; the attributes of K’un, the lower, are obedience and devotion. This begins a movement that meets with devotion and therefore inspires enthusiasm, carrying all with it. Of great importance, furthermore, is the law of movement along the line of least resistance, which in this hexagram is enunciated as the law for natural events and for human life.


ENTHUSIASM. It furthers one to install helpers And to set armies marching [put things into motion].The time of ENTHUSIASM derives from the fact that there is at hand an eminent man who is in sympathy with the spirit of the people and acts in accord with it [when the spirit of the people is corroded, likewise, the reflections of this corrosion are elevating the corrupt, when the spirit of the people is sick, healing is necessary]. Hence he finds universal and willing obedience. To arouse enthusiasm it is necessary for a man to adjust himself and his ordinances to the character of those whom he has to lead [Chuang Tzu: ‘if the pitch is set to high, no one can join the song’, likewise if inferior things are prevalent and common, to adjust one’s character to them brings about ruin and consentful betrayal of principles, as well as devotion to Heavens, one cannot quarrel with times, nor batter the walls of inferior, or one would bring ruin upon oneself by becoming exposed, but one can amass the strength within, and shine forth whathever is judged wise, through means possible]. The inviolability of natural laws rests on this principle of movement along the line of least resistance. These laws are not forces external to things but represent the harmony of movement immanent in them. That is why the celestial bodies do not deviate from their orbits and why all events in nature occur with fixed regularity. It is the same with human society: only such laws as are rooted in popular sentiment can be enforced, while laws violating this sentiment merely arouse resentment.Again, it is enthusiasm that enables us to install helpers for the completion of an undertaking without fear of secret opposition. It is enthusiasm too that can unify mass movements, as in war, so that they achieve victory.


Thunder comes resounding out of the earth:The image of ENTHUSIASM.Thus the ancient kings made music In order to honor merit,And offered it with splendor To the Supreme Deity,Inviting their ancestors to be present.When, at the beginning of summer, thunder—electrical energy—comes rushing forth from the earth again, and the first thunderstorm refreshes nature, a prolonged state of tension is resolved. Joy and relief make themselves felt. So too, music has power to ease tension within the heart and to loosen the grip of obscure emotions. The enthusiasm of the heart expresses itself involuntarily in a burst of song, in dance and rhythmic movement of the body. From immemorial times the inspiring effect of the invisible sound that moves all hearts, and draws them together, has mystified mankind.Rulers have made use of this natural taste for music; they elevated and regulated it. Music was looked upon as something serious and holy, designed to purify the feelings of men. It fell to music to glorify the virtues of heroes and thus to construct a bridge to the world of the unseen. In the temple men drew near to God with music and pantomimes (out of this later the theater developed). Religious feeling for the Creator of the world was united with the most sacred of human feelings, that of reverence for the ancestors [Such are the fates of all civilizations, buried long under the desert sands, that people thriving around their sacred and profane – may us respect their dust and breaths – long dispersed on the winds may be commemorated and invoked by memory, the little ones and the great ones] The ancestors were invited to these divine services as guests of the Ruler of Heaven and as representatives of humanity in the higher regions. This uniting of the human past with the Divinity in solemn moments of religious inspiration established the bond between God and man. The ruler who revered the Divinity in revering his ancestors became thereby the Son of Heaven, in whom the heavenly and the earthly world met in mystical contact.These ideas are the final summation of Chinese culture. Confucius has said of the great sacrifice at which these rites were performed: “He who could wholly comprehend this sacrifice could rule the world as though it were spinning on his hand.” [for no will of rulership emerges, other than that of preserving the creative stream through devotion and loyalty to the emerging order in proportion and homage to the small and the great, self-lessly and profoundly, to perceive the world like a paternal and maternal Godhead is to establish the laws and intuitions how it is perceived by the Godhead and imitating it within a mortal life at the greatest of ones moments in silence and reverence, like the Sun with a patient primordial stare observes all toiling creatures, ‘rulership’ is bestowed, and withdrawn when this image of henosis collapses, thus they were Pharaohs that co-ruled with Horus by excellence, and these that were Pharaohs only by their name, there were Chinese Emperors that were truly the Sons of Heavens, and these who were such by title, or by inheritance]


Six at the beginning means:

Enthusiasm that expresses itself Brings misfortune.A man in an inferior position has aristocratic connections about which he boasts enthusiastically. This arrogance inevitably invites misfortune [for does he fulfill the nobility of these connections, or is it mere pride?]. Enthusiasm should never be an egotistic emotion; it is justified only when it is a general feeling that unites one with others [as in a great enterprise that is uniting and arousing to the best in men and women].

Six in the second place means:Firm as a rock. Not a whole day.Perseverance brings good fortune.This describes a person who does not allow himself to be misled by any illusions. While others are letting themselves be dazzled by enthusiasm, he recognizes with perfect clarity the first signs of the time. Thus he neither flatters those above nor neglects those beneath him; he is as firm as a rock. When the first sign of discord appears, he knows the right moment for withdrawing and does not delay even for a day. Perseverance in such conduct will bring good fortune. Confucius says about this line:“To know the seeds, that is divine indeed. In his association with those above him, the superior man does not flatter. In his association with those beneath him, he is not arrogant. For he knows the seeds. The seeds are the first imperceptible beginning of movement, the first trace of good fortune (or misfortune) that shows itself. The superior man perceives the seeds and immediately takes action [perceiving and penetrating the law of causation – co-arising – in context, predicting with foresight is wisdom oft confused with clairvoyance, no clairvoyance may replace such foresight, that penetrates into the things of the world with clarity and upon that relies the decisions, a clairvoyant is a man looking through a telescope upon the hill, a wise sage is a falcon flying above the hill, spotting the man looking through the telescope and all the other things around with even sharpness, and then pursuing the right course of flight]. He does not wait even a whole day. In the Book of Changes it is said: “Firm as a rock. Not a whole day. Perseverance brings good fortune.”Firm as a rock, what need of a whole day? The judgment can be known.The superior man knows what is hidden and what is evident.He knows weakness, he knows strength as well.Hence the myriads look up to him.”

Six in the third place means:Enthusiasm that looks upward creates remorse.Hesitation brings remorse.

This line is the opposite of the preceding one: the latter bespeaks self-reliance, while here there is enthusiastic looking up to a leader. If a man hesitates too long, this also will bring remorse. The right moment for approach must be seized: only then will he do the right thing.

Nine in the fourth place means:The source of enthusiasm.He achieves great things.Doubt not.You gather friends around you As a hair clasp gathers the hair.This describes a man who is able to awaken enthusiasm through his own sureness and freedom from hesitation [be cautious: sureness, certainty may be also based on wrong foundations, they mislead in equal measure to untrained eyes, then one follows not a wise sage, or a leader, but a petty person with too much confidence, one that is sure and certain should also question the extent of his ignorance, so that he may seek only what is irreproachable, strong and correct]. He attracts people because he has no doubts and is wholly sincere. Owing to his confidence in them he wins their enthusiastic cooperation and attains success. Just as a clasp draws the hair together and holds it, so he draws men together by the support he gives them.

Six in the fifth place means: Persistently ill, and still does not die.Here enthusiasm is obstructed. A man is under constant pressure, which prevents him from breathing freely. However, this pressure has its advantage—it prevents him from consuming his powers in empty enthusiasm. Thus constant pressure can actually serve to keep one alive [tension may also bring motivation to overcome oneself and preserve us in times of change]

Six at the top means:Deluded enthusiasm.But if after completion one changes,There is no blame.It is a bad thing for a man to let himself be deluded by enthusiasm. But if this delusion has run its course, and he is still capable of changing, he is freed of error. A sober awakening from false enthusiasm is quite possible and very favorable.

Ch’ien – Modesty


This hexagram is made up of the trigrams Kên, Keeping Still, mountain, and K’un. The mountain is the youngest son of the Creative, the representative of heaven on earth. It dispenses the blessings of heaven, the clouds and rain that gather round its summit, and thereafter shines forth radiant with heavenly light. This shows what modesty is and how it functions in great and strong men. K’un, the earth, stands above. Lowliness is a quality of the earth: this is the very reason why it appears in this hexagram as exalted, by being placed above the mountain. This shows how modesty functions in lowly, simple people: they are lifted up by it.


MODESTY creates success.The superior man carries things through [whether living through turmoil, or saddening times, one has a sense of purpose without inflation].It is the law of heaven to make fullness empty and to make full what is modest [modesty is the mean in-between fullness and emptiness, encompassing both as is justice – a regulative force]; when the sun is at its zenith, it must, according to the law of heaven, turn toward its setting, and at its nadir it rises toward a new dawn. In obedience to the same law, the moon when it is full begins to wane, and when empty of light it waxes again. This heavenly law works itself out in the fates of men also. It is the law of earth to alter the full and to contribute to the modest. High mountains are worn down by the waters, and the valleys are filled up. It is the law of fate to undermine what is full and to prosper the modest. And men also hate fullness and love the modest.The destinies of men are subject to immutable laws that must fulfill themselves. But man has it in his power to shape his fate, according as his behavior exposes him to the influence of benevolent or of destructive forces [trends and threads of his decisions, behavior, nature, and character, sew the threads of fate and fortune, even if misfortuned, one is holding still to his premises of character and molds himself, one is also not isolated from circumstances, or the threads and trends of other clusters of co-arising co-dependent webs of events put into motion, one may withstand them, or if in accord and of beneficience – further them in oneself, that is a question of discernment]. When a man holds a high position and is nevertheless modest, he shines with the light of wisdom; if he is in a lowly position and is modest, he cannot be passed by. Thus the superior man can carry out his work to the end without boasting of what he has achieved.


Within the earth, a mountain:The image of MODESTY.Thus the superior man reduces that which is too much, And augments that which is too little [detecting the flaws and good parts of his nature, he remedies and strenghtens accordingly, ties, and releases according to need].He weighs things and makes them equal. The wealth of the earth in which a mountain is hidden is not visible to the eye, because the depths are offset by the height of the mountain. Thus high and low complement each other, and the result is the plain. Here an effect that it took a long time to achieve, but that in the end seems easy of accomplishment and self-evident, is used as the image of modesty. The superior man does the same thing when he establishes order in the world; he equalizes the extremes that are the source of social discontent and thereby creates just and equable conditions [the equilibria of harmony and the means of achieving are found in the times at hand, one needs to recognize the times, and know them thoroughly and simply, without succumbing to them, one sets them against motion, movement and change of other ages, and then sees what is to be done].


Six at the beginning means: A superior man modest about his modesty [not a virtue inflated, not a vice deflated into delusion or ignorance] May cross the great water. Good fortune.A dangerous enterprise, such as the crossing of a great stream, is made much more difficult if many claims and considerations have to be taken into account. On the other hand, the task is easy if it is attended to quickly and simply. Therefore the unassuming attitude of mind that goes with modesty fits a man to accomplish even difficult undertakings: he imposes no demands or stipulations but settles matters easily and quickly [with no arrogance or disregard, one listens in-depth and solves quickly]. Where no claims are put forward, no resistances arise.

Six in the second place means:Modesty that comes to expression.Perseverance brings good fortune.

Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh.” When a man’s attitude of mind is so modest that this expresses itself in his outward behavior, it is a source of good fortune to him. For the possibility of exerting a lasting influence arises of itself, and no one can interfere.

Nine in the third place means:A superior man of modesty and merit Carries things to conclusion.Good fortune.This is the center of the hexagram, where its secret is disclosed. A distinguished name is readily earned by great achievements. If a man allows himself to be dazzled by fame, he will soon be criticized, and difficulties will arise. If, on the contrary, he remains modest despite his merit, he makes himself beloved and wins the support necessary for carrying his work through to the end.

Six in the fourth place means:Nothing that would not further modesty In movement.Everything has its proper measure. Even modesty in behavior can be carried too far. Here, however, it is appropriate, because the place between a worthy helper below and a kindly ruler above carries great responsibility. The confidence of the man in superior place must not be abused nor the merits of the man in inferior place concealed. There are officials who indeed do not strive for prominence; they hide behind the letter of the ordinances, decline all responsibility, accept pay without giving its equivalent in work, and bear empty titles. This is the opposite of what is meant here by modesty. In such a position, modesty is shown by interest in one’s work.

Six in the fifth place means:No boasting of wealth before one’s neighbor.It is favorable to attack with force.Nothing that would not further.Modesty is not to be confused with weak good nature that lets things take their own course [or meakness]. When a man holds a responsible position, he must at times resort to energetic measures. In doing so he must not try to make an impression by boasting of his superiority but must make certain of the people around him. The measures taken should be purely objective and in no way personally offensive. Thus modesty manifests itself even in severity.

Six at the top means:Modesty that comes to expression.It is favorable to set armies marching To chastise one’s own city and one’s country.A person who is really sincere in his modesty must make it show in reality. He must proceed with great energy in this. When enmity arises nothing is easier than to lay the blame on another. A weak man takes offense perhaps, and draws back, feeling self-pity; he thinks that it is modesty that keeps him from defending himself. Genuine modesty sets one to creating order and inspires one to begin by disciplining one’s own ego and one’s immediate circle. Only through having the courage to marshal one’s armies against oneself, will something forceful really be achieved [the inner strenght of using one’s force, integrity to chastise oneself in time, before things get spoiled, or put oneself into line of one’s foundations]

Ta Yu – Possession in Great Measure


The fire in heaven above shines far, and all things stand out in the light and become manifest. The weak fifth line occupies the place of honor, and all the strong lines are in accord with it. All things come to the man who is modest and kind in a high position.


