Treatise on the Thwan 1, or king Wăn's Explanations of the entire Hexagrams
I. 1. Vast is the 'great and originating (power)' indicated by Khien! All things owe to it their beginning:--it contains all the meaning belonging to (the name) heaven.
2. The clouds move and the rain is distributed; the various things appear in their developed forms.
3. (The sages) grandly understand (the connexion between) the end and the beginning, and how (the indications of) the six lines (in the hexagram) are accomplished, (each) in its season. (Accordingly) they mount (the carriage) drawn by those six dragons at the proper times, and drive through the sky.
4. The method of Khien is to change and transform, so that everything obtains its correct nature as appointed (by the mind of Heaven); and (thereafter the conditions of) great harmony are preserved in union. The result is 'what is advantageous, and correct and firm.
5. (The sage) appears aloft, high above all things, and the myriad states all enjoy repose.
II. 1. Complete is the 'great and originating (capacity)' indicated by Khwăn! All things owe to it their birth;--it receives obediently the influences of Heaven.
2. Khwăn, in its largeness, supports and contains all things. Its excellent capacity matches the unlimited power (of Khien). Its comprehension is wide, and its brightness great. The various things obtain (by it) their full development.
3. The mare is a creature of earthly kind. Its (power of) moving on the earth is without limit; it is mild and docile, advantageous and firm:--such is the course of the superior man.
4. 'If he take the initiative, he goes astray:'--he misses, that is, his proper course. 'If he follow,' he is docile, and gets into his regular (course). 'In the south-west he will get friends:'--he will be walking with those of his own class. 'In the north-east he will lose friends:'--but in the end there will be ground for congratulation.
5. 'The good fortune arising from resting in firmness' corresponds to the unlimited capacity of the earth.
III. 1. In Kun we have the strong (Khien) and the weak (Khwăn) commencing their intercourse, and difficulties arising.
2. Movement in the midst of peril gives rise to 'great progress and success, (through) firm correctness.'
3. By the action of the thunder and rain, (which
are symbols of Kăn and Khan), all (between heaven and earth) is filled up. But the condition of the time is full of irregularity and obscurity. Feudal princes should be established, but the feeling that rest and peace have been secured should not be indulged (even then).
IV. 1. In Măng we have (the trigram for) a mountain, and below it that of a rugged defile with a stream in it. The conditions of peril and arrest
of progress (suggested by these) give (the idea in) Măng.
2. 'Măng indicates that there will be progress and success:'--for there is development at work in it, and its time of action is exactly what is right. 'I do not seek the youthful and inexperienced; he seeks me:'--so does will respond to will. 'When he shows (the sincerity that marks) the first recourse to divination, I instruct him:'--for possessing the qualities of the undivided line and being in the central place, (the subject of the second line thus speaks). 'A second and third application create annoyance, and I do not instruct so as to create annoyance:'--annoyance (he means) to the ignorant.
(The method of dealing with) the young and ignorant is to nourish the correct (nature belonging to them);--this accomplishes the service of the sage.
V. 1. Hsü denotes waiting. (The figure) shows peril in front; but notwithstanding the firmness and strength (indicated by the inner trigram), its subject does not allow himself to be involved (in the dangerous defile);--it is right he should not be straitened or reduced to extremity.
2. When it is said that, 'with the sincerity declared in Hsü, there will be brilliant success, and with firmness there will be good fortune,' this is shown by the position (of the fifth line) in the place assigned by Heaven, and its being the correct position for it, and in the centre. 'It will be advantageous to go through the great stream;'--that is, going forward will be followed by meritorious achievement.
VI. 1. The upper portion of Sung is (the trigram representing) strength, and the lower (that representing) peril. (The coming together of) strength and peril gives (the idea in) Sung.
2. 'Sung intimates how, though there is sincerity in one's contention, he will yet meet with opposition and obstruction; but if he cherish an apprehensive caution, there will be good fortune:'--a strong (line) has come and got the central place (in the lower trigram).
'If he must prosecute the contention to the (bitter) end, there will be evil:'--contention is not a thing to be carried on to extremity.
'It will be advantageous to meet with the great man:'--what he sets a value on is the due mean, and the correct place.
'It will not be advantageous to cross the great stream:'--one (attempting to do so) would find himself in an abyss.
VII. 1. (The name) Sze describes the multitude (of the host). The 'firmness and correctness' (which the hexagram indicates) refer to (moral) correctness (of aim). When (the mover) is able to use the multitude with such correctness, he may attain to the royal sway.
2. There is (the symbol of) strength in the centre (of the trigram below), and it is responded to (by its proper correlate above). The action gives rise to perils, but is in accordance (with the best sentiments of men). (Its mover) may by such action distress all the country, but the people will follow him;--there will be good fortune, and what error should there be?
VIII. 1. 'Pî indicates that there is good fortune:'--(the name) Pî denotes help; (and we see in the figure) inferiors docilely following (their superior).
