Category Archives: 50. Ting – The Caldron

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.