POSSESSION IN GREAT MEASURE.Supreme success.The two trigrams indicate that strength and clarity unite. Possession in great measure is determined by fate and accords with the time. How is it possible that the weak line has power to hold the strong lines fast and to possess them? It is done by virtue of unselfish modesty. The time is favorable—a time of strength within, clarity and culture without. Power is expressing itself in a graceful and controlled way. This brings supreme success and wealth.


Fire in heaven above:The image of POSSESSION IN GREAT

MEASURE.Thus the superior man curbs evil [most important – contains it within and destroys its seeds, amelioriating its effect and lessening its grip, or freeing oneself from it] and furthers good,And thereby obeys the benevolent will of heaven.The sun in heaven above, shedding light over everything on earth, is the image of possession on a grand scale. But a possession of this sort must be administered properly. The sun brings both evil and good into the light of day. Man must combat and curb the evil, and must favor and promote the good. Only in this way does he fulfill the benevolent will of God, who desires only good and not evil.


Nine at the beginning means:No relationship with what is harmful;There is no blame in this [everything in moderation, nothing in excess, sometimes one needs to guard himself through extraordinary means, the armor of antidotes is worn at all times around the mind and heart, but it should not grow stiff, it is after all a swift defense, not a miserably defended position, otherwise it becomes a poison itself].If one remains conscious of difficulty,One remains without blame.Great possession [and possession and master over one’s mind, nature and heart is that which shapes, molds, forges and rectifies the spirit] that is still in its beginnings and that has not yet been challenged brings no blame, since there has been no opportunity to make mistakes. Yet there are many difficulties to be overcome. It is only by remaining conscious of these difficulties that one can keep inwardly free of possible arrogance and wastefulness, and thus in principle overcome all cause for blame.

Nine in the second place means:A big wagon for loading.One may undertake something.No blame.Great possession consists not only in the quantity of goods at one’s disposal, but, first and foremost, in their mobility and utility, for then they can be used in undertakings, and we remain free of embarrassment and mistakes. The big wagon, which will carry a heavy load and in which one can journey far, means that there are at hand able helpers who give their support and are equal to their task. One can load great responsibility upon such persons, and this is necessary in important undertakings.

Nine in the third place means:A prince offers it to the Son of Heaven.A petty man cannot do this.A magnanimous, liberal-minded man should not regard what he possesses as his exclusive personal property, but should place it at the disposal of the ruler or of the people at large. In so doing, he takes the right attitude toward his possession, which as private property can never endure. A petty man is incapable of this. He is harmed by great possessions, because instead of sacrificing them, he would keep them for himself.

Nine in the fourth place means:He makes a difference Between himself and his neighbor.No blame.This characterizes the position of a man placed among rich and powerful neighbors. It is a dangerous position. He must look neither to the right nor to the left, and must shun envy and the temptation to vie with others. In this way he remains free of mistakes. [if one perceives it with envy or temptation, then let him think: if I ruin my composure and inner strenght to gain, or to poison myself with the possessions of others, of what use would the possession be, if I would lose everything of inner worth?]

Six in the fifth place means:He whose truth is accessible, yet dignified, Has good fortune.The situation is very favorable. People are being won not by coercion but by unaffected sincerity, so that they are attached to us in sincerity and truth. However, benevolence alone is not sufficient at the time of POSSESSION IN GREAT MEASURE. For insolence might begin to spread [that also relates to us, when being showered with benevolence, we may not allow ourselves to grow insolent, or arrogant, as if shaking a boat on which we are rowing down the river, it is overturned and we fall into the water, if we lose sense, or believe that the boat will last forever, and thus by lacking proportion, it becomes lose and chaotic, after a while our discernment collapses like a tower bringing disaster]. Insolence must be kept in bounds by dignity; then good fortune is assured.

Nine at the top means:He is blessed by heaven.Good fortune.Nothing that does not further.

In the fullness of possession and at the height of power, one remains modest and gives honor to the sage who stands outside the affairs of the world. By this means one puts oneself under the beneficent influence descending from heaven, and all goes well. Confucius says of this line:“To bless means to help. Heaven helps the man who is devoted; men help the man who is true. He who walks in truth and is devoted in his thinking, and furthermore reveres the worthy, is blessed by heaven. He has good fortune, and there is nothing that would not further.”


T’ung Jen – Fellowship with Men


The image of the upper trigram Ch’ien is heaven, and that of the lower, Li, is flame. It is the nature of fire to flame up to heaven. This gives the idea of fellowship. It is the second line that, by virtue of its central character, unites the five strong lines around it. This hexagram forms a complement to Shih, THE ARMY (7). In the latter, danger is within and obedience without—the character of a warlike army, which, in order to hold together, needs one strong man among the many who are weak. Here, clarity is within and strength without—the character of a peaceful union of men, which, in order to hold together, needs one yielding nature among many firm persons [thus the association of free, strong people].


FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN in the open.Success.It furthers one to cross the great water.The perseverance of the superior man furthers.True fellowship among men must be based upon a concern that is universal [paternal and maternal mind towards the open enterprises that encompass everything with a falcon’s sight]. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men [in this case they fall apart as personal interests collide, or co-operation ceases when the concern is no longer relevant, it is a community of interests rather then committed concerns for the benefit of the whole] but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails, even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a persevering and enlightened leader is needed—a man with clear, convincing, and inspiring aims and the strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram means clarity; the outer, strength.)


Heaven together with fire:The image of FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN.Thus the superior man organizes the clans And makes distinctions between things.Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere mingling of individuals or of things—that would be chaos, not fellowship. If fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organization within diversity.


Nine at the beginning means:Fellowship with men at the gate.No blame.The beginning of union among people should take place before the door. All are equally close to one another. No divergent aims have yet arisen, and one makes no mistakes. The basic principles of any kind of union must be equally accessible to all concerned [openess and trust, foundations are well laid and understood]. Secret agreements bring misfortune.

Six in the second place means:Fellowship with men in the clan.Humiliation.There is danger here of formation of a separate faction on the basis of personal and egotistic interests. Such factions, which are exclusive and, instead of welcoming all men, must condemn one group in order to unite the others, originate from low motives [promotion of one over other in factionialism leads to splinters, the structure, is aiming at elevating one’s own over the rest, and therefore encounters resistance and promotes conflict within – on inter-factional strife basis, and to the outer]  and therefore lead in the course of time to humiliation.

Nine in the third place means:He hides weapons in the thicket;He climbs the high hill in front of it.For three years he does not rise up.Here fellowship has changed about to mistrust. Each man distrusts the other, plans a secret ambush, and seeks to spy on his fellow from afar [the mistrust and suspicion is so strong that even our close fellows seem to be as enemies, mutual mistrust inflates the suspicion and corrodes the fellowship and organic society from within, acts of espionage are common, although they rarely bring information, they fuel mutual mistrust, and are a spark of conflict, feuds and warrying, when the government mistrusts it’s own people it’s foundations are wrong, so that the people may rebel against it, or start to commit crimes and abuse the whole organic structure – it is a common simple thread that is named at its basis and requires no further explanation –  when the people mistrust their own government it is baseless]. We are dealing with an obstinate opponent whom we cannot come at by this method. Obstacles standing in the way of fellowship with others are shown here. One has mental reservations for one’s own part and seeks to take his opponent by surprise. This very fact makes one mistrustful, suspecting the same wiles in his opponent and trying to ferret them out [mutual distrust propels into mutual paranoia]. The result is that one departs further and further from true fellowship. The longer this goes on, the more alienated one becomes.

Nine in the fourth place means:He climbs up on his wall; he cannot attack.Good fortune.Here the reconciliation that follows quarrel moves nearer. It is true that there are still dividing walls on which we stand confronting one another. But the difficulties are too great. We get into straits, and this brings us to our senses. We cannot fight, and therein lies our good fortune.

Nine in the fifth place means:Men bound in fellowship first weep and lament,But afterward they laugh.After great struggles they succeed in meeting.Two people are outwardly separated, but in their hearts they are united. They are kept apart by their positions in life. Many difficulties and obstructions arise between them and cause them grief. But, remaining true to each other, they allow nothing to separate them, and although it costs them a severe struggle to overcome the obstacles, they will succeed. When they come together their sadness will change to joy. [work separately, commit, after a while like-minded people with good fates may meet] Confucius says of this:“Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.

But when two people are at one in their inmost hearts,They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze [inasmuch as Eros amongst male and female is the most titanic creation of Gods, and it’s thread is unvanquishable across the stars, Comitas, or friendship is a steel-like thread].And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts, Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.”

Nine at the top means:Fellowship with men in the meadow.No remorse.The warm attachment that springs from the heart is lacking here. We are by this time actually outside of fellowship with others. However, we ally ourselves with them. The fellowship does not include all, but only those who happen to dwell near one another. The meadow is the pasture at the entrance to the town. At this stage, the ultimate goal of the union of mankind has not yet been attained, but we need not reproach ourselves. We join the community without separate aims of our own.

P’i – Standstill (Stagnation)


This hexagram is the opposite of the preceding one. Heaven is above, drawing farther and farther away, while the earth below sinks farther into the depths. The creative powers are not in relation. It is a time of standstill and decline. This hexagram is linked with the seventh month (August–September), when the year has passed its zenith and autumnal decay is setting in.



STANDSTILL. Evil people do not further. The perseverance of the superior man.The great departs; the small approaches.Heaven and earth are out of communion and all things are benumbed [thus disharmony is on the onset]. What is above has no relation to what is below, and on earth confusion and disorder prevail [the fundamental link between human worlds and heavens is weak – or in some cases -overtaken and thieved creating “fake heavens” that have no relation to the above, but spoil the below through deception and illusion]. The dark power is within, the light power is without. Weakness is within, harshness without. Within are the inferior, and without are the superior. The way of inferior people is in ascent; the way of superior people is on the decline. But the superior people do not allow themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their principles and withdraw into seclusion.

All philosophy and theology is an activity of a human being. Yu (the Way) is rendering the tao upon the life (Ming), the vehicles and techniques are diverse.


Heaven and earth do not unite:The image of STANDSTILL.

Thus the superior man falls back upon his inner worth. In order to escape the difficulties.He does not permit himself to be honored with revenue [least he would exchange his inner worth for abstracted subjects of human inferior desires].When, owing to the influence of inferior men, mutual mistrust prevails in public life, fruitful activity is rendered impossible, because the fundaments are wrong [in essence, all activity would be compromised, corrupted and losing foundations, even the best of activities might turn to poison, their benevolent effect reverted and turned to the bad]. Therefore the superior man knows what he must do under such circumstances; he does not allow himself to be tempted by dazzling offers to take part in public activities. This would only expose him to danger, since he cannot assent to the meanness of the others [and thus does not compromise his ways, in effect becoming an enemy, and then turning to the bad himself, outrun, outmanned and outgunned by these who oppose, these who contest, these who undermine, these who betray, these who undecided join the opponennts, quickly becoming exposed and humiliated, losing all inner composure and worth, and losing the support of these who are of worth, these who were loyal, these who no longer want to associate, or if strong enough – withdrawing disgraced and humiliated]. He therefore hides his worth and withdraws into seclusion [if such seclusion may be afforded, in ancient times one had the company of spirits and devotion to Heavens, in modern times one may be exposed by various cartels, groups, syndicates, censored, ruined, humiliated, mocked, made into an exhibition, a freak-show, it is of extreme importance to ignore such influences and return to the old principle – devotion to the Creative Heavens, and affiliates and friends from the spirit world]

Six at the beginning means:When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.Each according to his kind.Perseverance brings good fortune and success.The text is almost the same as that of the first line of the preceding hexagram, but with a contrary meaning. In the latter a man is drawing another along with him on the road to an official career; here a man is drawing another with him into retirement from public life. This is why the text says here, “Perseverance brings good fortune and success,” and not “Undertakings bring good fortune.” If it becomes impossible to make our influence count, it is only by retirement that we spare ourselves humiliation. Success in a higher sense can be ours, because we know how to safeguard the value of our personalities [and thus astuteness in secluded wisdom when one predicts the spoiling of things, and thus strategically decides to withdraw is of more worth than plunging ahead oneself and others into darkness, decisions at the throne of our heart done in silence and contemplation are not invisible to the Creative].

Six in the second place means:They bear and endure;This means good fortune for inferior people [when an underdog but of worth, stay strong and persevere, the ones who endure misfortunes make a stronger spirit that if directed properly shape themselves into resolute steel and focus, attempting to incorporate the virtues and ideas].The standstill serves to help the great man to attain success. [when amongst elites you see mere inferiors, unworthy of trust or abandoning the secluded way, stay away from them] Inferior people are ready to flatter their superiors in a servile way [as an inferior, hide your inner worth and truth in times of rule of the inferior, never flatter anyone, as a superior do not allow anyone to flatter you, evident inner worth should be spoken of as little as possible, likewise one should never boast of anything, it is an inflated principle]. They would also endure the superior man if he would put an end to their confusion. This is fortunate for them. But the great man calmly bears the consequences of the standstill [fortitude combined with guarding ones words, one may suffer in silence, but that forges character, one words begin to flow, they turn into evil and hurt, if not checked, soon arrogance develops and one invites scorn and contempt, it is better to be patient and full of restraint, contemplating the signs, “right thought, right speech, right action” one preceding the other, defaulted against virtues developed by the light of reason, solved within and judged as good]. He does not mingle with the crowd of the inferior; that is not his place. By his willingness to suffer personally he insures the success of his fundamental principles [one should not disperse pain within by wrong associations, or scatter it through foolish action, but contain it and reshape it, change the energy of it into renewal, re-center oneself, and as a phoenix-like energy illumine the within, if it is directed outward it may turn despotic, sadistic, or domineering]

Six in the third place means:They bear shame.Inferior people who have risen to power illegitimately do not feel equal to the responsibility they have taken upon themselves. In their hearts they begin to be ashamed, although at first they do not show it outwardly. This marks a turn for the better.

