I-jing -- A new translation

Book 3

by Jeh-Tween Gong


  1. Biting Together (no gap): Biting together (no gap) is the way to apply justice.

    The kwa signs:
    There is something between the jaws; this is called biting together. In biting together, the hard and the soft are proportionate, and all actions are clear. Thunder and lightning join in orderly sequence. Flexibility attains balance and moves upward; though it is not in power, it beneficially applies justice.
    The Image: Thunder and lightning -- biting together. Kings of yore used clear punishments to promulgate the law.

    The yao signs:

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  2. Adornment: Adornment is successful. It is beneficial to go somewhere in a small way.

    The kwa signs:
    Adornment is successful. The soft comes and embellishes the hard, hence success. Distinguishing the hard, and the soft is distinguished. This way gains a small benefit. This is the adornment of heaven. Control by civilization is the adornment of humanity. Observe the adornment of heaven to see the changes of the times; observe the adornment of humanity to transform and complete the world.
    The Image: There is fire below a mountain, adorning it. Leaders clarify governmental affairs without presumptuous adjudication.

    The yao signs:

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  3. Stripping Away: Stripping away, it is not beneficial to go anywhere.

    The kwa signs:
    Stripping away is overthrowing. The weak becomes the strong. It is not beneficial to go anywhere, because unrighteous people are increasing. Accordingly upright leaders lay low and watch and wait out the process of waxing and waning, filling and emptying, which is the action of heaven.
    The image: Mountains cleave to the earth. Building homes with thick foundation.

    The yao signs:

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  4. Return: Return is successful. There is no ill for coming and going. When a companion comes, there is no fault. Returning back on the path, returning in seven days, it is beneficial to have a place to go.

    The kwa signs:
    Return is successful. Strength comes back, moving with harmonious action, therefore coming and going without ill; when a companion comes there is no fault. Returning back on the path, returning in seven days, is the action of heaven. It is beneficial to have a place to go, because strength is growing. To return is to see the way of heaven and earth.
    The image: Thunder over the earth -- return. On the winter solstice, the ancient kings shut the gates; the caravans did not travel; the ruler did not inspect the regions.

    The yao signs:

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  5. No Error: Freedom from error is very successful, beneficial for the upright. Denial of what is correct is mistaken, so it will not be beneficial to go anywhere.

    The kwa signs:
    No error -- strength comes from outside and becomes the master of the inside. Active and strong, strength is balanced and responsive. Great success for being righteous is the way of heaven. Denial of what is correct is mistaken, so it will not be beneficial to go anywhere. Without error where can one not go? How could one go anywhere without the assistance of the heaven's blessing?
    The image: Thunder travels under the sky; things accompany with no error. Ancient kings promoted flourishing appropriate to the time and nurtured myriad beings.

    The yao signs:

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  6. Great Buildup: Great buildup is beneficial if correct. It is good not to eat at home. It is beneficial to cross a great river.

    The kwa signs:
    In great buildup, strength and honesty shine, daily renewing their virtues. Strength rises and esteems the wise. Ability to control power is great rectitude. Not eating at home, inviting the wise for banquet is good. It is beneficial to cross a great river -- this is responding to heaven.
    The image: Sky meets the mountain -- great buildup. Leaders build up their virtues by abundant knowledge of past words and deeds.

    The yao signs:

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  7. Nourishment: Nourishment is good if correct. Observe nourishment, and seek food by yourself.

    The kwa signs:
    Nourishment is good if correct. Observing nourishment is observing what is nourished. Seeking food by yourself is observing your own nourishment. Heaven and earth nurture myriad beings, sages nurture the wise and the general population. The time of nourishment is great indeed.
    The image: There is thunder beneath the mountain. Leaders are prudent in speech, moderate in consumption.

    The yao signs:

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  8. Greatly over: Greatly over, the ridgepole bends. It is beneficial to go away, for you will succeed.

    The kwa signs:
    "The Greatly over" means the great passes. "The ridgepole bends" means that root and branch are weak. Over but with strength can be yet balanced; it is docile and acts joyfully. It is beneficial to have somewhere to go, for you will then succeed. The greatly going over is great indeed.
    The image: Moisture destroys wood -- the greatly over. The righteous people stand alone without fear, away from society without distress.

    The yao signs:

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  9. Multiple Danger: In multiple danger, if there is sincerity, the mind gets through and acts with guides.

    The kwa signs:
    Multiple danger is repeated peril. As water flows and does not fill, act in danger without losing faith. The mind gets through because strength is in balance; acts with guides, proceeds to success. The danger of nature is that we cannot ascend to it; the danger of earth is its mountains, rivers, and hills. Rulers set up dangers to preserve their countries. The timely use of danger is great indeed.
    The image: Water comes repeatedly -- multiple danger. Righteous people practice teaching by constant virtuous action.

    The yao signs:

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  10. Fire: Fire is beneficial if correct; then there is success. Raising a cow brings good fortune.

    The kwa signs:
    Fire is clinging -- the sun and moon cling to the sky, plants cling to the earth. Clinging to what is correct with twofold illumination transforms and perfects the world. Flexibility clings to balance and correctness, and so is successful. Therefore raising a cow brings good fortune.
    The image: illumination doubled makes fire. Great people illuminates the four quarters with continuing illumination.

    The yao signs:


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