2. 'Let (the principal party intended in it) reexamine himself, (as if) by divination, whether his virtue be great, unintermitting, and firm;--if it be so, there will be no error:--all this follows from the position of the strong line in the centre (of the upper trigram). 'Those who have not rest will come to him:'--high and low will respond to its subject. 'With those who are (too) late in coming it will be ill:'--(for them) the way (of good fortune here indicated) has been exhausted.
IX. 1. In Hsiâo Khû the weak line occupies its (proper) position, and (the lines) above and below respond to it. Hence comes the name of Hsiâo Khû (Small Restraint).
2. (It presents the symbols of) strength and flexibility. Strong lines are in the central places, and the will (of their subjects) will have free course. Thus it indicates that there will be progress and success.
3. 'Dense clouds but no rain' indicate the movement (of the strong lines) still going forward. The
'Commencing at our western border' indicates that the (beneficial) influence has not yet been widely displayed.
X. 1. In Lî we have (the symbol of) weakness treading on (that of) strength.
2. (The lower trigram) indicates pleasure and satisfaction, and responds to (the upper) indicating strength. Hence (it is said), 'He treads on the tail of a tiger, which does not bite him; there will be progress and success.'
3. (The fifth line is) strong, in the centre, and in
its correct place. (Its subject) occupies the God-(given) position, and falls into no distress or failure;--(his) action will be brilliant.
XI. 'The little come and the great gone in Thâi, and its indication that there will be good fortune with progress and success' show to us heaven and earth in communication with each other, and all things in consequence having free course, and (also) the high and the low, (superiors and inferiors), in communication with one another, and possessed by the same aim. The inner (trigram) is made up of the strong and undivided lines, and the outer of the weak and divided; the inner is (the symbol of) strength, and the outer of docility; the inner (represents) the superior man, and the outer the small man. (Thus) the way of
the superior man appears increasing, and that of the small man decreasing.
XII. 'The want of good understanding between the (different classes of) men in Phî, and its indication as unfavourable to the firm and correct course of the superior man; with the intimation that the great are gone and the little come:'--all this springs from the fact that in it heaven and earth are not in communication with each other, and all things in consequence do not have free course; and that the high and the low (superiors and inferiors) are not in communication with one another, and there are no (well-regulated) states under the sky. The inner (trigram) is made up of the weak and divided lines, and the outer of the strong and undivided: the inner is (the symbol of) weakness, and the outer of strength; the inner (represents) the small man, and the outer the superior man. Thus the way of the small man appears increasing, and that of the superior man decreasing.
XIII. 1. In Thung Zăn the weak (line) has the place (of influence), the central place, and responds to (the corresponding line in) Khien (above); hence comes its name of Thung Zăn (or 'Union of men').
2. Thung Zăn says:--
3. The language, 'Thung Zăn appears here (as we find it) in (the remote districts of) the country, indicating progress and success, and that it will be advantageous to cross the great stream,' is moulded by its containing the strength (symbolled) in Khien. (Then) we have (the trigram indicating) elegance and intelligence, supported by (that indicating) strength; with the line in the central, and its correct, position, and responding (to the corresponding line above):--(all representing) the correct course of the superior man. It is only the superior man who can comprehend and affect the minds of all under the sky.
XIV. 1. In Tâ Yû the weak (line) has the place of honour, is grandly central, and (the strong lines) above and below respond to it. Hence comes its name of Tâ Yû (Having what is Great).
2. The attributes (of its component trigrams) are strength and vigour with elegance and brightness. (The ruling line in it) responds to (the ruling line in the symbol of) heaven, and (consequently) its action is (all) at the proper times. In this way (it is said to) indicate great progress and success.
XV. 1. Khien indicates progress and success. It is the way of heaven to send down its beneficial influences below, where they are brilliantly displayed. It is the way of earth, lying low, to send its influences upwards and (there) to act.
2. It is the way of heaven to diminish the full and augment the humble. It is the way of earth to overthrow the full and replenish the humble. Spiritual Beings inflict calamity on the full and bless the humble. It is the way of men to hate the full and love the humble. Humility in a position of honour makes that still more brilliant; and in a low position men will not (seek to) pass beyond it. Thus it is that 'the superior man will have a (good) issue (to his undertakings).'
XVI. 1. In Yü we see the strong (line) responded to by all the others, and the will (of him whom it represents) being carried out; and (also) docile obedience employing movement (for its purposes). (From these things comes) Yü (the Condition of harmony and satisfaction).
2. In this condition we have docile obedience employing movement (for its purposes), and therefore it is so as between heaven and earth;--how much more will it be so (among men) in 'the setting up of feudal princes and putting the hosts in motion!'
3. Heaven and earth show that docile obedience in connexion with movement, and hence the sun and moon make no error (in time), and the four seasons do not deviate (from their order). The sages show such docile obedience in connexion with their movements, and hence their punishments and penalties are entirely just, and the people acknowledge it by their submission. Great indeed are the time and significance indicated in Yü!
