1 34 5 26 11 9 14 43
25 51 3 27 24 42 21 17
6 40 29 4 7 59 64 47
33 62 39 52 15 53 56 31
12 16 8 23 2 20 35 45
44 32 48 18 46 57 50 28
13 55 63 22 36 37 30 49
10 54 60 41 19 61 38 58

1. Ch’ien / The Creative | 2. K’un / The Receptive
3. Chun / Difficulty at the Beginning | 4. Mêng / Youthful Folly
5. Hsü / Waiting (Nourishment) | 6. Sung / Conflict
7. Shih / The Army | 8. Pi / Holding Together [union]
9. Hsiao Ch’u / The Taming Power of the Small | 10. Lü / Treading [conduct]
11. T’ai / Peace | 12. P’i / Standstill [Stagnation]
13. T’ung Jên / Fellowship with Men | 14. Ta Yu / Possession in Great Measure
15. Ch’ien / Modesty | 16. Yü / Enthusiasm
17. Sui / Following | 18. Ku / Work on what has been spoiled [ Decay ]
19. Lin / Approach | 20. Kuan / Contemplation (View)
21. Shih Ho / Biting Through | 22. Pi / Grace
23. Po / Splitting Apart | 24. Fu / Return (The Turning Point)
25. Wu Wang / Innocence (The Unexpected) | 26. Ta Ch’u / The Taming Power of the Great
27. I / Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment) | 28. Ta Kuo / Preponderance of the Great
29. K’an / The Abysmal (Water) | 30. Li / The Clinging, Fire
31. Hsien / Influence (Wooing) | 32. Hêng / Duration
33. TUN / Retreat | 34. Ta Chuang / The Power of the Great
35. Chin / Progress | 36. Ming I / Darkening of the light
37. Chia Jên / The Family [The Clan] | 38. K’uei / Opposition
39. Chien / Obstruction | 40. Hsieh / Deliverance
41. Sun / Decrease | 42. I / Increase
43. Kuai / Break-through (Resoluteness) | 44. Kou / Coming to Meet
45. Ts’ui / Gathering Together [Massing] | 46. Shêng / Pushing Upward
47. K’un / Oppression (Exhaustion) | 48. Ching / The Well
49. Ko / Revolution (Molting) | 50. Ting / The Caldron
51. Chên / The Arousing (Shock, Thunder) | 52. Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain
53. Chien / Development (Gradual Progress) | 54. Kuei Mei / The Marrying Maiden
55. Fêng / Abundance [Fullness] | 56. Lü / The Wanderer
57. Sun / The Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind) | 58. Tui / The Joyous, Lake
59. Huan / Dispersion [Dissolution] | 60. Chieh / Limitation
61. Chung Fu / Inner Truth | 62. Hsiao Kuo / Preponderance of the Small
63. Chi Chi / After Completion | 64. Wei Chi / Before Completion

– – –

1. Ch’ien / The Creative


The first hexagram is made up of six unbroken lines. These unbroken lines
stand for the primal power, which is light-giving, active, strong, and of the
spirit. The hexagram is consistently strong in character, and since it is
without weakness, its essence is power or energy. Its image is heaven. Its
energy is represented as unrestricted by any fixed conditions in space and is
therefore conceived of as motion. Time is regarded as the basis of this
motion. Thus the hexagram includes also the power of time and the power
of persisting in time, that is, duration.
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.
In relation to the universe, the hexagram expresses the strong, creative action
of the Deity. 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.


THE CREATIVE works sublime success,
Furthering through perseverance.

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.
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.” 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. But the Creative furthermore has power to lend
form to these archetypes of ideas. 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.”
Applies to the human world, these attributes show the great man the way to
notable success: „Because he sees with great clarity and cause 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. 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. 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.
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. This is expressed in the two terms
„furthering” (literally, „creating that which accords with the nature of a
given 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. To the
attribute success are linked the morals, which regulate and organize
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. 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

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.
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. Thus he attains
that tirelessness which depends upon consciously limiting the fields of his


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. In terms of human affairs, this symbolizes a great man who is still
unrecognized. Nonetheless he remains true to himself. He does not allow
himself to be influenced by outward success or failure, but confident in his
strength, he bides his time. 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. One need not fear least 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.

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 form the others is his
seriousness of purpose, his unqualified reliability, and the influence he exerts
on his environment with out conscious effort. 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. His inner power is adequate to the increased outer
activity. There are all sorts of things to be done, and when others are at rest in
the evening, plans and anxieties press in upon him. But danger lurks here at
the place of transition from lowliness to the heights. Many a great man has
been ruined because the masses flocked to him and swept him into their
course. Ambition has destroyed his integrity. However, true greatness is not
impaired by temptations. He who remains in touch with the time that is
dawning, and with its demands is prudent enough to avoid all pitfalls, and
remains blameless.

Nine in the fourth place means:
Wavering flight over the depths.
No blame.

A place of transition has been reached, and free choice can enter in. A
twofold possibility is presented to the great man: he can soar to the heights
and play an important part in the world, or he can withdraw into solitude
and develop himself. He can go the way of the hero or that of the holy sage
who seeks seclusion. There is no general law of his being. If the individual
acts consistently and is true to himself, he will find the way that is appropriate
for him. This way is right for him and without blame.

°Nine in the fifth place means:
Flying dragon in the heavens.
It furthers one to see the great man.

Here the great man has attained the sphere of the heavenly beings. His
influence spreads and becomes visible throughout the whole world.
Everyone who sees him may count himself blessed. Confucius says about this

Things that accord in tone vibrate together. Things that have affinity in their
inmost natures seek one another. Water flows to what is wet, fire turns to
what is dry. Clouds (the breath of heaven) follow the dragon, wind (the breath
of earth) follows the tiger. Thus the sage arises, and all creatures follow him
with their eyes. What is born of heaven feels related to what is above. What
is born of earth feels related to what is below. Each follows its kind.

Nine at the top means:
Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent.

When a man seeks to climb so high that he loses touch with the rest of
mankind, he becomes isolated, and this necessarily leads to failure. This line
warns against titanic aspirations that exceed one’s power. A precipitous fall
would follow.

When all the lines are nines, it means:

There appears a flight of dragons without heads.

