1 Qian2

The lower: Qian (perseverance, heaven). The upper: Qian (perseverance, heaven).

Qian: creativity and perseverance, heaven; the qualities of a founder and leader.

 

 

Hexagram

 

Preface:

Trigram Qian () represents heaven (). In Chinese culture, tian signifies the heavens and celestial bodies, and denotes the supreme power (Heaven) that creates and dominates the world. Hexagram Qian is composed of two Qian trigrams. The name indicates its instinct, characteristic and significance.

qian itself depicts brilliant sunlight at sunrise (gan4) which arouses all life and stimulates prosperity. It also depicts a newly sprouting plant struggling to grow toward the sun as seen in  yi3. Like Heaven, hexagram Qian fulfills its assigned mission of creation by being the first hexagram of the I Ching.

The heavens circle around the earth day and night, season after season, and year after year, without slackening or neglect. Qian has six solid masculine lines starting from the bottom. They move strongly and firmly toward the top; it is as persevering as the heavens.

The I Ching begins with hexagrams Qian and Kun (submissiveness, earth). They are formed on behalf of Heaven and earth. Like Heaven and earth creating the world, their masculine and feminine give birth to the other 62 hexagrams, one after another, in sequence.


Text (of Zhou Yi): Qian (creativity and perseverance, heaven); (it possesses the virtues of) origination (i.e. a great new beginning full of creative power), smooth progress, advantage (or appropriateness, i.e. being appropriate for all concerned, which creates benefit), and persistence (in maintaining what has been achieved and righteously carrying on toward what is intended).

Commentary on the text (Tuan Zhuan): The mighty origination of Qian!  (Like that of Heaven by which) the whole of creation is set in motion; as a result it rules the heavens.  The clouds are flying and the rain is falling; all manner of substance comes into being.  The great brightness (i.e. the masculine Yang of Qian) ends (the same way it) starts.  Six positions are established according to (the sequence of) time, and (its lines advance along the timeline, step by step, like) riding the dragon to dominate the heavens in an opportune manner (and fulfill the mission of Qian)With the norm of Qian varying, each (line develops and) forms its own character and fate; (this is like the whole of creation evolving into its own features, according to the rules of Heaven, and living together) in symbiosis and harmony. (This signifies that Qian and Heaven engage to bring what is appropriate to all concerned; the symbiotic and harmonious world is the benefit created by them.)  Thus it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist (in maintaining what has been achieved, and righteously carrying on toward what is intended) (The saint) among the ordinary people (becomes) the leader; countries (around the world) all become peaceful; (this is the ultimate end and the true spirit of Qian).

Text explanation:

Qian is the first hexagram of the I Ching; it represents a great and new start, full of creative power like the origination of Heaven which creates the world and gives life to all creatures. Qian is the pure masculine. By merging with the pure feminine of hexagram Kun (2), the world of the I Ching is produced.

All creatures come into being, symbolising the smooth progress of Heaven. The masculine lines of hexagram Qian advance in a straightforward way to the end, arriving at Hexagram Kun. This symbolises the smooth progress of Qian.

All creatures follow the rule of Heaven to mature and develop their own unique features. This is like the six lines of hexagram Qian, each following its own norm to form its character and fate. The lines live together in symbiosis and harmony, demonstrating that both Heaven and Qian provide appropriate environments for all concerned; this is the benefit that they create.

Therefore it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist in what is intended, maintaining what has been achieved, and carrying out these tasks righteously, continuously and ceaselessly.

Origination, smooth progress, advantage, and persistence are the four virtues of hexagram Qian. Confucius paraphrased them as: the fountain of goodness (i.e. benevolence, like the creativity of Heaven); the convergence of optimums (i.e. the favourable interplay between the masculine and feminine, or the founder and adherent, or the leader and assistant, in accord with etiquette); the sum of appropriate acts; and principles when dealing with tasks (i.e. persistence in benevolence, etiquette and appropriate acts).

All these constitute the pattern of a gentleman’s behaviour. Possessing benevolence enables him to lead people; conforming to etiquette enables him to create favourable interplay; acting appropriately enables him to benefit all concerned; and persisting (in benevolence, etiquette and appropriate acts) enable him to carry out various tasks (with wisdom).

Commentary on the image (Da Xiang Zhuan): The heavens perform with perseverance, in accordance with which a gentleman exerts himself strongly and tirelessly.

Overview:

Hexagram Qian is a new start full of creative power, which is fundamental to initiation. It will progress smoothly like its masculine lines appearing one after another along the timeline. However, the clouds flying in the wake of the dragon require cold wind to produce rain, and the masculine of Qian needs the feminine of Kun to give birth to life. Therefore Qian must act strongly without tiring until the end of the hexagram where it starts changing and femininity appears. Persistence bears fruit.

Qian behaves like Heaven; it will progress smoothly. However its actions must be appropriate for all concerned, and it must persevere in its goals.