XVII. 1. In Sui we see the strong (trigram) come and place itself under the weak; we see (in the two) the attributes of movement and pleasure:--this gives (the idea of) Sui.
2. 'There will be great progress and success; and through firm correctness no error:'--all under heaven will be found following at such a time.
3. Great indeed are the time and significance indicated in Sui.
XVIII. 1. In Kû we have the strong (trigram) above, and the weak one below; we have (below) pliancy, and (above) stopping:--these give the idea of Kû (a Troublous Condition of affairs verging to ruin).
2. 'Kû indicates great progress and success:'--(through the course shown in it), all under heaven, there will be good order. 'There will be advantage in crossing the great stream:'--he who advances will encounter the business to be done. '(He should
weigh well, however, the events of) three days before (the turning-point), and those (to be done) three days after it:'--the end (of confusion) is the beginning (of order); such is the procedure of Heaven.
XIX. 1. In Lin (we see) the strong (lines) gradually increasing and advancing.
2. (The lower trigram is the symbol of) being pleased, and (the upper of) being compliant. The strong (line) is in the central position, and is properly responded to.
3. 'There is great progress and success, along with firm correctness:'--this is the way of Heaven.
4. 'In the eighth month there will be evil:'--(the advancing power) will decay after no long time.
XX. 1. The great Manifester occupies an upper place (in the figure), which consists of (the trigrams
whose attributes are) docility and flexibility. He is in the central position and his correct place, and thus exhibits (his lessons) to all under heaven.
2. 'Kwan shows its subject like a worshipper who has washed his hands, but not (yet) presented his offerings;--with sincerity and an appearance of dignity (commanding reverent regard):'--(all) beneath look to him and are transformed.
3. When we contemplate the spirit-like way of Heaven, we see how the four seasons proceed without error. The sages, in accordance with (this) spirit-like way, laid down their instructions, and all under heaven yield submission to them.
XXI. 1. The existence of something between the jaws gives rise to the name Shih Ho (Union by means of biting through the intervening article).
2. The Union by means of biting through the intervening article indicates 'the successful progress (denoted by the hexagram).'
The strong and weak (lines) are equally divided (in the figure). Movement is denoted (by the lower trigram), and bright intelligence (by the upper); thunder and lightning uniting in them, and having brilliant manifestation. The weak (fifth) line is in
the centre, and acts in its high position. Although it is not in its proper position, this is advantageous for the use of legal constraints.
XXII. 1. (When it is said that) Pî indicates that there should be free course (in what it denotes):--
2. (We see) the weak line coming and ornamenting the strong lines (of the lower trigram), and hence (it is said that ornament) 'should have free course.' On the other hand, the strong line above ornaments the weak ones (of the upper trigram), and hence (it is said) that 'there will be little advantage, if (ornament) be allowed to advance (and take the lead).' (This is illustrated in the) appearances that ornament the sky.
3. Elegance and intelligence (denoted by the lower trigram) regulated by the arrest (denoted by the upper) suggest the observances that adorn human (society).
4. We look at the ornamental figures of the sky, and thereby ascertain the changes of the seasons. We look at the ornamental observances of society, and understand how the processes of transformation are accomplished all under heaven.
XXIII. 1. Po denotes overthrowing or being overthrown. We see (in the figure) the weak lines (threatening to) change the (last) strong line (into one of themselves).
2. That 'it will not be advantageous to make a movement in any direction whatever' appears from the fact that the small men are (now) growing and increasing. The superior man acts according to (the exigency of the time), and stops all forward movement, looking at the (significance of the) symbolic figures (in the hexagram). He values the processes of decrease and increase, of fulness and decadence, (as seen) in the movements of the heavenly bodies.
XXIV. 1. 'Fû indicates the free course and progress (of what it denotes):'--it is the coming back of what is intended by the undivided line.
2. (Its subject's) actions show movement directed by accordance with natural order. Hence 'he finds no one to distress him in his exits and entrances,' and 'friends come to him, and no error is committed.'
3. 'He will return and repeat his proper course; in seven days comes his return:'--such is the movement of the heavenly (revolution).
4. 'There will be advantage in whatever direction movement is made:--the strong lines are growing and increasing.
5. Do we not see in Fû the mind of heaven and earth?
XXV. In Wû Wang we have the strong (first) line come from the outer (trigram), and become in the inner trigram lord (of the whole figure); we have (the attributes of) motive power and strength; we have the strong line (of the fifth place) in the
central position, and responded to (by the weak second):--there will be 'great progress proceeding from correctness; such is the appointment of Heaven.
'If (its subject and his action) be not correct, he will fall into errors, and it will not be advantageous for him to move in any direction:'--whither can he (who thinks he is) free from all insincerity, (and yet is as here described) proceed? Can anything be done (advantageously) by him whom the (will and) appointment of Heaven do not help?