Good fortune.

When all the lines are nines, it means that the whole hexagram is in motion
and changes into the hexagram K’un, THE RECEPTIVE, whose character is
devotion. The strength of the Creative and the mildness of the Receptive
unite. Strength is indicated by the flight of dragons, mildness by the fact that
their heads are hidden. This means that mildness in action joined to strength
of decision brings good fortune.

2. K’un / The Receptive


This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken lines represents
the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the
hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth. It is the perfect complement of
THE CREATIVE–the complement, not the opposite, for the Receptive does
not combat the Creative but completes it . 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. 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. 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 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 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 then beauty and splendor. 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 indicated is action in
conformity with the situation. The person in questions 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
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 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, 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 this solitude. The
east symbolized 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 fictional
hates and favoritism.


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.

°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 into 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 foursquareness. It
tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness. 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.

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. 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. 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.

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.
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

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.

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. 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 symbolized the inflation of the
earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of
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. There is indeed no advance, but neither is there

3. 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.” The hexagram indicates the way in which
heaven and earth bring forth individual beings. 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,
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 . 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.
Likewise, it is very important not to remain alone; in order to overcome the
chaos he needs helpers. 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:
Thus the superior man
Brings order out of confusion.

Clouds and thunder are represented by definite decorative lines; this means
that in the chaos of difficulty at the beginning, order is already implicit. 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.


°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 associated with his fellows in a spirit of
humility. Only then will he attract those with whose help he can combat the

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. 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. 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; 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 forester
Only loses his way in the forest.
The superior man understands the signs of the time
And 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; 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

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. 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. 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

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. Therefore Confucius
says of this line: „Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this.”

4. Mêng / 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. 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.
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, just as the oracle gives one answer only and
refuses to be tempted by questions implying doubt.
Given 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 character
By 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 develop
It furthers one to apply discipline.
The fetters should be removed.
To go on in this way bring 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 women
Brings 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 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. 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 bring humiliation.

For youthful folly it is the most hopeless thing to entangle itself in empty
imaginings. 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. 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
subordinated himself to his teacher will certainly be helped.

Nine at the top means:
In punishing folly
It does not further one
To commit transgressions.
The only thing that furthers
Is 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.

5. Hsü / Waiting (Nourishment)


All beings have need of nourishment from above. 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 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 from. 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.
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. 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. 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]. 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, 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. 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.

When clouds rise in the sky, it is a sign that it will rain. There is nothing to
do but to wait until after 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. 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.

Nine in the third place means:
Waiting in the mud
Brings 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. 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.

° 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. 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 Chin 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. 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.

6. Sung / 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. 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. A person of this character will certainly be quarrelsome.


CONFLICT. You are sincere
And are being obstructed.
A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune.
Going through to the end brings misfortune.
It furthers one to see the great man.
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. To carry one the conflict to the bitter end has evil effects even when one is the right, because the enmity is then perpetuated. 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. 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 focus. 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 man
Carefully considers the beginning.

The image indicates that the causes of conflict are latent in the opposing
tendencies of the two trig rams. 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, 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. 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. 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

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 tot 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. This brings
good fortune.

° Nine in the fifth place means:
To contend before him
Brings 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 morning
It will have been snatched away three times.

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.

7. 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
trig rams are danger inside 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 ARMY. The army needs perseverance
And 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.


In the middle of the earth is water:
The image of THE ARMY.
Thus the superior man increases his masses
By 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 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

Six in the third place means:
Perchance the army carries corpses in the wagon.

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.

Six in the fourth place means:
The army retreats. No blame.

In the 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

° 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

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 divided 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.

8. 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


HOLDING TOGETHER brings good fortune.
Inquire of the oracle once again
Whether you possess sublimity, constancy, and perseverance;
Then there is no blame.
Those who are uncertain gradually join.
Whoever come too late
Meets 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. 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.
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.


On the earth is water:
Thus the kings of antiquity
Bestowed the different states as fiefs
And cultivated friendly relations
With 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. 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 end
Good 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. 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 people, because
otherwise we should not be free to enter into relationship with people of our
own kind later on.

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 only
And forgoes 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 invited none, flatters none–all come of
their own free will. In this way there develops a voluntary dependence
among those who hold 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.

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.

9. Hsiao Ch’u / 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. It is
only through gentleness that this can have a successful outcome.


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. To carry out our
purpose we need firm determination within and gentleness and adaptability
in external relations.


The wind drives across heaven:
Thus the superior man
Refines the outward aspect of his nature.

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


Nine at the beginning means:
Return to the way.
How could there be blame in this?
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. 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 form fate, hence there
are annoying arguments like those of a married couple. Naturally this is not
a favorable state of thing, 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, on should restrain him in such a way that the threat of actual bloodshed
may arise. Nonetheless, the power of disinterested truth is greater than all
theses 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. 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 reach. This has come about through the cumulation of small effects
produced by reverence for a superior character. 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. 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.

10. 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. 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]. 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 happened 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 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. Among mankind also there are
necessarily differences of elevation; it is impossible to bring about universal
equality. 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 hand, 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.


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 not
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. 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 worth
while, an all is well.

Nine in the second place means:
Treading a smooth, level course.
The perseverance of a dark man
Brings good fortune.

The situation of a lonely sage is indicated here. He remains withdrawn from
the bustle of life, seeks nothing, asks nothing of anyone, and travels through
life unassailed, on a level road. Since he is content and does not challenge
fate, he remains free of entanglements.

°Six in the third place means:
A one-eyed man is able to see,
A lame man is able to tread.
He treads on the tail of the tiger.
The tiger bites the man.
Thus does a warrior act on behalf of his great prince.

A one-eyed man can indeed see, but not enough for clear vision. A lame
man can indeed treat, but not enough to make progress. If in spite of such
defects a man considers himself strong and consequently exposes himself to
danger, he is inviting disaster, for he is undertaking something beyond his
strength. This reckless way of plunging ahead, regardless of the adequacy of
one’s powers, can be justified only in the case of a warrior battling for his

Nine in the fourth place means:
He treads on the tail of the tiger.
Caution and circumspection
Lead ultimately to good fortune.