Nine in the fourth place means:He who acts at the command of the highest. Remains without blame.Those of like mind partake of the blessing.The time of standstill is nearing the point of change into its opposite. Whoever wishes to restore order must feel himself called to the task and have the necessary authority [these who do not, should refrain from doing so, otherwise they will collapse in hesitant digression, and lose the impulse for action, strong foundations build a creative impulse if the purpose is well-defined and fixed, yet it is also open-minded and sublime, relying on strong nature, otherwise one erects “castles in clouds” and tries to take a leap – before he realizes he lacks the impetus, the castles fall from clouds into ruin]. A man who sets himself up as capable of creating order according to his own judgment could make mistakes and end in failure [it would be his personal flawed projection, supported by a vision similar to that of a maniac in pursuit of permeating his deformed will]. But the man who is truly called to the task is favored by the conditions of the time, and all those of like mind will share in his blessing.

Nine in the fifth place means: Standstill is giving way.Good fortune for the great man.

What if it should fail, what if it should fail?” In this way he ties it to a cluster of mulberry shoots.The time undergoes a change. The right man, able to restore order, has arrived. Hence “Good fortune.” But such periods of transition are the very times in which we must fear and tremble. Success is assured only through greatest caution, which asks always, “What if it should fail?” When a mulberry bush is cut down, a number of unusually strong shoots sprout from the roots. Hence the image of tying something to a cluster of mulberry shoots is used to symbolize the way of making success certain. Confucius says about this line: “Danger arises when a man feels secure in his position [likewise in the mind, too much stiffness may give rise to delusion, ignorance, arrogance, to little self-worth and certainty brings irresolute dispersion of one’s character and nature, both should be regulated and checked] . Destruction threatens when a man seeks to preserve his worldly estate. Confusion develops when a man has put everything in order. Therefore the superior man does not forget danger in his security, nor ruin when he is well established, nor confusion when his affairs are in order [having the opposite in mind, one prepares oneself for the other, former position, developing both]. In this way he gains personal safety and is able to protect the empire.”

Nine at the top means:The standstill comes to an end. First standstill, then good fortune.The standstill does not last forever. However, it does not cease of its own accord; the right man is needed to end it. This is the difference between a state of peace and a state of stagnation. Continuous effort is necessary to maintain peace: left to itself it would change into stagnation and disintegration. The time of disintegration, however, does not change back automatically to a condition of peace and prosperity; effort must be put forth in order to end it. This shows the creative attitude that man must take if the world is to be put in order.


Tai – Peace



The Receptive, which moves downward, stands above; the Creative, which moves upward, is below. Hence their influences meet and are in harmony, so that all living things bloom and prosper. This hexagram belongs to the first month (February–March), at which time the forces of nature prepare the new spring.


PEACE. The small departs,The great approaches.Good fortune. Success.This hexagram denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth. Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth, and so their powers unite in deep harmony [as if – major supportive and nourishing element that is giving the creative force to bloom]. Then peace and blessing descend upon all living things.In the world of man it is a time of social harmony; those in high places show favor to the lowly, and the lowly and inferior in their turn are well disposed toward the highly placed. There is an end to all feuds.Inside, at the center, in the key position, is the light principle; the dark principle is outside [and has no possibility of encroaching the light element]. Thus the light has a powerful influence, while the dark is submissive. In this way each receives its due. When the good elements of society occupy a central position and are in control, the evil elements come under their influence and change for the better. When the spirit of heaven rules in man, his animal nature also comes under its influence and takes its appropriate place [Hsing – or the resonation of his self-reflecting nature of life – Ming crystallizes in a rounding appropriate to his or hers being] .The individual lines enter the hexagram from below and leave it again at the top. Here the small, weak, and evil elements are about to take their departure, while the great, strong, and good elements are moving up. This brings good fortune and success.


Heaven and earth unite: the image of PEACE. Thus the ruler Divides and completes the course of heaven and earth;He furthers and regulates the gifts of heaven and earth,And so aids the people [distributing and regulating in a wise manner].Heaven and earth are in contact and combine their influences, producing a time of universal flowering and prosperity. This stream of energy must be regulated by the ruler of men. It is done by a process of division. Thus men divide the uniform flow of time into the seasons, according to the succession of natural phenomena, and mark off infinite space by the points of the compass. In this way nature in its overwhelming profusion of phenomena is bounded and controlled [the measuring of simple patterns and deciding on the point of reference in simplicity makes profound order]. On the other hand, nature must be furthered in her productiveness. This is done by adjusting the products to the right time and the right place, which increases the natural yield. This controlling and furthering activity of man in his relation to nature is the work on nature that rewards him.


Nine at the beginning means:When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.Each according to his kind.Undertakings bring good fortune.In times of prosperity every able man called to fill an office draws like-minded people along with him, just as in pulling up ribbon grass one always pulls up a bunch of it, because the stalks are connected by their roots. In such times, when it is possible to extend influence widely, the mind of an able man is set upon going out into life and accomplishing something.

Nine in the second place means:Bearing with the uncultured in gentleness,Fording the river with resolution,Not neglecting what is distant [the doctrine of “simultaneous engagement” as in Buddhist meditation – one simultaneously meditates on emptiness of all phenomena and engages in activity” – likewise “one holds the greater picture, the illusion of phenomena, the changes, the reference and thus acts, or stills”] Not regarding one’s companions:Thus one may manage to walk in the middle.In times of prosperity it is important above all to possess enough greatness of soul to bear with imperfect people. For in the hands of a great master no material is unproductive; he can find use for everything. But this generosity is by no means laxity or weakness. It is during times of prosperity especially that we must always be ready to risk even dangerous undertakings, such as the crossing of a river, if they are necessary. So too we must not neglect what is distant but must attend scrupulously to everything. Factionalism and the dominance of cliques are especially to be avoided. Even if people of like mind come forward together, they ought not to form a faction by holding together for mutual advantage; instead, each man should do his duty [least they start to abuse their advantage over other people]. These are four ways in which one can overcome the hidden danger of a gradual slackening that always lurks in any time of peace. And that is how one finds the middle way for action.

Nine in the third place means:No plain not followed by a slope.No going not followed by a return.He who remains persevering in danger Is without blame.Do not complain about this truth;Enjoy the good fortune you still possess.Everything on earth is subject to change. Prosperity is followed by decline: this is the eternal law on earth. Evil can indeed be held in check but not permanently abolished. It always returns. This conviction might induce melancholy, but it should not; it ought only to keep us from falling into illusion when good fortune comes to us. If we continue mindful of the danger, we remain persevering and make no mistakes. As long as a man’s inner nature remains stronger and richer than anything offered by external fortune, as long as he remains inwardly superior to fate, fortune will not desert him.

Six in the fourth place means:

He flutters down, not boasting of his wealth,Together with his neighbor,Guileless and sincere.In times of mutual confidence, people of high rank come in close contact with the lowly quite simply and without boasting of their wealth [there is a thread of humaneness running through people high and low]. This is not due to the force of circumstances but corresponds with their inmost sentiment. The approach is made quite spontaneously, because it is based on inner conviction.

Six in the fifth place means:The sovereign I Gives his daughter in marriage.This brings blessing And supreme good fortune.The sovereign I is T’ang the Completer. By his decree the imperial princesses, although higher in rank than their husbands, had to obey them like all other wives. Here too we are shown a truly modest union of high and low that brings happiness and blessings.

Six at the top means:The wall falls back into the moat.Use no army now.Make your commands known within your own town.Perseverance brings humiliation.The change alluded to in the middle of the hexagram has begun to take place. The wall of the town sinks back into the moat from which it was dug. The hour of doom is at hand. When matters have come to this pass, we should submit to fate and not try to stave it off by violent resistance. The one recourse left us is to hold our own within our intimate circle. Should we persevere in trying to resist the evil in the usual way, our collapse would only be more complete, and humiliation would be the result.

Lü – Treading (Conduct)


The name of the hexagram means on the one hand the right way of conducting oneself. Heaven, the father, is above, and the lake, the youngest daughter, is below. This shows the difference between high and low, upon which composure, correct social conduct, depends [and as the social conduct relates in devotion to its structure, and also and most importantly by “continuous complementary encompassing” of many threads that relate both to the Creative having in mind Earth as the low and Starry Heavens as high, the foundations established for traditions, organization, or religion are merely approximations of observed, discovered, reasoned and matured proportion and a reflected mirroring through self-reflection deep within, and observing the world of events and phenomena without, and reforms indicated by change of the settings]. On the other hand, the word for the name of the hexagram, TREADING, means literally treading upon something. The small and cheerful [Tui] treads upon the large and strong [Ch’ien] [as the daughter is captured by the father climbing upon him and lifted up]. The direction of movement of the two primary trigrams is upward. The fact that the strong treads on the weak is not mentioned in the Book of Changes, because it is taken for granted. For the weak to take a stand against the strong is not dangerous here, because it happens in good humor [Tui] and without presumption, so that the strong man is not irritated but takes it all in good part.


TREADING. Treading upon the tail of the tiger.It does not bite the man. Success.The situation is really difficult. That which is strongest and that which is weakest are close together. The weak follows behind the strong and worries it. The strong, however, acquiesces and does not hurt the weak, because the contact is in good humor and harmless [in understanding].In terms of a human situation, one is handling wild, intractable people. In such a case one’s purpose will be achieved if one behaves with decorum. Pleasant manners succeed even with irritable people.


Heaven above, the lake below:The image of TREADING.Thus the superior man discriminates between high and low,And thereby fortifies the thinking of the people.Heaven and the lake show a difference of elevation that inheres in the natures of the two, hence no envy arises [order is taken as natural and each has his position due, no disparity arises, “classless societies breed classless people” – different author and “contempt and envy for superiority above mediocrity” – different author, what it inclines is also that if the elites are classless themselves, they are not mounted on social respect, and thus there are no better then their inferiors and oft much worse]. Among mankind also there are necessarily differences of elevation; it is impossible to bring about universal equality [differences in minds, hearts and natures are obvious in the world of nature, but that should not bring scorn nor contempt, or false pride and elevation, all should be accommodated and as in Confucian China – with changes afford mobility, forced equality is oft killing natures and characters, justice should be regularing fairness of distribution of rank]. But it is important that differences in social rank should not be arbitrary and unjust, for if this occurs, envy and class struggle are the inevitable consequences. If, on the other band, external differences in rank correspond with differences in inner worth, and if inner worth forms the criterion of external rank, people acquiesce and order reigns in society [such unison agreeability within and without furthers the feeling of parity and fairness].


Nine at the beginning means:Simple conduct. Progress without blame.The situation is one in which we are still not bound by any obligations of social intercourse. If our conduct is simple, we remain free of them. We can quietly follow our predilections as long as we are content and make no demands on people.The meaning of the hexagram is not standstill but progress. A man finds himself in an altogether inferior position at the start. However, he has the inner strength that guarantees progress. If he can be content with simplicity, he can make progress without blame. When a man is dissatisfied with modest circumstances, he is restless and ambitious and tries to advance, not for the sake of accomplishing anything worth while, but merely in order to escape from lowliness and poverty by dint of his conduct [thus chasing abstracts and attachments, trading his life for things unworthy, losing all composure, and blinding himself by hopeless agitation over things that are in their essence empty, or tying himself up in relations and contracts that are making him into a slave, a subject of someone else’s will]. Once his purpose is achieved, he is certain to become arrogant and luxury-loving. Therefore blame attaches to his progress. On the other hand, a man who is good at his work is content to behave simply. He wishes to make progress in order to accomplish something. When he attains his goal, he does something worthwhile, and all is well.Nine in the second place means:Treading a smooth, level course.

Resolute conduct.Perseverance with awareness of danger.This refers to the ruler of the hexagram as a whole. One sees that one has to be resolute in conduct. But at the same time one must remain conscious of the danger connected with such resoluteness, especially if it is to be persevered in [if resolutness becomes too stiff, one’s perseverance may be used against him by schemes, one should be also prudent and cautious]. Only awareness of the danger makes success possible.Nine at the top means:Look to your conduct and weigh the favorable signs.When everything is fulfilled, supreme good fortune comes.The work is ended. If we want to know whether good fortune will follow, we must look back upon our conduct and its consequences. If the effects are good, then good fortune is certain. No one knows himself [and that is true, that one may build an image of himself or herself, knowing the genii, but in sum – that is unknown, we receive and give away impressions to ourselves and to other people]. It is only by the consequences of his actions, by the fruit of his labors, that a man can judge what he is to expect.

Hsiao Chu (The Taming Power of the Small)


This hexagram means the force of the small—the power of the shadowy—that restrains, tames, impedes. A weak line in the fourth place, that of the minister, holds the five strong lines in check. In the Image it is the wind blowing across the sky. The wind restrains the clouds, the rising breath of the Creative, and makes them grow dense, but as yet is not strong enough to turn them to rain. The hexagram presents a configuration of circumstances in which a strong element is temporarily held in leash by a weak element [thus the small hindrances that are nevertheless of significance, and if too much attention is given to them they may turn our works to the wrong, when too little attention is given to them, we are not properly understanding their nature, and focus properly on a breakthrough]. It is only through gentleness that this can have a successful outcome [and harsh measures strenghen the opposition, in fact the hindrance is not becoming stronger, but we grow tense within with the hindrance as the subject of our focus too much].