XXVI. 1. In (the trigrams composing) Tâ Khû we have (the attributes) of the greatest strength and of substantial solidity, which emit a brilliant light; and indicate a daily renewal of his virtue (by the subject of it).
2. The strong line is in the highest place, and suggests the value set on talents and virtue; there is power (in the upper trigram) to keep the strongest in restraint:--all this shows 'the great correctness' (required in the hexagram).
3. 'The good fortune attached to the subject's not seeking to enjoy his revenues in his own family' shows how talents and virtue are nourished.
4. 'It will be advantageous to cross the great stream:'--(the fifth line, representing the ruler,) is responded to by (the second, the central line of Khien, representing) Heaven.
XXVII. 1. 'Î indicates that with firm correctness there will be good fortune:'--when the nourishing is correct, there will be good fortune. 'We must look at what we are seeking to nourish:'--we must look at those whom we wish to nourish. 'We must by the exercise of our thoughts seek the proper aliment:'--we must look to our own nourishing of ourselves.
2. Heaven and earth nourish all things. The sages nourish men of talents and virtue, by them to reach to the myriads of the people. Great is (the work intended by this) nourishing in its time!
XXVIII. 1. Tâ Kwo shows the great ones (= the undivided lines) in excess.
2. In 'the beam that is weak' we see weakness both in the lowest and the topmost (lines).
3. The strong lines are in excess, but (two of them) are in the central positions. The action (of the hexagram is represented by the symbols of) flexibility and satisfaction. (Hence it is said), 'There will be advantage in moving in any direction whatever; yea, there will be success. '
4. Great indeed is (the work to be done in) this very extraordinary time.
XXIX. 1. Khan repeated shows us one defile succeeding another.
2. This is the nature of water;--it flows on, without accumulating its volume (so as to overflow); it pursues its way through a dangerous defile, without losing its true (nature).
3. That 'the mind is penetrating' is indicated by the strong (line) in the centre. That 'action (in accordance with this) will be of high value' tells us that advance will be followed by achievement.
4. The dangerous (height) of heaven cannot be ascended; the difficult places of the earth are mountains,
rivers, hills, and mounds. Kings and princes arrange by means of such strengths, to maintain their territories. Great indeed is the use of (what is here) taught about seasons of peril.
XXX. Lî means being attached to. The sun and moon have their place in the sky. All the grains, grass, and trees have their place on the earth. The double brightness (of the two trigrams) adheres to what is correct, and the result is the transforming and perfecting all under the sky.
2. The weak (second line) occupies the middle and correct position, and gives the indication of 'a free and successful course;' and, moreover, 'nourishing (docility like that of) the cow' will lead to good fortune.
213:1 The name Thwan, and the meaning of the character so-called, are sufficiently established. The Thwan are king Wăn's explanations of the entire hexagrams. It seems impossible now to p. 214 ascertain how the character arose, and how it was named Thwan. The treatise on the Thwan is ascribed to Confucius; and I have considered in the Introduction, p. 30, whether the tradition to this effect may to any extent be admitted.
214:I The hexagram Khien is made up of six undivided lines, or of the trigram Khien, Fû-hsî's symbol for heaven, repeated. The Thwan does not dwell upon this, but starts, in its exposition, from the word 'heaven,' supposing that the hexagram represented all the meaning which had ever been intended by that term. In paragraphs 1, 2, 4 the four attributes in Wăn's Text (2 being occupied with the second, though it is not expressly named) are illustrated by the phenomena taking place in the physical world.
In paragraphs 3 and 5, the subject is the sage. He is not named indeed; and Khung Ying-tâ (A. D. 574-648) does not introduce him till paragraph 5, when the meaning necessitates the presence of a human agent, who rules in the world of men as heaven does in that of nature. The 'connexion between the end and the beginning,' which he sees, is that of cause and effect in the operations of nature and the course of human affairs. The various steps in that course are symbolised by the lines of the hexagram; and the ideal sage, conducting his ideal government, taking his measures accordingly, is represented as driving through the sky in a carriage drawn by six dragons. Kû Hsî extravagantly says that 'the sage is Heaven, and Heaven is the sage;' but there is nothing like this in the text.
215:II As the writer in expounding the Thwan of hexagram 1 starts from the word 'heaven,' so here he does so from the symbolic meaning attached to 'earth.' What I have said on the Text about the difference with which the same attributes are ascribed to Khien and Khwăn, appears clearly in paragraph 1. It is the difference expressed by the words that I have supplied,--'power' and 'capacity.' Khien originates; Khwăn produces, or gives birth to what has been originated.
The 'penetrating,' or developing ability of Khwăn, as displayed in the processes of growth, is the subject of paragraph 2. 'The brightness' refers to the beauty that shines forth in the vegetable and animal worlds.