This text refers to a dangerous enterprise. The inner power to carry it through
is there, but this inner power is combined with hesitating caution in one’s
external attitude. This line contrasts with the preceding line, which is weak
within but outwardly presses forward. Here one is sure of ultimate success,
which consists in achieving one’s purpose, that is, in overcoming danger by
going forward.

° Nine in the fifth place means:
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. 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. 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.

11. T’ai / 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. 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 is an end to all feuds.
In side, at the center, in the key position, is the light principle; the dark
principle is outside. 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.
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,
And so aids the people.

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. One 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,
Not regarding one’s companions:
Thus one may manage to walk in the middle.

In times of prosperity it is important and 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 is
duty. Theses 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 induct
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. 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

° Six in the fifth place means:
The sovereign I
Gives his daughter in marriage.
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.

12. 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


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. What
is above has no relation to what is below, and on earth confusion and
disorder prevail. 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 one 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.


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.

When, owing to the influence of inferior men, mutual mistrust prevails in
public life, fruitful activity is rendered impossible, because the fundaments
are wrong. 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. He therefore hides his worth
and withdraws into seclusion.


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 form 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

°Six in the second place means:
They bear and endure;
This means good fortune for inferior people.
The standstill serves to help the great man to attain success.

Inferior people are ready to flatter their superiors in a servile way. 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. 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.

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. A man who sets himself up a capable of
creating order according to his own judgment could make mistakes and end
in failure. 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. 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, not ruin when he is well established, nor confusion
when his affairs are in order. 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.

13. T’ung Jên / 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 the 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.


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.
It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship
among men, 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:
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 not mistakes. The basic principles of any kind of union must be
equally accessible to all concerned. Secret agreements bring misfortune.

° Six in the second place means:
Fellowship with men in the clan.

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 and therefore lead in the course of time to

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 form afar. 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. 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 mover 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,
the 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. 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 the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
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.

14. 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.


Supreme success.

The two trigrams indicate that strength and clarity unite. Possessions 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 graceful and controlled way. This brings supreme success and wealth.


Fire in heaven above:
Thus the superior man curbs evil and furthers good,
And thereby obeys the benevolent will of heaven.

The sun in heaven above, shedding light over everything one 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.
If one remains conscious of difficulty,
One remains without blame.

Great possession 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 theses 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 farm
means that there are at hand able helpers who give their support t 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.

°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. 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 form
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.

15. 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 and 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.

It is the law of heaven to make fullness empty and to make full what is
modest; 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.
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.
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 competent 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.


Six at the beginning means:
A superior man modest about his modesty
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. 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 placed concealed. There are officials who indeed do not
strive for prominence; they hide behind the letter of 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. 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.

16. Yü / 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.

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. 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. The inviolability of natural laws
rests on this principle of movement along the line of least resistance. Theses
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 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
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. 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
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.”


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.
Enthusiasm should never be an egotistic emotion; it is justified only when it
is a general feeling that unites one with others.

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 actin. 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. He attracts people because he has no
doubts and is wholly sincere. Owing to his confidence in them he wins their
enthusiastic co-operation and attains success. Just as a clasp draws the hair
together and hold it, so he draws man 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.

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, then he is
freed of error. A sober awakening from false enthusiasm is quite possible and
very favorable.

17. 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. If he has to obtain a following by force or cunning, by conspiracy
or by creating faction, 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, 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.


°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.

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.

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 seeks and
needs for the development of his personality. 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.

°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.

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.

18. 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 is come about because the gentle indifference
in 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”.

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.
Work toward improving conditions promises well, because it accords 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.
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 cause of corruption before we can do away
with them; 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 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 blow s slow 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. His
methods likewise must be derived from the two trigrams, but in such a way
that their effects unfold in orderly sequence. The superior must first remove
stagnation by stirring up public opinion, as the wind stirs up everything, and
must strengthen and tranquilize the character of the people, as the mountain
gives tranquillity and nourishment to all that grows in its vicinity.


Six in 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. But the decay has not yet
penetrated deeply and so can still be easily remedied. It is as if a son were
compensated 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.

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 discourse and
annoyances will surely develop. But too much energy is better than too little.
Therefore, although he may at times have 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.

° 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 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.

19. 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 lower. 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.


APPROACH 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 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 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.

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.


° 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. This bring 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. Everything serves
to further. Therefore he will travel the paths of life swiftly, honestly, and

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
in to 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. 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:
Great hearted approach.
Good-hearted 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 great
hearted humbling of himself is blameless.

20. 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. 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, sets a lofty example to the masses.
This hexagram is linked with the eight 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


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, the
contemplation of it has a transforming awe-spiring 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:
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; 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; 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:
Boy like contemplation.
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, abut 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. 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 out contemplation upon
ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-
contemplation means the overcoming of naive egotism in the person who
sees everything solely form his own standpoint. He begins to reflect and in
this way acquires objectivity. 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 act independently, and should not be used as a tool.

° 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, 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 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.

21. 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.
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 meting out
punishment; unqualified clarity and gentleness would be too weak. The two
together create the just measure. 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 lighting:
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 differentiated, according to the nature of the crimes.
This is symbolized by the clarity of lighting. The law is strengthened
by a just application of penalties. 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 a
lack of clarity in the penal codes and slackness in executing them.
The only to strengthen the law is to make it clear and 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. However,
there is no great harm in this, because the penalty as such is

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 n this way is put in a somewhat
humiliating position. 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.

Nine at the top means:
His neck is fastened in the wooden cangue,
So that his ears disappear.

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.

22. 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.


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 therefore be used sparingly and only in little things.
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. 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.


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. They require greater earnestness.


Nine at the beginning means:
He lends grace to his toes, leaves the carriage, and walks.

A beginner in 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. 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.

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. 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. 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 the 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.

Six in the fifth place means:
Grace in the 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, in to 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.

23. 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 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


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. Under these
circumstances, which are due to the time, it is not favorable for the superior
man to undertake anything.
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.
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. 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 and avoid action.


The mountain rests on the earth:
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. Its position is strong only when it rises out of
the earth broad and great, not proud and steep. 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 tranquillity.


Six at the beginning means:
The leg of the bed is split.
Those who persevere are destroyed.

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.

