I-jing -- A new translation

Book 5

by Jeh-Tween Gong


  1. Decision (parting): Decision is brought up in the royal court. A sincere statement involves danger. Addressing one's own domain, it is not beneficial to go right to war, but it is beneficial to go somewhere.

    The kwa signs:
    Decision is removal; strength removes weakness. Robust and joyous, there is harmony is spite of the decision to part. The weak can fend off five strong when it is brought up in the royal court. A sincere statement involves danger, but that peril is then illuminating. Addressing one's own domain, it is not beneficial to go to war; otherwise the preferred course will come to an impasse. It is beneficial to go somewhere (or to do something); the growth of strength will prevail.
    The image: Moisture rises to the sky, which then parts with it. Thus do righteous people distribute wealth to those below. If they claim their kindness, they would be resented.

    The yao signs:

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  2. Meeting: In meeting, the woman is strong. Do not marry the woman.

    The kwa signs:
    Meeting is encounter; the flexible encounters the firm. "Do not marry the woman" because she can match the strength of five man. This match cannot last long. When heaven and earth meet, all things become manifest. When the firm meets balance and uprightness, the whole world works well. The significance of the time of meeting is great indeed.
    The image: Wind under heaven -- meeting. Thus do rulers announce their directive to the four quarters.

    The yao signs:

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  3. Gathering: Gathering is successful. The king goes to his shrine. It is beneficial to see a great person; this leads to success. It is beneficial to be correct. It is good to make a great sacrifice. It is beneficial to go somewhere.

    The kwa signs:
    Gathering is assembling. Obeying joyfully, firmness balanced and responsive, hence there is gathering. The king goes to his shrine, practicing piety successfully. It is beneficial to see a great person, leading to success; this is gathering of righteous. It is good to make a sacrifice, beneficial to go somewhere (or do something); this is obeying the mandate of heaven. Observe what is gathered, and the conditions of heaven, earth, and myriad beings can be understood.
    The image: Moisture rises onto the earth -- gathering. Thus do leaders prepare weapons to guard against the unexpected.

    The yao signs:

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  4. Rising: Rising is very successful. It calls for seeing a great person, so there will be no grief. An expedition south brings good fortune.

    The kwa signs:
    Flexibility rises in accord with the time. When there is docile receptivity, strength in balance responds; hence there is great success. It is useful to see a great person, so there will be no grief, but rather celebration. An expedition south brings good fortune, in the sense that the aim is carried out.
    The image: Trees grow in the earth -- rising. By following virtue, righteous people accumulate the small into lofty greatness.

    The yao signs:

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  5. Exhaustion: Exhausted but coming through successfully, upright great people are fortunate and impeccable. Mere words are not believed.

    The kwa signs:
    In exhaustion, strength is confined. Only righteous people can be joyful even in danger and come through successfully in spite of exhaustion. Upright great people are fortunate, because their strength is in balance. Mere words are not believed, because if you value talk you will come to an impasse.
    The image: The lake has no water -- exhausted. Righteous people accomplish their will by living out their destiny.

    The yao signs:

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  6. The Well: Changing the village, not changing the well, there is no loss, no gain. People come and go, but the well remains a well. Lowering the bucket to the water, if you overturn the bucket before drawing it out from the well, this is unlucky.

    The kwa signs:
    The well nourishes inexhaustibly. Changing the village without changing the well is because of strength and balance of the well. Before the water is drawn up from the well, the purpose is not yet achieved. Overturning the bucket is the cause of bad luck.
    The image: Water above wood -- a well. Leaders comfort the people and encourage reciprocity.

    The yao signs:

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  7. Change: Change is believed in on the day it is completed. It is very successful, beneficial if correct. Regret vanishes.

    The kwa signs:
    In change, water and fire cancel each other. Two women live together, but their aims are not complementary; this is called change. The day it is finished, then it is believed in. When change is believed in, rejoiced in because it is civilized, very successful because it is correct, as the change is appropriate, regret vanishes. As heaven and earth change, the four seasons take place. When ancient leaders changed the social order, they obeyed the will of heaven and responded to people. The time of change is great indeed.
    The image: Fire in a lake -- Changing. Leaders make calendars to define the seasons.

    The yao signs:

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  8. The Cauldron: The cauldron is very auspiciously developmental.

    The kwa signs:
    The cauldron is an image (or a sign), using wood for fire to cook. Sages cook offerings to present to God, which is the great development whereby sages are nurtured. Obedient and brilliantly clear of eye and ear, flexibly progressing upward, balanced and responsive to strength, therefore it is greatly developmental.
    The image: Fire over wood -- the cauldron. Leaders stabilize their mandate by correcting their position.

    The yao signs:

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  9. Thunder: Thunder comes through. When thunder comes, there is alarm, then laughter. Thunder startles for a hundred miles, but one does not lose spoon and wine.

    The kwa signs:
    Thunder comes through. When thunder comes, there is alarm -- fear brings fortune. Then there is laughter -- afterward there is an example. Startling for a hundred miles, it startles those far away and terrifies those nearby. If you go out, you can thus preserve the ancestral shrine and the society, and so be the master of ceremonies.
    The image: Repeated thunder reverberates. Righteous people practice introspection with caution.

    The yao signs:

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  10. Mountain: Stilling the back, one does not find the body. Walking in the garden, one does not see the person. There is no fault.

    The kwa signs:
    Mountain stands for stillness. When it is time to stop, then stop; when it is time to go, then go. When action and repose are timely, then one's path is illumined. The stillness of the mountain means stopping in the right place. Above and below are opposed, and have nothing to do with each other. Therefore one does not find the others (bodies); walking in the garden, one does not see the others (persons). There is no fault.
    The image: The mountains are still. Thus the thoughts of righteous people are not out of place.

    The yao signs:

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  11. Gradual Progress: Gradual progress in a woman's marriage is auspicious. It is beneficial to be chaste.

    The kwa signs:
    When it proceeds gradually, a woman's marriage is auspicious. When the procedure leads to the proper state, the process is successful. By correct progress it is possible to rectify the country. The proper state is when strength attains balance. When calm and flexible, action does not reach an impasse.
    The image: There are trees on a mountain, gradually growing. Righteous people improve customs by living wisely and virtuously.

    The yao signs:

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  12. Marrying a Young Girl: Marrying a young girl. To go on an expedition leads to misfortune, with nothing gained.

    The kwa signs:
    Marrying a young girl is an important duty of heaven and earth. If heaven and earth do not commune, beings do not flourish. Marrying a young girl is a start toward an end for human society. If she acts out of attraction, the bride is an immature girl. She will be unfortunate if she goes on, because it is not her place to do so. Nothing is gained, because she (the weak) is trying to rule the strong.
    The image: Thunder over a lake -- marrying a young girl. Righteous people consider lasting results and know what is wrong.

    The yao signs:

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