Paragraph 3 treats of the symbol of the 'mare,' to lead the mind to the course of 'the superior man,' the good and faithful minister and servant.
See the note, corresponding to paragraph 4, on the Text. 'Resting in firmness' is the normal course of Khwăn. Where it is pursued, the good effect will be great, great as the unlimited capacity of the earth.
216:III Kun is made up of the trigrams Kăn and Khan; but according to the views on king Wăn's arrangement of the trigrams, as set forth especially in Appendix V, chap. 14, the six others come from Khien and Khwăn, and are said to be their children. On the first application of Khwăn to Khien, there results Kăn, the first line of Khien taking the place of the last of Khwăn; and on the second application, there results Khan, the middle line of Khien taking the place of that of Khwăn. McClatchie renders here:--'The Thun (Kun) diagram represents the hard and the soft (air) beginning to have sexual intercourse, and bringing forth with suffering!' But there is nothing in the Yî, from the beginning to the end, to justify such an interpretation. Nor do I see how, from any account of the genesis by the component trigrams, the idea of the result as signifying a state of difficulty and distress can be readily made out.
In paragraph 2 there is an attempt from the virtues or attributes assigned to the trigrams to make out the result indicated in the Thwan. To move and excite is the quality of Kăn; perilousness is the quality of Khan. The power to move is likely to produce great effects; to do this in perilous and difficult circumstances requires firmness and correctness. But neither is this explanation very satisfactory.
The first part of paragraph 3 depicts a condition of trouble and disorder in the natural world occasioned by the phenomena that are symbols of the significance of Kăn and Khan; but this is symbolical again of the disorder and distress, political and social, characteristic of the time. Good princes throughout the nation would help to remedy that; but the supreme authority should not resign itself to indifference, trusting to them.
217:IV The trigram Kăn has for its symbol in the natural world a mountain, which stands up frowningly, and stops or arrests the progress of the traveller. Stoppage, understood sometimes actively, and sometimes passive]y, is called the virtue or attribute indicated by it. Khan, as I said on p. 32, has water for its symbol, and especially in the form of rain. Here, however, the water appears as a stream in a difficult defile, such as ordinarily appears on an approach to a mountain, and suggesting perilousness as the attribute of such a position. From the combination of these symbols and their attributes the writer thinks that he gets the idea of the character (not the entire hexagram) Măng, as symbolical of ignorance and inexperience. See on 'the Great Symbolism' below.
Down to the last sentence of paragraph 2, all that is said is intended to show how it is that the figure indicates progress and success. The whole representation is grounded on the undivided line's being in the central place. It is the symbol of active effort for the teaching of the ignorant in the proper place and time; this being responded to by the divided fifth line, representing the ignorance to be taught as docile, 'will responds to will.' But the p. 218 subject of line 2 requires sincerity in the applicant for instruction, and feels that he must make his own teaching acceptable, and agreeable. All this serves to bring out the idea of progress and success.
Then finally in the young and ignorant there is 'a correct nature,' a moral state made for goodness. The efficient teacher directing his efforts to bring out and nourish that, the progress and success will be 'great;' the service done will be worthy of 'a sage.'
218:V Hsü is composed of Khien, having the quality of strength, and of Khan, having the quality of perilousness. Thc strong one might readily dare the peril, but he restrains himself and waits. This is the lesson of the hexagram,--the benefit of action well considered, of plans well matured.
The fifth line, as we have observed more than once already, is the place of honour, that due to the ruler or king. It is here called 'the Heavenly or Heaven-given seat, 'the meaning of which expression is clear from its occurrence in the Shih, III, i, ode 2. 1. Five is an odd number, and the fifth is therefore the 'correct' place for an undivided line; it is also the central place of the trigram, indicating. how its occupant is sure to walk in the due mean. See further the notes on the Text, p. 68.
219:VI Paragraph 1 here is much to the same effect as the first sentence in the notes on the Thwan of the Text. It is said, 'Strength without peril would not produce contention; peril without strength would not be able to contend.'
2. 'A strong line has come and got the central place:'--this sentence has given rise to a doctrine about the changes of trigrams and hexagrams, which has obscured more than anything else the interpretation of the Yî. Where has the strong second line come from? From a hundred critics we receive the answer,--'From Tun ( ).' The reader will see that if the second and third lines of the lower trigram there be made to change places, there results or Sung. The doctrine of changing the figures by the manipulation of the stalks did spring up between the time of Wăn and his son and that of the composition of the Appendixes; but there is no trace of it in the real Text of the Yî; and it renders any scheme for the interpretation of the figures impossible. The p. 220 editors of the imperial Yî allow this, and on the present passage discard the doctrine entirely, referring to the language of the Thwan on hexagrams 11 and 12 as fatal to it. See the notes there, and the Introduction, pp. 11-16. 'A strong line has come' is to be taken as equivalent simply to a strong line is there.'