Six in the second place means:
The bed is split at the edge.
Those who persevere are destroyed.

The power of the inferior people is growing. The danger draws close to one’s
person; already there are clear indication, 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.

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.

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.

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 food 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. 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. 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.

24. Fu / Return (The 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. 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. This is
the meaning of heaven and earth.
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.


Thunder within the earth:
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. 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. 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. 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 for without results from this wrong attitude.
What is pictured here is blind obstinacy and the judgment that is visited
upon it.

25. 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 form above,
from heaven. 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. For wherever conscious
purpose is to be seen, there the truth and innocence of nature have been lost.
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
fundamental or unexpected.


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. 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 and personal advantage. 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. 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.”


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.

In springtime when thunder, life energy, begins to move again under the
heavens, everything sprouts and grows, and all beings receive for 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, 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. 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.

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.
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.
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

26. 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 afar stronger.
The hexagram has a threefold meaning, expressing different aspects of the
concept „Holding firm.” 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.


Perseverance furthers.
Not eating at home brings good fortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.

To hold firmly to great creative powers and store them up, as set forth in this
hexagram, there is need of a strong, clear-headed man who is honored by the
ruler. The trigram Ch’ein points to strong creative power; Kên indicates
firmness and truth. 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:
Thus the superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity
And many deeds of the past,
In order to strengthen his character thereby.

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 fore 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.

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 later 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. 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 great success.

° Six in the fifth place means:
The tusk of a gelded boar.
Good fortune.

Here 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. Thus also where men are concerned,
wild force should not be combated directly; instead, its roots should be eradicated.

° Nine at the top means:
One attains the way of heaven.

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.

27. I / Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment)


This hexagram is a picture of an open mouth; above and below are 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. 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.


At the foot of the mountain, thunder:
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 comes 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 form 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.


Nine at the beginning means:
You let your magic tortoise go,
And look at me with the corners of your mouth drooping.

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. 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 of 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 sine 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. 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. 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. These undertakings bring general happiness for him and for
all others.

28. 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.

The weight of the great is excessive. 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 gently 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. It demands real
superiority; therefore the time when the great preponderates is a momentous


The lake rises above the trees:
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 flood times 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.


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 situation arises when an older man marries a
young girl who suits him. Despite the unusualness of the situation, all goes
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.

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. Because of this the burden
grows, until the structure of things bends or breaks. 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.

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.

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

29. K’an / The 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
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. 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. 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. 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.


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.

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 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.

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. 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; at first we must content ourselves with not being
overcome by it. We must calmly weigh the conditions of the time and by
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 in to 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 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 in 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.

° 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;
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.

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.

30. Li / The Clinging, Fire


This hexagram is another double sign. The trigram Li means „to cling to
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. While K’an means the soul
shut within the body, Li stands for nature in its radiance.


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. Everything that gives
light is dependent on something to which it clings, in order that it may
continue to shine.
Thus the sun and moon cling to heaven, and grain, grass, and trees cling to
the earth. 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, and when man recognizes this limitation 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 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. 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. 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.

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. 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.

° 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.

Nine at the top means:
The king used 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

31. 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
Just as the first part of book 1 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


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
and courtship; 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. 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


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. People soon give up
counseling a man who thinks that he knows everything better than anyone


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 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.

Six in the second place means:
The influence shows itself in the calves of the legs.
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.
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. 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.

° 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. All those who are receptive to the vibrations of such a
spirit will then be influenced. 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. Moreover, the effects produced are then limited to
those on whom one’s thoughts are consciously fixed.

° 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 mind. It is true
that if we cannot be influenced ourselves, we cannot influence the outside

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. The influence produced by such mere tongue wagging
must necessarily remain insignificant. Hence no indication is added
regarding good or bad fortune.

32. 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


DURATION. Success. No blame.
Perseverance furthers.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is
not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression. Duration is rather the self-
contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly
integrated whole, taking place in accordance with immutable laws and
beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward
movement, 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. 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 has 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.
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.” He who demands too much at
once is acting precipitately, and because he attempts too much, he ends by
succeeding in nothing.

° 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. 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

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. 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. 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.

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.

33. 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. 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.

Conditions are such that the hostile forces favored by the time are advancing.
In this case retreat is the right course, and it is not to be confused with flight.
Flight means saving oneself under any circumstances, whereas retreat is a
sign of strength. We must be careful not to miss the right moment while we
are in full possession of power and position. 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 simple 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. 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.

The mountain rises up under heaven, but owing to its nature it finally comes
to a stop. Heaven on the other hand retreats upward before it into the
distance and remains out of reach. 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.


°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 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
man that the latter cannot shake him off. And because he is in quest of what
is right an 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 maidservants
Brings 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

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

34. 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. 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 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:
Thus the superior man does not tread upon paths
That do not accord with established order.

Thunder–electrical energy–mounts upward in the spring. The direction of
this movement is in harmony with that of the movement of heaven. It is
therefore a movement in accord with heaven, producing great power.
However, true greatness depends on being in harmony with what is right.
Therefore in times of great power the superior man avoids doing anything
that is not in harmony with the established order.


Nine at the beginning means:
Power in the toes.
Continuing brings misfortune.
This is certainly true.

The toes are in the lowest place and are ready to advance. So likewise great
power in lowly station is inclined to effect advance by force. This, if carried
further, would certainly lead to misfortune, and therefore by way of advice a
warning is added.

Nine in the second place means:
Perseverance brings good fortune.

The premise here is that the gates to success are beginning to open.
Resistance gives way and we forge ahead. This is the point at which, only too
easily, we become the prey of exuberant self-confidence. This is why the
oracle says that perseverance (i.e., perseverance in inner equilibrium, without
excessive use of power) brings good fortune.

Nine in the third place means:
The inferior man works through power.
The superior man does not act thus.
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. 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, 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.

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.

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.

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 thing 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

35. 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. This leader has enough clarity
of vision not to abuse his great influence but to use it rather for the benefit of
his ruler. 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


The sun rises over the earth:
The image of PROGRESS.
Thus the superior man himself
Brightens his bright virtue.

