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I Ching

1225 Hali Meiðhad

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)]


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
 Comentarie, commentary, commentārium, commentārius

    1. Ch'ien / The Creative

䷀ 乾

The first hexagram is made up of six unbroken lines. These unbroken lines stand for the primal power, which is lightgiving, active, strong, and of the spirit. The 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 K'ung Fu-tzu 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.”

Applied to the human world, these attributes show the great man the way to notable success: “Because he sees with great clarity causes and effects, he completes the six steps at the right time and mounts toward heaven on them at the right time, as though on six dragons.” The six steps are the six different positions given in the hexagram, which are represented later by the dragon symbol. 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 mores, which regulate and organize the expressions of love and thereby make them successful. The attribute furthering is correlated with justice, which creates the conditions in which each receives that which accords with his being, that which is due him and which constitutes his happiness. The attribute perseverance is correlated with wisdom, which discerns the immutable laws of all that happens and can therefore bring about enduring conditions. These speculations, already broached in the commentary called Wên Yen,] later formed the bridge connecting the philosophy of the “five stages (elements) of change,” as laid down in the Book of History (Shu Ching) with the philosophy of the Book of Changes, which is based solely on the polarity of positive and negative principles. In the course of time this combination of the two systems of thought opened the way for an increasingly intricate number symbolism.


    The movement of heaven is full of power.
    Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring.

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 activity.


    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 lest strong will should not prevail; the main thing is not to expend one’s powers prematurely in an attempt to obtain by force something for which the time is not yet ripe.

    Nine in the second place means:
    Dragon appearing in the field.
    It furthers one to see the great man.

Here the effects of the light-giving power begin to manifest themselves. In terms of human affairs, this means that the great man makes his appearance in his chosen field of activity. As yet he has no commanding position but is still with his peers. However, what distinguishes him from the others is his seriousness of purpose, his unqualified reliability, and the influence he exerts on his environment without conscious effort. 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 to say which of the two is the right way. Each one in this situation must make a free choice according to the inner 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. K'ung Fu-tzu says about this line:

“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

䷁ 坤

This hexagram is made up of broken lines only. The broken line represents the dark, yielding, receptive primal power of yin. The attribute of the hexagram is devotion; its image is the earth. 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 them 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 indicates is action in conformity with the situation. The person in question is not in an independent position, but is acting as an assistant. This means that he must achieve something. It is not his task to try to lead-that would only make him lose the way-but to let himself be led. If he knows how to meet fate with an attitude of acceptance, he is sure to find the right guidance. The superior man lets himself be guided; he does not go ahead blindly, but learns from the situation what is demanded of him and then follows this intimation from fate.

Since there is something to be accomplished, we need friends and helpers in the hour of toil and effort, once the ideas to be realized are firmly set. The time of toil and effort is indicated by the west and the south, for west and south symbolize the place where the Receptive works for the Creative, as nature does in summer and autumn. If in that situation one does not mobilize all one’s powers, the work to be accomplished will not be done. Hence to find friends there means to find guidance. But in addition to the time of toil and effort, there is also a time of planning, and for this we need solitude. The east symbolizes the place where a man receives orders from his master, and the north the place where he reports on what he has done. At that time he must be alone and objective. In this sacred hour he must do without companions, so that the purity of the moment may not be spoiled by factional hates and favoritism.


    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 in turn form solid bodies. In mathematics, when we discriminate between lines, planes, and solids, we find that rectangular planes result from straight lines, and cubic magnitudes from rectangular planes. The Receptive accommodates itself to the qualities of the Creative and makes them its own. Thus a square develops out of a straight line and a cube out of a square. This is compliance with the laws of the Creative; nothing is taken away, nothing added. Therefore the Receptive has no need of a special purpose of its own, nor of any effort; yet everything turns out as it should.

Nature creates all beings without erring: this is its straightness. It is calm and still: this is its foursquareness. It tolerates all creatures equally: this is its greatness. 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 him.

    Six in the fifth place means:
    A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune.

Yellow is the color of the earth and of the middle; it is the symbol of that which is reliable and genuine. The lower garment is inconspicuously decorated—the symbol of aristocratic reserve. When anyone is called upon to work in a prominent but not independent position, true success depends on the utmost discretion. A man’s genuineness and refinement should not reveal themselves directly; they should express themselves only indirectly as an effect from within.

    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 symbolizes the inflation of the earth principle. Midnight blue is the color of heaven; yellow is the color of the earth. Therefore, when black and yellow blood flow, it is a sign that in this unnatural contest both primal powers suffer injury.

    When all the lines are sixes, it means:
    Lasting perseverance furthers.

When nothing but sixes appears, the hexagram of THE RECEPTIVE changes into the hexagram of THE CREATIVE. By holding fast to what is right, it gains the power of enduring. There is indeed no advance, but neither is there retrogression.


    3. Chun / Difficulty at the Beginning

䷂ 屯

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:
    The image of Difficulty at the Beginning.
    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 associates with his fellows in a spirit of humility. Only then will he attract those with whose help he can combat the difficulties.

    Six in the second place means:
    Difficulties pile up.
    Horse and wagon part.
    He is not a robber;
    He wants to woo when the time comes.
    The maiden is chaste,
    She does not pledge herself.
    Ten years—then she pledges herself.

We find ourselves beset by difficulties and hindrances. Suddenly there is a turn of affairs, as if someone were coming up with a horse and wagon and unhitching them. This event comes so unexpectedly that we assume the newcomer to be a robber. 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 fulfillment.

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

We are in a situation in which it is our duty to act, but we lack sufficient power. However, an opportunity to make connections offers itself. It must be seized. Neither false pride nor false reserve should deter us. Bringing oneself to take the first step, even when it involves a certain degree of self-abnegation, is a sign of inner clarity. 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 disappears.

    Six at the top means:
    Horse and wagon part.
    Bloody tears flow.

The difficulties at the beginning are too great for some persons. They get stuck and never find their way out; they fold their hands and give up the struggle. Such resignation is the saddest of all things. Therefore K'ung Fu-tzu says of this line: “Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this.”


    4. Mêng / Youthful Folly

䷃ 蒙

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 in addition a perseverance that never slackens until the points are mastered one by one, real success is sure to follow. Thus the hexagram counsels the teacher as well as the pupil.


    A spring wells up at the foot of the mountain:
    The image Of YOUTH.
    Thus the superior man fosters his 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 brings humiliation.

Law is the beginning of education. Youth in its inexperience is inclined at first to take everything carelessly and playfully. It must be shown the seriousness of life. A certain measure of taking oneself in hand, brought about by strict discipline, is a good thing. He who plays with life never amounts to anything. However, discipline should not degenerate into drill. Continuous drill has a humiliating effect and cripples a man’s powers.

    ◯ Nine in the second place means:
    To bear with fools in kindliness brings good fortune.
    To know how to take 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 strength that enable him to tolerate with kindliness the shortcomings of human folly. The same attitude is owed to women as the weaker sex. One must understand them and give them recognition in a spirit of chivalrous consideration. Only this combination of inner strength with outer reserve enables one to take on the responsibility of directing a larger social body with real success.

    Six in the third place means:
    Take not a maiden who, when she sees a man of bronze,
    Loses possession of herself.
    Nothing furthers.

A weak, inexperienced man, struggling to rise, easily loses his own individuality when he slavishly imitates a strong personality of higher station. He is like a girl throwing herself away when she meets a strong man. Such a servile approach should not be encouraged, because it is bad both for the youth and the teacher. A girl owes it to her dignity to wait until she is wooed. In both cases it is undignified to offer oneself, and no good comes of accepting such an offer.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    Entangled folly brings humiliation.

For youthful folly it is the most hopeless thing to entangle itself in empty imaginings. 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 subordinates 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)

䷄ 需

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 front. 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 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 Chien, OBSTRUCTION (39), in the fact that in this instance, while waiting, we are sure of our cause and therefore do not lose the serenity born of inner cheerfulness.

    Six at the top means:
    One falls into the pit.
    Three uninvited guests arrive.
    Honor them, and in the end there will be good fortune.

The waiting is over; the danger can no longer be averted. One falls into the pit and must yield to the inevitable. Everything seems to have been in vain. But precisely in this extremity things take an unforeseen turn. 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

䷅ 訟

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 on the conflict to the bitter end has evil effects even when one is in 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 forces. Conflict within weakens the power to conquer danger without.


    Heaven and water go their opposite ways:
    The image of CONFLICT.
    Thus in all his transactions the superior man
    Carefully considers the beginning.

The image indicates that the causes of conflict are latent in the opposing tendencies of the two trigrams. Once these opposing tendencies appear, conflict is inevitable. To avoid it, therefore, everything must be taken carefully into consideration in the very beginning. If rights and duties are exactly defined, or if, in a group, the spiritual trends of the individuals harmonize, 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 other.

    Nine in the fourth place means:
    One cannot engage in conflict.
    One turns back and submits to fate,
    Changes one’s attitude,
    And finds peace in perseverance.
    Good fortune.

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

䷆ 師

This hexagram is made up of the trigrams K’an, water, and K’un, earth, and thus it symbolizes the ground water stored up in the earth. In the same way military strength is stored up in the mass of the people—invisible in times of peace but always ready for use as a source of power. The attributes of the two trigrams are danger inside and obedience outside. This points to the nature of an army, which at the core is dangerous, while discipline and obedience must prevail outside.

Of the individual lines, the one that controls the hexagram is the strong nine in the second place, to which the other lines, all yielding, are subordinate. This line indicates a commander, because it stands in the middle of one of the two trigrams. But since it is in the lower rather than the upper trigram, it represents not the ruler but the efficient general, who maintains obedience in the army by his authority.


    THE 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.

The justifying cause of a war, and clear and intelligible war aims, ought to be explained to the people by an experienced leader. Unless there is a quite definite war aim to which the people can consciously pledge themselves, the unity and strength of conviction that lead to victory will not be forthcoming. But the leader must also look to it that the passion of war and the delirium of victory do not give rise to unjust acts that will not meet with general approval. If justice and perseverance are the basis of action, all goes well.


    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 a soldier; when the war ends, he goes back to his plow. He who is generous toward the people wins their love, and a people living under a mild rule becomes strong and powerful. Only a people economically strong can be important in military power. Such power must therefore be cultivated by improving the economic condition of the people and by humane government. Only when there is this invisible bond between government and people, so that the people are sheltered by their government as ground water is sheltered by the earth, is it possible to wage a victorious war.


    Six at the beginning means:
    An army must set forth in proper order.
    If the order is not good, misfortune threatens.

At the beginning of a military enterprise, order is imperative. A just and valid cause must exist, and the obedience and coordination of the troops must be well organized, otherwise the result is inevitably failure.

    ◯ Nine in the second place means:
    In the midst of the army.
    Good fortune. No blame.
    The king bestows a triple decoration.

The leader should be in the midst of his army, in touch with it, sharing good and bad with the masses he leads. This alone makes him equal to the heavy demands made upon him. He needs also the recognition of the ruler. The decorations he receives are justified, because there is no question of personal preferment here: the whole army, whose center he is, is honored in his person.

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

    ◯ Six in the fifth place means:
    There is game in the field.
    It furthers one to catch it.
    Without blame.
    Let the eldest lead the army.
    The younger transports corpses;
    Then perseverance brings misfortune.

Game is in the field—it has left its usual haunts in the forest and is devastating the fields. This points to an enemy invasion. Energetic combat and punishment are here thoroughly justified, but they must not degenerate into a wild melee in which everyone fends for himself. Despite the greatest degree of perseverance and bravery, this would lead to misfortune. The army must be directed by an experienced leader. It is a matter of waging war, not of permitting the mob to slaughter all who fall into their hands; if they do, defeat will be the result, and despite all perseverance there is danger of misfortune.

    Six at the top means:
    The great prince issues commands,
    Founds states, vests families with fiefs.
    Inferior people should not be employed.

The war has ended successfully, victory is won, and the king divides estates and fiefs among his faithful vassals. But it is important that inferior people should not come into power. If they have helped, let them be paid off with money, but they should not be awarded lands or the privileges of rulers, lest power be abused.


    8. Pi / Holding Together [Union]

䷇ 比

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


    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 comes 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:
    The image of HOLDING TOGETHER.
    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 such 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 foregoes game that runs off in front.
    The citizens need no warning.
    Good fortune.

In the royal hunts of ancient China it was customary to drive up the game from three sides, but on the fourth the animals had a chance to run off. If they failed to do this they had to pass through a gate behind which the king stood ready to shoot. Only animals that entered here were shot; those that ran off in front were permitted to escape. This custom accorded with a kingly attitude; the royal hunter did not wish to turn the chase into a slaughter, but held that the kill should consist only of those animals which had so to speak voluntarily exposed themselves.

There is depicted here a ruler, or influential man, to whom people are attracted. Those who come to him he accepts, those who do not come are allowed to go their own way. He invites none, flatters none—all come of their own free will. In this way there develops a voluntary dependence among those who hold to him. They do not have to be constantly on their guard but may express their opinions openly. Police measures are not necessary, and they cleave to their ruler of their own volition. The same principle of freedom is valid for life in general. We should not woo favor from people. If a man cultivates within himself the purity and the strength that are necessary for one who is the center of a fellowship, those who are meant for him come of their own accord.

    Six at the top means:
    He finds no head for holding together.

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

䷈ 小畜

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 ways.


    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 from fate, hence there are annoying arguments like those of a married couple. Naturally this is not a favorable state of things, for though the situation may enable the weaker side to hold its ground, the difficulties are too numerous to permit of a happy result. In consequence even the strong man cannot so use his power as to exert the right influence on those around him. He experiences a rebuff where he expected an easy victory, and he thus compromises his dignity.

    ◯ Six in the fourth place means:
    If you are sincere, blood vanishes and fear gives way.
    No blame.

If one is in the difficult and responsible position of counselor to a powerful man, one should restrain him in such a way that right may prevail. Therein lies a danger so great that the threat of actual bloodshed may arise. Nonetheless, the power of disinterested truth is greater than all these obstacles. It carries such weight that the end is achieved, and all danger of bloodshed and all fear disappear.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    If you are sincere and loyally attached,
    You are rich in your neighbor.

Loyalty leads to firm ties because it means that each partner complements the other. In the weaker person loyalty consists in devotion, in the stronger it consists in trustworthiness. This relation of mutual reinforcement leads to a true wealth that is all the more apparent because it is not selfishly hoarded but is shared with friends. Pleasure shared is pleasure doubled.

    Nine at the top means:
    The rain comes, there is rest.
    This is due to the lasting effect of character.
    Perseverance brings the woman into danger.
    The moon is nearly full.
    If the superior man persists,
    Misfortune comes.

Success is at hand. The wind has driven up the rain. A fixed standpoint has been reached. This has come about through the accumulation of small effects produced by reverence for a superior character. 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]

䷉ 履

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 happens in good humor [Tui] and without presumption, so that the strong man is not irritated but takes it all in good part.


    TREADING. Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
    It does not bite the man. Success.

The situation is really difficult. That which is strongest and that which is weakest are close together. The weak follows behind the strong and worries it. The strong, however, acquiesces and does not hurt the weak, because the contact is in good humor and harmless.

In 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 band, external differences in rank correspond with differences in inner worth, and if inner worth forms the criterion of external rank, people acquiesce and order reigns in society.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    Simple conduct. Progress without blame.

The situation is one in which we are still not bound by any obligations of social intercourse. If our conduct is simple, we remain free of them. We can quietly follow our predilections as long as we are content and make no demands on people.

The meaning of the hexagram is not standstill but progress. A man finds himself in an altogether inferior position at the start. However, he has the inner strength that guarantees progress. If he can be content with simplicity, he can make progress without blame. When a man is dissatisfied with modest circumstances, he is restless and ambitious and tries to advance, not for the sake of accomplishing anything worth while, but merely in order to escape from lowliness and poverty by dint of his conduct. Once his purpose is achieved, he is certain to become arrogant and luxury-loving. Therefore blame attaches to his progress. On the other hand, a man who is good at his work is content to behave simply. He wishes to make progress in order to accomplish something. When he attains his goal, he does something worthwhile, and all is well.

    Nine in the second place means:
    Treading a smooth, level course.
    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 is not dazzled by enticing goals. He is true to himself 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 tread, 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 prince.

    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

䷊ 泰

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 in their turn are well disposed toward the highly placed. There is an end to all feuds.

Inside, at the center, in the key position, is the light principle; the dark principle is outside. 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;
    He furthers and regulates the gifts 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. On the other hand, nature must be furthered in her productiveness. This is done by adjusting the products to the right time and the right place, which increases the natural yield. This controlling and furthering activity of man in his relation to nature is the work on nature that rewards him.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.
    Each according to his kind.
    Undertakings bring good fortune.

In times of prosperity every able man called to fill an office draws like-minded people along with him, just as in pulling up ribbon grass one always pulls up a bunch of it, because the stalks are connected by their roots. In such times, when it is possible to extend influence widely, the mind of an able man is set upon going out into life and accomplishing something.

    ◯ Nine in the second place means:
    Bearing with the uncultured in gentleness,
    Fording the river with resolution,
    Not neglecting what is distant,
    Not regarding one’s companions:
    Thus one may manage to walk in the middle.

In times of prosperity it is important above all to possess enough greatness of soul to bear with imperfect people. For in the hands of a great master no material is unproductive; he can find use for everything. But this generosity is by no means laxity or weakness. It is during times of prosperity especially that we must always be ready to risk even dangerous undertakings, such as the crossing of a river, if they are necessary. So too we must not neglect what is distant but must attend scrupulously to everything. Factionalism and the dominance of cliques are especially to be avoided. Even if people of like mind come forward together, they ought not to form a faction by holding together for mutual advantage; instead, each man should do his duty. These are four ways in which one can overcome the hidden danger of a gradual slackening that always lurks in any time of peace. And that is how one finds the middle way for action.

    Nine in the third place means:
    No plain not followed by a slope.
    No going not followed by a return.
    He who remains persevering in danger
    Is without blame.
    Do not complain about this truth;
    Enjoy the good fortune you still possess.

Everything on earth is subject to change. Prosperity is followed by decline: this is the eternal law on earth. Evil can indeed be held in check but not permanently abolished. It always returns. This conviction might induce melancholy, but it should not; it ought only to keep us from falling into illusion when good fortune comes to us. If we continue mindful of the danger, we remain persevering and make no mistakes. As long as a man’s inner nature remains stronger and richer than anything offered by external fortune, as long as he remains inwardly superior to fate, fortune will not desert him.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    He flutters down, not boasting of his wealth,
    Together with his neighbor,
    Guileless and sincere.

In times of mutual confidence, people of high rank come in close contact with the lowly quite simply and without boasting of their wealth. This is not due to the force of circumstances but corresponds with their inmost sentiment. The approach is made quite spontaneously, because it is based on inner conviction.

    ◯ Six in the fifth place means:
    The sovereign I
    Gives his daughter in marriage.
    This brings blessing
    And supreme good fortune.

The sovereign I is T’ang the Completer. By his decree the imperial princesses, although higher in rank than their husbands, had to obey them like all other wives. Here too we are shown a truly modest union of high and low that brings happiness and blessings.

    Six at the top means:
    The wall falls back into the moat.
    Use no army now.
    Make your commands known within your own town.
    Perseverance brings humiliation.

The change alluded to in the middle of the hexagram has begun to take place. The wall of the town sinks back into the moat from which it was dug. The hour of doom is at hand. When matters have come to this pass, we should submit to fate and not try to stave it off by violent resistance. The one recourse left us is to hold our own within our intimate circle. Should we persevere in trying to resist the evil in the usual way, our collapse would only be more complete, and humiliation would be the result.


    12. P’i / Standstill [Stagnation]

䷋ 否

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


    STANDSTILL. Evil people do not further
    The perseverance of the superior man.
    The great departs; the small approaches.

Heaven and earth are out of communion and all things are benumbed. 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 on the decline. But the superior people do not allow themselves to be turned from their principles. If the possibility of exerting influence is closed to them, they nevertheless remain faithful to their principles and withdraw into seclusion.


    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 from public life. This is why the text says here, “Perseverance brings good fortune and success,” and not “Undertakings bring good fortune.” If it becomes impossible to make our influence count, it is only by retirement that we spare ourselves humiliation. Success in a higher sense can be ours, because we know how to safeguard the value of our personalities.

    ◯ 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 as 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. K'ung Fu-tzu 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, nor 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

䷌ 同人

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


    FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN in the open.
    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:
    The image of FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN.
    Thus the superior man organizes the clans
    And makes distinctions between things.

Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere mingling of individuals or of things—that would be chaos, not fellowship. If fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organization within diversity.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    Fellowship with men at the gate.
    No blame.

The beginning of union among people should take place before the door. All are equally close to one another. No divergent aims have yet arisen, and one makes no mistakes. The basic principles of any kind of union must be equally accessible to all concerned. 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 humiliation.

    Nine in the third place means:
    He hides weapons in the thicket;
    He climbs the high hill in front of it.
    For three years he does not rise up.

Here fellowship has changed about to mistrust. Each man distrusts the other, plans a secret ambush, and seeks to spy on his fellow from afar. 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 moves nearer. It is true that there are still dividing walls on which we stand confronting one another. But the difficulties are too great. We get into straits, and this brings us to our senses. We cannot fight, and therein lies our good fortune.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    Men bound in fellowship first weep and lament,
    But afterward they laugh.
    After great struggles they succeed in meeting.

Two people are outwardly separated, but in their hearts they are united. They are kept apart by their positions in life. Many difficulties and obstructions arise between them and cause them grief. But, remaining true to each other, they allow nothing to separate them, and although it costs them a severe struggle to overcome the obstacles, they will succeed. When they come together their sadness will change to joy. K'ung Fu-tzu says of this:

    “Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings.
    Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
    Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
    There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
    But when two people are at one in their inmost hearts,
    They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
    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 / Posession in Great Measure

䷍ 大有

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


    Fire in heaven above:
    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 on earth, is the image of possession on a grand scale. But a possession of this sort must be administered properly. The sun brings both evil and good into the light of day. Man must combat and curb the evil, and must favor and promote the good. Only in this way does he fulfill the benevolent will of God, who desires only good and not evil.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    No relationship with what is harmful;
    There is no blame in this.
    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 these difficulties that one can keep inwardly free of possible arrogance and wastefulness, and thus in principle overcome all cause for blame.

    Nine in the second place means:
    A big wagon for loading.
    One may undertake something.
    No blame.

Great possession consists not only in the quantity of goods at one’s disposal, but, first and foremost, in their mobility and utility, for then they can be used in undertakings, and we remain free of embarrassment and mistakes. The big wagon, which will carry a heavy load and in which one can journey far, means that there are at hand able helpers who give their support and are equal to their task. One can load great responsibility upon such persons, and this is necessary in important undertakings.

    Nine in the third place means:
    A prince offers it to the Son of Heaven.
    A petty man cannot do this.

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

    Nine in the fourth place means:
    He makes a difference
    Between himself and his neighbor.
    No blame.

This characterizes the position of a man placed among rich and powerful neighbors. It is a dangerous position. He must look neither to the right nor to the left, and must shun envy and the temptation to vie with others. In this way he remains free of mistakes.

    ◯ 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 from heaven, and all goes well. K'ung Fu-tzu 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

䷎ 謙

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


    MODESTY creates success.
    The superior man carries things through.

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 complement each other, and the result is the plain. Here an effect that it took a long time to achieve, but that in the end seems easy of accomplishment and self-evident, is used as the image of modesty. The superior man does the same thing when he establishes order in the world; he equalizes the extremes that are the source of social discontent and thereby creates just and equable conditions.


    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 place concealed. There are officials who indeed do not strive for prominence; they hide behind the letter of the ordinances, decline all responsibility, accept pay without giving its equivalent in work, and bear empty titles. This is the opposite of what is meant here by modesty. In such a position, modesty is shown by interest in one’s work.

    Six in the fifth place means:
    No boasting of wealth before one’s neighbor.
    It is favorable to attack with force.
    Nothing that would not further.

Modesty is not to be confused with weak good nature that lets things take their own course. 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

䷏ 豫

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. These laws are not forces external to things but represent the harmony of movement immanent in them. That is why the celestial bodies do not deviate from their orbits and why all events in nature occur with fixed regularity. It is the same with human society: only such laws as are rooted in popular sentiment can be enforced, while laws violating this sentiment merely arouse resentment.

Again, it is enthusiasm that enables us to install helpers for the completion of an undertaking without fear of secret opposition. It is enthusiasm too that can unify mass movements, as in war, so that they achieve victory.


    Thunder comes resounding out of the earth:
    The image of ENTHUSIASM.
    Thus the ancient kings made music
    In order to honor merit,
    And offered it with splendor
    To the Supreme Deity,
    Inviting their ancestors to be present.

When, at the beginning of summer, thunder—electrical energy—comes rushing forth from the earth again, and the first thunderstorm refreshes nature, a prolonged state of tension is resolved. Joy and relief make themselves felt. So too, music has power to ease tension within the heart and to loosen the grip of obscure emotions. The enthusiasm of the heart expresses itself involuntarily in a burst of song, in dance and rhythmic movement of the body. From immemorial times the inspiring effect of the invisible sound that moves all hearts, and draws them together, has mystified mankind.

Rulers have made use of this natural taste for music; they elevated and regulated it. Music was looked upon as something serious and holy, designed to purify the feelings of men. It fell to music to glorify the virtues of heroes and thus to construct a bridge to the world of the unseen. In the temple men drew near to God with music and pantomimes (out of this later the theater developed). Religious feeling for the Creator of the world was united with the most sacred of human feelings, that of reverence for the ancestors. The ancestors were invited to these divine services as guests of the Ruler of Heaven and as representatives of humanity in the higher regions. This uniting of the human past with the Divinity in solemn moments of religious inspiration established the bond between God and man. The ruler who revered the Divinity in revering his ancestors became thereby the Son of Heaven, in whom the heavenly and the earthly world met in mystical contact.

These ideas are the final summation of Chinese culture. K'ung Fu-tzu 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. K'ung Fu-tzu says about this line:

“To know the seeds, that is divine indeed. In his association with those above him, the superior man does not flatter. In his association with those beneath him, he is not arrogant. For he knows the seeds. The seeds are the first imperceptible beginning of movement, the first trace of good fortune (or misfortune) that shows itself. The superior man perceives the seeds and immediately takes action. 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 cooperation and attains success. Just as a clasp draws the hair together and holds it, so he draws men together by the support he gives them.

    Six in the fifth place means:
    Persistently ill, and still does not die.

Here enthusiasm is obstructed. A man is under constant pressure, which prevents him from breathing freely. However, this pressure has its advantage—it prevents him from consuming his powers in empty enthusiasm. Thus constant pressure can actually serve to keep one alive.

    Six at the top means:
    Deluded enthusiasm.
    But if after completion one changes,
    There is no blame.

It is a bad thing for a man to let himself be deluded by enthusiasm. But if this delusion has run its course, and he is still capable of changing, he is freed of error. A sober awakening from false enthusiasm is quite possible and very favorable.


    17. Sui / Following

䷐ 隨

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 factions, he invariably arouses resistance, which obstructs willing adherence. But even joyous movement can lead to evil consequences, hence the added stipulation, “Perseverance furthers”—that is, consistency in doing right—together with “No blame.” Just as we should not ask others to follow us unless this condition is fulfilled, 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 will find what 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]

䷑ 蠱

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


    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 with the possibilities of the time. We must not recoil from work and danger—symbolized by crossing of the great water—but must take hold energetically. Success depends, however, on proper deliberation. This is expressed by the lines, “Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days.” We must first know the causes of corruption before we can do away with them; hence it is necessary to be cautious during the time before the start. Then we must see to it that the new way is safely entered upon, so that a relapse may be avoided; therefore we must pay attention to the time after the start. Decisiveness and energy must take the place of the inertia and indifference that have led to decay, in order that the ending may be followed by a new beginning.


    The wind blows low on the mountain:
    The image of DECAY.
    Thus the superior man stirs up the people
    And strengthens their spirit.

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


    Six at the beginning means:
    Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
    If there is a son,
    No blame rests upon the departed father.
    Danger. In the end good fortune.

Rigid adherence to tradition has resulted in decay. But the decay has not yet penetrated deeply and so can still be easily remedied. It is as if a son were compensating for the decay his father allowed to creep in. Then no blame attaches to the father. However, one must not overlook the danger or take the matter too lightly. Only if one is conscious of the danger connected with every reform will everything go well in the end.

    Nine in the second place means:
    Setting right what has been spoiled by the mother.
    One must not be too persevering.

This refers to mistakes that as a result of weakness have brought about decay—hence the symbol, “what has been spoiled by the mother.” In setting things right in such a case, a certain gentle consideration is called for. In order not to wound, one should not attempt to proceed too drastically.

    Nine in the third place means:
    Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
    There will be a little remorse. No great blame.

This describes a man who proceeds a little too energetically in righting the mistakes of the past. Now and then, as a result, minor discords and annoyances will surely develop. But too much energy is better than too little. Therefore, although he may at times have some slight cause for regret, he remains free of any serious blame.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    Tolerating what has been spoiled by the father.
    In continuing one sees humiliation.

This shows the situation of someone too weak to take measures against decay that has its roots in the past and is just beginning to manifest itself. It is allowed to run its course. If this continues, humiliation will result.

    ◯ Six in the fifth place means:
    Setting right what has been spoiled by the father.
    One meets with praise.

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

    Nine at the top means:
    He does not serve kings and princes,
    Sets himself higher goals.

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


    19. Lin / Approach

䷒ 臨

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


    APPPROACH has supreme success.
    Perseverance furthers.
    When the eighth month comes,
    There will be misfortune.

The hexagram as a whole points to a time of joyous, hopeful progress. Spring is approaching. Joy 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 brings good fortune.

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

When the stimulus to approach comes from a high place, and when a man has the inner strength and consistency that need no admonition, good fortune will ensue. Nor need the future cause any concern. He is well aware that everything earthly is transitory, and that a descent follows upon every rise, but need not be confused by this universal law of fate. Everything serves to further. Therefore he will travel the paths of life swiftly, honestly, and valiantly.

    Six in the third place means:
    Comfortable approach.
    Nothing that would further.
    If one is induced to grieve over it,
    One becomes free of blame.

Things are going well for a man: he achieves power and influence. But in this lies the danger that he may relax, and confident of his position, allow the easygoing, careless mood to show itself in his dealings with other people. This would inevitably be harmful. But there is possibility of a change of mood. If he regrets his mistaken attitude and feels the responsibility of an influential position, he frees himself of faults.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    Complete approach.
    No blame.

While the three lower lines indicate rise to power and influence, the three upper lines show the attitude of persons in higher position toward those of lower rank for whom they procure influence. Here is shown the open-minded approach of a person of high rank to a man of ability whom he draws into his own circle, regardless of class prejudice. This is very favorable.

    Six in the fifth place means:
    Wise approach.
    This is right for a great prince.
    Good fortune.

A prince, or anyone in a leading position, must have the wisdom to attract to himself people of ability who are expert in directing affairs. His wisdom consists both in selecting the right people and in allowing those chosen to have a free hand without interference from him. For only through such self-restraint will he find the experts needed to satisfy all of his requirements.

    Six at the top means:
    Greathearted approach.
    Good fortune. No blame.

A sage who has put the world behind him and who in spirit has already withdrawn from life may, under certain circumstances, decide to return once more to the here and now and to approach other men. This means great good fortune for the men whom he teaches and helps. And for him this greathearted humbling of himself is blameless.


    20. Kuan / Contemplation (View)

䷓ 觀

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 eighth month (September–October). The light-giving power retreats and the dark power is again on the increase. However, this aspect is not material in the interpretation of the hexagram as a whole.


    CONTEMPLATION. The ablution has been made,
    But not yet the offering.
    Full of trust they look up to him.

The sacrificial ritual in China began with an ablution and a libation by which the Deity was invoked, after which the sacrifice was offered. The moment of time between these two ceremonies is the most sacred of all, the moment of deepest inner concentration. If piety is sincere and expressive of real faith, the contemplation of it has a transforming and awe-inspiring effect on those who witness it.

Thus also in nature a holy seriousness is to be seen in the fact that natural occurrences are uniformly subject to law. Contemplation of the divine meaning underlying the workings of the universe gives to the man who is called upon to influence others the means of producing like effects. This requires that power of inner concentration which religious contemplation develops in great men strong in faith. It enables them to apprehend the mysterious and divine laws of life, and by means of profoundest inner concentration they give expression to these laws in their own persons. Thus a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing and dominating others without their being aware of how it happens.


    The wind blows over the earth:
    The image of CONTEMPLATION.
    Thus the kings of old visited the regions of the world,
    Contemplated the people,
    And gave them instruction.

When the wind blows over the earth it goes far and wide, and the grass must bend to its power. These two occurrences find confirmation in the hexagram. The two images are used to symbolize a practice of the kings of old; in making regular journeys the ruler could, in the first place, survey his realm and make certain that none of the existing usages of the people escaped notice; 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:
    Boylike 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, but his influence is not understood by the common people. This matters little in the case of the masses, for they benefit by the actions of the ruling sage whether they understand them or not. But for a superior man it is a disgrace. He must not content himself with a shallow, thoughtless view of prevailing forces; he must contemplate them as a connected whole and try to understand them.

    Six in the second place means:
    Contemplation through the crack of the door.
    Furthering for the perseverance of a woman.

Through the crack of the door one has a limited outlook; one looks outward from within. Contemplation is subjectively limited. One tends to relate everything to oneself and cannot put oneself in another’s place and understand his motives. This is appropriate for a good housewife. It is not necessary for her to be conversant with the affairs of the world. But for a man who must take active part in public life, such a narrow, egotistic way of contemplating things is of course harmful.

    Six in the third place means:
    Contemplation of my life
    Decides the choice
    Between advance and retreat.

This is the place of transition. We no longer look outward to receive pictures that are more or less limited and confused, but direct our contemplation upon ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-contemplation means the overcoming of naïve egotism in the person who sees everything solely from his own standpoint. 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 allowed to 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

䷔ 噬嗑

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 lightning:
    The image of BITING THROUGH.
    Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws
    Through clearly defined penalties.

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


    Nine at the beginning means:
    His feet are fastened in the stocks,
    So that his toes disappear.
    No blame.

If a sentence is imposed the first time a man attempts to do wrong, the penalty is a mild one. Only the toes are put in the stocks. This prevents him from sinning further and thus he becomes free of blame. It is a warning to halt in time on the path of evil.

    Six in the second place means:
    Bites through tender meat,
    So that his nose disappears.
    No blame.

It is easy to discriminate between right and wrong in this case; it is like biting through tender meat. But one encounters a hardened sinner, and, aroused by anger, one goes a little too far. The disappearance of the nose in the course of the bite signifies that indignation blots out finer sensibility. However, there is no great harm in this, because the penalty as such is just.

    Six in the third place means:
    Bites on old dried meat
    And strikes on something poisonous.
    Slight humiliation. No blame.

Punishment is to be carried out by someone who lacks the power and authority to do so. Therefore the culprits do not submit. The matter at issue is an old one—as symbolized by salted game—and in dealing with it difficulties arise. This old meat is spoiled: by taking up the problem the punisher arouses poisonous hatred against himself, and in this way is put in a somewhat humiliating position. 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

䷕ 賁

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 must 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 a subordinate place must take upon himself the labor of advancing. There might be an opportunity of surreptitiously easing the way—symbolized by the carriage—but a self-contained man scorns help gained in a dubious fashion. 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 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 hills and gardens.
    The roll of silk is meager and small.
    Humiliation, but in the end good fortune.

A man withdraws from contact with people of the lowlands, who seek nothing but magnificence and luxury, into the solitude of the heights. There he finds an individual to look up to, whom he would like to have as a friend. But the gifts he has to offer are poor and few, so that he feels ashamed. However, it is not the material gifts that count, but sincerity of feeling, and so all goes well in the end.

    ◯ Nine at the top means:
    Simple grace. No blame.

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


    23. Po / Splitting Apart

䷖ 剝

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 altogether.


    SPLITTING APART. It does not further one
    To go anywhere.

This pictures a time when inferior people are pushing forward and are about to crowd out the few remaining strong and superior men. 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 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:
    The image of SPLITTING APART.
    Thus those above can ensure their position
    Only by giving generously to those below.

The mountain rests on the earth. When it is steep and narrow, lacking a broad base, it must topple over. 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 tranquility.


    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 dear indications, and rest is disturbed. Moreover, in this dangerous situation one is as yet without help or friendly advances from above or below. Extreme caution is necessary in this isolation. One must adjust to the time and promptly avoid the danger. Stubborn perseverance in maintaining one’s standpoint would lead to downfall.

    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 good sprouts anew from its seed. The superior man again attains influence and effectiveness. He is supported by public opinion as if in a carriage. But the inferior man’s wickedness is visited upon himself. 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)

䷗ 復

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:
    The image of THE TURNING POINT.
    Thus the kings of antiquity closed the passes
    At the time of solstice.
    Merchants and strangers did not go about,
    And the ruler
    Did not travel through the provinces.

The winter solstice has always been celebrated in China as the resting time of the year—a custom that survives in the time of rest observed at the new year. In winter the life energy, symbolized by thunder, the Arousing, is still underground. Movement is just at its beginning; therefore it must be strengthened by rest, so that it will not be dissipated by being used prematurely. 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 from 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)

䷘ 無妄

Ch’ien, heaven, is above; Chên, movement, is below. The lower trigram Chên is under the influence of the strong line it has received from above, from heaven. 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 unintentional 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. K'ung Fu-tzu 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 from the creative activity of nature the childlike innocence of their original state. So it is with the good rulers of mankind: drawing on the spiritual wealth at their command, they take care of all forms of life and all forms of culture and do everything to further them, and at the proper time.


    ◯ Nine at the beginning means:
    Innocent behavior brings good fortune.

The original impulses of the heart are always good, 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 achieved.


    26. Ta Ch’u / The Taming Power of the Great

䷙ 大畜

The Creative is tamed by Kên, Keeping Still. This produces great power, a situation in contrast to that of the ninth hexagram, Hsiao Ch’u, THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL, in which the Creative is tamed by the Gentle alone. There one weak line must tame five strong lines, but here four strong lines are restrained by two weak lines; in addition to a minister, there is a prince, and the restraining power therefore is far stronger.

The hexagram has a threefold meaning, expressing different aspects of the concept “holding firm.” 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, clearheaded man who is honored by the ruler. The trigram Ch’ien 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 force an advance, it would lead him into misfortune. Therefore it is better for him to compose himself and to wait until an outlet is offered for release of his stored-up energies.

    Nine in the second place means:
    The axletrees are taken from the wagon.

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

    Nine in the third place means:
    A good horse that follows others.
    Awareness of danger,
    With perseverance, furthers.
    Practice chariot driving and armed defense daily.
    It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

The way opens; the hindrance has been cleared away. A man is in contact with a strong will acting in the same direction as his own, and goes forward like one good horse following another. But danger still threatens, and he must remain aware of it, or he will be robbed of his firmness. Thus he must acquire skill on the one hand in what will take him forward, and on the other in what will protect him against unforeseen attacks. It is good in such a pass to have a goal toward which to strive.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    The headboard of a young bull.
    Great good fortune.

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

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

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 / The Corners of the Mouth

䷚ 頤

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


    Perseverance brings good fortune.
    Pay heed to the providing of nourishment
    And to what a man seeks
    To fill his own mouth with.

In bestowing care and nourishment, it is important that the right people should be taken care of and that we should attend to our own nourishment in the right way. If we wish to know what anyone is like, we have only to observe on whom he bestows his care and what sides of his own nature he cultivates and nourishes. 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:
    The image of PROVIDING
    Thus the superior man is careful of his words
    And temperate in eating and drinking.

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


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

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 and privilege it is to provide for him. If, owing to weakness of spirit, a man cannot support himself, a feeling of uneasiness comes over him; this is because in shirking the proper way of obtaining a living, he accepts support as a favor from those in higher place. This is unworthy, for he is deviating from his true nature. Kept up indefinitely, this course leads to misfortune.

    Six in the third place means:
    Turning away from nourishment.
    Perseverance brings misfortune.
    Do not act thus for ten years.
    Nothing serves to further.

He who seeks nourishment that does not nourish reels from desire to gratification and in gratification craves desire. Mad pursuit of pleasure for the satisfaction of the senses never brings one to the goal. One should never (ten years is a complete cycle of time) follow this path, for nothing good can come of it.

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

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

    ◯ Six in the fifth place means:
    Turning away from the path.
    To remain persevering brings good fortune.
    One should not cross the great water.

A man may be conscious of a deficiency in himself. He should be undertaking the nourishment of the people, but he has not the strength to do it. 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

䷛ 大過

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 gentle penetration to the meaning of the situation (as is suggested by the attribute of the inner trigram, Sun); then the change-over to other conditions will be successful. It demands real superiority; therefore the time when the great preponderates is a momentous time.


    The lake rises above the trees:
    The image of PREPONDERANCE OF
    Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
    Is unconcerned,
    And if he has to renounce the world,
    He is undaunted.

Extraordinary times when the great preponderates are like floodtimes when the lake rises over the treetops. But such conditions are temporary. The two trigrams indicate the attitude proper to such exceptional times: the symbol of the trigram Sun is the tree, which stands firm even though it stands alone, and the attribute of Tui is joyousness, which remains undaunted even if it must renounce the world.


    Six at the beginning means:
    To spread white rushes underneath.
    No blame.

When a man wishes to undertake an enterprise in extraordinary times, he must be extraordinarily cautious, just as when setting a heavy thing down on the floor, one takes care to put rushes under it, so that nothing will break. This caution, though it may seem exaggerated, is not a mistake. Exceptional enterprises cannot succeed unless utmost caution is observed in their beginnings and in the laying of their foundations.

    ◯ Nine in the second place means:
    A dry poplar sprouts at the root.
    An older man takes a young wife.
    Everything furthers.

Wood is near water; hence the image of an old poplar sprouting at the root. This means an extraordinary reanimation of the processes of growth. In the same way, an extraordinary situation arises when an older man marries a young girl who suits him. Despite the unusualness of the situation, all goes well.

From the point of view of politics, the meaning is that in exceptional times one does well to join with the lowly, for this affords a possibility of renewal.

    Nine in the third place means:
    The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.

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 life.


    29. K’an / The Abysmal (Water)

䷜ 坎

This hexagram consists of a doubling of the trigram K’an. It is one of the eight hexagrams in which doubling occurs. The trigram K’an means a plunging in. A yang line has plunged in between two yin lines and is closed in by them like water in a ravine. The trigram K’an is also the middle son. The Receptive has obtained the middle line of the Creative, and thus K’an develops. As an image it represents water, the water that comes from above and is in motion on earth in streams and rivers, giving rise to all life on earth.

In man’s world K’an represents the heart, the soul locked up within the body, the principle of light inclosed in the dark—that is, reason. The name of the hexagram, because the trigram is doubled, has the additional meaning, “repetition of danger.” Thus the hexagram is intended to designate an objective situation to which one must become accustomed, not a subjective attitude. For danger due to a subjective attitude means either foolhardiness or guile. Hence too a ravine is used to symbolize danger; it is a situation in which a man is in the same pass as the water in a ravine, and, like the water, he can escape if he behaves correctly.


    The Abysmal repeated.
    If you are sincere, you have success in your heart,
    And whatever you do succeeds.

Through repetition of danger we grow accustomed to it. 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 be satisfied with small gains, because for the time being a great success cannot be attained. A spring flows only sparingly at first, and tarries for some time before it makes its way into the open.

    Six in the third place means:
    Forward and backward, abyss on abyss.
    In danger like this, pause at first and wait,
    Otherwise you will fall into a pit in the abyss.
    Do not act in this way.

Here every step, forward or backward, leads into danger. Escape is out of the question. Therefore we must not be misled into action, as a result of which we should only bog down deeper into the danger; disagreeable as it may be to remain in such a situation, we must wait until a way out shows itself.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    A jug of wine, a bowl of rice with it;
    Earthen vessels
    Simply handed in through the window.
    There is certainly no blame in this.

In times of danger ceremonious forms are dropped. What matters most is sincerity. Although as a rule it is customary for an official to present certain introductory gifts and recommendations before he is appointed, here everything is simplified to the utmost. The gifts are insignificant, there is no one to sponsor him, he introduces himself; yet all this need not be humiliating if only there is the honest intention of mutual help in danger.

Still another idea is suggested. The window is the place through which light enters the room. If in difficult times we want to enlighten someone, we must begin with that which is in itself lucid and proceed quite simply from that point on.

    ◯ 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

䷝ 離

This hexagram is another double sign. The trigram Li means, “to cling to something,” “to be conditioned,” “to depend or rest on something,” and also “brightness.” A dark line clings to two light lines, one above and one below—the image of an empty space between two strong lines, whereby the two strong lines are made bright. The trigram represents the middle daughter. The Creative has incorporated the central line of the Receptive, and thus Li develops. As an image, it is fire. Fire has no definite form but clings to the burning object and thus is bright. As water pours down from heaven, so fire flames up from the earth. 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 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 uses him to march forth and chastise.
    Then it is best to kill the leaders
    And take captive the followers. No blame.

It is not the purpose of chastisement to impose punishment blindly but to create discipline. Evil must be cured at its roots. To eradicate evil in political life, it is best to kill the ringleaders and spare the followers. In educating oneself it is best to root out bad habits and tolerate those that are harmless. For asceticism that is too strict, like sentences of undue severity, fails in its purpose.


    31. Hsien / Influence (Wooing)

䷞ 咸

The name of the hexagram means “universal,” “general,” and in a figurative sense “to influence,” “to stimulate.” The upper trigram is Tui, the Joyous; the lower is Kên, Keeping Still. By its persistent, quiet influence, the lower, rigid trigram stimulates the upper, weak trigram, which responds to this stimulation cheerfully and joyously. Kên, the lower trigram, is the youngest son; the upper, Tui, is the youngest daughter. Thus the universal mutual attraction between the sexes is represented. In courtship, the masculine principle must seize the initiative and place itself below the feminine principle.

Just as the first part of the book I begins with the hexagrams of heaven and earth, the foundations of all that exists, the second part begins with the hexagrams of courtship and marriage, the foundations of all social relationship


    Influence. Success.
    Perseverance furthers.
    To take a maiden to wife brings good fortune.

The weak element is above, the strong below; hence their powers attract each other, so that they unite. This brings about success, for all success depends on the effect of mutual attraction. By keeping still within while experiencing joy without, one can prevent the joy from going to excess and hold it within proper bounds. This is the meaning of the added admonition, “Perseverance furthers,” for it is perseverance that makes the difference between seduction 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 earth.


    A lake on the mountain:
    The image of influence.
    Thus the superior man encourages people to approach him
    By his readiness to receive them.

A mountain with a lake on its summit is stimulated by the moisture from the lake. It has this advantage because its summit does not jut out as a peak but is sunken. The image counsels that the mind should be kept humble and free, so that it may remain receptive to good advice. People soon give up counseling a man who thinks that he knows everything better than anyone else.


    Six at the beginning means:
    The influence shows itself in the big toe.

A movement, before it is actually carried out, shows itself first in the toes. The idea of an influence is already present, but it is not immediately apparent to others. As long as the intention has no visible effect, it is of no importance to the outside world and leads neither to good nor to evil.

    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, can neither be called forth nor prevented by the conscious mind. It is true that if we cannot be influenced ourselves, we cannot influence the outside world.

    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

䷟ 恆

The strong trigram Chên is above, the weak trigram Sun below. This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one. In the latter we have influence, here we have union as an enduring condition. The two images are thunder and wind, which are likewise constantly paired phenomena. The lower trigram indicates gentleness within; the upper, movement without.

In the sphere of social relationships, the hexagram represents the institution of marriage as the enduring union of the sexes. During courtship the young man subordinates himself to the girl, but in marriage, which is represented by the coming together of the eldest son and the eldest daughter, the husband is the directing and moving force outside, while the wife, inside, is gentle and submissive.


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

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 his direction.

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


    Six at the beginning means:
    Seeking duration too hastily brings misfortune persistently.
    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 nature.

    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

䷠ 遯

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 through retreat that success is achieved. But success consists in being able to carry out the retreat correctly. Retreat is not to be confused with flight. Flight means saving oneself under any circumstances, 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 simply abandon the field to the opponent; we make it difficult for him to advance by showing perseverance in single acts of resistance. In this way we prepare, while retreating, for the counter-movement. Understanding the laws of a constructive retreat of this sort is not easy. The meaning that lies hidden in such a time is important.


    Mountain under heaven: the image of
    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 men that the latter cannot shake him off. And because he is in quest of what is right and so strong in purpose, he reaches his goal. Thus the line confirms what is said in the Judgment: “In what is small”—here equivalent to “in the inferior man”—“perseverance furthers.”

    Nine in the third place means:
    A halted retreat
    Is nerve-wracking and dangerous.
    To retain people as men- and 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 considerations.

    Nine at the top means:
    Cheerful retreat. Everything serves to further.

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


    34. Ta Chuang / The Power of the Great

䷡ 大壯

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:
    The image of THE POWER OF THE GREAT.
    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 things further. Such obstinacy leads to insuperable difficulties. But if, realizing the situation, we compose ourselves and decide not to continue, everything will right itself in time.


    35. Chin / Progress

䷢ 晉

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 depends.


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

The light of the sun as it rises over the earth is by nature clear. 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 to 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 mistakes.

    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 also always times in which dubious procedures are inevitably brought to 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 influence.

    Nine at the top means:
    Making progress with the horns is permissible
    Only for the purpose of punishing one’s own city.
    To be conscious of danger brings good fortune.
    No blame.
    Perseverance brings humiliation.

Making progress with lowered horns—i.e., acting on the offensive—is permissible, in times like those referred to here, only in dealing with the mistakes of one’s own people. Even then we must bear in mind that proceeding on the offensive may always be dangerous. In this way we avoid the mistakes that otherwise threaten, and succeed in what we set out to do. On the other hand, perseverance in such overenergetic behavior, especially toward persons with whom there is no close connection, will lead to humiliation.


    36. Ming I / Darkening of the Light

䷣ 明夷

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.


    DARKENING OF THE LIGHT. In adversity
    It furthers one to be persevering.

One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities.

In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail in spite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.


    The light has sunk into the earth:
    The image of DARKENING OF THE LIGHT.
    Thus does the superior man live with the great mass:
    He veils his light, yet still shines.

In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    Darkening of the light during flight.
    He lowers his wings.
    The superior man does not eat for three days
    On his wanderings.
    But he has somewhere to go.
    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. Nevertheless he has a fixed goal to strive for, even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him.

    ◯ 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,
    And leaves gate and courtyard.

We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his most secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.

    ◯ Six in the fifth place means:
    Darkening of the light as with Prince Chi.
    Perseverance furthers.

Prince Chi lived at the court of the evil tyrant Chou Hsin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnishes the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Chi was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions.

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

    Six at the top means:
    Not light but darkness.
    First he climbed up to heaven,
    Then he plunged into the depths of the earth.

Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.


    37. Chia Jên / The Family [The Clan]

䷤ 家人

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


    THE FAMILY. The perseverance of the woman furthers.

The foundation of the family is the relationship between husband and wife. The tie that holds the family together lies in the loyalty and perseverance of the wife. Her place is within (second line), while that of the husband is without (fifth line). It is in accord with the great laws of nature that husband and wife take their proper places. Within the family a strong authority is needed; this is represented by the parents. If the father is really a father and the son a son, if the elder brother fulfills his position, and the younger fulfills his, if the husband is really a husband and the wife a wife, then the family is in order. When the family is in order, all the social relationships of mankind will be in order.

Three of the five social relationships are to be found within the family—that between father and son, which is the relation of love, that between husband and wife, which is the relation of chaste conduct, and that between elder and younger brother, which is the relation of correctness. The loving reverence of the son is then carried over to the prince in the form of faithfulness to duty; the affection and correctness of behavior existing between the two brothers are extended to a friend in the form of loyalty, and to a person of superior rank in the form of deference. The family is society in embryo; it is the native soil on which performance of moral duty is made easy through natural affection, so that within a small circle a basis of moral practice is created, and this is later widened to include human relationships in general.


    The image of THE FAMILY.
    Thus the superior man has substance in his words
    And duration in his way of life.

Heat creates energy: this is signified by the wind stirred up by the fire and issuing forth from it. This represents influence working from within outward. The same thing is needed in the regulation of the family. Here too the influence on others must proceed from one’s own person. In order to be capable of producing such an influence, one’s words must have power, and this they can have only if they are based on something real, just as flame depends on its fuel. Words have influence only when they are pertinent and clearly related to definite circumstances. General discourses and admonitions have no effect whatsoever. Furthermore, the words must be supported by one’s entire conduct, just as the wind is made effective by its duration. Only firm and consistent conduct will make such an impression on others that they can adapt and conform to it. If words and conduct are not in accord and not consistent, they will have no effect.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    Firm seclusion within the family.
    Remorse disappears.

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

    ◯ Six in the second place means:
    She should not follow her whims.
    She must attend within to the food.
    Perseverance brings good fortune.

The wife must always be guided by the will of the master of the house, be he father, husband, or grown son. Her place is within the house. 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 given 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 child dally and laugh,
    It leads in the end to humiliation.

In the family the proper mean between severity and indulgence ought to prevail. Too great severity toward one’s own flesh and blood leads to remorse. The wise thing is to build strong dikes within which complete freedom of movement is allowed each individual. But in doubtful instances too great severity, despite occasional mistakes, is preferable, because it preserves discipline in the family, whereas too great weakness leads to disgrace.

    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

䷥ 睽

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


    OPPOSITION. In small matters, good fortune.

When people live in opposition and estrangement they cannot carry out a great undertaking in common; their points of view diverge too widely. In such circumstances one should above all not proceed brusquely, for that would only increase the existing opposition; 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 cultured man is never led into baseness or vulgarity through intercourse or community of interests with persons of another sort; regardless of all commingling, he will always preserve his individuality.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    Remorse disappears.
    If you lose your horse, do not run after it;
    It will come back of its own accord.
    When you see evil people,
    Guard yourself against mistakes.

Even in times when oppositions prevail, mistakes can be avoided, so that remorse disappears. When opposition begins to manifest itself, a man must not try to bring about unity by force, for by so doing he would only achieve the contrary, just as a horse goes farther and farther away if one runs after it. If it is one’s own horse, one can safely let it go; it will come back of its own accord. So too when someone who belongs with us is momentarily estranged because of a misunderstanding, he will return of his own accord if we leave matters to him. On the other hand, it is well to be cautious when evil men who do not belong with us force themselves upon us, again as the result of a misunderstanding. Here the important thing is to avoid mistakes. We must not try to shake off these evil men by force; this would give rise to real hostility. We must simply endure them. 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 to a man as though everything were conspiring against him. He sees himself checked and hindered in his progress, insulted and dishonored. However, he must not let himself be misled; 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 bites 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 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

䷦ 蹇

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 them.


    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 adversity.


    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 education.


    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 into 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 joy.

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

This too describes a situation that cannot be managed singlehanded. 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

䷧ 解

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 into comfort and freedom from want. If now, in the manner of an upstart, he tries to take his ease in comfortable surroundings that do not suit his nature, he thereby attracts robbers. If he goes on thus he is sure to bring disgrace upon himself. K'ung Fu-tzu says about this line:

“Carrying a burden on the back is the business of a common man; a carriage is the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the appurtenance of a man of rank, robbers plot to take it away from him. If a man is insolent toward those above him and hard toward those below him, robbers plot to attack him. Carelessness in guarding things tempts thieves to steal. Sumptuous ornaments worn by a maiden are an enticement to rob her of her virtue.”

    Nine in the fourth place means:
    Deliver yourself from your great toe.
    Then the companion comes,
    And him you can trust.

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

    ◯ Six in the fifth place means:
    If only the superior man can deliver himself,
    It brings good fortune.
    Thus he proves to inferior men that he is in earnest.

Times of deliverance demand inner resolve. Inferior people cannot be driven off by prohibitions or any external means. If one desires to be rid of them, he must first break completely with them in his own mind; 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. K'ung Fu-tzu says about this line:

    “The hawk is the object of the hunt; bow and arrow are the tools and means. The marksman is man (who must make proper use of the means to his end). The superior man contains the means in his own person. He bides his time and then acts. Why then should not everything go well? He acts and is free. Therefore all he has to do is to go forth, and he takes his quarry. This is how a man fares who acts after he has made ready the means.”


    41. Sun / Decrease

䷨ 損

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 loses 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 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 be 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 a 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 hesitation.

    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 throws 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 decreases 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. A very 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 decreases 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 others,
    There is no blame.
    Perseverance brings good fortune.
    It furthers one to undertake something.
    One obtains servants
    But no longer has a separate home.

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

䷩ 益

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 the time. This time resembles that of the marriage of heaven and earth, when the earth partakes of the creative power of heaven, forming and bringing forth living beings. The time of INCREASE does not endure, therefore it must be utilized while it lasts.


    Wind and thunder: the image of INCREASE.
    Thus the superior man:
    If he sees good, he imitates it;
    If he has faults, he rids himself of them.

While observing how thunder and wind increase and strengthen each other, a man can note the way to self-increase and self-improvement. When he discovers good in others, he should imitate it and thus make everything on earth his own. 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 is, through receptivity to and love of the good. Thus the thing for which he strives comes of itself, with the inevitability of natural law. Where increase is thus in harmony with the highest laws of the universe, it cannot be prevented by any constellation of accidents. But everything depends on his not letting unexpected good fortune make him heedless; he must make it his own through inner strength and steadfastness. Then he acquires meaning before God and man, and can accomplish something for the good of the world.

    Six in the third place means:
    One is enriched through unfortunate events.
    No blame, if you are sincere
    And walk in the middle,
    And report with a seal to the prince.

A time of blessing and enrichment has such powerful effects that even events ordinarily unfortunate must turn out to the advantage of those affected by them. These persons become free of error, and by acting in harmony with truth they gain such inner authority that they exert influence as if sanctioned by letter and seal.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    If you walk in the middle
    And report to the prince,
    He will follow.
    It furthers one to be used
    In the removal of the capital.

It is important that there should be men who mediate between leaders and followers. These should be disinterested people, especially in times of increase, since the benefit is to spread from the leader to the people. Nothing of this benefit should be held back in a selfish way; it should really reach those for whom it is intended. This sort of intermediary, who also exercises a good influence on the leader, is especially important in times when it is a matter of great undertakings, decisive for the future and requiring the inner assent of all concerned.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    If in truth you have a kind heart, ask not.
    Supreme good fortune.
    Truly, kindness will be recognized as your virtue.

True kindness does not count upon nor ask about merit and gratitude but acts from inner necessity. And such a truly kind heart finds itself rewarded in being recognized, and thus the beneficent influence will spread unhindered.

    Nine at the top means:
    He brings increase to no one.
    Indeed, someone even strikes him.
    He does not keep his heart constantly steady.

The meaning here is that through renunciation those in high place should bring increase to those below. By neglecting this duty and helping no one, they in turn lose the furthering influence of others and soon find themselves alone. In this way they invite attacks. An attitude not permanently in harmony with the demands of the time will necessarily bring misfortune with it. K'ung Fu-tzu says about this line:

    “The superior man sets his person at rest before he moves; he composes his mind before he speaks; he makes his relations firm before he asks for something. By attending to these three matters, the superior man gains complete security. But if a man is brusque in his movements, others will not co-operate. If he is agitated in his words, they awaken no echo in others. If he asks for something without having first established relations, it will not be given to him. If no one is with him, those who would harm him draw near.”


    43. Kuai / Break-through (Resoluteness)

䷪ 夬

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 [April–May].


    BREAK-THROUGH. One must resolutely make the matter known
    At the court of the king.
    It must be announced truthfully. Danger.
    It is necessary to notify one’s own city.
    It does not further to resort to arms.
    It furthers one to undertake something.

Even if only one inferior man is occupying a ruling position in a city, he is able to oppress superior men. Even a single passion still lurking in the heart has power to obscure reason. Passion and reason cannot exist side by side—therefore fight without quarter is necessary if the good is to prevail.

In a resolute struggle of the good against evil, there are, however, definite rules that must not be disregarded, if it is to succeed. First, resolution must be based on a union of strength and friendliness. Second, a compromise with evil is not possible; evil must under all circumstances be openly discredited. Nor must our own passions and shortcomings be glossed over. Third, the struggle must not be carried on directly by force. If evil is branded, it thinks of weapons, and if we do it the favor of fighting against it blow for blow, we lose in the end because thus we ourselves get entangled in hatred and passion. Therefore it is important to begin at home, to be on guard in our own persons against the faults we have branded. In this way, finding no opponent, the sharp edges of the weapons of evil become dulled. For the same reasons we should not combat our own faults directly. As long as we wrestle with them, they continue victorious. Finally, the best way to fight evil is to make energetic progress in the good.


    The lake has risen up to heaven:
    The image of BREAK-THROUGH.
    Thus the superior man
    Dispenses riches downward
    And refrains from resting on his virtue.

When the water of a lake has risen up to heaven, there is reason to fear a cloudburst. Taking this as a warning, the superior man forestalls a violent collapse. If a man were to pile up riches for himself alone, without considering others, he would certainly experience a collapse. For all gathering is followed by dispersion. 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 a resolute advance, the beginning is especially difficult. We feel inspired to press forward but resistance is still strong; therefore we ought to gauge our own strength and venture only so far as we can go with certainty of success. To plunge blindly ahead is wrong, because it is precisely at the beginning that an unexpected setback can have the most disastrous results.

    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 though they did not exist. If a man develops his character, people submit to him of their own accord. If reason triumphs, the passions withdraw of themselves. To be circumspect and not to forget one’s armor is the right way to security.

    Nine in the third place means:
    To be powerful in the cheekbones
    Brings misfortune.
    The superior man is firmly resolved.
    He walks alone and is caught in the rain.
    He is bespattered,
    And people murmur against him.
    No blame.

Here we have a man in an ambiguous situation. While all others are engaged in a resolute fight against all that is inferior, he alone has a certain relationship with an inferior man. If he were to show strength outwardly and turn against this man before the time is ripe, he would only endanger the entire situation, because the inferior man would too quickly have recourse to countermeasures. The task of the superior man becomes extremely difficult here. He must be firmly resolved within himself and, while maintaining association with the inferior man, avoid any participation in his vileness. He will of course be misjudged. It will be thought that he belongs to the party of the inferior man. He will be lonely because no one will understand him. His relations with the inferior man will sully him in the eyes of the multitude, and they will turn against him, grumbling. But he can endure this lack of appreciation and makes no mistake, because he remains true to himself.