Has success.Dense clouds, no rain from our western region.This image refers to the state of affairs in China at the time when King Wên, who came originally from the west, was in the east at the court of the reigning tyrant Chou Hsin. The moment for action on a large scale had not yet arrived. King Wên could only keep the tyrant somewhat in check by friendly persuasion. Hence the image of many clouds, promising moisture and blessing to the land, although as yet no rain falls. The situation is not unfavorable; there is a prospect of ultimate success, but there are still obstacles in the way, and we can merely take preparatory measures. Only through the small means of friendly persuasion can we exert any influence. The time has not yet come for sweeping measures. However, we may be able, to a limited extent, to act as a restraining and subduing influence [thus gently taming the tiger, threading upon its tail in humility]. To carry out our purpose we need firm determination within and gentleness and adaptability in external relations [thus proper discernment, assessment and judgment of the situation as it is with points of reference that are not overly static, but strong, at the same time malleable enough to suit the conditions in an accordant way – that is to be judged by wisdom, knowledge and experience that we possess to aid us in our decisions].


The wind drives across heaven:The image of THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL.Thus the superior manRefines the outward aspect of his nature [by relying on the inner, it shines out if the interior is strong, clear and splendid].The wind can indeed drive the clouds together in the sky; yet, being nothing but air, without solid body, it does not produce great or lasting effects. So also an individual, in times when he can produce no great effect in the outer world, can do nothing except refine the expression of his nature in small ways [and thus regulate it and guide it towards the best of his or hers abilities].


Nine at the beginning means:Return to the way.How could there be blame in this? [never freeze reality on wrongdoing and amend and ameliorate yourself, without guilt, without anyone but yourself commanding your correction, inasmuch as the aberration of the concept of a ‘sin’ polluted many minds, as well as ‘guilt’ that is a hidden thread of a virus running through some societies, it is enough to be responsible for one’s freedom, and guide oneself with good conduct, strenghtening it, erring may cross our way, if we have good sense, we shall correct ourself out of our own will] Good fortune.It lies in the nature of a strong man to press forward. In so doing he encounters obstructions. Therefore he returns to the way suited to his situation, where he is free to advance or to retreat. In the nature of things this will bring good fortune, for it is wise and reasonable not to try to obtain anything by force.

Nine in the second place means:He allows himself to be drawn into returning.Good fortune.One would like to press forward, but before going farther one sees from the example of others like oneself that this way is blocked [it is better to learn by observing the mistakes of others, rather then running into them oneself, however, one one commits a mistake, it is better memorized with proper discernment of the future possible events of similar kind]. In such a case, if the effort to push forward is not in harmony with the time, a reasonable and resolute man will not expose himself to a personal rebuff, but will retreat with others of like mind. This brings good fortune, because he does not needlessly jeopardize himself.

Nine in the third place means:The spokes burst out of the wagon wheels.Man and wife roll their eyes.Here an attempt is made to press forward forcibly, in the consciousness that the obstructing power is slight. But since, under the circumstances, power actually lies with the weak, this sudden offensive is doomed to failure. External conditions hinder the advance, just as loss of the wheel spokes stops the progress of a wagon. We do not yet heed this hint from fate, hence there are annoying arguments like those of a married couple [how often irrelevant things may absorb our focus, say if we contemplate the starry heavens, we are not pondering on a little quarrel, if we perceive the world image, we are not distracted by a material object, or something much lesser – it is a mere petty annoyance]. Naturally this is not a favorable state of things, for though the situation may enable the weaker side to hold its ground, the difficulties are too numerous to permit of a happy result. In consequence even the strong man cannot so use his power as to exert the right influence on those around him. He experiences a rebuff where he expected an easy victory, and he thus compromises his dignity.

Six in the fourth place means:If you are sincere, blood vanishes and fear gives way.No blame.If one is in the difficult and responsible position of counselor to a powerful man, one should restrain him in such a way that right may prevail [he is is oft directly responsible for his or hers decisions, thus the counsel needs to be well put]. Therein lies a danger so great that the threat of actual bloodshed may arise. Nonetheless, the power of disinterested truth is greater than all these obstacles. It carries such weight that the end is achieved, and all danger of bloodshed and all fear disappear.

Nine in the fifth place means:If you are sincere and loyally attached,You are rich in your neighbor.Loyalty leads to firm ties because it means that each partner complements the other. In the weaker person loyalty consists in devotion, in the stronger it consists in trustworthiness [all co-operation thus relies on trust and honest dealings]. This relation of mutual reinforcement leads to a true wealth that is all the more apparent because it is not selfishly hoarded but is shared with friends. Pleasure shared is pleasure doubled.

Nine at the top means:The rain comes, there is rest.

This is due to the lasting effect of character.Perseverance brings the woman into danger.The moon is nearly full.If the superior man persists,Misfortune comes.Success is at hand. The wind has driven up the rain. A fixed standpoint has been reached. This has come about through the accumulation of small effects produced by reverence for a superior character [and these threads of positive small effects lead to a knot of benevolent fortunes when the time ripens]. But a success thus secured bit by bit calls for great caution. It would be a dangerous illusion for anyone to think he could presume upon it [even thus, one my expect a sudden change of events, a turning point to the bad, or by chance – annuling all the good effects]. The female principle, the weak element that has won the victory, should never persist in vaunting it—that would lead to danger. The dark power in the moon is strongest when the moon is almost full. When it is full and directly opposite the sun, its waning is inevitable. Under such circumstances one must be content with what has been achieved. To advance any further, before the appropriate time has come, would lead to misfortune.


Pi – Holding Together (Union)


The waters on the surface of the earth flow together wherever they can, as for example in the ocean, where all the rivers come together. Symbolically this connotes holding together and the laws that regulate it. The same idea is suggested by the fact that all the lines of the hexagram except the fifth, the place of the ruler, are yielding. The yielding lines hold together because they are influenced by a man of strong will in the leading position, a man who is their center of union. Moreover, this strong and guiding personality in turn holds together with the others, finding in them the complement of his own nature [there is a thread that may be harnessed into the core of the leader, likewise gathering mental processes and their threads into a purpose and perseveranct sustainment].


HOLDING TOGETHER brings good fortune.Inquire of the oracle once againWhether you possess sublimity, constancy, and perseverance;Then there is no blame.Those who are uncertain gradually join [hesitant people need to consider the genuine nature of the enterprise, once they agree with it, their purpose is even stronger, because it is possessing clarity].Whoever comes too lateMeets with misfortune.What is required is that we unite with others, in order that all may complement and aid one another through holding together. But such holding together calls for a central figure around whom other persons may unite. To become a center of influence holding people together is a grave matter and fraught with great responsibility [if one does not retain composure, he makes the people fall on his head, the structure breaks]. It requires greatness of spirit, consistency, and strength. Therefore let him who wishes to gather others about him ask himself whether he is equal to the undertaking, for anyone attempting the task without a real calling for it only makes confusion worse than if no union at all had taken place [in essence if someone knows their competence, he acts, if he lacks grounds, he should not undertake such things, otherwise he’ll turn into a charlatan and lead people astray, it is better to develop in solitude for some characters, without the calling to teach or lead, much favors may be won in the former case is one knows his grounds, much damage may be done in the latter].But when there is a real rallying point, those who at first are hesitant or uncertain gradually come in of their own accord. Late-comers must suffer the consequences, for in holding together the question of the right time is also important. Relationships are formed and firmly established according to definite inner laws. Common experiences strengthen these ties, and he who comes too late to share in these basic experiences must suffer for it if, as a straggler, he finds the door locked.If a man has recognized the necessity for union and does not feel strong enough to function as the center, it is his duty to become a member of some other organic fellowship.

Dillon, J.M, Iamblich of Chalcis: Letters (Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta: 2009), p.20
Dillon, J.M, Iamblich of Chalcis: Letters (Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta: 2009), p.20


On the earth is water:The image of HOLDING TOGETHER.

Thus the kings of antiquityBestowed the different states as fiefsAnd cultivated friendly relationsWith the feudal lords.Water fills up all the empty places on the earth and clings fast to it. The social organization of ancient China was based on this principle of the holding together of dependents and rulers. Water flows to unite with water, because all parts of it are subject to the same laws. So too should human society hold together through a community of interests that allows each individual to feel himself a member of a whole [estranged and alienated communities break apart and move further away from each other until their ruin]. The central power of a social organization must see to it that every member finds that his true interest lies in holding together with it, as was the case in the paternal relationship between king and vassals in ancient China.


Six at the beginning means:Hold to him in truth and loyalty;This is without blame.

Truth, like a full earthen bowl:Thus in the endGood fortune comes from without.Fundamental sincerity is the only proper basis for forming relationships. This attitude, symbolized by a full earthen bowl, in which the content is everything and the empty form nothing, shows itself not in clever words but through the strength of what lies within the speaker [sincerity and honesty speaks through strenght stemming from possession of inner field and inner truth, whathever it may be]. This strength is so great that it has power to attract good fortune to itself from without.Six in the second place means:Hold to him inwardly.Perseverance brings good fortune.If a person responds perseveringly and in the right way to the behests from above that summon him to action, his relations with others are intrinsic and he does not lose himself. But if a man seeks association with others as if he were an obsequious office hunter, he throws himself away. He does not follow the path of the superior man, who never loses his dignity.

Six in the third place means:You hold together with the wrong people.We are often among people who do not belong to our own sphere. In that case we must beware of being drawn into false intimacy through force of habit. Needless to say, this would have evil consequences. Maintaining sociability without intimacy is the only right attitude toward such people, because otherwise we should not be free to enter into relationship with people of our own kind later on [one may talk with people of many walks of life, but with reserve, and guarding himself, as not to expose too much, it is better to question and listen, then to be questioned and heard] .

Six in the fourth place means: Hold to him outwardly also.Perseverance brings good fortune.Here the relations with a man who is the center of union are well established. Then we may, and indeed we should, show our attachment openly. But we must remain constant and not allow ourselves to be led astray.

Nine in the fifth place means:Manifestation of holding together.In the hunt the king uses beaters on three sides onlyAnd foregoes game that runs off in front.The citizens need no warning.Good fortune.In the royal hunts of ancient China it was customary to drive up the game from three sides, but on the fourth the animals had a chance to run off. If they failed to do this they had to pass through a gate behind which the king stood ready to shoot. Only animals that entered here were shot; those that ran off in front were permitted to escape. This custom accorded with a kingly attitude; the royal hunter did not wish to turn the chase into a slaughter, but held that the kill should consist only of those animals which had so to speak voluntarily exposed themselves.There is depicted here a ruler, or influential man, to whom people are attracted. Those who come to him he accepts, those who do not come are allowed to go their own way. He invites none, flatters none—all come of their own free will. In this way there develops a voluntary dependence among those who hold to him. They do not have to be constantly on their guard but may express their opinions openly. Police measures are not necessary, and they cleave to their ruler of their own volition. The same principle of freedom is valid for life in general. We should not woo favor from people. If a man cultivates within himself the purity and the strength that are necessary for one who is the center of a fellowship, those who are meant for him come of their own accord.

Six at the top means:He finds no head for holding together.Misfortune.The head is the beginning. If the beginning is not right, there is no hope of a right ending. If we have missed the right moment for union and go on hesitating to give complete and full devotion, we shall regret the error when it is too late. [If the thoughts, actions, words are in disarray, and not gathered as one, as in madness, or lack of responsibility, or ignorance, and they do not act in concord and are not transparent with one’s clarity and intention they are a seed of a disaster, they open threads that brings about great misfortune, scorn, disloyalty, mockery and humiliation]


Shih – The Army


This hexagram is made up of the trigrams K’an, water, and K’un, earth, and thus it symbolizes the ground water stored up in the earth. In the same way military strength is stored up in the mass of the people—invisible in times of peace but always ready for use as a source of power. The attributes of the two trigrams are danger inside and obedience outside. This points to the nature of an army, which at the core is dangerous, while discipline and obedience must prevail outside.Of the individual lines, the one that controls the hexagram is the strong nine in the second place, to which the other lines, all yielding, are subordinate. This line indicates a commander, because it stands in the middle of one of the two trigrams. But since it is in the lower rather than the upper trigram, it represents not the ruler but the efficient general, who maintains obedience in the army by his authority [the authority stems from the loyalty of the soldiers, and transparent dealings in wise commands, a Roman General was saluted to as representing the pride of the Sun, thus his soldiers saluted by covering their eyes, as if outshined by the commanding authority, his efficiency relies on Fingerspitzengefühl, awareness of everything in the battlefield at the tip of the fingers, we may relate this to commanding oneself, or the army within, also – a spiritual battlefield of hearts and minds within and without].


THE ARMY. The army needs perseveranceAnd a strong man.Good fortune without blame.An army is a mass that needs organization in order to become a fighting force. Without strict discipline nothing can be accomplished, but this discipline must not be achieved by force. It requires a strong man who captures the hearts of the people and awakens their enthusiasm. In order that he may develop his abilities he needs the complete confidence of his ruler, who must entrust him with full responsibility as long as the war lasts. But war is always a dangerous thing and brings with it destruction and devastation. Therefore it should not be resorted to rashly but, like a poisonous drug, should be used as a last recourse.The justifying cause of a war, and clear and intelligible war aims, ought to be explained to the people by an experienced leader. Unless there is a quite definite war aim to which the people can consciously pledge themselves, the unity and strength of conviction that lead to victory will not be forthcoming [it will prolong it endlessly, when the generals and the rulers lose touch with the people, they are fighting their own wars, with great damage to the populace]. But the leader must also look to it that the passion of war and the delirium of victory [similar to ambition, bloodlust, or enthusiasm turned into a mania of pride, in which there is an overinflated power principle that starts to claim too much of the spoils for itself] do not give rise to unjust acts that will not meet with general approval. If justice and perseverance are the basis of action, all goes well [patience and compusure, integrity are key motifs here]


In the middle of the earth is water:The image of THE ARMY.