The light of the sun rises over the earth is by nature clear. 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, but it becomes clouded by contact with earthly things and
therefore needs purification 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 continue in what is right; 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

Six in the second place means:
Progressing, but in sorrow.
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 inevitably brought to the light, perseverance in such action
always leads to danger.

° Six in the fifth place means:
Remorse disappears.
Take not gain and loss to heart.
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

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 over energetic behavior, especially
toward persons with whom there is no close connection, will lead to

36. Ming I / Darkening of the 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.


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.
In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his
will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment.
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:
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.
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. Never the less 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.

° 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.

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.

We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his
mot 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, furnished the historical example on which this whole
situation is based. Prince Chi was a relative of the tyrant and could not
withdraw from the 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.
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 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.

37. Chia Jên / The Family [The Clan]


The 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 FAMILY. The perseverance of the woman furthers.

The foundation of the family is the relationship between husband and wife.
The tie that hold the family together lies in the loyalty and perseverance of
the 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. 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 the
husband and wife, which is the relation of chaste conduct, 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
the embryo; it is the native soil on which performance of moral duty is made
early 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.


Wind comes forth from fire:
The image of THE FAMILY.
Thus the superior man has substance in his words
And duration in his way of life.

Heat creates energy: this is signified by the wind stirred up by the fire and
issuing forth form it. This represents influence working from within
outward. The same thing is needed in the regulation of the family. Here too
the influence on others must proceed form 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 am impression on
others that they can adapt and conform to it. If words and conduct are not in
accord and 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 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. 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. 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 here is to seek nothing by
means of force, but quietly to confine oneself to the duties at hand.

Nine in the third place means:
When tempers flare up in the family,
Too great severity brings remorse.
Good fortune nonetheless.
When woman and chile 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

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.
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.

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.

38. 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 indirect 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; 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.
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 sutured 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


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, just as a horse goes farther and farther away if one runs after it.
It it is one’s won 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. One 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. They will eventually withdraw of
their own accord.

° 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 tot 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; despite this
opposition, he must cleave to the man with whom he knows he belongs.
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. His will achieves its aim, and he becomes free of faults.

° Six in the fifth place means:
Remorse disappears.
The companion bits his way through the wrappings.
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,
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 in 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.

39. Chien / Obstruction


The hexagram pictures a dangerous abyss lying before us and a steep,
inaccessible mountain rising behind us. We are surrounded by obstacles; at
the same time, since the mountain has the attribute of keeping still, there is
implicit a hint as to how we can extricate ourselves. The hexagram represents
obstructions that appear in the course of time but that can and should be
overcome. Therefore all the instruction given is directed to overcoming


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

The southwest is the region of retreat, the northeast that of advance. Here an
individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In
such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat.
However, this is merely a preparation for overcoming the obstructions. One
must join forces with friends of like mind and put himself under the
leadership of a man equal to the situation: then one will succeed in
removing the obstacles. This requires the will to persevere just when one
apparently must do something that leads away from his goal. This
unswerving inner purpose brings good fortune in the end. An obstruction
that lasts only for a time is useful for self-development. This is the value of


Water on the mountain:
The image of OBSTRUCTION.
Thus the superior man turns his attention to himself
And molds his character.

Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. While the
inferior man seeks to put the blame on other persons, bewailing his fate, the
superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection
the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and


Six at the beginning means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming meets with praise.

When one encounters an obstruction, the important thing is to reflect on
how best to deal with it. When threatened with danger, one should not strive
blindly to go ahead, for this only leads to complications. The correct thing is,
on the contrary, to retreat for the time being, not in order to give up the
struggle but to await the right moment for action.

Six in the second place means:
The King’s servant is beset by obstruction upon obstruction,
But it is not his own fault.

Ordinarily it is best to go around an obstacle and try to overcome it along the
line of least resistance. But there is one instance in which a man must go out
to meet the trouble, even though difficulty piles upon difficulty: this is when
the path of duty leads directly to it-in other words, when he cannot act of his
own volition but is duty bound to go and seek out danger in the service of a
higher cause. Then he may do it without compunction, because it is not
through any fault of his that he is putting himself in this difficult situation.

Nine in the third place means:
Going leads to obstructions;
Hence he comes back.

While the preceding line shows the official compelled by duty to follow the
way of danger, this line shows the man who must act as father of a family or
as head of his kin. If he were to plunge recklessly in to danger, it would be a
useless act, because those entrusted to his care cannot get along by themselves.
But if he withdraws and turns back to his own, they welcome him with great

Six in the fourth place means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming leads to union.

This too describes a situation that cannot be managed single-handed. In such
a case the direct way is not the shortest. If a person were to forge ahead on his
own strength and without the necessary preparations, he would not find the
support he needs and would realize too late that he has been mistaken in his
calculations, inasmuch as the conditions on which he hoped he could rely
would prove to be inadequate. In this case it is better, therefore, to hold back
for the time being and to gather together trustworthy companions who can be
counted upon for help in overcoming the obstructions.

° Nine in the fifth place means:
In the midst of the greatest obstructions,
Friends come.

Here we see a man who is called to help in an emergency. He should not seek
to evade the obstructions, no matter how dangerously they pile up before
him. But because he is really called to the task, the power of his spirit is strong
enough to attract helpers whom he can effectively organize, so that through
the well-directed co-operation of all participants the obstruction is overcome.

Six at the top means:
Going leads to obstructions,
Coming leads to great good fortune.
It furthers one to see the great man.

This refers to a man who has already left the world and its tumult behind
him. When the time of obstructions arrives, it might seem that the simplest
thing for him to do would be to turn his back upon the world and take refuge
in the beyond. But this road is barred to him. He must not seek his own
salvation and abandon the world to its adversity. Duty calls him back once
more into the turmoil of life. Precisely because of his experience and inner
freedom, he is able to create something both great and complete that brings
good fortune. And it is favorable to see the great man in alliance with whom
one can achieve the work of rescue.

40. Hsieh / Deliverance


Here the movement goes out of the sphere of danger. The obstacle has been
removed, the difficulties are being resolved. 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.
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.
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. 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. 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.

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. 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
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.
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 in to 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. 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 common man; a carriage is
the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the
appurtenance of 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 whim 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; 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

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.

