I-jing -- A new translation

Book 4

by Jeh-Tween Gong


  1. Sensing: Sensing gets through, beneficial if correct. Marriage is auspicious.

    The kwa signs:
    Sensing is feeling; the flexible above, the firm below, the two energies sense and respond so as to form a couple. Calm and joyful, this man is below the woman; therefore they get through to each other beneficially in the right way, in an auspicious marriage. When heaven and earth sense each other, myriad beings are born; sages sense people's minds, and the world is at peace. Observe what is sensed, and the feelings of heaven, earth, and myriad beings can be seen.
    The image: There is a lake atop a mountain -- sensing. Righteous people accept others with openness.

    The yao signs:

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  • Persist: Persistency comes through without fault, beneficial insofar as it is correct. It is beneficial to have a place to go.

    The kwa signs:
    Persistency is enduring. Firmness is above, flexibility below. Thunder and wind pair up, moving along harmoniously; the firm and the soft correspond constantly. Persistency comes through without fault, beneficial insofar as it is correct, in the sense of enduring on the path. The way of heaven and earth is constant and enduring, never ending. It is beneficial to have a place to go, in the sense that the end has a beginning. As long as there is the sky, sun and moon can shine forever; the four seasons change, yet can go on forever. Sages endure on the way, and the world develops. Observe what they are constant in, and the conditions of heaven, earth, and all beings can be seen.
    The image: Thunder and wind are constant; so do righteous people stand without changing place.

    The yao signs:

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  • Withdrawal: Withdrawal is successful. Small benefit is correct.

    The kwa signs:
    Withdrawal is successful, in that by withdrawing you get through successfully. Strength is in its proper place and is responsive, acting in accord with the time. Small benefit is correct, in that it gradually grows. The meaning of the time of withdrawal is great indeed.
    The image: There are mountains under heaven, which is inaccessible. Righteous people keep a distance from the unrighteous people, being strict without ill will.

    The yao signs:

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  • Strong (power): The strong is beneficial if correct.

    The kwa signs:
    The strong means that the great are powerful. Firm and active, they are therefore strong (powerful). "The strong is beneficial if correct" means that the great should be upright. With correct greatness, the conditions of heaven and earth can be seen.
    The image: Thunder is up in the sky, with great power. Righteous people do not do what is improper.

    The yao signs:

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  • Paying visit (Advancing): Paying visit, a securely established lord is presented with horses in abundance and grants audience three times a day.

    The kwa signs:
    Paying visit is advancing. Making the lowly self known, following the right way to making self known with flexibility in order to move upward; therefore a securely established lord is presented with horses in abundance and grants audience three times a day.
    The image: Light emerges over the ground, advancing. Righteous people illumine the quality of enlightenment by themselves.

    The yao signs:

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  • Enlightened obscured: When enlightened is obscured, it is beneficial to be upright in difficulty.

    The kwa signs:
    Enlightened is concealed (as the historical King Wan). Inwardly civilized, outwardly pliable, one thus ready suffers great difficulties. It is beneficial to be upright in difficulty, in the sense of obscuring the enlightened. Be able to make your aims upright in spite of internal difficulties.
    The image: Enlightened is obscured. In dealing with the masses, true leaders act unobtrusively while in fact being illumined.

    The yao signs:

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  • Family: Family, it is beneficial for the women to be chaste.

    In family, the woman's proper position is at home, the man's proper place is outside. For men and women to be in their proper positions is universally important. The people in the home have a strict order, which is the father and mother. When a parent behaves like a parent, a child like a child, an elder like an elder, a youth like a youth, a husband like a husband, and a wife like a wife, then the conduct of the household is correct. Make the home correct, and the country will be stable.
    The image: Wind emerges from fire, as members of a family. Righteous people are factual in speech, consistent in action.

    The yao signs:

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  • Opposition: Opposition; a small matter will turn out all right.

    The kwa signs:
    Opposition -- when fire moves, it goes upward; when water moves, it goes downward; two women live together, but their aims are not the same. (However, there are three virtues for being opposite) joyfully cleaving to mutual understanding, flexibility goes forward and moves upward, attains balance and responds to firmness. Therefore a small matter will turn out all right. Heaven and earth are opposite, but their goal is the same; man and woman are opposite, but their aim is in common; myriad beings are disparate, but their affairs are of a kind. The timely use of opposition is great indeed.
    The image: Above is fire, below is a lake -- opposite. Righteous people are all different yet value the same virtues.

    The yao signs:

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  • Trouble: When in trouble, it is beneficial to go southwest; it is not beneficial to go northeast. It is beneficial to see a great person. Correctness leads to good results.

    The kwa signs:
    Trouble is difficulty; danger lies ahead. Being able to stop on seeing danger is knowledge. In trouble, it is beneficial to go southwest, in the sense of achieving balance; it is not beneficial to go northeast, for that path comes to and end. It is beneficial to see a great person, in that there is merit in going. Correctness in the right place leads to good results, whereby it is possible to rectify the country. Timely action in trouble is great indeed.
    The image: Water on a mountain -- trouble. Righteous people examine themselves to cultivate virtue.

    The yao signs:

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  • Resolve (Solution): For solution, the southwest is beneficial. Going nowhere, coming back is fortunate. Going somewhere, promptness is fortunate.

    The kwa signs:
    For a solution, one acts because of danger, and through action escapes from danger; hence the solution. For solution, the southwest is beneficial, as to go there wins the masses. Coming back is fortunate, in that one attains balance. Going somewhere, promptness is fortunate, in that going is successful. Heaven and earth work together, and there is thunder and rain. When it thunders and rains, the sprouts of the fruitful plants and trees shed their sheaths. The time of resolution is great indeed.
    The image: Thunder and rain -- resolution. Thus do leaders forgive errors and pardon crimes.

    The yao signs:

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  • Reduction: reduction with sincerity is very auspicious and impeccable. It should be correct. It is beneficial to have somewhere to go. What is the use of the two bowls? They can be used for presentation.

    The kwa signs:
    Reduction reduces the lowly to increase the mighty (as taxing); the power goes upward. "Reduction with sincerity is very auspicious and impeccable. It should be correct. It is beneficial to have somewhere to go. What is the use of the two bowls? They can be used for presentation." There are times to use two bowls; there are times to reduce hardness and increase softness; reduction and increase, filling and emptying, go along with the circumstances.
    The image: lake below a mountain -- reducing. Thus do righteous people eliminate anger and greed.

    The yao signs:

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  • Benefit (Increase): For benefit, it is beneficial to go somewhere (or do something). It is beneficial to cross great rivers.

    The kwa signs:
    Benefit is reducing the mighty to enhance the lowly (as welfare); the people rejoice boundlessly. Descending from above to below, the passion shines. "It is beneficial to go somewhere" -- balance and rectitude are felicitous. "It is beneficial to cross great river" -- the path of harmony is then carried out. Increase moves and tames, progressing daily, without bound. Heaven disburses, earth produces; that benefit is not localized. The way of benefit always goes along with the timing.
    The image: Wind and thunder, benefit. Thus do righteous people learn to be good when they see it, and correct whatever faults they have.

    The yao signs:

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