    Nine in the fourth place means:
    There is no skin on his thighs,
    And walking comes hard.
    If a man were to let himself be led like a sheep,
    Remorse would disappear.
    But if these words are heard
    They will not be believed.

Here a man is suffering from inner restlessness and cannot abide in his place. He would like to push forward under any circumstances, but encounters insuperable obstacles. Thus his situation entails an inner conflict. This is due to the obstinacy with which he seeks to enforce his will. If he would desist from this obstinacy, everything would go well. But this advice, like so much other good counsel, will be ignored. For obstinacy makes a man unable to hear, for all that he has ears.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    In dealing with weeds,
    Firm resolution is necessary.
    Walking in the middle
    Remains free of blame.

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

    Six at the top means:
    No cry.
    In the end misfortune comes.

Victory seems to have been achieved. There remains merely a remnant of the evil resolutely to be eradicated as the time demands. Everything looks easy. Just there, however, lies the danger. If we are not on guard, evil will succeed in escaping by means of concealment, and when it has eluded us new misfortunes will develop from the remaining seeds, for evil does not die easily. So too in dealing with the evil in one’s own character, one must go to work with thoroughness. If out of carelessness anything were to be overlooked, new evil would arise from it.


    44. Kou / Coming to Meet

䷫ 姤

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 first, he could never gain influence.

The time of COMING TO MEET is important in still another way. Although as a general rule the weak should not come to meet the strong, there are times when this has great significance. When heaven and earth come to meet each other, all creatures prosper; when a prince and his official come to meet each other, the world is put in order. It is necessary for elements predestined to be joined and mutually dependent to come to meet one another halfway. 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 heaven.

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

    Nine at the top means:
    He comes to meet with his horns.
    Humiliation. No blame.

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


    45. Ts’ui / Gathering Together [Massing]

䷬ 萃

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


    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 need of great deeds in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER.


    Over the earth, the lake:
    The image of GATHERING TOGETHER.
    Thus the superior man renews his weapons
    In order to meet the unforeseen.

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 and 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

䷭ 升

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 is the situation at the beginning of ascent. Just as wood draws strength for its upward push from the root, which in itself is in the lowest place, so the power to rise comes from this low and obscure station. But there is a spiritual affinity 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 the time.

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

Mount Ch’i is in western China, the homeland of King Wên, whose son, the Duke of Chou, added the words to the individual lines. The pronouncement takes us back to a time when the Chou dynasty was coming into power. At that time King Wên introduced his illustrious helpers to the god of his native mountain, and they received their places in the halls of the ancestors by the side of the ruler. This indicates a stage in which pushing upward attains its goal. One acquires fame in the sight of gods and men, is received into the circle of those who foster the spiritual life of the nation, and thereby attains a significance that endures beyond time.

    ◯ Six in the fifth place means:
    Perseverance brings good fortune.
    One pushes upward by steps.

When a man is advancing farther and farther, it is important for him not to become intoxicated by success. Precisely when he experiences great success it is necessary to remain sober and not to try to skip any stages; he must go on slowly, step by step, as though hesitant. Only such calm, steady progress, overleaping nothing, leads to the goal.

    Six at the top means:
    Pushing upward in darkness.
    It furthers one
    To be unremittingly persevering.

He who pushes upward blindly deludes himself. He knows only advance, not retreat. But this means exhaustion. In such a case it is important to be constantly mindful that one must be conscientious and consistent and must remain so. Only thus does one become free of blind impulse, which is always harmful.


    47. K’un / Oppression (Exhaustion)

䷮ 困

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


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

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 no water in the lake:
    The image of EXHAUSTION.
    Thus the superior man stakes his life
    On following his will.

When the water has flowed out below, the lake must dry up and become exhausted. That is fate. This symbolizes an adverse fate in human life. In such times there is nothing a man can do but acquiesce in his fate and remain true to himself. This concerns the deepest stratum of his being, for this alone is superior to all external fate.


    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 invisible realm by offerings and prayer. To set forth without being prepared would be disastrous, though not morally wrong. Here a disagreeable situation must be overcome by patience of spirit.

    Six in the third place means:
    A man permits himself to be oppressed by stone,
    And leans on thorns and thistles.
    He enters his house and does not see his wife.

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. K'ung Fu-tzu 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 there is need, he begins in a hesitant and measured way. Then he encounters obstructions. Powerful and wealthy acquaintances draw him into their circle; he has to do as they do and cannot withdraw from them. Hence he finds himself in great embarrassment. But the trouble is transitory. The original strength of his nature offsets the mistake he has made, and the goal is reached.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    His nose and feet are cut off.
    Oppression at the hands of the man with the purple knee bands.
    Joy comes softly.
    It furthers one to make offerings and libations.

An individual who has the good of mankind at heart is oppressed from above and below (this is the meaning of the cutting off of nose and feet). He finds no help among the people whose duty it would be to aid in the work of rescue (ministers wore purple knee bands). But little by little, things take a turn for the better. Until that time, he should turn to God, 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

䷯ 井

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 nor more; it exists for one and for all. The generations come and go, and all enjoy life in its inexhaustible abundance.

However, there are two prerequisites for a satisfactory political or social organization of mankind. We must go down to the very foundations of life. 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 more.

    Nine in the second place means:
    At the wellhole one shoots fishes.
    The jug is broken and leaks.

The water itself is clear, but it is not being used. Thus the well is a place where only fish will stay, and whoever comes to it, comes only to catch fish. But the jug is broken, so that the fish cannot be kept in it.

This describes the situation of a person who possesses good qualities but neglects them. No one bothers about him. As a result he deteriorates in mind. He associates with inferior men and can no longer accomplish anything worthwhile.

    Nine in the third place means:
    The well is cleaned, but no one drinks from it.
    This is my heart’s sorrow,
    For one might draw from it.
    If the king were clear-minded,
    Good fortune might be enjoyed in common.

An able man is available. He is like a purified well whose water is drinkable. But no use is made of him. This is the sorrow of those who know him. One wishes that the prince might learn about it; this would be good fortune for all concerned.

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

True, if a well is being lined with stone, it cannot be used while the work is going on. But the work is not in vain; the result is that the water stays clear. In life also there are times when a man must put himself in order. During such a time he can do nothing for others, but his work is nonetheless valuable, because by enhancing his powers and abilities through inner development, he can accomplish all the more later on.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    In the well there is a clear, cold spring
    From which one can drink.

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

    Six at the top means:
    One draws from the well
    Without hindrance.
    It is dependable.
    Supreme good fortune.

The well is there for all. No one is forbidden to take water from it. No matter how many come, all find what they need, for the well is dependable. It has a spring and never runs dry. Therefore it is a great blessing to the whole land. The same is true of the really great man, whose inner wealth is inexhaustible; the more that people draw from him, the greater his wealth becomes.


    49. Ko / Revolution (Molting)

䷰ 革

The Chinese character for this hexagram means in its original sense an animal’s pelt, which is changed in the course of the year by molting. From this the word is carried over to apply to the “moltings” in political life, the great revolutions connected with changes of governments.

The two trigrams making up the hexagram are the same two that appear in K’uei, OPPOSITION (38), that is, the two younger daughters, Li and Tui. But while there the elder of the two daughters is above, and what results is essentially only an opposition of tendencies, here the younger daughter is above. The influences are in actual conflict, and the forces combat each other like fire and water (lake), each trying to destroy the other. Hence the idea of revolution.


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

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 regret.

Times change, and with them their demands. Thus the seasons change in the course of the year. In the world cycle also there are spring and autumn in the life of peoples and nations, and these call for social transformations.


    Fire in the lake: the image of
    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. Man masters these changes in nature by noting their regularity and marking off the passage of time accordingly. In this way order and clarity appear in the apparently chaotic changes of the seasons, and man is able to adjust himself in advance to the demands of the different times.


    Nine at the beginning means:
    Wrapped in the hide of a yellow cow.

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

    Six in the second place means:
    When one’s own day comes, one may create revolution.
    Starting brings good fortune.
    No blame.

When we have tried in every way to bring about reforms, but without success, revolution becomes necessary. But such a thoroughgoing upheaval must be carefully prepared. There must be available a man who has the requisite abilities and who possesses public confidence. To such a man we may well turn. This brings good fortune and is not a mistake. The first thing to be considered is our inner attitude toward the new condition that will inevitably come. We have to go out to meet it, as it were. Only in this way can it be prepared for.

    Nine in the third place means:
    Starting brings misfortune.
    Perseverance brings danger.
    When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times,
    One may commit himself,
    And men will believe him.

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

    Nine in the fourth place means:
    Remorse disappears. Men believe him.
    Changing the form of government brings good fortune.

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

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    The great man changes like a tiger.
    Even before he questions the oracle
    He is believed.

A tigerskin, with its highly visible black stripes on a yellow ground, shows its distinct pattern from afar. It is the same with a revolution brought about by a great man: large, clear guiding lines become visible, understandable to everyone. 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

䷱ 鼎

The six lines construct the image of Ting, THE CALDRON; at the bottom are the legs, over them the belly, then come the ears (handles), and at the top the carrying rings. At the same time, the image suggests the idea of nourishment. The ting, cast of bronze, was the vessel that held the cooked viands in the temple of the ancestors and at banquets. The head of the family served the food from the ting into the bowls of the guests.

THE WELL (48) likewise has the secondary meaning of giving nourishment, but rather more in relation to the people. The ting, as a utensil pertaining to a refined civilization, suggests the fostering and nourishing of able men, which redounded to the benefit of the state.

This hexagram and THE WELL are the only two in the Book of Changes that represent concrete, man-made objects. Yet here too the thought has its abstract connotation.

Sun, below, is wood and wind; Li, above, is flame. Thus together they stand for the flame kindled by wood and wind, which likewise suggests the idea of preparing food.


    THE CALDRON. Supreme good fortune.

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 bums above. It is the same in human life; there is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing. These words contain hints about the fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.


    Six at the beginning means:
    A ting with legs upturned.
    Furthers removal of stagnating stuff.
    One takes a concubine for the sake of her son.
    No blame.

If a ting is turned upside down before being used, no harm is done—on the contrary, this clears it of refuse. A concubine’s position is lowly, but because she has a son 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 can 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.

K'ung Fu-tzu 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 to his advantage. Here the counsel is described in relation to the sage who imparts it. In imparting it, he will be mild and pure, like precious jade. Thus the work finds favor in the eyes of the Deity, who dispenses great good fortune, and becomes pleasing to men, wherefore all goes well.


    51. Chên / The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)

䷲ 震

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


    SHOCK brings success.
    Shock comes—oh, oh!
    Laughing words—ha, ha!
    The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,
    And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.

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 outer 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

䷳ 艮

The image of this hexagram is the mountain, the youngest son of heaven and earth. The male principle is at the top, because it strives upward by nature; the female principle is below, since the direction of its movement is downward. Thus there is rest because the movement has come to its normal end.

In its application to man, the hexagram turns upon the problem of achieving a quiet heart. It is very difficult to bring quiet to the heart. While Buddhism strives for rest through an ebbing away of all movement in nirvana, the Book of Changes holds that rest is merely a state of polarity that always posits movement as its complement. 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 sore.


    Six at the beginning means:
    Keeping his toes still.
    No blame.
    Continued perseverance furthers.

Keeping the toes still means halting before one has even begun to move. The beginning is the time of few mistakes. At that time one is still in harmony with primal innocence. Not yet influenced by obscuring interests and desires, one sees things intuitively as they really are. A man who halts at the beginning, so long as he has not yet abandoned truth, finds the right way. But persisting firmness is needed to keep one from drifting irresolutely.

    Six in the second place means:
    Keeping his calves still.
    He cannot rescue him whom he follows.
    His heart is not glad.

The leg cannot move independently; it depends on the movement of the body. If a leg is suddenly stopped while the whole body is in vigorous motion, the continuing body movement will make one fall.

The same is true of a man who serves a master stronger than himself. He is swept along, and even though he may himself halt on the path of wrongdoing, he can no longer check the other in his powerful movement. Where the master presses forward, the servant, no matter how good his intentions, cannot save him.

    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 tranquility. One is at rest, not merely in a small, circumscribed way in regard to matters of detail, but one has also a general resignation in regard to life as a whole, and this confers peace and good fortune in relation to every individual matter.


    53. Chien / Development (Gradual Progress)

䷴ 漸

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


    DEVELOPMENT. The maiden
    Is given in marriage.
    Good fortune.
    Perseverance furthers.

The development of events that leads to a girl’s following a man to his home proceeds slowly. The various formalities must be disposed of before the marriage takes place. This principle of gradual development can be applied to other situations as well; it is always applicable where it is a matter of correct relationships of co-operation, as for instance in the appointment of an official. The development must be allowed to take its proper course. Hasty action would not be wise. This is also true, finally, of any effort to exert influence on others, for here too the essential factor is a correct way of development through cultivation of one’s own personality. 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 reassured.

It is said of the wild goose that it calls to its comrades whenever it finds food; this is the symbol of peace and concord in good fortune. A man does not want to keep his good luck for himself only, but is ready to share it with others.

    Nine in the third place means:
    The wild goose gradually draws near the plateau.
    The man goes forth and does not return.
    The woman carries a child but does not bring it forth.
    It furthers one to fight off robbers.

The high plateau is dry and unsuitable for the wild goose. If it goes there, it has lost its way and gone too far. This is contrary to the law of development.

It is the same in human life. If we do not let things develop quietly but plunge of our own choice too rashly into a struggle, misfortune results. A man jeopardizes his own life, and his family perishes thereby. However, this is not at all necessary; it is only the result of transgressing the law of natural development. 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 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 cloud heights.
    Its feathers can be used for the sacred dance.
    Good fortune.

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


    54. Kuei Mei / The Marrying Maiden

䷵ 歸妹

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


    Undertakings bring misfortune.
    Nothing that would further.

A girl who is taken into the family, but not as the chief wife, must behave with special caution and reserve. She must not take it upon herself to supplant the mistress of the house, for that would mean disorder and lead to untenable relationships.

The same is true of all voluntary relationships between human beings. While legally regulated relationships evince a fixed connection between duties and rights, relationships based on personal inclination depend in the long run entirely on tactful reserve.

Affection as the essential principle of relatedness is of the greatest importance in all relationships in the world. For the union of heaven and earth is the origin of the whole of nature. Among human beings likewise, spontaneous affection is the all-inclusive principle of union.


    Thunder over the lake:
    The image of THE MARRYING MAIDEN.
    Thus the superior man
    Understands the transitory
    In the light of the eternity of the end.

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 princes of ancient China maintained a fixed order of rank among the court ladies, who were subordinated to the queen as are younger sisters to the eldest. Frequently they came from the family of the queen, who herself led them to her husband.

The meaning is that a girl entering a family with the consent of the wife will not rank outwardly as the equal of the latter but will withdraw modestly into the background. However, if she understands how to fit herself into the pattern of things, 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 lose the inner light of loyalty. Though 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 servingmaid.
    The moon that is nearly full
    Brings good fortune.

The sovereign I is T’ang the Completer. This ruler decreed that the imperial princesses should be subordinated to their husbands in the same manner as other women (cf. hexagram 11, six in the fifth place). The emperor does not wait for a suitor to woo his daughter but gives her in marriage when he sees fit. Therefore it is in accord with custom for the girl’s family to take the initiative here.

We see here a girl of aristocratic birth who marries a man of modest circumstances and understands how to adapt herself with grace to the new situation. She is free of all vanity of outer adornment, and forgetting her rank in her marriage, takes a place below that of her husband, just as the moon, before it is quite full, does not directly face the sun.

    Six at the top means:
    The woman holds the basket, but there are no fruits in it.
    The man stabs the sheep, but no blood flows.
    Nothing that acts to further.

At the sacrifice to the ancestors, the woman had to present harvest offerings in a basket, while the man slaughtered the sacrificial animal with his own hand. Here the ritual is only superficially fulfilled; the woman takes an empty basket and the man stabs a sheep slaughtered beforehand—solely to preserve the forms. This impious, irreverent attitude bodes no good for a marriage.


    55. Fêng / Abundance [Fullness]

䷶ 豐

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 does 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

䷷ 旅

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

    Nine in the third place means:
    The wanderer’s inn burns down.
    He loses the steadfastness of his young servant.

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 statesmen were in the habit of introducing themselves to local princes with the gift of a pheasant. Here the wanderer wants to enter the service of a prince. To this end he shoots a pheasant, killing it at the first shot. Thus he finds friends who praise and recommend him, and in the end the prince accepts him and confers an office upon him.

Circumstances often cause a man to seek a home in foreign parts. If he knows how to meet the situation and how to introduce himself in the right way, he may find a circle of friends and a sphere of activity even in a strange country.

    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 (Penetrating, Wind)

䷸ 巽

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 repels.


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

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

䷹ 兌

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 removed.

    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 best of men. If a man permits himself to have anything to do with them, their disintegrating influence acts slowly but surely, and inevitably brings dangers in its train. But if he recognizes the situation and can comprehend the danger, he knows how to protect himself and remains unharmed.

    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]

䷺ 渙

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.


    DISPERSION. Success.
    The king approaches his temple.
    It furthers one to cross the great water.
    Perseverance furthers.

The text of this hexagram resembles that of Ts’ui, GATHERING TOGETHER (45). In the latter, the subject is the bringing together of elements that have been separated, as water collects in lakes upon the earth. Here the subject is the dispersing and dissolving of divisive egotism. DISPERSION shows the way, so to speak, that leads to gathering together. This explains the similarity of the two texts.

Religious forces are needed to overcome the egotism that divides men. The common celebration of the great sacrificial feasts and sacred rites, which gave expression simultaneously to the interrelation and social articulation of family and state, was the means employed by the great rulers to unite men. 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 distrust.

    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 a great renunciation can he obtain the strength for great achievements. By setting his goal in a great task outside himself, he can attain this standpoint.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    He dissolves his bond with his group.
    Supreme good fortune.
    Dispersion leads in turn to accumulation.
    This is something that ordinary men do not think of.

When we are working at a task that affects the general welfare, we must leave all private friendships out of account. Only by rising above party interests can we achieve something decisive. He who has the courage thus to forego what is near wins what is afar. But in order to comprehend this standpoint, one must have a wide view of the interrelationships of life, such as only unusual men attain.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    His loud cries are as dissolving as sweat.
    Dissolution! A king abides without blame.

In times of general dispersion and separation, a great idea provides a focal point for the organization of recovery. Just as an illness reaches its crisis in a dissolving sweat, so a great and stimulating idea is a true salvation in times of general deadlock. 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

䷻ 節

A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit.

The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions—the limits of loyalty and disinterestedness.


    LIMITATION. Success.
    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
    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, K'ung Fu-tzu 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 no limitation
    Will have cause to lament.
    No blame.

If an individual is bent only on pleasures and enjoyment, it is easy for him to lose his sense of the limits that are necessary. If he gives himself over to extravagance, he will have to suffer the consequences, with accompanying regret. He must not seek to lay the blame on others. Only when we realize that our mistakes are of our own making will such disagreeable experiences free us of errors.

    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 is the only means of safeguarding against guilt and remorse. In such situations ruthlessness toward oneself is the only means of saving one’s soul, which otherwise would succumb to irresolution and temptation.


    61. Chung Fu / Inner Truth

䷼ 中孚

The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the water. Thus visible effects of the invisible manifest themselves. The hexagram consists of firm lines above and below, while it is open in the center. This indicates a heart free of prejudices and therefore open to truth. On the other hand, each of the two trigrams has a firm line in the middle; this indicates the force of inner truth in the influences they represent.

The attributes of the two trigrams are: above, gentleness, forbearance toward inferiors; below, joyousness in obeying superiors. Such conditions create the basis of a mutual confidence that makes achievements possible.

The character fu (“truth”) is actually the picture of a bird’s foot over a fledgling. It suggests the idea of brooding. An egg is hollow. The light-giving power must work to quicken it from outside, but there must be a germ of life within, if life is to be awakened. Far-reaching speculations can be linked with these ideas.


    INNER TRUTH. 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 of inner truth depends. This force is not identical with simple intimacy or a secret bond. Close ties may exist also among thieves; it is true that such a bond acts as a force but, since it is not invincible, it does not bring good fortune. All association on the basis of common interests holds only up to a certain point. Where the community of interest ceases, the holding together ceases also, and the closest friendship often changes into hate. Only when the bond is based on what is right, on steadfastness, will it remain so firm that it triumphs over everything.


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

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


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

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

    Nine in the second place means:
    A crane calling in the shade.
    Its young answers it.
    I have a good goblet.
    I will share it with you.

This refers to the involuntary influence of a man’s inner being upon persons of kindred spirit. The crane need not show itself on a high hill. It may be quite hidden when it sounds its call; yet its young will hear its note, will recognize it and give answer. Where there is a joyous mood, there a comrade will appear to share a glass of wine.

This is the echo awakened in men through spiritual attraction. Whenever a feeling is voiced with truth and frankness, whenever a deed is the clear expression of sentiment, a mysterious and far-reaching influence is exerted. At first it acts on those who are inwardly receptive. But the circle grows larger and larger. The root of all influence lies in one’s own inner being: given true and vigorous expression in word and deed, its effect is great. The effect is but the reflection of something that emanates from one’s own heart. Any deliberate intention of an effect would only destroy the possibility of producing it. K'ung Fu-tzu 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 or the supreme happiness of love, is left to the subjective verdict of the person concerned.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    The moon nearly at the full.
    The team horse goes astray.
    No blame.

To intensify the power of inner truth, a man must always turn to his superior, from whom he can receive enlightenment as the moon receives light from the sun. However, this requires a certain humility, like that of the moon when it is not yet quite full. At the moment when the moon becomes full and stands directly opposite the sun, it begins to wane. Just as on the one hand we must be humble and reverent when face to face with the source of enlightenment, so likewise must we on the other renounce factionalism among men. Only by pursuing one’s course like a horse that goes straight ahead without looking sidewise at its mate, can one retain the inner freedom that helps one onward.

    ◯ Nine in the fifth place means:
    He possesses truth, which links together.
    No blame.

This describes the ruler who holds all elements together by the power of his personality. Only when the strength of his character is so ample that he can influence all who are subject to him, is he as he needs to be. The power of suggestion must emanate from the ruler. It will firmly knit together and unite all his adherents. Without this central force, all external unity is only deception and breaks down at the decisive moment.

    Nine at the top means:
    Cockcrow penetrating to heaven.
    Perseverance brings misfortune.

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


    62. Hsiao Kuo / Preponderance of the Small

䷽ 小過

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 an 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 hexagram.


    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 nothing.

    ◯ 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 things.

    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 to force his way to the goal, he would be endangered. Therefore 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. In 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 their 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

䷾ 既濟

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

Hence the present hexagram indicates the conditions of a time of climax, which necessitate the utmost caution.


    AFTER COMPLETION. Success in small matters.
    Perseverance furthers.
    At the beginning good fortune,
    At the end disorder.

The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In principle, everything stands systematized, and it is only in regard to details that success is still to be achieved.

In respect to this, however, we must be careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let things take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil. 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 and its energy is lost. If the heat is too great, the water evaporates into the air. These elements here brought into relation and thus generating energy are by nature hostile to each other. 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 brakes his wheels.
    He gets his tail in the water.
    No blame.

In times following a great transition, everything is pressing forward, striving in the direction of development and progress. But this pressing forward at the beginning is not good; it overshoots the mark and leads with certainty to loss and collapse. Therefore a man of strong character does not allow himself to be infected by the general intoxication but checks his course in time. He may indeed not remain altogether untouched by the disastrous consequences of the general pressure, but he is hit only from behind like a fox that, having crossed the water, at the last minute gets its tail wet. He will not suffer any real harm, because his behavior has been correct.

    ◯ Six in the second place means:
    The woman loses the curtain of her carriage.
    Do not run after it;
    On the seventh day you will get it.

When a woman drove out in her carriage, she had a curtain that hid her from the glances of the curious. It was regarded as a breach of propriety to drive on if this curtain was lost. Applied to public life, this means that a man who wants to achieve something is not receiving that confidence of the authorities which he needs, so to speak, for his personal protection. Especially in times “after completion” it may happen that those who have come to power grow arrogant and conceited and no longer trouble themselves about fostering new talent.

This as a rule results in office seeking. If a man’s superiors withhold their trust from him, he will seek ways and means of getting it and of drawing attention to himself. We are warned against such an unworthy procedure: “Do not seek it.” Do not throw yourself away on the world, but wait tranquilly and develop your personal worth by your own efforts. Times change. When the six stages of the hexagram have passed, the new era dawns. That which is a man’s own cannot be permanently lost. It comes to him of its own accord. He need only be able to wait.

    Nine in the third place means:
    The Illustrious Ancestor
    Disciplines the Devil’s Country.
    After three years he conquers it.
    Inferior people must not be employed.

“Illustrious Ancestor” is the dynastic title of the Emperor Wu Ting of the Yin dynasty. After putting his realm in order with a strong hand, he waged long colonial wars for the subjection of the Huns who occupied the northern borderland with constant threat of incursions.

The situation described is as follows. After times of completion, when a new power has arisen and everything within the country has been set in order, a period of colonial expansion almost inevitably follows. Then as a rule long-drawn-out struggles must be reckoned with. For this reason, a correct colonial policy is especially important. The territory won at such bitter cost must not be regarded as an almshouse for people who in one way or another have made themselves impossible at 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 in large matters, because it is not only rising states that carry on a colonial policy; the urge to expand, with its accompanying dangers, is part and parcel of every ambitious undertaking.

    Six in the fourth place means:
    The finest clothes turn to rags.
    Be careful all day long.

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

    Nine in the fifth place means:
    The neighbor in the east who slaughters an ox
    Does not attain as much real 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

䷿ 未濟

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


    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 a time it is wise to spare ourselves the opprobrium of failure by holding back.

    Nine in the second place means:
    He brakes his wheels.
    Perseverance brings good fortune.

Here again the time to act has not yet come. But the patience needed is not that of idle waiting without 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 awarded.

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 intemperance.

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


Comentarie, commentary, Latin commentārium, commentārius (in 16th cent. French commentaire, Italian commentario), in its origin an adjective (sc. volumen, liber), < commentum : see comment n. and -ary suffix1. In classical Latin used in the senses ‘note-book, book of memoranda, or memoirs’, also (in Gellius) of ‘annotations’. Isidore Orig. vi. viii. 5 explains, ‘Sunt enim interpretationes, ut commenta iuris, commenta evangelii’. 1531 T. Elyot Bk. named Gouernour ii. ii. sig. Oijv The same emperour spake seldome openly, but out of a comentarie..that he had before prouided and writen. 1538 T. Starkey Dial. Pole & Lupset 107 By a commentary to conserve & kepe in memory. 1547 Certain Serm. or Homilies Faith, in J. Griffiths Two Bks. Homilies (1859) i. 36 He that readeth Cesars Commentaries..hath thereby a knowledge of Cesars life and notable acts. 1552 J. Leland Itinerary (1712) VIII. 24 He wrote certen Commentaries concerning the Law. 1586 T. Bowes tr. P. de la Primaudaye French Acad. I. 208 We..studie kitchin Commentaries, as much as any good Science. 1605 F. Bacon Of Aduancem. Learning ii. Commentaries are they which set downe a continuance of the naked events & actions, without the motiues or designes, the counsells, the speeches, the pretexts the occasions, and other passages of action: for this is the true nature of a commentarie. View more context for this quotation 1657 title The Commentaries of Sir Francis Vere, being Diverse pieces of service wherein he had command, written by himself in way of Commentary.

  1. The Creative is at work; change is taking place in a dynamic, creative way. This hexagram is also about reaching the Cosmic point of view. Ch'ien represents the principle called yang, the sky, ethereal, initiatory, as a natural complement of the principle called yin, the earth, material and invigorating. It represents the masculine principle in its cosmological sense, as purely masculine attributes occur in nature. It is identified with the sun, the force that gives light, which acts on the force of the dark earth, which absorbs the light. Yang force expands, yin force recedes. As with electricity, yang is positive, yin is negative. As the initiator, the father of the family is identified with Ch'ien, while the mother is identified with K'un.

Ch'ien, as the power of heaven, is identified with the Ruler, or Sage. The Sage rules through the power of intuition, and what the I Ching refers to as "inner truth." Since his point of view is cosmic in proportion, beyond the strict duality of love / hate, like / dislike and ease / discomfort, he need not forcefully produce results. As the Cosmic Father he seeks the best for all. Because of his dispassionate interest in developing and realizing our highest potential, we find him rigorous in his principles, but also gentle, kind and devoted.

In the I Ching cosmology the human being is poised between heaven and earth, with one foot in both, so to speak. We often get this hexagram when we start thinking that external issues are the only reality. We forget that everything in the outside world is activated by and depends on a higher reality (the Heaven Principle). The image of having one foot in both worlds means that we cannot ignore the principle of heaven; it is present and central to every question. Every individual possesses both the higher and lower natures. It is our destiny and personal Tao to cultivate and "fulfill" our celestial potential (called "Higher Man" throughout the I Ching). This celestial potential exists as a celestial image, or blueprint, stored in the mind of the Godhead. Rejection of this fate is not only contrary to our basic impulses; following the lead of our "Lesser Man" creates a hostile destiny which can only be reversed by returning to humble acceptance of our destiny to develop ourselves. When an individual develops his celestial nature, he shines like the sun. Such a person keeps aware of what is good and great within himself and clings to it. He is not willing to sacrifice his sincerity, his sense of truth, his goodness, or his sense of what is humane and right, for other considerations. Though he has attained his strength of character, he remembers the difficulty he had in correcting himself; therefore, he is able to remain tolerant of those who have not yet developed themselves. He is alert, always try to discover the inner truth of any situation and act accordingly. He avoids losing his independence and inner detachment by resisting the clamoring demands of his childish heart. He constantly seeks to be receptive to the quiet but inwardly audible will of heaven. Because he is secretive, he creates a respect for secretiveness; because he is tolerant, he creates tolerance; through his sincerity active respect and love of truth in others. Like the sun, he shines upon all with equanimity, awakening a small piece of the higher life within them. Ch'ien also represents the creative idea (Cosmic image) before it becomes reality. Everything that now exists, already existed before as a Cosmic Image. Consequentially, Ch'ien also represents the hidden creative potential inherent in any situation. By creative potential we mean the path that, if taken, will help everyone and everything in that situation. This creative potential is the particularly appropriate response to the problem at hand. There is an especially appropriate answer, and it can only be found by being receptive to it (we allow it to emerge by keeping an open mind). Other answers may come to serve all needs, but require tweaking after tweaking before the problem can be fixed safely, if it ever will be. One of the most important meanings of "I" in "I Ching" is "the simple one". It also means that the easiest way to achieve success is to invoke the help of the Creative, from which the particularly appropriate answer emerges. (This response often emerges as if it were the surprise denouement in the last act of a drama.) When, however, we strive to achieve success through our intellect (through brilliant wit and planning), or when we strive to force success (by forcing), just to satisfy the emotional need to create a more comfortable situation, we are forced to endlessly correct the chaotic effects produced by our imperfect thinking. In addition, we have to endure the often poisonous fallout that comes from interfering with the correct resolution engineered by the power above, a resolution that would have evolved had we not interfered.

Propitiate through perseverance. Propitiating refers to the inherently beneficial nature of the Creative that nurtures and protects all beings. Since the propitiation process involves the completion of stages of development, time is the vehicle in which the Creative power works. Just as the seed sprouts and the plant emerges, so the Creative takes the Cosmic image and shapes it. In this gradual way the light of understanding arises (the Cosmic image emerges), allowing us to respond correctly to situations. Only in this slow, organic way does everything become as it should be.

For time to be the means, perseverance is required. For the propitiatory potential to become effective, the Creative must be activated by the Receptive. Just as masculine energy is activated by the presence of feminine energy, so Ch'ien is activated by K'un. Through our persistence in receptivity, we have the power of the Creative to arouse it and bring it into action.

Perseverance means waiting in an attitude of docility and acceptance, devoid of hope and doubt, with an alert and open mind. It also means that the ego, or infantile heart, must be subdued or kept at bay. This means that we resist the demonic insistence of fear, the selfish demands of vanity, and the objections of our great dissembler, the intellect. If necessary, we ascetically deprive our body of its instinctive powers and emotional drive.

It is in the nature of the Creative to be ironic, to make the improbable happen and for success to come “a day late”. It may be necessary to wait passively until the point where inaction seems totally unreasonable (at least to our ego). This apparent stubbornness of Fate (the Creative) manifests itself because the Creative will not respond to the conceit and demands of our Lesser Man (ego), or to a recalcitrant or indolent surrender. As long as we are tied to the schedules set by our hopes and fears, we will be stuck. As long as we listen to the inner voice of doubt, urging us to take matters into our own hands and making us try to forcefully apply comfortable conclusions to our problems, we will continue to compete with the Creative. If, however, we humbly cling to the Creative for help and accept non-doing as an integral part of the creative process, then our attitude will be harmonious and sincere, and we will get the correct result. The path of the Creative is the way of the great playwright who keeps everything in suspense, even in a state of incomprehension, until the last minute. When our acceptance becomes truly humble, when we realize that we need the help of the Higher Power, and when we ask for that help, epilogue comes, and with it, understanding and success from the highest source. The answer is so correct and appropriate that in no way could we have conceived it with the intellect alone, nor could we have achieved its sublime results through a consciously designed solution.

First line: Hidden Dragon. Don't act. There are hidden elements in our situation which, within the limits of our current understanding, we are unable to perceive. Acting now would be like walking by a dangerous place in the blackest night without a light. We have to wait until the hidden element becomes visible, and until we have achieved a clear understanding of the situation. By waiting in a state of non-action, the perilous moment will be safely passed.

Second Line: Dragon that appears in the field. It is auspicious to see the great man. The "great man" is one who surrenders to the will of the Higher Power. He obeys the Sage's command and trusts that his advice will prove true; he opposes his ego and encourages his inferiors to follow the aspirations of the higher self.

We "see the great man" when we place ourselves above the dualities of love and hate, hope and fear. By developing Cosmic vision, we gain the strength to discipline our inferiors. In this way we set the right direction and influence others without conscious effort. When we influence others through a correct attitude, it is said that "the dragon appears in the field"; we are still in the making, however, and until this way of relating becomes completely stable, we will miss the correct attitude many times.

Third Line: All day long the superior man is creatively active. At nightfall his mind is still full of occupations. Danger. No fault. Creative action is, in I Ching terms, spontaneous action that emanates from an unstructured attitude. This is where programming and planning begins, and so spontaneity is lost. The ever-ambitious ego is quick to propose ways to make progress faster. We must therefore be attentive, therefore, to those moments, when we suddenly see the role we have to play, or when we enthusiastically think: “So this is the course of action!”. Such thoughts are Trojan horses. We must remain unstructured and assume no role, but allow events to proceed forward or backward as they wish, without losing our composure.

The commentary says that “ambition destroys integrity”. Ambition is at work when we say what another person wants to hear, or when we fail to say what comes to us as essential because we fear we might lose our influence. Thus our integrity is sacrificed to ambition. If we provide for someone when we should be discreet, we sacrifice our principles. The way of the Creative is to win other hearts through the following of the truth that is within us. We respond simply and naturally to every situation, keeping a humble and open mind. Thus what we say or do penetrates the essence of matter and draws all to agreement. We can safely allow the truth to show us the way to success.

By giving up ambition we will arrive at freedom of action; this does not mean, however, that we acquire the freedom to show off power, or to say or do whatever we please. Freedom of action must never be an invitation to recklessness.

Fourth Line: Undulating flight above the depths. No fault. There are two meanings of this line. The former is similar to having taken flight over the ocean; halfway through we wonder if we ever should have left. Now is not the time to question or change direction. Our will to move forward, despite some difficulties we may expect, must remain firm. We must avoid dwelling on difficulties and keep our thoughts clear and alert.

The second meaning has to do with the inner pacts we made at some point in the past. These covenants, according to which we have predetermined what we will, or will not do, impede our inner freedom to act spontaneously and innocently as we must at any moment. We are not meant to memorize a path, and then slavishly follow it. To follow the path of the Creative we need to be aware of the inner exhaustion zones that suddenly cause us to reject what is happening. In part, this line may tell us to control our thoughts and to deprogram those ideas we have of "how things should go," or "what the situation is." To keep an open mind, we resist deciding whether a situation is good or bad. Such decisions are based on hidden doubts about the Creative's power to right wrongs; they prevent us from perceiving the hidden entrances of opportunities that contain the correct means to achieve change or make progress.

Fifth Line: Dragon flying in the skies. Favors the vision of the great man. The influence of the Creative is felt - the correct image comes to mind and we understand. Because we are in a state of inner clarity and correctness, our influence spreads outward to everyone without any conscious intention.

Sixth Line: The arrogant dragon will have reason to repent. It is arrogant to ignore warnings of inaction and advance anyway. It is arrogant to presumptuously jump into conflicts, to dwell on people's behavior or tell them what they are doing wrong or otherwise interfere in their affairs. The Creative is activated only by persevering in humility and by our devotion to discovering the inner truth of each situation and staying anchored to it. If we fail to respect the boundaries that define creative action, we act in contradiction to the correct interaction of yin and yang and thus call upon hostile forces until we defeat our purpose. Only gentleness in action, combined with strength of decision, brings good luck, for this is the way of the Creative.

We must be aware that the element in us that we see as "the knight in white armor fighting against the black knight", is only our puritanical and obstinate Lesser Man (ego-self-image). Pretending to do the right thing our Lesser Man transforms into another image that usurps control of our personality. This is especially the case after we have made progress and the pressures of the situation begin to ease, and we manage to keep our Lesser Man under surveillance.

The hostile forces we enact through arrogance are not evil. Nature (the great Tao of yin and yang) acts in a balanced, harmonious, complementary way. As we act in opposition to the way nature works, as we become unbalanced within ourselves, we activate these forces to return to balance. Conversely, evil is acting arrogantly in opposition to nature, thus being the willful cause of imbalance. The event we often see as hostile is nature's way of restoring balance. Wrong moves that seem insignificant to us could create a trajectory of imbalance, and thus become an evil force that contradicts the sense of nature; the forces of the Creative and the Receptive are activated to stop this trajectory by any means necessary.

It is unknown, like a dragon lying hidden. The occasion is not yet ripe for his appearance. He is not moved by public opinion and the desire for fame. He bides his time in self-confidence and silence.

Be silent, secret, and conceal Whate'er you think, whate'er you feel,
Within your soul your dreams should rise And set like stars that fill the skies
With splendor on their nightly route: Admire them, scan them, and be mute.
How can a heart at will unfold Its tale? Can any soul be told
By what it is to live and die? A thought when spoken is a lie.
The springs men dig for they pollute: Drink sweet waters and be mute.
Within yourself learn how to live. Magic that is not fugitive
Lies, a rich treasure, in the mind, Thoughts that the glare of day will blind
And the wild din without confute: Heed that low music, and be mute.

A transformation ensues. The man appears among his peers, although not yet in a position of authority. His virtues are displayed, and his goodness becomes known. The prognosis is good for his impact upon the world. It is propitious to see him.

"In Gojam," he [the Prince of Ethiopia] said to me, "every self-respecting man has a war horse except for the priests, and it is wrong that you should be without one." [In the evening the Prince sent d'Abbadie an excellent horse.] ... My acquaintances now came to congratulate me. I was of course grateful to the Prince for his generosity and courtesy, but as yet I did not understand their meaning, nor the the eagerness of those about me who now adopted a more affectionate familiarity. In this feudal country, however, men are united by an infinity of ties which would count for nothing in Europe. They live together in a reciprocal dependence and solidarity which they value highly and consider a matter of pride, and which influence all they do. A man freed from all subjection is in their eyes outside the social order; that is how they consider a stranger. In accepting a mule from Dedjasmatch I had already, by the customs of the country, entered into a moral obligation towards him. But in receiving a war horse I became, in the eyes of his men, the man of their master; I was obliged to follow him, and at least for a certain time to share in his fortunes, bad or good. No matter how much good will they might have shown me until now, I had nonetheless been for them like a being apart, like one without any social relationship with them. But from now on I was going to share in their duties and their rights. I was no longer for them a stranger in the old and hostile sense of the word. I became their comrade, their companion.

The man's fame begins to spread. Such periods of transition are always unsettling. There is tension in the air. But the man retains his integrity and avoids being sweptalong by the masses, which flock to him. He remains active, vigilant, careful, and apprehensive. The prevention of mistakes under perilous circumstances is ever on his mind.

The knight of faith knows ... that it is beautiful and salutary to be the individual who translates himself into the universal, who edits, as it were, a pure and elegant edition of himself, as free from errors as possible and which everyone can read.... But he knows also that higher than this there winds a solitary path, narrow and steep; he knows that it is terrible to be born outside the universal, to walk without meeting a single traveler.... The knight of faith knows that to give up oneself for the universal inspires enthusiasm, and that it requires courage, but he also knows that security is to be found in this precisely because it is for the universal.... The hero does the deed and finds repose in the universal, the knight of faith is kept in constant tension.

After a while the man is confronted with a choice for public service in world affairs or solitude in further personal development. Either is appropriate if pursued in virtue and at the proper time.

I find it more agreeable To contemplate the stars Than to sign a death warrant.
I find it more agreeable To listen to the flowers Whisper "It is he!"
When I walk through the gardens
Than to stroke the rifles That are to kill those who wish To take my life.
That is why I shall never — No, never Become a ruler.
RUSSIAN (1885-1922)

In due time, the man makes his appearance and sets about his work, like the dragon on wing in the heavens. His beneficent influence spreads over the world.

The fact is that he [Andre Gide] brings to each a new strength. One of the strongest elements of the influence he exerts is the persuasive and intoxicating encouragement he gives us to persevere, resolutely and happily, each in his own being; and to demand of ourselves the most particular, the most authentic, the best.... He has the gift of sharpening each man's critical sense and of increasing his insight, without diminishing his fervor. He does more: he exalts in others—not pride, certainly, and I don't know quite how to put it: an upright vision of self; a confidence, a modest confidence in oneself.

Master Kong visited Lao-tzu, and spoke of charity and duty to one's neighbor. Lao-tzu said: "The chaff from winnowing will blind a man's eyes so that he cannot tell the points of the compass. Mosquitoes will keep a man awake all night with their biting. And just in the same way this talk of charity and duty to one's neighbor drives me nearly crazy. Sir! Strive to keep the world to its own original simplicity. And as the wind bloweth where it listeth, so let virtue establish itself. Wherefore such undue energy, as though searching for a fugitive with a big drum.
"The snow-goose is white without a daily bath. The raven is black without daily coloring itself. The original simplicity of black and of white is beyond the reach of argument. The vista of fame and reputation is not worthy of enlargement. When the pond dries up and the fishes are left upon dry ground, to moisten them with a little spittle is not to be compared with leaving them in the first instance in their native rivers and lakes."
On returning from this visit to Lao-tzu, Master Kong did not speak for three days. A disciple asked him, saying, "Master, when you saw Lao-tzu, in what direction did you admonish him?"
"I saw a dragon," replied Master Kong, "a dragon which by convergence showed a body, by radiation became color, and riding upon the clouds of heaven, nourished the two principles of creation. My mouth was agape; I could not shut it. How then do you think I was going to admonish Lao-tzu?"

There is always danger in circumstances of abundance. The inferior man pushes forward through excessive ambition, thereby losing touch with men of talent and virtue in positions below him. The ruling sage knows when to display his qualities and to relax, to maintain and to let go, to win and not to lose.

Many a clever strategem did he there devise Until at last he crushed the King of Go and Kosen could have his revenge. When by his aid Kosen had regained his realm and wiped away the shame of Kwaikei, as minister at Kosen's court, Duke Toshu could have wielded boundless power, and gained highest honours and vastpossessions. Yet, since obedient to Heaven's decree "The wise man should retire when fame is reached and great deeds done," rowing a boat on the Five Lakes he found contentment among mists and waters.

The over-all judgment: creativity comes from awakening and directing men's higher natures, which originate in the primal depths of the universe and are appointed by Heaven. To achieve the high status, the superior leader displays benevolence, harmony in all that is right, complete propriety, and perseverance in correct behavior.

I Hammurabi, the perfect king, was not careless (or) neglectful of the blackheaded (people) whom Enlil had presented to me, (and) whose shepherding Marduk had committed to me; I sought out peaceful regions for them; I overcame grievous difficulties; I caused light to rise on them. With the mighty weapon which Zababa and manna entrusted to me, with the insight that Enki allotted to me, with the ability Marduk gave me, I rooted out the enemy above and below; I made an end of war; I promoted the welfare of the land; I made the peoples rest in friendly habitations; did not let them have anyone to terrorize them. The great gods called me, so I became the beneficent shepherd whose scepter is righteous; my benign shadow is spread over my city. In my bosom I carried the peoples of the land of Sumer and Akkad; they prospered under my protection; I have governed them in peace; I have sheltered them in my strength. In order that the strong might not oppose the weak, that justice might be dealt the orphan (and) the widow, in Babylon, the city whose head Anum and Enlil raised aloft, in Esagila, the temple whose foundations stand firm like heaven and earth, I wrote my precious words on my stela, and in the presence of my statue as the king of justice I set (it) up in order to administer the law of the land, to prescribe the ordinances of the land, to give justice to the oppressed.

Many of you, I fancy, are wondering what on earth was my purpose in addressing you on the subject of public safety, as if Athens were in danger or itsaffairs in a shaky condition. On the contrary, it has more than two hundred triremes, it is enjoying peace on land, and it is supreme at sea. Furthermore, we have many allies who will aid us willingly in case of need, and many more who pay us tribute and take our orders. In these circumstances one might say that it is reasonable for us to feel confident, convinced that dangers are remote, and for our enemies to stand in fear and deliberate on the subject of their own safety. If you use this line of reasoning, you feel scornful, I am sure, of what I have come here to tell you, and you expect to dominate all Hellas by this power of yours. On the contrary, these are the very reasons, as it happens, that make me fearful, for in my experience the cities which think they are in the best condition make the worst plans, those which are the most confident find themselves faced with the greatest multitude of perils.
The cause of this is that neither good nor evil comes to men distinct and unalloyed. Closely allied and concomitant with wealth and princely power is folly, and along with folly comes licentiousness; but with poverty and humility there are joined sobriety and temperance, so that it is hard to decide which of the two portions one would consent to leave as heritage for his own children. From that which is held to be more commonplace we may observe that conditions generally tend in the direction of improvement, while from that which on the surface appears preferable they habitually alter for the worse.

Bring me then the plant that points to those bright
Lucidities swirling up from the earth,
And life itself exhaling that central breath!
Bring me the sunflower crazed with the love of light.


  2. The Receptive. It bears all as the earth bears all that lives upon it. In this hexagram the trigram K'un, being doubled, represents the essence of matter, the earth, principle of nourishment. Just as Ch'ien, when doubled, represents the essence of the creative principle, K'un represents the feminine in its cosmological sense, as purely feminine attributes occur in nature. The power of the earth is receptive, absorbing, resilient, dark and nurturing, as opposed to Ch'ien which is shining, the source of light, the sun. Allowing the luminous power of the sun to act upon itself, the receptive power of the earth gives life, nourishes and "fulfills" the life-principle generated when the two come to meet halfway.

Advance with the perseverance of a mare. A good mare lets herself be driven. Accept the loads on his back and be patient with people and things. Shown where to go, she proceeds without hesitation, alert and ready to be restrained according to her master's will. This image specifies a form of receptivity to the Higher Power (the Wise or higher self) that goes beyond recalcitrant compliance. It describes a willing spirit to follow the good.

The superior man who has depth of character supports the outside world. This means that we must not allow ourselves to be upset by what is happening. When people are unfaithful, indifferent, or insensitive, we keep ourselves detached from watching, desiring, and expecting; let the world go round without being harsh, vengeful, fear-activated, and without collapsing in self-pity. We do not allow ourselves to become rigid through defensive pacts to act or react in a particular way. Nor, out of wounded pride, or because we have indulged in exhaustion, do we decide that other people are "impossible." We do not regard others as adversaries, nor do we put them in a mental prison, nor do we mentally execute them. Let's keep our thoughts pure, our minds clear, our open heart. By keeping ourselves open-minded, we give others the space and time to correct themselves.

Part of our receptivity is letting things happen by allowing ourselves to be guided by the moment. We tune into the "openings," moments of light where people are receptive, and the "closings," moments of darkness where they begin to misunderstand and deny themselves. With openings we advance, with closures we retreat. In retreat we are detached and free. We go our own way, allowing others to get away from us. Indeed, receiving this hexagram is a challenge to perfect receptivity, humility and patience.

Front Line: Frost underfoot. Frost refers to doubting the way events are progressing. When we question the process of life we ​​begin to try to divert the flow of events into something more to our liking. We must stop resisting the flow of events and return to the path of humble acceptance and dependence on the unknown. Doubt is the frost that precedes the ice of renunciation.

Frost also refers to falling back into traditional defenses such as fear, doubt, anger, envy, desire, denial, compensation, or alienation. We cling to such defenses because we are still wary that following the true and the good will bring harmony and justice. We must forcefully get rid of the demonic inferiors who demand to rule us by slandering the truth and through the flattery that “no one will help us but ourselves, so we must act decisively!”. Such thoughts may not be as explicit, but exist only in the form of seeds of an uneasy feeling, as if a moment of bad mood is coming. Such moods are the frost that precedes the ice. Through contemplation, we begin to see that our pampered inferiors are only interested in furthering comfort. When we listen to them or even consider their complaints and proposals, others are wary of us because they intuitively feel that we are harboring selfish thoughts. When we selflessly follow good for good, their distrust gradually melts away. If we are to have a good effect on others we must carefully monitor and control our innermost thoughts.

Second Line: Straight, square, large. Without purpose, but nothing remains inappropriate. Just as in geometry straight lines can be joined to form rectangles, and rectangular planes can be joined to form cubes, so in every situation there are the basic ingredients that can be used to give shape to the creative idea; no need to add anything, nor take anything away. By staying open, we perceive the appropriate responses, and what we do meets the requirements of being straight (simple), square, and big (stubbornly open, never exceeding in having a fair and moderate view of people's mistakes and misdeeds). This is the essence of the action we can take in harmony with the Cosmos. Our actions must be in harmony with the way nature works: completely natural and in tune with the circumstances. Without premeditation and with an innocent heart, we say and do what justice and moderation require. Reticence and modesty protect us from going too far and losing our detachment, due to the intervention of our ego. We can count on the beneficial action of the Creative to finish what we have started. Things only go wrong when we try to do too much and do everything ourselves, advancing when we should have retreated and vice versa. We must allow others the space they need to perceive and react to the truth. Only then can we make solid progress in solving our problems and fixing our relationships.

Third Line: Hidden Lines. You are able to remain persevering. If you happen to be in the service of a king, getting busy doesn't work, but carrying it out. We should not care whether or not someone will like what we say, or whether he will acknowledge our successes, but whether what we say or do is sincere, modest and essential. Vanity - concern about how others see us - interferes with our following what is essential and correct by forcing us into selfish considerations. For example, in a speech we might be concerned with what our audience wants to hear instead of what is important about our topic. If we are modest and sincere, and if we stick to the essentials of the subject (what will help people understand the most), what we say will be useful. In serving a superior master it is important to serve to the best of our ability, without thought of how this will reflect on us, or if we will receive any credit for it. We only participate in our sincerity and humility.

This line also potentially or actually has to do with losing our reticence. Reticence is an essential ingredient for receptivity and modesty. We lose our reticence when we get caught up in the selfish eagerness to have influence. We savor being recognized as “holders of the truth” and forget to give others the space they need to perceive things for themselves. In making this mistake we soon find ourselves isolated and our influence undermined. Thus our pride is wounded for having made efforts without having achieved anything. We should flee from feelings such as wounded vanity, which would like us to deliver others and their problems to the garbage heap.

In making these mistakes you have to realize that they are mistakes that everyone makes. Basking in self-flagellation serves no purpose. Simply return to the path of acceptance and humility. This frees us from guilt. If we can be satisfied with completing our work from a back position using the power of truth, then we will give people the space they need to discover the truth for themselves.

This line also pertains to times when our influence on others is eclipsed. When this happens, we shouldn't be offended or shocked by it, but accept it all as part of the learning (or teaching) process. Just as the essay allows the student to enter life to put what he has learned to the test by experience, we must allow others to make mistakes even at the cost of compromising all that that they learned. This is essential if true perspective is to be developed. Misunderstanding is invariably linked to understanding. Learning inevitably involves making mistakes, and letting others make them, therefore, we must trust them to learn for themselves, otherwise our distrust will trap them in error. If we think we need to intervene personally, our vanity is involved. As the line advises, “getting busy doesn't work”: seeing yourself as the prime mover, or as infallible holders of the truth.

Fourth Line: A closed bag. No blame, no praise. Our actions have aroused the dark force in another because of our mistakes (as in the previous line), or because of a misunderstanding for which we are not to blame. Being isolated and misunderstood is like being in a closed bag. The false dragon (the irrational and compulsive element driven by fear) is called into question. We should avoid challenging this force with a frontal assault on the problem, which will only cause hatred and retaliation. We also need to prevent capitulation from appearing. We simply need to keep it private. Our inner attitude should be neutral, entertaining neither negative nor positive emotions.

Fifth Line: A yellow petticoat brings supreme luck. The commentary on this line mentions an "inconspicuous decoration". This symbolizes virtue that does not show itself. (We follow along and do good without thinking if others will notice.) The color yellow symbolizes both discretion and what is trustworthy and genuine. This means that we relate to people only when they are receptive to us and withdraw when they are not. Sometimes reacting this way causes people to misunderstand us and judge us impossible to understand. If our virtue is not displayed, we will not worry about the reactions of others. Over time they will gain respect (perhaps only grudgingly at first) for our way of life. Our steadfastness will gradually make them aware of the truth through what the I Ching calls "gentle penetration." Being willing to work in the background we are the true assistants of the Sage, who also does his work invisibly, through the turmoil of the situation.

Sixth Line: Dragons fight in the meadow. Their blood is black and yellow. When we listen to our inner fears and doubts, the stress of inner conflict weakens our will to persevere in receptivity and acceptance. When we no longer depend on the Unknown, we are moved to act. This is a dangerous and destructive way forward.

It is careful not to overlook the first signs of evil and decay. The threatening dangers are checked before their natural issue and growth.

If an unknown man takes aim at me in the middle of a forest, I am not yet certain that he wishes to kill; must I allow him time to fire in order to be sure of his intent? Is there any reasonable casuist who would deny me the right to forestall the act? But presumption becomes almost equal to certitude if the prince who is about to acquire enormous power has already given evidence of an unbridled pride and ambition. In the imaginary case mentioned above, who would have dared counsel the European states to allow Louis XIV to make such a formidable addition to his power?

Nature's way is straight and unerring, foursquare and calm, great and tolerant. Everything is accomplished without the necessity of fabricated purpose. The man's work is equally self-evident. His internal principles are correct; his external acts are righteous; his results are certain.

Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.

You asked me, in brief, what satisfaction I get out of life, and why I go on working. I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs. There is in every living creature an obscure but powerful impulse to active functioning. Life demands to be lived. Inaction, save as a measure of recuperation between bursts of activity, is painful and dangerous to the healthy organism—in fact, it is almost impossible. Only the dying can be really idle.
The precise form of an individual's activity is determined, of course, by the equipment with which he came into the world. In other words, it is determined by this heredity. I do not lay eggs, as a hen does, because I was born without any equipment for it. For the same reason I do not get myself elected to Congress, or play the violon-cello, or teach metaphysics in a college, or work in a steel mill. What I do is simply what lies easiest to my hand. It happens that I was born with an intense and insatiable interest in ideas, and thus like to play with them. It happens also that I was born with rather more than the average facility for putting them into words. In consequence, I am a writer and editor, which is to say, a dealer in them and a concocter of them. There is very little conscious volition in all this. What I do was ordained by the inscrutable fates, not chosen by me. In my boyhood, yielding to a powerful but still subordinate interest in exact facts, I wanted to be a chemist, and at the same time my poor father tried to make me a business man. At other times, like any other relatively poor man, I have longed to make a lot of money by some easy swindle. But I became a writer all the same, and shall remain one until the end of the chapter, just as a cow goes on giving milk all her life, even though what appears to be her self-interest urges her to give gin.

The man wisely keeps his potentialities hidden so that they can mature without interference. When serving as an assistant, he remains in the background and lets glory go to the chief. He manifests himself at the proper time.

I have done one braver thing, Than all the worthies did;
And yet a braver thence doth spring, Which is, to keep that hid.

The man observes the strictest self-restraint and reserve in dangerous times. In this way he incurs neither injury from antagonists with designs on preeminence nor obligations to others.

How do you know I am a diplomat? By the skilful way you hide your claws.

The man does not display his excellence directly. It is diffused throughout his conduct of affairs.

In the winter of 1650, I was going into the city of Chiaochuan from the Little Harbor, accompanied by a boy carrying a big load of books, tied with a cord and strengthened with a few pieces of board. It was toward sunset and the country was covered with haze. We were about a mile from the city.
"Will we be in time to get into the city before the gates are closed?" I asked the ferryman. "You will if you go slowly. But if you run, you will miss it," replied the ferryman, casting a look at the boy. But we walked as fast as possible. About halfway, the boy fell down. The cord broke and the books fell on the ground. The boy sat crying. By the time we had retied the package and reached the city gate, it was already closed.
I thought of that ferryman. He had wisdom.
CHOU YUNG, CHINESE (1619-1679)

The man is no longer content with his serving role. A bloody contest ensues. Injury to both parties occurs when serving elements attempt to rule.

Who draws his sword against his prince must throw away the scabbard.

The over-all judgment: the mare is commended as the model of docility and strength. The role of the subject is one of unhesitating response and cheerful service to mankind. He requires friends during hours of work but should be alone with his chief when receiving instructions and reporting achievements.

What tormented Ivan Ilych most was the deception, the lie, which for some reason they all accepted, that he was not dying, but was simply ill, and that he only need keep quiet and undergo a treatment and then something very good will result. He however knew that do what they would nothing would come of it, only still more agonizing suffering and death. This deception tortured him - their not wishing to admit what they all knew, what he knew, but wanting to lie to him concerning his terrible condition, and wishing and forcing him to participate in that lie. Those lies -lies enacted over him on the eve of his death and destined to degrade this awful, solemn act to the level of their visitings, their curtains, their sturgeon for dinner-were a terrible agony for Ivan Ilych.
And strangely enough, many times when they were going through their antics over him he had been within a hairbreadth of calling out to them, "Stop lying! You know and I know that I am dying. Then at least stop lying about it!" But he had never had the spirit to do it. The awful, terrible act of his dying was, he could see, reduced by those about him to the level of a casual, unpleasant, and almost indecorous incident (as if someone entered a drawing-room diffusing an unpleasant odor) and this was done by that very decorum which he had served all his life long. He saw that no one felt for him, because no one even wished to grasp his position. Only Gerasim recognized it and pitied him. And so Ivan llych felt at ease with him. He felt comforted when Gerasim supported his legs (sometimes all night long) and refused to go to bed saying: "Don't you worry, Ivan Ilych. I'll get sleep enough later on," or when he suddenly became familiar and exclaimed: "If you weren't sick it would be another matter, but as it is, why should I grudge a little trouble?" Gerasim alone did not lie; everything showed that he alone understood the facts of the case and did not consider it necessary to disguise them, but simply felt sorry for his emaciated and enfeebled master. Once when Ivan Ilych was sending him away he even said straight out: "We all of us die, so why should I grudge a little trouble?" - expressing the fact that he did not think his work burdensome, because he was doing it for a dying man and hoped someone would do the same for him when his time came.

JUST. Do what you will, Major, I remain in your service; I must remain.
MAJOR VON TELLHEIM. With your obstinacy, your insolence, your savage boisterous temper toward all who you think have no business to speak to you, your malicious pranks, your love of revenge -
JUST. Make me as bad as you will, I shall not think worse of myself than my dog. Last winter I was walking one evening at dusk along the river, when I heard something whine. I stooped down, and reached in the direction whence the sound came, and when I thought I was saving a child, I pulled a dog out of the water. That is well, thought I. The dog followed me; but 1 am not fond of dogs, so I drove him away- in vain. I whipped him away- in vain. I shut him out of my room at night; he lay before the door. If he came too near me, I kicked him; he yelped, looked up at me, and wagged his tail. I have never yet given him a bit of bread with my own hand; and yet I am the only person whom he will obey, or who dares touch him. He jumps about me, and shows off his tricks to me, without my asking for them. He is an ugly dog, but he is a good animal. If he carries it on much longer, I shall at last give over hating him.

"And yet," demanded Councillor Barlow ..."what great cause is he identified with?"
"He is identified," said the speaker, "with the great cause of cheering us all up."


  3. Difficulty at the Beginning. If we persevere things will work out. This hexagram is composed of K'an (rain) and Chên (thunder), two of the most active trigrams. Their interaction describes the "teeming chaotic profusion" that creates multiple possibilities at the onset of new situations, so that we don't know which way to go. We cannot afford to be intimidated by the storm, flux and ambiguity of these times into leaping to the conclusion that Fate is against us, and that we are left to sort the situation without any help. Restless action interferes with the unfolding of the creative process. If we can persevere in non-action and disengagement, the Creative will solve everything correctly.

We often receive this hexagram when we let the stress of the situation keep us from gaining true perspective. Feeling unable to wait for perspective to clear up, we leap to virtually any solution offered, or fall back into old ways and abandon the slow, gradual step of the Sage, who "goes with the flow" and lets the right way it reveals itself. True perspective is only possible when we dispel the pressures to act and when we stop seeing the situation as a problem that needs action. It is also important to enlist the help of the Higher Power to gain the understanding that makes progress possible.

During the difficult times in the beginning we need to realize that everything that happens has good ends that we will understand in time. We are in that dynamic moment in which a change in the inner world begins to materialize in a change in the outer world; whether the change will be brought about will depend on our ability not to interfere and to seek the guidance of the Sage of the I Ching, and follow it.

First line: Hesitation and obstacle. It is beneficial to remain persevering. The appointment of helpers is propitious. When we are confronted with difficulties at the outset of situations, we must resist the urge to give up. We may be on the right track, or just slightly off track. Help comes by being careful not to force things. Help often comes in the form of a liberating insight.