41. Sun / Decrease


This hexagram represents a decrease of the lower trigram in favor of the
upper, because the third line, originally strong, has moved up to the top, and
the top line, originally weak, has replaced it. What is below is decreased to
the benefit of what is above. This is out-and-out decrease. If the foundations
of a building are decreased in strength and the upper walls are strengthened,
the whole structure loves its stability. Likewise, a decrease in the prosperity of
the people in favor of the government is out-and-out decrease. And the
entire theme of the hexagram is directed to showing how this shift of wealth
can take place without causing the sources of wealth can take place without
causing the sources of wealth in the nation and its lower classes to fail.


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.

Decrease does not under all circumstances mean something bad. Increase
and decrease come in their own time. What matters here is to understand
the time and not to try to cover up poverty with empty pretense. If a time of
scanty resources brings out an inner truth, one must not feel ashamed of
simplicity. For simplicity is then the very thing needed to provide inner
strength for further undertakings. Indeed, there need by no concern if the
outward beauty of the civilization, even the elaboration of religious forms,
should have to suffer because of simplicity. One must draw on the strength
of the inner attitude to compensate for what is lacking in externals; then the
power of the content makes up for the simplicity of form. There is no need
of presenting false appearances to God. Even with slender means, the
sentiment of the heart can be expressed.


At the foot of the mountain, the lake:
The image of DECREASE.
Thus the superior man controls his anger
And restrains his instincts.

The lake at the foot of the mountain evaporates. In this way it decreases to
the benefit of the mountain, which is enriched by its moisture. The
mountain stands as the symbol of stubborn strength that can harden into
anger. The lake is the symbol of unchecked gaiety that can develop into
passionate drives at the expense of the life forces. Therefore decrease is
necessary; anger must be decreased by keeping still, the instincts must be
curbed by restriction. By this decrease of the lower powers of the psyche, the
higher aspects of the soul are enriched/


Nine at the beginning means:
Going quickly when one’s tasks are finished
Is without blame.
But one must reflect on how much one may decrease others.

It is unselfish and good when a man, after completing his own urgent tasks,
uses his strength in the service of others, and without bragging or making
much of it, helps quickly where help is needed. But the man in a superior
position who is thus aided must weigh carefully how much he can accept
without doing the helpful servant or friend real harm. Only where such
delicacy of feeling exists can one give oneself unconditionally and without

Nine in the second place means:
Perseverance furthers.
To undertake something brings misfortune.
Without decreasing oneself,
One is able to bring increase to others.

A high-minded self-awareness and a consistent seriousness with no forfeit of
dignity are necessary if a man wants to be of service to others. He who throw
himself away in order to do the bidding of a superior diminishes his own
position without thereby giving lasting benefit to the other. This is wrong.
To render true service of lasting value to another, one must serve him
without relinquishing oneself.

°Six in the third place means:
When three people journey together,
Their number increases by one.
When one man journeys alone,
He finds a companion.

When there are three people together, jealousy arises. One of them will have
to go. Avery close bond is possible only between two people. But when one
man is lonely, he is certain to find a companion who complements him.

Six in the fourth place means:
If a man deceases his faults,
It makes the other hasten to come and rejoice.
No blame.

A man’s faults often prevent even well-disposed people from coming closer
to him. His faults are sometimes reinforced by the environment in which he
lives. But if in humility he can bring himself to the point of giving them up,
he frees his well-disposed friends from an inner pressure and causes them to
approach the more quickly, and there is mutual joy.

° Six in the fifth place means:
Someone does indeed increase him.
Ten pairs of tortoises cannot oppose it.
Supreme good fortune.

If someone is marked out by fate for good fortune, it comes without fail. All
oracles-as for instance those that are read from the shells of tortoises-are
bound to concur in giving him favorable signs. He need fear nothing,
because his luck is ordained from on high.

Nine at the top means:
If one is increased without depriving other,
There is no blame.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
It furthers one to undertake something.
One obtains servants
But no longer has a separate home.

There are people who dispense blessings to the whole world. Every increase
in power that comes to them benefits the whole of mankind and therefore
does not bring decrease to others. Through perseverance and zealous work a
man wins success and finds helpers as they are needed. But what he
accomplishes is not a limited private advantage; it is a public good and
available to everyone.

42. 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.
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.


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. 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 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


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 not 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. 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.


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 it, 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 an steadfastness. Then he acquires meaning
before God and man, and can accomplish something for the good of the

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 the letter and seal.

Six in the fourth place means:
If you walk in the middle
And report 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.

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 furhtering 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
cooperate. If he is agitated in his word, 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.

43. Kuai / Break-through (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. 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


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.
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 becomes 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. 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.
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.


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 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.

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. 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
thought hey 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 evilness. He
will of course be misjudged. It will be thought that he belong 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.

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 him 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 own’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.

44. 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.
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.

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 fist, 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. 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. 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.

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.
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 heave.

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 an 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

45. 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 gather together, whereas in the
former case one strong line (the fifth) stands in the midst of weak lines.


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. 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. 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.
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 no need of great deeds in the time of GATHERING


Over the earth, the lake:
Thus the superior man renews his weapons
In order to meet the unforeseen.

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. 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 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.
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. This is certainly
to be regretted. The only means of dealing with such people is to gain their
confidence through steadfastness an intensified, unswerving devotion to
duty. 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.

46. Shêng / 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.


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. 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
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 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 with the rulers above, 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. But it is wise not to yield to such
misgivings, because they only inhibit one’s power. Instead, the point is to
profit by the propitiousness of time.

Six in the fourth place means:
The king offers him Mount Ch’i.
Good fortune. No blame.

Mount Ch’i is in the 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

47. 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
line; 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.


OPPRESSION. Success. Perseverance.
The great man brings about good fortune.
No blame.
When one has something to say,
It is not believed.

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. He who
lets his spirit be broken by exhaustion certainly has no success. 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.


There is not 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.


Six at the beginning means:
One sits oppressed under a bare tree
And strays into a gloomy valley.
For three years one sees nothing.

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.

° 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. 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 visible 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 the house and does not see his wife.

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. 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 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
their 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. 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

° 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 an defeat). 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, 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.

48. 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.


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. Life is also inexhaustible. It grows
neither less not 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.
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.
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.


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.

