Zhen gives the intimation of ease and development. When (the time of) movement (which it indicates) comes, (the subject of the hexagram) will be found looking out with apprehension, and yet smiling and talking cheerfully. When the movement (like a crash of thunder) terrifies all within a hundred Li, he will be (like the sincere worshiper) who is not (startled into) letting go his ladle and (cup of) sacrificial spirits.彖传: 震, 亨. 震来虩虩, 恐致福也. 笑言哑哑, 后有则也. 震惊百里, 惊远而惧迩也. 出可以守宗庙社稷, 以为祭主也. Tuàn zhuàn: Zhèn, hēng. Zhèn lái xì xì, kǒng zhì fú yě. Xiào yán yǎ yǎ, hòu yǒu zé yě. Zhèn jīng bǎi lǐ, jīng yuǎn ér jù ěr yě. Chū kě yǐ shǒu zōng miào shè jì, yǐ wéi jì zhǔ yě.
Zhen (gives the intimation of) ease and development. ‘When the (time of) movement (which it indicates) comes, (its subject) will be found looking out with apprehension:’ - that feeling of dread leads to happiness. ‘And yet smiling and talking cheerfully:’ - the issue (of his dread) is that he adopts (proper) laws (for his course). ‘The movement (like a crash of thunder) terrifies all within a hundred Lu:’ - it startles the distant and frightens the near. ‘He will be like the sincere worshiper, who is not startled into letting go his ladle and cup of sacrificial spirits:’ - he makes his appearance, and maintains his ancestral temple and the altars of the spirits of the land and grain, as presiding at all sacrifices.象传: 洊雷, 震; 君子以恐惧修省. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiàn léi, zhèn; jūn zǐ yǐ kǒng jù xiū xǐng.
(The trigram representing) thunder, being repeated, forms Zhen. The superior man, in accordance with this, is fearful and apprehensive, cultivates (his virtue), and examines (his faults).
The first ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject, when the movement approaches, looking out and around with apprehension, and afterward smiling and talking cheerfully. There will be good fortune.象传: 震来虩虩, 恐致福也. 笑言哑哑, 后有则也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhèn lái xì xì, kǒng zhì fú yě. Xiào yán yǎ yǎ, hòu yǒu zé yě.
‘When the (time of) movement comes, he will be found looking out with apprehension:’ - that feeling of dread leads to happiness. ‘He yet smiles and talks cheerfully:’ - the issue (of his dread) is that he adopts (proper) laws (for his course).
The second ‘six’, divided, shows its subject, when the movement approaches, in a position of peril. He judges it better to let go the articles (in his possession), and to ascend a very lofty height. There is no occasion for him to pursue after (the things he has let go); in seven days he will find them.象传: 震来厉, 乘刚也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhèn lái lì, chéng gāng yě.
‘When the movement approaches, he is in a position of peril:’ - (a weak line) is mounted on a strong (one).
The third six, divided, shows its subject distraught amid the startling movements going on. If those movements excite him to (right) action, there will be no mistake.象传: 震苏苏, 位不当也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhèn sū sū, wèi bù dàng yě.
‘He is distraught amid the startling movements going on:’ - (the third line) is in a position unsuitable to it.
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject, amid the startling movements, supinely sinking (deeper) in the mud.象传: 震遂泥, 未光也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhèn suì ní, wèi guāng yě.
‘Amid the startling movements, he sinks supinely in the mud:’ - the light in him has not yet been brilliantly developed.
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject going and coming amidst the startling movements (of the time), and always in peril; but perhaps he will not incur loss, and find business (which he can accomplish).象传: 震往来厉, 危行也. 其事在中, 大无丧也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhèn wǎng lái lì, wēi xíng yě. qí shì zài zhōng, dà wú sàng yě.
‘He goes and comes amid the startling movements, and (always) in peril:’ - full of risk are his doings. ‘What he has to do has to be done in his central position:’ - far will he be from incurring any loss.
The topmost ‘six’, divided, shows its subject, amidst the startling movements (of the time), in breathless dismay and looking round him with trembling apprehension. If he take action, there will be evil. If, while the startling movements have not reached his own person and his neighborhood, (he were to take precautions), there would be no error, though his relatives might (still) speak against him.象传: 震索索, 中未得也. 虽凶无咎, 畏邻戒也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhèn suǒ suǒ, zhōng wèi dé yě. suī xiōng wú jiù, wèi lín jiè yě.
‘Amid the startling movements he is in breathless dismay:’ - he has not found out (the course of) the due mean. ‘Though evil (threatens), he will not fall into error:’ - he is afraid of being warned by his neighbors.
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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