Category Archives: 31. Hsien – Influence (Wooing)

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.