遁 Dùn Regression Retreat [hexagram 33]
Month 6 ; Host or Controlling line : 2
遁: 亨, 小利贞. Dùn: hēng, xiǎo lì zhēn.
Dun indicates successful progress (in its circumstances). To a small extent it will (still) be advantageous to be firm and correct.彖傳: 遁亨, 遁而亨也. 刚当位而应, 与时行也. 小利贞, 浸而长也. 遁之时义大矣哉! Tuàn zhuàn: Dùn hēng, dùn ér hēng yě. gāng dāng wèi ér yīng, yǔ shí xíng yě. xiǎo lì zhēn, jìn ér cháng yě. dùn zhī shí yì dà yǐ zāi!
'Dun indicates successful progress:' - that is, in the very retiring which Dun denotes there is such progress. The strong (line) is in the ruling place, (the fifth), and is properly responded to (by the second line). The action takes place according to (the requirement of) the time. 'To a small extent it will (still) be advantageous to be firm and correct:' - (the small men) are gradually encroaching and advancing. Great indeed is the significance of (what is required to be done in) the time that necessitates retiring.象传: 天下有山, 遁; 君子以远小人, 不恶而严. Xiàng zhuàn: Tiān xià yǒu shān, dùn; jūn zǐ yǐ yuǎn xiǎo rén, bù wù ér yán.
(The trigram representing) the sky and below it that for a mountain form Dun. The superior man, in accordance with this, keeps small men at a distance, not by showing that he hates them, but by his own. dignified gravity.
The first ‘six’, divided, shows a retiring tail. The position is perilous. No movement in any direction should be made.象传: 遁尾之厉, 不往何灾也. Xiàng zhuàn: Dùn wěi zhī lì, bù wǎng hé zāi yě.
There is ‘the peril of the position shown by the retiring tail:’ - but if ‘no movement’ be made, what disaster can there be?
The second ‘six’, divided, shows its subject holding (his purpose) fast as if by a (thong made from the) hide of a yellow ox, which cannot be broken.象传: 执用黄牛, 固志也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhí yòng huáng niú, gù zhì yě.
‘He holds it as; by (a thong from the hide of) a yellow ox:’ - his purpose is firm.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows one retiring but bound,--to his distress and peril. (If he were to deal with his binders as in) nourishing a servant or concubine, it would be fortunate for him.象传: 系遁之厉, 有疾惫也. 畜臣妾吉, 不可大事也. Xiàng zhuàn: Xì dùn zhī lì, yǒu jí bèi yě. xù chén qiè jí, bù kě dà shì yě.
‘The peril connected with the case of one retiring, though bound,’ is due to the (consequent) distress and exhaustion. ‘If he were (to deal as in) nourishing a servant or concubine, it would be fortunate for him:’ - but a great affair cannot be dealt with in this way.
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject retiring notwithstanding his likings. In a superior man this will lead to good fortune; a small man cannot attain to this.象传: 君子好遁, 小人否也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jūn zǐ hào dùn, xiǎo rén fǒu yě.
‘A superior man retires notwithstanding his likings; a small man cannot attain to this.’
The fifth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject retiring in an admirable way. With firm correctness there will be good fortune.象传: 嘉遁贞吉, 以正志也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiā dùn zhēn jí, yǐ zhèng zhì yě.
‘He retires in an admirable way, and with firm correctness there will be good fortune:’ - this is due to the rectitude of his purpose.
The sixth ‘nine’, undivided, shows its subject retiring in a noble way. It will be advantageous in every respect.象传: 肥遁, 无不利; 无所疑也. Xiàng zhuàn: Féi dùn, wú bù lì; wú suǒ yí yě.
‘He retires in a noble way, and his doing so will be advantageous in every respect:’ - he who does so has no doubts about his course.
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.