Thus the superior man increases his massesBy generosity toward the people.Ground water is invisibly present within the earth. In the same way the military power of a people is invisibly present in the masses. When danger threatens, every peasant becomes a soldier; when the war ends, he goes back to his plow. He who is generous toward the people wins their love, and a people living under a mild rule becomes strong and powerful. Only a people economically strong can be important in military power. Such power must therefore be cultivated by improving the economic condition of the people and by humane government. Only when there is this invisible bond between government and people, so that the people are sheltered by their government as ground water is sheltered by the earth, is it possible to wage a victorious war.


Six at the beginning means:An army must set forth in proper order.If the order is not good, misfortune threatens.At the beginning of a military enterprise, order is imperative. A just and valid cause must exist, and the obedience and coordination of the troops must be well organized, otherwise the result is inevitably failure.

Nine in the second place means:In the midst of the army.Good fortune. No blame.The king bestows a triple decoration.The leader should be in the midst of his army, in touch with it, sharing good and bad with the masses he leads. This alone makes him equal to the heavy demands made upon him. He needs also the recognition of the ruler. The decorations he receives are justified, because there is no question of personal preferment here: the whole army, whose center he is, is honored in his person [the forefront is a representative, as if a leader encompasses all that he or she leads].

Six in the third place means:Perchance the army carries corpses in the wagon.Misfortune.Here we have a choice of two explanations. One points to defeat because someone other than the chosen leader interferes with the command; the other is similar in its general meaning, but the expression, “carries corpses in the wagon,” is interpreted differently. At burials and at sacrifices to the dead it was customary in China for the deceased to whom the sacrifice was made to be represented by a boy of the family, who sat in the dead man’s place and was honored as his representative. On the basis of this custom the text is interpreted as meaning that a “corpse boy” is sitting in the wagon, or, in other words, that authority is not being exercised by the proper leaders but has been usurped by others. Perhaps the whole difficulty clears up if it is inferred that there has been an error in copying. The character fan, meaning “all,” may have been misread as shih, which means “corpse.” Allowing for this error, the meaning would be that if the multitude assumes leadership of the army (rides in the wagon), misfortune will ensue [an order is splintered, and partisan interests develop into chaotic movements].

Six in the fourth place means:The army retreats. No blame.In face of a superior enemy, with whom it would be hopeless to engage in battle, an orderly retreat is the only correct procedure, because it will save the army from defeat and disintegration. It is by no means a sign of courage or strength to insist upon engaging in a hopeless struggle regardless of circumstances.

Six in the fifth place means:There is game in the field

It furthers one to catch it.Without blame.Let the eldest lead the army.The younger transports corpses;Then perseverance brings misfortune.Game is in the field—it has left its usual haunts in the forest and is devastating the fields. This points to an enemy invasion. Energetic combat and punishment are here thoroughly justified, but they must not degenerate into a wild melee in which everyone fends for himself. Despite the greatest degree of perseverance and bravery, this would lead to misfortune. The army must be directed by an experienced leader. It is a matter of waging war, not of permitting the mob to slaughter all who fall into their hands; if they do, defeat will be the result, and despite all perseverance there is danger of misfortune.

Six at the top means:The great prince issues commands,Founds states, vests families with fiefs.Inferior people should not be employed.The war has ended successfully, victory is won, and the king divides estates and fiefs among his faithful vassals. But it is important that inferior people should not come into power. If they have helped, let them be paid off with money, but they should not be awarded lands or the privileges of rulers, lest power be abused.

S’ung – Conflict


The upper trigram, whose image is heaven, has an upward movement; the lower trigram, water, in accordance with its nature, tends downward. Thus the two halves move away from each other, giving rise to the idea of conflict.The attribute of the Creative is strength, that of the Abysmal is danger, guile [strong man and woman of the creative are threading on the verge of the chasm, they should be watchful]. Where cunning has force before it, there is conflict.A third indication of conflict, in terms of character, is presented by the combination of deep cunning within and fixed determination outwardly [the net-weavers of illusions force a discordant way through]. A person of this character will certainly be quarrelsome [inward determination and understanding intricacies in such a way gives rise to tranquility and strength].


CONFLICT. You are sincereAnd are being obstructed.A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune [better stop without ambition, and sacrifice the impulse, or contain it and let it mature].Going through to the end brings misfortune.It furthers one to see the great man [when not amongst men, or not finding someone of parity to advise, but in solitude, the superior is a Deity, the mean is oracular, meditation, invocation, it requires intelligence and experience to discern and command oneself aright].It does not further one to cross the great water.

Conflict develops when one feels himself to be in the right and runs into opposition. If one is not convinced of being in the right, opposition leads to craftiness or high-handed encroachment but not to open conflict.If a man is entangled in a conflict, his only salvation lies in being so clear-headed and inwardly strong that he is always ready to come to terms by meeting the opponent halfway [in other words the movements of the opponent needs to be predicted before they happen, and we need to be prepared beforehand for eventualities]. To carry on the conflict to the bitter end has evil effects even when one is in the right, because the enmity is then perpetuated [like in argument, ‘proving someone right’ leads to open antagonism, people have their cherished beliefs which are the foundations of their livelihood, contradicting them, one provokes enmity, let us remember not be dragged into a conflict of arguments or belief-systems even when they encroach upon our own, otherwise we will lose our open-mindedness and sublimity and become coarse hardliners in the long-term, amongst civilized people, civilized conversation is possible, otherwise it is a waste of time]. It is important to see the great man, that is, an impartial man whose authority is great enough to terminate the conflict amicably or assure a just decision [the mediator which out of charismatic authority and status is capable of justly ending the conflict]. In times of strife, crossing the great water is to be avoided, that is, dangerous enterprises are not to be begun, because in order to be successful they require concerted unity of forces. Conflict within weakens the power to conquer danger without.


Heaven and water go their opposite ways:

The image of CONFLICT.

Thus in all his transactions the superior manCarefully considers the beginning.The image indicates that the causes of conflict are latent in the opposing tendencies of the two trigrams. Once these opposing tendencies appear, conflict is inevitable. To avoid it, therefore, everything must be taken carefully into consideration in the very beginning. If rights and duties are exactly defined, or if, in a group, the spiritual trends of the individuals harmonize [if everything is in order, the conflict is resolved], the cause of conflict is removed in advance.



Six at the beginning means:If one does not perpetuate the affair,There is a little gossip.In the end, good fortune comes.While a conflict is in the incipient stage, the best thing to do is to drop the issue. Especially when the adversary is stronger, it is not advisable to risk pushing the conflict to a decision. It may come to a slight dispute, but in the end all goes well.

Nine in the second place means:

One cannot engage in conflict;One returns home, gives way.The people of his town,Three hundred households,Remain free of guilt.In a struggle with an enemy of superior strength, retreat is no disgrace. Timely withdrawal prevents bad consequences. If, out of a false sense of honor, a man allowed himself to be tempted into an unequal conflict, he would be drawing down disaster upon himself. In such a case a wise and conciliatory attitude benefits the whole community, which will then not be drawn into the conflict.Six in the third place means:To nourish oneself on ancient virtue induces perseverance.Danger. In the end, good fortune comes.If by chance you are in the service of a king,Seek not works.This is a warning of the danger that goes with an expansive disposition. Only that which has been honestly acquired through merit remains a permanent possession [omnia mea mecum porto, all acquired in honesty is your own, everything superficial comes and goes on its own]. It can happen that such a possession may be contested, but since it is really one’s own, one cannot be robbed of it. Whatever a man possesses through the strength of his own nature cannot be lost [it remains in his or hers nature]. If one enters the service of a superior, one can avoid conflict only by not seeking works for the sake of prestige. It is enough if the work is done: let the honor go to the other [one should let his or hers works be done, without vain expectations of self-gratification or rewards] .Nine in the fourth place means:One cannot engage in conflict.One turns back and submits to fate,Changes one’s attitude,And finds peace in perseverance.Good fortune.

This refers to a person whose inner attitude at first lacks peace. He does not feel content with his situation and would like to improve it through conflict. In contrast to the situation of the nine in the second place, he is dealing with a weaker opponent and might therefore succeed. But he cannot carry on the fight, because, since right is not on his side, he cannot justify the conflict to his conscience. Therefore he turns back and accepts his fate. He changes his mind and finds lasting peace in being at one with eternal law [self-correction, self-amendment, commanding oneself]. This brings good fortune.

Nine in the fifth place means:To contend before himBrings supreme good fortune.This refers to an arbiter in a conflict who is powerful and just, and strong enough to lend weight to the right side. A dispute can be turned over to him with confidence. If one is in the right, one attains great good fortune.Nine at the top means:Even if by chance a leather belt is bestowed on one,By the end of a morningIt will have been snatched away three times [that what is not permanent, but occassional should not be admonished].Here we have someone who has carried a conflict to the bitter end and has triumphed. He is granted a decoration, but his happiness does not last. He is attacked again and again, and the result is conflict without end [bringing more misfortune and misery]


Hsu – Waiting (Nourishment)


All beings have need of nourishment from above [that is as self-evident as it is neglected nowadays, like any obvious laws that becomes a “forgotten known” in its simplicity, but the acts and events workings against it somehow seem to conceal these things from human minds]. But the gift of food comes in its own time, and for this one must wait. This hexagram shows the clouds in the heavens, giving rain to refresh all that grows and to provide mankind with food and drink [the seasons accompany the cyclicity and change in nature, the cosmos is an order which works according to its own law of cyclicity and change, the right reference is both an ability to fix points of stillness, discovering them, reflecting on them, and incorporating them and to move around the change and chance, dynamically re-adjusting the framework of one’s action]. The rain will come in its own time. We cannot make it come; we have to wait for it. The idea of waiting is further suggested by the attributes of the two trigrams—strength within, danger in front. [times resolve out of their natural laws, equip yourself in sincerity and overcome with character: the events exhaust themselves naturally, if you were engaged in wrongdoing, whether true or perceived,  arm yourself in patience and stillness – overcome the misfortunes with a shield of antidotes, whether treated in a just or injust manner, if one cannot take action, one remains strong and guiltless, ignoring provocations, and having a superiority of nature and character] Strength in the face of danger does not plunge ahead but bides its time, whereas weakness in the face of danger grows agitated and has not the patience to wait.



WAITING. If you are sincere,You have light and success [sincerity is transparency in one’s doings, within and towards the creative, nothing hidden from the laws and motions of the cosmos ‘one does not contradict the universe’].Perseverance brings good fortune.It furthers one to cross the great water.Waiting is not mere empty hoping. It has the inner certainty of reaching the goal [certainty stemming from a sense of purpose]. Such certainty alone gives that light which leads to success. This leads to the perseverance that brings good fortune and bestows power to cross the great water.One is faced with a danger that has to be overcome. Weakness and impatience can do nothing [they only agitate and distract, bringing danger to any enterprise]. Only a strong man can stand up to his fate, for his inner security enables him to endure to the end. This strength shows itself in uncompromising truthfulness (with himself) [to do this one needs to penetrate within, gnothi seauton, the process of getting to know oneself is through contemplation, self-observation, introspection, confrontation, decision, contrast, the pulse and impulse between one’s individuated nature and tension within, how it is resolved when encountering tension without, how it is harmonized, to know one’s nature one observes the net-movements of one’s intentions, motives, deeds]. It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any sort of self-deception or illusion, that a light will develop out of events [often illusions and self-deceptions may show themselves as the path, but they are misthrodden], by which the path to success may be recognized. This recognition must be followed by resolute and persevering action. For only the man who goes to meet his fate resolutely is equipped to deal with it adequately [lacking the sprinsource and impulse within, or foundations, one wastes his/hers energies and starts his path half-way through a river, without building a bridge] . Then he will be able to cross the great water—that is to say, he will be capable of making the necessary decision and of surmounting the danger.


Clouds rise up to heaven

The image of WAITING.

Thus the superior man eats and drinks,Is joyous and of good cheer [perseverant in joyful kindness, even when there is nothing to be happy about].When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign that it will rain. There is nothing to do but to wait until the rain falls. It is the same in life when destiny is at work. We should not worry and seek to shape the future by interfering in things before the time is ripe. We should quietly fortify the body with food and drink and the mind with gladness and good cheer [we should prepare ourselves in waiting, not lagging behind, but furthering the practice of rounding, in good times we work, in bad times we work and overcome, we don’t abandon clarity of thought in fortune, we don’t give in to turmoil in misfortune]. Fate comes when it will, and thus we are ready.


Nine at the beginning means:Waiting in the meadow.It furthers one to abide in what endures.No blame.The danger is not yet close. One is still waiting on the open plain. Conditions are still simple, yet there is a feeling of something impending. One must continue to lead a regular life as long as possible. Only in this way does one guard against a premature waste of strength, keep free of blame and error that would become a source of weakness later on.Nine in the second place means:Waiting on the sand.There is some gossip.

The end brings good fortune.The danger gradually comes closer. Sand is near the bank of the river, and the water means danger. Disagreements crop up. General unrest can easily develop in such times, and we lay the blame on one another. He who stays calm will succeed in making things go well in the end. Slander will be silenced if we do not gratify it with injured retorts [extremely important, mixing in in self-defense during slander is pointless, one bides his time and remains strong of character, in the end the character and strenght is greater, these who have their minds fixed on purpose are not harmed by lies and slander].