Second Line: The girl is chaste. Ten years, then she will promise herself. The "turn in issues" mentioned in the commentary refers to an idea that manifests itself as a solution to the difficulty. This, however, is the wrong solution. Even if we eagerly await resolution from the situation, acting on this idea would commit us to embarrassing obligations. We must remain "chaste," or unconstrained, and avoid trying to free the locked Wheel of Fate through artificial solutions.

Third line: Whoever hunts the deer without the forester [the Wise] gets lost in the forest. The superior man… prefers to desist. Moving forward involves humiliation. This line means that the difficulties of our situation are such that they cannot be overcome without the help of the Higher Power, whose help we can obtain only if we cultivate a humble and open mind.

We get this line when we wish we were out of a situation enough to consider action. We are advised to wait until a "real flu" sets in. This means that we will have to wait until we get the help of the Creative to figure out what we need to do. Meanwhile it is necessary that we remain in the situation, free from resistance. It's as if we are characters in Act I (or even II) of a play and it hasn't quite come time for Act III.

Fourth Line: Horse and chariot separate. They fight to unite. Going brings good luck. Everything acts to propitiate. In our eagerness to resolve the issue, we set it aside; we stop trusting in the Unknown and take comfort in comprehensive solutions, or we give up altogether. It is our duty to put the weight back on ourselves and carry on, however humiliating that may be. This means that we submit to being guided, without knowing all the answers beforehand; let the correct way reveal itself as if we were looking at the frames of a film. If we trust that the Unknown will lead the way, we will return to the right path.

This line can refer both to our relationship with another person, and to our relationship with the Sage. If we have strayed from the way of the Sage through distrust, then we need only ask for help in pulling up our chariot. If we have given up on other people, then we need to realize that the difficulties that push us towards feeling that the enterprise is hopeful are only part of the general difficulties that come with new beginnings.

When the "Wheel of Fate" gets stuck in the mud, spinning in its vicious circle, a desperate attitude keeps it in this state. Only when we stop doubting the power of truth and the power of the Creative can the Wheel of Fate be freed and begin to turn into truly advancing. As long as our ego insists on visible progress, as long as we condition our commitment to doing what is right, saying to God: "I will work only if I see that you too are doing your part", the Cosmos cannot come to our aid.

We cannot make claims to the Higher Power. Only when we wholeheartedly follow the truth and what is right can things work out. Of course, giving up guarantees failure. We have to admit that people will be able to find their way if we let them find it for themselves.

Fifth Line: Difficulty in blessing. A little perseverance brings good luck. Great perseverance brings bad luck. Here, the dark force prevails and everything one does is viewed with suspicion. We must remain firmly focused. This brings the confidence needed to be successful. To regain objectivity, we must persevere quietly, allowing ourselves to be led away from the dangers of doubt.

Sometimes this line is linked to the Fifth Line of Peace (Hex. 11). Both lines refer to the need to be patient with people who have a sense of inferiority; envy and feelings of inferiority create tension. What helps most is to be constant, independent, and detached.

Sixth Line: Horse and chariot separate. Tears of blood flow. Desire and fear prevail. The child within us rules us. Despairing that the Sage will ever come to our aid, or that things will ever work out, we abandon our path. No one should persist in this.

It takes stock of the obstacles. He does not force his advance. He perseveres on the right course and acquires the appropriate assistants. He continuously rechecks his bearings, as the confusion is gradually resolved.

[The Persians] are accustomed to deliberate on matters of the highest moment when warm with wine; but whatever they in this situation may determine is again proposed to them on the morrow, in their cooler moments, by the person in whose house they had before assembled. If at this time also it meet their approbation, it is executed; otherwise it is rejected. Whatever also they discu'.s when sober, is always a second time examined after they have beendrinking.

We must let you know, that there was a friendship established by our and your grandfathers; and a mutual council fire was kindled. In this friendship all those then under the ground, who had not yet obtained eyes or faces were included; and it was then mutually promised to tell the same to their children and children's children. But so many great men of your nation have died in so short a time, that none but youths are left; and this makes us afraid, lest that treaty, so solemnly established by your ancestors, should be forgotten by you. We therefore now come to remind you of it, and renew it; we rekindle the old fire, and put on fresh fuel.

Progress is further inhibited. Someone suddenly appears who is mistaken for a robber at first but actually turns out friendly. His offer of help is not to be accepted. Not being from the right quarter, it may entail undesirable obligations. Things will resume their regular course at the proper time.

"How are you, Hachi? We heard you weren't well and we thought you might be lonely, so we have come to keep you company tonight. Is there anything you would like to eat? Just say the word, and we'll make it for you." "That's very good of you. A bachelor is pretty helpless when he's ill in bed. Please stay the night and enjoy yourselves." "Righto, we will. If you want some medicine, or hot water, just tell us."
During the evening the visitors talked and drank sake, and as time went on they lay down one after another and fell asleep. When the sick man awoke he asked for a cup of tea or some hot water, but none of them could he bring out of their stupor. He had to crawl out of bed himself, and then one of them woke and said, "Hey, Hachi, what are you up to?" "Nothing," he said, "I only want some tea," creeping towards the kettle. Then his friend said, "I say, pour me a cup of tea, too, won't you, while you are about it?"

The man wanders aimlessly without adequate guidance, like a hunter without a forester. The superior man knows when going forward will cause regret. He gives up the senseless chase and avoids eventual disgrace.

... For me everything disintegrated into parts, these parts again into parts; no longer would anything let itself be encompassed by one idea. Single words floated around me; they congealed into eyes which stared at me and into which I was forced to stare back—whirlpool which gave me vertigo and, reeling incessantly, led me into the void.

The man lacks sufficient power to discharge his responsibilities. He is like a chariot without a horse. But opportunity for help arises. This should be accepted even in the face of self-abnegation.

For more than twenty years, thou knowest well, sir, 'Tis we two that have swayed the Emperor's mind. Between us he divides his heart and power, And we dictate the orders that he gives. To rob thee of the station which thou holdest, Chagrined and desperate I have oft conspired; And thou, impelled against me by like envy, —Thou has assailed my favor and my life. I feared thee only; thou didst fear me only; and since we needs must now speak honestly, it was with reason that, jealous of each other, thou fearedest my power and that I feared thine, —For each of us, appraising well his rival quaked lest the other should o'erthrow his fortunes, alike assured, fain to destroy each other, that one of us sufficed to rule the Empire. Oft, when our strife was ready to subside, The Emperor has been careful to maintain it. Our quarrel hath served him better than our zeal; each of us was a faithful minister, whose eyes, fixed on a single enemy, would keep him ever constant in his duty; and thus, so long as lived our mutual hatred, the Emperor has enjoyed the fruit of it. It needs must end; the time for that has come. Thou knowest how matters stand, sir, in this Court: That the Emperor, nearly two months ago, by marrying Irene, assumed new ties; that from his hapless son he snatched this princess, breaking the bonds their plighted troth had formed. To wrath now Andronicus gives his soul up, And if he spares his father in his rage, if he respects him still, ah! do not doubt that he will let its lightnings fall on us.
He thinks that his sad fate was our contrivance; He thinks that in resolving on a second marriage and forming thus a tie that wronged him, the Emperor followed thy advice and mine. We stand in equal peril, have fears in common. Let us unite our hearts, sir, and our fortunes; And let us hasten to build for our defense bulwarks which Andronicus cannot shatter.

The man attains a position of authority. Premature expressions of good intentions lead to damaging misinterpretations. Time is required for stepwise maturation and acquisition of general confidence. Consummation cannot be forced.

I have played the fool, the gross fool, to believe
The bosom of a friend will hold a secret
Mine own could not contain.

A hunter goes into the bush. He finds an old human skull. The hunter says: "What brought you here?" The skull answers: "Talking brought me here." The hunter runs off. He runs to the king. He tells the king: "I found a dry human skull in the bush. It asks how its father and mother are."
The king says: "Never since my mother bore me have I heard that a dead skull can speak." The king summons the Alkali, the Saba, and the Degi and asks them if they have ever heard the like. None of the wise men has heard the like and they decide to send guards out with the hunter into the bush to find out if his story is true and, if so, to learn the reason for it. The guards accompany the hunter into the bush with the order to kill him on the spot should he have lied. The guards and the hunter come to the skull. The hunter addresses the skull: "Skull, speak." The skull is silent. The hunter asks as before: "What brought you here?" The skull does not answer. The whole day long the hunter begs the skull to speak, but it does not answer. In the evening the guards tell the hunter to make the skull speak, and when he cannot they kill him in accordance with the king's command. When the guards are gone the skull opens its jaws and asks the dead hunter's head: "What brought you here?" The dead hunter's head replies: "Talking brought me here!"

The man fails to overcome the initial difficulties and despair.

[This] conclusion will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians. The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflections at once rushed into my mind — such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked and bedaubed with paint, their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement, and their expression was wild, startled and distrustful. They possessed hardly any arts, and like wild animals lived on what they could catch; they had no government, and were merciless to any one not of their own tribe. He who has seen a savage in his native land will not feel much shame if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature flows in his veins. For my own part I would as soon be descended from that heroic little monkey who braved his dreaded enemy in order to save the life of his keeper, or from that old baboon, who, descending from the mountains, carried away in triumph his young comrade from a crowd of astonished dogs—as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticides without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.

Man may be excused for feeling some pride at having risen, though not through his own exertions, to the very summit of the organic scale; and the fact of his having thus risen, instead of having been aboriginally placed there, may give him hope for a still higher destiny in the distant future. But we are not here concerned with hopes or fears, only with the truth as far as our reason permits us to .discover it; and I have given the evidence to the best of my ability. We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man, with all his noble qualities, with sympathy which feels for the most debased, with benevolence which extends not only to other men but to the humblest creature, with his godlike intellect which has penetrated into the movements and constitution of the solar system — with all these exalted powers —man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.

The over-all judgment: the rise of the state out of disorder is marked by struggles. The period of growth requires caution against premature moves and perseverance to overcome attendant obstacles and confusion. Helpers need be appointed.

The incessant bickering and contests between chief and jealous kinsmen; the weak central power; the divided jurisdictions; the obstinacy with which a man of high birth insists on the proper punctilio to be reciprocated between himself and his Chief —all these are tokens of a free society in the rough.

ANDROMACHE. Doesn't it ever tire you to see and prophesy only disasters?
CASSANDRA. I see nothing. I prophesy nothing. All I ever do is to take account of two great stupidities: the stupidities of men, and the wild stupidity of the elements.

Nothing can be rushed. Things must grow, they must grow upward, and if the time should ever come for the great work— then so much the better. We must go on searching. We have found parts, but not the whole!
We still lack the ultimate strength for: there is no people to sustain us. But we are looking for a people. We began over there in the Bauhaus. We began with a community to which each one of us gave what we had. More we cannot do.
PAUL KLEE, SWISS (1879-1940)


  4. Youthful Foolishness. A new lesson; you are learning something you never knew before. It is not I who seek the foolish youth; it is the foolish youth who seeks me. This hexagram explains the relationship between the Sage who speaks through the I Ching and the follower who consults it. The Sage will speak through the oracle and will come to our aid only if we have a correct attitude, that is, if we have spontaneously suspended our disbelief and our distrust of the Unknown. If we are skeptical, indifferent, cynical, hostile or inquisitive, the answers will be incomprehensible, as the Sage will remain withdrawn. Insofar as we hesitate to suspend our disbelief, we withhold the help of the Sage, for it is against his principles to answer anything less than the humility of an open mind. Because he is firmly committed to what is good, he will not stoop to seek our approval, nor will he try,

In approaching the essay we will have to make sure we get rid of the predetermined ideas that hinder learning. It may be that we are afraid that his response will upset our defenses, or that we will be unable to face the truth of some situation. In the foolishness of spiritual youth we fail to understand that knowing the truth always lightens our burden, lifting the oppressive burdens of fear and doubt.

Studying with the Sage of the Ching means being allowed to see life from the Cosmic point of view. At the conclusion of each lesson, we gain a Cosmic Insight. Whether we consult the I Ching every day or occasionally, the answers will concern the next step in our understanding. Each new lesson involves a new beginning, with its characteristic difficulties. The problem that is posed to us in each lesson generally provides the circumstance through which the lesson can be resolved. The lesson is concluded when we understand the problem from the Cosmic point of view. By arriving at this insight, the problem has either been solved, or it moves one step closer to its ultimate solution.

If we consult the I Ching daily, then each lesson can be completed in a time as short as a week; if we consult it once a year, each lesson may take much longer to master. Such lessons, of course, aren't just through the I Ching.

The Sage is an invisible teacher of life and the experiences of our daily life are our classroom. Such lessons can be learned without consulting the I Ching, yet the I Ching provides the lantern by which we can safely traverse the plain of peril that exists within the spiritual realm. Without its help, the learning process may require that we fall prey to these pitfalls numerous times.

Receiving Youthful Foolishness as the second hexagram ie: “You are not expected to know the cosmic lessons in advance. The matter at hand is simply youthful ignorance." Foolishness, therefore, means lack of spiritual knowledge and "you are learning something new." Sometimes, the hexagram calls us to put things in perspective: it's natural to make mistakes; if we made a mistake, our mistake was a "deep place" that blocked the path: by recognizing the error we fill that deep place. With danger behind us we can forget our mistakes and proceed with our learning.

Another meaning of Youthful Foolishness has to do with the foolishness of others. Just as it is necessary to have an open mind to bring out the Sage from his withdrawal, so it is necessary to face others with an open mind to bring out the "great man" hidden within them. If they remain unreceptive or if they do not react, we adopt the point of view of the Sage: we let them go; we do not wrestle with them, nor do we try to persuade them. We let them go, even towards danger and difficulties, because it is only when they are exposed to the risks and consequences of their foolishness that they will learn the Cosmic lessons. We also let them come back, because letting them go doesn't mean we lose all hope in them, which, in I Ching terms, is like "executing" them. In letting go we do not indulge in anger;

Disengagement means that we no longer look, with our inner eye, at what others are able or unable to do; disengagement is a form of trust that gives authority to their higher nature. Giving people space is a universal form of love that allows them to go back in time to their true selves. This is how the Sage teaches us and it is what we are meant to teach others.

Sometimes this hexagram reminds us of our tendency, in facing dangerous obstacles (shown here as a chasm into which the young man stares), to think that there is no way to overcome them. The hexagram says that the right way to solve (or work around) difficulties is found with perseverance: we hold fast to what we already know is right, and we remain receptive to the Higher Power so that we receive further insight. The Sage does not give us all-encompassing answers, but continually reveals to us every single step we must take; it is only our ego that wants complete answers and immediate results, due to its fears and selfish purposes.

First line: The shackles must be removed. Continuing on this path involves humiliation. It is a fact of life that we learn when we are told, but ultimately we have to put our learning into practice. This often happens from direct and sometimes unpleasant experience, but what we learn makes us stronger and the lesson is linked not only to the intellect, but to the heart, as inner truth.

Second Line: Enduring fools with kindness brings good luck. The son is able to take charge of the household. This image refers to the son who takes the place of the father only when he has learned to govern through inner truth. Knowing the difficulty of correcting one's weaknesses, he is able to look magnanimously at the mistakes and weaknesses of others, particularly those who have not yet evolved. It's important to be modest and kind, not proud and vindictive. Until we have achieved such modesty and kindness in the face of challenges, we will not be able to draw others to the correct path by our example.

To put up with fools with kindness can also mean putting up with things our inferiors hate, and therefore putting up with bad luck, "bad situations," and whatever comes our way, however inappropriate it may be. It is true modesty not to be discouraged by bad luck. As in the game of tennis, we must immediately forget about missed shots, mistakes, and focus on being prepared for the next round through constant disengagement from inner conversations. Labeling strokes as good or bad also has a negative effect, upsetting our balance. In the elevated Cosmic view, everything, what is good and what is bad, is as it should be for our self-development.

Third Line: Don't take a girl who… loses control of herself. Nothing auspicious. This line refers to a slavish approach in learning. If we tell people what needs to be done, they will follow the form rather than the content of things, they will focus their attention on conforming to appearances instead of what is right and essential. We must allow people to make mistakes until they have exhausted the enthusiasm that led them astray. Only when they really need help will they seek advice in a childish and unassuming way. This is also true of how we learn. The Sage does not want us to be slavishly good, but to learn the joy of following what is good in itself. Likewise,

Fourth Line: Imprisoned foolishness entails humiliation. This line often refers to the selfish assumption that one can lead one's life solely by the power of the intellect. This arrogant self-confidence insulates us from the help of the inner world that we need, and ensures that we will not be open-minded enough to understand this help once it is offered. The Sage lets us go our own way until we have acquired the humility necessary to end the vicious circle of lack of progress.

Fifth Line: Childish foolishness brings good luck. When we have acquired a childish mental openness we will certainly be facilitated in understanding the secrets of the inner world, through which only the Wise can guide us. In teaching others we need only trust that the force of truth will show itself. Instead of struggling to make ourselves understood, we should innocently follow the truth of things, not worrying about what others will think.

Sixth Line: Punishing foolishness does not encourage transgression. The only propitious thing is to avoid transgressions. Fate punishes us when we ignore the Cosmic laws, but he does it dispassionately, and only when necessary, and only to the extent necessary to loosen the rigidity of our attitude. This line also implies that one who stubbornly follows a dead end will meet with disappointment. Only that which is founded on correct principles can succeed in the end. Unpleasant events serve to jolt our minds, telling us that we are on the wrong track.

We should keep these principles in mind when dealing with the stubborn indifference of others. We involuntarily and automatically punish others when we acknowledge their faults and wrongdoings. This involuntary punishment registers itself in their psyche. When we see them as problems, we punish them excessively. We stop punishing them when we come to a fair and moderate view of their transgressions. Punishment does not mean “execution,” whereby we renounce people and define them as “impossible,” nor does it mean that we confine them to more than a temporary prison in our minds. As the image says in Il Viandante (Hex. 56) «the superior man has a clear mind and is prudent in sanctions» and «he does not take legal action» (going too far involves a rebound) and «sanctions and lawsuits [...] should be things that are resolved quickly, and they must not drag on indefinitely.' The correct punishment is to ask for the help of the Wise (the Creative), to whom then turn the whole matter over. It is "imprisoned foolishness" to think that it is our total responsibility to resolve issues by punishing. We must find help by withdrawing and disengaging, and leaving the work of correction to the Sage, or we ourselves will be the transgressors.

Note that this line, as well as the fourth, may refer to transgressing by becoming lax in our tolerance of evil. If we give in by an inch, the spoiled get a mile. On one level, then, the wrongdoing is our fault; when we punish we must remember how much of the fault is ours.

Ignorant youth is being disciplined for the seriousness of life. Care should be exercised against attempts at rigid regimentation of the mind.

Pretended, And the cause is manifest.
When she was a girl she showed candor, and excellent qualities; But you, wishing to see greater perfection in her, harshly and inflexibly set out To correct her slightest faults; Yyu shouted at her; she did nothing that suited you. Your severity produced in her only dissimulation, and cunning; Your oppression, a greater desire For freedom. The frequency Of punishment produced fear, and lacking true virtues, virtues that you were unable to inspire in her, she pretended to possess them.
You made her hypocritical and false; and as soon as she acquired skill In deceiving her father, she deceived him so completely that only when she had the most vices did he believe she was perfect.

The man is tolerant of the ignorant and kind to women. He resembles an official capable of assuming the delegated duties of a prince in directing a large social body with inner strength and outward reserve.

Polly bent over him and wiped the moisture from his face, "Oh, I'm so glad it's over!" she broke out impulsively. "It just broke my heart to see- you suffer so, Father."
Rosicky motioned her to sit down on the chair where the tea-kettle had been, and looked up at her with that lively affectionate gleam in his eyes. "You was awful good to me, I won't never forgit dat. I hate it to be sick on you like dis. Down at de barn I say to myself, dat young girl ain't had much experience in sickness, I don't want to scare her, an' maybe she's got a baby comin' or somet'ing."
Polly took his hand. He was looking at her so intently and affectionately and confidingly; his eyes seemed to caress her face, to regard it with pleasure. She frowned with her funny streaks of eyebrows, and then smiled back at him.
"I guess maybe there is something of that kind going to happen. But I haven't told anyone yet, not my mother or Rudolph. You'll be the first to know." His hands pressed hers. She noticed that it was warm again. The twinkle in his yellow-brown eyes seemed to come nearer.
"I like mighty well to see dat little child, Polly," was all he said. Then he closed his eyes and lay half-smiling. But Polly sat still, thinking hard. She had a sudden feeling that nobody in the world, not her mother, not Rudolph, or anyone, really loved her as much as old Rosicky did. It perplexed her. She sat frowning and trying to puzzle it out. It was as if Rosicky had a special gift for loving people, something that was like an ear for music or an eye for colour. It was quiet, unobtrusive; it was merely there. You saw it in his eyes, — perhaps that was why they were merry. You felt it in his hands, too. As he dropped off to sleep, she sat holding his warm, broad flexible brown hand. She had never seen another in the least like it. She wondered if it wasn't a kind of gypsy hand, it was so alive and quick and light in its communications, —very strange in a farmer. Nearly all the farmers she knew had huge lumps of fists, like mauls, or they were knotty and bony and uncomfortable-looking, with stiff fingers. But Rosicky's was like quicksilver, flexible, muscular, about the colour of a pale cigar, with deep, deep creases across the palm. It wasn't nervous, it wasn't a stupid lump; it was a warm brown human hand, with some cleverness in it, a great deal of generosity, and something else which Polly could only call "gypsy-like,"—something nimble and lively and sure, in the way that animals are.
Polly remembered that hour long afterwards, it had been like an awakening to her. It seemed to her that she had never learned so much about life from anything as from old Rosicky's hand. It brought her to herself; it communicated some direct and untranslatable message.

CHANDRAGUPTA. And why did they desert me?
CHANAKYA. Bhadrabhata and Purushadatta are notorious whorers and drinkers; the first preferred women to elephants, the second liked wine more than horses; they were dismissed and given a subsistence allowance, which it seems they didn't appreciate. They are now in charge of Malayaketu's elephants and horses. Dingarata and Balagupta were after more money—and it seems Malayaketu would pay them better than Your Majesty. Your boyhood servant couldn't stand the strain of too many favors from you; he feared a slump, and Malayaketu seems to have assured him a more balanced regimen. Bhagurayana first frightened Malayaketu out of here by saying I had assassinated Malayaketu's father, then fell under the influence of Chandanadasa and his conspirators, then realized things were too hot for him here; he scuttled to safety with Malayaketu. Malayaketu made him his minister out of gratitude. Rohitaksha and Vijayavarman were jealous; they couldn't endure the granting of favors to Your Majesty's relatives, and they fled.
CHANDRAGUPTA. If you knew all this beforehand, why didn't you take appropriate measures?
CHANAKYA. No action was possible under the circumstances.
CHANDRAGUPTA. You mean you were either weak or had a deeper plan.
CHANAKYA. A minister cannot afford to be weak, Your Majesty.
CHANDRAGUPTA. What was the plan then?
CHANAKYA. A plan that must be not only heard but understood and appreciated. There are only two ways to deal with dissatisfied officials—humor them or punish them. Humoring Bhadrabhata and Purushadatta was out of question: it would have meant reinstating them in positions of dangerous authority. If the elephants and horses fall into unreliable hands, the defense of the kingdom becomes shaky. Humoring Dingarata and Balagupta would have been an even greater headache; their voluptuous greed is so great that giving them a whole kingdom wouldn't satisfy them. Rajasena and Bhagurayana were so fearful of losing all they had that there was no point in humoring them, and the same went for the jealous Rohitaksha and Vijayavarman. As for the other alternative—punishing them—I didn't think it advisable. We have just defeated the Nandas, the people are still uneasy—why stir up more trouble by punishing prominent men? Besides, Malayaketu, with Rakshasa's help, is poised to attack us; the Mleccha army is with him, he is infuriated with the assassination of his father. I thought it best, Your Majesty, to let these men escape....
CHANDRAGUPTA. . . why weren't effective measures taken to prevent Malayaketu from escaping and making trouble for us now?
CHANAKYA. There are two alternatives, Your Majesty. We could have put him in prison; or we could have honored our promise to give him half the kingdom. If we imprison him, think what the people would suspect—first we murder the father, then we imprison the son. We would look like barbarians. But if we give him half the kingdom, we destroy the very purpose of assassinating Parvataka, for the assassination of Parvataka was ordered with the aim of getting his kingdom. So I let Malayaketu escape.
CHANDRAGUPTA. It sounds logical. But why did you let Rakshasa escape?
CHANAKYA. The people respect him. They admire his loyalty and devotion to Nanda. Had he stayed in the city, in prison or out, plots galore would have cropped up, money would have poured in, cells and conspiracies would have festered. Now he can sting us only from the outside, and I can handle him more comfortably.
CHANDRAGUPTA. Couldn't a brave show of force have settled him?
CHANAKYA. Force against a demon like Rakshasa? Yes, and how many men would we lose before we secured him? Besides, there would be no certainty—he might prefer suicide to falling into our hands. And then the loss would be all ours, a first-class brain and a loyal heart gone forever. No, Your Majesty, he has to be tamed as a wild elephant is tamed—with gentle cunning.

The man guards against the loss of his individuality. He should not imitate persons of senior rank or act like a flippant girl throwing herself at a handsome man. Neither should he accept overtures from such subordinates.

The policy begun by Louis in 1661 was well established and had borne fruit by the time Versailles became the seat of government. Throughout France there was not a single estate of any size the proprietor of which was not at court. The new hotels of the nobility lined the streets near the royal palace, and their owners filled its salons and formed each day a cortege for the king.. .. Each morning when the king went to mass, an obsequious nobility awaited him in the gallery of Versailles. They were all there; all, at least, whose purses were not empty. "Sire," said M. de Verdes to Louis XIV, "away from Your Majesty, one is not only miserable but ridiculous."
But such concentration imposed a heavy load upon the sovereign; it was the price he had to pay for his absolutism. As Taine has well said, "A nobility for useful purposes is not transformed with impunity into a nobility for ornament.... The king is expected to keep the entire aristocracy busy, consequently to make a display of himself, to pay back with his own person at all hours. It is the life of an actor who is on the stage the entire day."
The nobility had their price to pay. The cost of living at court ate up their incomes; their continued absence from their estates made their revenues diminish, left their chateaux neglected, and much of their land uncultivated; high play plunged them into debt. A few years brought the inevitable, and they became dependent on the royal bounty. When they looked for support to the salaries attached to their posts at court, and to the king's pensions, the last traces of their independence vanished.

Clinging to folly inevitably means humiliation. The wise teacher may have to instruct by letting the subject experience the consequences of his errors.

A man after fourteen years of hard asceticism in a lonely forest obtained at last the power of walking over the waters. Overjoyed at this acquisition, he went to his guru, and told him of his grand feat. At this the master replied, "My poor boy, what thou hast accomplished after fourteen years' arduous labor, ordinary men do the same by paying a penny to the boatman."

The unassuming youth seeking instruction with humility gains good fortune.

It was a fine night on deck, clear, with bright stars and a faint, quivering circle of the northern lights. The night was cool, without a breath of wind. The ship, with her own small lights, was like an insignificant fragment of a distant world anchored there in space. The mate took out his pipe and tinderbox. There was a flash of spark as he expertly hit the flint against the steel, and then the tinder glowed.
"Johnny March," he said, "I've kind of got to like you. Now you listen to what I say. This kind of spark's all right, but not the kind you were striking in the cabin. You leave the old man be. He's as good a master as there is, and he's honest with the owners and that's all we have to care for. I've sailed with Griggs before. I don't need to tell you that a master's king aboard his ship, and you know it makes 'em queer. I've never seen a skipper yet who liked to be crossed. You better leave him be."
"Yes sir," said John March.
"And listen, Johnny," the mate said, "the islands are a fine place. You'll like the islands. The islands are like heaven, pretty near. The captain will take you ashore, of course, to make the bargain. You'll see plenty of funny sights, but keep your mouth shut, Johnny, except to say 'Yessir', to the captain. We've got a long way yet to go."
"Yes sir," said John March.
"That's right," said Sprague, "that's right. I like a tight-lipped boy."

"Bring hither a fig from there." "Here it is, sir." "Break it." "It is broken, sir." "What do you see there?" "These extremely fine seeds, sir." "Of these, please break one." "It is broken, sir." "What do you see there?" "Nothing at all, sir." Then he said to Shvetaketu: "Verily, my dear, that subtle essence which you do not perceive—from that very essence, indeed, my dear, does this great fig tree thus arise. Believe me, my dear, that which is the subtle essence — this whole world has that essence for its Self; that is the Real; that is the Self; that art thou, Shvetaketu."
"Still further may the venerable sir instruct me." "So be it, my dear," said he.
"Having put this salt in the water, come to me in the morning." He did so. Then the father said to him: "That salt which you put in the water last evening—please bring it hither." Even having looked for it, he did not find it for it was completely dissolved. "Please take a sip of water from this end," said the father. "How is it?" "Salt." "Take a sip from the middle," said he. "How is it?" "Salt." "Take a sip from that end," said he. "How is it?" "Salt." "Throw it away and come to me." Shvetaketu did so thinking to himself: "That salt, though unperceived, still persists in the water." Then Aruni said to him: "Verily, my dear, you do not perceive Being in this world; but it is, indeed, here only: That which is the subtle essence—this whole world has that essence for its Self. That is the Real. That is the Self. That art thou, Shvetaketu."

The man inflicts penalties not in anger but only as a preventive against unreasonable excesses.

Hideyoshi was never a man of war. His real genius was that of statesman. When the need could be met only by arms, he could be swift and violent; efficient in this as in other things. Better, however, he loved the brilliant and intricate intellectual combinations by which matters could be adjusted without bloodshed, for above all things he admired order and beauty and the graces of life. Tradition treasures a tale that reveals the real nature of the man:
After the last and greatest of his battles, having finally overcome all really serious opposition, he rode a short way from the field across which he had furiously and successfully led his forces. Dismounting from his wearied horse he sat himself down in his armour upon the grass, calmly announcing to his immediate attendants that he desired to divert himself by making a flower-arrangement. The astonished retainers explained that there were none of the 13414
appurtenances at hand for the practice of that delicate art. Hideyoshi, pointing out that a horse bucket was close at hand filled with water, directed them to take from his horse's mouth the bit, one ring of which he hung over the single handle of the bucket and then proceeded with his still bloody sword to cut off various grasses and wild flowers which bloomed near his seat. Using the dependent part of the bit as a flower-holder, he spent an hour in composing one of those subtle and delicate combinations of blossoms and foliage which his people have always so much loved....
.. the underlying purpose of the flower-arrangement is to purify and abstract the mind from all violence and material consideration, to calm the spirit and cleanse it of evil. Hideyoshi explained that he knew he should have to judge and deal with those he had conquered, and that after he had spent so many violent hours in combat, he felt himself in no condition to be either kind or wise until he had entirely cooled the fury and disorder of his emotions by exercising this delicate and exquisite art. ELIZABETH BISLAND, AMERICAN (1861-1929)

The over-all judgment: there is an inevitability about the progress of youth. The older generation thinks it understands youth, but it does not. Despite the perilous conditions surrounding the inexperienced stage of the young man's life and the intermittent halting of his advances, success will be achieved. Like water overflowing in time, all pitfalls are eventually overcome.

Youth is sharp-sighted and incorruptible. It hangs together and presents an impenetrable front against grown-ups. It is not sentimental, one may approach to it, but one cannot enter into it. Who has been evicted from that paradise can never get back. There is a law of the years. Educationalists who think they can understand the young are enthusiasts. Youth does not want to be understood; it wants to be let alone. It preserves itself immune against the insidious bacillus of being understood. The grown-up who would approach it too importunately is as ridiculous in its eyes as if it had put on children's clothes. We may feel with youth, but youth does, not feel with us. That is its salvation.

Gay hope is theirs by fancy fed, Less pleasing when possest;
The tear forgot as soon as shed, The sunshine of the breast:
Theirs buxom health of rosy hue, Wild wit, invention ever-new,
And lively cheer of vigour born;
The thoughtless day, the easy night, The spirits pure, the slumbers light
The fly th' approach of morn.
Alas, regardless of their doom,The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come, Nor care beyond to-day:
Yet see how all around 'em wait, The Ministers of human fate
And black Misfortune's baleful train!
Ah, show them where in ambush stand To seize their prey, the murderous band!
Ah, tell them, they are men!
These shall the fury Passions tear, The vultures of the mind,
Disdainful Anger, pallid Fear, And Shame that sculks behind;
Or pineing Love shall waste their youth, Or Jealousy with rankling tooth,
That inly gnaws the secret heart,
And Envy wan, and faded Care, Grim-visag'd comfortless Despair,
And Sorrow's piercing dart.
Ambition this shall tempt to rise, Then whirl the wretch from high, To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning Infamy.
The stings of Falsehood those shall try And hard Unkindness' alter'd eye,
That mocks the tear it forc'd to flow; And keen Remorse with blood defil'd, And moody Madness laughing wild
Amid severest woe.
Lo, in the vale of years beneath A griesly troop are seen,
The painful family of Death, More hideous than their Queen:
This racks the joints, this fires the veins, That every labouring sinew strains, Those in the deeper vitals rage: Lo, Poverty, to fill the band,
That numbs the soul with icy hand, And slow-consuming Age.
To each his suff'rings: all are men, Condemn'd alike to groan;
The tender for another's pain, Th' unfeeling for his own.
Yet, ah! why should they know their fate, Since sorrow never comes too late, And happiness too swiftly flies?
Thought would destroy their paradise. No more; where ignorance is bliss 'Tis folly to be wise.

The soldiers in the castle, seeing our men come on them with great fury, did all they could to defend themselves, and killed and wounded many of our soldiers with pikes, arquebuses, and stones, whereby the surgeons had all their work cut out for them. Now I was at this time a fresh-water soldier; I had not yet seen wounds made by gunshot at the first dressing. It is true I had read in John de Vigo, first book, Of Wounds in General, eighth chapter, that wounds made by firearms partake of venomosity, by reason of the powder; and for their cure he bids you cauterize them with oil of elders scalding hot, mixed with a little treacle. And to make no mistake, before I would use the said oil, knowing this was to bring great pain to the patient, I asked first before I applied it, what the other surgeons did for the first dressing; which was to put the said oil, boiling well, into the wounds, with tents and setons; wherefore I took courage to do as they did. At last my oil ran short, and 1 was forced instead thereof to apply a digestive made of the yolk of eggs, oil of roses, and turpentine. In the night I could not sleep in quiet, fearing some default in not cauterizing, that I should find the wounded to whom I had not used the said oil dead from the poison of their wounds; which made me rise very early to visit them, where beyond my expectation I found that those to whom I had applied my digestive medicant had but little pain, and their wounds without inflammation or swelling, having rested fairly well that night; the others, to whom the boiling oil was used, I found feverish, with great pain and swelling about the edges of their wounds. Then I resolved never more to burn thus cruelly poor men with gunshot wounds.


  5. Waiting for the right attitude empowers the Creative. The image of this hexagram is that of vapor - the breath of the Creative - rising up to the sky to form clouds. Before the rain arrives, clouds must form. So it is with progress generated by the Creative: progress is the result of cumulative stages of development. The vapor that accumulates in clouds symbolizes the creative energy generated when we achieve a correct "waiting attitude". Progress occurs when we persevere in this creative attitude. In a correct waiting attitude, energy-wasting doubt and impatience are avoided; we must also avoid indolence: taking detours and dissipations that make us lose sight of our work and contact with our inner voice. We cultivate energy-gathering attributes, such as modesty.

A proper waiting attitude is modest, unassuming, and independent. By sticking to a modest point of view we avoid comparing ourselves to others and thus are able to dispel doubts; this helps us to remain free from the hopes and desires that destroy inner independence. The more we maintain inner independence and stay in tune with the essential needs of the moment, the stronger and deeper the potency of the Creative will become.

The superior man eats and drinks, is joyful and in a good mood. If we persist in maintaining a cheerful and detached attitude, remaining anchored to our principles, the power of inner truth (see Inner Truth, Hex. 61) will be able to resolve the whole situation. The force of inner truth penetrates little by little, influencing all that needs to be influenced. Rushing another development of the situation, or eagerly looking for forced changes, only causes reversals. At best we will achieve superficial reforms, but the changes will not last, because they are not based on inner consensus. Dogged waiting brings slow but permanent changes where we get what is right for all concerned.

We often receive this hexagram when our waiting attitude is incorrect and our progress stalls as a result. Perhaps we (our ego, or inferiors) doubt we get anything by waiting in non-action, or by allowing ourselves to be guided by the Sage. Perhaps we suspect that happiness will eventually be taken away from us.

Such doubts fuel fears, causing our inferiors to become impatient, to ask us to speed things up, or to order us to get rid of the problem. Every effort is fueled by subtle invasions of doubt advanced by our Lesser Man (ego-self-image). Straining always indicates a loss of inner independence.

Such doubts (and our loss of inner independence) are always sensed by those we wish to influence, and arouse their distrust. Striving implies that we question their ability to find their own way, but it also implies that we question the truths we should follow. And this means that we have no faith in the hidden power of the Creative. We still cling to the idea that making progress depends on outside effort. Our ego always seeks a straight line to success and is wary of the slow progress made through nature's zigzagging ways. The creature of our fear, the Lesser Man (ego), seeks to dominate and manage matters, and in this way invades the space of others and interferes in their self-determination.

Each moving line in this hexagram indicates potential attitude flaws that we need to avoid while waiting. We are called to identify negative influences and address them resolutely. For example, doubt affects us as long as we listen to its arguments. Doubt is not quiescent, but actively destructive. While it may seem to us that we are powerless in the face of its negative pressure, and that we are unable to get rid of it, we can, through steadfastness, overcome its power. There is what appears to be a three minute rule: if we are able to resist the pressures of the ego for just three minutes, the onslaught of the negative force will collapse. The force of doubt is powerless in the face of true resolve and firm attachment to what is good. It's like standing on the shoreline: the first wave is strong and mighty, but the one that follows has half its strength, while the third is just the idea of ​​a wave. These waves are renewed only if we reconsider the thoughts that originally caused them.

First line: Wait in the clearing. It is good to dwell on what is durable. No fault. This line warns that a challenge is imminent. The correct answer is to prepare, not with anxious anticipation, but by keeping inwardly still. We refuse to listen to our inferiors shout their arguments loudly. We must be ready, but we must not weaken ourselves with fear. Whether we are preparing for a battle, or a speech, a tennis match, or meeting someone under adverse conditions, we must not rigidly pre-structure what we are going to do or say, or allow ourselves to consider what will result in a good or bad; doing so would feed the fears of our inferiors. We just have to remain firmly attached to what is good, essential and correct, because this is what lasts; beyond that, we must keep our minds open and alert, ready for whatever is to come.

Second Line: Waiting on the sand… The end brings luck. The sand offers an uncertain place to wait, and to wait in the sand is to have an attitude of doubt and uncertainty, fearful of relying on the Unknown to carry us through the impending challenge. Since we doubt it is not the right time to act, we should withdraw, hold ourselves inwardly still, and allow events to take their course. We act only when every single thing manifests itself, without predetermining what we will do or say. Inner doubt invites attack, so we must avoid being drawn into arguments, or being pressured into courses of action. Until we find the fear and get rid of it,

Third Line: Waiting in the mud causes the enemy to arrive. Mud represents a careless and self-indulgent attitude; reckless conceit is an imbalance that invites a Cosmic correction in the form of defiance and shock. We must never have the luxury of abandoning a firm, resolute and correct attitude. We must always remain attentive, vigilant and persevering.

“Waiting in the mud” symbolizes waiting in fear and doubt. We believe that we will achieve nothing even if we persevere on our way. "We won't make it," says the inner voice of despair. "It will take forever!" says the nagging voice of frustrated desire. If we do not address these fears, the actions we take will damage the overall situation. “Waiting in the mud” symbolizes the naivety of listening to dangerous ideas offered by our Lesser Man in the form of desires, envy, passion, complacency, self-affirmation, anger, alienation, pride, doubt, hatred, and petty likes and dislikes. If we steadfastly refuse to heed these elements, then we deny nourishment to the Lesser Man. By denying him nourishment, he withers and is swept away,

Mud also symbolizes moments of indecision when we are tempted to give in to an unfavorable pattern of action.

Fourth Line: Wait in blood. Get out of the hole. Here we consider forcing results with the uncompromising harshness that comes from giving up on people by mentally killing them in our hearts. In terms of the I Ching, this is like executing them, hence the blood image. Blood also symbolizes having come to a negative assessment of people. We wait in blood when we suspect, with inner bitterness, that Fate has decided to ruin us; in other words, it refers to a resistant or vengeful mood towards others, towards Fate, or towards our work. We must withdraw from such moods and let Fate take its course. Other forms of blood can be harboring an attitude of "Do as I say or it's trouble", or "I would do anything to change this." If we discover these sharks in our inner attitude, it is good to take the path of humility again, and to stop challenging. Fate, like the tiger in Hexagram 10, can bite.

Fifth Line: Wait while eating and drinking. Persevering brings good luck. Although moments of respite occur in the midst of difficulties, we must not think that our problems are solved; we must be aware that we have only reached the eye of the storm, and that we would do well to prepare for new challenges. By maintaining our disciplined and correct attitude, we avoid gambling away the progress achieved and remain ready for any new challenges to our inner balance.

Sixth Line: One falls into the hole. Three unexpected guests arrive. Honor them, and there will be good luck in the end. Even though we have waited correctly, we seem to have gotten nothing. Progress, however, often involves retrograde movement. Before we can start over we have to stop relating in an old and decadent way. Waiting properly is part of this necessarily slow regenerative process. If we keep an open mind, we'll see that "even moments of good luck often come in a form that seems strange to us at first."

There is a suggestion of danger. The man remains calm, concerns himself only with the immediate task at hand, and does not move to counteract remote threats.

HENRI DE CATT. Verses, Sire! And tomorrow Your Majesty will battle!
FREDERICK THE GREAT. Well, what is there so extraordinary in that? Can I not, like anybody else, employ myself on verses and amuse myself by making some, perhaps pretty bad ones? I have given my mind the whole day to the capital affair, which I have turned about in all ways. My plan is made, my decision taken. I may well be permitted, it seems to me, to scribble and rhyme just like anybody else.
DE CATT. Nobody, Sire, will dispute that permission. I say merely that in so critical a moment as must be the moment of giving battle, it is very difficult to find any inclination to versify.
FREDERICK. When you have been accustomed for a long time, as I have been, to all this brawl of battle, you will not think it so strange that, on the eve of the day on which a battle is to be fought, anyone should amuse himself as I am doing. Besides, sir, I am not composing; I am endeavoring to correct an author and to do better than he, if it is possible. When you left me today, I wished to read Rousseau's "Ode to Fortune," and, in opening my book, I fell on "Ode to Count de Sinzendorff," two strophes of which seemed to me rather ill-written. A moment's patience, sir. I have the last strophe to look over and rewrite. I shall soon be done, and I will show you my fine work. (Frederick writes.) . . . Here it is; perhaps, for a day of fatigue as this has been, you will find that the poet has again come off well with his great work. DE CATT. Yes, Sire, Your Majesty has come off well in such a moment. I doubt whether the generals whom you have and will have to combat ever write verses on the eve of a battle.
FREDERICK. I have a better opinion of them than you have. They would write verses just as I do, if they knew how. This little exercise refreshes your head and your ideas, and I have great need for both my head and my ideas to be fresh.

The danger approaches with disagreements and unrest. The man remains self-controlled and does not respond to slander.

If any man rail at thee and insult thee, answer him not. Instead be like one who cannot be moved. Even thus shalt thou conquer him. For all who behold shall declare that he who, in spite of provocation, holdeth his tongue is mightier than he who provoketh. So shalt thou be respected by those who have wisdom.

The man attempts a complex undertaking without sufficient capacity for success in one try. He finds himself mired in the intricacies, thereby inviting enemies onto the scene. Caution is required.

Since the devil never sleeps, it happened that one night a big fight got under way in one of the many gambling houses which, contrary to the local ordinances and decrees, abounded in Quintu Mayu Street. A gambler inexperienced at sleight of hand, who wasn't slick enough to get away with the trick, had let three dice fall on a bet with high stakes, when some grouch drew a knife and nailed his hand to the table.

The man enters the scene of strife and danger in a life-and-death struggle. He accommodates himself to fate, stands fast, and refrains from aggravating the problem.

To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune; to he daunted by no difficulty; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forego even ambition when the end is gained—who can say this is not greatness?

The man fortifies his reserve strength by enjoying the intervals of peace between crises. At the same time he maintains his orientation to the ultimate goal with optimistic buoyancy.

Delicate clouds roll up and disappear, The sky is so bright that you cannot see the Milky Way;
A pure wind blows through the empty heavens, The rays of the moon are scattered o'er the waves;
Murmur and shadow fade away on quiet sands and still waters.
One cup of wine we shall drink together, Then you shall sing a song;
The lilt of your song is melancholy and the phrases full of bitter thoughts.
One cannot listen to the end before the tears fall like rain.
The Tung ring (lake) stretches away to the sky, The Chiu I mountain is high;
Crocodiles and dragons come and go, apes and vampires cry,
Nine out of ten die before reaching this official post. In squalid dark houses we hide ourselves,
When we left our beds we were frightened of snakes, When we ate we were frightened of poison;
The summer air from the sea was damp and pestiferous, The smells rank and rancid.
But there came a day when before the ya men they beat the big drum;
A new emperor had succeeded to the sacred line And had elevated loyal servants.
An amnesty travels a thousand miles in a single day; Those under sentence of death need not die,
The exiled ones were recalled, The banished could return home.
All strains and impurities were to be things of the past.
The new emperor opens a bright new page,
Our senior officials suggest our names, his seniors suppress them;
Frustrated, what is left for us but to move to yet more barbaric surroundings?
Our present post is small and not to be spoken of,
How can we avoid being trampled and buffeted as we lie in the dust?
Most of our contemporaries follow the road back to official success,
But that road is dark and dangerous and hard to attain.
Your song—come stop it, Listen to my song.
My sentiments are very different from yours,
Of all the full moons in the year tonight's is the brightest.
Man from birth is governed by fate, and nothing else,
If you have wine and do not drink it Will tomorrow be any the better?
HAN YU, CHINESE (768-824)

May I say how disappointed I am at some of the talk in some of the papers—this very gloomy talk, with petulant letters saying, "What, after all, have we to celebrate?" Surely right honourable and honourable Members on this side of the House, at least, will agree that if, in 1951, we have survived five years of war, and five years of His Majesty's Government, then even they will have something they will like to celebrate, to dance and sing about.
"Faith," I think Mr. G. K. Chesterton said, "is the capacity to believe in that which is demonstrably untrue." If that is the only sort of confidence we have in our future, then let us have that. I think there are other causes. I am no historian; but if the House will bear with me for one more minute, I will present another historical reason why we should celebrate, not only with the main exhibition, but with the arrangements set out in this bill. After all, we are emerging from the murky forties into the fifties, and it has been pointed out to me by a better historian than myself that the forties have always been a pretty wretched sort of decade. A hundred years ago there were the Hungry Forties, with the whole of Europe in chaos and revolution, with The Communist Manifesto, with crowned heads falling everywhere and rulers taking refuge in this island, and with the Chartists massing on Kennington Common. However, after that period we emerged into what was almost the most prosperous, happy period in this country's history.
In the 1740's, I think, we were at war with France, Spain, and Scotland. A predecessor of mine in this House, Sir Charles Oman, records that when Charles Edward arrived at Derby, "Panic prevailed in London, the King's plate had been sent on shipboard, the Bank of England had paid away every guinea of its reserves, and the citizens of London were fully persuaded that they would be attacked next day by ten thousand wild Scottish clansmen."
In the 1640's there was civil war and King Charles I had his head cut off. In the 1540's, I see, "The time was a very evil one for England." King Henry VIII was marrying too many women, executing too many men, and persecuting everybody else. I need hardly add that we were at war with Scotland, and France as well; but the historian adds, rather woundingly, that "the French War was far more dangerous." In the 1440's we had a weak king, King Henry VI. We were at war with France, and we were gradually losing everything King Henry V had won. ... In the 1340's we were at war with France, and the Scots invaded the north of England. Also, a small detail, there was the Black Death. In the 1240's we invaded France. In the 1140's we were ruled by an unpleasant woman called Matilda and there was civil war all the time. In the 1040's we were invaded by the Danes.
Now, whatever else may be laid at the door of His Majesty's Government, we are not now at war with France or Scotland or even Denmark, and I do not think that we shall be in 1951; and my hope is that in some way we shall emerge from the 1940's into the fifties in such condition that we shall be justified in celebrating. But if not, even if we are going down, it is not the habit of the British fleet to haul down the ensign when about to begin a doubtful engagement. On the contrary, each ship flies two or three to make sure that one shall be seen. It is in that spirit, I feel, that we ought to go forward with this bold, imaginative, attractive scheme, and show, whether we go up or down, that we can be gracious, gallant, and gay.

The man falls into great complications. Everything looks black. But unexpected help arrives. If he is sensitive to it and accepts it graciously, there will be a happy turn of events.

For fifteen days I struggled to prove that no [mathematical] functions analogous to those I have since called Fuchsian functions could exist; I was then very ignorant. Every day I sat down at my work table where I spent an hour or two; I tried a great number of combinations and arrived at no result. One evening, contrary to my custom, I took black coffee; I could not go to sleep; ideas swarmed up in clouds; I sensed them clashing until, to put it so, a pair would hook together to form a stable combination. By morning I had established the existence of a class of Fuchsian functions, those derived from the hyper-geometric series. I had only to write up the results, which took me a few hours.

The over-all judgment: the responses of human beings vary greatly under dangerous circumstances. The strong man advances boldly to meet them head on. The weak man grows agitated. But the superior man stands up to fate, endures resolutely in his inner certainty of final success, and bides his time until the onset of reassuring odds.

When Roland saw the men of France, or dead Or dying, strewn on every hand, he spake To Oliver his friend: "God save you, sir, See you our comrades lying cold in death? What woe is here for France the beautiful, Of such men left forlorn! 0 Charles, great King And friend, why are you not in Ronceval? Oliver, comrade, how may we bring word To Charles the King?" But Oliver spake, and said: "Let be, good friend, I know not. Only this I know—to yield us would be worse than death." But Roland answered: "I shall wind my horn, The King will hear it where he marches down The strait defiles, and so--I pledge you, friend—The Franks will turn them back." And Oliver said: "Shame would it be for you, and lifelong shame For all your lineage. When I pled with you To call the King, you would not. Now, alas, It is too late. The fight is on. If now You wind your horn, it is not hardihood. Too late! For both your arms are bathed in blood." And he replied: "They have dealt winsome blows." And Roland, with a wild and fearful blast Winded his horn, so that his temples brake And from his mouth leapt the bright blood. And Charles Heard it, and all his soldiers, as they rode Down to sweet France through valleys far away. And the King cried: "It is the horn of Roland! The Franks are fighting.". From Roland's lips flowed blood; his temples brake With the wild blast and fearful. But the King And all his soldiers heard it from afar And the King cried: "The blast is long and strong!" And Naimon answered: "Ay, for a brave man Is in distress, is fighting his last fight...." And so the king drew rein, and loud and clear The clarions rang; the Franks leapt from their palfreys, And armed themselves with hauberks of fine steel, With helms and golden-hilted swords, and spears Astream with pennons white and red and blue; Then mounted steeds of war, and spurred apace Through the defiles, and each to the other cried: "If we but find Count Roland ere he die, Beside him shall we give good blows." Alas! To what avail? They will not come in time.
And when the King had come to Ronceval And rode among the dead, he wept, and said To his chief men: "My lords, rein in your steeds, For I would fain precede you. Let me find My nephew Roland ere you follow. Ay—Years ago, in my vaulted hall at Aix, Methinks it was a Christmastide—my knights Were vaunting them of prowess and high deeds Upon the field of battle, and Roland said That he should never die in a strange land Save at the head of all his men, with face Turned to the foe, and victory in his heart." He spake, and went before the rest, the space One throws a spear, and climbed to a high hill.

The precise point at which scales of power turn, like that of the solstice in either tropic, is imperceptible to common observation; and, in one case as in the other, some progress must be made in the new direction, before the change is perceived. They who are in the sinking scale, for in the political balance of power, unlike to all others, the scale that is empty sinks, and that which is full rises; they who are in the sinking scale do not easily come off from the habitual prejudices of superior wealth, or power, or skill, or courage, nor from the confidence that these prejudices inspire. They who are in the rising scale do not immediately feel their strength, nor assume that confidence in it which successful experience gives them afterwards. They who are the most concerned to watch the variations of this balance, misjudge often in the same manner, and from the same prejudices. They continue to dread a power no longer able to hurt them, or they continue to have no apprehensions of a power that grows daily more formidable.

I speared him with a jest.


  6. Conflict. Stop asking "Why?". Asking why things are the way they are, or how to deal with them, conflicts with the Creative, because in trying to find comprehensive answers, or seeking the security of knowing, we lack confidence that the Creative will show us the way, and reveal the ambiguity of the situation at the right time. The sky trigram, Ch'ien, representing peace, order, inner balance and independence, is undermined by K'an, the trigram of turbulent water. This symbolizes conflict. The hexagram is about both self-conflict, such as when one asks, "Why is life like this?" and conflict situations in which we argue. However, self-conflict is the ultimate cause of all other forms of conflict.

Self-conflict arises when we view God, the Wise, Fate (the scheme of things), others, or ourselves negatively and as opponents. Such conflicts form because we have misunderstood how the Cosmos operates, and our place in the scheme of things. Ideas that are at odds with our true nature and our inner sense of truth always create inner conflict. While we may successfully suppress our inner sense of truth, a subliminal inner discussion continues.

Receiving this hexagram confirms that we are in a state of self-conflict. By its nature, self-conflict is a vortex created by our ego that we trust to free us from the pressures created by doubt and fear. In this search we look for answers that can satisfy our emotional needs; all reasons serve that end. While such reasons may seem plausible, they are not the creations of an objective mind; since they don't solve problems, gaps keep appearing in our thinking, so we experience constant arguments. Trapped in this vortex we would not be able to recognize or understand the correct answer even if it were presented to us, so the hexagram advises us to withdraw from all questions, stop looking at what bothers us, and leave everything unresolved. This is “stopping halfway”. We "go all the way" when we adopt a solution to resolve ambiguity, or to free ourselves from its uncomfortable pressure. Such an action will certainly bring bad luck. We need to get real perspective. This is possible when we emotionally disengage from the problem.

We see others as adversaries when we give up on them; we see ourselves as adversaries when we start from the mistaken assumption that we can do everything ourselves. Sometimes we mistakenly think we should approve of the insensitivity of others or their mistakes, a misunderstanding that gives rise to internal conflict. But we must not approve of wrong situations, nor must we alienate ourselves. Alienation is just another emotional entanglement that obscures all matters.

Caught in the vortex of self-conflict, we are unable to see that the Wise and Fate work together to bring things to fruition. The Wise leads and guides, while Fate determines how events unfold. Fate confronts us with adversity when we are on the wrong track, or when adversity provides the only contrast through which important lessons can be taught.

Other types of conflict revolve around situations where we are at a crossroads. Unable to choose which path to take, we ruminate on the matter over and over again. We must cease the internal conflict and disengage from the problem, then the solution will come by itself, at the right time. If we have already made up our minds and pass the fork in the road, we should avoid looking back to see if we made the wrong move. Instead, we should move forward, and if we have made a mistake, our sincerity in trying to relate correctly will smooth the situation, or neutralize its negative effects.

Sometimes we receive this hexagram as preparation for a situation that could lead to conflict. We need to prepare, not by pre-structuring our response, but by being attentive to clues provided by events that will point us to the appropriate response. We must respond only to the essential elements of the situation and carefully avoid getting involved in a conflict. If we go off course we have to retreat; if we find ourselves caught up in conflicts, we must quickly retreat. In all situations, it is necessary to act only as far as truth and necessity require, even if doing so sometimes means being isolated from others. Fate will never ask us to be faithful to what is wrong in order to carry out acts that cause self-conflict. While it seems difficult to do what's right, it's good to remember that heaven helps those who cling to the liferaft of inner truth. Stopping halfway also refers to situations where we have gone too far. For example, after retreating as necessity requires, we condemn those who have erred. We avoid conflict when we refrain from making cursory judgments about the situation, such as when we decide that our retirement is "forever." It is important to leave the future to the Higher Power.

In all his affairs, the Greater Man carefully considers the beginning. Conflict with others can generally be avoided in the bud if fair and just conditions are established. In business relationships, the written contract serves this purpose, but contracts are only reliable if they correspond to what everyone, in their hearts, considers fair. Just as contracts are helpful in business relationships, so too are they in marriage. To put that relationship on solid foundations must be given time to allow an understanding of just and fair principles to develop. However, before we can successfully marry another, we must first marry ourselves, because being true to ourselves is the only basis for being true to others. Marrying yourself doesn't mean that we have to be rigidly rooted in dogmas or belief systems, it means that it is our responsibility to be true to our inner feelings, and to our personal experiences of truth. We don't allow ourselves to be moved by logic, persuasion, manipulation, or seduction, but by intuition that comes its way. The person who is married to himself is not willing to do things that cause him to lose his inner balance and her wholeness. You cannot abjure your relationship with the Higher Power, or compromise your dignity or your integrity just to meet someone else's selfish demands and expectations. Others need to realize beforehand that we are bound by such personal integrity in order to avoid misunderstandings. This is not something we tell them explicitly, but they will understand it if we are firm and consistent in following our values. Once we have earned another's respect through the love of the good, we have no reason to lose his loyalty.

If we have now or in the past promised to participate in an act that is fundamentally wrong, or detrimental to our spiritual growth, the contract or promise need not be honored. If we are inwardly firm in adhering to this principle, we will not need to force the situation; somehow a solution will manifest. In handling the situation we must be firm, but not personally abusive, as advised by the Fifth Line of Modesty (Hex. 15).

If we are not firm in our values ​​and demands, eventually all understandings, agreements and contracts will be compromised, because people will perceive our laxity. We will be tested where we are weakest; when we fail to uphold our principles we will lose the trust of others.

It's a bit like training a horse. If we don't let him eat along the way, the horse won't develop the annoying habit of suddenly stopping at his favorite patch of grass. Allowing it to do it even once creates the problem for the many subsequent times we pass by that point. If we want to be free from conflicts, we must be consistent in maintaining a correct attitude.

Front Line: If one does not persist in the matter… good luck will come eventually. The most appropriate time to withdraw from the conflict is at the beginning, the first time we get involved in trying to change the situation. If we can't withdraw or disengage, then we need to examine our attitude of selfishness.

Second Line: A man cannot enter into conflict… The people of his city, three hundred families, remain free from guilt. The ego looks outwardly, weighs, measures, calculates, estimates and concludes, in an attempt to get around the way things work, as if its main activity were to resist Fate. We should withdraw from this conflict, holding inwardly still until verbal rationalization ends and clarity is restored. The Greater Man sees in his situation the creative ingredients needed to solve the problems he encounters, and works with these ingredients to produce a beneficial effect for all. If he can't see any way to have a beneficial effect, he backs off and waits until the situation changes.

Third Line: Feeding on ancient virtue induces perseverance. Danger. If you're in the service of a king, searching doesn't work. Ancient virtue requires perseverance, accomplishing things from a backward (often invisible) position. This is difficult because our Lesser Man (ego-self-image) is always looking for confirmation of what has been achieved. If this validation is missing, he resists, and in a “do this or it's trouble” mood, he pushes us to give up.

We seek prestige – to be known for our work – when we confidently try to be recognized as experts, or argue to prove we're right, when we say, "I told you so!" and when we try to be a center of influence, hoping to accomplish something sensational. That assertiveness comes from our ego, the white knight in shining armor aggressively striving to save the day. Ancient virtue would have us modestly take the low road of patient perseverance and reticence, rather than the high road of brilliance. We are not to wield the light, but let it shine through us, as if we weren't there. Danger also comes from the fear, or belief, that others are hopelessly committed to evil, or that they are unable to perceive the truth, and to understand their own mistakes. This fear leads us to intervene. Just as this line assures us, we need not be afraid, we cannot lose what we have already created through our good example. In the meantime, we need to depose the white knight: our Lesser Man in disguise.

Sometimes, when we realize that we have to achieve results from a completely invisible position off the stage, or from the sidelines, our ego screams at us that it is not possible to win in that position. It is true, however, that great things are brought about in this way, just as in the dark of the womb all things are brought into being. When we trust the creative process, and wait with the right attitude, the growth process continues and birth takes place.

Fourth Line: Such a man cannot enter into conflict… he turns and submits to fate, changes his attitude, and finds peace in perseverance. Good luck. Inner conflict drives us to try to influence, and to try to be the focus of the action. We do so because our inner attitude has been infected with the ambition to make rapid progress. We would skip the slow and gradual way of the Sage, if doing so would get us closer to our goal. Thus desire drives us to sacrifice the right way to make progress. Desire manifests itself when we question the creative process. Doubtfully we say, "The creative process doesn't serve my purposes." By doubting and desiring we lose the inner independence which strengthens the truth. To avoid this type of conflict, we need to be path-oriented and patient, rather than goal-oriented and impatient. In our longing we forget that the step at hand - that of patient waiting - is the only step that leads to our goal. Waiting patiently is the important work of the moment. Peace comes from accepting that only slow progress is lasting.

Fifth Line: Contend before him brings supreme fortune. We can safely pass the problem to the Wise and Fate. This way the conflict will be resolved in the right way.

Sixth Line: Even if someone is awarded a leather belt by chance, by the end of the morning it will have been taken away three times. We insist on brooding over and over again, so we become more and more entangled in conflict and doubt. The question cannot be resolved in this way. We can argue with Fate as long as we like, but nothing will change.

It refrains from contention during the initial stages of strife. He suffers a little..But he knows that he needs to walk together with his associates and cannot advance alone.