The four virtues of hexagram Qian can also be interpreted as creation, smooth progress, harvest and benefit, as well as preservation. These can be likened to spring, summer, autumn and winter in terms of sprouting, prosperous growth, maturity and harvest, and proper storage to maintain vitality. The four virtues of Qian are unconditional, but to persist in maintaining what has been achieved is the most important as its virtues can then recur continually, like the seasons following each other endlessly.

 

 

Lines

 

Deduction:

All the lines of hexagram Qian are masculine Yang. The dragon is symbolic of pure masculine; therefore it is used to explain the behaviour of the lines. In China, the dragon is a sacred animal and represents mighty prestige like that of a king. It is essentially dynamic, like the power of Nature. It flies in the sky but lives in the water; its snake-like body with raptors' claws comes from the zigzag image of lightning. The fish scales on its body are associated with the showering rain which originates in the water it inhabits.

The lines of hexagram Qian develop along the timeline from the incubation stage (in the earthly domain of positions 1 and 2) to the developing stage (i.e. the human domain at positions 3 and 4), and then from the developed stage (i.e. the heavenly domain at position 5 and 6) to the everlasting stage (i.e. the changing Qian, where all the masculine lines start changing to feminine yet masculinity still exists). The I Ching commences with hexagram Qian which possesses creativity, so it acts like the leader and founder. The changing of Qian to Kun (submissiveness and receptiveness) unveils the ultimate significance of the hexagram, i.e. all leaders living together in peace.

 

The 1st line

Text (of Zhou Yi): (The subject is in a state of) a hidden dragon; do not act.

Text explanation:

Line 1 is a hidden dragon as position 1 is within the domain of earth and under the ground. Although masculine tends to move, in the beginning phase line 1 lacks knowledge of how to perform in its role to achieve its goal. Additionally, there is no access (i.e. neither a correlate nor a friendly neighbour) available in front. Now that it is in a place right to it (positions 1, 3 and 5 are designated for masculine lines), it should remain still.

Commentary on the image (Xiao Xiang Zhuan): A hidden dragon (ought) not to act, as the masculine (stays) at the bottom (or below the ground).

The dragon lives in the water and flies in the sky. Under the ground is not its territory.

Enlightenment through nine one (i.e. line 1 when it is cast as the old masculine (9) and starts changing to feminine): to conceal one's ambitions or accept temporary setbacks and bide one's time. The dragon hides underground, signifying that it is not yet the right time. One should maintain one’s aspirations without taking action. Should this line fail to stop its movement and change to feminine, the hexagram would become Gou (44), to meet unexpectedly. Here the masculine encounters a vigorous feminine, signaling an emerging crisis.  

 

The 2nd line

Text: The dragon appears in the field; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord (i.e. a person who has power to influence the future of others).

Text explanation:

Line 2 is in the earthly domain as well but on the ground, like a dragon appearing in a field. It is in a phase where the line is just starting its designated mission, i.e. it is ready to take action but what can be accomplished is still limited. Although it is at the position that correlates with line 5 at the king's position, it isn't right for the position as positions 2, 4 and 6 are designated for feminine lines.

If line 2 can change to feminine, i.e. act righteously at its position and be visible, there will be access for it to ascend (through its correlation with line 5). Once line 2 moves to position 5 to see the great lord, it will occupy the dominant position of hexagram Da You (14), abundant possessions, wherein feminine line 5 possesses all the masculine lines. Therefore it is advantageous (or appropriate) to see someone who has influence on one's future and helps one ascend.

               

Commentary on the image: The dragon appears in the field; (its) virtue will be widespread.

Line 2 is at the position of a low-ranking official who has a correlation with the king, line 5; therefore it focuses on building a good reputation so that, one day, it will be lifted to a higher post to carry out its aspirations. The dragon appears in the field, signifying it is ready to take flight. Once it is airborne, with the help of a cyclone, its virtue will be widespread.

Enlightenment through nine two (i.e. line 2 when it is cast as the old masculine (9) and starts changing to feminine): to exhibit one's talent and establish interpersonal relationships to obtain recognition and assistance in getting started. The dragon appears in the field, signifying that a person shows readiness to start his career. Therefore it is advantageous to see an influential person who can recognise his worth and lift him up. The hexagram that appears when this line changes to feminine is Tong Ran (13), to build fellowship, which suggests that one should have a wide circle of friends.

 

The 3rd line

Text: A gentleman is Qian and Qian (i.e. doubly persevering in exerting himself) for the entire day, as well as vigilant and cautious at night; (the status is of) sternness and cruelty (but with) no calamity (or fault).

Text explanation:

Line 3 reaches the domain of humans, and the dragon enters in the form of a gentleman. It is at the position for marching upward (from the lower trigram to the upper one, and from low to higher society). The masculine tends to move; therefore line 3 is eager to advance. However, it moves back and forth between the lower and the upper trigrams as there is no access avail-able for it to go upward and land (i.e. no correlate or friendly neighbour in front).

