Zhong Fu (moves even) pigs and fish, and leads to good fortune. There will be advantage in crossing the great stream. There will be advantage in being firm and correct.彖传: 中孚, 柔在内而刚得中. 说而巽, 孚, 乃化邦也. 豚鱼吉, 信及豚鱼也. 利涉大川, 乘木舟虚也. 中孚以利贞, 乃应乎天也. Tuàn zhuàn: Zhōng fú, róu zài nèi ér gāng dé zhòng. shuì ér xùn, fú, nǎi huā bāng yě. tún yú jí, xìn jí tún yú yě. lì shè dà chuān, chéng mù zhōu xū yě. zhōng fú yǐ lì zhēn, nǎi yìng hū tiān yě.
In Zhong Fu we have the (two) weak lines in the innermost part (of the figure), and strong lines occupying the central places (in the trigrams). (We have the attributes) of pleased satisfaction and flexible penetration. Sincerity (thus symbolized) will transform a country. ‘Pigs and fish (are moved), and there will be good fortune:’ - sincerity reaches to (and affects even) pigs and fishes. ‘There will be advantage in crossing the great stream:’ - (we see in the figure) one riding on (the emblem of) wood, which forms an empty boat. In (the exercise of the virtue denoted by) Zhong Fu, (it is said that) ‘there will be advantage in being firm and correct:’ - in that virtue indeed we have the response (of man) to Heaven.象传: 泽上有风, 中孚; 君子以议狱缓死. Xiàng zhuàn: Zé shǎng yǒu fēng, zhōng fú; jūn zǐ yǐ yì yù huǎn sǐ.
(The trigram representing the waters of) a marsh and that for wind above it form Zhong Fu. The superior man, in accordance with this, deliberates about cases of litigation and delays (the infliction of) death.
The first ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject resting (in himself). There will be good fortune. If he sought to any other, he would not find rest.象传: 初九虞吉, 志未变也. Xiàng zhuàn: Chū jiǔ yú jí, zhì wèi biàn yě.
'The first ‘nine’, (undivided), shows its subject resting (in himself). There will be good fortune:' - no change has yet come over his purpose.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject (like) the crane crying out in her hidden retirement, and her young ones responding to her. (It is as if it were said), 'I have a cup of good spirits,' (and the response were), 'I will partake of it with you.'象传: 其子和之, 中心愿也. Xiàng zhuàn: Qí zǐ hé zhī, zhōng xīn yuàn yě.
‘Her young ones respond to her:’ - from the (common) wish of the inmost heart.
The third ‘six’, divided, shows its subject having met with his mate. Now he beats his drum, and now he leaves off. Now he weeps, and now he sings.象传: 可鼓或罢, 位不当也. Xiàng zhuàn: Kě gǔ huò bà, wèi bù dàng yě.
‘Now he beats his drum, and now he leaves off:’ - the position (of the line) is the appropriate one for it.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject (like) the moon nearly full, and (like) a horse (in a chariot) whose fellow disappears. There will be no error.象传: 马匹亡, 绝类上也. Xiàng zhuàn: Mǎ pǐ wáng, jué lèi shǎng yě.
‘A horse the fellow of which disappears:’ - he breaks from his (former) companions, and mounts upwards.
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject perfectly sincere, and linking (others) to him in closest union. There will be no error.象传: 有孚挛如, 位正当也. Xiàng zhuàn: Yǒu fú luán rú, wèi zhèng dāng yě.
‘He is perfectly sincere, and links others to him in closest union:’ - the place (of the line) is the correct and appropriate one.
The topmost ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject in rooster (trying to) mount to heaven. Even with firm correctness there will be evil.象传: 翰音登于天, 何可长也. Xiàng zhuàn: Hàn yīn dēng yú tiān, hé kě cháng yě.
‘Rooster (tries to) mount to heaven:’ - but how can (such an effort) continue long?
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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