A prince must also be very wise and not at all times undertake to enforce his own will, although he may have the authority and the very best cause. For it is a far nobler virtue to endure wrong to one's authority than to risk property and person, if it is advantageous to the subjects; since worldly rights attach only to temporal goods.
Hence, it is a very foolish saying: I have a right to it, therefore I will take it by storm and keep it, although all sorts of misfortune may come to others thereby. So we read of the Emperor Octavianus, that he did not wish to make war, however just his cause might be, unless there were sure indications of greater benefit than harm, or at least that the harm would not be intolerable, and said: "War is like fishing with a golden net; the loss risked is always greater than the catch can be." For he who guides a wagon must walk farther otherwise than if he were walking alone; when alone he may walk, jump, and do as he will; but when he drives, he must so guide and adapt himself that the wagon and horses can follow him, and regard that more than his own will. So also a prince leads a multitude with him and must not walk or act as he wills, but as the multitude can, considering their need and advantages more than his will and pleasure. For when a prince rules after his own mad will and follows his own opinion, he is like a mad driver, who rushes straight ahead with horse and wagon, through bushes, thorns, ditches, water, up hill and down dale, regardless of roads and bridges; he will not drive long, all will go to smash.

The man is warned about contending against a superior or more powerful enemy. A conciliatory and timely retreat precludes personal disaster.

The revolutionary parties must complete their education. They have learned how to attack. Now they have to realize that this knowledge must be supplemented with the knowledge of how to retreat properly. They have to realize — that victory is impossible unless they have learned both how to attack and how to retreat properly.

The man lives on income received for services rendered. He recognizes that works really belonging to oneself cannot be taken away. He does not engage in perilous contests over property.

[JUDGE]. Let him say what seems fitting to him.
[GALILEO]. When I had reflected for several days attentively and continuously on the interrogation put to me on the sixteenth day of the present month, and in particular on the question whether I had been forbidden sixteen years ago by order of the Holy Office to hold, defend, or teach in any fashion the view, which at that time already stood condemned, that the sun is stationary and that the earth moves, it came to my mind to reread my published Dialogue (as I had not ever done during the three preceding years) in order to examine carefully whether there had issued from my pen, against my firmest intention, inadvertently, any statement whereby the reader or the authorities might argue in me either some taint of disobedience or anything whatsoever else which could be conceived as contravening the orders of the Holy Church; and since by the benign consent of the authorities I was free to send my servant forth, I secured a copy of my book; and, taking it up, I set myself to a careful reading and detailed study of it. Struck by it, as I was, after so long an interval, as though by a new thing and the work of another writer, I freely confess that it seemed to me at several points written in such a way that a reader unfamiliar with my inmost thought would have had some cause for thinking the arguments brought forth for the false theory, the one I intended to refute, so drawn as to be more potent in confirming that theory than easy to rebut; and two of these in particular, the one concerning sunspots and the other the flux and reflux of the sea, come to the reader's ear with qualifications that seem more like robust and vigorous confirmations than is fitting from a writer who held them as inconclusive, as in truth I inwardly and truly held them and hold them to be, and who desired, as I did, to refute them. And in order to excuse myself in my own eyes for having fallen into an error so alien to my intention, unable to satisfy myself fully by remarking that when one gives the arguments of an adversary with the intention of rebutting them, one is obliged to set them forth with precision (especially when one writes in the dialogue form), and must not muffle them so as to put the adversary at a disadvantage—unable, as I say, to satisfy myself fully with this excuse, 1 laid the blame on the natural complacency any man feels towards his own subtlety and towards his ability to show himself sharper than the common run of men, even to the point of finding ingenious and convincing demonstrations of probability for false propositions. Wherefore, although with Cicero I may be "more avid of glory than is needful for me," if I were today faced with the task of setting forth the same arguments, there is no doubt that I should weaken them in such a way that they could not make an appearance of having that force which truly and essentially they lack. My error was, I confess, one of empty ambition and of pure heedlessness and inadvertence. And this is what I wished to say on the subject of the matter that occurred to me in rereading my book.

The man thinks that belligerency toward his weaker opponents will succeed. But lacking righteousness, he fails in his endeavors. Returning from the path of strife to one of inner harmony with the eternal law, he finds peace and good fortune.

I should like first to inquire for a little what reason, what prudence, there is in wishing to glory in the greatness and extent of the empire, when you cannot point out the happiness of men who are always rolling, with dark fear and cruel lust, in warlike slaughters and in blood, which, whether shed in civil or foreign war, is still human blood; so that their joy may be compared to glass in its fragile splendour, of which one is horribly afraid lest it should be suddenly broken in pieces.

The man acts in moderation. By being in the right place, he is on the road to good fortune. A just and powerful arbiter may be invited to mediate. Circumstances are in his favor.

[Bishop Fitz-James] ... tried to excite the Court, with the King at the head, against Colet, having now got hold of another weapon against him. This was that he had openly declared in a sermon that "an unjust peace was to be preferred to the justest war," a war being at that very time in preparation against the French.
... The noble young King gave a conspicuous token of his kingly disposition; for he privately encouraged Colet to go on without restraint, and improve by his teaching the corrupt morals of the age, and not to withdraw his light from those dark times.

King Francis was a hearty king, and loved a royal sport, And one day as his lions fought, sat looking at the court.
The nobles filled the benches, and the ladies in their pride, And 'mongst them sat Count de Lorge, with one for whom he sighed:
And truly was a gallant thing to see the crowning show, Valor and love, and a king above, and the royal beasts below.
Ramped and roared the lions, with horrid laughing jaws; They bit, they glared, gave blows like beams, a wind went with their paws; With wallowing might and stifled roar they rolled on one another, Till all the pit with sand and mane was in a thunderous smother; The bloody foam above the bars came whisking through the air; Said Francis then, "Faith, gentlemen, we're better here than there."
De Lorge's love o'erheard the King, a beauteous lively dame, With smiling lips and sharp bright eyes, which always seemed the same; She thought, "The Count, my lover, is brave as brave can be; He surely would do wondrous things to show his love for me; King, ladies, lovers, all look on; the occasion is divine; I'll drop my glove to prove his love; great glory will be mine."
She dropped her glove, to prove his love, then looked at him and smiled; He bowed, and in a moment leaped among the lions wild; The leap was quick, return was quick, he has regained his place, Then threw the glove, but not with love, right in the lady's face. "By Heaven," said Francis, "rightly done!" and he rose from where he sat; "No love," quoth he, "but vanity, sets love a task like that."

The man gains repeated rewards from exhaustive conflicts. But the happiness does not last. The respect is undeserved, and the attacks continue without end.

He had, to a morbid excess, that desire to rise which is vulgarly called ambition, but no wish for the esteem or the love of his species; only the hard wish to succeed — not shine, nor serve — succeed, that he might have the right to despise a world which galled his self-conceit.

The over-all judgment: strife shows itself in various ways. Open contention occurs when the contender feels himself to be in the right. When not in the right, he resorts to blatant impositions or cunning subterfuges. But carrying conflicts to the bitter end only perpetuates enmity. The superior man is clear-headed and inwardly strong, meets opponents halfway, and is ready to submit his case to authoritative and just arbiters. Difficult enterprises are not to be undertaken under such conditions.

There are no snares more dangerous than those which lurk under the guise of duty or the name of relationship. For the man who is your declared foe you can easily baffle by precaution; but this hidden, intestine, and domestic danger not merely exists but overwhelms you before you can foresee and examine it.

LIGHTFOOT. Coward! And not only you. (He rises.) All of you! Cowards! Maybe, you've courage to die: but not one of you've courage to live.
(Angry murmurs.)
PRIME MINISTER. Francis! The fact that your ideas and ours do not chime ...
LIGHTFOOT. Ideas! The very substance of our beings doesn't chime. Yours is the Spirit of Yesterday: mine is the Spirit of Tomorrow.
Must I tell you what every Board-school urchin knows? — that, among the myriad orbs of the Milky Way there gyrates, in a minor solar system a negligible planet, and that on this pea of a planet creeps a race of parasites who know themselves for what they are! Isolated! Isolated between the abyss of the unimaginably small, the atom, and the abyss of the unimaginably great, the night about us. In that isolation, what refuge have we but one another? What future but the future of all? What ethic but the good — not of one person, or of one nation —but of Mankind? Answer me that; you can't! The day of the Takers is over, I tell you; the day of the Giver dawns. And I inaugurate it—with the greatest of all possible gifts: mastery over matter. At last, Man is free to enlarge the Kingdom of the Spirit; and so, whether the Sum of Things is justified or not, to justify himself. And do you think, because the Spirit of Yesterday in you is afraid, the Spirit of Tomorrow in me will run away? (Pause.)
ARTHUR. Then ... you refuse to destroy the secret?
PRIME MINISTER. Francis! (Silence.) I beg you. (Silence.) We have been very patient. (He looks toward Lord Dedham.)
DUNNE (intervening). One moment. Lightfoot, I'm not a politician. I'm an engineer; your uncle told you. Yes, and what's more, I'm one of your "Boardschool urchins." (Glancing about tile Cabinet.) I came from the gutter. Well, I planned a great scheme—perhaps you heard of it— the hydroelectrification of the Balkans?
LIGHTFOOT (interested). Yes. (He sits down.)
DUNNE. My object was peace in the Balkans, by giving them prosperity. I was on the eve of carrying the thing out—when pressure was put on me— this government, that government, all over Europe — yes, and Asia, and America, too — but, above all, this government. I told 'em what you've told 'em — the Spirit of Tomorrow, Hope, Courage— against their vicious circle of sophistry and despair. And, in the end, I left 'em talking; and I went ahead. In three weeks an international crisis had developed, which if I hadn't given way, would have led to another war and wrecked civilization. That taught me my lesson. They asked me here —1 was useful—to join the Cabinet. And I've been useful! The Dunne Internal Transportation Scheme—you know. Take my advice, Lightfoot, they know better than you or me the nature of the medium they work in.
PRIME MINISTER. I have the concurrence of my colleagues, Francis, in saying that, if you will — er — grant our request, we will put every possible facility for research at your disposal.
(Cries of "Hear, hear.")
Your sphere of usefulness—to humanity—will be incalculable. And our facilities are only equaled by our — er — resources.
LIGHTFOOT (with a queer laugh). You're trying to bribe me? Me — the master of the atom. How— frightfully funny!
(Angry murmurs.)
LIGHTFOOT (suddenly serious; he pushes his chair back, and rises). To hell with the lot of you. (He starts to go.) DEDHAM. Mr. Lightfoot, I advise you not to leave this room.
LIGHTFOOT Ho ho! This begins to be interesting. First you cajole; then, you bribe; now, you threaten.

The news of the colt's disappearance soon reached his owner's ears. He assembled the chiefs of the tribe and told them what happened. They sent to Jahir, and he was reproached bitterly. "Jahir," they said, "you have not suffered, yet have done injustice in that you carried off that which belonged to another man." "Say no more," answered Jahir, "and spare me these reproaches, for, by the faith of an Arab, I will not return the colt, unless compelled by main force. I will declare war against you first." At that moment the tribe was not prepared for a quarrel; and several of them said to Jahir, "We are too much attached to you to push things to such an extreme as that; we are your allies and kinsmen. We will not fight with you, though an idol of gold were at stake." Then Kerim, son of Wahrab (the latter being the owner of the mare and colt, a man renowned among the Arabs for his generosity), seeing the obstinacy of Jahir, said to him: "Cousin, the colt is certainly yours, and belongs to you; as for the mare here, accept her as a present from my hand, so that mother and colt will not be separated, and no one will be able to accuse me of wronging a kinsman."
The tribe highly applauded this act, and Jahir was so humiliated by the generosity with which he had been treated that he returned mare and colt to Kerim, adding to the gift a pair of male and a pair of female camels.


  7. The Army. Prepare for a "war", a trial is about to take place. The army needs perseverance and a strong man. We receive this hexagram when we are about to be challenged by a challenging situation or "war". The matter can be an objective problem, an inner conflict or a situation that could threaten our inner independence. Regardless of its nature, the challenge is to firmly subjugate our infantile heart (ego).

To achieve our goals in the Creative way we must wait with the right attitude. A correct attitude entails inner independence and vigilance. We keep a steady heart no matter how long it takes to bring about changes. Such inner stability accumulates great creative power; this power can only be maintained through severe inner discipline, and by holding fast to our principles.

The wavering heart betrays us, as when we falter in taking the path of the I Ching, or when, in punishing others by retreating, we do so with a sense of vengeance. By entertaining these thoughts we abuse power, achieve no progress, and create more obstacles. The secret of all progress lies in controlling our inner selves, here symbolized by the image of bringing order to the army.

The “Army” refers to achieving a correct relationship between the higher and lower elements of our personality. Our personality (the army) requires a leader (the Greater Man), who has a strong and persevering attitude, because strength is needed in situations where the unruly and spoiled child within us tries to impose his will . When the spoiled kid rules us, it's as if the sergeant has convinced the soldiers that he knows best how to run the army. Since he has no overview, he leads the army to defeat in wartime. Having usurped the leader's place, the sergeant becomes the 'Lesser Man' and the troops are the 'inferiors'. When inferiors are led by the Greater Man (the superior nature of each), the army advances and retreats as the situation requires. Because he uses the right means, good is served and the personality remains strong and superior.

The Superior Man prepares the (inferior) troops for the coming battles, explaining to them the need for discipline under fire; they must act only if and when he commands them. He informs them that the battle will be lost if they let their emotions rule them. Lessers appear to be a very simple form of body intelligence. The cells of the body inform us of their needs; we are subliminally aware of these nonverbal feelings, but they can also emerge verbally as inner voices. If we ignore them, they become insistent voices that say, "I'm hungry" or "I'm tired." These feelings also respond to information provided by the higher self, such as when we reassure them that the food will arrive soon, and they then agree to be patient.

The war in this hexagram refers to long-standing internal conflicts between ourselves and others that originally began as “lawsuits” (cf. The Wanderer, Hex. 56). A lawsuit settled by force turns into a war. Even though we may have won the case, such as when we take our grievances to court and the ruling is resolved in our favor, having resorted to such means creates a war that drags on for a long time, even for years. War also refers to individual battles in which we are challenged by people who doubt us, or who are envious of our independence. They test us to see if our values ​​are firm, or real. Some people have predatory egos, wherever they perceive areas of weakness and uncertainty, they attack.

There can be wars even between us and our Lesser Man. Our predatory ego raises doubts, sometimes they need to be fought, other times they need to be withdrawn. In all war situations, victory comes when we detach ourselves from the situation. This is possible by returning to the inner stillness symbolized by the serenity of the shining lake. In this state of mental clarity, inner strength and emotional independence are restored. In following the principles of the I Ching all challenges must be met by modest means. All global wars must be won through gradual advances established with extreme care.

After each battle we consolidate and protect our progress by retreating (recovering) to restore our independence and inner simplicity. This requires sacrificing any sense of power gained from victory. We never attempt to make any gross changes, skip steps, or stop to bask in our progress; we keep constantly oriented forward, aware of what has happened, but without dwelling on it. We never allow our ego to take over.

First line: An army must advance in the right order. If the order is not good, bad luck awaits. “Obedience and troop coordination” means being determined to remain modest, hold fast to what is right, and resist any pressure from our inferiors to dive in and take action. Modesty means being conscientious about doing what is right.

It is easier to get the obedience of the (inferior) troops if we remember that the inferiors respond well if we explain to them the need for discipline, just as a dentist explains the sensation the drill will cause before starting to drill. The Lesser Man, on the other hand, is always a traitor within the ranks and must be directly resisted. To keep the Lesser Man in check we need to find and rid ourselves of all demands based on fear, or on vain and selfish considerations. If this attempt fails, we must prepare to resist any new attempts by the ego to take over. Preparation gives us the strength to keep the ego in check.

Second Line: In the middle of the army. Good luck. This line recognizes the heavy burdens that have been placed upon our inferiors. It further suggests that it is the job of our higher self, as army leader and center, to encourage the (lower) troops to be patient and endure hardship. We need to tell them, with sympathy: "I know it's difficult, but your obedience and fidelity are necessary for everything to work out in everyone's best interest". This reassures the inferiors and wins their agreement to follow the correct path. Our higher self, in turn, serves that which is high and good, and is obedient to the Sage. He adapts to the needs of the time, and lets himself be guided as the battle demands; letting himself be "carried by the current" (wu wei), remaining opaque and without opposing resistance, he finds a guide and is helped in his work. When we get stiff and scared, the Lesser Man commands. He does not serve that which is higher, he only pursues self-interest and comfort.

Third Line: Maybe the army transports corpses in the wagon. Bad luck. Wrong elements have taken control, either in an external situation or in ourselves. Sometimes this line is a warning to be on guard against ego elements that try to force things their way, either through internal resistance or direct action. We must not try to overcome the ego, but prevent it from usurping leadership by asserting itself as 'I', as in 'I can't take it anymore!' With the simple trick of claiming to be us, he gains control of our personality. If we deny him this identity by saying to him: "You are not me", he remains impotent. Self-image, with its claims of who it is, and with its meager likes and dislikes, becomes real only if you accept its demonic and parasitic claim to be "us". If this ego/self-image takes over during a war, the war will produce "corpses". Whenever we fight, our ego is involved. Our real self does not need to fight or struggle.

If our actions have already led to defeat, we must modestly accept the situation, not allowing harsh elements such as anger or pride to take over. If we dispel all these negative things, the negative effect of our mistakes will be dispelled. When we do things the wrong way, there is left a residue of remorse - here called "corpses" - which must be laid to rest (in the grave). We need to forgive ourselves and bury our mistakes, along with the wounded pride, anger, and impatience that accompany them and dim our inner light.

Fourth Line: The army withdraws. No fault. When confronted with the inferior element in others, or with a situation that stirs our emotions and prompts us to act, we should withdraw. Retreat is a disciplined disengagement from any emotional response towards neutrality and acceptance of the situation as it is. The disengagement must gradually proceed in a determined way, so as not to change direction or allow ourselves to become more involved. In this way, our army retreats.

Fifth Line: There is game in the field. It is propitious to capture it. No fault. The evil element has come out to attack (in ourselves or in others). We must punish this element by firmly withdrawing and firmly continuing on our way. Once the evil element has gone away, we should drop the matter and stop punishing. Tackling new issues or continuing now would lead to defeat. In any case, complaints should not be entertained for more than a short period of time. To do so means that we have put the data subject in a mental prison. As it is said in The Wayfarer (Exag. 56): «Sanctions should be short-lived matters» and «Prisons should be places where people are kept only temporarily, as are guests.

Sixth Line: The great prince commands, founds states, invests families with fiefdoms. Inferior people should not be employed. The war has been won. If, in any case, we have used means other than modesty to achieve success, we should avoid believing that such means are correct. Believing this we institutionalize them. The path of reticence, where slow progress produces lasting change, is best.

A righteous cause, as well as a proper method for conducting the war, is essential for military success.

He asked me what were the usual causes or motives that made one country go to war with another. I answered they were innumerable; but I should only mention a few of the chief. Sometimes the ambition of princes, who never think they have land or people enough to govern; sometimes the corruption of ministers, who engage their master in a war in order to stifle or divert the clamor of the subjects against their evil administration. Difference in opinions hath cost many millions of lives: for instance, whether flesh be bread, or bread be flesh; whether the juice of a certain berry be blood or wine; whether whistling be a vice or a virtue; whether it is better to kiss a post, or throw it into the fire; what is the best colour for a coat, whether black, white, red, or gray; and whether it should be long or short, narrow or wide, dirty or clean; with many more. Neither are any wars so furious and bloody, or of so long continuance, as those occasioned by difference in opinion, especially if it be in things indifferent.
Sometimes the quarrel between two princes is to decide which of them shall dispossess a third of his dominions, where neither of them pretend to any right. Sometimes one prince quarrelleth with another, for fear the other should quarrel with him. Sometimes a war is entered upon, because the enemy is too strong, and sometimes because he is too weak. Sometimes our neighbours want the things which we have, or have the things we want; and we both fight, till they take ours or give us theirs. It is a very justifiable cause of a war to invade a country after the people have been wasted by famine, destroyed by pestilence, or embroiled by factions among themselves. It is justifiable to enter into war against our nearest ally, when one of his towns lies convenient for us, or a territory of land, that would render our dominions round and complete. If a prince sends forces into a nation, where the people are poor and ignorant, he may lawfully put half of them to death, and make slaves of the rest, in order to civilize and reduce them from their barbarous way of living. It is a very kingly, honourable, and frequent practice, when one prince desires the assistance of another to secure him against an invasion, that the assistant, when he hath driven out the invader, should seize on the dominions himself, and kill, imprison, or banish the prince he came to relieve. Alliance by blood or marriage is a frequent cause of war between princes; and the nearer the kindred is, the greater is their disposition to quarrel; poor nations are hungry, and rich nations are proud; and pride and hunger will ever be at variance.

The king's appointment of command is given to the general exclusively. The latter must be in touch with his troops, sharing the good as well as the ill.

The reward of the general is not a bigger tent, but command.

Camoes, alone, of all the lyric race, Born in the angry morning of disaster,
Can look a common soldier in the face: I find a comrade where I sought a master:
For daily, while the stinking crocodiles Glide from the mangroves on the swampy shore,
He shares my awning of the dhow, he smiles, And tells me that he lived it all before.
Through fire and shipwreck, pestilence and loss, Led by the ignis fatuus of duty
To a dog's death—yet of his sorrows king—He shouldered high his voluntary Cross,
Wrestled his hardships into forms of beauty, And taught his gorgon destinies to sing.

Defeat ensues when others interfere with the authority of the chosen leader. Divided command is often fatal.

Has not the famous political fable of the snake, with two heads and one body, some useful instruction contained in it? She was going to a brook to drink, and in her way was to pass through a hedge, a twig of which opposed her direct course; one head chose to go on the right side of the twig, the other on the left; so that time was spent in the contest, and before the decision was completed, the poor snake died with thirst.

The man is confronted by a superior enemy. Orderly retreat to preserve the army is his correct course of action.

[Napoleon] spoke of the Russian nobles, who in the event of war, would fear for their palaces, and, after a good battle, would force the Tsar to conclude a peace. "Your Majesty is mistaken," [Caulaincourt] replied. . .." 'If the Emperor Napoleon makes war on me,' the Tsar Alexander said to me, 'it is possible, even probable, that we shall be defeated; assuming that we fight. But that will not mean that he can dictate a peace .... We have plenty of room; and our standing army is well-organized, which means, as the Emperor Napoleon has admitted, that we need never accept a dictated peace, whatever reverses we may suffer. What is more, in such circumstances the victor is forced to accept the terms of the vanquished. The Emperor Napoleon made a remark to this effect to Tchernychev in Vienna after the battle of Wagram. He would not have made peace if Austria had not kept an army intact .... I shall not be the first to draw my sword, but I shall be the last to sheathe it .. . . The Emperor Napoleon's remark to Tchernychev, in the latest war with Austria, shows clearly enough that the Austrians could have obtained better terms if they had been more persevering. People don't know how to suffer. If the fighting went against me, I should retire to Kamchatka rather than cede provinces and sign, in my capitol, treaties that were really only truces. Your Frenchman is brave; but long privations and a bad climate wear him down and discourage him. Our climate, our winter, will fight on our side. With you, marvels only take place where the Emperor is in personal attendance; and he cannot be everywhere. He cannot be absent from Paris year after year.'"

Invasion occurs. A seasoned leader is chosen to lead the army to victory and to prevent needless slaughter of the defeated people.

But, O my muse! what numbers wilt thou find To sing the furious troops in battle join'd! Methinks I hear the drum's tumultuous sound, The victor's shouts and dying groans confound; The dreadful burst of cannon rend the skies, And all the thunder of the battle rise. `Twas then great Marlborough's mighty soul was proved, That, in the shock of charging hosts unmoved, Amidst confusion, horror, and despair, Examined all the dreadful scenes of war;
In peaceful thought the field of death surveyed, To fainting squadrons sent the timely aid, Inspired repulsed battalions to engage, And taught the doubtful battle where to rage. So when an angel, by divine command, With rising tempests shakes a guilty land, Such as of late o'er pale Britannia passed, Calm and serene he drives the furious blast, And, pleased the Almighty's orders to perform, Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.

As Napoleon and his retinue were riding on ground so littered with corpses that it was impossible to avoid stepping on them, one of the horses trod on a dying soldier and drew a last moan of pain from him. The Emperor, until then as silent as his victory, terribly depressed by the sight of so many victims, suddenly exploded and relieved his feelings by cries of indignation and an exaggerated solicitude for the poor soldier. Someone, to appease him, remarked that after all it was only a Russian. To which Napoleon replied, "There are no enemies after a victory, but only men!" Then he scattered the officers who were following him over the field to succor the wounded whose cries could be heard on all sides.

Victory is achieved. The king rewards his supporters. But he is careful to compensate inferior people with money instead of land or ruling privileges. Otherwise power is abused by them.

Never ennoble anybody in such wise that he may molest you; and never trust anybody so exclusively that you lose the capitol and the state to him.
HAN-TZU, CHINESE (280-233 B.C.)

The over-all judgment: discipline in the army is achieved by the mature and experienced man who gains the support of the ruler and arouses the spirit of the people. Passions of combat, however, should not lead to cruelty and revenge. Firm-heartedness and correctness should form the basis of action.

The very sight of him [Tiberius] drew tears of joy from the soldiers. They were all eagerness, with a sort of unexampled rapture in their salutation and a passion for touching his hand: they could not restrain themselves from immediately adding "Is it really you, General? Have we got you back in safety?" and then, "I was with you in Armenia, General," "1 was in Raetia,""I had a reward from you in Vindelicia," "I in Pannonia," "I in Germany"— a scene not to be expressed in words, and perhaps scarcely of winning belief.

The punishment most in use in the fleet was flogging on the bare back with the cat-o'-nine-tails. The cat was a short, wooden stick, covered with red baize. The tails were of tough knotted cord, about two feet long. The thieves' cat, with which thieves were flogged, had longer and heavier tails, knotted throughout their length. Flogging was inflicted at the discretion of the captain. It was considered the only punishment likely to be effective with such men as manned the royal ships .... It was perhaps the most cruel and ineffectual punishment ever inflicted. The system was radically bad, for many captains inflicted flogging for all manner of offences, without distinction. The thief was flogged, the drunkard was flogged, the laggard was flogged. The poor, wretched topman who got a ropeyard into a buntline block was flogged. The very slightest transgression was visited with flogging. Those seamen who had any pride remaining in them went in daily fear of being flogged. Those who had been flogged were generally callous, careless whether they were flogged again, and indifferent to all that might happen to them. It was a terrible weapon in the hands of the officers. In many cases the officers abused the power, by the infliction of excessive punishment for trifling offences. The sailors like a smart captain. They liked to be brought up to the mark, and if a captain showed himself a brave man, a good seaman, and a glutton for hard knocks, they would stand any punishment he chose to inflict knowing that such a one would not be unjust. They hated a slack captain, for a slack captain left them at the mercy of the underlings, and that, they said, was "hell afloat." But worse than anything they hated a tyrant, a man who flogged his whole ship's company for little or no reason, or for the infringement of his own arbitrary rules. Such a man, who kept his crew in an agony of fear, hardly knowing whether to kill themselves or their tyrant, was dreaded by all. He was not uncommon in the service until the conclusion of the Great War. It was his kind who drove so many of our men into the American navy. It was his kind who did so much to cause the mutinies at the Nore and the Spithead, the loss of the Hermione frigate, and (to some extent) the losses we sustained in the American War. Lastly, it was his kind who caused so many men to desert, in defiance of the stern laws against desertion. That kind of captain was the terror of the fleet.

Nothing in Washington's military career shows the kindliness of his heart and his indifference to personal autocracy more poignantly than an overlooked little memorandum that he ordered destroyed . . Realizing that by going south he automatically superseded Greene in command and robbed him of his independence, he tried to soften the blow by a personal message sent with a letter of congratulation following Greene's success at Eutaw Springs .... This is the message:
"Col. Morris will inform General Greene in the sincerest manner that there are but two motives which can possibly induce Genl. W[ashington] to take the command to the southward: one, the order of C[ornwallis] to repair thither; the other, the French army going there. In the last case Count R[ochambeau] would command if Genl. W[ashington] did not go in person. General Washington wishes, not only from his personal regard to Genl. Greene, but from principles of generosity and justice, to see him crowned with those laurels which from his unparalleled exertions he so richly deserves."


  8. Stay United. We hold all things together by clinging within ourselves to what is right. Our inner attitude determines everything. In this hexagram, K'an, the trigram of water, is placed above K'un, the trigram of earth; water and earth are together by their natural affinity. This affinity is symbolized by the strong yang line instead of the ruler that holds all the weak lines together. Translated into a principle of human behavior, the solid Fifth Line represents inner independence. If one puts one's integrity high on one's scale of values, so that one never sacrifices it out of fear, or compromises it with desire, then one is able to bring out the higher natures in others, and to unite with them in a common moral agreement. Bonding with others begins when we bond with ourselves morally and spiritually. Marrying our inner sense of truth, we follow a way of reacting to situations called Tao, how one is in harmony with our essential self and the Cosmos. At first we do not recognize what accords with inner truth and find it necessary to sincerely appeal to the Higher Power for help. The phrase “seeing the big man” often found in the I Ching means that we must seek answers within ourselves so that we can awaken and learn to follow the big man (or woman) within. Our work is the discipline of discovering what is true and always being true to ourselves. To help us find inner truth, we have been given the I Ching as a guide. (The I Ching is not a religion, but a guide to discovering the inner and hidden truths of life, and to help us reflect these truths to others. ) Our quest becomes a spiritual journey that leads to moral and spiritual integration. Through the hard lessons of experience, through misunderstandings, and through making mistakes, we discover the guidelines that must be applied in the field of action. By "sticking together" with these guidelines that constitute our inner sense of truth, we effortlessly influence others. Without them we are undecided and unclear, and we invariably reflect our uncertainty back to others. This hexagram also states that it is a natural human impulse to seek harmony with others. It confirms that those who develop their potential for greatness, coherence and strength automatically become a center that unites people. Such a person is a point of reference, anyone can trust her and follow her without betraying her superior nature, losing her dignity, or suffering harm. Even just such a well-developed person is needed to keep everyone around him together. The hexagram questions the reader: Do you possess sublimity, constancy and perseverance? In other words, are we able to maintain our inner independence and hold fast to our principles in the face of challenges and temptations? Are we able to stand firm when we'd rather be soft, steady when we'd rather let it go, and firm despite the pressures of the emotional child within us, who devilishly insists that we need to bring things to a close? Few people at the beginning of their spiritual journey possess such abilities. Even if we were born with them, we lose them at an early age through acculturation. Only if we are challenged over and over again do we win them back. This hexagram warns us that a situation has come, or will soon come, that will challenge us to stand united to our principles. If we are guided by considerations that arise out of fear, desire, pride, anger, or self-interest, we will compromise ourselves. Weakness is perceived intuitively by others, causing distrust, because no one can rightfully follow our ego, which is the source of such shortcomings. If we realize that fear and doubt, and the emotions that follow, have their origin in our tendency to question, to desire and to worry, we will avoid the seemingly innocuous tendency to look around (or forward, or backward), which leads us to question ourselves, to desire and to worry. Our path lies in proceeding upright innocently, sticking together with our inner independence in the face of all challenges, keeping alert, constant and serene like the shining lake.

First line: Stick with him in truth and loyalty. This is without fault. While friendship may flatter people, it doesn't keep them together. What holds it together is our first loyalty to the truth. Sometimes this loyalty requires us to be reserved, so that we can be misunderstood as distant or indifferent. We often have to let others go through negative experiences. This may be the only way they will realize that incorrect attitudes lead them away from their goals. As long as we are lifeguards for those who swim near sharks, they will feel safe. Letting them go does not mean that we have excluded them; we cling to the guidance that the Cosmos can give. This help is always there for them too. All they have to do is ask for it.

Second Line: Remain united with him inwardly. Persevering brings good luck. It is in keeping with our higher nature to preserve and cherish our personality. We avoid throwing ourselves away by associating ourselves with inferior elements, ours or others. Everyone has a higher nature and a lower nature. When we are comfortable or intimate with another person's infantile and selfish self, we not only cultivate the tyrant in them, but we diminish our self-esteem and undermine our dignity. If someone is determined to follow his lower nature, one can only relate to him in a reserved way. When he returns to sincerity and humility, we can relax our reserve a little and share our thoughts and feelings with him, but we must not allow ourselves to become permissive and comfortable.

“Throwing ourselves away” also refers to compromising our principles in the heat of the moment by losing our sense of boundaries. Instead of waiting to find the right path by overcoming any obstacles through detachment, we vent our anger and frustration by further complicating things. “Standing together inwardly” means appeasing our frustrated inferiors and encouraging them to be patient until a way out of difficulties is shown.

“Remaining united with him within” also means that we should never give up the higher potential of others. By withdrawing, or letting them go, we are not abandoning them by dismissing them as hopeless. We keep open the possibility that they may grow and understand, just like our higher nature which after years of mistakes has been awakened and we are learning and growing. We must not arrogantly decide the future, or forget that the Sage has his teaching method, and that truth has such power in it to overthrow what is wrong, and to defeat what is decadent. Through these reminders we withdraw from the misuses of power and return to simplicity and humility…the way of the Wise.

Third Line: You stick with the wrong people. Receiving this line means that we are off the path, or that we are approaching a situation where there will be a temptation to revert to a wrong attitude.

“Wrong people” often refers to wrong elements in our attitude, such as when we abandon a firm attitude for a lenient one.

We also receive this hexagram when we dwell on what is wrong with life (the scheme of things), with ourselves or with others. Attaching ourselves to what is wrong with others traps them in our negativism and “prolongs lawsuits” as they say in The Wayfarer (Hex. 56). We attach ourselves to our inferiors and allow them to lead us when we entertain misconceptions, participate in the wrong relationships, or indulge in emotions such as pride, anger, or desire. When we allow our inferiors to lead us, we lose the help of the Creative (the Wise).

Fourth Line: Remain united with him even externally. Persevering brings good luck. So far we have applied I Ching principles only to close personal relationships. We are called, as students of the Sage, to apply them to all situations. We just have to take the risk to see how they actually work.

Fifth Line: Manifestation of sticking together… Good luck. The fence or picket fence depicted in this line symbolizes the moral boundaries that apply to relationships. The beaters driving the deer on three sides symbolize both the events provided by Fate, and our efforts to set moral boundaries. If someone who has become aware of our limits chooses not to respect them, we must allow him to go his own way, because in any case he must voluntarily respect them, through his intuition of him. We bring people into a correct relationship only with our inner strength and consistency. When they perceive that we are firm in our values, they will stop testing us, or trying to manipulate and dominate us; then they will become sincere. We cannot assume, however, that they will remain sincere; we must always accept the fact that they can only stay through free will. The image of the hunter who only kills animals that voluntarily expose themselves also refers to the way people sometimes confide their mistakes to us. We must relate solely to the issues set out in this one and not take advantage of it to discuss other errors we may have perceived. This accords with slow progress and regal conduct. We don't "let's make a massacre".

Sixth Line: Can't find any leader who holds together. Bad luck. If we start a move without firmness, prudence and decisiveness, our position will be constantly undermined. Virtually every difficult beginning, which we have cautiously worked our way through, ends in success. It's the beginnings that are too easy and self-confident that generate problems. Such situations can be resolved, but any tangled threads must be carefully untangled.

Being "headless" refers to the fact that we have not established a relationship on correct principles. If we superficially ignore someone's insensitive behavior just to get on with our own business, we pave the way for future hardship. What holds things together is an established hierarchy of values. In the process of creating relationships in which steps cannot be skipped, we must wait until the conditions for unity are made possible by the sensitivity and openness of others, and by their autonomous choice to follow the good.

Receiving this line indicates that we have either already gone ahead on our own without waiting for guidance, or are tempted to do so. The resulting danger can be overcome if we correct our attitude.

This line also refers to times when, after crossing an intersection, we keep wondering if we've taken the right road. The important thing is not whether we have taken the right path, but whether we have been sincere in trying to do the right thing. Even the wrong path will not bring any misfortune if we remain sincere, because the possibility of correcting the mistake will present itself. It is important to move forward and leave the crossroads behind, otherwise we will be "headless" (without eyes, or cognition) to move forward, being preoccupied with looking back. Another meaning lies in our not being able to see the possibility of the great man's presence in another person. Deciding it's hopeless, we also discount the possibility that the Sage awakens his higher nature (just as the sage awakened ours); we also underestimate the power of truth to perform its habitual miracles, and we deprive the person we deem hopeless of the space he needs to discover himself, a space we give him when we keep an open mind. In all these ways we ignore the all-important, all-powerful "head" of the matter, and so we guarantee ourselves failure. Finally, there are limits to what we can accomplish at any moment by fighting for unity. Beyond these limits, we have to let people go away and go back to our way. Paradoxically, while remaining united with others, we must also remain detached from them. Sometimes you have to leave them behind. Outwardly expressed love is often not love at all. True unity is achieved through love in the form of patience and tolerance, and in the form of our determination to relate correctly. Before we can love another, we must be firmly dedicated to the holiness of our inner being, for until we follow the good within ourselves, we cannot bring it out in others. When each person's will is independently directed towards inner good, unity is its natural and inevitable result. By awakening these potentials in others through our example, we create a movement towards the great and the good, and thereby bring about peace and justice.

It is filled with sincerity in his associations with others. He resembles an unadorned bowl which is full.

I regret very much that to speak the truth in our day appears to be bad taste. I find, however, that even at the risk of seeming to be a boor I must still say what I truly believe. I believe that time, with infinite understanding, will one day forgive me.

The man retains his individuality and dignity in his relationships with others. He is not like the obsequious office seeker. His convictions are deeply founded.

The General came before the silent and angry King and saluting him said: "The village is punished, the men are stricken to dust, and the women cower in their unlit homes afraid to weep aloud." The High Priest stood up and blessed the King and cried: "God's mercy is ever upon you." The Clown, when he heard this, burst out laughing and startled the Court. The King's frown darkened. "The honor of the throne," said the Minister, "is upheld by the King's prowess and the blessing of Almighty God." Louder laughed the Clown, and the King growled —"Unseemly mirth!" "God has showered many blessings upon your head," said the Clown; "the one he bestowed upon me was the gift of laughter." "This gift will cost you your life," said the King, gripping his sword with his right hand.
Yet the Clown stood up and laughed till he laughed no more. A shadow of dread fell upon the Court, for they heard that laughter echoing in the depth of God's silence.

The man attempts to cultivate an intimacy with people beyond his proper sphere. But this does not make him a person of greater stature.

What of earls with whom you have supp'd, And of dukes that you dined with yestreen? Lord! a louse, Sir, is still but a louse,
Though it crawl on the curl of a queen!

The minister shows open loyalty to his king. This behavior contrasts to that of a person without a post. The latter should remain reserved, so as to retain his personal honor.

Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.

The superior ruler accepts those who voluntarily come to him and lets others go who care to go. He neither invites nor flatters. Union is based on mutual confidence and appreciation.

LEAR. What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with us?
KENT. I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve him truly that will put me in trust, to love him that is honest, to converse with him that is wise and says little, to fear judgment, to fight when I cannot choose, and to eat no fish.
LEAR. What are thou?
KENT. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.
LEAR. If thou be as poor for a subject as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What wouldst thou? KENT. Service.
LEAR. Whom wouldst thou serve?
KENT. You.
LEAR. Dost thou know me, fellow?
KENT. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master.
LEAR. What's that?
KENT. Authority.

Apries having thus been overthrown, Amasis became king. . Now at first the Egyptians despised Amasis and held him in no great regard, because he had been a man of the people and was of no distinguished family; but afterwards Amasis won them over to himself by wisdom and not wilfulness. Among innumerable other things of price which he had, there was a foot-basin of gold in which both Amasis himself and all his guests were wont always to wash their feet. This he broke up, and of it he caused to be made the image of a god, and set it up in the city, where it was most convenient, and the Egyptians went continually to visit the image and did great reverence to it. Then Amasis, having learnt that which was done by the men of the city, called together the Egyptians and made known to them the matter, saying that the image had been produced from the foot-basin, into which formerly the Egyptians used to vomit and make water, and in which they washed their feet, whereas now they did to it great reverence; and just so, he continued, had he himself now fared, as the foot-basin; for though formerly he was a man of the people, yet now he was their king, and he bade them accordingly honor him and have regard for him. In such manner he won the Egyptians to himself, so that they consented to be his subjects.

The situation bodes ill. No good ending can be expected in the absence of the right beginning. It is too late.

At that moment the boss noticed that a fly had fallen into his broad inkpot, and was trying feebly but desperately to clamber out again. Help! help! said those struggling legs. But the sides of the inkpot were wet and slippery; it fell back again and began to swim. The boss took up a pen, picked the fly out of the ink, and shook it on to a piece of blotting paper. For a fraction of a second it lay still on the dark patch that oozed round it. Then the front legs waved, took hold, and, pulling its small sodden body up it began the immense task of cleaning the ink from its wings. Over and under, over and under, went a leg along a wing, as the stone goes over and under the scythe.
Then there was a pause, while the fly, seeming to stand on the tips of its toes, tried to expand first one wing and then the other. It succeeded at last, and, sitting down, it began, like a minute cat, to clean its face. Now one could imagine that the little front legs rubbed against each other lightly, joyfully. The horrible danger was over; it had escaped; it was ready for life again.
But just then the boss had an idea. He plunged his pen back into the ink, leaned his thick wrist on the blotting paper, and as the fly tried its wings down came a great blot. What would it make of that? What indeed! The little beggar seemed absolutely cowed, stunned, and afraid to move because of what would happen next. But then, as if painfully, it dragged itself forward. The front legs waved, caught hold, and, more slowly this time, the task began from the beginning.
He's a plucky little devil, thought the boss, and he felt a real admiration for the fly's courage. That was the way to tackle things; that was the right spirit. Never say die; it was only a question of ... But the fly had again finished its laborious task, and the boss had just time to refill his pen, to shake fair and square on the new-cleansed body yet another dark drop. What about it this time? A painful moment of suspense followed. But behold, the front legs were again waving; the boss felt a rush of relief. He leaned over the fly and said to it tenderly, "You artful little b...." And he actually had the brilliant notion of breathing on it to help the drying process. All the same, there was something timid and weak about its efforts now, and the boss decided that this time should be the last, as he dipped the pen into the inkpot.
It was. The last blot fell on the soaked blotting-paper, and the draggled fly lay in it and did not stir. The black legs were stuck to the body; the front legs were not to be seen.
"Come on," said the boss. "Look sharp!" And he stirred it with his pen—in vain. Nothing happened or was likely to happen. The fly was dead.

The over-all judgment: people's progress results from union around a central figure. The true leader fortifies his sublimity, strength, and perseverance. The hesitant will follow gradually, but the late corners will be left out.

I offer neither pay, nor quarters, nor provisions; I offer hunger, thirst, forced marches, battles and death. Let him who loves his country in his heart and not his lips only, follow me.

... the consent of mankind has always, in spite of the philosophers, given precedence to the soldier. And this is right.
For the soldier's trade, verily and essentially, is not slaying, but being slain. This, without well knowing its own meaning, the world honours it for. A bravo's trade is slaying; but the world has never respected bravos more than merchants; the reason it honours the soldier is because he holds his life at the service of the State. Reckless he may be—fond of pleasure or of adventure—all kinds of bye-motives and mean impulses may have determined the choice of his profession, and may affect (to all appearance exclusively) his daily conduct in it; our estimate of him is based upon this ultimate fact— of which we are well assured— that put him in a fortress breach, with all the pleasures of the world behind him and only death and his duty in front of him, he will keep his face to the front; and he knows that his choice may be put to him at any moment— and has beforehand taken his part— virtually takes such part continually — does, in reality, die daily.

Francis, however, was not so easy to break, even if his physique was far from being that of a Viking. He has no beard, neither is he rough-looking. On the contrary, he is clean-shaven and well-groomed. He looks like the kindest man on the earth — and that he well may be. A wholehearted Norwegian more than anyone else. No matter what he may be doing, his manners are always gentle and graceful, and what he says he says mildly and with amiability, even if it is not always meant that way. Francis is far from being "a softy." While he was in prison, often we heard his friends and others outside say, "Poor Francis!" "What on earth is going to happen to Francis?" "How is Francis going to endure imprisonment? He isn't very strong, you know," and they all shook their worried heads and thought that this would be the end of Francis. Never have such words been more unwarranted, in spite of the fact that his imprisonment lasted for such a long time. No one kept his colors flying more bravely the whole time than he. And furthermore he helped thousands of fellow prisoners to do the same.
Francis had not been long at Grini before he started his task. Some prisoners wanted him to tell about Bjornson, others about Ibsen or Wergeland. Some even wanted to hear about Shakespeare, Dante, Cervantes, and Voltaire; others about the Greek and Roman classics, and Francis lectured generously and lavishly. He never said no. Like everything else at Grini, lecturing was strictly forbidden. This made, however, no difference to Francis. On the contrary it made his task all the more attractive to him. He started one series of lectures after another. Some of them were given during working hours on the job where Francis "worked," others in the barrack rooms at night. No less than thirteen hundred lectures of this kind were delivered by Francis during the time of his imprisonment. In addition to these more formal lectures he made numerous impromptu speeches. There were many occasions which called for celebration, such as Christmas, New Year's, the seventeenth of May, and also the gloomy days when a prisoner transport left for Germany. Francis was always on the spot with words for the day, words that came from the heart, words that never will be forgotten by those who heard them.
Outstanding among his speeches was the one he gave at Christmas 1941, when he talked about Yule as we find it in Norwegian lyrics, and finished up by telling the tale of "Jutulen and Johannes Blessom." One will never forget the last immortal sentence, which became a catchword to prisoners at Grini, "You will have to stand it, Blessom."


  9. The Taming Power of the Small Another step has been taken towards rectifying the situation. The central image of this hexagram is that of the strong element (all yang lines) "temporarily leashed" by the weak line in fourth place (the minister's post). The minister, by the nature of his position, does not have the authority (absolute trust of others) and the strength to subdue the elements of force once and for all, but he can, with "firm inner determination, and with kindness and adaptability” continue to have a moderating influence.

In practice this hexagram indicates that our influence is limited by circumstances. Other people are beginning to understand our firmness of character and to respect our way of life, but not enough to permanently correct their way of relating to us. We've only made progress so far as to contain the other person's insolence, so we shouldn't assume that all problems are solved. Until relationships are firmly and fundamentally correct, we will need to remain reserved and cautious, maintaining a sense of careful responsibility to do what is right. The temptation to abandon self-discipline is always there. Especially after small victories, our inferiors ask us: "Can I rest now?" and "I still have to be careful, be careful,

We must also avoid ambitions to make progress. (Ambition, in its inception, exists only as an ill-defined mood of discontent.) Not only would an outright victory now be impossible, but ambition could exert negative pressure. The presence of ambition indicates that we do not yet have faith in the path of inaction, or in the power to cling to the truth to change the situation. This doubt, which is unconsciously perceived by others, inhibits our ability to have a positive effect. We have to be satisfied with the small progress made. Modestly accepting the slow way in which nature operates gives others the space they need to discover where their path lies, and their interest in following it.

First Line: Back to the street. Good luck. We are negatively involved in the problem when we adopt an either/or attitude to force a change in our destiny. This is also the case when we slip back into denial and alienation through impatience because there is no progress that is visible. Impatience, which stems from desire and doubt, indicates our ego's attempt to dominate the situation, which is doomed to failure. We should conscientiously resume the path of humility and acceptance, and dispel alienation and denial.

Second Line: He lets himself be drawn back. Good luck. Perhaps we have begun to doubt (doubt) what we inwardly know to be true, and so we are tempted to abandon the correct way to make progress. Sometimes it is as if we threaten the Sage, telling him that if he does not help us achieve our goals, we will abandon his guidance. A threat of this kind invariably comes to naught, and in doing so we have only jeopardized our personalities and solicited our pride. Even if we feel humiliated, we should allow ourselves to pull back from this way of thinking, and resume the path of perseverance. We often receive this line and the previous line just before the situation that will arouse these feelings in us occurs.

Third Line: The spokes of the wagon wheel have snapped. The man and his wife roll their eyes. This image symbolizes the collapse of our inner attitude towards alienation and impatience, and consequently the loss of its integrity and usefulness. Our situation falls apart when we abandon patient waiting, or when we raise controversial issues instead of allowing them to arise of their own accord. We rush things when we fear the right time won't come soon enough. Under the influence of fear, denial and desire we are unable to achieve the objectivity we need to find the right solution. Without the right solution, things will go wrong and we will have regrets.

Pushing forward by force means that we try, under the influence of negative and alienated feelings, to force progress by threatening to abandon our task of saving others. This ploy of our ego doesn't work. You can't steal happiness by defying Fate. Fate does not respond to threats. Pushing forward also refers to times when we try to assert our "inner worth" by taking a stand based on our inner sense of truth. In making this effort our ego intercepts our sense of truth, in an attempt to rule by force rather than allowing people to perceive the truth for themselves. The Greater Man simply relies on his sense of inner truth to convey inner messages. If the injustice is such that he recognizes the need for correction, he entrusts himself to the Cosmos to administer the correction. Since he is free from doubt, he activates the power of Truth to solve the problem.

Power belongs to the weak. Real power, whether it's dealing with the stubborn power of the ego, or even of Fate, is to let go, not try to score, or get embroiled in arguments, or try to get over the situation. True power lies in reticence, tranquility and detachment.

Fourth Line: If you are sincere, the blood vanishes and the fear is gone. No fault. Three interpretations are given: First, even though we may not like some of the lines we get from the I Ching, they are given to us sincerely, in a spirit of willingness. Despite the risk that we might despise him for it, the Sage offers us this advice. Second, we are in a position of responsibility, we are an example to others of the way of the Sage. We must do what is right, disengage from other people's ego challenges and let them go, even if our actions will be misunderstood. Finally, because we are true to our principles, we get the right effect. Living correctly means "mediating" our leader's message to others. Third, if we are sincere in our path, we will not resort to wrong means. By withdrawing from the wrong means, "blood vanishes." This means that the threats of clutter and lasting bitterness are avoided. Blood refers to words and actions that hurt emotionally, such as when we wield the white light of truth like a sword. We must realize that truth is never a hard, cutting white light, but the yellow light of moderation. When our understanding strays from modesty and moderation, it strays from the truth. Saying too much in a state of emotional heat resembles the effect of an atomic blast: the fallout is poisonous and will taint the relationship for a long time to come. At that point, instead of dealing with the person, we can only deal with the fallout. This means that the threats of disorder and lasting bitterness are avoided.

Fifth Line: If you are sincere and loyally bound, you are rich in your neighbor. The Sage is trustworthy; being entirely oriented towards what is true and good, it cannot respond to what is unworthy in us. When we are sincere in trying to do what is right, he shares his great wealth with us in the form of a friendly presence, strengthening us in times of trouble, and giving us a sense of protection and well-being that we sorely miss when we stray. from our path.

When we are truly committed (married) to our principles, we bring out the best in other people. This inner truth has the power (by itself) to correct all situations. All communication is internal, coming from the strength to accept things exactly as they are, and to be absolutely at peace with yourself (to be happy in your inner marriage).

Loyally bound also means being committed to conscientiously seeking the right way, without delegating this responsibility to others. We have to do our job and not expect others to do it for us. If we've worked hard all our lives to save money, we're not expected to give up everything to hand it over to others just because we're tired of the responsibilities.

Loyally attached means that we remain attentive to the responsibilities entrusted to us. Sharing our wealth instead of hoarding it means remembering how we have been helped. If we consider ourselves better than others, the acquired wealth is "accumulated" and modesty is lost. To be rich while remaining modest is to be zealous. Only then will we be rich in our neighbor, who will not feel overshadowed. When the Sage teaches us, we must become more modest and conscientious, not less. Do we want to overshadow the Sage, who is invisible? Do we want to overshadow the Sage with our wrong deeds?

Sixth Line: The rain is coming, there is rest. This is due to the lasting effect of character… If the superior man persists, misfortune comes. Victory came because he persevered in a firm and correct attitude. However, this is a partial victory, not one founded on the slow penetration of light into inner truth, or through in-depth knowledge that protects us from reversals. If we are able to maintain our modesty and humility, sacrificing any sense of power we may feel, our progress will be solidified.

It presses forward. When obstacles are encountered, however, he returns to the state of greater choice. By not forcing his way, he eventually gains his objective.

As war is not an act of blind passion, but is dominated by the political objective, therefore the value of that object determines the measure of the sacrifices by which it is to be purchased. . . . As the expenditure of force becomes so great that the political object is no longer equal in value, this object must be given up.

The man does not expose himself needlessly to rebuff by pushing forward when the time is not propitious. He retreats with kindred souls.

In the dead of night I have heard, "Lord God, Lord God, how long? I wither, I wither! Wherefore hast Thou breathed this soul into me? And wherefore hast Thou planted this heart in me? To feel all pain, all suffering, all evil, To bear the burden of all oppression, All unhappiness and misfortune, And hast bound my hands that I may not save? Wherefore hast Thou given me an eye that sees, And ears that listen, That I may see the generations and their sighing, My heart wounded with the wounds of all men, And hast bound mine hands that I may not save? Wherefore hast Thou created this sea of wretchedness, And all the evil and all the oppression, Which mine eyes will look upon for the eternity to come, And hast breathed a spirit into me, To curse all evil and to blast it-
But hast set a seal upon my lips that I may not curse? Wherefore these countless multitudes of the unhappy Which are yet to be until the end of the generations, With the countless multitudes of their tears Which will yet be poured into the nether waters, And wherefore hast Thou made me to hear The great noise of their weeping which splitteth the rocks, And hast bound mine hands that I may not save? Wherefore hast Thou given me the strength To save and to redeem, to help and to rescue, To comfort those that mourn, To heal hearts that are broken, To bind up all sorrows And hast laid chains upon mine arm? Lord God, wherefore hast Thou made me a Redeemer, And hast forbidden me to redeem?" And in the dead of night there is heard a song of storm, The storm of golden chains,
A storm of links that clash upon each other, As often as the Messiah strains to burst his bonds, And tears with the strength of his arm At the Throne of Glory and the pillars thereof, And at the heavens and the heaven of heavens —And an echo is heard against it, in the dead of night, The sound of a storm of chains of iron On the face of the earth below. From end to end of the face of earth below, And it chances that from amidst the crimson clouds, From amidst the chrysolite and amber, From amidst the whiteness of white sapphire, A Voice is heard answering: "Until a new generation arise, A generation that will understand redemption, A generation that will desire to be redeemed, Whose soul will be prepared to be redeemed! Then wilt thou too achieve thy destiny and be redeemed: Then wilt thou too achieve thy destiny and redeem!"

The circumstances favor the weak. Progress is frustrated by external, apparently minor, impediments. The net effectiveness is that of a wheel without spokes.

Like men with sore eyes: they find the light painful, while the darkness, which permits them to see nothing, is restful and agreeable.

The man follows the path of righteous flexibility, thereby eliminating anxieties and averting the dangers of bloodshed. He is always mindful of the question: what if you are wrong?

The resolution of Lodovico [to become a Capuchin monk after killing someone] came very apropos for his hosts, who were in a sad dilemma on his account. To send him away from the convent, and thus expose him to justice, that is to say, to the vengeance of his enemies, was a course on which they would not for a moment bestow a thought. It would have been to give up their proper privileges, disgrace the convent in the eyes of the people, draw upon themselves the animadversion of all the Capuchins in the universe for suffering their common rights to be infringed upon, and arouse all the ecclesiastical authorities, who at that time considered themselves the lawful guardians of these rights. On the other hand, the kindred of the slain, powerful themselves, and strong in adherents, were prepared to take vengeance, and denounced as their enemy any one who should put an obstacle in their way. This history does not tell us that much grief was felt for the loss of the deceased, nor even that a single tear was shed over him by any of his relations; it merely says that they were all on fire to have the murderer, dead or living, in their power. But Lodovico's assuming the habit of a Capuchin settled all these difficulties; he made atonement in a manner, imposed a penance on himself, tacitly confessed himself in fault, and withdrew from the contest; he was, in fact, an enemy laying down his arms. The relatives of the dead could also, if they pleased, believe and make it their boast that he had turned friar in despair, and through dread of their vengeance. But in any case, to oblige a man to relinquish his property, shave his head, and walk barefoot, to sleep on straw, and to live upon alms, was surely a punishment fully equivalent to the most heinous offense.
The Superior presented himself with an easy humility to the brother of the deceased, and after a thousand protestations of respect for his most illustrious house, and of desire to comply with his wishes as
far as was possible, he spoke of Lodovico's penitence, and the determination he had made, politely making it appear that his family ought to be therefore satisfied, and insinuating, yet more courteously, and with still greater dexterity, that whether he were pleased or not, so it would be. The brother fell into a rage, which the Capuchin patiently allowed to evaporate, occasionally remarking that he had too just cause for sorrow. The Signor also gave him to understand, that in any case his family had it in their power to enforce satisfaction, to which the Capuchin, whatever he might think, did not say no; and finally he asked, or rather required as a condition, that the murderer of his brother should immediately quit the city. The Capuchin, who had already determined upon such a course, replied that it should be as he wished, leaving the nobleman to believe, if he chose, that his compliance was an act of obedience, and thus the matter was concluded to the satisfaction of all parties.

The antagonists of Christ therefore said to the poor: "You wait patiently for the day of justice: there is no justice; you wait for the life eternal to achieve your vengeance: there is no life eternal; you gather up your tears and those of your family, the cries of the children and the sobs of the women, to place them at the feet of God at he hour of death: there is no God."
Then it is certain that the poor man dried his tears, and he told his wife to check her sobs, his children to come with him, and that he stood upon the earth with the power of a bull. He said to the rich: "Thou who oppressest me, thou art only man;" and to the priest: "Thou who hast consoled me, thou hast lied." That was just what the antagonists of Christ desired. Perhaps they thought this was the way to achieve man's happiness, sending him out to the conquest of liberty.
But, if the poor man, once satisfied that the priests deceive him, that the rich rob him, that all men have rights, that all good is of this world, and that misery is impiety; if the poor man, believing in himself and his two arms, says to himself some fine day, "War on the rich! for me, happiness here in this life, since there is no other! for me, the earth, since heaven is empty! for me and for all, since all are equal." Oh! reasoners sublime who have led him to this, what will you say to him if he is conquered?

Partners reinforce each other through loyalty. The man uses both his own resources and those of his neighbors to further their common cause.

"O Wisest One, Mighty God Indra!" he cried, "this hound hath eaten with me, starved with me, suffered with me, loved me! Must I desert him now?"
"Yea," declared the God of Gods, Indra, "all the joys of Paradise are yours forever, but leave here your hound."
Then exclaimed Yudishthira in anguish. "Can it be that a god can be so destitute of pity? Can it be that to gain this glory I must leave behind all that I love? Then let me lose such glory forever!" The brow of Indra darkened.
"It is decreed," he replied sternly. "As you know, the very merit of prayer itself is lost if a dog touches him who is praying. He who enters Paradise must enter pure. Beside the stony highway you left the wife Draupadi and your brothers. Surely for this common creature you will not give up the joys of the Blessed!"
Gently Yudishthira laid his hand upon the hound's head and turned to depart.
"All powerful Indra," he answered quietly, but firmly, "the dead are dead; I could not succor them. There are four deadly sins: to reject a suppliant, to slay a nursing mother, to destroy a Brahman's possessions, and to injure an old friend. But to these I add a fifth, as sinful: to desert the lowliest friend when you pass out of sorrow into good fortune! Farewell, then, Lord Indra. I go — and my hound with me."

Business? It's quite simple— it's other people's money.

Bit by bit the man achieves success. This should be valued but not pushed too far. When the moon is full, waning is inevitable. Quiescence is in order.

The wise man does not allow his knowledge and abilities to be sounded to the bottom, if he desires to be honored by all. He allows you to know them but not to comprehend them.

The over-all judgment: the strong element is being restrained by the weak, There is hope, but major gains are not immediately attainable. Ultimate success will be achieved through friendly persuasion and soothing gentleness.

... the practice of that which is ethically best—what we call goodness or virtue — involves a course of conduct which, in all respects, is opposed to that which leads to success in the cosmic struggle for existence. In place of ruthless self-assertion, it demands self-restraint; in place of thrusting aside, or treading down, all competitors, it requires that the individual shall not merely respect, but shall help his fellows; its influence is directed, not so much to the survival of the fittest, as to the fitting of as many as possible to survive. It repudiates the gladiatorial theory of existence.... Laws and moral precepts are directed to the end of curbing the cosmic process, and reminding the individual of his duty to the community, to the protection and influence of which he owes, if not existence itself, at least the life of something better than a brutal savage.... Let us understand, once and for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it. It may seem an audacious proposal thus to pit the 17119
microcosm against the macrocosm and to set man to subdue nature to his higher ends; but I venture to think that the great intellectual difference between ancient times and our own day lies in the solid foundation we have acquired for the hope that such an enterprise may meet with a certain measure of success.
The history of civilizations details the steps by which men have succeeded in building up an artificial world within the cosmos. Fragile reed as he may be, man, as Pascal says, is a thinking reed: there lies within him a fund of energy, operating intelligently and so far akin to that which pervades the universe, that it is competent to influence and modify the cosmic process. In virtue of his intelligence, the dwarf bends the Titan to his will.

I think then that the aim of the perfect Courtier ... is so to win for himself, by means of the accomplishments ascribed to him by these gentlemen, the favour and mind of the prince whom he serves, that he may be able to say, and always shall say, the truth about everything which it is fitting for the prince to know, without fear or risk of giving offence thereby; and that when he sees his prince's mind inclined to do something wrong, he may be quick to oppose, and gently to make use of the favour acquired by his good accomplishments, so as to banish every bad intent and lead his prince into the path of virtue. And thus, possessing the goodness which these gentlemen have described, together with readiness of wit and pleasantness, and shrewdness and knowledge of letters and many other things, —the courtier will in every case be able deftly to show the prince how much honour and profit accrue to him and his from justice, liberality, magnanimity, gentleness, and the other virtues that become a good prince; and on the other hand how much infamy and loss proceed from the vices opposed to them. Therefore I think that just as music, festivals, games, and the other pleasant accomplishments are, as it were, the flower, in like manner to lead or help one's prince toward right, and to frighten him from wrong, are the true fruit of Courtiership....
In this way the Courtier will be able to lead his prince along the thorny path of virtue, decking it as with shady leafage and strewing it with lovely flowers to relieve the tedium of the weary journey to one whose strength is slight; and now with music, now with arms and horses, now with verses, now with love talk, and wit with all those means whereof these gentlemen have told, to keep his mind continually busied with worldly pleasures, yet always impressing upon him also, as I have said, some virtuous practice along with these allurements, and playing upon him with salutary craft; like cunning doctors, who often anoint the edge of the cup with a sweet cordial, when they wish to give some bitter-tasting medicine to sick and over-delicate children.