What 'the great man sets a value on being the due mean and the correct place,' his decision in any matter of contention is sure to be right.
220:VII That 'multitude' is given here as if it were the meaning of the name Sze arose, probably, from there being but one undivided line in the figure. That is the symbol of the general, all the other lines, divided, suggest the idea of a multitude obedient to his orders. The general's place in the centre of the lower trigram, with the proper correlate in line 5, suggests the idea of firmness and correctness that dominates in the hexagram. But in the last sentence it is the ruler, and not the general of the host, who is the subject. Compare what is said of him with Mencius, I, i, chap. 3; ii, chap. 5, &c.
'Perilousness' is the attribute of Khan, the lower trigram, and 'docility,' or 'accordance with others,' that of Khwăn, the upper. War is like 'poison' to a country, injurious, and threatening ruin to it, and yet the people will endure and encounter it in behalf of the sovereign whom they esteem and love.
221:VIII There is some error in the text here,--as all the critics acknowledge. I have adopted the decision of Kû Hsî, which by a very small change makes the whole read consistently, and in harmony with other explanations of the Thwan. 'The inferiors' are the subjects of all the other lines gathering round their superior, represented in the fifth line.
'The way has been exhausted:'--they do not seek to promote and enjoy union till it is too late. The sentiment is the same as that in the lines of Shakespeare about the tide in the affairs of men.
222:IX The weak line' is said to occupy 'its proper position,' because it is in the fourth,--an even place. The 'responding' on the part of all the other lines above and below is their submitting to be restrained by it; and this arises simply from the meaning which king Wăn chose to attach to the hexagram.
But the restraint can only be small. The attributes of the two parts of the figure do not indicate anything else. The undivided line represents vigour and activity, and such a line is in the middle of each trigram. There cannot but be progress and success.
It is not easy to explain the symbolism of the last paragraph in harmony with the appended explanations. What Khăng-žze, Wang Făng, and other scholars say is to this effect:--Dense clouds ought to give rain. That they exist without doing so, shows the restraining influence of the hexagram to be still at work. But the other and active influence is, according to the general idea of the figure, continuing in operation;--there will be rain ere long. And this was taking place in the western regions subject to the House of Kâu, which still was only a fief of Shang. It was not for the inferior House to rule the superior. Kâu was for a time restrained by Shang. Let their positions be reversed by Kâu superseding Shang, and the rain of beneficent government would descend on all the kingdom. This seems to be the meaning of the paragraph. This is the answer to the riddle of it. Confucius, in his treatise on the Thwan, hints at it, but no Chinese critic has the boldness to declare it fully.
223:X '(The symbol of) weakness' in paragraph 1, according to Wang Shăn-žze (Yüan dynasty), is line 3, urged by the two strong lines below, and having to encounter the three strong lines above. Hû Ping-wan (also of the Yüan dynasty) says that the whole of the lower trigram, Tui, partaking of the yin nature, is the symbol of weakness, and the whole of Khien that of strength. The Keh-Kung editors say that, to get the full meaning, we must hold both views.
Paragraph 2 has been sufficiently explained on the Thwan itself.
Paragraph 3 has also been explained; but there remains something to be said on the Chinese text for 'occupies the God-given position,' or, literally, 'treads on the seat of Tî.' Canon McClatchie has--'The imperial throne is now occupied.' I think that 'the seat of Tî' is synonymous with 'the seat of Heaven,' in paragraph 2 of this treatise on hexagram 5. If Confucius, or whoever was the writer, had before him the phrase as it occurs in the Shû, I, 12, the force of Tî will depend on the meaning assigned to it in that part of the Shû. That the fifth line occupies the place of authority is here the only important point.
224:XI There is nothing to be said on the explanation of the Thwan here beyond what has been noticed on the different paragraphs of the Text. Canon McClatchie translates:--'The Thwan means that Heaven and Earth have now conjugal intercourse with each other .... and the upper and lower (classes) unite together.' But in both clauses the Chinese characters are the same. Why did he not go on to say--'the upper and lower classes have conjugal intercourse together;' or rather, why did he not dismiss, the idea of such intercourse from his mind altogether? Why make the Yî appear to be gross, when there is not the shadow of grossness in it? The paragraph here well illustrates how the ruling idea in all the antinomies of the Yî is that of authority and strength on the one side, and of inferiority and weakness on the other.
224:XII All the symbolism here springs from the trigram Khwăn occupying in the figure the inner or lower place, and Khien the outer or upper. It is for the inner trigram to take the initiative; p. 225 but how can earth (symbolised by Khwăn) take the place of heaven (symbolised by Khien)? As in nature it is heaven that originates and not earth, so in a state the upper classes must take the initiative, and not the lower.
225:XIII To understand the various points in this commentary, it is only necessary to refer to the Text of the hexagram. The proper correlate of line 2 is line 5, and I have said therefore that it 'responds to (the corresponding line in) Khien.' The editors of the Khang-hsî edition, however, would make the correlate to it all the lines of Khien, as being more agreeable to the idea of union.