Nine in the third place means:Waiting in the mudBrings about the arrival of the enemy.Mud is no place for waiting, since it is already being washed by the water of the stream. Instead of having gathered strength to cross the stream at one try, one has made a premature start that has got him no farther than the muddy bank. Such an unfavorable position invites enemies from without, who naturally take advantage of it [exposed weakness invites being taken advantage of by the robbers, or being forced to obey the will of inferior people, rarely does one encounter a helpful hand in encircled position in the wilderness or amongst the actions of enemies; If one is perceived as an enemy, one does not allow oneself to grow weak, he would not be pardoned, but crushed further, it is more difficult to regain strength from a weak position then from a balanced one]. Caution and a sense of the seriousness of the situation are all that can keep one from injury.Six in the fourth place means:Waiting in blood.Get out of the pit.The situation is extremely dangerous. It is of utmost gravity now—a matter of life and death. Bloodshed seems imminent. There is no going forward or backward; we are cut off as if in a pit. Now we must simply stand fast and let fate take its course. This composure, which keeps us from aggravating the trouble by anything we might do, is the only way of getting out of the dangerous pit. [in the most dangerous of situations, retain cold-blooded and of clarity, sharpen the senses and focus]

Nine in the fifth place means:Waiting at meat and drink.Perseverance brings good fortune.Even in the midst of danger there come intervals of peace when things go relatively well. If we possess enough inner strength, we shall take advantage of these intervals to fortify ourselves for renewed struggle [that should be always done, wasting the time away without preparation is pointless – when struggle comes we are swept under its force]. We must know how to enjoy the moment without being deflected from the goal, for perseverance is needed to remain victorious.

This is true in public life as well; it is not possible to achieve everything all at once. The height of wisdom is to allow people enough recreation to quicken pleasure in their work until the task is completed. Herein lies the secret of the whole hexagram. It differs from Chien, OBSTRUCTION (39), in the fact that in this instance, while waiting, we are sure of our cause and therefore do not lose the serenity born of inner cheerfulness.

Six at the top means:One falls into the pit.Three uninvited guests arrive.Honor them, and in the end there will be good fortune.The waiting is over; the danger can no longer be averted. One falls into the pit and must yield to the inevitable. Everything seems to have been in vain. But precisely in this extremity things take an unforeseen turn [the movement of chance]. Without a move on one’s own part, there is outside intervention. At first one cannot be sure of its meaning: is it rescue or is it destruction? A person in this situation must keep his mind alert and not withdraw into himself with a sulky gesture of refusal, but must greet the new turn with respect. Thus he ultimately escapes the danger, and all goes well. Even happy turns of fortune often come in a form that at first seems strange to us.

M’eng – Youthful Folly


In this hexagram we are reminded of youth and folly in two different ways. The image of the upper trigram, Kên, is the mountain, that of the lower, K’an, is water; the spring rising at the foot of the mountain is the image of inexperienced youth [just like we begin our journey and see no more than the valleys, at the top of the mountain we see all the turning points, the paths, little villages below]. Keeping still is the attribute of the upper trigram; that of the lower is the abyss, danger. Stopping in perplexity on the brink of a dangerous abyss is a symbol of the folly of youth. However, the two trigrams also show the way of overcoming the follies of youth. Water is something that of necessity flows on. When the spring gushes forth, it does not know at first where it will go. But its steady flow fills up the deep place blocking its progress, and success is attained.


YOUTHFUL FOLLY has success.It is not I who seek the young fool;The young fool seeks me.At the first oracle I inform him.If he asks two or three times, it is importunity.If he importunes, I give him no information [questioning indefinitely does not develop, it flattens and spoils,  thus one has to be checked].Perseverance furthers.

In the time of youth, folly is not an evil. One may succeed in spite of it, provided one finds an experienced teacher and has the right attitude toward him. This means, first of all, that the youth himself must be conscious of his lack of experience and must seek out the teacher. Without this modesty and this interest there is no guarantee that he has the necessary receptivity, which should express itself in respectful acceptance of the teacher. This is the reason why the teacher must wait to be sought out instead of offering himself. Only thus can the instruction take place at the right time and in the right way.A teacher’s answer to the question of a pupil ought to be clear and definite like that expected from an oracle; thereupon it ought to be accepted as a key for resolution of doubts and a basis for decision. If mistrustful or unintelligent questioning is kept up, it serves only to annoy the teacher. He does well to ignore it in silence [silence is oft the word of truth, it is much better then speech when an ambiguous sitation would develop out of a single word] just as the oracle gives one answer only and refuses to be tempted by questions implying doubt.Given in addition a perseverance that never slackens until the points are mastered one by one, real success is sure to follow. Thus the hexagram counsels the teacher as well as the pupil.


A spring wells up at the foot of the mountain:The image Of YOUTH.Thus the superior man fosters his characterBy thoroughness in all that he does.A spring succeeds in flowing on and escapes stagnation by filling up all the hollow places in its path. In the same way character is developed by thoroughness that skips nothing but, like water, gradually and steadily fills up all gaps and so flows onward.


Six at the beginning means:To make a fool developIt furthers one to apply discipline.The fetters should be removed.To go on in this way brings humiliation.

Law is the beginning of education. Youth in its inexperience is inclined at first to take everything carelessly and playfully. It must be shown the seriousness of life. A certain measure of taking oneself in hand, brought about by strict discipline, is a good thing. He who plays with life never amounts to anything. However, discipline should not degenerate into drill. Continuous drill has a humiliating effect and cripples a man’s powers.Nine in the second place means:To bear with fools in kindliness brings good fortune.To know how to take womenBrings good fortune.The son is capable of taking charge of the household.These lines picture a man who has no external power, but who has enough strength of mind to bear his burden of responsibility. He has the inner superiority and strength that enable him to tolerate with kindliness the shortcomings of human folly. The same attitude is owed to women as the weaker sex. One must understand them and give them recognition in a spirit of chivalrous consideration. Only this combination of inner strength with outer reserve enables one to take on the responsibility of directing a larger social body with real success.Six in the third place means:Take not a maiden who, when she sees a man of bronze,Loses possession of herself.Nothing furthers.A weak, inexperienced man, struggling to rise, easily loses his own individuality when he slavishly imitates a strong personality of higher station [without maturation, he loses himself and dissolved pulled hither and tither on the movements of someone else]. He is like a girl throwing herself away when she meets a strong man. Such a servile approach should not be encouraged, because it is bad both for the youth and the teacher. A girl owes it to her dignity to wait until she is wooed. In both cases it is undignified to offer oneself, and no good comes of accepting such an offer.Six in the fourth place means:Entangled folly brings humiliation.For youthful folly it is the most hopeless thing to entangle itself in empty imaginings [they are carrying towards phantasies that are not mature, settled and focused enough, empy bubbles that narrow the focus and disperse true aims, here and now one thouroughly is and does, what develops further has a seed in the now] . The more obstinately it clings to such unreal fantasies, the more certainly will humiliation overtake it.

Often the teacher, when confronted with such entangled folly, has no other course but to leave the fool to himself for a time, not sparing him the humiliation that results [if he learns, he will be experienced and know what it means, if he perishes or breaks he will have a cause of regret]. This is frequently the only means of rescue.

Six in the fifth place means:Childlike folly brings good fortune.An inexperienced person who seeks instruction in a childlike and unassuming way is on the right path, for the man devoid of arrogance who subordinates himself to his teacher will certainly be helped.

Nine at the top means:In punishing follyIt does not further oneTo commit transgressions.The only thing that furthersIs to prevent transgressions.Sometimes an incorrigible fool must be punished. He who will not heed will be made to feel. This punishment is quite different from a preliminary shaking up. But the penalty should not be imposed in anger; it must be restricted to an objective guarding against unjustified excesses. Punishment is never an end in itself but serves merely to restore order.This applies not only in regard to education but also in regard to the measures taken by a government against a populace guilty of transgressions. Governmental interference should always be merely preventive and should have as its sole aim the establishment of public security and peace.

Chun – Difficulty at the Beginning


The name of the hexagram, Chun, really connotes a blade of grass pushing against an obstacle as it sprouts out of the earth—hence the meaning, “difficulty at the beginning.” [inasmuch as the bark of the tree testifies for its strenght, and experience, the blade of grass is a sharp poignant focused resolution, that returns to itself during storms and heavy winds and showers, and has its roots firm nevertheless, it is swift, light yet stout] The hexagram indicates the way in which heaven and earth bring forth individual beings [through tension of concord, mutual things emerge in harmony]. It is their first meeting, which is beset with difficulties. The lower trigram Chên is the Arousing; its motion is upward and its image is thunder. The upper trigram K’an stands for the Abysmal, the dangerous. Its motion is downward and its image is rain. The situation points to teeming, chaotic profusion; thunder and rain fill the air. But the chaos clears up. While the Abysmal sinks, the upward movement eventually passes beyond the danger. A thunderstorm brings release from tension, and all things breathe freely again.


Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success, [it is much greater a feature to achieve mastership by scarce means, with no support, then through a privilaged training, in Greek tragedies ‘these tried by the Heavens are the ones most favored’, the unbroken perseverance in overcoming is worthy, the blade of grass overcomes the storm] Furthering through perseverance.Nothing should be undertaken.It furthers one to appoint helpers.Times of growth are beset with difficulties. They resemble a first birth. But these difficulties arise from the very profusion of all that is struggling to attain form [one may from an unwieldy, chaotic, non-formed clay of a character shape a great man or woman, depending on the will of the latter in shaping himself/herself and rounding and perfecting]. Everything is in motion: therefore if one perseveres there is a prospect of great success, in spite of the existing danger. When it is a man’s fate to undertake such new beginnings, everything is still unformed, dark. Hence he must hold back, because any premature move might bring disaster [restraint does not mean being inwardly static, stillness of the mind is mature in motion]. Likewise, it is very important not to remain alone; in order to overcome the chaos he needs helpers [the value of Comitas from Via Romana, friendship in good humour is of great importance, loss of friends is dangerous to the developing character, isolation and alienation breeds contempt and arrogance, or despair and depression, unless checked by still strenght – only in maturity one may return to seclusion if one may “be in the company of Heavens on his/hers own”, one is never left alone in honesty if one recognizes the sign of invisible companionship. It is better to withdraw and be reserved than to affiliate oneself with the wrong people – the latter may not influence a strong character – they may be swept under its influence to their benefit if the strong character “talks many ways”, without antagonism –  but to a weak character in training –  they threaten practice and may pull the young person under their influence, when it turns towards the bad]. This is not to say, however, that he himself should look on passively at what is happening. He must lend his hand and participate with inspiration and guidance.


Clouds and thunder:The image of Difficulty at the Beginning.Thus the superior man Brings order out of confusion [Ordo ab Chao is a renewal towards Concord, the ability relies on finding strategic points of the whole and amending them likewise, so the house of cards falls naturally, but is immediately swept into a different reformed structure, it is not brought to ruin, but falls into a new form].Clouds and thunder are represented by definite decorative lines; this means that in the chaos of difficulty at the beginning, order is already implicit [chaos is perceived, and there is no one to turn to, the fog surrounding us seems impenetrable, everywhere an abyss, it is a terrifying sight, but it is as if dark clouds would cover our seeing and feeling, clarity of sight is trained thus, oft these tried by such mental and emotive situations and insight emerges and is fixed, more difficulties may arise with misfortunes, sight of mind may be temporarily perverted, twisted, but it has that superior insight ready to penetrate and life the dark stormy clouds]

So too the superior man has to arrange and organize the inchoate profusion of such times of beginning, just as one sorts out silk threads from a knotted tangle and binds them into skeins. In order to find one’s place in the infinity of being, one must be able both to separate and to unite. [the threads and flashes of events at first seem like a chaotic cobweb – in time, separate threads emerge then the structure is seen, and order emerges out of chaos, one knows how to move through the dangerous grounds, one knows when to stop, and then – how to plot the silver threads]


Nine at the beginning means:Hesitation and hindrance.It furthers one to remain persevering.It furthers one to appoint helpers.If a person encounters a hindrance at the beginning of an enterprise, he must not try to force advance but must pause and take thought. However, nothing should put him off his course; he must persevere and constantly keep the goal in sight. It is important to seek out the right assistants, but he can find them only if he avoids arrogance and associates with his fellows in a spirit of humility. Only then will he attract those with whose help he can combat the difficulties.

Six in the second place means:Difficulties pile up.Horse and wagon part.He is not a robber;

He wants to woo when the time comes.The maiden is chaste,She does not pledge herself.Ten years—then she pledges herself.We find ourselves beset by difficulties and hindrances. Suddenly there is a turn of affairs, as if someone were coming up with a horse and wagon and unhitching them. This event comes so unexpectedly that we assume the newcomer to be a robber [oft being given to much misfortunes, and acts of thievery and plotting schemes, deceptions, we generalize and perceive even a friendly person that we do not know as an anonymous potential enemy, that gives us additional caution, but we miss the opportunity of finding a friendly companion, reserve is a good thing, overt trust is unwise, yet the misfortune developing into paranoia and suspicion overshadows the true situation] Gradually it becomes clear that he has no evil intentions but seeks to be friendly and to offer help. But this offer is not to be accepted, because it does not come from the right quarter. We must wait until the time is fulfilled; ten years is a fulfilled cycle of time [one does not accept help that ties us up with anonymous sources, one must rely on one’s assessment and thouroughly see through situations to trust if such a reliance would occur, if help is given from anonymous quarter, we depend on the other and his whims, and hence like a curious fox fall into a trap, a foolish man following others may be exploited, and relies on murky ties, behaves like a young girl falling for a stronger man, similarly – a female of dignity will not run after things that shine]. Then normal conditions return of themselves, and we can join forces with the friend intended for us. Using the image of a betrothed girl who remains true to her lover in face of grave conflicts, the hexagram gives counsel for a special situation. When in times of difficulty a hindrance is encountered and unexpected relief is offered from a source unrelated to us, we must be careful and not take upon ourselves any obligations entailed by such help [these also includes hidden obligations, and that is judged by the knowledge of the person that offers help]; otherwise our freedom of decision is impaired. If we bide our time, things will quiet down again, and we shall attain what we have hoped for.