A foolish man learning that the Buddha observed the principle of great love which commends the return of good for evil, came and abused him. The Buddha was silent, pitying his folly. When the man had finished his abuse, the Buddha asked him, saying: "Son, if a man declined to accept a present made to him, to whom would it belong?" And he answered: "In that case it would belong to the man who offered it."
"My son," said the Buddha, "thou hast railed at me, I decline to accept thy abuse, and request thee to keep it thyself. Will it not be a source of misery to thee? As the echo belongs to the sound, and the shadow to the substance, so misery will overtake the evil-doer without fail."
The abuser made no reply, and Buddha continued: "A wicked man who reproaches a virtuous one is like one who looks up and spits at heaven; the spittle soils not the heaven but comes back and defiles his own person."


  10. Proceed. About trying to force progress. Step on the tiger's tail. To get caught up when you have to stay innocent is to tempt Fate, or "tread on the tiger's tail." The tiger symbolizes Fate. As long as we are sincere, conscientious, simple and innocent in our conduct, the tiger will not bite. However, if we confidently and stubbornly go the wrong way, as we do when we try to create opportunities for influence rather than allow them to evolve, we get bitten. We defy Fate when we step beyond the fine line (even if cautiously to tell another what is wrong with him (or his position, or conduct). We must be careful not to assume we have that right, just because we have a correct position.

Difficult situations are caused by wrong attitudes and traditions that have accumulated over time. It is our destiny to resolve these difficulties by correcting our mistakes. To try to change the situation by fighting against it, blindly resisting it or rejecting it is to defy Fate as a “blind and lame man”. We must resign ourselves to slow and patient personal evolution to reverse established tendencies. Trying to overcome everything at once is foolhardy: the situation will only improve to the extent that we improve ourselves sustainably.

The superior man discriminates between high and low. This means that we accept the discipline and patience needed to correct our poor relationships with others. Instead of listening to the self-pitying, whining voices of our inferiors who look to external circumstances for a course of action, we need to focus on finding the selfishnesses and mistakes that have led to our troubles.

The difficulties in question are referred to elsewhere in the I Ching as "disputes." These "lawsuits" are ongoing internal conflicts with others that result from adopting harsh, vengeful, or impatient attitudes. Controversies always arise when we dismiss people as hopeless. We start an internal argument in which they say: "You don't exist", to which they answer: "Yes, I do, and now I will prove it to you". Sometimes the discussion is: "You are hopeless", to which they answer: "You will pay me for the arrogant evaluation you have made of me". Controversies are evident in all actions involving people that force us to become aware of them (or vice versa). These controversies occur because we don't really let people go. But rather we control their behavior or their attitudes. We try to punish them for transgressing our values, hurting our pride, or tarnishing our vanity. When we truly let people go, healing begins and the controversy subsides. A creative relationship then becomes possible. When we allow ourselves to fall into denial and alienation, we "leave the wagon behind." The chariot symbolizes our destiny to save those to whom we are connected in inner relationships. Negative attitudes resist this fate. If we ignore the highest and most essential meaning and purpose of life, rejecting our duty to discipline ourselves, we will not find true happiness.

First line: Simple conduct. Blameless progress. We make progress as long as we remain detached and free from selfish considerations, but we must guard against the urge to regain our lost comforts. These desires cause restlessness and the ambition to force progress, or to wrap things up. We should be content with slow progress, and not allow desire to advance, to end the situation, or to influence our attitude. The right attitude is always a humble acceptance of the situation as it is. We renounce any anger, discomfort, or disappointment we may feel about the length of time it takes to get something done.

Second Line: Tread on a flat, well-trodden road. Persevering brings good luck. We must remain free from internal conflicts, for example from asking: "Why is this my destiny?" and “What should I do?”. We must avoid the danger of challenging Fate with frontal assaults, and arguing with him the way things are. Staying circumspectly detached is “treading on a level, well-trodden road.”

Third Line: One-eyed… lame… The tiger bites the man. Bad luck. When we confidently believe that we can overcome Fate with aggressive effort, we are sure to experience rejection. To rush forward means to fail. Even if we are right, we should not take a position of strength. It is necessary to control blind ambition, and not to deploy powerful means. Rather, we should count on the benevolent action of nature to fix things. The more correct our position, the more modest we must be.

Fourth Line: Stomp on the tiger's tail. Ultimately, caution and circumspection bring good luck. The dangerous business is to think that you have to intervene to avoid disaster or unintended consequences. To interfere means to voluntarily plunge headlong. It is best to fight the invasion of our ego by continuing with our studies, trusting that enlightenment will further help us overcome the danger that comes from questioning the correct attitude.

Fifth Line: Resolute conduct. Perseverance with awareness of danger. This means not being too hard or too soft. Resolve must not become entangled with anger, vengeful feelings, or harshness, thus making us lose modesty. The danger comes when, considering ourselves morally superior, we think about what people should do. This way of thinking is an interference in their spiritual space. Not only will they feel our sense of superiority, but our attitude of censure will also prevent them from doing what is right of their own free will. This happens because it is against the inner dignity of a person to respond slavishly to the demands of others. Our duty is to really get people to find their own way to do what's right.

While avoiding a feeling of superiority, we must stand firm on what is right and associate only with a better self than people. Indulging their wishes and requests means throwing ourselves away. To overlook the evil before our eyes is to play magnanimously at being God. While we shouldn't tell people what they can or cannot do, it is our duty to set clear the limits of what we are willing or unwilling to do with They. Until others relate to us properly, we should remain reserved in our inner attitude.

Sixth Line: Look at your conduct and weigh the favorable signs. When all is accomplished, supreme fortune arrives. When we have persevered properly through the challenge of time, we can be assured of good fortune. This line often refers to getting out of danger, especially the danger of doubt, ambition, restlessness, or immodesty—dangers that come from worrying, desiring, or allowing ourselves to be led by pride. Driven by these emotions we recklessly strive to get out of difficulties, only to make them worse and more dangerous for our inner balance. To find inner balance, it is necessary to come to a humble acceptance of the situation as it is. The necessary acceptance is unconditional, like the one asked of Catherine in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Here Fate is the taming factor. When we accept that we must engage the helpful energies of the Higher Power, we are guided out of our problems.

It is in a subordinate position without social obligation. Progress will be attained without blame if he remains content with his simple accustomed path, making no demands upon others.

Let Homer sing his verse. I listen to this sublime genius in comparison with whom I, a simple herdsman, a humble farmer, am as nothing. What, indeed, — if product is to be compared with product, — are my cheeses and my beans in the presence of his "Iliad"? But, if Homer wishes to take from me all that I possess, and make me his slave hi return for his inimitable poem, I will give up the pleasure of his lays and dismiss him. I can do without his "Iliad," and wait, if necessary, for the "Aeneid." Homer cannot live twenty-four hours without my products. Let him accept, then, the little that I have to offer; and then his muse may instruct, encourage and console me.

The quiet and solitary man apprehends the inscrutable. He seeks nothing, holds to the mean, and remains free from entanglements.

I have known the silence of the stars and of the sea, And the silence of the city when it pauses,
And the silence of a man and a maid, And the silence for which music alone finds the word
And the silence of the woods before the winds of spring begin, And the silence of the sick
When their eyes roam about the room.
And I ask: For the depths Of what use is language?
A beast of the field moans a few times When death takes its young.
And we are voiceless in the presence of realities We cannot speak.
A curious boy asks an old soldier Sitting in front of the grocery store,
"How did you lose your leg?" And the soldier is struck with silence,
Or his mind flies away Because he cannot concentrate it on Gettysburg.
It comes back jocosely And he says, "A bear bit it off."
There is the silence of a great hatred, And the silence of a great love,
And the silence of a deep peace of mind, And the silence of an embittered friendship,
There is the silence of a spiritual crisis, Through which your soul, exquisitely tortured,
Comes with visions not to be uttered Into a realm of higher life.
There is the silence of those unjustly punished; And the silence of the dying whose hand Suddenly grips yours.
There is the silence of those who have failed; And the vast silence that covers
Broken nations and vanquished leaders. And there is the silence of age,
Too full of wisdom for the tongue to utter it
In words intelligible to those who have not lived The great range of life.

The man recklessly exposes himself to danger, which exceeds his powers of handling. He invites disaster thereby.

The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us.

The strange thing about this crisis of August, 1939 was that the object between Germany and Poland was not clearly defined, and could not therefore be expressed as a concrete demand. It was part of Hitler's nature to avoid putting things in a concrete form; to him differences of opinion were questions of power and tests of one's nerves and strength.

The man successfully undertakes dangerous enterprises by proceeding with caution and circumspection.

Herein consists our distinguishing excellence, that in the hour of emergency we show the greatest courage, and yet debate beforehand the expediency of our measures. The courage of others is the result of ignorance; deliberation makes them cowards. And those undoubtedly must be owned to have the greatest souls, who, most acutely sensible of the miseries of war and the sweets of peace, are not hence in the least deterred from facing danger.

Peril is evident, as when treading on the tail of a tiger. But the man remains aware and resolute, acting with propriety and humility.

"As far as we personally are concerned, happiness is done with whatever the course of events may be. I know that it is the duty of one king to suffer on behalf of the others, and we are fulfilling that duty well. I hope that someday the fact may be recognized by them all." Too late, Marie Antoinette had grasped in the very depths of her soul that she was destined to become a historical figure, and this need for transcending the limitations of her own time intensified her forces to an extreme. For when a human being begins to plumb his own depths, when he has determined to dig into the inmost recesses of his own personality, he discovers in his own blood the shadowy powers of his ancestors. The fact that she had sprung from the House of Habsburg, that she was descendant and heiress of an ancient imperial line, that she was the daughter of Maria Theresa, lifted this weak and unsteady woman as if by magic above her previous limitations. She felt it incumbent upon her to be "digne de Marie Therese," to be worthy of her mother, and "courage" became the leitmotiv to her progress toward imminent destruction. Again and again we find such declarations as that "nothing can break my courage"; and when news came from Vienna that her brother Joseph, on an agonizing deathbed, had maintained his composure to the last hour, she felt prophetically that she, too, was foredoomed to die bravely, and she replied with the most self-confident saying of her life: "I venture to declare he died in a way worthy of myself."

Then one of the chief officers of the King arose, and said: "O King, give up to me the blood of this sage; for we have not seen him commit any offense against thee; nor have we seen him do aught but cure thee of thy disease, which wearied the other physicians and sages." The King answered: "Ye know not the reason wherefore I would kill the sage. It is this, that if suffered him to live, I should myself inevitably perish; for he who cured me of the disease under which I suffered by a thing that I held in my hand, may kill me by a thing that I may smell; and I fear that he would do so, and would receive an appointment on account of it; seeing that it is probable he is a spy who hath come hither to kill me; I must therefore kill him, and then shall I feel myself safe."
The sage then said again: "Spare me, and so may God spare thee; and destroy me not, lest God destroy thee."
But he now felt certain that the King would put him to death, and that there was no escape for him; so he said: "O King, if my death is indispensable, grant me some respite, that I may return to my house, and acquit myself of my duties, and give directions to my family and neighbors to bury me, and dispose of my medical books; and among my books is one of the most especial value, which I offer as a present to thee, that thou mayest treasure in thy library." "And what," said the King, "is this book?" He answered: "It contains things not to be enumerated; and the smallest of the secret virtues that it possesses is this: that, when thou hast cut off my head, if thou open this book, and count three leaves, and then read three lines on the page to the left, the head will speak to thee, and answer whatever thou shalt ask." At this the King was excessively astonished, and shook with delight, and said to him: "O Sage, when I have cut off thy head will it speak?" He answered: "Yes, 0 King, and this is a wonderful thing."
The King then sent him in the custody of guards, and the sage descended to his house, and settled all his affairs on that day; and on the following day he went up to the court; and the Emirs and Viziers, and Chamberlains and Deputies, and all the great officers of the state, went thither also; and the court resembled a flower-garden. And when the sage had entered, he presented himself before the King,
bearing an old book, and a small pot containing a powder; and he sat down and said: "Bring me a tray." So they brought him one; and he poured out the powder into it. He then said: "0 King, take this book, and do nothing with it until thou hast cut off my head; and when thou hast done so, place it upon this tray, and order some one to press it down upon the powder; and when this is done, the blood will be staunched; then open the book." As soon as the sage had said this, the King gave orders to strike off his head; and it was done. The King then opened the book, and found that its leaves were stuck together; so he put his finger to his mouth, and moistened it with his spittle, and opened the first leaf, and the second, and the third, but the leaves were not opened without difficulty. He opened six leaves, and looked at them; but found upon them no writing. So he said: "0 Sage, there is nothing written in it." The head of the sage answered: "Turn over more leaves." The King did so; and in a little while the poison penetrated into his system; for the book
was poisoned; and the King fell back and cried: "The poison hath penetrated into me!" — and upon this, the head of the sage Duban repeated these verses:
They made use of their power, and used it tyrannically; and soon it became as though it never had existed.
Had they acted equitably, they had experienced equity; but they oppressed, wherefore fortune oppressed them with calamities and trials.
Then did the case announce to them, This is the reward of your conduct, and fortune is blameless.
And when the head of the sage Duban had uttered these words, the King immediately fell down dead.

The work is ended and the past course is reviewed. It if has been appropriate and thorough, good fortune is assured.

She walks in beauty, like the night Of cloudless climes and starry skies,
And all that's best of dark and bright Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd do that tender light Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less, Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress Or softly lightens o'er her face,
Where thoughts serenely sweet express How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek and o'er that brow So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent.

The over-all judgment: the situation is difficult, involving wild and intractable people. The strong, however, will not harm the man, who treads with decorum and propriety amid disorder and peril. The hazardous episode will end without damage.

Though you serve richest wines, Paulus, Rumor opines
That they poisoned your four wives, I think, It's of course all a lie;
None believes less than I. No, I really don't care for a drink.

In the last year of Yon-san terrible evils were abroad among the people. Such wickedness as the world had never seen before was perpetrated, of which his Majesty was the evil genius. He gave orders to his eunuchs and underlings to bring to him any woman of special beauty... In these days of trouble there was a young wife of a certain minister, who was very beautiful in form and face. One day it fell about that she was ordered into the Palace. Other women, when called, would cry and behave as though their lives were forfeited, but this young woman showed not the slightest sign of fear. She dressed and went straight into the Palace. King Yon-san saw her, and ordered her to come close to him. She came, and then in a sudden manner the most terrible odor imaginable was noticeable. The King held his fan before his face, turned aside, spat, and said, "Dear me, I cannot stand this one, take her away," and so she escaped undefiled.
How it came about was thus: She knew that she was likely to be called at any moment, and so had planned a ruse by which to escape. Two slices of meat she had kept constantly on hand, decayed and foul-smelling, but always ready. She placed these under her arms as she dressed and went into the Palace, and so provided this unaccountable odour. All that knew of it praised her bravery and sagacity.
IM BANG, KOREAN (1640-1722)

Mankind will not be reasoned out of the feelings of humanity.


  11. Peace. By relating correctly we have achieved peace. Peacekeeping, however, requires that we remain steadfast in inner discipline. Compared to other hexagrams, this one is perfectly balanced. The forces of heaven and earth are in balance. This symbolizes a person who has correctly balanced the qualities of heaven and earth in themselves so that they are in harmony with the Universe. The force of heaven in the lower trigram symbolizes our having corrected our inner attitude: we are persevering in our principles and we are autonomous. Whether events evolve in one direction or another, we do not lose our inner balance. The strength of the earth in the upper trigram symbolizes having reached a spirit of open receptivity to events in the outside world: we have stopped erecting defensive barriers, or trying to manipulate events, either by adopting attitudes that we think are opportune, either by doing specific things. This attitude, balanced and neutral, reduces tensions and solves the problems of our relationships with others.

We must be aware, however, that times of peace make us forget that good fortune comes from having a balanced attitude and that it depends on our ability to remain balanced. It is by relaxing from tensions that we more easily lose our inner independence. For example, we lose our independence when we look for a way to preserve the good times, or when, due to fatigue, we forget to uphold our principles. By relaxing, we can forget our responsibility to save those with whom we have inner connections, or we can become self-absorbed and overconfident. Therefore, the hexagram reminds us to stay mindful and persevere.

Perhaps the greatest danger posed by having achieved peace in external situations is that we tend to work on our spiritual development only when under the pressure of adversity. We assume that since we are in harmony with the Cosmos, there is nothing to learn. It is important to continue with our learning, and to remain aware of our dependence on the Higher Power.

As the second hexagram, Peace implies that peace will result, or has resulted, from making the required changes in the lines of the first hexagram, but also recommends remembering the dangers and persevering.

First line: When the grass is pulled, it carries the sod with it. Being resourceful brings good luck. When people are open to each other they are 'connected by their roots', so good influences are possible. Openness is the prerequisite for having influence. Similarly, even though we are connected by roots to the Sage, this connection is obstructed when we doubt that we will get the help we need. When we withdraw from a negative assessment of things and return to humble acceptance, the obstruction dissolves. The image of pulling interconnected roots suggests that addressing the root of the problem – our inner attitude – will remove the obstacles to the peace and progress we seek.

Second Line: Tolerating the unlearned with kindness, fording the river resolutely, not neglecting what is far off, not looking to one's comrades. So you can walk in between. During times of peace, we are tempted to be harsh on those who err, or to alienate ourselves by dealing with their problematic egos. It is in keeping with modesty not to form a mental faction against them, but to tolerate them, and tolerate the situation.

Fording the river resolutely. When we are in a calm mood and situations arise which require us to withdraw and go on alone, we must not neglect to do so. This means following our path and "not neglecting what is far away".

Don't look at your comrades. This means that we don't let ourselves be influenced by what others do, but we keep our path. We don't have to look with our inner eye at what they do.

To walk in the middle means to act as intermediaries between the Sage and others while remaining attentive and conscientious. Especially in times of peace, we must avoid being distracted by indolence, or weakened by indulgence in petty vanities and flattery. Sometimes we indulge in seemingly harmless and petty attitudes because we assume that peace, having been achieved, will be maintained. We must remember, however, that nothing of Fate is to be assumed. One of the dangers of peacetime is our tendency to become addicted to things while remaining free from tensions. This dependence entails a loss of inner independence: in trying to maintain the status quo, our responses become conditioned and we are no longer able to respond spontaneously with innocence. Such dependency invites others to challenge us. A similar danger sometimes arises when people present themselves as interested, alert, and sensitive. Even if in a manipulative and undignified way, the intention is often to keep things pleasant. Other times it is flattery designed to lead us to carelessly expose ourselves. There is almost always a leader who, with a trap, engages our ego. Then, once we've exposed ourselves, we're greeted with contrived indifference or an insolent attack. These tactics, part of the king of the hill game, are meant to throw us off balance so that those who started the game can gain the upper hand. We should avoid being seduced by flattery in order to get involved in these games. At the same time we have to remain open and patient with those who want to play them.

Third Line: There is no plain that is not followed by a slope… He who remains persevering in danger is without fault. In times of peace, one tends to assume that the good times will continue indefinitely. With this idea we start an emotional addiction: we want people, God, Fate and events to never change. We become reluctant to allow the situation to change; then when the problems come back we are unprepared and being unprepared we struggle and fall back into hope and doubt. This disintegration of the personality can be avoided if we do not allow ourselves to be emotionally dependent on people or events. We can better maintain our independence if we remember that every event is part of the zigzagging path that the Creative follows to solve problems. expecting the unexpected,

Fourth Line: He flies low, doesn't boast of his wealth, is frank and sincere with his neighbors. Receiving this line often refers to receiving the Sage's help in giving direction to the correct way to approach a problem. It can also be a simple confirmation that our open and sincere way of relating has had creative results. At other times this line advises us to let our contacts with others be innocent and sincere. This means that we refrain from any temptation to concoct or manipulate what we want to happen. The line also advises against “bragging about wealth”. We boast of wealth if we try to impress people with our wisdom, wit, or charm, or if, in some way, we try to impose our point of view.

Fifth Line: The ruler Io marries his daughter. This brings blessing and supreme fortune. A very modest combination. This line means that it is the Wise (“the sovereign I”) who decides when the time is right for things to work out, and when the conditions for unity will be possible. Until then we will have to wait. This line also presents us with the analogy of a marriage between two people of unequal status. The princess has to adjust to being married to someone below her rank. This means that when dealing with someone who is lacking in self-improvement, or who for other reasons is not at our level of understanding, we should not carelessly enhance her natural sense of inferiority. The princess is depicted in submission to her husband. This doesn't mean that she is inferior, but that she avoids a competing or dominant attitude: thus she avoids envy ruining their relationship. In situations of close personal contact, the person with the stronger character must become more modest, sacrificing his sense of self, his power, and her authority in order to release tension and effort. This creates "a truly modest marriage" that "brings happiness and blessings."

Sixth Line: The wall falls back into the moat. Don't use the army now. It's time to dismantle the defenses and strategies that comprise our resistance to Fate. We must disperse all efforts and efforts. By humbly submitting to the situation and accepting it as it is, without resentment or resistance, we will have the help of the Higher Power to correct the situation.

It brings others of like mind with him as he enters public office during a period of prosperity.

Cortes must have felt by now that Narvaez was a poor match for him. He had come all the way from Mexico while the newly arrived general, with his fresh and still untried troops, remained enjoying the delights of Cempoal for no reason other than his usual indolence and carelessness; he was well informed about happenings in Narvaez' camp from his own men who came and went, as well as from the men of Narvaez who came and sometimes remained, like one Villalobos who, with seven other soldiers, deserted to Cortes as a protest against Ayllon's imprisonment. In this state of mind, he called Juan Velazquez de Leon. "And as Cortes spoke sometimes very honey-like, and with laughter in his mouth, he said to him half laughing: I had you called because I am told by Andres de Duero that Narvaez says, and it is a general rumour in this camp, that if you go there, I am done with and destroyed, for they believe that you will go over to him; and so, I have decided that, if you love me, you should go thither straightway on your good dapple mare, with all your gold, and your Swaggerer ... and other small trifles I will give you; and you will wear the Swaggerer round one shoulder and arm, and round the other one another chain still heavier, and you will see what Narvaez wishes of you, and as soon as you come back, I shall send Diego de Ordas, whom they also wish to see in their camp."
This scene, vividly recorded by Bernal Diaz, is of the purest Cortes: a flower of free, spontaneous, humorous and slightly swaggerish life grown out of a root of coldly calculated caution. It was essential for him to test the loyalty of these two captains, one-time leaders of the Velazquez group, before the battle and not during battle.... The shrewd generosity of Cortes worked on Velazquez de Leon at once: he accepted to go, but refused to take his gold with him. Cortes gave him one of his servants as an escort—just in case.

The man observes the mean during times of peace. He is magnanimous toward the uncultivated, ready for necessary risks, watchful over future possibilities, and independent of cliques and factions.

Withal, Father Prospero was a good-natured man and generous to the poor, of whom he was perhaps the poorest. What he was paid for funerals, weddings, and baptisms promptly passed to the hands of others. He was never absent when people were ill or death visited a home, and he never lost his kindly
smile and comforting manner. He was unaffected in his good deeds, devoid of pretension and solemnity, attaching no importance to his acts of kindness and passing off allusions to them with pleasantries —pleasantries that on occasion could be a little broad.
When a village barkeep refused to accept the price of a "nip," Father Prospero would jokingly insist: "Don't put on good manners, man! Take your pennies! You need them to support that mistress of yours and her kids." Or if some self-righteous village gossip came to him with a story about so-and-so, he would say; "But woman, you'd be worse than they are if you could find a fellow sinner" — and the sting of the reproof would not be lessened by its joking manner.

[Buddha and Buddhism] are far away from us, and this we must not forget. For Buddha, insight requires: exercises in meditation, a life of indifference toward the world and its tasks. It will not suffice to attempt a scientific experiment and see how much we can accomplish with a few Yoga exercises. Nor will it suffice to develop a mood of indifference to the world and devote ourselves to contemplation. Those who have not tested the progress of which they are capable by years of meditative exercises grounded in the proper faith and way of life, can understand only as much as is communicable in rational thought. In Buddha and Buddhism there flows a source which we Westerners have not tapped, and consequently there is a limit to our understanding. We must first of all acknowledge that Buddhism is far removed from us and renounce all quick, easy ways of coming closer to it. To participate in the essence of Buddha's truth, we should have to cease to be what we are. The difference lies not in rational positions but in the whole view of life and manner of thinking.
But the remoteness of Buddhism need not make us forget that we are all men, all facing the same questions of human existence. In Buddha and Buddhism a great solution was found and put into practice. Our task is to acquaint ourselves with it and as far as possible to understand it.... I believe such an understanding is possible if we avoid excessive haste and supposedly definitive interpretations. In understanding, we keep alive potentialities that are locked deep within ourselves, and by understanding we learn not to take our own historicity for the absolute, exclusive truth. To my mind everything that is said in the Buddhist text is addressed to a normal waking consciousness and must therefore be largely accessible to rational thought.
The fact is that Buddha's life was possible and that Buddhist life has been a reality in various parts of Asia down to our own day— this is a great and important fact. It points to the questionable essence of man. A man is not what he just happens to be; he is open. For him there is no one correct solution.

Change is certain. Peace is followed by disturbances; departure of evil men by their return. Such recurrences should not constitute occasions for sadness but realities for awareness, so that one may be happy in the interim.

Are we only to look at flowers in full bloom, at the moon when it is clear? Nay, to look out on the rain and long for the moon,
to draw the blinds and not to be aware of the passing of the spring — these arouse even deeper feelings. There is much to be seen in young boughs about to flower, in gardens strewn with withered blossom. Men are wont to regret that the moon has waned or that the blossoms have fallen, and this must be so; but they must be perverse indeed who will say, "This branch, that bough is withered, now there is nought to see."

The man of high rank joins with the lowly in an atmosphere of spontaneity and mutual confidence.

One might think that a man of genius could browse in the greatness of his own thoughts and dispense with the cheap applause of the mob which he despises. But actually he falls a victim to the more mighty herd instinct; his searching, his findings, and his call are inexorably meant for the crowd and must be heard.

The example of King I's decree that his younger sister must obey her outranked husband is presented. The modest union of the high and the low brings real satisfaction.

"What do you do all day?" he said.
"Teach music; I have another interest too."
"Work!" said old Jolyon, picking up the doll from off the swing, and smoothing its black petticoat. "Nothing like it, is there? I don't do any now. I'm getting on. What interest is that?"
"Trying to help women who've come to grief." Old Jolyon did not quite understand. "To grief?" he repeated; then realized with a shock that she meant exactly what he would have meant himself if he had used that expression. Assisting the Madgalenes of London! What a weird and terrifying interest! And, curiously overcoming his natural shrinking, he asked:
"Why? What do you do for them?"
"Not much. I've no money to spare. I can only give sympathy and food sometimes."
Involuntarily old Jolyon's hand sought his purse. He said hastily: "Flow d'you get hold of them?" "I go to a hospital."
"A hospital! Phew!"
"What hurts me most is that once they nearly all had some sort of beauty."

That which is called government, or rather that which we ought to conceive government to be, is no more than some common center in which all parts of society unite. This cannot be accomplished by any method so conducive to the various interests of the community, as by the representative system. It concentrates the knowledge necessary to the interest of the parts, and of the whole. It places government in a state of constant maturity. It is, as has already been observed, never young, never old. It is subject neither to nonage nor dotage. It is never in the cradle nor on crutches. It admits not of a separation between knowledge and power, and is superior, as government always ought to be, to all the accidents of individual man, and is therefore superior to what is called monarchy.

The government has long been in disarray. Despite all proclamations to the contrary, ill fortune is at hand. War will only aggravate the situation. The subject should submit to fate, keep inwardly free, and ameliorate the harm done to those nearest him. The bad time will pass.

Parked among benches of oak, in the nooks of the church
Which their breath foully cools, their eyes' red rims Toward the gilt-streaming choir and precentor's perch
Where twenty mouths are bawling the pious hymns, Inhaling the odor of wax like a perfume of bread, Happy, like beaten dogs humiliated,
The Poor to their patron and sire, the good God, Tender their laughable and stubborn "oremus."
For the women, it's really fine to smoothe these seats After six black days of suffering imposed from on high.
They cradle here, within their strange capes' pleats, Caricatures of children, weeping fit to die.
Their unwashed breasts exposed, these topers of soup, A prayer in their eyes, yet never saying a prayer, Observe parading shabbily a group
Of little street-girls with hats the worse for wear. Outside, cold, hunger, man the drunken lout. So it goes! An hour more. Later, nameless ills. —Meanwhile, there's a whining, shuffling, all about, From a bandage-swathed collection of old Jills. The dazed are there, and the epileptics, those From whom we turned aside in the squares yesterday, And, muzzling ancient missals with the nose, Those blind folk that a dog guides to an areaway. All, slobbering faith both beggarly and insane, Make their complaint to Jesus, infinitely, Who dreams on high, yellowed by the livid pane, Far from the scare-crows, the fat bad humanity,
Far from the stench of meat and fusty clothes, A prostrate farce, sombre with noisome doings; And prayer, with choice phrases, like a flower, grows,
And mysticisms take on the tone of suings, When, from naves where dies the sun, in folds of silk, Banal, with green smiles, Ladies, ah, the Daughters Of Fashion, — O Jesus! — see them, they come, the bilious - Their long yellow fingers kissing the holy waters.

The over-all judgment: heaven and earth are in harmony. The high and the low are united. The great, strong, and good elements are entering upon the scene and the small, weak, and evil departing.

We believe that according to our desire we are able to change the things round about us, we believe this because otherwise we can see no favourable solution. We forget the solution that generally comes to pass and is also favourable: we do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desire changes. The situation that we hoped to change because it was intolerable becomes unimportant. We have not managed to surmount the obstacle, as we were absolutely determined to do, but life has taken us round it, led us past it, and then if we turn round to gaze at the remote past, we can barely catch sight of it, so imperceptible has it become.

And as oft in some great concourse, when Sedition lifts her head and the nameless vulgar kindles to rage—when brands and stones are already flying, and fury ministers arms — if they chance to behold a man of reverend goodness and worth, on the instant all are mute; and about him they stand with listening ear, while he sways their spirit by his word and allays their passion: even so sank all that tumult of ocean, when Father Neptune looked forth on the waves, and, floating under a cloudless heaven, guided his steeds and flew outward, giving rein to his speeding car.
VERGIL, ROMAN (70-19 B.C.)

A sweet content
Passing all wisdom or its fairest flower.


  12. Stagnation. No progress. This hexagram refers to coping with difficult and stubborn situations where there seems to be no progress. The hexagram tells us how to relate to these times of darkness and difficulty. When we realize that there is no progress in our overall situation, tension and inner conflict arise. The remedy is to disengage yourself from looking at the situation. We do not abandon our principles or our goals. With inner calm restored, you can have the clarity you need to put things into perspective. Until then, nothing can be done.

The hexagram pushes you to adjust your attitude, as adjusting to the correct way can lead to a change in the situation. If the stalemate is rooted in our misconceptions, following the advice given by the hexagram will counteract the negative effects of those ideas. “Idle time” refers to the period before we became students of the I Ching, and all the ideas of the way things work that we had then. Receiving the hexagram is meant to make us reexamine ideas and values ​​that we have taken for granted. We are called to realize that the "Wheel of Fate" is stuck in the mud and that progress has stalled because we are still clinging to ideas that the I Ching considers decadent.

Receiving this hexagram also refers to times when we stand at a crossroads, wondering what direction or attitude will lead to progress. It is important not to linger at the crossroads of self-conflict, or to seek the precisely correct attitude, because the solution is not found that way. In all of this striving, the ego tries to find a way to make things work in order to stay in control. It is better to stop looking at the situation and continue on our way, being careful not to get caught up in either hope or despair. If we can accept that we are meant to persevere with patience, then Fate will show us the way.

Forefront: When the grass is pulled, it carries the sod with it… Perseverance brings good luck and success. The root of the problem is brought up (solved) when we disengage from looking at and attempting to influence the negative situation. The effect of disengagement is to deprive both our ego and someone else's of anything to contend with. Once the basis (root) of the problem is removed, the problem ceases to exist, and hence the analogy, "when the grass is pulled, it carries the sod with it." This is also the path of least resistance.

The ego draws its energy by perceiving itself as seen or heard, feared or loved, hated or envied, or any other feeling necessary to give a sense of power and importance. When those to whom a person is attached no longer acknowledge the ego, or feed it, it loses its power and falls away. For a time the ego seeks this recognition in substitutes, but this effort produces no real satisfaction. Ultimately the person is driven to grow and change.

Second Line: They tolerate and endure… good luck to the lesser people. This means tolerating and enduring the lower aspects of human nature, both in ourselves and in others. When witnessing the manifestation of people's lower nature, our lower ones (our childish self, with its inner voices) are discouraged by the course of events and complain. They cease to trust the power of inner truth and disengagement. They review old wounds and areas of inner exhaustion to argue that inaction doesn't work, even if they have never practiced creative inaction before. Through their self-adulation (comparing our condition with the seemingly better one of others) they call us to pursue self-interest, and they insist that we must "do something", for example correct our ambivalent attitude towards the situation that we have decided to be negative. Our inferiors argue that the problems are insurmountable and demand relief from them, if only to dismiss them as "hopeless." However, the Greater Man (higher self) is not swayed, he perseveres in the face of this danger and clings to his goal of saving others. Seeing his steadfastness and his courage, the inferiors take heart again and begin to cling to what is correct. This change puts an end to self-conflict and strife. Under the guidance of our Greater Man alienation and harshness are avoided,

Third Line: They bring shame. This line often means that because we have related to an issue correctly, someone who has misunderstood us or wronged us is beginning to have regrets, even if this is not apparent from the outside. The ideas he has allowed to "take over" have proved inadequate and he is quick to repudiate them.

Bearing patience with those who are returning to the right path means being tolerant and open-minded, but not interfering to facilitate their return. They are the ones who have to do the work. We are patient, but we maintain our steadfastness and our willingness to go it alone if circumstances require. In particular, we should avoid a soft, comfortable and careless relationship, in which we stop and wait for others to catch up. We must always maintain the integrity and independence of our path. If we look at the progress of others, or lack thereof, we overstep our limits and lose our inner independence.

“They bring shame” also refers to times when we have allowed our inferior (childish selves) to take over, because we have not resisted our pride and anger, only to find that it has had a negative effect. Seeing these negative effects, our inferiors are ashamed. We have allowed our inferiors to focus their attention on the unpleasant situation, and to demand that, in addition to making the correct adjustments, those who have offended us humble ourselves to our egos. People cannot respond to these requests from the ego, because doing so could compromise their spiritual integrity. Whenever our ego is involved, the people we want to change fail to improve or change. When we free people from our mental prison,

Fourth Line: He who acts at the command of those who are higher remains blameless. Our destiny works like a mathematical certainty. When we are correct and balanced, everything in the Cosmos comes to our aid. In craps there are times when every roll feels like magic and we win over and over again. Progress occurs this way when we are inwardly correct, but if we are not in harmony with ourselves, every move leads from obstacle to obstacle. Only inner growth leads to progress that springs from itself from time to time. Receiving this line indicates that we need to test whether our attitude leads to progress, or whether it remains entangled in the deadlock of convention. A properly balanced attitude is constant and independent, does not swerve presumptuously, as if we were gods exercising the power of beneficence (called "magnificence" in After the Completion, Hex. 63, Fifth Line), nor is it too harsh. When we focus on keeping our inner attitude innocent, pure, and alert, we allow the Sage to be the Great Playwright. Because we have the right attitude, we are called into action by events. We advance with the light (when people open up to us) and retreat with the dark (when their sensitivity decreases). Remaining without ambition, we serve the true and the good.

Fifth Line: He ties it to a tuft of mulberry sprouts. If we have humbly and conscientiously brought about change for the better, we can secure progress only by holding on to these attitudes with perseverance. Therefore, we must continue to examine ourselves and correct our mistakes. To tie things to mulberry shoots means to hold on to what is well rooted and strong (the true and the good): we hold on to the Higher Power, and we hold the attitude that whatever happens will lead us in the right direction. This perfect acceptance of events as means of the Creative, and trust in the power of the true and the good, defeat the negative effects of hope and fear, and guarantee success.

Sixth Line: The stalemate comes to an end. First setback, then good luck. Through the creative effort indicated in the previous five lines of this hexagram, we have the ability to change destiny and bring about better conditions throughout the world. The creative effort required is to always maintain our correct inner attitude. Thoughts that spring from a pure heart and mind automatically strike the hearts of others, like Cupid's arrows, influencing for good without their realizing it. Thus, the simple pain and embarrassment that comes from seeing the wrongdoings of others is conveyed with the great power of inner truth. Trying to produce these effects with conscious thoughts is, however, an abuse of power that has unfavorable results.

The inferior people are advancing. The man retires from public office in order to preserve his integrity. He brings along his associates, who are like the sod clinging to the uprooted grass.

O, for a draught of vintage! that hath been Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth, Tasting of Flora and the country green,
Dance, and Provencal song, and sunburnt mirth! 0 for a beaker full of the warm South,
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, And purple-stained mouth;
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow
And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond tomorrow.

The man achieves good fortune by patience and obedience to his superior, who resolves his uncertainties. The great man, however, acts independently in meeting the challenge of the circumstances.

This ... is about the organization man. If the term is vague, it is because I can think of no other way to describe the people I am talking about. They are not the workers, nor are they the white-collar people in the usual, clerk sense of the word. These people only work for The Organization. The ones I am talking about belong to it as well. They are the ones of our middle class who have left home, spiritually as well physically, to take the vows of organization life, and it is they who are the mind and soul of our great self-perpetuating institutions. Only a few are top managers or ever will be. In a system that makes such hazy terminology as "junior executive" psychologically necessary, they are of the staff as much as the line, and most are destined to live poised in a middle area that still awaits a satisfactory euphemism. But they are the dominant members of our society nonetheless. They have not joined together into a recognizable elite —our country does not stand still long enough for that — but it is from their ranks that are coming most of the first and second echelons of our leadership, and it is their values which will set the American temper.
The corporation man is the most conspicuous example, but he is only one, for the collectivization so visible in the corporation has affected almost every field of work. Blood brother to the business trainee off to join Du Pont is the seminary student who will end up in the church hierarchy, the doctor headed for the corporate clinic, the physics Ph.D. in a government laboratory, the intellectual on the foundation-sponsored team project, the engineering graduate in the huge drafting room at Lockheed, the young apprentice in a Wall Street law factory.
They are all, as they so often put it, in the same boat. Listen to them talk to each other over the front lawns of their suburbia and you cannot help but be struck by how well they grasp the common denominators
which bind them. Whatever the differences in their organization ties, it is the common problems of collective work that dominate their attentions, and when the Du Pont man talks to the research chemist or the chemist to the army man, it is these problems that are uppermost. The word collective most of them can't bring themselves to use ... but they are keenly aware of how much more deeply beholden they are to organization than were their elders. They are wry about it, to be sure; they talk of the "treadmill," the "rat race," of the inability to control one's direction.
But they have no great sense of plight; between themselves and organization they believe they see an ultimate harmony and, more than most elders recognize, they are building an ideology that will vouchsafe this trust.

I know perfectly well that success is impossible for me if I cannot write as my heart dictates, free of any outside influence whatsoever, without having to keep in mind that I'm writing for Paris and not for the inhabitants of, say, the moon. Furthermore, the singers would have to sing as I wish, not as they wish, and the chorus, which, to be sure, is extremely capable, would have to show the same goodwill. A single will would have to rule throughout: my own. That may seem rather tyrannical to you, and perhaps it is. But if the work is an organic whole, it is built on a single idea and everything must contribute to the achievement of this unity. You may perhaps say that nothing stands in the way of all that in Paris. No! In Italy it can be done, or at least I can always do it; but in France: no. For example, if I come into the foyer of an Italian theater with a new work, no one ventures to utter an opinion, to pass judgment, before understanding everything thoroughly. And no one would even dare to make inappropriate requests. There is respect for the work and for the composer, and decisions are left to the public.
In the foyer of the Opera, on the other hand, everybody starts to whisper after the first four chords: Oh, ce n'est pas bon . . . C'est comun, ce n'est pas de bon gout . . . Ce n'ire pas a Paris. What do such pitiable words as commun . de bon gout . Paris mean, if you're dealing with a real work of art, which should belong to the whole world!
The conclusion from all this is that I'm no composer for Paris.

The man feels inwardly ashamed for having acquired his position illegitimately. But he does not have the strength to carry out his evil purpose.

Do you realize what it is that is causing world chaos? ... it's Nature hitting back. Not with the old weapons—floods, plagues, holocausts. We can neutralize them. She's fighting back with strange instruments called neuroses. She's deliberately affecting mankind with the jitters. Nature is proving that she can't be beaten —not by the likes of us. She's taking the world away from the intellectuals and giving it back to the apes.

A turn for the better occurs. To succeed in creating order and making progress, however, the man must be given the requisite authority to do the task. He will fail if he proceeds on his own initiative and judgment.

From the nature of despotic power it follows that the single person, invested with this power, delegates the execution of it also to a single person. A man whose five senses continually inform him that he himself is everything and that his subjects are nothing, is naturally lazy, voluptuous, and ignorant. In consequence of this, he neglects the management of public affairs. But were he to commit the administration to many, there would be continual disputes among them; each would form intrigues to be his first slave; and he would be obliged to take the reins into his own hands. It is, therefore, more natural for him to resign it to a vizier, and to invest him with the same power as himself. The creation of a vizier is a fundamental law of this government.

The man brings order and progress to the situation. He exhibits coolheadedness and caution during the transition and maintains contingency plans in readiness.

Oh! 'tis easy To beget great deeds; but in the rearing of them—The threading in cold blood each mean detail, And furze brake of half-pertinent circumstance —There lies the self-denial.

In old times there was a certain petty monarch of the name of Jayadatta, and there was born to him a son, named Devadatta. And that wise king, wishing to marry his son, who was grown up, thus reflected: "The prosperity of kings is very unstable, being like a courtesan to be enjoyed by force; but the prosperity of merchants is like a woman of good family; it is steady and does not fly to another man. Therefore I will take a wife to my son from a merchant's family, in order that misfortune may not overtake his throne, though it is surrounded with many relations." Having formed this resolve, that king sought for his son the daughter of a merchant in Pataliputra named Vasudatta. Vasudatta for his part, eager for such a distinguished alliance, gave that daughter of his to the prince, though he dwelt in a remote foreign land.
And he loaded his son-in-law with wealth to such an extent that he no longer felt much respect for his father's magnificence. Then King Jayadatta dwelt happily with that son of his who had obtained the daughter of that rich merchant. Now one day the merchant Vasudatta came, full of desire to see his daughter, to the palace of his connection by marriage, and took away his daughter to his own home. Shortly after the King Jayadatta suddenly went to heaven, and that kingdom was seized by his relations, who rose in rebellion; through fear of them his son Devadatta was secretly taken away by his mother during the night to another country.
Then that mother, distressed in soul, said to the prince: "Our feudal lord is the emperor who rules the eastern region; repair to him, my son; he will procure you the kingdom."
When his mother said this to him, the prince answered her: "Who will respect me if I go there without attendants?" When she heard that, his mother went on to say: "Go to the house of your father-in-law, and get money there, and so procure followers; and then repair to the emperor." Being urged in these words by his mother, the prince, though full of shame, slowly plodded on and reached his father-in-law's house in the evening. But he could not bear to enter at such an unseasonable hour, for he was afraid of shedding tears, being bereaved of his father and having lost his worldly splendor; besides, shame withheld him.
So he remained in the veranda of an almshouse nearby, and at night he suddenly beheld a woman descending with a rope from his father-in-law's house, and immediately he recognized her as his wife, for she was so resplendent with jewels that she looked like a meteor fallen from the clouds; and he was much grieved thereat. But she, though she saw him, did not recognize him, as he was emaciated and begrimed, and asked him who he was. When he heard that, he answered: "I am a traveler." Then the merchant's daughter entered the almshouse, and the prince followed her secretly to watch her. There she advanced toward a certain man, and he toward her, and asking why she had come so late, he bestowed several kicks on her. Then the passion of the wicked woman was doubled, and she appeased him, and remained with him on the most affectionate terms.
When he saw that, the discreet prince reflected:
"This is not the time for me to show anger, for I have other affairs in hand; and how could I employ against these two contemptible creatures, this wife of mine and the man who has done me this wrong, this sword which is to be used against my foes? Or what quarrel have I with this adulteress, for this is the work of malignant desire that showers calamities upon me, showing skill in the game of testing my firmness? It is my marriage with a woman below me in rank that is in fault, not the woman herself; how can a female crow leave the male crow to take pleasure in a cuckoo?"
Thus reflecting, he allowed that wife of his to remain in the society of her paramour; for in the minds of heroes possessed with an ardent desire of victory, of what importance is woman, valueless as a straw? But at the moment when his wife ardently embraced her paramour there fell from her ear an ornament thickly studded with valuable jewels. And she did not observe this, but at the end of her interview, taking leave of her paramour, returned hurriedly to her house as she came. And that unlawful lover also departed somewhere or other.
Then the prince saw that jeweled ornament, and took it up; it flashed with many jewel-gleams, dispelling the gathering darkness of despondency, and seemed like a hand-lamp obtained by him to assist him in searching for his lost prosperity. The prince immediately perceived that it was very valuable, and went off, having obtained all he required, to Kanyakubja; there he pledged that ornament for a hundred thousand gold pieces, and after buying horses and elephants went into the presence of the emperor. And with the troops which he gave him he marched, and slew his enemies in fight, and recovered his father's kingdom; and his mother applauded his success.
Then he redeemed from pawn that ornament, and sent it to his father-in-law to reveal that unsuspected secret; his father-in-law, when he saw that earring of his daughter's, which had conic to him in such a way, was confounded, and showed it to her. She looked upon it, lost long ago like her own virtue; and when she heard that it had been sent by her husband she was distracted, and called to mind the whole circumstance: "This is the very ornament which I let fall in the almshouse the night I saw that unknown traveler standing there; so that must undoubtedly have been my husband come to test my virtue, but I did not recognize him, and he picked up this ornament."
While the merchant's daughter was going through this train of reflection, her heart, afflicted by the misfortune of her unchastity having been discovered, in its agony, broke. Then her father artfully questioned a maid of hers who knew all her secrets, and found out the truth, and so ceased to mourn for his daughter; as for the prince, after he recovered the kingdom, he obtained as wife the daughter of the emperor, won by his virtues, and enjoyed the highest prosperity.

Stagnation and disintegration give way to happiness and progress. But they may not last long.

But perhaps by accumulation of this steady, smooth massaging of the nerves, perhaps because, as the dance goes on he comes to less sober tunes, the saxophonist climbs imperceptibly to a new step, the sliding dance becomes more jaunty. Then suddenly I hear the real note of the saxophone, unforgettable, high, and clear, as if from a heart of brass, the new thing, the thing we have come to hear. To me it has quite passed out of humanity, this famous upper register, but it is still near enough for me to understand; piercing, musical, the cry of a faun that is beautiful and hurt. The leader tips his instrument into the air; he blows with all his force but his cheeks remain pale. He is now at the height of his art. The voice of our age has come through his lips through this marvelous instrument. He is a priest possessed with a half-human god, endlessly sorrowful, yet utterly sentimental. Incapable of regret, with no past, no memory, no future, no hope. The sound pricks the dancers, parts their lips, puts spring into their march. These unexpressive, unethical, unthinking men have discovered their unethical, unsentimental reaction to our age.
This is the thing that makes the saxophone great and brings fortune and ruin to its players. But it is changeable instrument and can feign many things. Then, in spite of its nature, the saxophone seems to brood and almost regret the years that have brought it to favor, the war, the peace, and this state to which Europe through its own fault has come; and ghosts of broken promises and broken soldiers seem sadly to look over the shoulders of the dancers.
Every beat of the impeccable rhythm is heavy with the tread of the armies of Somme and Marne, and under it the heavy echo of the unarmed millions of Russians marching to Tannenberg. Then the saxophone seems burdened with an illusory despair; other days before Europe was ruined rise up before this assembly of those who were not ruined.
But this mood is fancy and the saxophone will not allow it long. It turns with a curve into "I Don't Care," or "Let's Pretend"; not even regretting our regrets, absorbed in the present, that owes no debts either to the irretrievable past or to the incomprehensible future, it strikes up "Rambler Rose," the latest fox-trot, the march past of our age. That is more to our taste, we modern Europeans, that oppose to the dangers with which we are beleaguered not fear, nor courage, only impossibility; and who have substituted for human aspiration that needs belief this innocence of the faun, behind the saxophone. So, for the supreme expression of our hard, unreflective joys, we have chosen this instrument. Our fathers left it uncompreh ended; our children will shiver at it, and discard it again. For the present it makes audible the spirit of our age.

The over-all judgment: there is a want of communication between those above and those below. Growth is at an end. The way of the inferior man increases, while that of the superior man decreases. The latter retires from the scene to retain his principles.

The Ephesians would do well to hang themselves, every grown man of them, and leave the city to beardless lads; for they have cast out Hermodoros, the best among them, saying, "We will have none who is best among us; if there be any such, let him be so elsewhere and among others."

Political corruption is not a matter of men or classes or education or character of any sort; it is a matter of pressure. Wherever the pressure is brought to bear, society and government cave in. The problem, then, is one of discovering and dealing with the cause or the source of the pressure to buy and corrupt.

Chuang-tzu was one day fishing, when the Prince of Ch'u sent two high officials to interview him, saying that His Highness would be glad of Chuang-tzu's assistance in the administration of his government. The latter quietly fished on, and without looking around, replied: "I have heard that in the state of Ch'u there is a sacred tortoise, which has been dead three thousand years, and which the Prince keeps packed up in a box on the altar, in his ancestral shrine. Now do you think that tortoise would rather be dead and have its remains thus honored, or be alive and wagging its tail in the mud?" The two officials answered that no doubt it would rather be alive and wagging its tail in the mud; whereupon Chuang-tzu cried out: "Begone! I, too, elect to remain, wagging my tail in the mud."


  13. Friendship. True friendship is based on friendship with the Wise. Excluding the Sage there can be no true or lasting friendship. The fire flaming towards the sky provides the image of comrades gathered in friendship, around a campfire, or a hearth. The attainment of peace and harmony with one's fellows is the natural urge of the human heart. This hexagram indicates gentleness and refinement of spirit, and the sense of humanity known in Confucianism as jên.

Friendship with men outdoors. Success. This means that friendship exists only by being open. The phrase "outdoors" specifies what makes true friendship possible. This idea is reaffirmed and elaborated in the first line by the statement «the basic principles of any kind of union must be equally accessible to all concerned. Secret deals bring bad luck." Treatises and contracts come to mind in which the fears, doubts and expectations of each party are brought out into the open. If all parties try to address these issues sincerely, an agreement based on just principles and mutual trust can be successfully established. Harboring secret reservations, or being evasive for selfish purposes, ruins any chance of making fair and just deals.

Clan friendship refers to hidden reservations and elements of factionalism with which a person seeks to protect his own interests (or those of his group) at the expense of others. We often receive this line when we are reluctant to go the way of the Sage due to this mistrust. The Third Line, hiding weapons in a bush, illustrates a type of hidden reserve or element of factionalism. One party withholds a “weapon” because it mistrusts the situation. For example, he calls a meeting on an innocent pretext, knowing that he intends to ambush others with accusations and claims.

The commentary on the hexagram focuses on the idea that lasting union, whether it is between us and God, between husband and wife, or between distant relatives, must be based on universal interests. This refers to a point of view which anyone, reflecting on what is right, would agree that it is right and proper. Petty likes and dislikes and judgments based on trivial considerations are set aside in favor of the essentials of the matter.

Often we receive this hexagram when some adjustment or change in attitude is needed, or when we need to review the basic principles of "friendship between men", to be sure that what we ask of others is correct, or when we need to seek reservations hidden in our attitude, which isolates us from the Wise. Typical of such reservations are blueprints for what we will do if the advice of the I Ching doesn't work for us, or what we will do if the changes we desire don't materialize in a time frame we think is reasonable.

Secret reservations in attitude are considered bias. In learning about the different forms of factionalism we quickly realize that, by correcting our relationship with the Sage, we correct all our relationships. Indeed, our relationship with the Sage is the model for all human relationships. Consulting the I Ching lightly, just to see what it says, is a partisanship in which we form an alliance with our ego that excludes the Sage. This insulates us from the help the Sage can give, for he cannot relate to such arrogance. Partisanship exists when we decide, in our hearts, to pursue something that is not right, and when we sacrifice the greater good to obtain a lesser benefit. Partisanship exists when we get help from the Sage without accepting any responsibility to lead by example. Partisanship exists when we use the I Ching as a tool for selfish ends. Many beginning students of the I Ching have an inner need for the Sage to prove himself before giving up distrust. They hold back with an attitude of defiance. The Essay, under such circumstances, remains confidential. Though the Sage does not require that we believe in his existence, he cannot, with dignity, satisfy an arrogant distrust. In the face of such attitude defects the beginning student often finds variations in his relationship with the Sage. When he is sincere and open, he understands the hexagrams and draws nourishment from them. When distrustful, the Sage withdraws and the lines of the I Ching become incomprehensible.

Following the principles of friendship does not mean that we are obligated to like people when our inner feelings are opposite, nor does it mean that we have to regard people as credible before they have made us aware of their credibility. In business we are not obliged to grant credit or trust before customers have proven their credibility and reliability. Just as the Sage "meets" us only halfway, in response to our sincerity and earnestness (see Meeting, Hex. 44), similarly we must remain secretive and reticent when others are not sincere and open with us . All "meetings" (friendships) must be carefully evaluated in order to avoid giving in to flattery and subtle seductions implicit in social conventions.

Partisanship always gives rise to negativity. When we have secret reservations based on a general distrust of people, we not only arouse their distrust, but also ensure that a satisfactory relationship cannot occur, simply because of the actively threatening power of doubt. We inadvertently do the trustworthy person an injustice, and mentally bind the unreliable person to his unreliable ways. Mistrust traps the distrusted in unfavorable response patterns. We can have a creative effect on the unreliable person if we are willing, after recognizing his wrong attitude of him, to turn the matter over to the Cosmos, and return to our neutral attitude. From then on, we will neither believe nor be disbelieving, but we will relate to him with caution and reserve until he has changed his ways. We won't measure his progress, but we will react to his moment-to-moment display, staying in tune with his personality eclipses. We will respond sincerely and openly when he is sincere and open, we will retreat into non-participation when he regresses into suspicion, indifference and insensitivity.

The only reservations of attitude which we can rightfully have in any relationship are those which conform to natural and universal morality. We always reserve our dignity and self-respect, and do only what accords with our moral limits. If we have not been morally corrected in the past and discover our error, we retreat and correct ourselves. No immoral agreement is binding, and every Cosmic law safeguards our shun from evil.

Other forms of partisanship occur when we try to achieve unity with someone by excluding others, when we tolerate bad behavior in some but are harsh when others transgress, when we hold back thoughts that make others feel inferior, when we assume rights over people or things : our children, our companions, animals. We have no right to abuse, degrade or humiliate anything or anyone. Among the Western customs considered decadent by the Sage are those which give us the sensation of being the masters of the universe, and that the Earth and its inhabitants were made exclusively for our use and consumption. Our rightful purpose is to serve the Higher Power in bringing order to the myriad things of creation.

First line: Friendship among the men at the gate. No fault. The foundation of lasting unity is openness. Receiving this line reminds us to look for undeclared unfair conditions in our attitude, but it also reminds us to guard against unspoken feelings and expectations that others may have of us. If we are attentive to the beginning of the friendship, even though the extra effort may seem petty and annoying, the agreements and partnerships we make will prove more satisfying than those we rush into carelessly and hastily. Too easy relationships always contain hidden assumptions and expectations.

This line also refers to the secret reserves of attitude we have in our relationships. There are secret reservations when we set a time limit for the realization of our goals; when we are tempted to abandon the path, because it is more difficult than we expected; when, after realizing the time and effort it takes, we doubt it's worth it; when we doubt that the goal can or should be achieved. All these thoughts threaten perseverance. Hidden behind a grandiose image, the ego feels superior as it weighs and judges the leadership of the Sage. This conceit is based on a secret agreement between us and our ego that we have allowed to develop: this factionalism rules out open and sincere communion with the Sage.

Another secret reserve occurs when we wait in ambush to force our thoughts into others. If people are not receptive, we must remain private.

No divergent goals have yet emerged. If only this line is drawn, the hexagram transforms into "withdrawal," meaning that we must withdraw from the thought of abandoning our goal of saving others. Thinking about changing our goals midway through is a “divergent goal”.

Second Line: Friendship in the clan. Humiliation. This line indicates that we harbor biased thoughts. For example, we criticize others but fail to correct ourselves; we feel we have special rights and privileges over others, we hesitate to wait for the appointed time to bring about the rescue of those with whom we have inner connections. If we don't believe our goal of unity can be achieved, we quickly settle for one of the factions. We ignore our obligation to do the right thing, and instead do what is comfortable and pleasurable, and while we agree with the principles of the I Ching, we perpetuate the comfortable habit of the decadent tradition. In all of these we choose the clan (that which is comfortable) over that which is universally true and good. Clan friendship also refers to forming a unity with another while he remains unfair; we form a faction with desire, excluding the Wise.

Third Line: He hides weapons in a bush… He doesn't get up for three years. This line can refer to someone who has secret distrusts or bad intentions, or to our distrust of him, or of the basic direction of the I Ching. True friendship is always more difficult because distrust is fortified by failure and failure is ensured by distrust.

This line also refers to being wary of yourself. One feels unable to bring things to completion, or to correct oneself, or to be of service to that which is higher. Here, our ego makes a last-ditch effort to compress our will so we can regain control. The illusion is created that you are powerless in front of him. This illusion becomes true only if we believe the claims of the ego. To defeat the power of the ego we must seek help from the Wise and, meanwhile, remain persevering. Patient acceptance of the situation will allow us to acquire the clarity necessary to overcome the doubts raised by our ego.

Fourth Line: Climbs its wall, can't attack. Good luck. This line indicates that misunderstandings divide people. Since their problems seem insurmountable, they give up on each other (they no longer attack). While it's not okay for them to give up on each other, it's better for them to stay apart than to keep fighting.

This line also refers to being tempted to give up our relationship with another person. It tells us that despite all the difficulties and mistakes, we will succeed, if we persevere.

Fifth Line: Men linked in friendship… After great struggles they manage to meet. Two people separated by the course of life are destined to be reunited at the given moment when their problems are resolved. The answer to the inner question: “Is it meant to solve my problems with this person?” is “Yes, finally,” but now we have to be patient.

The line also means that we have to work out our issues with all men. We shouldn't give up on anyone. This also means that we must not deem anyone an adversary. If we keep someone away with our inner eye, we may be afraid that they will approach us. We could keep him away with different defensive strategies. We must abandon our armored attitude (which The Power of the Great, Hex. 34, refers to as a goat) and adopt a just and moderate view of his mistakes and transgressions.

Sixth Line: Friendship with men in the meadow. No remorse. Here we see that the way of the Sage is the only way forward. However, because we still have doubts, we fail to attain the happiness that comes from a truly enlightened understanding that clearly sees the great power that comes from following the path of true and good. The way of the Sage appears to be more difficult than it is.

Attempts are made at open friendship.

To sit with the long face That tries to look wise
Is not congenial To good fellowship
So much as a loud drinking song.

Because of special privileges and factions, only a limited fellowship is realized. Regrets and problems result.

"The Jews," replied Lamia, "are profoundly attached to their ancient customs. They suspected you, unreasonably I admit, of a desire to abolish their laws and change their usages. Do not resent it, Pontius, if I say that you did not always act in such a way as to disperse their unfortunate illusion. It gratified you, despite your habitual self-restraint, to play upon their fears, and more than once have I seen you betray in their presence the contempt with which their beliefs and religious ceremonies inspired you. You irritated them particularly by giving instructions for the sacerdotal garments and ornaments of their high priest to be kept in ward by your legionnaires in the Antonine tower. One must admit that though they have never risen like us to an appreciation of things divine, the Jews celebrate rites which their very antiquity renders venerable."
Pontius Pilate shrugged his Shoulders.
"They have very little exact knowledge of the nature of the gods," he said. "They worship Jupiter, yet they abstain from naming him or erecting a statue of him. They do not even adore him under the semblance of a rude stone, as certain of the Asiatic peoples are wont to do. They know nothing of Apollo, of Neptune, of Mars, nor of Pluto, nor of any goddess. At the same time, I am convinced that in the days gone by they worshipped Venus. For even to this day their women bring doves to the altar as victims; and you know as well as I that the dealers who trade beneath the arcades of their temple supply those birds in couples for sacrifice. I have even been told that on one occasion some madman proceeded to overturn the stalls bearing their offerings, and their owners with them. The priests raised an outcry about it, and looked on it as a case of sacrilege. I am of the opinion that their custom of sacrificing turtle-doves was instituted in honor of Venus. Why are you laughing, Lam is?"
"I was laughing," said Lamia, "at an amusing idea which, I hardly know how, just occurred to me. 1 was thinking that perchance some day the Jupiter of the Jews might come to Rome and vent his fury upon you. Why should he not? Asia and Africa have already enriched us with a considerable number of gods. We have seen temples in honor of Isis and the dog-faced Anubis erected in Rome. In the public square, and even on the race-courses, you may run (96113
across the Bona Dea of the Syrians mounted on an ass. And did you never hear how, in the reign of Tiberius, a young patrician passed himself off as the horned Jupiter of the Egyptians, Jupiter Ammon, and in this disguise procured the favors of an illustrious lady who was too virtuous to deny anything to a god? Beware, Pontius, lest the invisible Jupiter of the Jews disembark some day on the quay at Ostia!"

SAXONY. Where am I brought? T'a Roman prison. Death!
Is this the place! Hold, minister of horror, Why all this cruelty?
FIRST PRIEST. Ask when you feel it.
SAXONY. Bold slave, is this an answer for a prince?
FIRST PRIEST. Bold prince, is this an answer for a priest?

Mistrust ensues. The man conceals his weapons, plans an ambush, but dares not come forth.

