Jie intimates that (under its conditions) there will be progress and attainment. (But) if the regulations (which it prescribes) be severe and difficult, they cannot be permanent.彖传: 节, 亨, 刚柔分, 而刚得中. 苦节不可贞, 其道穷也. 说以行险, 当位以节, 中正以通. 天地节而四时成, 节以制度, 不伤财, 不害民. Tuàn zhuàn: Jiē, hēng, gāng róu fēn, ér gāng dé zhòng. kǔjiē bù kě zhēn, qí dào qióng yě. shuì yǐ háng xiǎn, dāng wèi yǐjiē, zhōng zhèng yǐ tōng. tiān dìjiē ér sì shí chéng, jiē yǐ zhì dù, bù shāng cái, bù hài mín.
‘Jie intimates progress and attainment:’ - the strong and weak (lines) are equally divided, and the strong lines occupy the central places. ‘If the regulations (which Jie prescribes) be severe and difficult, they cannot be permanent:’ - its course (of action) will in that case come to an end. (We have the feeling of) pleasure and satisfaction directing the course amidst peril. (We have) all regulations controlled (by authority) in its proper place. (We have) free action proceeding from the central and correct position. Heaven and earth observe their regular terms, and we have the four seasons complete. (If rulers) frame their measures according to (the due) regulations, the resources (of the state) suffer no injury, and the people receive no hurt.象传: 泽上有水, 节; 君子以制数度, 议德行. Xiàng zhuàn: Zé shǎng yǒu shuǐ, jiē; jūn zǐ yǐ zhì shǔ dù, yì dé xíng.
(The trigram representing) a lake, and above it that for water, form Jie. The superior man, in accordance with this, constructs his (methods of) numbering and measurement, and discusses (points of) virtue and conduct.
The first ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject not quitting the courtyard outside his door. There will be no error.象传: 不出户庭, 知通塞也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù chū hù tíng, zhī tōng sāi yě.
‘He does not quit the courtyard outside his door:’ - he knows when he has free course and when he is obstructed.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject not quitting the courtyard inside his gate. There will be evil.象传: 不出门庭, 失时极也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù chū mén tíng, shī shí jí yě.
‘He does not quit the courtyard inside his gate. There will be evil:’ - he loses the time (for action) to an extreme degree.
The third ‘six’, divided, shows its subject with no appearance of observing the (proper) regulations, in which case we shall see him lamenting. But there will be no one to blame (but himself).象传: 不节之嗟, 又谁咎也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù jiē zhī jiē, yòu shéi jiù yě.
In ‘the lamentation for not observing the (proper) regulations,’ who should there be to blame?
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject quietly and naturally (attentive to all) regulations. There will be progress and success.象传: 安节之亨, 承上道也. Xiàng zhuàn: Ān jiē zhī hēng, chéng shǎng dào yě.
‘The progress and success of the quiet and natural (attention) to all regulations’ is due to the deference which accepts the ways of (the ruler) above.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject sweetly and acceptably enacting his regulations. There will be good fortune. The onward progress with them will afford ground for admiration.象传: 甘节之吉, 居位中也. Xiàng zhuàn: Gān jiē zhī jí, jū wèi zhōng yě.
‘The good fortune arising from the regulations enacted sweetly and acceptably’ is due to (the line) occupying the place (of authority) and being in the centre.
The topmost ‘six’, divided, shows its subject enacting regulations severe and difficult. Even with firmness and correctness there will be evil. But though there will be cause for repentance, it will (by and by) disappear.象传: 苦节贞凶, 其道穷也. Xiàng zhuàn: Kǔ jiē zhēn xiōng, qí dào qióng yě.
‘The regulations are severe and difficult. Even with firm correctness there will be evil:’ - the course (indicated by the hexagram) is come to an end.
This translation of the YiJing classic text uses the original Chinese including the 象传 Xiàng zhuàn commentary converted to modern simplified characters and pinyin.
The English translation is based on William Legge (1899) ➚ which is now out of copyright. We have changed some wording and converted to American spelling.
We hope to replace this with a more modern translation.
In the first few paragraphs each gua is described. The name of the gua (hexagram) is followed by the two trigrams that make it up (lake, mountain, fire, water, earth, heaven, thunder and wind). Each gua has a controlling element (earth, fire, water, metal and wood). After this information there are three related guas. The Opposite gua is the one where all yang is changed to yin and yin to yang - it is usually opposite in meaning. The Inverse gua is the gua with the order inverted so first is last and vice versa. The mutual gua is a more complex combination and re-ordering of the internal trigrams making up the gua. Then the association of the gua to the annual cycle is shown - this is the Chinese lunar month number (not Western month). The controlling or host yao is considered the most important line in the gua and is highlighted in the hexagram.
The main description for the hexagram is then followed by a section for each of the six possible changing lines which indicate the transformation into another, related gua. The text uses ‘nine’ to refer to a yang line and ‘six’ for a yin line. The pure yin and yang hexagrams have, however, a different text structure as they are so important.
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