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. In the end no one troubles about him any

Nine in the second place means:
At the well hole 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 worth while.

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

Six in the fourth place means:
The well is being lined. No blame.

True, if a well is being lined with sone, 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.

° 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 fore 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

49. 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 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. On your own day
You are believed.
Supreme success,
Furthering through perseverance.
Remorse disappears.

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 and
must really relieve the need of the people. Only then does he have nothing to
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.

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, and man is
able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.


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 becomes firm in
one’s mind, control oneself-yellow is the color of the means, 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 other 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. 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.

50. 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 heads 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, men-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.

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.
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.

The fate of fire depends on wood; as long as there is wood below, the fire
burns 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 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 she comes to be honored.
These two metaphors express the idea that in a highly developed
civilization, such as that indicated by this hexagram, every person of good
will can in some way or other succeed. No matter how lowly he may be,
provided he is ready to purify himself, he is accepted. He attains a station in
which he can prove himself fruitful in accomplishment, and as a result he
gains recognition.

Nine in the second place means:
There is food in the ting.
My comrades are envious,
But they cannot harm me.
Good fortune.

In a period of advanced culture, it is of the greatest importance that one
should achieve something significant. If a man concentrates on such real
undertakings, he may indeed experience envy and disfavor, but that is not
dangerous. The more he limits himself to his actual achievements, the less
harm the envious inflict on him.

Nine in the third place means:
The handle of the ting is altered.
One is impeded in his way of life.
The fat of the pheasant is not eaten.
Once rain falls, remorse is spent.
Good fortune comes in the end.

The handle is the means for lifting up the ting. If the handle is altered, the
ting cannot be lifted up and used, and, sad to say, the delicious food in it, such
as pheasant fat, cannot be eaten by anyone.
This describes a man who, in a highly evolved civilization, finds himself in
a place where no one notices or recognizes him. This is a severe block to his
effectiveness. All of his good qualities and gifts of mind thus needlessly go to
waste. But if he will only see to it that he is possessed of something truly
spiritual, the time is bound to come, sooner or later, when the difficulties will
be resolved and all will go well. The fall of rain symbolizes here, as in other
instances, release of tension.

Nine in the fourth place means:
The legs of the ting are broken.
The prince’s meal is spilled
And his person is soiled.

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.”

° 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, 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 t 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.

51. Chên / 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


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.

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.
This is the spirit that must animate leaders and rulers of men-a profound
inner seriousness from which all terrors glance off harmlessly.


Thunder repeated: the image of SHOCK.
Thus in fear and trembling
The superior man sets his life in order
And examines himself.

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!
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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Six in the fifth place means:
Shock goes hither and thither.
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. 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. 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.

52. Kên / 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 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. 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.
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.
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. 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.


Mountains standing close together:
The image of KEEPING STILL.
Thus the superior man
Does 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


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 the truth, finds the right way.
But persisting firmness is needed to keep one from drifting irresolutely.

Six in e 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.

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. 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
form, 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 tranquillity. 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.

53. 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
tranquillity, which guards against precipitate actions, and without is
penetration, which makes development and progress possible.


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. 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.


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. Naturally he is subjected to much criticism. But these
very difficulties keep him from being too hasty, and his progress is successful.

° 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
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

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.
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 all necessary; it is only the result of transgressing the law of natural
development. 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.

Six in the fourth place means:
The wild goose goes 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.

Nine at the top means:
The wild goose gradually draws near the clouds 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 earth, who look
up to him as an example.

54. 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 MARRYING MAIDEN, shows a young girl under
the guidance of an older man who marries her.


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 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. 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:
Thus the superior man
Understands the transitory
In the light of the eternity of the end.

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. 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 princess 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, 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.

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 lost the inner light of loyalty. Thought the
other eye is gone, she maintains her loyalty even in loneliness.

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. 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 serving maid.
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

55. Fêng / 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.


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 foes not befit him. 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.


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.

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.

Nine in the fourth place means:
The curtain is of such fullness
That 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 wisdom.

° 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.

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.

56. Lü / 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 Wanderer. Success through smallness.
Perseverance brings good fortune
To the Wanderer.

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. 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.


Fire on the mountain:
The image of THE WANDERER.
Thus the superior man
Is clear-minded and cautious
In 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.


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.

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 her 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.

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. 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 statesman were in the habit of introducing themselves to local
princes with the gift of 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

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.

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.

57. Sun / The Gentle (The 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. 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. It should be effected
not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. 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:
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


Six at the beginning means:
In advancing and in retreating,
The perseverance of a warrior furthers.

In born gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does
not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. 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.
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.
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. 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.

58. 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.


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.
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.


Lakes resting one on the other:
The image of THE JOYOUS.
Thus the superior man joins with his friends
For 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.


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.

° 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

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.

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 far best of men. If a man permits
himself to have anything to do with them, their disintegrating influence acts
slowly but surely, and inevitable 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.

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.

59. 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.


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. The
common celebration of the great sacrificial feasts and sacred rites, which gave
expression simultaneously to the interrelation and social articulation of the
family and state, was the means of employed by the great ruler to unite men.
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.


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.


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

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. Such support is never found in hatred, but always in a
moderate and just judgment of men, linked with good will. 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.
Only on the basis of 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.
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 stimulating idea is a true salvation in times of
general deadlock. 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.

60. 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


Galling limitation must not be persevered in.

Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. 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.


Water over lake: the image of LIMITATION.
Thus the superior man
Creates number and measure,
And examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct.

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; if they existed, his life
would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man’s life needs
the limitations ordained by duty 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.

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.

Six in the third place means:
He who knows 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.

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. 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.

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. 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 si
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.

61. 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 present.
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 of 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. 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. 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 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


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 not, 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. 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?

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 of 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 form the sun. However, this requires a certain humility, like that of the
moon when it is not yet quite full. 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 be 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.