Statesmen have always been eager to accept from the theologian and the philosopher the correct formulation of the ethical precepts that should guide foreign policy, and since the seventeenth century all power politics has, therefore, been presented not as a crude attempt to survive in a tough world but as a noble endeavor aimed at the establishment of political equilibrium and the preservation of order.
Formulated in those terms the success has not been overwhelming. We might search for an explanation in the fact that the process is not guaranteed and that not all statesmen are good technicians, but it is per-. haps safer to explain the result on the theory that they were not really interested in achieving a balance. There are not many instances in history which show great and powerful states creating alliances and organizations to limit their own strength. States are always engaged in curbing the force of some other state. The truth of the matter is that states are interested only in a balance which is in their favor. Not an equilibrium, but a generous margin is their objective. There is no real security in being just as strong (97(13
as a potential enemy; there is security only in being a little stronger. There is no possibility of action if one's strength is fully checked; there is a chance for a positive foreign policy only if there is a margin of force which can be freely used.

The man mounts his city wall, but is afraid to embark on aggression. The antagonists consider the difficulties and yield to right and law. Reconciliation is imminent.

Peace through stalemate based on a coincident recognition by each side of the opponent's strength is at least preferable to peace through common exhaustion — and has often provided a better foundation for lasting peacè....
Where the two sides are too evenly matched to offer a reasonable chance of early success to either, the statesman is wise who can learn something from the psychology of strategy, if you find your opponent in a strong position costly to force, you should leave him a line of retreat—as the quickest way of loosening his resistance.

After considerable difficulties, the man collects his forces and overcomes the obstacles to the union of men. Sadness gives way to joy.

The frightful thing about war is that, as a subject, it's inexhaustible. One's eye is always being caught by some new aspect of the business. My real point is this: that for the men in the trenches—for all of them, that is, who are above the purely animal level, for whom, as you must see for yourself, it is most necessary to find an explanation— the idea that they must stay where they are and get on with their job because there is no real alternative is not enough to keep them in spirits, to prevent their moral collapse. Each one of them has got to find some effective suggestion that will touch him personally, some thought, some fixed idea, the secret of which is known to him alone, the essence of which he can absorb drop by drop. Sometimes he has several among which he can take his choice. No sooner does one begin to lose its potency than he can change over to others. Take my own case, for instance. For quite a while I managed very comfortably on the idea that I was the kind of man who could "rise superior to circumstances" — the circumstances in question being partly composed of mental distress, partly of bodily discomfort. "I'd like," said I, "to see those circumstances to which I could not rise superior!" While shrapnel pattered round me ... I would recite to myself like a sort of magic formula, those terrific lines of Horace:
Si fractus illabatur orbis Impavidum ferient ruinae ..
It really is a magic formula. And then, one day, it no longer worked. My mental distress became too great, my fear became too great, and I just wanted to burst into tears and cry "Mama!" like a little boy.... Then take the young second lieutenant fresh from Saint-Cyr, all innocence and splendid bravery, who says to himself: "If France is conquered, life will be impossible. I shall feel personally dishonoured. Far rather would I have my name on a headstone with the words: 'Died on the field of honour,' than live on disgraced." Another example is that of the reservist with a taste for serious reading and an equipment of large-hearted ideals, the kind of man who says to himself: "This is the war that will end war. We are bringing peace to the whole world. Thanks to our sacrifice, our children will be spared knowledge of such horrors." Standing next to him in the same trench will be some fellow who thinks: "This is the end of the world. We're all in for it. What does it matter if I get killed a little sooner or a little later?" Another there may be who believes in a coming reign of justice, who is still convinced that victory for the democracies will mean freedom for the oppressed everywhere in the world, the end of the domination of money and social iniquity, who would be willing even to die if only he could be sure that his death would mean greater happiness for men yet unborn. Then there's the sentimentalist, for whom nothing counts but personal relationships, whose world is made up of just a few dear friends, who argues: "Most of my pals are dead. If they all go, what is there left to live for?"
There's the man whose wife left him as soon as he was called up, and ran off with someone else; who gets no letters and no parcels; who feels himself too old to start life afresh, who would just as soon be dead, for whom the very fact of danger is a distraction, because it gives him the illusion that life is still sweet. There is the man who exists in a world of dreams and takes things as they come. "Everything is predestined," says he; "I always knew it. No use fighting against fate. We must just go with the tide." There is the man who never had a chance, who has always felt himself to be the victim of injustice and insult, who has always envied the good fortune of others, who so relishes the taste of equality bred of a general misery that he pays but lip service to the desire for peace with all the bitterness that it will bring for him in its train. Close beside him is another in whom the war has waked a deep-seated strain of pessimism, who thinks sincerely: "The universe is a foul absurdity. It was always pretty obvious, but the war has proved it beyond the shadow of a doubt. Why cling to a foul absurdity?" or: "Humanity is the work of the Devil, a blot on the face of the earth, born for murder and self-slaughter. So much the worse for humanity (and for me, who am part of humanity and so of the whole putrescent mess)." There is the fanatical Catholic, who thinks: "This is God's punishment wrought on a corrupt and faithless generation. If God has decided that I too must pay the penalty, even for the faults of others, who am Ito question His will?" There is the gentle Catholic, who carries tucked away in his pack a tiny edition of the Imitation, who, when night falls, says his prayers in his shellhole, very quietly, so that no one shall notice him, and murmurs: "Let me suffer, as You suffered, Jesu mine. Why should I be spared, since You suffered a thousand deaths hanging on Your cross? Give me strength that I may be not too unworthy of You." Finally, there is the Man ... who says: "All that matters to me in this world is the language of France, the cathedrals of our French countryside, the quays of the Seine, landscapes that can be found nowhere else in the world, a way of life that is unique. If all that is to be taken away, life has no longer any point. lf, by dying, I can ensure that all these things will live on after me, then death is right and proper...." Picture to yourself trench after trench filled with men thinking such thoughts, and you will find the answer to your question.... That is why Verdun still stands.

"Winning" in a conflict does not have a strictly competitive meaning; it is not winning relative to one's adversary. It means gaining relative to one's own value system; and this may be done by bargaining, by mutual accommodation, and by the avoidance of mutually damaging behavior.

The man achieves fellowship, but only with those nearby. Simply because mankind has not yet attained universal brotherhood, however, is no ground for remorse.

I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolator in worshiping his piece of wood? But what is worship? thought 1. Do you suppose now, Ishmael, that the magnanimous God of heaven and earth—pagans and all included —can possibly be jealous of an insignificant bit of black wood? Impossible! But what is worship? — to do the will of God — that is worship. And what is the will of God? — to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man do to me— that is the will of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish that this Queequeg would do to me? Why, unite with me in my particular form of worship. Consequently, I must then unite with him in his; ergo, I must turn idolator.

The over-all judgment: the harmonious union among men is based upon the universal goals of humanity, openly pursued by a persevering and selfless leader. Because of this fellowship, difficult enterprises can be undertaken.

Except that all its events were happy, this day was not essentially unlike Feisal's every day.... The roads to Wejh swarmed with envoys and volunteers and great sheikhs riding in to swear allegiance.... Feisal swore new adherents solemnly on the Koran between his hands, "to wait while he waited, march when he marched, to yield obedience to no Turk, to deal kindly with all who spoke Arabic (whether Bagdadi, Alleppine, Syrian, or pure-blooded) and to put independence above life, family, and goods."
He also began to confront them at once, in his presence, with their tribal enemies, and to compose their feuds. An account of profit and loss would be struck between the parties, with Feisal modulating and interceding between them, and often paying the balance, or contributing towards it from his own funds, to hurry on the pact. During the two years Feisal so laboured daily, putting together and arranging in their natural order the innumerable tiny pieces which made up Arabian society, and combining them into his one design of war against the Turks. There was no blood feud left active in any of the districts through which he had passed, and he was Court of Appeal, ultimate and unchallenged, for western Arabia.
He showed himself worthy of this achievement. He never gave a partial decision, nor a decision so impracticably just that it must lead to disorder. No Arab ever impugned his judgments or questioned his wisdom and competence in tribal business. By patiently sifting out right and wrong, by his tact, his wonderful memory, he gained authority over the Nomads from Medina to Damascus and beyond. He was recognized as a force transcending tribe, superseding blood chiefs, greater than jealousies. The Arab movement became in the best sense national, since within it all Arabs were as one, and for it private interests must be set aside.

Whatever opinion is held concerning the vitality of capitalism itself, whatever the life span predicted for it, it is bound to withstand the onslaughts of its enemies and its own irrationality much longer than essentially untenable export monopolism — untenable even from the capitalist point of view. Export monopolism may perish in revolution, or it may be peacefully relinquished; this may happen soon, or it may take some time and require desperate struggle; but one thing is certain— it will happen. This will immediately dispose of neither warlike instincts nor structural elements and organizational forms oriented toward war—and it is to their dispositions and domestic interests that, in my opinion, much more weight must be given in every concrete case of imperialism than to export monopolist interests, which furnish the financial "outpost skirmishes"— a most appropriate term— in many ways. But such factors will be politically overcome in time, no matter what they do to maintain among the people a sense of constant danger of war, with the war machine forever primed for action. And with them, imperialisms will wither and die.

…an energetic myth, a permanent motive to which the mass adheres and which the mass elaborates upon. These solidify vague conceptions into figures, notions into judgments and formulas; and though they may rarely create the language of history, they often create its legends and proverbs.


  14. Possession in Great Measure. Now you understand. Possession to a large extent refers to the state of self-possession and inner independence that we have achieved through perseverance and sincere pursuit of the right way. In this state we have unconsciously manifested the Higher Power.

Possession to a great extent also refers to an improvement in our attitude or circumstances. Inner independence is a good that comes from overcoming self-pity; the correct path is a good that results when we withdraw from wrong actions; a feeling of self-worth is an asset that comes from self-discipline and self-development. Other assets include relief from money problems, and reuniting with someone we have been apart for some time.

This hexagram unequivocally states that if we really possess something, it cannot be lost or destroyed. What we have achieved, the progress achieved through our hard work, cannot be lost, despite temporary setbacks.

Breakdowns in our relationships offer opportunities to improve attitudes and to learn cosmic lessons. Sometimes the situation is similar to losing your credit card. We cannot know when the card will be returned to us, but this hexagram assures us that the renewal of a relationship does not depend only on our creditworthiness, but also on that of the other. In any case, the report will be restored when the time is right.

The fire in the sky shines far away… it describes the effect on others of having achieved clarity of mind, detachment, and the inner strength that the I Ching calls "possession in great measure." This effect is not something that can be created through intention, or effort, but occurs when we are in harmony with ourselves, and therefore with the Cosmos.

One of our primary goals is to hold a spiritual "great possession," or to be in harmony with the Creative. This harmony exists as long as, in the depths of our minds, we conscientiously serve the true and the good. While our principles may require us to withdraw from others and go it alone, we must remain open to them. In recognizing what is wrong, we make no attempt to justify or ignore their wrong actions, yet we hold a fair and moderate view of them. We do not condemn or mentally execute them, nor do we keep them forever in a mental prison. In the face of evil we are careful not to be infected by the inferior thing, but we withdraw and maintain our standards without falling back into alienation or vengeance.

Possession to a large extent means that power accompanies our inner sense of the truth of situations. Acknowledging that a bad thing is taking place brings with it the full impact of the punishment mentioned in Biting (Hex. 21) and the imprisonment mentioned in The Wayfarer (Hex. 56). It is important, in light of this power, that we ensure that our thoughts remain moderate and just, because if infected with anger, feelings of revenge, or alienation, we abuse the power, creating new obstacles, setbacks, and injustices. Power for good is inextricably linked with a moderate point of view and a modest attitude.

The attainment of possession is largely the result of continuous and conscientious effort. Through this effort we "meet" the Creative halfway and then invoke his help. In putting 100% effort into fighting our ego, we form a 50/50 alliance with the Creative.

Once this alliance is formed, we must be careful not to abuse the power generated. The danger is that having inner freedom, we can become too cold; with detachment, we become too hard; having inner strength we think we are entitled to feelings of contempt and alienation. Having a sense of the truth of things, we can intervene to "straighten" them. By achieving success we may think that we "did it" on our own. At the very height of great possession (a state of mind we are barely aware of), our ego tries to sing victory. We must not forget that our success is actually a gift from the Higher Power.

If, in a state of "possession," we sacrifice our right to justifiable anger, and renounce any feelings of self-pity, along with the right to defend our questioned point of view, we will have succeeded in remaining modest, thereby honor our teacher and guide, the Sage.

Another temptation, once we begin to feel secure, is to seek revenge for our views and recognition for our way of life. This constitutes a return to dependence on others and a loss of independence leading to possession to a great extent. Our lifestyle is empowered by gaining inner independence, and we influence others unconsciously. If we try to maintain this influence, we once again lose our inner independence. If we resist the temptation to depend on the effect we are having (or not having) on ​​others, we maintain our inner independence and the unconscious power associated with it.

First line: No relation to what is harmful, there is no guilt in this. Great possession means that we are relating to the situation correctly and as a result, the situation has improved and progress has been made. A correct point of view always gives feelings of inner independence. However, if inner independence cannot be combined with humility and reserve, the egos of others become excited. Showing off independence creates envy in others, exuberant self-confidence creates feelings of insecurity and inferiority. Then the others will begin to challenge us to the game of "king of the hill", and they will win if they can generate in us a reaction whereby we once again lose our inner independence. This can only happen if we allow our egos to glory in independence, or to indulge in exuberance and conceit. We need to remain disengaged, not responding to flattery, which makes us assume matters are better than they are, nor to challenges that make us feel defensive, making us struggle, strain, and expose. We must allow those who seek to emotionally affect us to go their own way. Only when they realize that these challenges lead nowhere will they make an effort to correct themselves.

Often this line refers to having the temptation to stop our forward progress. We want to stop and enjoy the good effect created by our inner independence and self-discipline. We fail to understand that the continuous improvement of the situation is linked to the continuity of our independence and self-discipline. We must not fall back into dependency and selfishness which would awaken the egos of others. We must keep constant and independent of them, whether we make progress or not. At the heart of the I Ching is "going forward". We must not stop indefinitely and picnic by the side of the road, but get back on the road and keep going.

It is a Cosmic rule that if one tries to grasp joy (or progress) in order to bask in it, one misses it. Joy can be experienced, and feelings of deep communion with another can be experienced, but whenever we try to prolong these moments, or dwell on them, delight in them, or possess them, we lose the inner independence from which these moments depend. They can only be received and lived, we must always let them go, and move forward without any attempt to hold onto or reproduce them.

Joy (or progress) is something that can neither be built nor possessed, but comes from being in the right relationship with the situation. It comes as a gift from the Higher Power, in his way, and in his time. We can't make it happen, or make it stay. If we accept these gifts as they come, and let them go as they go, we will be blessed with ever greater gifts.

Second Line: A large cargo wagon. Something can be done. No fault. Even if we have made mistakes, our recognition of these mistakes and our sincerity in trying to correct them means that we have obtained capable helpers from the hidden world who will fix the situation. As a consequence, our mistakes will not lead to embarrassment, or a worsening of our general situation.

Third Line: A prince offers it to the Son of Heaven. A little man can't do that. This line involves sacrificing something we possess, such as justifiable anger, or the idea that something is a right. Sacrifice, in the I Ching, refers to giving up the emotions that give us comfort – denial, desire, ambition, or anger – for the sake of the situation. One of these "rights" is the presumption that an inattentive God, or the Wise, falls short of "his covenant" to help us achieve success. The Sage cannot respond to such inner needs. These attitudes are the culprits that perpetuate the vicious circle of lack of progress, the endless slippage of the "Wheel of Fate" when it is stuck in the mud of our emotional self-justification.

This line also means sacrificing the sense of power that comes from having possession in large measure as a state of mind, the intoxicating recklessness that leads us to seek out name, honor, and followers. Herein lies the threat of the Inferior Man who would like to take power and rule the world. We must guard against abandoning the humility we need to proceed unhesitatingly on our path.

Fourth Line: He makes the difference between himself and his neighbor. No fault. It's important not to get caught doing what the rest of the world does: reacting in the usual ways to what we think is going wrong. We need to remember that with disengagement – ​​turning the problem over to the Cosmos to fix – all that is right will prevail, but it won't happen unless we truly let go. That's the difference between doing things the I Ching way and doing things the way anyone could do them.

This line also means that we shouldn't compete with people who seem to have more influence than us. We must realize that our inner sense of truth has a far greater effect than those who rely on external means.

This line also refers to the times we see other people's inferiors get away with it. Our ego then surges in the form of impatience and anger, and we focus on "what should happen." In this activity our inferiors are seized with envy. We need to disengage, and stop looking around. We "make the difference" between ourselves and others when we disengage and stop looking at what they are doing. As we look around we doubt their ability to make it on their own, or to understand, or to do the right thing, or to be guided by the Sage. Looking around makes us deviate from our direction.

Fifth Line: He whose truth is accessible, yet dignified, is fortunate. This line warns us that, in making our inner feelings accessible to others, we must avoid becoming expansively friendly. Our manner and our independence are having the right effect, but being too friendly would welcome insolence and the reversal of the good effects of our work.

Sixth Line: He is blessed by heaven… Nothing that is not propitious. If in the fullness of power (inner independence), we remain conscientious and attentive (modest), we keep envy and distrust dispersed. Conscientiousness honors the Sage and expresses the principles of the I Ching. Going this route we will find joy in a job well done.

No threats have been received and no challenges met. The man avoids harm by realizing the dangers caused by opulence and exercising appropriate restraint.

You are now entered upon a scene of business, where I hope you will one day make a figure.... Business does not exclude (as possibly you wish it did) the usual terms of politeness and good breeding, but, on the contrary, strictly requires them.... Be upon your guard against the pedantry and affectation of business, which young people are apt to fall into, from the pride of being concerned in it too young. They look thoughtful, complain of the weight of business, throw out mysterious hints, and seem big with secrets which they do not know. Do you on the contrary never talk of business but to those with whom you are to transact it; and learn to seem vacuous and idle when you have the most business. Of all things, the volto sciolto and pensieri stretti are necessary.

Accumulated virtues and competent helpers enable the man to assume great responsibilities. Like a huge wagon ready for loading, he subordinates strength to humility.

Public opinion cannot be formed without groups and clubs, either open or secret, depending on circumstances. The important thing is that they must have determined ends, and a determined discipline in their work.... Methods depend entirely on the outside situation, but such groups are in any case indispensable.

The superior man places his property and talents at the service of the ruler and the public. The inferior man employs them for his own gain.

Our life is not a mutual helpfulness; but rather, cloaked under the due laws-of-war, named "fair competition" and so forth, it is a mutual hostility. We have profoundly forgotten everywhere that Cash-payment is not the sole relation of human beings; we think, nothing doubting, that it absolves and liquidates all engagements of man. "My starving workers?" answers the rich mill-owner. "Did not I hire them fairly in the market? Did I not pay them, to the last sixpence, the sum covenanted for? What have I to do with them more?" — Verily Mammon-worship is a melancholy need. When Cain, for his own be-hoof, had killed Abel, and was questioned, "Where is thy brother?" he too made answer, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Did I not pay my brother his wages, the thing he had merited from me?
O sumptuous Merchant-Prince, illustrious game-preserving Duke, is there no way of "killing" thy brother but Cain's crude way! ..
One of Dr. Allison's Scotch facts struck us much. A poor Irish Widow, her husband having died in one of the Lanes of Edinburgh, went forth with her children, bare of all resource, to solicit help from the Charitable Establishments of that City. At this Charitable Establishment and then at that she was refused; referred from one to the other, helped by none; — till she had exhausted them all; till her strength and heart failed her: she sank down in p04114
typhus-fever; died, and infected her Lane with fever, so that "seventeen other persons" died of fever there in consequence. The humane Physician asks thereupon, as with a heart too full for speaking, Would it not have been economy to help this poor Widow?

The man discriminates clearly what should be done. I-le keeps his strength under control, yields not to competition and envy, and does not injure the mild ruler.

The principle which guided him [Montaigne] in his administration was to look only at the fact, at the result, and to grant nothing to noice and outward show: "How much more a good effect makes a noise, so much I abate of the goodness of it." For it is always to be feared that it was more performed for the sake of noise than upon the account of goodness: "Being exposed upon the stall, 'tis half sold." That was not Montaigne's way; he made no show: he employed in a manner useful to all alike gifts of sincerity and conciliation; the personal attraction with which nature endowed him was a quality of the highest value in the management of men. He preferred to warn men of evil rather than to take on himself the honor of repressing it: "Is there any one who desires to be sick that he may see his physician's practice? And would not that physician deserve to be whipped who should wish the plague among us that he might put his art into practice?"

The man and his people are mutually attracted to each other through unaffected sincerity. Benevolence on his part, however, must he accompanied by the proper display of majesty. Otherwise, the people will become insolent and lose their attitude of service.

Who more than Basil honored virtue or punished vice? Who evinced more favor toward the right-doing, or more severity toward offenders — he whose very smile was often praise; whose silence, reproof, in the depths of conscience reaching and arousing the sense of guilt? Grant that he was no light prattler, no jester, no lounger in the markets. Grant that he did not ingratiate himself with the multitude by becoming all things to all, and courting their favor: what then? Should he not, with the right judging, receive praise for this rather than condemnation? Is it deemed a fault in the lion that he has not the look of an ape; that his aspect is stern and regal; that his movements, even in sport, are majestic, and command at once wonder and delight? Or do we admire it as proof of courtesy and true benevolence in actors that they gratify the populace, and move them to laughter by mutual blows on the temple, and by boisterous merriment?

I maintain that Democratic manners — typified by the practice of calling the boss by his first name — have reached the point in our country where they conduce not to the preservation of personal dignity but to the abject submission of one man to another. These manners, gradually developed in colonial and postrevolutionary days, worked well in a society largely of self-sufficient farmers. But circumstances have changed, with the usual ironical result.
What happens on the job at the present time? An employee greets the boss by his first name, sits down in his presence, wears the same kind of clothes the boss wears, avoids the use of sir, and ostensibly comports himself in general as if he and the boss were as equal as two farmers. But of course he and the boss are not equal, and this inequality must be signalized, first, because the employee is anxious to please the boss, who can advance or impede his fortunes; and secondly, because the boss is anxious that his authority receive recognition, without which he cannot function with any confidence.
In the absence of overt and conventional methods of expressing deference, how then does the American employee acknowledge the boss's superior status? He does so by perfecting a subtle repertoire of body movements and vocal expressions. This repertoire includes the boyish grin, the deprecatory cough, the unfinished sentence, the appreciative giggle, the drooping shoulders, the head-scratch, and the bottom-waggle. But there are employees, the truly gifted ones — as actors, they would adorn the Stanislayski school—who can dispense with these definable maneuvers and simply live the part, their whole being radiating a kind of sweet eloquence of submission.

The man attains the fullness of blessings. He recognizes the bases for the favorable state of affairs, remains devoted in his actions, and honors the sage who exerted the beneficent influence.

There is a beautiful Indian apologue, which says: A man once said to a lump of clay, "What art thou?" The reply was, "I am but a lump of clay, but I was placed beside a rose and I caught its fragrance."

The over-all judgment: strength with elegance is attained. This is in accord with the propitious phase of the cosmic cycle, which leads to great progress and wealth. The pride which is likely to be engendered is kept within bounds.

The days of palmy prosperity are not those most favorable to the display of public virtue or the influence of wise and good men. In hard, doubtful, unprosperous, and dangerous times, the disinterested and patriotic find their way, by a species of public instinct, unopposed, joyfully welcomed, to the control of affairs.

But the positive side of my mind always assures me that France is not really herself unless in the front rank; that only vast enterprises are capable of counter-balancing the ferments of dispersal which are inherent in her people; that our country, as it is, surrounded by the others, as they are, must aim high and hold itself straight, on pain of mortal danger. In short, to my mind, France cannot be France without greatness.

A pleasant letter 1 hold to be the pleasantest thing that this world has to give. It should be good-humoured; witty it may be, but with a gentle diluted wit. Concocted brilliancy will spoil it altogether. Not long, so that it will be tedious in the reading; nor brief, so that the delight suffices not to make itself felt. It should be written specially for the reader, and should apply altogether to him, and not altogether to any other. It should never flatter. Flattery is always odious. But underneath the visible stream of pungent water there may be the slightest undercurrent of eulogy, so that it be not seen, but only understood. Censure it may contain freely, but censure which in arraigning the conduct implies no doubt as to the intellect .... Then let its page be soiled by no business; one touch of utility will destroy it all .... But, above all things, see that it be good-humoured.


  15. Modesty. Go forward steadily, conscientiously, despite mistakes. Mountain within the earth. The mountain crumbles to become a plain. This is the image of modesty - a state in the making - of the attitude of patient conscientiousness in doing what is right. The hexagram advises us to get rid of ostentation (the heights) and to develop our character (fill in the depressions). Fantasizing often refers to indulging in some form of justification because we lack confidence in following the truth. Fantasizing is involved when we rashly assume that little bad habits or indulgences don't count. For example, it is showing off to indulge in any form of careless abandon. During these moments we lose touch with our inner selves, and we lose awareness of both the opportunity to serve the greater good and the danger. Careless abandonment occurs when we get caught up in trying to influence others, or when we get lost in self-assertion. It is our responsibility, in the service of truth and goodness, to keep ourselves in tune with our inner voice.

Even the impatient distrust that things will work out without our interference is display. Mistrust leads us to force results and skip the small steps that lead to real progress. It is pretentious to follow the good only because it leads us to a selfish goal. The transformation of character that occurs through liberation from ostentation represents the attainment of modesty. By sincerely correcting things, the superior man brings things to fruition. When we learn to follow the true and the good for no reason at all, we will have understood the true meaning of modesty.

Receiving this hexagram implies that we need to contemplate the many aspects of modesty. In practice, modesty means that we allow ourselves to be guided by the Higher Power without internal resistance. Resistance can take subtle forms. For example, our ego would like us to memorize rules and create definite ways of dealing with problems, because in this way it could maintain the leadership of our personality. To avoid the invasion of the ego we must remain unstructured and not be seduced by plans and programs.

Modesty means that while we hold to our values ​​and principles, we remain receptive to our inner voice and open up to random elements that offer us the opportunity to say or do the right thing. Such opportunities always present themselves at surprising moments, particularly when we are open, alert and unstructured. The Second Line of Il Ricettivo (Esag. 2) points out that the ingredients for tackling the problems that arise are already at hand; we don't need to add anything, or take anything away, we just need to be careful to recognize these elements and use them when they arise.

The I Ching also says in the Fifth Line of Standing Together (Hex. 8), that we must hunt only "wildly exposed animals", and not make "a slaughter". This warns us against trying to achieve more than what the situation allows. It is modesty to curb the urge to make leaps in progress. Striving indicates that our ego resists the situation, and distrusts where the path leads. He doesn't want to be "called into" by events and be the actor on stage (the modest thing to do); he wants to be the critic of the public who approves and disapproves of everything that happens. Modesty is allowing ourselves to be dependent on the Cosmos.

Another example of immodest activity occurs when we ask the Sage for his guidance and then subject him to an interrogation. Modesty is expressed when we resist the inner voices of doubt and have an open mind. This does not mean that we are expected to believe with blind faith, but rather that we remain open and patient enough to give the Sage's advice a chance to prove its worth. Modesty has nothing to do with blind trust or blind disbelief. Modesty is found in simplicity and transparency, and in active resistance to negative habits of mind, the arrogant presumptions that cut us off both from the help of the Sage, from the potential for good that others hold within, and from the innate possibilities for sudden.

Giving up on people is the arrogance of not believing that the power of creativity can accomplish the improbable. Who are we to deny this potential with our doubts, which block its regenerative power? Only the Wise know how to make things work for our real best interests; it is modesty to keep an open mind and recognize that the zigzagging path of the Creative works to the benefit of all, while the straight path created by our ego serves only as mere self-interest, and often comes at the expense of others.

First line: Only the superior man modest about his modesty can cross the great water (do great things). When we perseveringly adhere to what is right, we tend to become proud and contemptuous of others, including the Wise. We have a tendency to become more aggressive: we demand rewards, expect things to happen, and use power. Neither the Sage nor anyone else can adhere to the expectations of our ego, without losing their integrity. If we work on our task with simplicity, we will succeed. It's best to move forward and not allow our inferiors to keep looking back (or around) in doubt and regret, as if we've spent energy unnecessarily.

This line also refers to having the modesty to be reticent; it is the modesty of approaching the activity of helping others modestly; we don't rush to offer ourselves, to intervene with importance, or to usurp others' space to learn. Modesty makes good use of silence and reserve. Modesty is stepping forward at the right time.

Second Line: Expressed modesty. Perseverance brings good luck. In practice, modesty means that we remain disciplined and reserved when we would have preferred to let ourselves go and enjoy the moment, we "snip" obstacles by remaining rigorously bound to our standards when we would rather be indulgent and ignore the insensitivity or misdeeds of others. Also, we disperse anger when we would rather vent it. By sticking firmly to these principles, there will be no obstacles to our good influence on others. We carefully follow the right path and control the shape of our attitude so that we remain free from the fear and doubt that make us plot and manipulate our journey through life. This also means that we stop listening to the impatience, self-pity, anger, apprehension and other emotions that undermine our willingness to remain open and humble. We silence the deluded inferiors who eagerly seek out ways to skip steps to make visible progress quickly. We withdraw from distressed feelings and look for signs of change in others. Let's share our vigilance and stop picking at old wounds. A modest attitude accepts that achieving our goals by finding the right way forward in events is the way of the Sage. We must not pre-structure anything, but only rely on what we have already learned from the I Ching regarding duty and the correct sense of limits. We take a cue from events, and look at the essence of every issue that is placed before us. This is “going with the flow”.

Third Line: The modest and deserving superior man brings things to a close. Good luck. This line often means that we don't have to break our path to become sluggish or have a resistant attitude. Now is not the time to sit back and revel in our gains, or develop an enthusiasm that puts them at risk, in hopes of getting even more. We should expect to progress only by continuing our hard work. It is important to avoid the onset of a wrong attitude towards what we have achieved (our possessions) by not allowing ourselves to be dazzled by a sudden relaxation of tensions.

Bringing things to a conclusion also means that if we have persevered in doing what is right and then start thinking about it, pride ensues. We may be tempted to think we are better than we are, and pretentiously put ourselves above others. A critique from the hidden world then ensues, and we lose the help we need to complete our task. It is better to get rid of self-satisfaction and selfish feeling of superiority. Rather than look back on what we have done, we must continue in our task.

Sometimes this line is about tolerating a "spiritual irritation" in ourselves. We've done the right thing, so we get annoyed with those who don't. This irritation halts our progress and prevents us from completing our work. We must be careful to avoid a sense of moral superiority and a desire to achieve more than the situation allows.

Fourth Line: Nothing that doesn't favor modesty in motion. We should only try to control the lack of discipline of our inferiors, especially their willingness to stop and enjoy the progress achieved. We must also resist the child in us, who would like to indulge in self-pity and doubt. Likewise, we must unseat the white knight who bravely tries to fight against evil in his race to reach the goal. In such modest ways we serve the ruler and show interest in our work. A sincere interest in breaking down all that is inferior cannot fail.

Fifth Line: Don't brag about wealth in front of a neighbor. References to "bragging," "wealth," and "carriage" generally refer to our claiming rights and privileges. We "boast" when we think we can be wrong, or indulge in wrong thoughts without incurring harmful results. In wanting a close relationship with someone, we give up the inner independence and reserve that are essential to properly relate to their callousness. If this person reacts favorably to our reservation, it shouldn't suggest that he has finally corrected himself, to the point of ignoring all the small signs that indicate that the change was only superficial, or of a temporary nature. It is our duty to “make sure of those around us” by verifying whether they are truly sensitive to us. We must also be careful of any laxity that could cause self-indulgence. In a self-indulgent frame of mind, we no longer see a chance to relate constructively. In losing self-discipline, we also lose inner independence, and therefore our creative impact. As the Fourth Line of Il Crogiolo says (Esag. 50), «the Prince's meal is poured out, and his person gets dirty».

Strong attack sometimes means that we have to assert our position simply by saying what we are, or are not, willing to do, or to do together with others. Such severity, however, must be understood within the limits of modesty and objectivity, so as never to be personally offensive.

Sixth Line: Modesty that comes to expression. It is favorable to marshal armies on the march to chastise one's city and country. Modesty comes to expression when we discipline ourselves for indulging in self-pity, or listening to false feeding. The superior man really works on his modesty. This line is similar to the upper line of Limitation (Hex. 60), which states that there are times when only by limiting ourselves to the maximum degree can we avoid remorse. (Remorse occurs, for example, when we continue to listen to the motives of inner conflict.) The truly modest person is so conscientious that he is willing, if need be, to marshal armies on the march against his own inferiors, and to capture, or even to "kill", if necessary, the stubborn ringleaders of evil:

Perhaps we need to ask whether we are allowing a system of pride to operate which, if we listen to it long enough, will dismiss others as impossible, or conclude that the Creative has neither the ability nor the will to help.

It retains his humility and does not press any claims. As a result he is free from challenges and does not encounter resistance. Difficult enterprises can be undertaken successfully.

But perhaps the desire of the thing called fame will torment thee. —See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of the present, and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgment in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed, and be quiet at last. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise.

Modesty is at the core of the man's being and reveals itself in his outward behavior.

Be your beginning plain: and take good heed Too soon you mount not on the airy steed,
Nor tell your reader, in a thundering verse, "I sing the conqueror of the universe."
What can an author after this produce? The laboring mountain must bring forth a mouse.
Much better are we pleased with his address, Who without making such vast promises, Says in an easier style and plainer sense, "I sing the combats of that pious prince Who from the Phrygian coast his armies bore, And landed first on the Lavinian shore." His opening muse set not the world on fire, And yet performs more than we can require. Quickly you'll hear him celebrate the fame And future glory of the Roman name, Of Styx and Acheron describe the floods,
And Caesars wandering in the Elysian woods.

The man disregards his fame and acknowleged merit but toils on laboriously and unpretentiously. He is supported by all the people in bringing his works to a successful conclusion.

I am not, brother, a doctor to be looked up to; nor do I possess all the world's wisdom. But, in one word, I know enough to distinguish truth from falsehood. And as I know no character more worthy of esteem than the truly devout, nor anything in the world more noble or beautiful than the holy fervor of a sincere piety, so I know nothing more odious than the whited sepulcher of a pretended zealot, than those downright imposters, those devotees, for public show, whose sacrilegious and deceitful grimaces abuse with impunity, and make a jest, according to their fancy, of what men hold most holy and sacred; those men who, from motives of self-interest, make a trade of piety, and would purchase honor and reputation at the cost of a hypocritical turning up of the eyes and pretended raptures; those men, I say, whom we see possessed with such an uncommon ardor for the next world, in order to make their fortunes in this; who, with great unction and many prayers, daily recommend and preach solitude in the midst of the court; who know how to reconcile their zeal with their vices; who are passionate, vindictive, without belief, full of artifice, and would, in order to destroy a man, insolently cover their fierce resentment under the cloak of Heaven's interests. They are the more dangerous in their bitter wrath because they use against us weapons which men reverence and because their passion, for which they are commended, prompts them to assassinate us with a consecrated blade. One sees too many of those vile characters, but the really devout at heart are easily recognized. Our age has shown us some, brother, who may serve us as glorious examples. Look at Ariston, look at Periandre, Oronte, Alcidamas, Polydore, Clitandre — no one disputes their title. But they do not boast of their virtue. One does not see this unbearable ostentation in them; and their piety is human, is tractable; they do not censure all our doings, they think that these corrections would show too much pride on their part; and, leaving big words to others, they reprove our actions by their own. They do not think anything evil, because it seems so, and their mind is inclined to judge well of others. They have no cabals, no intrigues; all their anxiety is to live well themselves. They never persecute a sinner; they hate sin only, and do not vindicate the interest of Heaven with greater zeal than Heaven itself. These are my people, that is the true way to act; that is, in short, an example to be followed. Your man, to speak plainly, is not of that stamp; you vaunt his zeal with the utmost good faith; but I believe that you are dazzled by a false glare.
MOLIERE, FRENCH (1622-1673)

"But why should you, friend, be so very solicitous about the safety of the king?"
"Oh," replied the good man, "because I honor him more than I do any one else, and love him more than myself."
"But what good has he ever done you," asked the king (in disguise), "that you should hold him in high esteem? Methinks you would be rather more comfortably lodged and clothed were you any extraordinary favorite of his."
"Not so," answered the fisherman, "for tell me, Sir Knight, what greater favor can I receive from my honored king, in my humble sphere, than to be protected in the enjoyment of my house and goods, and the little earnings which I make? All I have I owe to his kindness, to the wisdom and justice with which he rules over his subjects, preserving us in peace or protecting us in war from the inroads of the Arabs, as well as all other enemies. Even I, a poor fisherman, with a wife and little family, am not forgotten, and enjoy my poverty in peace. He permits me to fish for eels wherever I please, and take them afterwards to the best market I can find, in order to provide for my little ones. At any hour, night or day, I go out or I come in just as I like, to or fro, in my humble dwelling; and there is not a single person in all these neighboring woods and valleys who has ever dared to do me wrong. To whom am I indebted for all this, but to him for whom I daily offer up my prayers to God and our holy prophet to watch over his preservation?"

The man maintains his modesty in the proper perspective. He does not avoid his responsibilities, abuse the ruler's confidence, or conceal the subordinate's merit.

He [Dr. Donne] was once, and but once, clouded with the King's displeasure, and it was about this time; which was occasioned by some malicious whisperer, who had told His Majesty that Dr. Donne had put on the general humour of the pulpits, and was becoming busy in insinuating a fear of the King's inclining to Popery, and a dislike of his government; and particularly for the King's then turning the evening Lectures into Catechising, and expounding the Prayer of our Lord, and of the Belief and Commandments. His Majesty was the more inclinable to believe this, for that person of Nobility and great note, betwixt whom and Dr. Donne there had been a great friendship, was at this very time discarded by the Court —I shall forbear his name, unless I had a fairer occasion— and justly committed to prison; which begot many rumours in the common people, who in this nation think they are not wise, unless they be busy about what they understand not, and especially about religion.
The King received the news with so much discontent and restlessness, that he would not suffer the sun to set and leave him under doubt; but sent for Dr. Donne, and required his answer to the accusation; which was so clear and satisfactory, that the King said, "he was right glad he rested no longer under the suspicion." When the King had said this, Dr. Donne kneeled down and thanked his Majesty, and protested his answer was faithful, and free from all collusion, and therefore, "desired that he might not rise till, as in like cases, he always had from God, so he might have from his Majesty, some assurance that he stood clear and fair in his opinion." At which the King raised him from his knees with his own hands, and "protested he believed him; and that he knew he was an honest man, and doubted not but that he loved him truly." And, having thus dismissed him, he called some Lords of his Council into his chamber, and said with much earnestness, "My doctor is an honest man; and, my Lords, I was never better satisfied with an answer than he hath now made me; and I always rejoice when I think that by my means he became a Divine."

The man acts energetically with the use of arms, when necessary, in correcting those who do not submit. Even in severity, however, he retains a considerate demeanor, which attracts devoted followers.

When all those about you say, "This is a man of talents and worth," you may not therefore believe it. When your great officers all say, "This is a man of talents and virtue," neither may you for that believe it. When all the people say, "This is a man of talents and virtue," then examine into the case, and when you find that the man is such, employ him. When the people all say, "This man won't do," then examine into the case, and when you find that the man won't do, send him away. When all those about you say, "This man deserves death," don't listen to them. When all your great officers say, "This man deserves death," don't listen to them. When the people all say, "This man deserves death," then inquire into the case, and when you see that the man deserves death, put him to death. In accordance with this we have the saying, "The people killed him."
You must act in this way in order to be the parent of the people.

Even though the man's probity is recognized, his aims are not yet achieved. True modesty begins by disciplining one's own ego and the character of one's immediate circle, without being aggressive beyond.

We sit here as the great Council of the King, and in that capacity, it is our duty to take into consideration the state and affairs of the kingdom, and when there is occasion, to give a true representation of them by way of counsel and advice, with what we conceive necessary or expedient to be done.
In this consideration, I confess many a sad thought hath affrighted me, and that not only in respect of our dangers from abroad (which yet I know are great, as they have been often prest and dilated to us), but in respect of our disorders here at home, which do enforce those dangers, and by which they are occasioned. For I believe I shall make it clear to you, that both at first, the cause of these dangers were our disorders, and our disorders now are yet our greatest dangers— that not so much the potency of our enemies as the weakness of ourselves, doth threaten us: ... Our want of true devotion to heaven — our insincerity and doubting in religion — our want of councils—our precipitate actions—the insufficiency or unfaithfulness of our generals abroad— the ignorance or corruption of our ministers at home— the impoverishing of the sovereign— the oppression and depression of the subject— the exhausting of our treasures — the waste of our provisions — consumption of our ships — destruction of our men — these make the advantage to our enemies, not the reputation of their arms; and if in these there be not reformation, we need no foes abroad: Time itself will ruin us.

The over-all judgment: the way of heaven is to diminish the prosperous and augment the needy. The superior man gains without boasting.

"He is fainting!" said one of the messmates, "quick! some water!" The steward immediately hurried to the topman with the basin.
Cuticle took the topman by the wrist, and feeling it awhile, observed, "Don't be alarmed, men," addressing the two messmates; "he'll recover presently; this fainting very generally takes place." And he stood for a moment, tranquilly eyeing the patient. Now the Surgeon of the Fleet and the topman presented a spectacle which, to a reflecting mind, was better than a churchyard sermon on the mortality of man.
Here was a sailor, who, four days previous, had stood erect — a pillar of life — with an arm like a royal-mast, and a thigh like a windlass. But the slightest conceivable finger-touch of a bit of crooked trigger had eventuated in stretching him out, more helpless -than an hour-old babe, with a blasted thigh, utterly drained of its brawn. And who was it that now stood over him like a superior being, and, as if clothed himself with the attributes of immortality, indifferently discoursed of carving up his broken flesh, and thus piecing out his abbreviated days? Who was it, that, in capacity of surgeon, seemed enacting the part of a Regenerator of life? The withered, shrunken, one-eyed, toothless, hairless Cuticle; with a trunk half dead — a memento mori to behold!

CAUCHON. . .. But it is not your place to correct the venerable Canon. You forget who you are and who we are. We are your priests, your masters, and your judges. Beware of your pride, Joan.
JOAN (softly). I know that I am proud. But I am a daughter of God. If He didn't want me to be proud, why did He send me His shining Archangel and His Saints all dressed in light? Why did He promise me that I shall conquer all the men I have conquered? Why did He promise me a suit of beautiful white armor, the gift of my king? And a sword? And that
I should lead brave soldiers into battle while riding a fine white horse? If He had left me alone, I would never have become proud.
CAUCHON. Take care of your words, Joan. You are accusing our Lord.
JOAN (makes the sign of the Cross). Oh. God forbid. I say only that His Will be done even if it means making me proud and then damning me for it. That, too, is His Right.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
JESUS, HEBREW (4 B.C.-29 A.D.)


  16. Enthusiasm. The path of least resistance is non-resistance. Movement that meets with devotion refers to behavior that is correct and right. This behavior is based on the humility of acceptance, and on modesty and reticence, therefore it inspires voluntary adhesion, and gives rise to the image of arrayed armies on the move. Deploying armies on the move may mean that the good has gathered in people who are usually indifferent. It can also mean that help from the Cosmos is on the way, in the form of timely and favorable circumstances. This hexagram discusses three types of enthusiasm: (1) inspiration to follow a path, because we clearly see that it is correct, (2) inspiration awakened in others by being balanced and correct ourselves, and (3) illusory enthusiasm that comes from our ego. While receiving this hexagram may indicate that we have "marshalled armies moving in our favor," more often it indicates that our behavior, or attitude, has inhibited the willingness of others to comply, or has blocked the aid of the Higher Power. . In having listened to, or tolerated, our ego's wants, demands, and concerns, we have developed enthusiasm for the solutions it proposes—a deluded enthusiasm. The solutions proposed by the ego would seem to propel us directly towards our goals; we are so fascinated by the image of success that we are blinded by the selfish, vain and childish motives of the ego. This enthusiasm is the opposite of what occurs when we realize that, by working patiently and constantly on correcting and balancing our inner attitude, the obstacles that stand between us and our goals will disappear by themselves. Balancing our attitude puts us in alignment with the Tao, the way the creative energy of the universe flows. It implies that we are open to the hidden and diverse ways in which the Cosmos works for the benefit of all. Let us patiently allow the Great Playwright to use us in creative drama. Whether we are asked to play a leading role, or we have to work behind the scenes, we always remain alert to do the new thing that is asked of us. The ego elements are always present when we think up solutions, when we try to influence, when we adopt poses or attitudes, or we impose ourselves on others. Among the ego's more sinister activities are its efforts to "devote itself to." Such activities are based on the idea that obsessive effort will work. No matter how monomaniacal and obsessive we become, ego-driven effort will fail. Sincerity is needed in trying to find the correct way, but sincerity does not mean that we have to lose our inner balance. Inner balance mirrors the Cosmos and the Tao. The I Ching guides us towards the ordinary rather than the extraordinary. Our real task is to relate correctly to the challenges of everyday life. Our ego, on the other hand, would have us believe that the first order of business is to work on the world's biggest problems. Anything that comes from our ego is great. It tells us to be heroes to the world. The Sage, on the other hand, would like us to take care of everyday things. Instead of standing out, being recognized, trying to be king of the hill, we learn to do unseen good. Instead of asking for recognition, we let go of our achievements. As Lao Tzu said: "The Sage does his work without setting any business, he does his work without dwelling on it." Once we accept our destiny to develop spiritually, our ego joins the effort and starts looking for a faster, more direct way to "get there." In doing so a monumental effort is applied, self-flagellated and self-congratulating. In contrast, the way of the Sage is reticent, self-indulgent, and modest. The goal is to follow the path with patient and modest acceptance. Indeed, the goal is just to follow the path, because there is no "there" to reach, there is only the path, and the work of staying on it as best we can. It soon becomes apparent that the problems we bring to the Sage are vehicles that the Cosmos uses to teach and correct us. Indeed, our everyday life offers everything we need to grow and find meaning in life. We don't need to travel far, or seek out exotic experiences. There is no need to retire to a cloister, looking for the ideal place for spiritual development. Daily life presents us with all the situations we need to develop patience, modesty, restraint, and an open mind. The path of self-development presents us with necessary periods of isolation from others. Later the isolation will end and we will be implemented by the Cosmos. Thus, life appears to be an anvil, and Fate a hammer shaping our spiritual awareness. Our ego would like to make spiritual development a heroic quest for the Holy Grail. It sees itself sharing mysteries with a select few. Such illusory enthusiasm only repels others, and solicits their distrust and resistance to following the good. Flowing with time, modestly accepting life as it comes, seeking only to be truthful in one's way of life and true to oneself, this is the way of the Tao. When a monumental and illusory effort leads to failure, we experience an emotional condition known as the "blacking out of the light" (see Hex. 36, First Line). In this state of mind we are attacked by a series of infantile emotions that trap us in a grip of negative thoughts. Caught between fear and doubt, we reckon with and resist Fate, fearing that without renewed effort, or a change of course to find an easier way out, we will be stuck in a losing position. We resort to inferior means, because we doubt whether we can get help from the Higher Power. Doubt is like a shark that devours all the elements of our nature that we have educated to be patient and obedient. To break this grip it is necessary to reduce our infantile emotions. We need to stop hearing thoughts about potentially bad luck, or loss of influence. We need to stop imagining how we appear in the eyes of others. This addiction to personal success comes from the ego. Unlike the superior man, who is willing to work in a background position, the inferior man insists on being recognized (see The Receptive, Hex. 2, Third Line). Instead of allowing the light to flow through him, he gets in the way. Finally, when he realizes he has to decrease, the ego asks, "How much should I decrease?" The answer is, "Until there is no more resistance, until the ego surrenders, and only humble acceptance and dependence remain." Only disinterested humility sets armies to move in our favor. Once the predicament begins to ease, we need to be wary of the excitement that accompanies the sudden release of pressure. We should especially avoid the illusory enthusiasm that powerful actions were responsible for the results obtained. Our ego always believes that it alone has the power to manipulate events, an illusory and dangerous point of view. Respect for ancestors refers to a thoughtful respect for the many people, known and unknown, who have gone before us on the spiritual path. They were no better equipped than we are and have experienced the same trials and tribulations that we experience. By attaining some enlightenment, they resisted imagining themselves as enlightened, but they simply persevered and were faithful to the end. Reflecting on their perseverance and patience, we are helped to keep our path constant, and to bridge the abyss of our fears.

First line: Boasting of aristocratic connections. It is boastful to indulge in wrong thoughts or acts with the assumption that no harm will result. All careless or arrogant attitudes have negative effects. We brag when we indulge in feelings of annoyance, alienation, or superiority, or when we condemn others for their mistakes, or when we think “should” or “shouldn’t” angrily, when we decide to overlook the wrong actions of others , in order to get along with them. The correct course, in observing the mistakes of others, is to detach ourselves and remain inwardly still. If we feel the need to express negative feelings, such as when we resist or reject the situation,

Thinking that we have earned certain rights and therefore claiming them presumptuously, this is also "boasting aristocratic connections". We may have earned something, but we cannot arrogantly assume, act or think, regardless of the limitations of our path, and without regard for our responsibilities to the Sage, our teacher.

Second Line: Firm as a rock. The superior man is careful to perceive the point in any situation where there is a temptation to become emotionally involved. He knows that this is the point where his ego wakes up, demanding to be acclaimed and recognized. Just then he pulls back and disengages. In this way he preserves the integrity of him, and maintains his inner balance.

Confucius' commentary on this line advises us to «know the pips… the first imperceptible beginning of movement». The "seeds" of involvement begin with mild discontent, a vague uneasiness, or puffy feelings of enthusiasm. If these seeds of action are not immediately recognized and resisted, they are quickly followed by active discontent, or by uncontrolled movement sweeping away inner independence and disengagement. For this we are advised to withdraw in time.

Third Line: Looking up means that we must look to Fate for salvation, even if we argue for a long time, immerse ourselves in controversy, compromise our inner worth. Conflict may involve arguing with others, or refer to an internal conflict precipitated because one has adopted a negative view of a situation or person. Rather than look to heaven to bring these conflicts to an end, we must end them by ceasing to participate in them, accepting that we don't know the answers, and enduring the ambiguity of the situation until clarity returns. We resist indulging in the petty irritations that impede our good influence on others.

Fourth Line: The source of enthusiasm. Do not doubt. Gather friends around you like a hair clip gathers hair. The source of enthusiasm is to continue our journey, free from disbelief, because it is correct. We join others in following the good when our knowledge of the way is so strong that doubt can no longer invade our inner serenity; when we no longer need to persuade, challenge, or woo people; when we are no longer looking for leaps or bounds or skipping steps in order to make rapid progress; when we no longer try to achieve something without working. All these activities come from the ego, which is secretly bound up with doubt and unbelief. Inner independence is the power that sets armies in motion towards what is good. We can only act correctly if we have seen, with intuition, that the correct attitude leads to success. If we are still guessing, or hoping, or if we are still obsessively attached to a particular idea, we do not see clearly, and therefore lack the support of the Cosmos. If there is a problem with our attitude, it is doubt. The hexagram advises: "Do not doubt." People can't, and shouldn't, fight against the debilitating power of our doubts. "Do not doubt". People can't, and shouldn't, fight against the debilitating power of our doubts. "Do not doubt". People can't, and shouldn't, fight against the debilitating power of our doubts.

Fifth Line: Persistently ill, and still not dying. The situation is difficult and uncomfortable. We are still under the influence of our ego, which strives for results, or tries to prevent them. However, our uneasiness is useful in making us investigate the attitudes that cause the blockage. The right attitude is to totally abandon the resistance and desire put forward by the childish heart.

Sixth Line: Illusory enthusiasm. But if, after completion, one changes, there is no fault. Illusory enthusiasm refers to the moments when the Lesser Man (ego) drives our personality. The Lesser Man relies on intervention, exposure, schemes, obsession and tricks to force progress, and retaliation to right wrongs. The Lesser Man rules when we project a curt or angry front, or when we try to advance ourselves through courtship and flattery. Only when we have the strength to abandon the inferior means based on fear and doubt will we be able to find the right path to success.

It is enthusiastic and boastful.

As late as 1906 Roosevelt credited Harriman with saying that "he could buy a sufficient number of Senators and Congressmen or State Legislators to protect his interests, and when necessary he could buy the Judiciary."

The man is quiet, but firm as a rock, yet sensitive to the first imperceptible signs of impending changes. He does not delay in taking action.

Mr. Speaker, I smell a rat; I see him forming in the air and darkening the sky; but I'll nip him in the bud.

The man looks upward for favors and continues his dependency upon others. He indulges in visions of pleasure and affluence. Unless he changes immediately, he will be sorry.

Perhaps you will say the man is not young; I answer, he is rich; he is not gentle, handsome, witty, brave, good-humoured, but he is rich, rich, rich, rich,— that one word contradicts everything you can say against him.

The man is confident, free of suspicions of others, and sincere in his dedication. He instills harmony and satisfaction among his associates. People gather around him in effective cooperation.

But, friend, We speak of what is; not of what might be, And how 'twere better if 'twere otherwise. I am the man you see here plain enough:
Grant I'm a beast, why, beasts must lead beasts' lives! Suppose I own at once to tail and claws; The tailless man exceeds me; but being tailed I'll lash out lion fashion, and leave apes To dock their stump and dress their haunches up. My business is not to remake myself,
But make the absolute best of what God made.

To understand all makes us very tolerant.

The man is continually complaining. Yet the very struggling against the daily troubles constitutes his immediate incentive for living.

Now shalt thou rest for aye, My weary heart. The final error dies Wherewith I nourished my divinest dreams. 'Tis gone. I feel in me for sweet delusions Not merely hope, but even desire, is dead. Rest for all time. Enough Hath been thine agitation. There is nought So precious, thou shouldst seek it; and the earth Deserveth not a sigh. But weary bitterness Is life, nought else, and ashes is the world. Be now at peace. Despair For the last time. Unto our race did Fate
Give nought, save death. Now hold in scorn and hate Thyself and Nature and the Power Unknown, That reigns supreme unto the grief of all. And the vast vanity of this terrestrial hall.

The man is distracted by pleasure and satisfaction. If he changes after the events of the day have run their course, however, the sober awakening will prevent future errors.

It was beginning to grow light this morning when I awoke. The daylight crept into the room on either side of the curtain. Ellen was also awake and smiled toward me. Her arms were white and velvety, her breast unusually high. I whispered something to her, and she closed my mouth with hers, mute with tenderness. The day grew lighter and lighter. Two hours later I was on my feet. Ellen was also up, busy dressing herself— she had got her shoes on. Then it was I experienced something which even now strikes me as a gruesome dream. I was at the wash stand. Ellen had some errand or other in the adjoining room, and as she opened the door I turned around and glanced in. A cold draft from the open window in the room rushed in upon me, and in the center of the room I could just make out a corpse stretched out on a table. A corpse, in a coffin, dressed in white, with a gray beard, the corpse of a man. His bony knees protruded like madly clenched fists underneath the sheet and his face was sallow and ghastly in the extreme. I could see everything in full daylight. I turned away and said not a word.
When Ellen returned I was dressed and ready to go out. I could scarcely bring myself to respond to her embraces. She put on some additional clothes; she wanted to accompany me down as far as the street door, and I let her come, still saying nothing. At the door she pressed close to the wall so as not to be seen. "Well, good-bye," she whispered.
"Till tomorrow?" I asked, in part to test her. "No, not tomorrow." "Why not tomorrow?"
"Not so many questions, dear. I am going to a funeral tomorrow, a relation of mine is dead. Now there —you know it."
"But the day after tomorrow?" "Yes, the day after tomorrow, at the door here. I'll meet you. Good-bye."
I went. Who was she? And the corpse? With its fists clenched and the corners of its mouth drooping—how ghastly comic! The day after tomorrow she would be expecting. Ought I see her again?
I went straight down to the Bernina Café and asked for a directory. I looked up the number so and so Gamle Kongevei and — there — there was the name. I waited some little time till the morning papers were out. Then I turned quickly to the announcements of • deaths. And — sure enough — there I found hers too, the very first in the list, in bold type: "My husband, fifty-three years old, died today after a long illness." The announcement was dated the day before. I sat for a long time and pondered. A man marries. His wife is thirty years younger than he. He contracts a lingering illness. One fair day he dies.
And the young widow breathes a sigh of relief.

The over-all judgment: the leading official meets with harmonious obedience. Moving in sympathy and accord with the spirit of the people, he is able to make popular appointments, unite mass movements, and direct military campaigns advantageously.

Here the question arises whether it is better to be loved than feared or feared than loved. The answer is that it would be desirable to be both but, since that is difficult, it is much safer to be feared than to be loved, if one must choose. For on men in general this observation may be made: they are ungrateful, fickle, and deceitful, eager to avoid dangers, and avid for gain, and while you are useful to them they are all with you, offering you their blood, their property, their lives, and their sons so long as danger is remote, as we noted above, but when it approaches they turn on you. Any prince, trusting only in their words and having no other preparations made, will fall to his ruin, for friendships that are bought at a price and not by greatness and nobility of soul are paid for indeed, but they are not owned and cannot be called upon in time of need. Men have less hesitation in offending a man who is loved than one who is feared, for love is held by a bond of obligation which as men are wicked, is broken whenever personal advantage suggests it, but fear is accompanied by the dread of punishment which never relaxes.
Yet a prince should make himself feared in such a way that, if he does not thereby merit love, at least he may escape odium, for being feared and not hated may well go together. And indeed the prince may attain this end if he but respect the property and the women of his subjects and citizens. And if it should become necessary to seek the death of someone, he should find a proper justification and a public cause, and above all he should keep his hands off another's property, for they forget more readily the death of their father than the loss of their patrimony.

At the bidding of a Peter the Hermit millions of men hurled themselves against the East; the words of an hallucinated enthusiast such as Mohamet created a force capable of triumphing over the Graeco-Roman world; an obscure monk like Luther bathed Europe in blood. The voice of a Galileo or a Newton will never have the least echo among the masses. The inventors of genius hasten the march of civilization. The fanatics and the hallucinated create history.

Now as to politeness . I would venture to call it benevolence in trifles.


  17. Following. Follow your values, no matter how difficult it seems. Following is supremely successful. What we "follow" is our sense of what is essential, right, and proper. To be true to the good and true within us is to serve the Higher Power. Only by being loyal and true to ourselves are we able to be loyal and faithful to others, and in turn are we able to command their enduring loyalty.

As students of universal truth, we are automatically servants of the Higher Power. As such, we aim to gain a following among others. By following what is true and good in our natures, we give others the confidence to follow what is good and great in theirs. Even though for a time they may cling to us slavishly, we should not feel flattered and bind them to us. Instead of encouraging their addiction, we remain free from this attachment, and thus let them go free. While this will mean that they later fall into error by childishly attaching themselves to someone else, we pave the way for their eventual liberation from hesitation and fear of following the good itself. This is the kind of following that is meant in the I Ching when it advises us to save others. This hexagram makes it clear that before we can get others to follow us, we need to understand the principles of following. Leading and following are inseparably linked. People can follow us without incurring harm only if we are directed towards what is good and right. Our dedication to finding the right path for ourselves creates the inner independence needed to lead others while gaining their respect and loyalty. No law or legal obligation can enforce the loyalty of another. The fear of doing wrong creates only grudging compliance, or stubborn resistance. What we are looking for is a safe, helpful and cordial conformity to the good and the true.

Following the truth means "going with" our inner sense of truth like a horse that "throws its heart over the fence" before leaping. By clinging to the truth, we allow it to lead us to the correct solutions to our problems. We cling to inner truth (inner awareness), as if it were the North Star guiding a course across the ocean, guiding us to what we cannot see. Following what is high and good within us we collaborate with the Sage who knows how and when to make the impossible happen.

The greatness of the truth allows us to follow it with joy. We often don't follow our sense of the truth. We fear that others will not understand us, and that we will be isolated, or that we will lose our ability to influence the situation for the better. We have also been taught by our Western culture that in order to achieve our goals we must plot, or force them to happen. This hexagram advises that all good is achieved by simply following the good within. There is no need to contrive, interfere, or impose ourselves on others. When we do this, we are following the inner child who whines and just wants comfort.

We often receive this hexagram because we have a resistant attitude, angry that the situation hasn't been resolved yet. We may have gone so far as to think that we are rejecting our destiny of saving others and abandoning the service of the high and the good. We must not give up, even if we have momentarily lost our inner independence. We need to disengage from our emotions and renew our determination to follow the good, even if we seem to have waited for improvement beyond a reasonably long time. Staying involved means staying in control of our ego.

We must remember that we grow impatient with opposition. We must realize that these oppositions are due to a sort of personal indulgence. Basking in the comfort of the progress we have achieved, we sometimes become selfishly expansive. This, in turn, opens the door for the re-emergence of selfishness and transgressions by others, which, in our self-indulgent frame of mind, we neglect. Disregarding their mistakes, we give them a finger, and they take their arm. We cannot afford the slightest indulgence in self-indulgence, or indulgence in the bad habits of others (see After Completion, Hex. 63, Fourth Line).

Front Line: Going out the door in company means remaining open and accessible to people. The I Ching notes that we are only able to lead others if we ourselves follow good. We get nothing if we close because they don't follow the path. Remaining open and accessible to “all kinds of people, friend or foe” is the “only way to accomplish anything”. Openness, however, does not mean that we abandon our principles. We cling to these principles, knowing that events will somehow provide us with the means by which the truth will become apparent. Thus, we do not throw ourselves into arguments about "matters of current opinion", nor do we strive to explain the truth to a resistant attitude. We give the truth the opportunity to emerge. If the situation permits, we can aim for it, provided we have not abandoned the reticence. As the Second Line of Il Ricettivo says (Esag. 2), there are means for its correction in every situation. We just have to remain open to these mediums showing themselves. Most of the time, however, only our awareness is needed, because this awareness communicates itself to others on the inner plane.

Second Line: If one clings to the child… The “child” represents the childish part of ourselves. When we listen to his needs, his dissatisfactions, and his impatience, we lose our strong and persevering self. The small child may be a comfortable hostile view of a situation, or the compulsive energy that drives us to struggle and strain for leverage, because the child believes that force is needed. The child acts when one should not act, and cowardly holds us back when the essence of the situation would require us to move forward. Our infantile self seeks as its right to enjoy and protect the progress we have made, but that right must be sacrificed if we are to serve that which is higher. We must do what duty and fidelity to the truth command, even if that seems to compromise all that we have gained. In letting go of lower means, we let go of the child in ourselves. The path of beauty cannot be achieved by inferior means.