I do not think that a second paragraph has been lost. The p. 226 'Thung Zăn says' is merely a careless repetition of the three concluding characters of paragraph 1.
226:XIV The position in the fifth place indicates the dignity, and its being central, in the centre of the upper trigram, indicates the virtue, of the lord of the figure.
The strength of the lord, moreover, is directed by intelligence and his actions are always at the proper time, like the seasons of heaven.
226:XV The Thwan on this hexagram was so brief, that the writer here deals generally with the subject of humility, showing how it is valued by heaven and earth, by spirits and by men. The descent of the heavenly influences, and the low position of the earth in paragraph 1, are both emblematic of humility. The heavenly influences have their 'display' in the beauty and fertility of the earth.
The way of heaven is seen, e.g. in the daily declining of the sun, and the waning of the moon after it is full; the way of earth in the fall of the year. On the meaning of 'Spiritual Beings (Kwei Shăn),' see the Introduction, pp. 34, 35. It is difficult to say what idea the writer attached to the name. What he says of man's appreciation of humility is striking, and, I believe, correct.
227:XVI What is said in paragraph 1 about the lines has been pointed out in the notes on the Text. 'Obedience' is the attribute of Khwăn, the lower trigram, which takes the initiative in the action of the figure; and here makes use of the movement, which is the attribute of Kăn, the upper trigram.
I can hardly trace the connexion between the different parts of Paragraph 2. Does it not proceed on the harmony produced by the thunderous explosion between heaven and earth, as declared p. 227 in Appendix II? Then the analogy between natural phenomena and human and social experiences comes into play.
Paragraph 3 is also tantalising. Why does the writer introduce the subject of punishments and penalties? Are they a consequence of putting the hosts in motion?
228:XVII The trigrams Kăn and Tui are distinguished as strong and weak, Kăn representing, on king Wăn's scheme, 'the eldest son,' and Tui, 'the youngest daughter.' But 'the strong' here may mean the strong line, the lowest in the hexagram. As Wang Žung-kwan (Sung dynasty) says:--'The yang and strong line should not be below a yin and weak line, as we find it here. That is, in Sui the high places himself below the low, and the noble below the mean:'--esteeming others higher than himself, and giving the idea of following. Then Kân denotes the production or excitement of motion, and Tui denotes pleasure; and the union of these things suggests the same idea.
229:XVIII The symbolism here is the opposite of that in Sui. The upper trigram Kăn is strong, denoting, according to king Wăn, 'the youngest son;' and the lower, Sun, is weak, denoting 'the eldest daughter.' For the eldest daughter to be below the youngest son is eminently correct, and helps to indicate the auspice of great success. The attribute of Sun is pliancy, and that of Kăn stoppage or arrest. The feeble pliancy confronted by the arresting mountain gives an idea of the evil state implied in Kû.
'Three days before and after the turning-point' is, literally, three days before and after kiâ,' kiâ being the name of the first of the 'earthly stems' among the cyclical characters. Hence it has the meaning of 'beginning,' and here denotes the turning-point, at which disorder gives place to order. According to 'the procedure of Heaven,' history is a narrative of change, one condition of affairs constantly giving place to another and opposite. 'A kingdom that cannot be moved' does not enter into the circle of Chinese ideas.
229:XIX See what has been said on the fourth paragraph in pp. 98, 99 on the Text. The other paragraphs need no explanation beyond what appears in the supplemented translation.
230:XX 'The great Manifester' is the ruler, the principal subject of the hexagram, and represented by line 5, near the top of the figure. In that figure the lower trigram. is Khwăn, representing the earth, with the attribute of docility, and the upper is Sun, representing wind, with the attributes of flexibility and penetration. As is the place of line 5, so are the virtues of the ruler.
'The spirit-like way of Heaven' is the invisible and unfathomable agency ever operating by general laws, and with invariable regularity, in what we call nature. Compare with this paragraph, the definition of Shăn or Spirit in Appendix III, i, 32; and the doctrine of the agency of God, taught in Appendix VI, 8, 9.
231:XXI The 'equal division of the strong and weak lines' is seen by taking them in pairs, though the order in the first pair is different from that in the two others. This is supposed to indicate the intelligence of the judgments in the action of the hexagram. Kăn, the lower trigram, symbolises movement; Lî, the upper, intelligence. The fifth line's acting in its high position does not intimate the formation of the figure from Yî, the 42nd hexagram, but calls attention to the fact that a weak line is here 'lord of judgment.' This does not seem natural, but the effect is good;--judgment is tempered by leniency.
231:XXII The first paragraph is either superfluous or incomplete.