Six in the third place means:Whoever hunts deer without the foresterOnly loses his way in the forest.The superior man understands the signs of the timeAnd prefers to desist.To go on brings humiliation.If a man tries to hunt in a strange forest and has no guide, he loses his way. When he finds himself in difficulties he must not try to steal out of them unthinkingly and without guidance. Fate cannot be duped [it needs to be understood, accepted, and if possible, amended by character and effort to make the right of it] premature effort, without the necessary guidance, ends in failure and disgrace. Therefore the superior man, discerning the seeds of coming events, prefers to renounce a wish rather than to provoke failure and humiliation by trying to force its fulfillment.

Six in the fourth place means:Horse and wagon part.Strive for union.To go brings good fortune.

Everything acts to further.We are in a situation in which it is our duty to act, but we lack sufficient power. However, an opportunity to make connections offers itself. It must be seized. Neither false pride nor false reserve should deter us. Bringing oneself to take the first step, even when it involves a certain degree of self-abnegation, is a sign of inner clarity [contrary – is the sign of either muddening of the mind, cowardice, or inflated ideas that prevent the act] To accept help in a difficult situation is not a disgrace. If the right helper is found, all goes well.

Nine in the fifth place means:Difficulties in blessing.A little perseverance brings good fortune.Great perseverance brings misfortune.An individual is in a position in which he cannot so express his good intentions that they will actually take shape and be understood. Other people interpose and distort everything he does. He should then be cautious and proceed step by step [otherwise these who distort will have all ties and means to capture one and prevent his or hers actions, amongst these who bar the progress and expression, extra-ordinary caution is necessary, to be integral, consistent and transparent even under barrage of lies and slander is necessary, when one is drowned in the lies and distortions one remains honest transparent and integral towards heavens, Leonardo da Vinci “These who mind is fixed to a star, are not hurt by lies and slander”]. He must not try to force the consummation of a great undertaking, because success is possible only when general confidence already prevails. It is only through faithful and conscientious work, unobtrusively carried on, that the situation gradually clears up and the hindrance disappears.

Six at the top means:Horse and wagon part.Bloody tears flow.The difficulties at the beginning are too great for some persons. They get stuck and never find their way out; they fold their hands and give up the struggle. Such resignation is the saddest of all things [so many heroes vanquished in youthful despair, the clay is potent, may it be molded, instead of going to waste]. Therefore Confucius says of this line: “Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this.”



K’un – the Receptive



This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken line represents the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth [Earth is devoted to Heavens in relation to the Creative Superiority orders straying from this proportion and analogy and bound to create disharmony and disarray, both on an individual and societal level. Yet this order is to be created within, Buddhist creed “I alone am revered in heavens”, the Self finds its way, that is an arrogant statement at first, but carries a penetrating truth, that one following the way is the way itself in accord with the way of the greater whole. The Emperor sat on the throne of his consciousness, gathering his senses, mind, heart and soul, and thus directed affairs of his Self in accord with Heavens. That is the sole ruler – of himself, herself –  any societal arrangements spring forth from people that order, renew, and further the Heavenly expression. If an Emperor is pulled into political bickering, partiality, distractions, compromising his inner Self and truth, his consistency and perseverance in the way, the heaven withdraws and he is but a man on a facadic throne, commanding people left and right with no sense at all. Chuang Tzu, although fit to be an emperor, denied the crown, as not to compromise himself in the way; The Confucian decision is to carve order and tie oneself with the world, thus laying foundations for the next generations. Self-sacrifice is based on assessment of one’s inner Self and capacity, to many “wanted to benevolently rule” in disregard of their strenght that turned into petty weakness, they got defeated. And how are we better then these who were before, if our weaknesses may testify against such self-sacrifice. Mahayana Buddhism assumes that one judged by the “net-effects of one’s actions”, not by intentions, because by rule of causality one launches karmic strands and ideational threads soaking into hearts, souls and minds that are co-arising and inter-dependent and the more the world is globalized and inter-dependent, the graver the consequences, individual and societal. As in complex societies they regulate the flow of minds and hearts, or rather indicate in guidance, when they may rely upon a charismatic authority that itself is not mislead, deluded, ignorant, greedy, and petty].


Stanza 11.

The Master said, Be thoroughly versed in the old, and understand
the new—then you can be a teacher

Confucius and B. Watson (2007). The analects of Confucius. New York ; Chichester, Columbia University Press., p.21

It is the perfect complement of THE CREATIVE—the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does not combat the Creative but completes it [The Cosmic Order compliments each other, disharmonius order – manmade – for example on Earth bears no relevance to it, or semblance –  these orders are within the diversity of potential, they obey determined laws of change, although from the perspective of permanence they seem completely wrong, that is a valuation set against valuation reference, as in – the “fallen times” from the perspective of the spirit, are the “thriving times” from perspective of superabundance, the “corrupt, immoral, failed” times defaulted against the ancients are the “only thing we see and take as normal” in business-as-usual in the modern day, the “above does not relate to the below” from the perspective of one who perceived the above, and Earth is a catastrophy, yet “there are still free spirits that fight” from the perspective of restoring and building and order in stillness, the “surrogate and lie” from the perspective of pure idea, is the “true form of things” from the perspective of habit, the world is upside down from the perspective of the seer, it is in proper form and shape according to the ignorant]. It represents nature in contrast to spirit, earth in contrast to heaven, space as against time, the female-maternal as against the male-paternal. However, as applied to human affairs, the principle of this complementary relationship is found not only in the relation between man and woman, but also in that between prince and minister and between father and son. Indeed, even in the individual this duality appears in the coexistence of the spiritual world and the world of the senses.But strictly speaking there is no real dualism here, because there is a clearly defined hierarchic relationship between the two principles [the dualism appears in perception that is dividing, in discerning union there is none, the latter “hovers above the land” the former “is pulled into it” The most dangerous are “dualities within dualities” or splitting the negative into two negatives, or the positive into two positives, it splits harmong of a man and woman open and soars the wound, cutting it deeper, or rather – conceptualization, when we over-conceptualize “right and wrong”, the right may be furnished with concepts that turn it into two wrongs, and the other way around. For example, splitting the harmony into two, and furnishing the Yang with the concept of masculine vulagarity or murdersome wrath, and Yin with completele irresolute self-destructive passions brings about a fall; Similarly, if we take “good” and conceptualize it as a set of doctrines and beliefs that are subverting the good in discord and disharmony then the idea of good is merely a name that justifies all forms of wrongdoing and evil, similarly evil that becomes a name, although may be firm and correct, as branded as evil, whereas it may be good]

One error of the anarchists is their belief that human nature is intrinsically good. They thereby castrate society, just as the theologians (“God is goodness”) castrate the Good Lord. This is a Saturnian trait. Natural law has been twisted every which way-from legitimation to brutal violence to a paradisal idyll. This is grounded in the possibility of reading anything at all into nature. “It is everything at once:’ Well, fine; then let every human being get his own bit fom Being.

Ernst Junger, Eumeswil, p. 209

In itself of course the Receptive is just as important as the Creative, but the attribute of devotion defines the place occupied by this primal power in relation to the Creative. For the Receptive must be activated and led by the Creative; then it is productive of good. Only when it abandons this position and tries to stand as an equal side by side with the Creative, does it become evil [losing proportion, and inflation of a man or a woman does a damage first to himself/herself, then to Earth, without the correct hierarchy, disparity, envy, arrogance, ignorance and delusion is born which charges forth through this inflation, forgetting about its proper accord and place]. The result then is opposition to and struggle against the Creative, which is productive of evil to both.


THE RECEPTIVE brings about sublime success, Furthering through the perseverance of a mare. If the superior man undertakes something and tries to lead, He goes astray; But if he follows, he finds guidance.It is favorable to find friends in the west and south, To forego friends in the east and north.Quiet perseverance brings good fortune.The four fundamental aspects of the Creative—“sublime success, furthering through perseverance”—are also attributed to the Receptive. Here, however, the perseverance is more closely defined: it is that of a mare. The Receptive connotes spatial reality in contrast to the spiritual potentiality of the Creative [the Phenomenal space is the area of action of the Numinous-Noumenal Creative Forces of Heavens]. The potential becomes real and the spiritual becomes spatial through a specifically qualifying definition. Thus the qualification, “of a mare,” is here added to the idea of perseverance [the idea is denoted through similarity, depending on the cultural context, these are finite reflections, but are tokens of analogy]. The horse belongs to earth just as the dragon belongs to heaven. Its tireless roaming over the plains is taken as a symbol of the vast expanse of the earth. This is the symbol chosen because the mare combines the strength and swiftness of the horse with the gentleness and devotion of the cow.Only because nature in its myriad forms corresponds with the myriad impulses of the Creative can it make these impulses real. Nature’s richness lies in its power to nourish all living things; its greatness lies in its power to give them beauty and splendor [it is perceived with a naked eye as self-evident, nature likes to hide, it reveals its aspects in ways of the biologists, the holy man, the philosopher, the occultist, the aesthete]. Thus it prospers all that lives. It is the Creative that begets things, but they are brought to birth by the Receptive. Applied to human affairs, therefore, what the hexagram indicates is action in conformity with the situation. The person in question is not in an independent position, but is acting as an assistant. This means that he must achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead-that would only make him lose the way-but to let himself be led. If he knows how to meet fate with an attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from fate [good discernment and judgment is a thing of experience, but also pondering, contemplation, insight, one’s fundamental feeling of reference and right and wrong]. Since there is something to be accomplished, we need friends and helpers in the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set. The time of toil and effort is indicated by the west and the south, for west and south symbolize the place where the Receptive works for the Creative, as nature does in summer and autumn. If in that situation one does not mobilize all one’s powers [determined perseverance is a thing of discipline, discipline is not rigour, but overcoming emotions and demotivating factors in pursuit of what is proper to time and situtation, one does not push through one’s position recklessly, but in-between nature, genuine impulse, sincerity, honesty and volitional sustainment] the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and effort, there is also a time of planning, and for this we need solitude. The east symbolizes the place where a man receives orders from his master, and the north the place where he reports on what he has done. At that time he must be alone and objective. In this sacred hour he must do without companions, so that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by factional hates and favoritism [naturally may arise from differences of opinion, mixing with people is burdened with such, although one retains his composure by inner strenght and truth] .


The earth’s condition is receptive devotion.Thus the superior man who has breadth of character carries the outer world.

Just as there is only one heaven, so too there is only one earth. In the hexagram of heaven the doubling of the trigram implies duration in time, but in the hexagram of earth the doubling connotes the solidity and extension in space by virtue of which the earth is able to carry and preserve all things that live and move upon it. The earth in its devotion carries all things, good and evil, without exception. In the same way the superior man gives to his character breadth, purity, and sustaining power, so that he is able both to support and to bear with people and things.


Six at the beginning means:When there is hoarfrost underfoot,Solid ice is not far off.Just as the light-giving power represents life, so the dark power, the shadowy, represents death. When the first hoarfrost comes in the autumn, the power of darkness and cold is just at its beginning. After these first warnings, signs of death will gradually multiply, until, in obedience to immutable laws, stark winter with its ice is here.In life it is the same. After certain scarcely noticeable signs of decay have appeared, they go on increasing until final dissolution comes. But in life precautions can be taken by heeding the first signs of decay and checking them in time [one needs to be aware of the decay by having a continuous reference in what is right, to check it in time, or to revert what has been spoiled through effort, without fixing the movement in spoiled decay, degeneration, change is phoenix-like, so should be the sage, it has its inner nature unmoved, but undergoes transitions and mutabilities]

Six in the second place means: Straight, square, great.Without purpose,Yet nothing remains unfurthered.The symbol of heaven is the circle, and that of earth is the square. Thus squareness is a primary quality of the earth. On the other hand, movement in a straight line, as well as magnitude, is a primary quality of the Creative. But all square things have their origin in a straight line and in turn form solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes, and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates itself to the qualities of the Creative and makes them its own. Thus a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance with the laws of the Creative; nothing is taken away, nothing added. Therefore the Receptive has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of any effort; yet everything turns out as it should.

Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its straightness. It is calm and still: this is its foursquareness. It tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness [so thus the sage should both be like Heavens, and embrace the things like nature, aspect of a great paternal, maternal mind. It is not blindness to wrongdoing, but an insightful, wise approach]. Therefore it attains what is right for all without artifice or special intentions. Man achieves the height of wisdom when all that he does is as self-evident as what nature does.

Six in the third place means: Hidden lines.One is able to remain persevering.If by chance you are in the service of a king,Seek not works, but bring to completion. [round the things you already have, do not expand the sphere further] If a man is free of vanity he is able to conceal his abilities and keep them from attracting attention too soon; thus he can mature undisturbed [exposed works risk ambitious ruin of unfinished works]. If conditions demand it, he can also enter public life, but that too he does with restraint. The wise man gladly leaves fame to others [fame passes away and is a by-product of someone’s achievement, seeking fame or cherishing it is like attempting to worship a soap bubble on the air]. He does not seek to have credited to himself things that stand accomplished, but hopes to release active forces; that is, he completes his works in such a manner that they may bear fruit for the future [the gardener is content with his orchard, yet does not inflate or boast of that, he smiles with satiation and is natural and genuine with his works] .

Six in the fourth place means:A tied-up sack. No blame, no praise.The dark element opens when it moves and closes when at rest. The strictest reticence is indicated here. The time is dangerous, because any degree of prominence leads either to the enmity of irresistible antagonists if one challenges them or to misconceived recognition if one is complaisant [the latter attracts the former, one may lose all his or hers composure, and thus becomes imprisoned on the strings of recognition, while in truth he or she has done nothing worthy of such, and thus the self-gratification is leading to corruption]. Therefore a man ought to maintain reserve, be it in solitude or in the turmoil of the world, for there too he can hide himself so well that no one knows him.