Third Line: If one clings to the strong man… he separates himself from the inferior and superficial one. What is inferior and superficial is a comfortable relationship that accommodates our prejudices, or a lenient relationship in which we overlook what is incorrect, turning away from following and doing what the truth requires. In the search for comfort people seek nourishment for their self-image at the expense of dignity and self-esteem. Give in order to get. Such relationships, unlike those based on respect, are superficial, and cannot last. The ego, once fed, expands its appetite. When we see this truth clearly, we are able to abandon the easy road of comfort. While doing so may involve a sense of loss, the loss is more than compensated by inner growth and self-esteem. (Self-worth isn't something we can create by deciding we're "okay"; self-worth always comes from having made hard choices to follow the good, no matter the risk, and however lonely and endangered we may have felt that moment.)

Fourth Line: Following creates success. The danger arises from our success in influencing others. It is ironic that as soon as we have gained influence over others by pursuing our solitary path of conscious innocence, reserve and inner independence, we begin to consider ways to maintain that influence. So once again we become addicted to the relationship. This line tells us that "going one's way with sincerity brings clarity." In not being swayed by considerations and desires, we keep our ego in check. Going your own way with sincerity also means not erecting barriers to forgiveness, as when our inferiors flatter us by saying: "Those who have wronged us will have to answer with justice." We notice that our ego keeps pace with us for a time, but then it makes its own demands. To be truthful is to be completely devoid of ego demands, intent only on what is essential and correct. This line can also refer to others who are not being honest with us.

Fifth Line: Sincere in good. Good luck. To follow our inner sense of truth wherever it leads us is to follow the good with sincerity and devotion. Such sincerity meets with the assent of the Cosmos. The sincere person in constantly following his inner sense of truth wonders what is essential and correct. In her heart she humbly asks the Sage to help her find the correct way. You remain armed against evil by searching your mind for considerations, motivations and states of mind that could destroy a just and moderate view of things, or that would tempt you to break what is essential in your relationship with others.

Sixth Line: Meets with firm fidelity and is still further bound. The Sage, who previously put himself out of reach, returns to help the follower. The sincerity described in the Fifth Line meets with the answer. The Sage helps the follower to find the right way. The image of the right thing to do and the right thing to say comes by itself when we need it, because we are in tune with what is essential and correct. During these moments we have the impression of being vehicles for something beyond ourselves. A sense of inner peace and camaraderie accompanies this mysterious aid. Just as the Sage returns to help the follower, we return to being open-minded to those who seek our help.

It changes his objectives. He will succeed if he remains firm in principle and goes beyond selfish considerations to mingle freely with those who do not share his feelings, as well as those who do.

But Liberty assumes only one shape. Once convinced that each of the molecules which compose a fluid possesses in itself the force by which the general level is produced, we conclude that there is no surer or simpler way of seeing that level realized than not to interfere with it. All, then, who set out with this fundamental principle, that men's interests are harmonious, will agree as to the practical solution of the social problem,— to abstain from displacing or thwarting these interests.

There are men who, with clear perceptions, as they think, of their own duty, do not see how too eager a pursuit of one's duty may involve them in the violation of others, or how too warm an embracement of one truth may lead to a disregard of other truths just as important. As I heard it stated strongly, not many days ago, these persons are disposed to mount upon some particular duty, as upon a war horse, and to drive furiously on and upon and over all other duties that may stand in the way. These are men who, in reference to disputes of that sort, are of the opinion that human duties may be ascertained with the exactness of mathematics. They deal with morals as with mathematics; and they think what is right may be distinguished from what is wrong with the precision of an algebraic equation. They have, therefore, none too much charity toward others who differ with them. They are apt, too, to think that nothing is good but what is perfect, and that there are no compromises or modifications to be made in consideration of difference of opinion or in deference to other men's judgment. If their perspicacious vision enables them to detect a spot on the face of the sun, they think that a good reason why the sun should be struck down from heaven. They prefer the chance of running into utter darkness to living in heavenly light, if that heavenly light be not absolutely without any imperfection.

The man surrounds himself with the incompetent and dismisses the experienced.

Never have a companion who casts you in the shade. The more he does so, the less desirable a companion he is. The more he excels in quality the more in repute: he will always play first fiddle and you second. If you get any consideration, it is only his leavings. The moon shines bright alone among the stars: when the sun rises she becomes either invisible or imperceptible. Never join one that eclipses you, but rather one who sets you in brighter light. By this means the cunning Fabula in Martial was able to appear beautiful and brilliant, owing to the ugliness and disorder of her companions. But one should as little imperil oneself by an evil companion as pay honour to another at the cost of one's own credit. When you are on the way to fortune associate with the eminent; when arrived, with the mediocre.

The man joins with superior people and parts company with the superficial and the inferior.

What a revelation this crisis has been to me in regard to human nature, above all, of the intellectual elite. How quickly and totally have these thinkers, so imbued with the great principles of liberty and humanity renounced them and toppled them in the dust! I will not forget it in the sequel when, with peace once more established, I shall be seeing them again professing their ideas, flaunting their spirit, its liberality and its kinships with all that is human.

The man acquires followers who flatter, scheme, and act subservient to seek personal gains. There is a chance that he will become dependent on them because of gratifying associations, which will detract from his authority in his position of influence. He must see through such adherents and free himself from egotistical encumbrances.

Question: What is Courtiers' Grammar?Answer: Courtiers' Grammar is the Art, or Science, of flattering cunningly, with tongue and pen. Q: What is meant by "flattering cunningly"? A: It means uttering and writing such untruth as may prove pleasing to those of high station and, at the same time, of benefit to the flatterer. Q: What is Courtly Untruth? A: It is the expression of a soul inglorious before the soul vainglorious. It consists of shameless praises heaped upon a Great Man for those services which he never performed and those virtues which he never had. Q: Into how many categories are the mean-spirited souls divided? A: Six. Q: What mean-spirited souls constitute the first Category? A: Those that have contracted the miserable habit of cooling their heels in the anterooms of Great Gentlemen all day and every day, without the least need therefor. Q: What mean-spirited souls constitute the second Category? A: Those that, standing in reverent awe in the presence of a Great Man, gaze into his orbs in servility and thirst to anticipate his thoughts, so that they may gratify him by base yea-saying. Q: What truly mean-spirited souls constitute the third Category? A: Those that, before the face of a Great Man, rejoice, out of sheer pusillanimity, in falsely imputing to themselves all sorts of unheard-of things and in disavowing all things. Q: And what mean-spirited souls constitute the fourth Category? A: Those that exalt with great praises even such things in Great Gentlemen as honest men ought to despise. Q: What truly mean-spirited souls constitute the fifth Category? A: Those that, for their servility to the Great, are shameless enough to accept rewards appertaining to meritorious services alone. Q: What truly mean-spirited souls, then, constitute the sixth Category? A: Those that, through the most contemptible dissembling, deceive the Public; Outside the palace they seem the veriest Catos, they clamor against flatterers, they revile without the least mercy all those before whose mere gaze they tremble, they preach intrepidity and, from their reports, one would gather that they alone, through their firmness, are standing guard over the integrity of the fatherland and warding off ruin from the unfortunate; but, once they set foot within the chambers of the Sovereign, they undergo utter transformation: the tongue that had reviled flatterers prompts them, of itself, to the ignoblest flattery; he is a voiceless slave before the one whom he had reviled but half an hour ago; the preacher of intrepidity is afraid of looking up inopportunely, of inopportunely approaching; the guardian of the integrity of the fatherland will be the first, if he find the chance, to stretch out his hand to plunder the fatherland; the intercessor for the unfortunate rejoices, for the sake of the smallest benefit accruing to him, in sending an innocent man to his ruin.

The ruler fosters excellence, which brings on good fortune.

I ask not for a larger garden, But for finer seeds.

It is a funny thing about life, if you refuse to accept anything but the best you often get it.

The sage, who is retired, is recalled by the king because of his unique qualifications. The faithful and effective subject is rewarded.

Suppose a ruler wants ... a garment made from cloth that is difficult to cut properly; he will certainly look for a skilful tailor.... To cure a sick horse, he will certainly look for a skilful physician. For all such tasks the ruler will not employ his relatives, nor those who are rich and noble but lack merit, nor those who are merely good-looking, for he understands that they are not capable of performing them.... But when it is a question of governing the state, it is not so. For this task, the ruler selects those who are merely good-looking.... Does he care less for the state than for a sick horse or a suit of clothes? ...
When the sage-kings of old governed the world, those whom they enriched and ennobled were not necessarily their relatives, or the rich and noble, or the good-looking. Thus Shun had been a farmer ... a potter ... a fisherman ... and a peddler. But Yao discovered him ... made him emperor, and turned over to him the control of the empire and the government of the people.
MO TI, CHINESE (479-381 B.C.)

The over-all judgment: a person must learn to be adaptable and serve others in order to rule. Willing followers are not acquired by force or cunning but through consistency in doing what is human and proper.

Cleverness is serviceable for everything, sufficient for nothing.

… This assumption that she need look for no more devotion now that her beauty had passed proceeded from the fact that she had never realized any love save love as passion. Such love, though it expends itself in generosity and thoughtfulness, though it give birth to visions and to great poetry, remains among the sharpest expressions of self-interest. Not until it has passed through a long servitude, through its own self-hatred, through mockery, through great doubts, can it take its place among the loyalties. Many who have spent a lifetime in it can tell us less of love than the child that lost a dog yesterday.

And the twelve, unblessed, uncaring, Still go marching on,
Ripe for death and daring, Pitying none.
On, with rifles lifted At the hidden enemy ..
Onward, where the snow has drifted Clutching at the marcher's knee.


  18. Working on What Has Been Ruined. Correct decadent habits of mind, and tolerate what is flawed in others. Working on what has been ruined is supremely successful. The images presented by this hexagram are a bowl teeming with worms, three days, and human decay as the cause of corruption.

The bowl full of worms is an analogy of the false ideas we or others may have about how things work. False ideas come from incomplete perceptions. Receiving this hexagram tells us that some of the perceptions and beliefs we have taken for granted are incorrect. And it also tells us to spot any decadent ways we may be related to the Wise, Fate, other people, or our general situation. This research should include how we react to unfair treatment from others. Before we can proceed further, our wrong ideas and attitudes need to be recognized and corrected.

The three days symbolize the three stages of self-correction: (1) the diligence required to look for faults, (2) the sincerity necessary to stand firmly in opposition to them, and (3) the resolution necessary to avoid their return.

The I Ching tends to deal with faulty perspectives and slanders of reality. For example, a person allies himself with his ego when he suspects that God is not good, that Fate is hostile, that human nature is naturally flawed, that life is meant only to suffer, or that others fail to find the right way without our intervention. We often accept these attitudes because they are common. By adopting them, we translate them into indifference to suffering and insensitivity to life. By tolerating them within ourselves we unknowingly influence others to adopt them.

Other bad attitudes include finding comfort in a vengeful or harsh attitude; enjoying something at the expense of princes, assigning to God, the Sage, or the Higher Power, attributes of the Lesser Man; assume that these attributes are naturally within us; giving up on ourselves or on others; and to speak or think carelessly, assuming that what we think or say, even lightly, does not matter much. When our precious ideas and beliefs come to mind in the course of an I Ching consultation, it is best to ask if they are correct. Often the idea or belief that comes to mind is the very thing the I Ching is asking us to question.

This hexagram also indicates the correct way to respond to others when they are insensitive, indifferent or unfair. To answer correctly we need to reach an impersonal and Cosmic point of view. This requires that we reject or disperse anger, that we get rid of personal considerations such as desire or envy. It's also important to avoid ignoring or dismissing the problem because we have no way to treat it. It is essential to recognize bad attitudes as such, but in a fair and moderate context. As soon as our point of view is corrected, the inner truth force will be activated to solve the problem.

If we focus on having a comfortable relationship, or neglect the bad out of desire and "tolerate what's been spoiled," we are unable to relate to the problem constructively. Evil comes into our lives mostly because we make room for it by not being hard on ourselves.

Flawed relationships can be corrected by correcting our lax attitudes. These lax attitudes create problems that build up to ruin everything. By correcting attitudes, resistances that have built up over time give way. Suspicion and distrust subside, and the excesses we have encouraged find no basis for perpetuation. Gradually the situation returns to balance and harmony. In waiting for situations to return to normal, we must not use force or pressure. If the situation is truly destined to resolve itself, we must give others the space and time to see that sincere self-correction is the only way forward. If we are consistent in maintaining our neutrality and disengagement, and if we continue to hold on to what is right within ourselves, others will perceive what is right in their relationship to us. Our attitude will signal that envy and insensitivity are unacceptable. Even if someone who has been in unfair relationships with us begins to approach us in a friendly way, we should remain reserved and cautious until there are no more contradictions in his behavior. We must not assume that our goal has been achieved just because we hope so.

Finally, working on what was screwed up applies to social behavior in general. Public officials intuitively know the minds of the people they serve. If people's attitudes are lax, if they're willing to sacrifice a good long-term gain for a short-term one, then public officials will represent them accordingly. If in their inner attitudes people are firm in what is right, public officials will know how they ought to govern; regardless of the form of government, evil finds its foundation in the weaknesses of the people. When people are strong in their inner direction, and firm in their attitudes, evil cannot find a place to grow, either in government or in society.

First Line: … the one that was ruined by the father. Danger. In this case, the wrong behavior comes from the family tradition. For example, a father spends money without thinking about the needs of the family, simply because he was her father, or a mother manipulates her husband because the mother did the same thing. Another example of a decadent tradition is how a family may regard some people as "important" and others as "insignificant." We perpetuate such flawed attitudes when we try to impress some people and callously ignore others.

Another flawed attitude is the traditional idea that to solve problems one must either intervene with force, or docilely accept insult and injustice. In another flawed attitude, we cling to tradition because we are afraid to deviate from the "established viewpoint," even if we recognize it as incorrect. The correct way cannot be understood until we have the courage to let go of the crutch of tradition.

We must be aware that the right remedy may not fit any of our preconceived ideas of what is right, but when it does manifest we will recognize it as perfectly appropriate. In the meantime we must do only what is essential for the moment. If this line refers to another's decay, we must let him go, confident that he will find his own way, even if it is dangerous. If we question his ability to grow and correct himself, our doubt will inhibit his ability to save himself. Doubt is an actively destructive force, locking people into a vicious circle of lack of progress. We doubt people when we look at them with our inner eye to see if there is any progress.

Second Line: … what was spoiled by the mother. You don't have to be too persevering. The mother's influence represents the instilled fear that causes people to respond to tradition and form rather than their inner sense of truth. Most often this line refers to religious fears. Childish fears are maintained in demonic forms of childhood fantasy. Invisible to the adult who harbors them, they dominate her motivations and define her vision of success. Until she can see these fears, he will defend them and project them onto others, sometimes violently. We must be patient with such people, exercising a certain gentle consideration, bearing in mind that unreasonable fears underlie their behavior.

Third Line: … a little remorse. No big fault. This line refers to our having overreacted (even if we have only thought overly reactively) in dealing with our inferiors or those of others. We feel remorseful at seeing the consequences of our behavior, but "there is no great fault," for as the commentary says, it is better to be too forceful in righting wrongs than not forceful enough.

Fourth Line: Tolerating what has been spoiled [leads to] … humiliation. If to feel good with someone, we accept his wrongdoings, we fail to "feed" him in the right way, and we reinforce his spoiled behavior. This habit leads to our humiliation, because in tolerating what is wrong we throw ourselves away. We must be inwardly firm about right and wrong, remaining private as long as his inferiors rule him. It is the same thing to tolerate, or "get along" with habits because this is more comfortable than feeling isolated. We need to be free from fear to do what we clearly see as the essential and correct thing to do. Because we have done what was essential, we must be free from fear of consequences. We can count on the truth.

Fifth Line: Straighten out what was spoiled by the father. Meet praise. Working on self-correction calls for help and praise from the Cosmos. Here, what has been spoiled refers to our tendency to be weak in dealing with self-indulgence, self-importance, and neglected indifference, both in ourselves and in others. For example, if we hesitate to withdraw when the situation calls for it, we need to ask ourselves why we are afraid to do so. Are we afraid to let people leave, to walk alone, to suffer? Does the withdrawal seem too harsh, or ineffective? Do we believe we should ignore the evil in others? Do we do what they want, even if it makes us uncomfortable, and we believe it's not right? First of all, when something is not right we are obliged to acknowledge it and admit it to ourselves, if not, in our inner attitude we condone it. Secondly, we are under no obligation to do what others want simply because they want to. The Cosmos does not ask us to respond, or to do anything to meet their expectations. It's not okay to do things that make us feel uncomfortable and off balance. To remedy the situation we need only to disengage from the feelings of obligation we have adopted, become steadfast in our inner attitude, and allow ourselves to be guided past the difficulties. With this attitude the problem will be solved. This line tells us that in remedying what has been spoiled we have resumed the right path. By correcting ourselves we evoke the power of the Creative, and thus have the right effect on others. In renewing our attitude,

Sixth Line: He does not serve kings and princes, he sets higher goals. Here, following our own path has led us to withdraw from others, or to withdraw from the conventional way society does things. Retreat is correct, because only when we are free and firm in following our path can we face any situation correctly. Once freed we must guard against feeling critical, and against any temptation to give up on people or abandon our duty to save them. We withdraw to keep ourselves correct and to deny the other's ego a basis for continuing the negative process.

We need not fear that self-development will lead to permanent isolation from others, or to impoverishment: these are oppressed views. By developing ourselves it will be possible to save others. Only through self-development and serving that which is highest (universal truth), can we achieve unity with others.

Wrongs have arisen which are not yet deeply rooted and can be remedied. But reforms are associated with dangers, which should be understood.

HOST. You, Sir, are demeaning yourself by coming here. I pray that your honour will return home, where I shall hasten to present myself before you. GUEST. I cannot bring disgrace upon you by obeying this injunction. Be good enough to end by granting me this interview.
HOST. I do not dare to set an example as to how a reception of this kind should be conducted, and I must therefore persist in asking your honour to return to your own house where I shall call upon you without delay.
GUEST. It is I who do not dare to make a precedent. I therefore must persist in asking you to grant me an interview.
HOST. As for me, as I have failed to obtain your permission to refuse this honour, I shall press my objection no further. But I hear that your honour is offering me a present, and this at least I must decline. GUEST. Without a present, I dare not venture into your presence.
Hose. I am not sufficiently expert in such ceremonies and I must persist in declining.
GUEST. Without the support and confidence given me by my gift, I have not the courage to pay this visit. I must persist in my request.
HOST. I am also decided in declining. Yet, as I cannot secure your consent that I should visit you in your house, how dare I not now respectfully obey?

The man is gentle in dealing with his mother, even when duty bound to oppose her. When restoring what has been spoiled by weakness, gradualness is required.

"Oh, it is true, my friend, man is naturally a serious animal. We must work against this shameful and abominable propensity with all our strength, and attack it from all sides. To that end ambiguities are also good, except that they are so seldom ambiguous. When they are not and allow only one interpretation, that is not immoral, it is only obtrusive and vulgar. Frivolous talk must be spiritual and dainty and modest, so far as possible; for the rest as wicked as you choose."
"That is well enough, but what place have your ambiguities in society?"
"To keep the conversations fresh, just as salt keeps food fresh. The question is not why we say them, but how we say them. It would be rude indeed to talk with a charming lady as if she were a sexless Amphibium. It is a duty and an obligation to allude constantly to what she is and is going to be. It is really a comical situation, considering how indelicate, stiff and guilty society is, to be an innocent girl."
"That reminds me of the famous Buffo, who, while he was always making others laugh, was so sad and solemn himself."
"Society is a chaos which can be brought into harmonious order only by wit. If one does not jest and toy with the elements of passion, it forms thick masses and darkens everything."

The man proceeds too energetically in correcting past errors. This results in some discord and distress. But a trifle too much energy is preferable to a trifle too little, and no great blame will ensue.

The little boat of St. Peter is beaten by many storms and tossed about upon the sea, but it grieves me most of all that, against the orthodox faith, there are now arising, more unrestrainedly and injuriously than ever before, ministers of diabolical error who are ensnaring the souls of the simple and ruining them. With their superstitions and false inventions they are perverting the meaning of the Holy Scriptures and trying to destroy the unity of the Catholic Church. Since ... this pestilential error is growing in Gascony and the neighboring territories, we wish you and your fellow bishops to resist it with all your might.. .. we give you a strict command that, by whatever means you can, you destroy all these heresies and expel from your diocese all who are polluted by them.... if necessary, you may cause the princes and people to suppress them with the sword.

Indulgence of decay leads to regret.

Well, you see: once upon a time there was a blazing fire inside me. The cold could do nothing against it, a youthfulness, a spring no autumn could touch; a source of light, glowing wells of joy that seemed inexhaustible. Not happiness, I mean joy, felicity, which made it possible for me to live.... There was an enormous energy there.... A force ... it must have been the life force, mustn't it? ... And then it grew weaker and all died away.

With the assistance of able helpers, the man reverses the process of decay of former times. He is praised for it.

Must I then humble my common sense, to the point of submitting it blindly to the decrees of an assembly which is only a crowd? Is it not permitted to me as to Lycurgus to conspire against laws which are inflicting evil on my country? If it pleases the Athenians to decree the penalty of death against any one who proposes to use for the expenses of war the funds intended to put on comedies, will Phocion respect ' that ridiculous law? Should Demosthenes obey it? And must I, without being either of these great men, go gaily to the spectacle, while Philip is advancing toward our gates? Nay, nay; Cicero was right; we are agreed, as an incontestable truth, that a citizen must obey the magistrate, and the magistrate the laws; and you may be sure that in a republic where that order is observed the injustice of the laws will never give rise to pernicious quarrels. But these happy republics are rare in this world, since men, always borne along toward tyranny or toward slavery by their passions, are evil or foolish enough to make unjust or absurd laws, what other remedy can we apply to this evil than disobedience? From it will rise some troubles; but why be frightened of that? The trouble is itself a proof that we love order and that we want to restore it. Blind obedience is on the contrary a proof that the doltish citizen is indifferent to good and to evil; and then, what will you hope for? The man who thinks works to strengthen the empire of reason; the man who obeys without thinking throws himself into slavery, because he favors the power of the passions.

Justice may wink a little, but see at last.

The man does not serve his lord, but lets the world go by and cultivates his own character in solitude. In so doing, however, he creates something valuable for the future of mankind.

All true wisdom is only to be learned far from the dwellings of men, out in the great solitudes, and is only to be attained through suffering. Privation and suffering are the only things that can open the minds of men to those things which are hidden from others.

The over-all judgment: great effort is required to arrest decay and restore vigor. One must exercise proper deliberation, plan carefully before making a move, and be alert in guarding against relapse following a renaissance.

It was the human spirit itself that failed at Paris. It is no use passing judgments and making scapegoats of this or that individual statesman or group of statesmen. Idealists make a great mistake in not facing the real facts sincerely and resolutely. They believe in the power of the spirit, in the goodness which is at the heart of things, in the triumph which is in store for the great moral ideals of the race. But this faith only too often leads to an optimism which is sadly and fatally at variance with actual results. It is the realist and not the idealist who is generally justified by events. We forget that the human spirit, the spirit of goodness and truth in the world, is still only an infant crying in the night, and that the struggle with darkness is as yet mostly an unequal struggle.... Paris proved this terrible truth once more. It is not Wilson who failed there, but humanity itself. It was not the statesmen that failed so much as the spirit of the peoples behind them.

You may strip Germany of her colonies, reduce her armaments ... and her navy.... All the same, in the end, if she feels that she has been unjustly treated, she will find means of exacting retribution.... The maintenance of peace . . . will depend upon there being no cause of exasperation constantly stirring up the spirit of patriotism, of justice, or of fair play to achieve redress.

Repentance must be something more than mere remorse for sins: it comprehends a change of nature befitting heaven.


  19. Approach. Approaching better times. The approach is supremely successful. Perseverance is propitious… When the eighth month arrives, there will be bad luck. Through developing a balanced, sincere and conscientious attitude we gain the help of the Sage, who approaches to help. As a result, times change for the better and tensions ease. Along with this good news, however, the hexagram warns that we should arm ourselves against the tendency to revert to a self-defeating attitude of neglect when times are right. As tensions begin to ease, an arrogant self-confidence returns and we forget that the source of our good fortune was our simplicity, humility, and dependence on the Higher Power.

We must also avoid thinking that, because we have invoked the help of the Sage, this help will continue indefinitely, or that we have deserved it "forever". Gradually, as we become careless, we no longer pay attention to encroachments from our Inferior Man (ego-self-image), and we give more freedom to our inferiors, so that they lose their discipline. In losing our sense of limitation, we lose the help and support of the Sage. Thrown in on ourselves, we allow our ego to take over again by reverting to old habits of manipulating events, trying to influence and interfering in other people's lives. All of this can be avoided if we conscientiously maintain internal discipline even during good times.

This hexagram suggests the principle that occurs in many other hexagrams (notably Peace, Hex. 11), Shaking (Hex. 51), and After Completion (Hex. 63), which is best described by the image of “going after you". Here, "carrying on" refers to the attitude that, whether certain situations turn out for the better or for the worse, we remain emotionally detached and inwardly independent. That times are better shouldn't mean it's time to let your guard down, renew bad habits, or wallow in self-indulgence. We enjoy the moment, but we don't get lost in it; we go forward, almost without slowing down. This attitude is the personification of modesty (see Modesty, Hex. 15), because it requires constant awareness. Moving forward meets the requirements necessary to make progress (see Progress, Hex. 35) because it requires that we work to "illuminate our luminous virtue". Because we do not allow ourselves to indulge in an emotional peak, we avoid the corresponding negative peak, and thus maintain the internal stability that characterizes the Wise, a stability that allows us to achieve all our goals (see Duration, Hex. 32).

Front Line: Common Approach. Perseverance brings health. Good times are approaching, for, having corrected ourselves, we have achieved an alliance with the Sage. We must not, however, allow this improvement in conditions to give rise to hope and enthusiasm, as this would cause us to lose our inner equilibrium. We make progress only as long as we persevere in trying to maintain a correct and stable attitude.

Second Line: Common Approach. Good luck. Everything is propitious. Even if times change for the worse, we must not despair but remain constant in steadfastness and inner balance. This is possible if we remember that the Creative knows how to make use of every situation. Here, "common approach" means that when we are in alliance with the Creative, good times and bad times are propitious.

Third line: Comfortable approach. Nothing propitious. If one is made to weep over this, one is freed from guilt. A comfortable approach refers to times when we forget to pay attention to our inner thoughts, we relax into our reserve and conscientiousness. This line signals us to be extremely careful to keep our thoughts pure and to maintain reserve and caution in matters of persons. As our influence increases, we tend to forget our limitations and bask in feeling good about the progress we've made, assuming our job is done. In alliance with the Sage we have the responsibility to be strict with ourselves and firm in inner discipline and independence.

Fourth Line: Comprehensive Approach. No fault. If we are to maintain a firm attitude, we must also be careful to remain open to others, just as the Sage is open to us. We must also be open to ourselves: we can be successful, we can do what needs to be done.

Fifth Line: Wise Approach. This is fitting for a great prince. Good luck. After turning matters over to the Sage, we must not interfere because we suddenly develop doubts about what we cannot see. Sympathetic forces can only be attracted through modesty and restraint. It is wrong to take everything into our own hands to succeed or block. Just let things happen without interfering.

Sixth Line: Magnanimous approach. Good luck. No fault. When we are firm in our principles, yet open-minded and compassionate, we achieve a magnanimous approach to life that is free from impatience with the imperfections of others. This attitude invokes the help of the Sage. Just as the Sage humbles himself magnanimously to help us, a magnanimous humility allows us to help others.

It advances with his associates to a higher position. He must remain more prudent than strong in doing right and not be carried away by the popular will.

One of the main lessons to learn from this war is embodied in the homely proverb, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." Persistently only half of this proverb has been quoted in deriding the men who wish to safeguard our National interest and honor. Persistently the effort has been made to insist that those who advocate keeping our country able to defend its rights are merely adopting "the policy of the big stick." In reality, we lay equal emphasis on the fact that it is necessary to speak softly; in other words, that it is necessary to be respectful toward all people and scrupulously to refrain from wronging them, while at the same time keeping ourselves in condition to prevent wrong done to us. If a nation does not in this sense speak softly, then sooner or later the policy of the big stick is certain to result in war. But what befell Luxemburg six weeks ago, what has befallen China again and again during the past quarter of a century, shows that no amount of speaking softly will save any people which does not carry a big stick.

Many excellent cooks are spoiled by going into the arts.

People who are not obedient to the ways of heaven are induced to follow the steadfast man in a high position. The future will be advantageous in every way.

Vocal to the wise; but for the crowd they need interpreters.
PINDAR, GREEK (522-443 LC.)

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity, but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities, but of their advantages.

The man gains power, influence, and comfort. There is danger of relation and carelessness in dealing with others. But if he becomes apprehensive about his actions, he will not continue in his errors and will avoid troubles.

It must be observed that the fact of most significance is the extent to which this deepening and softening of character has progressed among the power-holding class. This class is even more affected than the opposing party. The result is peculiar. It is thereby rendered incapable of utilizing its own strength, and consequently of making any effective resistance to the movement which is undermining its position. All heart is, in fact, taken out of its opposition; men's minds have become so insensitive to suffering, misery, wrong, and degradation of every kind, that it cannot help itself.

The man advances to a high place because of the appropriateness of his ideas and behavior and the open-mindedness of a person of high rank who draws men of competence into service.

Such are all great historical men —whose own particular aims involve those large issues which are the will of the world-spirit. They may be called heroes.. . Such individuals had no consciousness of the general Idea they were unfolding, while prosecuting those aims of theirs; on the contrary, they were practical, political men. But at the same time they were thinking men, who had an insight into the requirements of the time— what was ripe for development. This was the very truth for their age, for their world; the species next in order, so to speak, and which was already formed in the womb of time. It was theirs to know this nascent principle; the necessity, directly sequent step in progress, which their world was to take; to make this their aim, and to expend their energy in promoting it.

The great ruler displays his wisdom in attracting men of ability to direct his affairs and in providing them freedom of action.

Man's mind is more treacherous than mountains and rivers and more difficult to know than the sky. For with the sky you know what to expect in respect of the coming of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, and the alternation of day and night. But man hides his character behind an inscrutable appearance. There are those who appear tame and self-effacing, but conceal a terrible pride. There are those who have some special ability but appear to be stupid. There are those who are compliant and yielding but always get their objective. Some are hard outside but soft inside, and some are slow without but impatient within. Therefore a gentleman sends a man to a distant mission in order to test his loyalty. He employs him near by in order to observe his manners. He gives him a lot to do in order to judge his ability. He suddenly puts a question to him in order to test his knowledge and makes a commitment with him under difficult circumstances to test his ability to live up to his word. He trusts him with money in order to test his heart, and announces to him the coming of a crisis to test his integrity. He makes him drunk in order to see the inside of his character, and puts him in female company to see his attitude toward women. Submitted to these nine tests, a fool always reveals himself.

The sage returns from retirement to teach and help others, who greatly benefit from his experience.

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era, received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.
The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"
"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

The over-all judgment: the time is propitious for the assertion of authority— to inspect, comfort, and rule. Great progress and success will be realized. But spring does not last forever, and the favorable trend will reverse itself in due time. The wise man foresees evil and handles its threat accordingly.

No man is a warmer advocate for proper restraints and wholesome checks in every department of government than I am; but I have never yet been able to discover the propriety of placing it absolutely out of the power of men to render essential services, because a possibility remains of their doing ill.

Just as a single remedy is not suitable to all diseases, and medication varies according to the particular case, so one cannot use for all the heretics of the different sects the same method of questioning, investigation, and examination, but should employ a method particular and appropriate to each case or group. Therefore the inquisitor, as a wise doctor of souls, will proceed with caution in the investigation and questioning, according to the persons he is questioning or in whose company he is conducting the investigation, taking into account their rank, condition, status, malady and with due regard to local conditions.

Therefore, since the world has still Much good, but much less good than ill,
And while the sun and moon endure Luck's a chance, but trouble's sure,
I'd face it as a wise man would, And train for ill and not for good.
'Tis true, the stuff I bring for sale Is not so brisk a brew as ale:
Out of a stem that scored the hand I wrung it in a weary land.
But take it: if the smack is sour, The better for the embittered hour;
It should do good to heart and head When your soul is in my soul's stead;
And I will friend you, if I may In the dark and cloudy day.
There was a king reigned in the East: There, when kings will sit to feast,
They get their fill before they think With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
He gathered all that springs to birth From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more, He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound, State the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white's their shirt: Them it was their poison hurt.—
I tell the tale that I heard told. Mithridates, he died old.


  20. Contemplation. With thoughts you rule. This hexagram refers to the realization, through contemplation, of the "inner truth" or Cosmic vision of a situation. To receive it means that we should ask for the help of the Sage to penetrate the essence of the matter.

Once we have detached ourselves from the situation we observe, through contemplation or meditation, our understanding is able to reach the Cosmic level where our perspective on the principles of universal justice is based. By reaching this point of view, our attitude comes into harmony with the Cosmos and influences the situation in a hidden, dynamic way, without conscious intention. The effect is so powerful that it causes those who are wrong to inexplicably change their point of view. We don't need to say or do anything, because our thoughts, having achieved this perspective, will be in charge.

With the attainment of inner truth, or Cosmic vision of a situation, all duality disappears. In the duality of life, love and hate, like and dislike, justice and injustice are inseparably associated. Cosmically, however, this duality disappears. Love includes, but at the same time it goes beyond selfishness, hatred, fear, ties, rights and desires. The territorial claims that accompany dualistic love are sublimated, but at the same time satisfied by the higher truth. The conflicting positions cease to exist and the concepts of territory, goods and rights take on a new meaning.

In penetrating the essence of the matter, Cosmic justice can go beyond territory, goods and rights. Other times, however, the essence of the matter can revolve around these prosaic considerations. It cannot be assumed that the cosmic view, in a given situation, is similar to our traditional concepts of justice, or of what is right. In contemplating any situation it is necessary to approach it with a completely open mind, asking the Sage to guide us to see the matter correctly. When the vision of the Sage penetrates us, we experience a judgment that is nonjudgmental. Patience, tolerance and understanding replace petty likes and dislikes and vindictive feelings. We are no longer isolated and self-referential,

The ablution has been done, but not yet the offering. Full of confidence they look to him. We understand, at least in part, but we don't act accordingly. We still have an inner opposition that prevents us from following the good with true sincerity. It may be that we consider the other as an adversary. If we are able to “sacrifice” this point of view, or any other rigid definition of the situation, or of the people involved in it, the elements that create opposition will unblock.

Seeking and freeing ourselves from the ideas that hinder us means operating a form of inner purification, in order to make an "offer". It helps us place hindering ideas or attachments on an inner altar, as a sacrifice to the Higher Power.

In observing people, we shouldn't dwell on what is wrong with them, but realize that growth always involves mistake after mistake. We have to view the mistakes of others from the perspective that everyone has false ideas of the way things work, and that because of these ideas one suffers personality eclipses.

We also owe it to ourselves that the growth process requires things to fully expand before they can contract: a person following a dead end can only give up if and when he sees clearly where it leads. Sometimes that means he has to follow it through to the end.

By remembering our mistakes and illusory enthusiasms we are able to maintain a modest, moderate and just perception of the mistakes of others, and we are able to keep our minds and spirits pure, and ourselves in balance.

The ability to concentrate within…enables them to give expression to these laws in themselves. The power to influence others is enhanced by detachment and inner independence, and diminished by attachment and doubt. The more steadfast we are in inner independence, and the more consistently we maintain our inner purity and beauty of spirit, the greater will be our influence to achieve good.

Sometimes, receiving this hexagram means that the problem it refers to is hypothetical in nature, intended to teach us a general principle. The lesson can be learned by contemplation rather than by going through an unpleasant experience. It also means that the lesson is applicable to all situations.

First Line: Childlike contemplation. For an inferior man, no fault. For a superior man, humiliation. We cannot expect others to follow the way of the I Ching, but we certainly must follow it.

We don't need to know everything. The Sage is at work. His actions are useful even if we cannot know them, and even if, taken piece by piece, they sometimes seem harmful. This line implies that all events are part of major events and forces at work right now. Adversity, which we often see as adverse fate, is useful, because through it we grow spiritually.

Second Line: Contemplation through the crack in the door. Because we have done things right we expect to make great strides in visible progress. Just as our small personal failures don't cause the overall situation to fail, our personal successes don't immediately show up as visible progress. All truly successful work occurs with infinitesimal progress. These slow advances, unlike the fast and visible ones, are long-lasting. The developing person must learn to trust the hidden power of his work, and count on progress he cannot see. We must also realize that the progress made has been sufficient to safeguard the situation. The reception of this line reassures us that this is the case.

This line also refers to times when we were treated without due attention and our taking it personally. It is necessary for us to put the shortcomings of others into perspective: even though our thoughts concern them and create progress, they continue to err due to their pre-existing inner conditions and habits of mind. Continued progress depends on our keeping ourselves moderate, just, and impersonal. Since real progress is necessarily slow, we must remain patient.

Third Line: The contemplation of my life decides between advancing and retreating. We can openly communicate (step forward) with people when we feel no resistance and people are open to us. We must be careful, however, to avoid careless self-reliance, self-importance, and attachment that manifest as self-affirmation. Self-control (withdrawal) is necessary when we feel any attachment, urgency, impatience or enthusiasm, because when emotions come into play we lose our connection to inner truth.

We don't have to worry about how long it will take to make progress: if we keep our humility everything will happen at the right time. If we observe the principle of advancing with openings and retreating with closures, we will have set ourselves the limits essential to having a creative effect on people.

Fourth Line: Contemplation of the light of the kingdom. It is propitious to exert influence like the guests of a king. When in a position of influence we serve the Sage best by maintaining our modesty, pushing forward only as and as much as openness and receptivity in others allows. Regardless of whether we like someone or not, it must be as if he were the king and we were his guests. We must not lose our dignity by being overly expansive (allowing room for our ego), or by losing touch with our inner voice so as to allow ambition, conceit, anxiety and self-assertion to take over . We only try to create influence because we doubt openings will present themselves. If we are content to let whatever part we have to play manifest itself, we will free the situation from the negative effects of doubt, and keep our ego out of the situation, so as to achieve something constructive. The important thing is that we remain receptive (see The Receptive, Exag. 2).

For the I Ching to be helpful it must be honored and not used as a means to selfish ends. We make it inaccessible when we demand that it solve problems our way, on our schedule, and without setbacks, or if we allow our ego to say, "I'll try, but it probably won't help," or if we accept the responses we like, but reject those that involve criticism. We honor and invoke the aid of the Sage when we are modest and conscientious. When we forget to be conscientious, guilt attaches to our progress. The light of the kingdom is complete and true. The principles of the I Ching are to be applied to all situations, in order to reduce suffering in the world.

Fifth Line: Contemplation of my life. The superior man is blameless. Contemplation helps us understand the light of the realm - how things really work - and to find the path free of guilt. This line perhaps refers more to meditation than to contemplation, because it is largely through meditation that we are able to hear our innermost thoughts and contact our deepest feelings. In meditation we are able to see how our thoughts have power over good or evil, we are able to see that correcting ourselves frees us from guilt. This line also states that our thoughts have a hidden power, we can do great and good things simply by keeping an open mind and a humble acceptance of events. We consider every event and circumstance as capable of being used by the Creative for the benefit of all. This is why it is said that the way of the Sage is true and complete.

Sixth Line: Knowing how to become free from guilt is the highest good. Danger is always approaching and we make mistakes: seeing these mistakes and determinedly correcting them means knowing how to become blameless. We sacrifice for the general good any emotional responses we feel entitled to. The Greater Man renounces doubt, returns to acceptance and perseverance, and ceases to consider the hard way of dealing with outsiders. The Greater Man corrects himself.

It does not comprehend the nature of prevailing forces nor does he perceive them as a connected whole. This superficial view is acceptable for the masses, but the superior man should know better.

For the most part he [Goncourt] listens and thinks he can hear, he looks and thinks he can see, and then he imagines he can think, and takes the sort of literary trepidation in which he has been indulging these past fifty years for the free flight of ideas. He has the eyes of a fly, eyes with facets, and, like a fly, he alights on everything but penetrates nothing.

The housewife is understandably ignorant of worldly affairs. But such a narrow, subjective view of reality is shameful for persons in public life.

It is not by speculating on the abstract relations of ideal nations that men will bring more order and justice into the relations of States; it is by looking at the facts in their reality and seeking, without illusion, without passion, and without surrender, the laws that govern them.

The man contemplates the effects of his actions in relation to the exigencies of the times rather than indulging in idle speculations. Only in this way is he able to formulate useful guidelines for behavior.

It is of no small benefit on finding oneself in bed in the dark to go over again in the imagination the main outlines of the forms previously studied, or of other noteworthy things conceived by ingenious speculation.

The person who is aware of the factors leading to the glory of the nation should he appointed by the king to an authoritative position. He should be honored rather than used as a tool.

One day ... Mohammed-bin-Nasir set sail for Zanzibar to pay his respects to the Seyyid. He landed first at Mombasa, where he visited the Masrui. They were holding a durbar: all the leading members of the clan were there, grouped round the last deposed governor. When Mohammed entered, the Liwali rose and bowed to him with marked respect, then he sat down again, resting his chin on the hilt of his sword. After a time he raised his head with a deep sigh, and all the Masrui, as if at a signal, drummed on their swords with their fingers. Mohammed drew his own conclusions but cautiously made no comment. He continued his journey south, and a few days later was salaaming before Seyyid Said.
"Did you stop at Mombasa?" asked the Seyyid. "I did." "What is the news from there?"
"The news is that the Masrui have retaken the fort." "How," cried the Seyyid angrily, "you are lying. I have had no word of this. Explain yourself." "When I passed through Mombasa," said his guest, "the Masrui were in the town and your soldiers were in the fort."
"Then how can you say that the Masrui are in the fort when they are only in the town? What sort of talk is this?"
Mohammed-bin-Nasir told the story of the durbar "The meaning is this. When the Liwali rested his head on his sword and sighed, that sigh came from the bitterness of his heart as he thought of the fort, full of your soldiers: and of the Governor, who is your man. It was as though he spoke to his brothers and said to them—Alas our fort is lost to us. "Then all the Masrui replied, tapping their fingers on their swords. We will retake the fort with our swords. And such was the drumming and beating of the swords, that it seemed to me as though they had beaten on the gates, forced them open and captured the fort.
"Therefore I said to you, Bwana Mkubwa: that the Masrui have taken the fort and driven your soldiers away."
The Seyyid Said considered a while, and then he said: "Stay here, you are not permitted to leave. I will send to Mombasa and see if what you say is true. If you are lying to me, I will know that you need a lesson in manners, and you shall then receive it. But if you are right, I will know you for a wise man, and you shall be one of my Councillors."
Three days later came the news of a successful Masrui rising and their capture of Fort Jesus. The Said, even while preparing for an expedition against Mombasa, did not forget Mohammed-bin-Nasir, but gave him honours and money, and sent him on an important mission.

The man in a position of power studies the impact of his life upon the welfare of others. If he so conducts himself that the condition of the people is always good, he will not fall into error.

The quality in which the Roman commonwealth is most distinctly superior, is, in my judgment, the nature of its religion. The very thing that among other nations is an object of reproach — i.e., superstition —is that which maintains the cohesion of the Roman state. These matters are clothed in such pomp, and introduced to such an extent into public and private life, as no other religion can parallel.... I believe that the government has adopted this course for the sake of the common people. This might not have been necessary had it been possible to form a state composed of wise men; but as every multitude is fickle, full of lawless desires, unreasoned passion, and violent anger, it must be held in by invisible terrors and religious pageantry.
POLYBIUS, GREEK (205-125 B.C.)

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!) Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw within the moonlight in his room, Making it rich and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold: Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the presence in the room he said, "What writest thou?" The vision raised its head,
And, with a look made of all sweet accord, Answered, "The names of those who love the Lord."
"And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so," Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, "I pray thee, then, Write me as one that loves his fellow-men."
The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night It came again, with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed, And, lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest!

The sage, who is living outside the routine of the world, contemplates his own character, not as an isolated ego manifestation, but in relation to the laws of life. He judges freedom from blame to be the highest good.

One day a boy climbed to the heights of Pichincha; he was only a child, yet he knew where he was, and had his head and his heart full of the battle. The mountain in the clouds, with its scarf of mist falling down to its waist, seemed a masked giant, terrifying. The city of Quito, at its feet, lifted its thousand towers to heaven: the green hills of this lovely city, fresh and graceful, surround her like gigantic uncut emeralds, set with apparent carelessness in her broad girdle. Rome, the city of hills, has neither so many nor more beautiful ones. A sound barely reached the heights; it was confused, vague, fantastic, that sound composed fof] a thousand sounds, that voice composed of a thousand voices, always emanating and ascending from great towns! The ringing of bells, the beat of hammers, the neighing of horses, the barking of dogs, the creaking of carts, and the thousand laments coming from no one knows where, sighs of shadows, uttered perhaps by hunger from its fireless dwelling and rising on high to mingle with the daughter of pleasure and infect it with melancholy. The boy heard, heard with his eyes and with his soul, heard the silence, as it says in the Scriptures; he heard the past, he heard the battle. Where had Sucre been? Perhaps here, on this very spot, on this green stair; there is where he passed by, farther over is where he broke into a run, and finally, on that side he shot at the fleeing Spaniards.
The boy caught sight of a white bone, a bone half hidden amid the grass and the wildflowers; he went over and picked it up. Had it belonged to one of the royalists? Had it belonged to one of the patriots? Was it a holy or an accursed bone? Child, do not say that! There may have been accursed men; there are no accursed bones. You should know that death, although cold as ice, is a fire which purifies the body; first it corrupts it, decomposes it, dissolves it; then it deodorizes and cleanses it.
The bones of the dead, washed by the rain, shaped by the air, polished by the hand of time, are the remains of the human race, not of this or that man. No, the bones of our enemies are not enemy bones; they are the remains of our fellow men. Child, do not throw this away in disdain.... The bones of our fathers who died on Pichincha are now the prize of nothingness; their very dust has taken a more subtle form, turned into spirit, and disappeared into the invisible amphora in which eternity gathers the members of the human race.

He drank off a glass of tea and began in a calmer voice. "Well, then. My patient kept getting worse and worse. You are not a doctor, my good sir; you cannot understand what passes in a poor fellow's heart, especially at first, when he begins to suspect that the disease is getting the upper hand of him. What becomes of his belief in himself? You suddenly grow so timid; it's indescribable. You fancy then that you have forgotten everything you knew, and that the patient has no faith in you, and that other people begin to notice how distracted you are, and tell you the symptoms with reluctance; that they are looking at you suspiciously, whispering ... Ah! it's horrid! There must be a remedy, you think, for this disease, if one could find it. Isn't this it? You try— no, that's not it. You don't allow the medicine the necessary time to do good ... You clutch at one thing, then at another. Sometimes you take up a book of medical prescriptions— here it is, you think! Sometimes, by Jove, you pick one out by chance, thinking to leave it to fate.. .. But meantime a fellow-creature's dying, and another doctor would have saved him. 'We must have a consultation.' you say; 'I will not take the responsibility on myself.' And what a fool you look at such times! Well, in time you learn to bear it; it's nothing to you. A man has died —but it's not your fault; you treated him by the rules."

The over-all judgment: a person should contemplate the workings of the universe with reverence and introspection. In this way expression is given to the effects of these laws upon his own person. This is the source of a hidden power.

Behind the barn was mystery, The pine trees there were like the sea When wind was up; but it was more Than waves upon an unseen shore That made the boy's heart burn and sing. He knew well there was a thing In that spot which bound in one All splendid things from sun to sun—Amber jewels of roosters' eyes, The floating beads of golden flies, The rainbow's lintel of brief light Arched across the door of night, A duck's white feather like a flower On a pool left by a shower The hot sound, steady, small, and keen, Of August mowing by machine. The cool sound of a scythe, the small Madness of the cricket's call, The sudden smell of apples in October twilight from a bin, The pleasure, lonely and immense, Of the hearth-cat's confidence. The pines behind the barn somehow Joined the lowing of a cow To the moon that marched through crowds Of angels of fair-weather clouds. The pines possessed the ancient right Of opening doorways in the night To let the day and cockcrow through, They built a fire in the dew. Laid the hand of East in West's, Filled the eggs in robins' nests. With thunder rolling deep below The earth at night. They mingled snow Of Junetime daisies with December's, And built the roses in the embers. It took a boy of ten to see Such a tremendous unity.

One day an eagle said with pride: "None can soar up like me!
Sick shivering and giddiness reign where I dare to go.
My Adriatic is the air, my gondola the cloud,
My canopy a background like purple satin's glow."
She spoke and looked again upon her ornaments of power,
And shook her wings as shakes a queen her mantle, royally.
"No other can soar up like me!" Into the clouds she flew,
Repeating ever while she rose: "None can soar up like me!"
"Who art thou?""A dry leaf."
"And whence?" "I come from far above."
"And hast thou wings?" "Nay!"
"Wingless leaf that in my path I find,
Who has breathed into thee this breath which gives the power to rise
Yet higher in the ether than my sovereignty?" "The wind!"
You hear it, O ye ragged men in yonder neighboring street!
Take courage, all ye foolish ones! Be faint of heart no more,
Ye ignorant! When o'er the world a strong, mad whirlwind sweeps,
Then higher than the eagles, the dry leaves rise and soar!

Rikiu was watching his son Shoan as he swept and watered the garden path. "Not clean enough," said Rikiu, when Shoan had finished his task, and bade him try again. After a weary hour the son turned to Rikiu: "Father, there is nothing more to be done. The steps have been washed for the third time, the stone lanterns and the trees are well sprinkled with water, moss and lichens are shining with a fresh verdure; not a twig, not a leaf have I left on the ground." "Young fool," chided the tea-master, "that is not the way a garden path should be swept." Saying this, Rikiu stepped into the garden, shook a tree and scattered over the garden gold and crimson leaves, scraps of the brocade of autumn! What Rikiu demanded was not cleanliness alone, but the beautiful and the natural also.


  21. Biting. Getting to the truth of the matter. Biting refers to getting the truth of the matter. An obstruction is pictured as preventing the lips from joining, blocking access to nourishment. Nourishment, in this case, refers to achieving unity (harmony) with another person, the truth, or the Wise. This unity, or harmony, is the vital nourishment for us as human beings. Before we can achieve it, we have to find out what stands in our way. By discovering the obstruction, we experience a major breakthrough in our understanding, or “bite,” of the obstruction.

If an idea, belief or attitude stands in the way of human unity, this idea or belief is based on a misunderstanding of Cosmic truth. People misunderstand the truth because there is a "perpetrator," an idea that "slanders" the truth. The most common slanders are false ideas about the nature or identity of God, human nature, how one should respond to evil, and how the Cosmos works.

If we discover something false (negative), unfair, or simply an error, we must, with determination and firmness, "bite" it by recognizing it, within us, for what it is. We recognize right or wrong in no uncertain terms. We do not deny the truth, because it is uncomfortable or uncomfortable.

By recognizing that something is right or wrong, we automatically and unconsciously convey our perception to others without conscious effort on our part. If we fight because we want to defend something, or because we'd rather not get involved, or because we think it's "not that bad," we send the perpetrators the misleading message that however they act, it's okay; we send the message to those who might see our behavior as an example that it is not important to come to a decision on these matters. We have no right to do this.

Once we have recognized that something is wrong, we are faced with the next question: What are we to do? The hexagram tells us that we must "let justice be administered." This means that once we recognize the presence of an element of evil, we must turn to the Cosmos for its resolution and correction, then we must withdraw and forget about it, so as not to become infected by it. Turning the matter over to the Cosmos activates the power of truth. However, if we consciously dwell on the problem in an alienated way, if we try to have some intentional effect, or if we intervene with powerful means, the power of truth cannot come to our aid. Involving ourselves in the matter means that our ego, which distrusts the corrective power of the Cosmos, as a white knight in shining armor has come to do battle with the evil black knight. The intervention of our ego prevents the Higher Power from helping us. As long as we remain engaged with the problem, the Higher Power is not free to act.

The hexagram states that we must be forceful in biting into the obstacle to unity. It takes great energy to retreat. Forgiving means trying to understand how people are motivated to do wrong. It means understanding the power that fear, doubt and bad mental habits have over people. It also means understanding that the Creative is able to penetrate people's hearts and enlighten their minds.

It is usually thought that to forgive also means to forget, but this is not the way of the I Ching. We forgive, but we don't forget, just as when we study history we try not to forget its lessons, because to do so is to become arrogant and complacent. We remain aware that people will continue to be subject to their fears and bad habits until they have acquired the insight and discipline that will allow them to break free from them.

We don't have to harden ourselves on a person by defining what kind of person they are, we just have to keep ourselves aware that they haven't corrected themselves yet. Nor do we need to track her progress in order to measure where along her path she is. These attitudes make it impossible to keep an open mind, or to give it the space and time it needs to correct itself. We just have to tune in to her current attitude to find out when she flatters us and when she's sincere. We need to reinforce her sincerity by genuinely relating to her, and withdraw when she is flattering or insensitive and indifferent. This is to follow the principle of advancing with the light force and retreating with the dark force. The principle of "biting" is to educate others by responding correctly to the ebb and flow of their higher potential. If we do this all the time, we will have a creative impact.

Withdrawal is the I Ching Sage's way of "bite" through our ego; withdrawal is the way we have to behave when dealing with the ego of others. As long as we are sincere, the Sage who speaks through the I Ching relates to us. When we are arrogant, he disengages himself, leaving us to the whims of chance. In this way he disciplines and punishes our inferiors. This retreat is that of the wise master, devoid of emotion. It is moderate, and lasts only as long as we remain arrogant. Similarly, when the occasion calls for it, we must withdraw from others in polite reserve, even though they may seek to re-engage us through flattery, or upset us with tantrums. (They do this because, when we stop interacting, their ego senses a loss of power and tries to regain control.) It is important not to be thrown off balance by these challenges. We must remain firm and reserved until others are humble and sincere, and even then we must remember that habits die hard and therefore, when tensions ease, we should not be careless and forgetful.

To retreat is to punish, called "biting" in this hexagram. The sole purpose of punishment is to restore order, so one can only punish until the new order is restored. We must not create what the I Ching calls a "slaughter," in which we track down and expose every last ounce of evil. Evil cannot be overcome in gross ways, we can only undermine it in small steps. After each step we must return to simplicity, serenity and sincerity. Using power is not unlike grabbing a tiger's tail; as soon as we perceive the punishing power of withdrawal, ours ambitiously grasps it. We must not exercise the power of withdrawal in a willful or vengeful way, because it is neither the right nor the role of our ego to punish others.

If "biting" refers to the Sage dealing with our ego, we must seek in our inner attitude those ideas that go beyond a moderate and just view of the transgressions of others. It is excessive to take a hard line by seeing others as hopeless, which in I Ching terms means “to execute them”. We must "kill" or firmly reject all ideas that slander the truth.

As this hexagram is about justice, it is also about spiritual equality. If we think we were born better and therefore deserve more privileges than others, we host a "traitor" in our inner attitude. Such an idea is the basis for indifference to suffering. We must not overlook the possibility that the Sage may bite through our attachment to such claims. “Biting” also means that we keep an open mind and a correct perspective on the situation: we remind ourselves that we only started our self-development because we wanted to accomplish something personal and selfish. While our journey away from selfish and infantile attitudes continues to be a long and difficult struggle, it is the same with others. Like us they will see that they are following dead-end paths, that they need help to find the right path, and that to achieve true human unity they must get rid of personal and selfish motives. Such higher truths serve as the basis for an open and moderate point of view.

First line: His feet are bound in stocks. While this line may refer to the just limits on punishing others (a lenient penalty for the first offense), it more often refers to the unpleasant experience we just went through. We must develop a correct perspective of this punishment: it is not so much the Cosmos that punishes us, but the fact that going in the wrong direction (towards a dead end) is by its nature self-punishment. Fortunately or unfortunately, it is only from mistakes that we learn to correct ourselves.

Second Line: Biting through the tender flesh. The punishment of others has gone too far, and we lament the negative effect. No great damage was done, however, because the punishment was just. To withdraw in anger, or with feelings of denial, is to take the punishment too far. As with the First Line, this line often refers to us being punished by the Sage for having a stubborn attitude.

Third Line: Bite into the old jerky. Our ego lacks the power and authority to punish others. When we are not truly disinterested in withdrawing from them, but we do so in revenge, we arouse poisonous hatred. The only purpose of the penalty is to prevent excesses, so the penalty must not be excessive. Also, the sentence should end quickly so as not to invoke "lawsuits," in which their ego responds to ours as punishment.

Lawsuits are conflicts (or wars) between people that can exist for years on a subconscious level. A lawsuit is initiated when one person's ego attempts to punish another. From then on the punished person seeks revenge. Punishment often takes the form of an attack on one's inner independence, so the lawsuit becomes a king-of-the-hill game that can only end when the attacked stops punishing or fighting back. The reference to “old jerky” suggests that there may already be a long-term cause on a given topic, and that we need to break free from an established reactive pattern.

Fourth Line: It is beneficial to be aware of the difficulties… Here we begin to see the success of our effort to withdraw (punish) and remain reserved. As a result, the other began to relate to us correctly. However, this is just a first step. We must avoid the temptation to rush back into a comfortable and inattentive relationship that would frustrate our work. We tend to be tempered in perseverance or relaxed in an easy relationship with others. If we are able to remain neutral and persevering, being neither soft nor harsh, but cautious, careful and rigorous in inner discipline (all while remaining open as long as our disbelief remains suspended), we correctly "bite" at the obstacles to correct friendship.

When only this line is drawn, the hexagram changes to At the Corners of the Mouth (Hex. 27). Since this hexagram refers to the thoughts we allow to inhabit our mental space, the advice is to be especially careful not to lower our standards. Our inner thoughts create or heal the "hardships" mentioned in this line.

Fifth Line: Bite into lean jerky. Receives yellow gold. Perseverance aware of the danger. No fault. We would like to be lenient with another person, but our duty is to be impartial. It is unfair to accept an alliance just because the other wants it, especially if the other is not firmly committed to following what is good. He must realize, through the perception of him, that a firm commitment to the good and the beautiful is the only means to an alliance. Unity between two people can occur only when both of their wills are independently directed towards good. The line also advises us to be like yellow gold. This means that if a person seems to have a better attitude, we shouldn't interfere to get him out of his troubles. It is dangerous to protect people from the results of their negative attitudes, or to excuse and justify their wrong actions in any way. We can help them (if they are open to us) only when they make the effort to help themselves, and when they actively work to correct their mistakes. Simply bailing them out in our inner attitude is engaging in magnificence, and interfering with what the Creative is doing to correct the situation.

Sixth Line: The neck is attached to a wooden pillory. Our insistence on doing things our own way, rather than being led, results in humiliation and remorse (a wooden pillory). Getting out of it requires gradual progress and a humble return to the correct path. We could have avoided the mistake if we had remembered that the Wise knows how to make bad circumstances work for the good. There was no need to intervene.

This line can also refer to another who has trapped himself because he has used the wrong means to pursue ends that may also be wrong.

It receives a mild sentence as a warning for a small offense.

BURGOMASTER. All I can see is that you are again seeking an outlet for your pugnacity. You want to make an onslaught on your superiors — that is an old habit of yours. You cannot endure any authority over you; you look askance at anyone who holds a higher post than your own; you regard him as a personal enemy — and then you care nothing what kind of weapon you use against him. But now I have shown you how much is at stake for the town, and consequently for me too. And therefore I warn you, Thomas, that I am inexorable in the demand I am about to make to you!
DR. STOCKMANN. What demand?
BURGOMASTER. As you have not had the sense to refrain from chattering to outsiders about this delicate 11,10j21
business, which should have been kept an official secret, of course it cannot now be hushed up. All sorts of rumors will get abroad, and evil-disposed persons will invent all sorts of additions to them. It will therefore be necessary for you publicly to contradict these rumors.
STOCKMANN. I! How? I don't understand.
BURGOMASTER. We expect that, after further investigation, you will come to the conclusion that the affair is not nearly so serious or pressing as you had at first imagined.
STOCKMANN. Aha! So you expect that?
BURGOMASTER. Furthermore, we expect you to express your confidence that the Board of Directors will thoroughly and conscientiously carry out all measures for the remedying of possible defects.
STOCKMANN. Yes, but that you'll never be able to do, so long as you go on tinkering and patching. I tell you that, Peter, and it's my deepest, sincerest conviction
BURGOMASTER. As an official, you have no right to hold any individual conviction.
STOCKMANN (starting). No right to —
BURGOMASTER. As an official, I say. In your private capacity, of course, it is another matter. But as a subordinate official of the Baths, you have no right to express any conviction at issue with that of your superiors.
STOCKMANN. This is too much! I, a doctor, a man of science, have no right to —
BURGOMASTER. The matter in question is not a purely scientific one; it is a complex affair; it has both a technical and an economic side.
STOCKMANN. What the devil do I care what it is! I will be free to speak my mind upon any subject under the sun!
BURGOMASTER. As you please— so long as it does not concern the Baths. With them we forbid you to meddle.
STOCKMANN (shouts). You forbid — ! You! A set of —
BURGOMASTER. I forbid it —I your chief; and when I issue an order, you have simply to obey.

The hardened sinner must be punished severely to secure the desired ends. Although indignation often goes too far in meting out punishment, it may still be just.

In his own grease I made him fry.

The man lacks sufficient power and authority and the culprit does not submit to him. It is like biting through old dried meat and coming upon something poisonous. Some humiliation results but no blame.

It is not a man's duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it.

Great obstacles in the form of strong opponents require the man to make difficult judgments. All goes well if he cautiously perseveres.

Hope nothing from foreign governments. They will never be really willing to aid you until you have shown that you are strong enough to conquer without them.

A clear-cut case meets with difficulty because of a tendency to be lenient. The man must be as true as gold and as impartial as the mean.