62. Hsiao Kuo / Preponderance of the Small


While in the hexagram Ta Kuo, PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT (28), the
strong lines preponderate and are within, inclosed between weak lines at the
top and bottom, the present hexagram has weak lines preponderating, though
here again they are on the outside, the strong lines being within. This indeed
is the basis of the exceptional situation indicated by the hexagram. When
strong lines are outside, we have the hexagram I, PROVIDING
NOURISHMENT (27), or Chung Fu, INNER TRUTH, (61); neither represents
and exceptional state. When strong elements within preponderate, they
necessarily enforce their will. This creates struggle and exceptional conditions
in general. But in the present hexagram it is the weak element that perforce
must mediate with the outside world. If a man occupies a position of
authority for which he is by nature really inadequate, extraordinary prudence
is necessary.


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.
Great good fortune.

Exceptional modesty and conscientiousness are sure to be rewarded with
success; however, if a man is not to throw himself away, it is important that
they should not become empty form and subservience but be combined
always with a correct dignity in personal behavior. We must understand the
demands of the time in order to find the necessary offset for its deficiencies
and damages. In any event we must not count on great success, since the
requisite strength is lacking. In this lies the importance of the message that
one should not strive after lofty things but hold to lowly things.
The structure of the hexagram gives rise to the idea that this message is
brought by a bird. In Ta Kuo, PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT (28), the
four strong, heavy lines within, supported only by two weak lines without,
give the image of a sagging ridgepole. Here the supporting weak lines are
both outside and preponderant; this gives the image of a soaring bird. But a
bird should not try to surpass itself and fly into the sun; it should descend to
the earth, where its nest is. In this way it gives the message conveyed by the


Thunder on the mountain:
Thus in his conduct the superior man gives preponderance to reverence.
In bereavement he gives preponderance to grief.
In his expenditures he gives preponderance to thrift.

Thunder on the mountain is different from thunder on the plain. In the
mountains, thunder seems much nearer; outside the mountains, it is less
audible than the thunder of an ordinary storm. Thus the superior man
derives an imperative from this image: he must always fix his eyes more
closely and more directly on duty than does the ordinary man, even though
this might make his behavior seem petty to the outside world. He is
exceptionally conscientious in his actions. In bereavement emotion means
more to him than ceremoniousness. In all his personal expenditures he is
extremely simple and unpretentious. In comparison with the man of the
masses, all this makes him stand out as exceptional. But the essential
significance of his attitude lies in the fact that in external matters he is on the
side of the lowly.


Six at the beginning means:
The bird meets with misfortune through flying.

A bird ought to remain in the nest until it is fledged. If it tries to fly before
this, it invites misfortune. Extraordinary measures should be resorted to only
when all else fails. At first we ought to put up with traditional ways as long
as possible; otherwise we exhaust ourselves and our energy and still achieve

° Six in the second place means:
She passes by her ancestor
And meets her ancestress.
He does not reach his prince
And meets the official.
No blame.

Two exceptional situations are instanced here. In the temple of ancestors,
where alternation of generations prevails, the grandson stands on the same
side as the grandfather. Hence his closest relations are with the grandfather.
The present line designates the grandson’s wife, who during the sacrifice
passes by the ancestor and goes toward the ancestress. This unusual behavior
is, however, an expression of her modesty. She ventures rather to approach
the ancestress, for she feels related to her by their common sex. Hence here
deviation from the rule is not a mistake.
Another image is that of the official who, in compliance with regulation,
first seeks an audience with his prince. If he is not successful in this, he does
not try to force anything but goes about conscientious fulfillment of his duty,
taking his place among the other officials. This extraordinary restraint is
likewise not a mistake in exceptional times. (The rule is that every official
should first have an audience with the prince by whom he is appointed. Here
the appointment is made by the minister.)

Nine in the third place means:
If one is not extremely careful,
Somebody may come up from behind and strike him.

At certain times extraordinary caution is absolutely necessary. But it is just in
such life situations that we find upright and strong personalities who,
conscious of being in the right, disdain to hold themselves on guard, because
they consider it petty. Instead, they go their way proud and unconcerned. But
this self-confidence deludes them. There are dangers lurking for which they
are unprepared. Yet such danger is not unavoidable; one can escape it if he
understands that the time demands that he pay especial attention to small
and insignificant thing.

Nine in the fourth place means:
No blame. He meets him without passing by.
Going brings danger. One must be on guard.
Do not act. Be constantly persevering.

Hardness of character is tempered by yielding position so that no mistakes are
made. The situation here calls for extreme caution; one must make no
attempt of one’s own initiative to reach the desired end. And if one were to
go on, endeavoring one must be on guard and not act but continue inwardly
to persevere.

° Six in the fifth place means:
Dense clouds,
No rain from our western territory.
The prince shoots and hits him who is in the cave.

As a high place is pictured here, the image of a flying bird has become that of
flying clouds. But dense as the clouds are, they race across the sky and give
no rain. Similarly, in exceptional times there may be a born ruler who is
qualified to set the world in order, but who cannot achieve anything or confer
blessing on the people because he stands alone and has no helpers. Is such
times a man must seek out helpers with whose aid he can carry out the task.
But these helpers must be modestly sought out in the retirement to which
they have withdrawn. It is not in the fame nor their great names but their
genuine achievements that are important. Through such modesty the right
man is found, and the exceptional task is carried out in spite of all difficulties.

Six at the top means:
He passes him by, not meeting him.
The flying bird leaves him.
This means bad luck and injury.

If one overshoots the goal, one cannot hit it. If a bird will not come to its nest
but flies higher and higher, it eventually falls into the hunter’s net. He who
in times of extraordinary salience of small things does not know how to call a
halt, but restlessly seeks to press on and on, draws upon himself misfortune
at the hands of gods and men, because he deviates from the order of nature.

63. 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 si 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 thing take their
course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil.
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
Thus the superior man
Takes thought of misfortune
And arms himself against it in advance.

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 an
its energy is lost. If the heat is too great, the water evaporates into the air.
These elements here brought in to relation and thus generating energy are by
nature hostile to each other. 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.


Nine at the beginning means:
He breaks 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 hade themselves impossible at home, 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 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

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 happiness
As 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.

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.

64. 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
come to its close.


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. 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. 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.

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 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 thought of the morrow. Kept up indefinitely,
this would not lead 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. 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 rewarded.

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 wine
In 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


Richard Wilhelm’s and Cary F. Baynes translation „I Ching: Or, Book of Changes”
[3rd. ed., Bollingen Series XIX, (Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1967, 1st ed. 1950)]