Six in the fifth place means:A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.Yellow is the color of the earth and of the middle; it is the symbol of that which is reliable and genuine. The lower garment is inconspicuously decorated—the symbol of aristocratic reserve. When anyone is called upon to work in a prominent but not independent position, true success depends on the utmost discretion. A man’s genuineness and refinement should not reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as an effect from within [by the effects of their actions, they should be invisible, and thus remove themselves from claiming any credits for their actions, not even cherishing them within, they come and go like works completed, they appear and disappear, and should not be further admonished, bringing attachment to one’s hidden works and deeds beings about inflation of the Earth principle, credit goes to the Heavens, humility thus is a way of non-attachment and genuine, brave, solid movement].Six at the top means:

Dragons fight in the meadow. Their blood is black and yellow.In the top place the dark element should yield to the light. If it attempts to maintain a position to which it is not entitled and to rule instead of serving, it draws down upon itself the anger of the strong [the strong is attempting to restore order, the inflated principle retain its hard-won position, conflict emerges]. A struggle ensues in which it is overthrown, with injury, however, to both sides. The dragon, symbol of heaven, comes to fight the false dragon that symbolizes the inflation of the earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of the earth. Therefore, when black and yellow blood flow, it is a sign that in this unnatural contest both primal powers suffer injury.

When all the lines are sixes, it means: Lasting perseverance furthers. When nothing but sixes appears, the hexagram of THE RECEPTIVE changes into the hexagram of THE CREATIVE. By holding fast to what is right, it gains the power of enduring [good habits should be strenghtened and guided, once recognized as beneficial, likewise that what is recognized as counter-productive should be branded and eliminated as they appear, chased like thieves away] There is indeed no advance, but neither is there retrogression.


Ch’ien – The Creative Heaven





The Creative

The first hexagram is made up of six unbroken lines. These unbroken lines stand for the primal power, which is lightgiving, active, strong, and of the spirit [the creative spirit, starry heavens, beyond the sum of the force of all stars, the might of all orders of galaxies, superior to anything conceivable, worlds of infinite force, pure light, pure beauty, pure might, unconquerable, and initating].

The hexagram is consistently strong in character, and since it is without weakness [it is completely consistent and self-evident, without defect, without a break, powerful and infinitely potent, the hexagram stands for its unbroken, untainted, complete and holy-whole force], its essence is power or energy. Its image is heaven [the starry heavens denote and signify at the same time, they are a type and a token, they represent, they symbolize, and they are both traces, and essences].

Its energy is represented as unrestricted by any fixed conditions in space and is therefore conceived of as motion [force opens the gates of space and time]. Time is regarded as the basis of this motion [time is a first degree force coming from force, space opens thus].

Thus the hexagram includes also the power of time and the power of persisting in time, that is, duration [duration is the strenght of force, or its determined potency].

The power represented by the hexagram is to be interpreted in a dual sense—in terms of its action on the universe and of its action on the world of men [here the young race of man is trying to create a cosmography to relate to heavens in proportion and reflect the order on Earth, as well as expressing the cosmic impulse of the creative heavens through its totality].

In relation to the universe, the hexagram expresses the strong, creative action of the Deity [the One, Monad, E Pluribus Unum, as Above, so Below]. In relation to the human world, it denotes the creative action of the holy man or sage, of the ruler or leader of men, who through his power awakens and develops their higher nature [Hsing – from the Book of the Golden Flower, the individuated man and woman pitched to the creative forces of heaven, Chuang Tzu and the “companion of heavens”, the one moving in line with the rhythm, gathering greatness to lightly move amongst the world, everything perfectly at ease, completely evident, without hindrance]


THE CREATIVE works sublime success, furthering through perseverance [as the water is shaping the rock, as the bird flies through the air, inexhaustible perseverance of the creative forces of heaven]. According to the original meaning, the attributes [sublimity, potentiality of success, power to further, perseverance] are paired. When an individual draws this oracle, it means that success will come to him from the primal depths of the universe and that everything depends upon his seeking his happiness and that of others in one way only, that is, by perseverance in what is right [all is furthering for the right man and woman at the right time, through effort and perseverance, they gather, further and dissolve in harmony, all in accord with the expression, finding a way to live by being in accord with the creative forces of heaven, whenever they are wronged, congested, ignorant, deluded, depitched, disharmonious, detunes, the ever-spring of heavens does not stop, they stop expressing its spirit]

The specific meanings of the four attributes became the subject of speculation at an early date. The Chinese word here rendered by “sublime” means literally “head,” “origin,” “great.” This is why Confucius says in explaining it: “Great indeed is the generating power of the Creative; all beings owe their beginning to it. This power permeates all heaven.”

[sublimity and subtletly, strenght within is like a blade, it is never drawn, and is mild and at ease, it is generous, yet it demonstrates through weighted wisdom and force that is resolute, to return to itself, the Jade dagger is a ceremonial artifact, and it represents devotion to tradition and heavens it never symbolizes strife, it is the purity of its balance, and a focused resolution, subtlety is impartial and just, well discerning and measuring, consulting the Heavens to reflect them on Earth, attempting to understand Heaven and laws of Heavens and Earth, and in accord and harmony and changes, adjust accordingly]

For this attribute inheres in the other three as well. The beginning of all things lies still in the beyond in the form of ideas that have yet to become real [thus all ideas – not in the colloquial sense – but as Divine forces of motions that are contained before the Creative Force initiates motions through force, phenomenal diversity leads to their multitudes. Perfect ideas descend from Creative Heavens,] .

“3:23: The Master, speaking with the Grand Music Master of Lu, said, Music can be understood in this way. The players first in unison, then freely harmonizing, playing separately or carrying on from one another, and thus the piece is completed.”[1]– Master Kong, Confucius

[1] 3:23, Burton Watson, eds. The Analects of Confucius (Columbia University Press: New York, 2007), p.30

But the Creative furthermore has power to lend form to these archetypes of ideas [through divine proportions stemming from perfection the forces and ideas are delineated by form, thus a Cosmos – or an order]. This is indicated in the word success, and the process is represented by an image from nature: “The clouds pass and the rain does its work, and all individual beings flow into their forms.”

Applied to the human world, these attributes show the great man the way to notable success: “Because he sees with great clarity causes and effects, he completes the six steps at the right time and mounts toward heaven on them at the right time, as though on six dragons.”

The six steps are the six different positions given in the hexagram, which are represented later by the dragon symbol.[Chinese astronomy and the Spheres? Cassiel and the Dragon for comparison]

Here it is shown that the way to success lies in apprehending and giving actuality to the way of the universe [tao], which, as a law running through end and beginning, brings about all phenomena in time.

All ends and beginnings are the same in eternity
All ends and beginnings are the same in eternity, noumena penetrates oroboros and infinite “As” and “Bs” denoting the measure of time

Thus each step attained forthwith becomes a preparation for the next. Time is no longer a hindrance but the means of making actual what is potential. [All time furthers the man and woman of heavens, for they are in accord, they are ‘called and respond’, ‘they call and receive’, the numinous infinity calls below to the world of time and space, phenomenal]

The act of creation having found expression in the two attributes sublimity and success, the work of conservation is shown to be a continuous actualization and differentiation of form [renewal, refinement, continuity]. This is expressed in the two terms “furthering” (literally, “creating that which accords with the nature of a given being”) [a potency of actualization of harmony, expanding the sphere of harmony and in accord becoming rounded at each instance of being, through multiple changes and renewals] being and “persevering” (literally, “correct and firm”).

“The course of the Creative alters and shapes beings until each attains its true, specific nature, then it keeps them in conformity with the Great Harmony. Thus does it show itself to further through perseverance.”

In relation to the human sphere, this shows how the great man brings peace and security to the world through his activity in creating order: “He towers high above the multitude of beings, and all lands are united in peace.”Another line of speculation goes still further in separating the words “sublime,” “success,” “furthering,” “perseverance,” and parallels them with the four cardinal virtues in humanity.

To sublimity, which, as the fundamental principle, embraces all the other attributes, it links love [understood as ‘humane feeling’, perhaps ‘humaneness’ – love follows humaneness and is a close term- difficult to define, Confucius avoided defining humaneness, it may be something akin to realizing Hsing – Divine nature, but it is still ambiguous].

To the attribute success are linked the mores [tradition, hierarchy of accord, free people that agree on hierarchy of merit, service, religious, societal order, piety with social mobility, as human being are not equal in qualities – the differences result in hierarchies based on justice, when no is one really left out, all are embraced, and one is harmonious with the position on the ‘Earthly theatre’, at the same time as people and their merit and abilities changes, they are allowed to ascend and descend in social ranks] which regulate and organize the expressions of love and thereby make them successful. The attribute furthering is correlated with justice, which creates the conditions in which each receives that which accords with his being, that which is due him and which constitutes his happiness. [Justice is regulative, in essence it is the distribution of force based on deep laws; – as an idea-force, it is a reactive way of restoring harmony when injustice – disharmony is encountered] The attribute perseverance is correlated with wisdom, which discerns the immutable laws of all that happens and can therefore bring about enduring conditions. These speculations, already broached in the commentary called Wên Yen, later formed the bridge connecting the philosophy of the “five stages (elements) of change,” as laid down in the Book of History (Shu Ching) with the philosophy of the Book of Changes, which is based solely on the polarity of positive and negative principles. In the course of time this combination of the two systems of thought opened the way for an increasingly intricate number symbolism.



The movement of heaven is full of power.Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring [alike to heaven].Since there is only one heaven, the doubling of the trigram Ch’ien, of which heaven is the image, indicates the movement of heaven. One complete revolution of heaven makes a day, and the repetition of the trigram means that each day is followed by another. This creates the idea of time. Since it is the same heaven moving with untiring power, there is also created the idea of duration both in and beyond time, a movement that never stops nor slackens, just as one day follows another in an unending course. This duration in time is the image of the power inherent in the Creative. [by observing the law of causation, one sees the events emerge in time, and thus penetrates into their laws]

With this image as a model, the sage learns how best to develop himself so that his influence may endure. He must make himself strong in every way, by consciously casting out all that is inferior and degrading [all base and uncouth things that are discordant with the reflections of the law of heaven, airborne thoughts sour high above like a falcon and after seeing they incarnate the observations in the man or woman, despite obstacles that attempt to fix in irrelevant things  and thus emanating it in speech, action, deed, thought, stance, perseverance whenever possible – aspiration to fix the movements of the mind via a reference, or a system of co-ordinates; what is inferior or degrading is developing bad habits, including mental ones, thus correcting oneself, and making amendments whenever one fails is of due importance].

Thus he attains that tirelessness which depends upon consciously limiting the fields of his activity. [the restrictive responsibility of mind is giving more to focus and concentration, when activity is well-shaped, diamond-like clarity is born]


Nine at the beginning means:Hidden dragon. Do not act.

In China the dragon has a meaning altogether different from that given it in the Western world. The dragon is a symbol of the electrically charged, dynamic, arousing force that manifests itself in the thunderstorm. In winter this energy withdraws into the earth; in the early summer it becomes active again, appearing in the sky as thunder and lightning. As a result the creative forces on earth begin to stir again.Here this creative force is still hidden beneath the earth and therefore has no effect. [one touched by the dragon-lightning is aroused to action as a hero or a sage, as if receptively receiving force and shaping it] In terms of human affairs, this symbolizes a great man who is still unrecognized. Nonetheless he remains true to himself. [inner truth is always more important, then dispersing it to four winds by unconscious, mindless activities, it is the the foundational strenght, it is easy to compromise it by exposure, retain!] He does not allow himself to be influenced by outward success or failure, but confident in his strength, he bides his time [misfortune motions of the external should never influence inner composure]. Hence it is wise for the man who consults the oracle and draws this line to wait in the calm strength of patience. The time will fulfill itself. [perseverance of an action, event wanes and becomes powerless if it is baseless, and is continuously renewed if it is a part of expression of force and laws, what appears to be permanent in human eyes is but an illusion, the motion of the starry heavens is pursued regardless] after the One need not fear lest strong will should not prevail; the main thing is not to expend one’s powers prematurely in an attempt to obtain by force something for which the time is not yet ripe [neither one is prepared to handle it and it might result in misfortune, nor are the circumstances present to accommodate the event].Nine in the second place means:Dragon appearing in the field.It furthers one to see the great man.

Here the effects of the light-giving power begin to manifest themselves. In terms of human affairs, this means that the great man makes his appearance in his chosen field of activity. As yet he has no commanding position but is still with his peers. However, what distinguishes him from the others is his seriousness of purpose, his unqualified reliability, and the influence he exerts on his environment without conscious effort [purpose is to be dicovered by True Will, the latter is to be sought for to accord with the expressive forces of Heavens, The Will of thrprisee One is one, it is the movement of Divine ideas, the expressions are different amongst the world of man and woman, according to individuation and discovered purpose, one becomes a master in the field of his inner work]. Such a man is destined to gain great influence and to set the world in order. Therefore it is favorable to see him.

Nine in the third place means:All day long the superior man is creatively active.At nightfall his mind is still beset with cares.Danger. No blame.A sphere of influence opens up for the great man. His fame begins to spread. The masses flock to him [be warned, if one loses his inner composure, sanity and is pulled into schemes of the other or uncouth, vulgar, base and low things, one with gain negative audience, and thus be scorned, according to the measure of assessment of others]. His inner power is adequate to the increased outer activity [all is well rounded and the inner is in accord with the outer] . There are all sorts of things to be done, and when others are at rest in the evening, plans and anxieties press in upon hi