Xun intimates that (under the conditions which it denotes) there will be some little attainment and progress. There will be advantage in movement onward in whatever direction. It will be advantageous (also) to see the great man.彖传: 重巽以申命, 刚巽乎中正而志行. 柔皆顺乎刚, 是以小亨, 利有攸往, 利见大人. Tuàn zhuàn: Chóng xùn yǐ shēn mìng, gāng xùn hū zhōng zhèng ér zhì xíng. róu jiē shùn hū gāng, shì yǐ xiǎo hēng, lì yǒu yōu wǎng, lì jiàn dà ren.
The double Xun shows how, in accordance with it, (governmental) orders are reiterated. (We see that) the strong (fifth line) has penetrated into the central and correct place, and the will (of its subject) is being carried into effect; (we see also) the weak (first and fourth lines) both obedient to the strong lines (above them). It is hence said, ‘There will be some little attainment and progress. There will be advantage in movement onward in whatever direction. It will be advantageous also to see the great man.’象传: 随风, 巽; 君子以申命行事. Xiàng zhuàn: Suí fēng, xùn; jūn zǐ yǐ shēn mìng xíng shì.
(Two trigrams representing) wind, following each other, form Xun. The superior man, in accordance with this, reiterates his orders, and secures the practice of his affairs.
The first ‘six’, divided, shows its subject (now) advancing, (now) receding. It would be advantageous for him to have the firm correctness of a brave soldier.象传: 进退, 志疑也. 利武人之贞, 志治也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jìn tuì, zhì yí yě. lì wǔ rén zhī zhēn, zhì zhì yě.
‘(Now) he advances, (now) he recedes:’ - his mind is perplexed. ‘It would be advantageous for him to have the firmness of a brave soldier:’ - his mind would in that case be well governed.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows the representative of Sun beneath a couch, and employing diviners and exorcists in a way bordering on confusion. There will be good fortune and no error.象传: 纷若之吉, 得中也. Xiàng zhuàn: Fēn ruò zhī jí, dé zhòng yě.
'The good fortune springing from what borders on confusion' is due to the position (of the line) in the center.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject penetrating (only) by violent and repeated efforts. There will be occasion for regret.象传: 频巽之吝, 志穷也. Xiàng zhuàn: Pín xùn zhī lìn, zhì qióng yě.
‘The regret arising from the violent and repeated efforts to penetrate’ shows the exhaustion of the will.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows all occasion for repentance (in its subject) passed away. He takes game for its threefold use in his hunting.象传: 田获三品, 有功也. Xiàng zhuàn: Tián huò sān pǐn, yǒu gōng yě.
‘He takes game in his hunting, enough for the threefold use of it:’ - he achieves merit.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows that with firm correctness there will be good fortune (to its subject). All occasion for repentance will disappear, and all his movements will be advantageous. There may have been no (good) beginning, but there will be a (good) end. Three days before making any changes, (let him give notice of them); and three days after, (let him reconsider them). There will (thus) be good fortune.象传: 九五之吉, 位正中也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiǔ wǔ zhī jí, wèi zhèng zhōng yě.
‘The good fortune of (the subject of) the fifth ‘nine’, undivided,’ is owing to its correct position and its being in the center.
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, shows the representative of penetration beneath a couch, and having lost the ax with which he executed his decisions. However firm and correct he may (try to) be, there will be evil.象传: 巽在床下, 上穷也. 丧其资斧, 正乎凶也. Xiàng zhuàn: Xùn zài chuáng xià, shàng qióng yě. Sàng qí zī fǔ, zhèng hū xiōng yě.
‘The representative of penetration is beneath a couch:’ - though occupying the topmost place, his powers are exhausted. ‘He has lost the ax with which he executed his decisions:’ - though he try to be correct, there will be evil.
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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