The language of paragraph 2 has naturally been pressed into the p. 232 service of the doctrine of changing the figures by divining manipulation; see p. 219, on paragraph 2 of the Thwan of hexagram 6. But as the Khang-hsî editors point out, 'the weak line coming and ornamenting the two strong ones' simply indicates how substantiality should have the help of ornament, and 'the strong line above (or ascending) and ornamenting the two weak lines' indicates that ornament should be restrained by substantiality. Ornament has its use, but it must be kept in check.--The closing sentence has no connexion with what precedes. Some characters are wanting, to show how the writer passes on to speak of 'the ornamental figures of the sky.' The whole should then be joined on to paragraph 3. The 'figures of the sky' are all the heavenly bodies in their relative positions and various movements, producing day and night, heat and cold, &c. The observances of society are the ceremonies and performances which regulate and beautify the intercourse of men, and constitute the transforming lessons of sagely wisdom.
232:XXIII 'The symbolic figures in the hexagram' are Khwăn, below, the representative of docility, acting as circumstances require; and Kăn, the representative of a mountain, which arrests the progress of the traveller. The superior man of the topmost line thus interprets them, and acts accordingly. Yet he is not left without hope. Winter is followed by spring; night is p. 233 succeeded by day; the moon wanes, and then begins to wax again. So will it be in political life. As we read in the Hebrew prophet Isaiah, 'In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.'
233:XXIV 'The movement of the heavenly revolution' in paragraph 3 has reference to the regular alternations of darkness and light, and of cold and heat, as seen in the different months of the year. Hâu Hsing-kwo (of the Thang dynasty) refers to the expressions in the Shih, I, xv, ode 1, 'the days of (our) first (month), second (month),' &c., as illustrating the use of day for month, as we have it here; but that is to explain what is obscure by what is more so; though I believe, as stated on the Text, that seven days' is here equivalent to 'seven months.'
'The mind of heaven and earth' is the love of life and of all goodness that rules in the course of nature and providence.
234:XXV The advocates of one trigram's changing into another, which ought not to be admitted, we have seen, into the interpretation of the Yî, make Wû Wang to be derived from Sung (No. 6), the second line there being manipulated into the first of this; but this representation is contrary to the words of the text, which make the strong first line come from the outer trigram, i. e. from Khien. And so it does, as related, not very intelligibly, in Appendix V, 10, Kăn, the lower trigram here, being the eldest son,' resulting from the first application of Khwăn to Khien. The three peculiarities in the structure of the figure afford the auspice of progress and success; and very striking is the brief and emphatic declaration, that such progress is 'the appointment of Heaven.'
235:XXVI In paragraph 1, Tâ Khû evidently means the 'grand accumulation' of virtue, indicated by the attributes of its component trigrams. 'Substantial solidity' may very well be given as the attribute of mountains.
'The strong line in the highest place' of paragraph 2 is line 6, whose subject is thus above the ruler represented by 5, and has the open firmament for his range in doing his work. This, and his ability to repress the strongest opposition, show how he is supported by all that is correct and right.
In a kingdom where the object of the government is the accumulation of virtue, good and able men will not be left in obscurity.
What will not a high and good purpose, supported by the greatest strength, be able to do?
235:XXVII Many of the critics, in illustration of paragraph 1, refer appropriately to Mencius, VI, i, chap. 14.
In illustration of paragraph 2 they refer to the times and court of Yâo and Shun, sage rulers, from whose cherishing and nourishing came Yü to assuage the waters of the deluge, Žî to teach the people agriculture, Hsieh as minister of instruction, Kâo Yâo as minister of crime, and others;--all to do the work of nourishing the people.
236:XXVIII Paragraph 3. In the Great Symbolism 'wood' appears as the natural object symbolised by Sun, and not 'wind,' which we find more commonly. The attribute of 'flexibility,' however, is the quality of Sun, whether used of wind or of wood.
Paragraph 4. Such a time, it is said, was that of Yâo and Shun, of Thang the Successful, and of king Wû. What these heroes did, however, was all called for by the exigency of their times, and not by whim or principle of their own, which they wished to make prominent.
237:XXIX On paragraph 2 Liang Yin says:--'Water stops at the proper time, and moves at the proper time. Is not this an emblem of the course of the superior man in dealing with danger?'
On paragraph 4 the Khang-hsî editors say that to exercise one's self in meeting difficulty and peril is the way to establish and strengthen the character, and that the use of such experience is seen in all measures for self-defence, there being no helmet and mail like leal-heartedness and good faith, and no shield and tower like propriety and righteousness.
237:XXX 'The double brightness' in paragraph 1 has been much discussed. Some say that it means 'the ruler,' becoming brighter and brighter. Others say that it means both the ruler and his ministers, combining their brightness. The former view seems to me the better. The analogy between the natural objects and a transforming and perfecting rule is far fetched.
The central and correct position' in paragraph 2 can be said only of the second line, and not of the fifth, where an undivided line would be more correct. The 'and moreover' of the translation is 'therefore' in the original; but I cannot make out the force and suitability of that conjunction.