On January 20, I had an audience with the Tsar. "From my second report, Your Majesty may have seen that I regard the situation as worse than ever. The frame of mind of the country is such that very serious outbreaks may be expected. Political divisions no longer exist, but Russia, as one, demands a change in Government, and the appointment of a responsible Prime Minister who has the confidence of the country. It is necessary to work in agreement with the legislative bodies and public organizations in order to organize the rear and conquer the enemy. To our great shame in these war times, everything is in disorder. There is no government, no system, and no cooperation between front and rear. Wherever one looks he sees only disorder and betrayal.... The idea spreads that everything is done that harms Russia and benefits the enemy. Strange rumors circulate about traitors and spies in the rear of the army. There is not one honest man in your entourage; all decent people have either been sent away or have left.... It is no secret that the Empress issues State orders without consulting you; that Ministers go to her with their reports; and that at her will those she disapproves of are removed and are replaced by others who are totally unfit.... She is regarded as a partisan of Germany, which she protects. Even the common people speak of it."...
I then turned the conversation to the front and recalled how I had pleaded with him not to take the supreme command and that now, after the failure on the Rumanian front, all blame fell upon him.
"Do not bring about a situation, Your Majesty, which will force your subjects to choose between you and the good of the country. Until now, Tsar and country have been one, but lately a distinction has been made."
The Tsar pressed his head with his hands and said: "Is it possible that for twenty-two years I have tried to do some good, and that for twenty-two years I have failed?"
It was a trying moment.
"Yes, Your Majesty, for twenty-two years you have followed the wrong trail."

A wise government knows how to enforce with temper or to conciliate with dignity.

The man is deaf to repeated warnings. Evil accumulates, as he thinks, "Small sins do no harm." His guilt grows until it cannot be pardoned.

Everybody is talkin` these days about Tammany man growin' rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin' the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There's all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in politics. I have myself. I've made a big fortune out of the game, and I'm gettin' richer every day, but I've not gone in for dishonest graft —black-mailin' gamblers, saloon-keepers, disorderly people, etc. — and neither has any of the men who have made big fortunes in politics.
There's an honest graft, and I'm an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin': "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em."
Just let me explain by examples. My party's in power in the city, and it's goin' to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I'm tipped off, say, that they're going to lay out a new park at a certain place. I see my opportunity and I take it. I go to that place and I buy up all the land I can in the neighborhood. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before.
Ain't it perfectly honest to charge a good price and make a profit on my investment and foresight? Of course, it is. Well, that's honest graft....
Now, in conclusion, I want to say that I don't own a dishonest dollar. If my worst enemy was given the job of writin' my epitaph when I'm gone, he couldn't do more than write:
"George W. Plunkitt. He Seen His Opportunities, and He Took 'Em."

The over-all judgment: force and energetic efforts are needed to remove talebearers, traitors, and others who impede unity. The lasting solution, however, is based on clarity of thinking, gentleness, hardness, as well as enthusiasm in fitting proportions.

We must crush both the interior and exterior enemies of the Republic, or perish with her. And in this situation, the first maxim of your policy should be to conduct the people by reason and the enemies of the people by terror. If the spring of popular government during peace is virtue, the spring of popular government in rebellion is at once both virtue and terror; virtue, without which terror is fatal! terror, without which virtue is powerless! Terror is nothing else than justice, prompt, secure, and inflexible! It is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is less a particular principle than a consequence of the general principles of democracy, applied to the most urgent want of the country.

Nothing was spared to enhance the effect of the autode-fe of Trinity Sunday, May 21, 1559, in which the first portion of the Valladolid prisoners were to suffer. It was solemnly proclaimed fifteen days in advance, during which the buildings of the Inquisition were incessantly patrolled, day and night, by a hundred armed men, and guards were stationed at the stagings in the Plaza Mayor, for there were rumors that the prison was to be blown up and that the stagings were to be fired. Along the line of the procession palings were set in the middle of the street, forming an unobstructed path for three to march abreast.... Every house-front along the line and around the plaza had its stagings; people flocked in from thirty and forty leagues around and encamped in the fields....
The procession was headed by the effigy of Leonor de Vivero, who had died during trial, clad in widow's weeds and bearing a mitre with flames and appropriate inscriptions, and followed by a coffin containing her remains to be duly burnt. Those who were to be relaxed in person numbered fourteen, of whom one, Gonzalo Baez, was a Portuguese convicted of Judaism. Those admitted to reconciliation, with penance more or less severe, were sixteen in number, including an Englishman variously styled Anthony Graso or Bagor— probably Baker— punished for Protestantism, like all the rest, excepting Baez. When the procession reached the plaza, Augustin Cazalla was placed in the highest seat, as the conspicuous chief of the heresy, and next to him his brother, Francisco de Vivero. Melchor Cano at once commenced the sermon, which occupied an hour, and then Valdes and the Bishops approached the Princess Juana and Prince Carlos, who were present, and administered to them the oath to protect and aid the Inquisition, to which the multitude responded in a mighty roar, "To the death!" Cazalla, his brother and Alonzo Perez, who were in orders, were duly degraded from the priesthood, the sentences were read, those admitted to reconciliation made the necessary adjurations and those condemned to relaxation were handed over to the secular arm. Mounted on asses, they were carried to the Plaza de la Puerta de Campo, where the requisite stakes had been erected, and there they met their end....
Of these there were only two or three who merit special consideration. Cazalla, on his trial, had at first equivocated and denied that he had dogmatized, asserting that he had only spoken of these matters to those already converted. As a rule, all the prisoners eagerly denounced their associates; he may have been more reticent at first, for he was sentenced to torture in caput alienum, but when stripped he promised to inform against them fully, which he did, including Carranza among those who had misled him as to purgatory. He recanted, professed conversion and eagerly sought reconciliation .... He declared that, when opportunity offered in the auto, he would curse and detest Lutheranism and persuade everyone to do the same, with which purpose he took his place in the procession.
So great was his emotional exaltation that he fulfilled this promise with such exuberance during the auto that he had to be checked .... On the way to the brasero he continued to exhort the people and directed his efforts especially to the heroic Herrezuelo, who had steadfastly refused to abandon his faith and was to be burnt alive ..
It was otherwise with Herrezuelo, the only martyr in the group. He avowed his faith and resolutely adhered to it, in spite of all effort to convert him and of the dreadful fate in store for him. On the way to the brasero, Cazalla wasted on him all his eloquence. He was gagged and could not reply, bui his stoical endurance showed his unyielding pertinacity. When chained to the stake, a stone thrown at him struck him in the forehead, covering his face with blood but, as we are told, it did him no good. Then he was thrust through the belly by a pious halberdier, but this moved him not and, when the fire was set, he bore his agony without flinching and, to the general surprise, he thus ended diabolically. Illescas, who stood so near that he could watch every expression, reports that he seemed as impassive as flint but, though he uttered no complaint and manifested no regret, yet he died with the strangest sadness in his face, so that it was dreadful to look upon him as on one who in a brief moment would be in hell with his comrade and master, Luther ....
The remainder of the Valladolid reformers were reserved for another celebration, October 8th, honored with the presence of Philip II, who obediently took the customary oath, with bared head and ungloved hand. It was, if possible, an occasion of greater solemnity than the previous one. A Flemish official, who was present, estimates the number of spectators at two hundred thousand and, though he must have been hardened to such scenes at home, he cannot repress an expression of sympathy with the sufferers. Besides a Morisco who was relaxed, a Judaizer reconciled and two penitents for other offences, there were twenty-six Protestants. The lesson was the same as in the previous auto, that few had the ardor of martyrdom. Thirteen had made their peace in time to secure reconciliation or penance. Even Juana Sanchez, who had managed to bring with her a pair of scissors and had cut her throat, recanted before death, but her confession was considered imperfect and she was burnt in effigy .... only in two cases did this withstand the test of fire. Carlos de Seso was unyielding to the end and, when we are told that he had to be supported by two familiars to enable him to stand when hearing his sentence, we can guess the severity of the torture endured by him. Juan Sanchez was likewise pertinacious; when the fire was set it burnt the cord fastening him to the stake; he leaped down and ran in flames; it was thought that he wanted to confess but, when a confessor was brought, he refused to listen to him; one account says that the guards thrust him back into the flames, another, that he looked up and saw Carlos de Seso calmly burning and himself leaped back into the blazing pile .... Thus was exterminated the nascent Protestantism of Valladolid.

Well, even in a beaten army when every tenth man is felled by the club, the lot falls also on the brave. There is some injustice in every great precedent, which, though injurious to individuals, has its compensation in the public advantage.


  22. Grace. Presumptuous intervention. Grace refers to both false grace and true grace. False grace refers to conceited behavior and the adornment of the ego-self-image. True grace refers to having an open mind, humility, simplicity, and acceptance. Anything to do with fiction, such as projecting a facade or image of ourselves, or using a personal style or technique in dealing with people, constitutes a decoration or gloss of the ego-self-image. . A sharp wit, bravado, intimidation, assuming a hierarchy above others, selfish self-display, a display of steadfastness (instead of being firm within) all imply brilliance. The ego self-image is a false self created by bravado and being defensive. This self sees the world in a limited, self-oriented way, and is often concerned with how others perceive it. Achieving results through brilliance is the opposite of the I Ching's way of influencing through the power of inner truth (see Inner Truth, Hex. 61), and through the unobserved and background stance referred to in The Family (Hex. 37).

Brilliance also refers to contrived solutions to problems. We come up with solutions to problems because we distrust or ignore the will or ability of the Creative (the unknown) to make things work; we fear having to act alone, or having to intervene to save the situation. This fear arises from the fact that our ego believes that everything must move in a straight line towards the solution it believes to be correct. He is unable to realize that the Creative works things out using every direction the situation takes. The Creative, it can be said, works in a zig-zag, veering this way and that, confusing the supervising ego and its eternal quest for control.

Brilliance also refers to fixed (conventional, habitual) approaches to problems, such as when we ask people to do what we want. It also refers to fixed ideas, such as when we have an overview of things and are not open to new perceptions. We can consider a "disastrous" situation, while from the Cosmic point of view the course of events may be the only way things can turn out right, which we realize later, through hindsight. (The ego always wants to know in advance and with certainty what will happen.)

Brilliance can also refer to a fixed approach to righting wrongs, such as demanding that those who have wronged us humble themselves before us, or climb a whimsical list of obstacles before we trust them again. An implied contract between two people, promising to alleviate and tolerate each other's egos, is an example of a brilliant relationship that works quite harmoniously for a time. Sooner or later, however, the tyrannical child in each person, being thus fed, becomes overgrown and causes trouble. Another form of brilliance involves our perception that some people are important, or unimportant, simply because our family, or clan, or social group has defined them as such. Likewise, it is brilliant to think that it is important to be understood, or “doing something” in a situation. Our importance lies in perceiving matters in their essential lines, and in turning the matter to the Cosmos and not in being in the center of the action. When we turn the matter to the Cosmos we activate the power of the Creative to correct the situation. True grace is letting go unconditionally because we realize that only the Unknown knows how to bring about the correct solution.

True grace abandons all ways our ego defends itself. In self-development work our relationship to the Unknown is explored, allowing us to gradually let go of our defenses against it, and to let things happen without interference or manipulation. We stop trying to make things happen, or assert ourselves through the trappings of the intellect, titles, rights, or other forms of self-assertion. We understand that true power is the grace of simplicity, acceptance and dependence on the Higher Power.

The "fire that rages in the deep secret of the mountain" symbolizes the beauty of the spirit that creates affection. Beauty of spirit is important, but it cannot be relied upon to make things work properly. More serious effort is needed to keep ourselves clear and fair. The two strong lines of the lower trigram represent the basis of equality, justice, dignity and respect which must be properly established before unity with another can exist. While in our simplicity we would prefer to open ourselves expansively to people, we must nevertheless be inwardly rigorous and require proper sensitivity and receptivity before abandoning our reserve.

We often receive this hexagram when we have plans to do something, rather than patiently waiting for an opportunity where we could make progress to arise. There is a danger that elements of indulgence and luxury, here called brilliance, have crept into our attitude. The hexagram calls us to the true grace of simply accepting that we are unable to achieve anything of value without the help of the Sage, and that recourse to planning and effort blocks this help. Receiving this hexagram can also mean that another's improvement seems better than it is, and that we must not be deceived by appearances. The change we see is only of a superficial nature (“he changes his face”, as said in Revolution, Exag. 49),

First line: He graces his toes, leaves the wagon and walks. The chariot represents the use of brilliant means to make progress: when we should be walking, we are in the chariot, instead of following, we lead. We have devised solutions, instead of allowing them to evolve from the situation, we force our way through instead of persevering in inaction and detachment, we strive instead to turn things over to Wise and Fate to correct them, we try to put everything in order according to our will instead of remaining open and innocent. Sometimes, because we are parents, teachers, or owners, we feel empowered to assume the rights that supposedly come with these roles. True grace is to recognize the impotence and selfishness implicit in the idea of ​​law. Being a parent or owner does not mean that we automatically know what is right, or that we have the right to use wrong means to make progress. Instead, we must rely on simplicity and humility to find the correct way forward.

We also ride the bandwagon when ignoring the steps to accept unity before the correct conditions are firmly established. This is using dubious means to achieve our goals. The chariot also refers to how we defend ourselves. We must avoid pretending to be brilliantly wise and omniscient. We must admit, however, that we do not know the answers. If we are blindly guided, the inner truth will emerge, in response to the needs of the moment, to show us the right way. Allowing ourselves to defend ourselves from the unknown is to leave the wagon and continue on foot.

Second Line: Grants grace to the stubble on his chin. In this line the chin refers to the essential element, while the beard refers to the non-essential, but decorative element. Receiving this line often refers to worrying about how our actions appear to others rather than questioning whether they are essential and correct. Thus, by harboring doubts, we give credibility and power to what we think others think. If we dismiss these misgivings, people will cease to question the validity of what we do.

Other times this line refers to our being more concerned with how a person looks, rather than how they behave. Or, when we judge another because of the symptoms of his behavior (his defense system), rather than because of the main fears that dominate him, and therefore we fail to understand him. In other words, we follow desire and our inferiors (the beard), rather than our superior nature (the chin).

The beard also symbolizes false grace in the form of our (or others') self-image, the studied way (or habit) with which we treat people and problems (our set of defensive actions). It is as if we have an internal mirror in which we say: «See, this is how I handle this situation» or «This is the kind of person I am».

In terms of achieving results, this trait also refers to paying too much attention to outward form and appearances. We care more about achieving a result (the beard) than how it is to be achieved (the chin). In the I Ching, how something is achieved is more than just getting it. Sometimes, the line means we are following the path because we know it will lead to our goal, instead of aimlessly, just because it is good and right. Beard also refers to times when we want unity before the conditions for unity are right: thus we settle for using the wrong means. The student of the I Ching eventually realizes that the goal cannot be separated from the path. How and when we say or do things is as important as what we get.

Finally, the beard refers to times when we focus on external appearances (the beard), questioning the I Ching's reassurances that things are progressing on an internal level.

Third line: Pretty and moist. Because everything seems to be going well for the change, we relax and enjoy ourselves, forgetting our obligation to be reserved with the person who has not corrected her attitude towards us more than superficially. Or, as things have gotten better, we've regained the arrogant self-confidence to take on the problems and try to force progress instead of letting things unfold naturally. When we give up discipline in this way, we lose the penetrating power of inner truth.

Fourth Line: Grace or simplicity. We're tempted to rely on charm, a sense of power, intellect, or a studied approach to things, all of which comprise the brilliance referred to in this line. Brilliance refers to plans and planning, as when we imagine a grand way to handle an injustice. We go back to simplicity when we realize we don't have the answers. We must also free ourselves from the doubt inherent in thinking that we need to have the answers. Acceptance doesn't just mean that we accept that we don't know, it also means that we abandon our ideas about how to handle problems, we simply follow the path dictated by truth, advancing when the way is open, and retreating when the way is closed. We ask for the help of the Cosmos and work with it as opportunities and changes present themselves. Instead of the brilliance of questioning, we fall back into the simplicity of acceptance.

Another aspect of brilliance is thinking we are good because we like or know what is good. You cannot "be" good. We can only follow what is good by asking ourselves in every situation “what is the correct answer, the correct way?”. Adopting the idea that we are good, or enlightened, is brilliance. It is enough to follow the good and keep our humility.

Sometimes simplicity means that we go back to being reserved with those who distrust us, or who are insensitive to us: we continue on our way alone. Until the other person has dedicated themselves to finding the truth within themselves, this is the only true relationship possible, otherwise we cling to the empty form and pretense (brilliance) and ignore the substance of the relationship.

Sometimes we lack confidence in remaining silent and private. There's nothing wrong with having nothing to say.

Fifth Line: Grace in the hills and gardens. Returning to simplicity requires that we give up the defenses of our self. This diminished ego makes us feel exposed and in danger, yet our courage and self-sacrifice are noticed by the Sage. He recognizes and respects our sincere effort to do what is right.

Sixth Line: Simple grace. No fault. By freeing ourselves from the trappings and security of a fixed order, and in disciplining the loud and demanding voices of the lower self, we begin to see the beauty and rightness of the way the Cosmos works and of our limitations. By renouncing the use of (ascendancy) power, we find the correct way to make progress, through the true grace of simplicity, sincerity and serenity. While we follow the guidelines of being simple and serious, we let ourselves be guided by the needs of the moment. We adhere to the fine line of the essential, venturing out only reluctantly through openings, ready and willing to withdraw when others are no longer receptive, or if we begin to become emotionally involved. Thus we also do what is great.

It is tempted to create a falsely flattering public image for himself. A simple demeanor is more gracious and fitting to his position.

Aunt Alicia slipped the large square-cut emerald on one of her thin fingers and was lost in silence.
"Do you see," she said in hushed voice, "that almost blue flame darting about in the depths of the green light? Only the most beautiful emeralds contain that miracle of elusive blue."
"Who gave it to you, Aunt?" Gilberte dared to ask. "A king," said Aunt Alicia simply. "A great king?"
"No. A little one. Great kings do not give very fine stones."
"Why not?" For a fleeting moment, Aunt Alicia proffered a glimpse of her tiny white teeth.
"If you want my opinion, it's because they don't want to. Between ourselves, the little ones don't either."
"Then who does give great big stones?"
"Who? The shy. The proud, too. And the bounders, because they think that to give a monster jewel is a sign of good breeding. Sometimes a woman does, to humiliate a man ...."

The man seeks adornment for its own sake, without regard to his inner spiritual qualities, which it should enhance.

"The hat, my boy, the hat, whatever it may be, is in itself nothing—makes nothing, goes for nothing; hut, be sure of it, everything in life depends upon the cock of the hat." For how many men—we put it to your own experience, reader— have made their way through the thronging crowds that beset fortune, not by the innate worth and excellence of their hats, but simply, as Sampson Piebald has it, by "the cock of their hats"? The cock's all.

I did not understand his meaning; his discourse was so obscured by solemnity, grandeur, and majesty.

The man is enjoying a charmed life, and is given many honors. He should guard against convivial indolence and be aware of its consequences.

If daily drinkers felt the headache first, Before the tasting, few would feel athirst!
But now alas! comes pleasure first, then pain, Too late to teach that abstinence is gain.

The man is faced with the choice between a life of brilliance and one of simplicity. All considerations suggest simplicity. Renouncing potential comforts may seem disappointing at first, but peace of mind will be attained through proper relationship with the sincere supporter.

How vainly men themselves amaze, To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their incessant labours see Crown'd from some single herb or tree.
Whose short and narrow verged shade Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flow'rs and trees do close To weave the garlands of repose!
Fair quiet, have I found thee here, And innocence, thy sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then In busy companies of men.
Your sacred plants, if here below, Only among the plants will grow;
Society is all but rude To this delicious solitude.

The man meets someone whom he wishes to befriend and feels ashamed at his meager gifts. But his natural sincerity overcomes the difficulties and good fortune ensues.

A poor man knows not how to eat with a rich man. If he begins to eat fish he eats the head.
Invite a poor man and he comes disreputably. He comes licking his lips. He is an upsetter of the platter.
The poor man has no reserve. If he is called he comes with the blood of lice in his finger-nails. The face of a poor man is furrowed by hunger and thirst that is in his vitals. Poverty is no state fit for mortal man—it makes him a beast to be fed upon the grass. Poverty is no right thing when a man gets it. Though he be nobly born he has no power with God.

The man reaches the peak of his development, and displays perfect grace through the true expression of his character without pretensions. He understands the patterns of human frailties.

EDWARD. Now, George, it rests I gratify thy worth; And therefore here I do bequeath to thee, In full possession, half that Kendal hath; I give it frankly unto thee forever. Kneel down, George.
GEORGE. What will your majesty do?
EDWARD. Dub thee a knight, George.
GEORGE. I beseech your grace, grant me one thing.
EDWARD. What is that?
GEORGE. Then let me live and die a yeoman still. So was my father, so must live his son.
For 'tis more credit to men of base degree To do great deeds than men of dignity.

He had thought more than other men, and in matters of the intellect he had that calm objectivity, that certainty of thought and knowledge, such as only really intellectual men have, who have no axe to grind, who never wish to shine, or to talk others down, or to appear always in the right. I remember an instance of this in the last days he was here, if I can call a mere fleeting glance he gave me an example of what I mean. It was when a celebrated historian, philosopher, and critic, a man of European fame, had announced a lecture in the school auditorium. I had succeeded in persuading the Steppenwolf to attend it, though at first he had little desire to do so. We went together and sat next to each other in the lecture hall. When the lecturer ascended the platform and began his address, many of his hearers, who had expected a sort of prophet, were disappointed by his rather dapper appearance and conceited air. And when he proceeded, by way of introduction, to say a few flattering things to the audience, thanking them for their attendance in such numbers, the Steppenwolf threw me a quick look, a look which criticized both the words and the speaker of them — an unforgettable and frightful look which spoke volumes! It was a look that did not simply criticize the lecturer, annihilating the famous man with its delicate but crushing irony. That was the least of it. It was more sad than ironical; it was indeed utterly and hopelessly sad; it conveyed a quiet despair, born partly of conviction, partly of a mode of thought which had become habitual with him. This despair of his not only unmasked the conceited lecturer and dismissed with its irony the matter at hand, the expectant attitude of the public, the somewhat presumptuous title under which the lecture was announced — no, the Steppenwolf's look pierced our whole epoch, its whole overwrought activity, the whole surge and strife, the whole vanity, the whole superficial play of a shallow, opinionated intellectuality. And alas! the look went still deeper, went far below the faults, defects and hopelessness of our time, our intellect, our culture alone. It went right to the heart of all humanity, it bespoke eloquently in a single second the whole despair of a thinker, of one who knew the full worth and meaning of man's life. It said: "See what monkeys we are! Look, such is man!" and at once all renown, all intelligence, all the attainments of the spirit, all progress towards the sublime, the great and the enduring in man fell away and became a monkey's trick!

The over-all judgment: the ceremonial observances of society are stimulating to the workings of the government. However, they are not to be relied upon in decisions of consequence. The basic attitude must be firm, abiding, and correct.

"I have had a look at the dossier," he [the young lawyer] told the rebel. "The charges are pretty stiff, but in extenuation there is your extreme youth at the time of the revolution. A misguided youth of twenty, a mere child . . .. We will concentrate on that. And, of course, on your having returned of your own free will. I have not the slightest idea what made you do it, but we will say that you were longing to do penance."
The rebel made a wry face. "Must we?" he hesitated. "It may sound sacrilegious to your ears, but I do not feel particularly guilty, I have no sense of guilt at all, I am afraid. My case is simply that I want to live at home and if the price is a few years in prison I am willing to pay it."
"We had better speak of repentance," the young lawyer advised him. "Of repentance and expiation. These soulful things go down all right if they are handled impressively."

The maiden who listens, like the town that negotiates, is halfway toward surrender.

My idea was then and still is that if a man did his work well, the price he could get for that work, the profits, and all financial matters would care for themselves.


  23. Splitting. Disbelief in the power of non-action, or in the power of "just being." It's not good to go anywhere. Doubt and fear have already caused us to part from our path, or threaten to do so.

The main doubt is whether we will achieve our goal through the path of docility and inaction, and by simply holding on to the power that truth has to correct the situation through "letting it in" in our attitude. We are afraid to let things take their course. We think we have to influence the situation through some action or plan. Even contemplating an intervention means "dividing yourself" from our path. When we part from our true path, we turn matters to the Lesser Man and the inferiors.

We often receive this hexagram when we think we must arm ourselves against a situation that will be embarrassing, that will undermine our principles, or that will lead to new difficulties. Taking preventative measures, or even contemplating doing so, is divisive. Instead, we must believe that we will receive the protection we need, because as long as we persist in defending ourselves, the Higher Power leaves us to ourselves. With distrust we isolate ourselves from help.

Whatever we do through our own means will prove insufficient or defective, so that at worst we will have a destructive effect, or at best we will have prevented the situation from progressing. Going with the flow (wu wei) allows the Creative to do its job.

Splitting can also refer to times when we lose our conscience and abandon our responsibilities. Abandonment occurs when we let people go, but not with kindness. As it says in Youthful Foolishness (Hex. 4), we should treat fools kindly. Abandonment also occurs when we consider people unable to save themselves, or when we think they will never be in proper relationship with us. We get this hexagram, moreover, when we returned to the correct path, having parted from it.

This hexagram can refer to dividing others from their paths. During these times we must be submissive and not take any action or role, but we must be docile, go our own way, and let the negative thing collapse on its own. While those from whom we break away may suffer adversity, adversity will provide them with the opportunities they need to learn what is right. The Greater Man does not fear adversity. He understands that they are often the only means by which we can grow and correct our decadent attitudes towards life. Thus life, with its adversities, is the place to develop our higher consciousness. This does not mean, of course, that we should court adversity, or be happy when others have it.

First line: Followers of the ruler are destroyed. Doubt and fear have undermined a firm and persevering attitude. We feel compelled to force matters to a conclusion. The first evidence of this doubt is our attachment to grievances and wounds, memorizing them as conditions that must be corrected. True, they must be corrected, but not in response to our ego's question. We must leave the work of correction and punishment to the Wise. In the meantime, we must let go of inner resistance, develop an open acceptance of the way the Cosmos works, and trust that it will do whatever it takes to benefit and balance it all.

Second Line: Those who persevere are destroyed. Clear indications of danger occur when we think, "I don't care what happens." When we insist on harboring anger or other negative emotions, the danger and difficulty of our position is increased. This line also refers to times when, after a return to acceptance, we are tempted to do something to improve the relationship. We must return to neutrality and disengagement.

Third Line: He splits from them. No fault. Here, we withdraw from the evil influences that occur in the first two lines. We remember the help of the Sage and gain the stability needed to stand up to our clamoring inferiors. This line can also indicate that someone is "split" from wrongdoing to return to the correct path.

Fourth Line: The bed is divided up to the skin. Bad luck. Even if we have corrected our attitude, the turn of events triggered by our "split" must run its harmful course. However, the damage has reached its peak.

Fifth Line: A school of fish. When our attitude becomes correct, a change in conditions results, as when a school of fish changes direction in unison. When we stop trying to force change through conflict and leverage, the lower element capitulates and ceases to resist and compete. Acceptance leads to success.

Sixth Line: There is a large uneaten fruit. The correct path, which was questioned due to the division, is now confirmed in our minds. Evil in others always feeds on the evil it finds in us. Fear and doubt are sources of dark energy. If we are persevering in neutrality, evil runs out and dies. When good dies, it is the seed of the new that remains; the “big fruit” is a good effect on others, produced by our work and perseverance.

The superior men around the ruler are being undermined by the slander and intrigue of inferior men on their destructive path. All that can be done is to be patient while the evil continues.

You belittle slander, sir? You scarcely know what you are making light of. I have seen the most respectable people very near to being overwhelmed by it. There is no silly piece of malice, no abomination, no absurd story that we could not get taken up and repeated by the idlers of a big city, provided we go about it the right way. And we have in Seville such skilled people in affairs of that kind—To start with a low sound, skimming the ground like the swallow before the storm, pianissimo, very softly it murmurs, spreads swiftly, and hurls while running the poisoned dart. Here such and such a mouth takes it up, and piano, piano it slips easily into your ear. The evil is done; it trails; it winds; and rinforzando, from mouth to mouth it goes the dance of a pace; then suddenly, no one knows how, you see slander rear itself, hiss, swell, and grow before your eyes. It hurls itself forward, enlarges its flight, whirls, envelops, uproots, thunders, and becomes, thanks to heavens, a universal cry, a public crescendo, a general chorus of hatred and condemnation. What the devil could resist it?

The inferior men grow stronger. No help is in sight. Great caution and stubborn adherence to personal convictions are required.

I am a man, a discerning one, yet who respects me prospers not,
My righteous word has been turned into a lie, The man of deceit has covered me with the South-wind, I am forced to serve him,
Who respects me not has shamed me before you. You have doled out to me suffering ever anew, I enter the house, heavy is the spirit,
I, the man, went out to the street, oppressed is the heart, With me, the valiant, the righteous shepherd has become angry and looked upon me inimically, My herdsman has sought out evil forces against me who am not his enemy,
My companion says not a true word to me, My friend gives the lie to my righteous word. The man of deceit has conspired against me, And you, O my god, do not thwart him!

Because of circumstances beyond his control, the man finds himself associating with evil men. His inner relationship with a superior man enables him to retain his righteous stability, leading to opposition from inferior people.

The ceremonial welcome reached its high point about midnight. Huge chunks of the roasted cow were brought in to us, and we gnawed at the almost raw meat between swigs of liquor. Outside, there was muted drumming. Voices were growing louder and louder. Suddenly, in the midst of a long-winded speech by an immensely dignified Masai chief from a neighboring and friendly tribe, Kenyatta jumped up, grabbed his heavy cane and half staggered to the door.
"Come, Peter," he called. Everybody was startled. I hesitated. He raised his cane and beckoned to me with it. I knew that this would be a dreadful breach of tribal etiquette. "Come, man!" he snapped. I got up, aware of the sudden silence that had descended on the huge gathering. By some strange magic everybody seemed to know something had gone wrong.
"Jomo," I said. "I can't stand any more," he snapped. "Come!" I followed him to the door. I knew the discourtesy we were inflicting on the tribe. I also knew that my friend was at the breaking point. We walked through the crowd of people, got into Kenyatta's car and drove off into the night. The African moon was big and yellow, bathing the land in a soft light that almost achieved the clarity of daylight.
He took me to his house. It was a big, sprawling, empty place on the brow of a hill. Inside, it had nothing to make for comfort. There were hard wooden chairs, a few tables and only the bed in the bedroom. There were no books, none of the normal amenities of western civilization. When we arrived two women emerged from somewhere in the back and hovered about in the shadows. They brought in liquor, but I never got a clear glimpse of either of them. My friend's anguish of spirit was such that I did not want to ask questions. We sat on the veranda and drank steadily and in silence until we were both miserably, depressingly drunk.
And then Kenyatta began to speak in a low, bitter voice of his frustration and of the isolated position in which he found himself. He had no friends. There was no one in the tribe who could give him the intellectual companionship that had become so important to him in his years in Europe. The things that were important to him —consequential conversation, the drink that represented a social activity rather than the intention to get drunk, the concept of individualism, the inviolability of privacy—all these were alien to the tribesmen in whose midst he lived. So Kenyatta, the western man, was driven in on himself and was forced to assert himself in tribal terms. Only thus would the tribesmen follow him and so give him his position of power and importance as a leader.

Calamity is imminent. Neither warning nor protection is forthcoming. The man is at the mercy of destroyers.

DIABOLUS. Come, show me the agreement you've drawn up
Between me and my darling. Read the terms, For you're a perfect artist in this kind.
PARASITE. 'Twill make the mother tremble when she reads.
DIABOLUS. Well, read it to me.
PARASITE. Are you listening?
PARASITE (reading). "Diabolus, the son of Glaucus, gives
Cleareta the sum of twenty minae, That he may have Philaenium, her daughter, And keep her night and day for one whole year."
DIABOLUS. She mustn't see another man.
PARASITE. Must that be in?
DIABOLUS. It must, and write it plain!
PARASITE. "She shall not ever see another man, Though she should say he is her friend or patron, Or feign that he's the sweetheart of her friend; Her doors must be fast closed to all but you, And she must always say she's not at home.
Then, though she say it's come from foreign parts,
No letter shall be found in all the house, Nor a wax tablet; also any picture
From which wax might be got for writing letters, She now shall sell; and if they are not sold Within four days from when she gets the money, They shall be yours, to burn them, if you like, That she may have no wax wherewith to write. She shall invite no guest; you shall do that. If she catch sight of any other man,
She instantly shall look the other way. She shall not drink from any one but you; Shall take the cup from you and hand it back;
Nor drink a single drop without your knowledge."
DIABOLUS. That's well.
PARASITE. "To turn suspicion from herself, She shall not tread on anybody's foot
When she gets up or crosses the next couch. Nor in descending shall she give a hand. She shall not give her ring to anyone
To look at, nor shall ask his in return,
Nor shall she challenge anyone but you
To play at dice; and she shall name your name, And not say, 'Thee,' when challenging to throw. And only goddesses shall she invoke, And no male god; but if she must do so, She shall tell you, and you shall do it for her. She shall not nod, or wink her eye, or beckon To any man; and if the light goes out,
She shall not move a limb until it's lit."
DIABOLUS. First-rate! But in her room, I'd rather have Her move her limbs a bit. Cut out that clause; For she shan't say the contract does forbid. PARASITE. I know; you fear a catch.
PARASITE. I'll remove
That clause. Now hear the rest.
DIABOLUS. All right; read on.
PARASITE. "She shall not utter an ambiguous word, Or speak in any language but her own. If she perchance must cough, she shall not cough So as to put her tongue out when she coughs. If she pretends she wants to clean her lips, She shall not do it so; it would be better For you to wipe her lips yourself than suffer That she should show her open mouth to men. Her mother shall never drop in to dinner,
Nor start to make complaints; and if she does, Her punishment shall be to have no wine For twenty days."
DIABOLUS. Bravo! A clever bond!

The dark forces undergo change, yielding to the strong influence of the basic goodness of men.

Remorse goes to sleep during a prosperous period and wakes up in adversity.

The evil finally brings about its own demise, and good times return. The man acquires fresh vigor, and the sovereign is strengthened by public support.

A Wolf, once upon a time, resolved to disguise himself, thinking that he should thus gain an easier livelihood. Having, therefore, clothed himself in a sheep's skin, he contrived to get among a flock of Sheep, and feed along with them, so that even the Shepherd was deceived by the imposture. When night came on and the fold was closed, the Wolf was shut up with the Sheep, and the door made fast. But the Shepherd, wanting something for his supper, and going in to fetch out a sheep, mistook the Wolf for one of them and killed him on the spot.

In the reign of King Giovanni d'Atri, there was ordered to be erected a certain great bell for the especial use of individuals who might happen to meet with any grievous injuries, when they were to ring as loudly as they could, for the purpose of obtaining redress. Now it so fell that the rope in the course of time was nearly worn away, on which a bunch of snake-weed had been fastened to it, for the convenience of the ringers. One day a fine old courser belonging to a knight of Atri, which being no longer serviceable, had been turned out to run at large, was wandering near the place. Being hard pressed by famine, the poor steed seized hold of the snake-weed with his mouth, and sounded the bell pretty smartly. The council, on hearing the clamor, immediately assembled, as if to hear the petition of the horse, whose appearance seemed to declare that he required justice. Taking the case into consideration, it was soon decreed that the same cavalier whom the horse had so long served while he was young should be compelled to maintain him in his old age; and the king even imposed a fine in similar instances to the same effect.

The over-all judgment: the decay of the body politic has set in. Inferior men are on the aggressive rise. The time is not favorable for the lonely superior man to undertake anything. The law of heaven dictates cycles of rise and fall, fullness and emptiness. It cannot be countermanded. It is prudent to submit and wait.

FAMUSOV. [You should] take a government position.
CHATSKI. I should gladly serve, but I hate to be subservient.
FAMUSOV. That's it! You are all a haughty lot! Ask how your fathers have done! Learn from your elders. Let us take, for example, my deceased uncle, Maksim Petrovich: he used to dine not upon silver, but upon gold; a hundred servants were at his beck; he was all covered with decorations; he traveled all the time in a procession, was all the time at Court, and at what Court! It was not then as now: he served under Empress Catherine! In those days there was some weight in dignity: bow all you please to them, they would not nod their heads. A dignitary was not an ordinary rnortal: he drank and ate quite differently. And my uncle, — what is your prince, your count? He had such a serious look, such a haughty mien, — but when it was necessary to be subservient, he knew how to limber up his joints. Once he by chance made a misstep during audience at Court: he fell, and almost hurt his occiput. The old man groaned, —his hoarse voice provoked her Majesty's smile, she deigned to laugh. What did he do? He rose, arranged his clothes, wanted to make a bow, and fell down again, but this time on purpose. The laughter was louder than before, — he repeated his feat. Well, how is that according to your own ideas? According to ours he was shrewd: he fell down in pain, he rose quite well. Who was oftenest invited to whist? Who heard a kind word at Court? Maksim Petrovich! That's no trifle! Who conferred ranks, and gave pensions? Maksim Petrovich!

That is why I speak of hyperdemocracy.... The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will.

When winter comes, a crow perches even on a scarecrow.


  24. Return. Flee from the dark power of pride and desire. We receive this hexagram the moment we glimpse that we have strayed (or are about to stray) from the correct way. Thus, we have the image of the rising of light.

Through hesitation and doubt we have fallen back (or have been tempted to fall back) into old belief systems, methods of defending ourselves, tricks for coping with problems, structured ways of relating to others, or a careless approach caused by indolence. In all cases, we either failed to work on maintaining self-discipline, or we failed to pay attention to our inner attitude.

We get this hexagram when we have barely visualized the problem. We need to shed full light on this insight in order to bring it into the full light of consciousness to promote corrective action.

Return does not only refer to the nascent glimmer of light that returns after being absent, it means that we must return to the correct conception and unstructured path. We withdraw from resistance and return to inner discipline, humility and acceptance. We abandon all reasoning that makes us argue, claim, or use power and force. We quiet the loud voices of inferiors (see Stand Still, Hex. 52) and forbid our ego to look at the situation and harbor its petty feelings of annoyance. In this way we displace his influence and make room for Cosmic understanding.

Above all, we retreat from the power of pride. Pride arises when we see that we have done wrong. If we don't resist pride immediately, we will get stuck in the grip of the dark force. Pride not only prevents us from having a good effect on our situation, but makes us resistant to asking for help and enlightenment, and thus isolates us from the Wise. Pride “dims our light” and plunges us back into the eclipse. We must let go of pride and humbly ask for help.

We also need to retreat from the old motivation of creating "desired effects." By following the path of desire, we will never achieve the lasting unity based on justice that we truly seek. By withdrawing from desire we also withdraw from ambition and impatience. Let's go back to the progress made with small steps, done with care. We return to the true grace of humility and dependence on the Higher Power.

First line: Return from a short distance. The alienation and doubt are beginning. Thoughts of abandoning the path creep into our minds. We have to get rid of them before they become established, while we are still able to see their negative effects; once squeezed in their grip we will not see anything anymore.

Second Line: Quiet return. Good luck. Pride has been aroused because of the transgressions of others, and because we feel abandoned by Fate. We must sacrifice pride, let go of the situation, and return to serene perseverance. We have not been abandoned by Fate. If it weren't for adversity and challenges, we wouldn't grow.

Third line: Repeated return. Danger. Return from having left the path of patient perseverance; withdrawal from the inner demand that either the situation will improve or we will leave it. A tough and resilient attitude must be sacrificed in order to persevere forward.

Fourth Line: Walking among the others, he returns alone. We let go of the temptation to adopt the tough and resistant attitude indicated in the previous three lines, and we return to dependence and humility.

Fifth Line: Return with a noble heart. No remorse. There need be no remorse if we are willing to look inward, acknowledge our mistakes, and get back on track.

Sixth Line: There is no return. Bad luck. If we miss the moment of return, the good work we have accumulated will certainly be undone. This stubborn attitude is perhaps the greatest danger we face in self-development, for it gives rise to the forces which attack all unbalanced attitudes.

It returns to the original course of goodness after a minor setback. There is no cause for remorse since the evil is put aside quickly.

In fact there is a great deal to be said for getting fired from the first job.... getting fired from the first job is the least painful and the least damaging way to learn how to take a setback. And whom the Lord loveth he teacheth early how to take a setback.
Nobody has ever lived, I daresay, who has not gone through a period when everything seemed to have collapsed and when years of work and life seemed to have gone up in smoke. No one can be spared this experience; but one can be prepared for it. The man who has been through earlier setbacks has learned that the world has not come to an end because he lost his job—not even in a depression. He has learned that he will somehow survive. He has learned, above all, that the way to behave in such a setback is not to collapse himself.

No, no, I do not want a throne befouled With blood, the very blood whence I took life. Trusting that passion common in great spirits, I against nature heard ambition's voice, I deemed my tenderness of heart false virtue; With sovereignty the stake, my heart was silent; But when a father must be sacrificed, Ambition speaks no more and sonship counsels.

The man makes an admirable comeback through an act of self-mastery. This is made easier by the example of a good man.

The sun was already dropping low, and in the dead stillness only the twittering of the birds was audible, and the crackle of the dead wood under his feet. As he walked along rapidly, he fancied he heard the clang of iron striking iron, and he redoubled his pace. There was no repair going on in his section. What did it mean? He emerged from the woods, the railway embankment stood high before him; on the top a man was squatting on the bed of the line busily engaged in something. Semyon commenced quietly to crawl up towards him. He thought it was some one after the nuts which secure the rails. He watched, and the man got up, holding a crow-bar in his hand. He had loosened a rail, so that it would move to one side. A mist swam before Semyon's eyes; he wanted to cry out, but could not. It was Vasily! Semyon scrambled up the bank, as Vasily with crow-bar and wrench slid headlong down the other side.
"Vasily Stepanych! My dear friend, come back! Give me the crow-bar. We will put the rail back; no one will know. Come back! Save your soul from sin!" Vasily did not look back, but disappeared into the woods.
Semyon stood before the rail which had been torn up. He threw down his bundle of sticks. A train was due; not a freight, but a passenger-train. And he had nothing with which to stop it, no flag. He could not replace the rail and could not drive in the spikes with his bare hands. It was necessary to run, absolutely necessary to run to the hut for some tools. "God help me!" he murmured.
Semyon started running toward his hut. He was out of breath, but still ran, falling every now and then. He had cleared the forest; he was only a few hundred feet from his hut, not more, when he heard the distant hooter of the factory sound — six o'clock! In two minutes time No. 7 train was due. "Oh, Lord! Have pity on innocent souls!" In his mind Semyon saw the engine strike against the loosened rail with its left wheel, shiver, careen, tear up and splinter the sleepers — and just there, there was a curve and the embankment seventy feet high, down which the engine would topple— and the third-class carriages would be packed ... little children ... All sitting in the train now, never dreaming of danger. "Oh, Lord! Tell me what to do! ... No, it is impossible to run to the hut and get back in time."
Semyon did not run on to the hut, but turned back and ran faster than before. He was running almost mechanically, blindly; he did not know himself what was to happen. He ran as far as the rail which had been pulled up; his sticks were lying in a heap. He bent down, seized one without knowing why, and ran on farther. It seemed to him the train was already coming. He heard the distant whistle; he heard the quiet, even tremor of the rails; but the strength was exhausted, he could run no farther, and came to a halt about six hundred feet from the awful spot. Then an idea came into his head, literally like a ray of light. Pulling off his cap, he took out of it a cotton scarf, drew his knife out of the upper part of his boot, and crossed himself, muttering, "God bless me!" He buried the knife in his left arm above the elbow; the blood spurted out, flowing in a hot stream. In this he soaked his scarf, smoothed it out, tied it to the stick and hung out his red flag. He stood waving his flag. The train was already in sight. The driver would not see him — would come close up, and a heavy train cannot be pulled up in six hundred feet.
And the blood kept on flowing. Semyon pressed the sides of the wound together so as to close it, but the blood did not diminish. Evidently he had cut his arm very deep. His head commenced to swim, black spots began to dance before his eyes, and then it became dark. There was a ringing in his ears. He could not see the train or hear the noise. Only one thought possessed him. "I shall not be able to keep standing up. I shall fall and drop the flag; the train will pass over me. Help me, O Lord!"
All turned black before him, his mind became a blank, and he dropped the flag; but the bloodstained banner did not fall to the ground. A hand seized it and held it high to meet the approaching train.
The engineer saw it, shut the regulator, and reversed steam. The train came to a standstill.
People jumped out of the carriages and collected in a crowd. They saw a man lying senseless on the footway, drenched in blood, and another man standing beside him with a blood-stained rag on a stick. Vasily looked around at all. Then, lowering his head, he said: "Bind me. I tore up a rail!"

The man is changeable, departing time after time from the right course because of his uncontrolled desire for apparent advantages and returning to it for seemingly better solutions. No great blame will be attached to him, but there is some danger.

We think so because other people all think so;
Or because— or because— after all, we do think so;
Or because we were told so, and think we must think so;
Or because we once thought so, and think we still think so;
Or because having thought so, we think we will think so.

The man is superficially connected with inferior people but more deeply attached to a noble friend.

From childhood, I have been— only a thief.... Always I was called Waska, the pick-pocket, the son of a thief! See, it was of no consequence to me, as long as they would have it so . . . so they would have it.... I was a thief, perhaps, only out of spite . because nobody came along to call me anything except — thief.. .. You call me something else, Natasha.. ..

The man makes a noblehearted recovery by squarely facing his own shortcomings rather than leaning on trivial excuses.

Tsou Chi, the prime minister of Ch'i, was over eight feet tall and had a very handsome face and figure. One day as he was putting on his court robes and cap and looking at himself in the mirror, he said to his wife, "Who do you think is better looking, I or Lord Hsu of Ch'eng-pei?" His wife replied, "You are much better looking! How could Lord Hsu compare to you?" Lord Hsu of Ch'eng-pei was one of the handsomest men in the state of Ch'i.
Tsou Chi was not entirely confident, however, and so he put the same question to his concubine. "Who is better looking, I or Lord Hsu?" "Lord Hsu could never compare to you!" she replied.
The next morning a guest came to call and while Tsou Chi was sitting and chatting with him, he asked, "Who is better looking, Lord Hsti or I?" "Lord Hsu is nowhere near as good looking as you!" said the guest.
The following day Lord Hsu himself came to visit. Tsou Chi stared very hard at Lord Hsu and realized that his own looks could not compare, and when he went and looked in the mirror it was obvious that the difference between them was great indeed.
That night when he went to bed he thought over the incident. "My wife says I am better looking because she is partial to me, my concubine says I am better looking because she is afraid of me, and my guest says I am better looking because he hopes to get something out of me!" he declared.
The next time he went to court and had an audience with King Wei, he said, "I am certainly not as good looking as Lord Hsu. And yet my wife, who is partial to me, my concubine, who is afraid of me, and guest of mine, who wants something from me, all have told me that I am better looking than Lord Hsu.
Now the state of Ch'i is a thousand li square and contains a hundred and twenty cities. In this vast realm, there are none of the palace ladies and attendants who are not partial to Your Majesty, none of the court ministers who do not fear you, and no one within the four borders who does not hope to get something from you. If that is so, think how great must be the deception you face!"
"You are right," said the king, and issued a notice saying that, to any one of the officials or people of the state who would attack his faults to his face, he would give first prize; to anyone who would submit a letter of reprimand, he would give second prize; and to anyone who would spread critical rumors in the market so that they reached his ears, he would give third prize. When the notice was first issued, the officials who came forward with criticisms packed the gate of the palace until it looked like a market place. After several months, there were still people who came forward with criticisms from time to time. But by the end of the year, though the king might beg for reprimand, no one could any longer find anything to criticize.

The man attempts to gain his objectives by force. His blind obstinacy leads to calamity. The use of armies under these conditions will result in a great defeat and a long-lasting disaster for the state.

Rubashov stared through the bars of the window at the patch of the blue above the machine-gun tower. Looking back over his past, it seemed to him now that for forty years he had been running amuck — the running-amuck of pure reason. Perhaps it did not suit man to be completely freed from old bonds, from the steadying brakes of "Thou shalt not" and "Thou mayst not," and to be allowed to tear along straight toward the goal.

The over-all judgment: The time of darkness is past, in conformity with the cyclic course of nature. Society is harmonious. Friends come. Nothing stands in the man's road to progress.

... the ailing civilization pays the penalty for its failing vitality by being disintegrated into a dominant minority, which rules with increasing oppressiveness but no longer leads, and a proletariat (internal and external) which responds to this challenge by becoming conscious that it has a soul of its own and by making up its mind to save its soul alive. The dominant minority's will to repress evokes in the proletariat a will to secede; and a conflict between these two wills continues while the declining civilization verges towards its fall, until, when it is in articulo mortis, the proletariat at length breaks free from what was once its spiritual home but has now become a prison-house and finally a City of Destruction. In this conflict between a proletariat and a dominant minority, as it works itself out from beginning to end, we can discern one of those dramatic spiritual encounters which renew the work of creation by carrying the life of the Universe out of the stagnation of autumn through the pains of winter into the ferment of spring.

"Promise [said Saint Francis to the wolf of Gubbio] thou wilt never play me, thy bondsman, false." Then the wolf, lifting up his right paw, placed it in the hand of Saint Francis. Whereat there was such marvel and rejoicing among all the people—not only at the strangeness of the miracle, but because of the peace made with the wolf—that they all began to cry aloud to heaven.

Cliffs of scarlet cloud gleam in the west; The sun's feet are sinking beneath the earth.
By the rustic gate sparrows are twittering. The stranger returns to his home from a thousand li.
My wife is astonished that I still exist. No longer bewildered, she wipes away her tears.
I was drifting sand in the wind of the world's anger. It is just fate that has brought me back alive.
The fence gate is filled with neighbors' faces, Sighing and shedding a few tears.
In the deep night we light a new candle And see each other face to face as in a dream.
TU FU, CHINESE (712-770)


  25. Innocence. Maintain a blank mental screen and pay attention to the unexpected. If someone is not as they should be, they have bad luck. The commentary defines innocence as being devoid of forethought and reflection. Premeditation refers to anticipating the future, while reflection refers to rethinking, in which one evaluates, from the point of view of one's ego (or vanity), our role in what happened (whether we won or lost, or if we were confirmed or rejected). The type of anticipation and reflection referred to here is not that of objective contemplation, in which we dispassionately seek to assess whether what we have done is correct, but instead refers to the restless activity of the ego of seeing whether, in the his magic mirror of approval, measurable progress has been made in achieving what he wants. The ego likes to call itself persevering, and see himself as "the most beautiful", the most intelligent or the most correct of all. He also demands from the Cosmos that life proceed in a "reasonable" or determinable way, demanding that events proceed in a straight line towards the goal, but he distrusts and disdains the zigzagging path of the Creative.

We lose our innocence when we are anxious, "looking forward," or "backward," or "to one side." We look forward when we try to protect ourselves from the imaginary consequences of current situations, or when we look for ways to undo what we have done, or new ways to move forward. We look back when we congratulate or blame ourselves (or Fate, or the Wise) for past events. We look to one side when we compare our situation, or rate of progress, with that of others. We must not engage in such research, but only care about the needs of the moment.

Looking one way gives rise to envy, resentment, and even hatred, if we notice that our path is more difficult, or that the inferiors of others always seem to get away with the things that our path forbids us to do. . We experience another kind of envy when we look at others who have qualities we wish we, or wish we had, possessed in the past. We are almost always unaware that our strange attraction to people who are powerful, rich, or famous is due to envy caused by old hidden doubts about our ability to attain a full and rich life.

Looking to one side, forward or backward of our infantile heart constantly engages us in measuring, hoping, anticipating, waiting and fearing. This looking around comes from fear of the Unknown, and from doubts we have about ourselves and the Creative. It leads us to evoke imaginary problems and to evaluate situations incorrectly. It makes us decide how much effort we are willing to put into achieving success, and thus leads to a commitment to the provisional and conditional good. Such evaluations give rise to fantasies in which events are predicted to proceed in specific, goal-directed ways. Our inferiors then demand that we do what they think is necessary for events to go in that direction. All this defending, contriving, and covering up is the opposite of what is meant by acting innocently. To act innocently means to act with a pure, clear, and empty mind, and with an unconditional commitment to good. When the darkness of doubt prevails one must withdraw into a state of blankness, dispel all negative reactions to the way things seem to be moving. To maintain our innocence we must let go of the present and let the changes happen as they will. Acceptance is the correct frame of mind for today, innocence is the correct frame of mind for tomorrow.

Since we no longer have the natural innocence of youth, and since our minds have been conditioned to think that things are a certain way, we must strive to attain and maintain conscious innocence. By keeping our mind open and clear in the manner of a blank screen, we are able to reach the Cosmic point of view and understand the true nature of good and evil. When all roads seem blocked, a new way may become visible; in the depths of the storm, we are able to remember the rainbow. In a state of innocence, we can deal with unforeseen events with the help of the Creative, which always indicates the correct and appropriate response. If, however, we cling to old prejudices, we hide behind old defenses,

Innocence refers to being pure in heart. An effort is needed to maintain purity: let's avoid trying to jump ahead or use the wrong means to achieve our goals; we avoid wrong solutions to problems; we retain inner independence so that we are not drawn to flattery or desire. Working to maintain our innocence benefits everyone around us.

Innocence also connotes acceptance of the “undeserved misfortune” mentioned in the third line. We accept what happens, without losing our principles or giving up our goals. We accept that our standards are tested by the ego of others, or by the fire of adversity. When people see that we remain steadfastly detached, their envious trials give way, and one progresses toward good. Mistrust of truth and goodness is a defensive crutch to keep hope and frustration away. There is a certain certainty in having a “dull” vision: one is never disappointed. But this view blocks the inner freedom that produces true joy. It's hard for people to take the risk of giving up a defensive attitude.

Finally, innocence refers to an unstructured mind. An unstructured mind faces events, good and bad, with equanimity. He doesn't jump to conclusions with enthusiasm, nor does he walk away from the experience with fear and fear. He does not seek protection in grandiose belief systems simply because they seem to comfortably resolve ambiguities. This does not imply that we have no point of view. Through the Sage's teaching we greet a shocking and upsetting event as a nudge along the way; we see obstacles as opportunities to think in new terms. The unstructured mind asks with each new experience, "What can I learn from this?"

For the unstructured mind, life is a teacher. Free from denial, the unstructured and innocent mind remains independent and free.

First line: Innocent behavior brings good luck. Our original impulse is to remain detached, reticent, and disinterested. Receiving this line is a reminder to remain detached and not make plans to defend yourself against what may or may not happen; such behavior, which is true of our original nature, brings good luck.

Second Line: If the harvest is not counted while ploughing… If we are afraid of a negative result from what we are about to do (or have just done), or if we begin to wish that the situation would be better, then our attention is distracted from what we need to do right now, which is often remain disciplined and resolute. Distracted by desire, we are unable to act spontaneously as the moment requires, but we act conditioned to achieve the desired result. In listening to the selfish considerations of our inferiors, we lose our innocence. Innocence relates to the situation with an empty and unconditioned mind. By focusing on what is essential and correct, and by persevering in reticence and modesty, we advance with the light (respond to sensitivities) and retreat with the dark (we retreat when numbness prevails). In this way we manage to maintain our simplicity, our sincerity and our serenity. With our inner center of gravity in the right place, our effect is creative.

Prompted by hopes and expectations, we try to manipulate the direction of events and are disappointed if things don't work out as we would like, or according to our imaginary agenda. Disappointment then causes our will to persevere to collapse. In looking at the goal rather than the need of the moment, we suspect, with each new obstacle, that Fate is working against us, and we fail to see that it is we working against ourselves. Expectations and distrust exclude us from harmony, and therefore events are no longer in our favor. It's important to go back to an open mind, stop measuring progress, and stop thinking things are regressing. A goal-oriented point of view is one of the main obstacles to success.

Third Line: Undeserved misfortune. Bad situations happen and it's not our fault. Nonetheless, we must adapt to them with acceptance. Not doing so only brings more bad luck. We must not let negative events destroy our innocence.

Fourth Line: He who can be persevering remains blameless. “Not listening to others” can refer to feelings of alienation in which one accuses others, the Sage, or Fate of having presented us with maddening difficulties. “The others” include the voices of terror and anticipation advanced by our inferiors and sometimes by other people who fear for us. Listening to them leads us to act quickly and incorrectly, so the line advises us to remain persevering. Fear of losing is as bad as wanting to win too much. Fear makes us push forward to force change, or it makes us hold back so that spontaneous action becomes impossible. If we let ourselves be guided by what is essential and correct, we will find the best way to help, and the right time to help.

Fifth Line: Don't use medicine for an illness that occurred through no fault of your own. It will pass by itself. This line tells us that we can safely remain innocent (indifferent). It also reminds us not to invent remedies, but to remain unstructured and disengaged.

Sixth Line: Innocent action brings bad luck. Sometimes our sincere actions are misunderstood. We have to accept this fact and withdraw, to give the other person the space to find the truth. We can work successfully in a situation only as long as he works with us. We can only go so far as to allow us openness in the other person. To wait calmly, without further plans, is to truly disengage, without trying to explain. We must remember that time is the vehicle of the Creative, and people need time for the inner truth to penetrate them. Just as both dark and light are necessary for us to see, we must allow people to misunderstand. Sometimes, it is only by making mistakes that human beings can see that their mistakes cause suffering.

It follows the original pure impulses of his heart. His aims will be achieved.

When the heart dares to speak, it needs no preparation.

If you are looking for an easy and simple choice, the most peaceful, the most practical way of navigating in the sea of art is to float with the tide—be it in the calm of a carefree day when the waters are quiet and clear to the point of boredom, or in the nightmarish turbulence of a night of raging waves surrounded by darkness and impenetrable turmoil. But if such a course offers you little challenge, and you wish to choose your own course in the direction of your own goal— if you are ready to challenge the struggle and sufferings confronting you, the elements do not frighten you, you do not require favorable weather, you do not have to inquire about favorable trade winds — you can boldly set your course against the tide.

The man succeeds in everything he undertakes. He does not proceed with mercenary or selfish interests in mind but does good things for their own sake. Unsought wealth will come his way.

A Vinaya teacher once asked a Zen master, "How do you discipline yourself in your daily life?"
The master said, "When 1 am hungry I eat, when I feel tired I sleep."
Teacher: "That is what everybody generally does. Could he be said to be disciplining himself as much as yourself?"
Master: "No, not in the same way."
Teacher: "Why not the same?"
Master: "When they eat, they dare not eat, their minds are filled with all kinds of contrivances. Therefore, I say, not the same."

Undeserved calamity comes to the sincere person. Unexpected misfortunes of this kind, however, do not throw the superior man off stride.

We lived in Illinois from 1839 to 1844, by which time they again succeeded in kindling the spirit of persecution against Joseph and the Latter-day Saints. Treason! Treason! they cried, calling us murderers, thieves, liars, adulterers, and the worst people on the earth. And this was done by the priests, those pious dispensers of the Christian religion whose charity was supposed to be extended to all men, Christian and heathen; they were joined by drunkards, gamblers, thieves, liars, in crying against the Latter-day Saints. They took Joseph and Byrum, and as a guarantee for their safety, Governor Thomas Ford pledged the faith of the State of Illinois, They were imprisoned, on the pretense of safe keeping, because the mob was so enraged and violent. The Governor left them in the hands of the mob, who entered the prison and shot them dead... . After the mob had committed these murders, they came upon us and burned our houses and grain. When the brethren would go out to put out the fire, the mob would lie concealed under fences, and in the darkness of the night, they would shoot them. At last they succeeded in driving us from the state of Illinois....
We left Nauvoo in February, 1846. There remained behind a few of the very poor, the sick and the aged, who suffered again from the violence of the mob; they were whipped and beaten, and had their houses burned. We traveled west, stopping in places, building settlements, where we left the poor who could not travel any farther with the company. Exactly thirty years today myself, with others, came out of what we named Emigration Canyon; we crossed the Big and Little mountains, and came down the valley about three quarters of a mile south of this. We located, and we looked about, and finally we came and camped between the two forks of City Creek, one of which ran southwest and the other west. Here we planted our standard on this temple block and the one above it; here we pitched our camps and determined that here we would settle and stop.... We wish strangers to understand that we did not come here out of choice, but because we were obliged to go somewhere, and this was the best place we could find. It was impossible for any person to live here unless he labored hard and battled and fought against the elements.... We came here penniless in old wagons, our friends back [home] telling us to "take all the provisions you can, for you can get no more! Take all the seed grain you can, for you can get none there!" We did this, and in addition to all this we have gathered all the poor we could, and the Lord has planted us in these valleys, promising that he would hide us up for a little season until his wrath and indignation passed over the nations. Will we trust in the Lord? Yes.

What really belongs to the man cannot be lost to him. As long as he remains steadfast to his own nature, he will commit no error.

`Tis not in mortals to command success,
But we'll do more, Sempronius: we'll deserve it.

Unexpected evil comes to the man through no fault of his own. He should not anxiously resort to hasty remedies. Nature will overcome the evil in her own way and at her own pace.

Sick unto death, I have no desire for medicine
But people are so pertinacious, urging me to take it!

Time is the great physician.

The time is not ripe for further progress. The man keeps still. Activities in opposition to fate will not help him in any way.

Who is there that can make muddy water clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually become clear of itself. Who is there that can secure a state of absolute repose? But let time go on, and the state of repose will gradually arise.
LAO-TZU, CHINESE (604-531 B.C.)

The over-all judgment: heaven endows man with innate goodness. Instinctive devotion to this spirit leads to success, though conscious purpose jeopardizes nature's innocence. But even with instinctive sincerity, action must be in accord with the will of heaven.

If men suddenly see a child about to fall into a well, they will all without exception experience a feeling of alarm and distress. They will feel so not as a ground on which they may gain favor of the child's parents, nor as a ground on which they may seek the praise of their neighbors and friends, nor from a dislike to the reputation of having been unmoved by such a thing.

When I look back on my life, with its successes and its failures, its endless errors, its deceptions and its fulfillments, its joys and miseries, it seems to me strangely lacking in reality. It is shadowy and unsubstantial. It may be that my heart, having found rest nowhere, had some deep ancestral craving for God and immortality which my reason would have no truck with. In default of anything better it has seemed to me sometimes that I might pretend to myself that the goodness I have not so seldom after all come across in many of those I have encountered on my way had reality. It may be that in goodness we may see, not a reason for life nor an explanation of it, but an extenuation. In this indifferent universe, with its inevitable evils that surround us from the cradle to the grave, it may serve not as a challenge or a reply, but as an affirmation of our own independence. It is the retort t