Therefore it must be doubly persevering while working during the day. Additionally, its achievements might be so great that those above will feel uneasy or insecure. For that reason, it must be vigilant and cautious during the night as well. Though it is in a stern and cruel state, it will be free from calamity if it can exert itself strongly, without tiring and maintain its vigil.

Commentary on the image: (Line 3 ought to be) Qian and Qian (i.e. doubly persevering in exerting himself) for the entire day, (signifying) to repeat (carrying out) the norm (of Qian).

Enlightenment through nine three (i.e. line 3 when it is cast as the old masculine (9) and starts changing to feminine): to exert oneself strongly and without tiring, however one should remain alert to avoid being pushed down by those above. The environment is stern and cruel, but there will be no calamity if it can keep striving and maintain its vigil. No calamity means it was originally present but corrections were made at the right time resulting in freedom from calamity. When this line changes to feminine, the hexagram becomes Lu (10), to tread the tiger’s tail, which suggests that one must do everything very carefully according to etiquette, i.e. the order of a system. Then the tiger won't bite.

 

The 4th line

Text: As if (the dragon is) leaping (up and down) over a deep pond, (which is of) no calamity (or fault).

Text explanation:

The dragon arrives at the upper trigram like a person entering a higher society. It is still very aggressive and intends to fly into the sky proclaiming itself the ruler. However it is not yet in a position to attain its goal, so it should act at the right time and in a safe manner.

The deep pond is a dangerous place but it is where the dragon lives. The sky (at position 5) is where a dragon can exhibit its sovereignty and carry out its aspirations. Line 4 arrives at a position for rest after having expended all effort to advance from the lower trigram, but the situation is full of danger due to its proximity to the king, line 5.

The place where it stays is like a deep pond. Yet line 4 perseveres and continues to advance upwards, like a dragon pushing itself to fly up into the sky, because masculine tends to move and Qian is persevering. However for now it can only leap up and down as its intended destination is the king's territory. It can keep on trying as long as it knows when to return to the safety of position 4; then there will be no calamity (or fault).

Commentary on the image: As if (the dragon is) leaping (up and down) over a deep pond, (signifying) no calamity (or fault) in advancing.

Pursuing achievement must be done timely. There is no calamity (or fault) in seeking an opportunity as long as one acts in a safe manner.

Enlightenment through nine four (i.e. line 4 when it is cast as the old masculine (9) and starts changing to feminine): to act according to the situation in a safe manner, as the action will affect someone in a dominant position. The dragon leaps up and down over a deep pond, signifying that it is seeking a way to reach the sky, i.e. to claim its sovereignty, according to the situation and in a safe manner. There will be no fault or calamity, as its flexibility ensures it an invincible position. Should this line change to feminine and remain still, the hexagram would become Xiao Chu (9), the small feminine serving the big masculine.

 

The 5th line

Text: (The subject is in a state of) a flying dragon in the sky; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord.

Text explanation:

Position 5, the climax of the hexagram and the king's position, is full of merit and in the domain of heaven where line 5 acts like a dragon flying in the sky, carrying out its aspirations. If line 2 changes to feminine, behaving righteously and moderately at the core position of the lower trigram, line 5 will acquire a correlation with it, like the king obtaining support from a virtuous courtier. The lower trigram would then become Li (clinging, fire), which is signified as brightness and presents an image of the eyes. Through correlation with line 2, the merit of line 5 becomes manifest, as its achievements reach and benefit those below who see it.

                         

Commentary on the image: (Line 5 is in a state of) a flying dragon in the sky, (which is) created by the great lord.

The great lord can be either feminine line 2, with whose assistance line 5 is able to accomplish its aspirations (like masculine Qian needing feminine Kun to create the whole of creation). Or it could be line 5 itself, i.e. behaving like a great lord so that all people might benefit from its achievements.

Enlightenment through nine five (i.e. line 5 when it is cast as the old masculine (9) and starts changing to feminine): to carry out one's aspirations with assistance from others and share the merit. The dragon is now flying in the sky, displaying its sovereignty and carrying out its aspirations. A great leader can bring his aspirations into full play with the support of others, and all people will benefit under his great leadership. The hexagram that forms after this line gets through with its assignment and changes to feminine is Da You (14), abundant possessions, wherein feminine line 5 occupies the most honoured position and elicits a response from all the other masculine lines. Da You is also paraphrased as abundant possessions to be shared by all people.

 

The 6th line

Text: (The subject is in a state of) an arrogant dragon, (which will) have (cause to) regret.

Text explanation:

The masculine perseveres in marching upward and reaches the end. It has attained the peak (achievement at position 5) but still keeps advancing. Progress will reverse after having reached the end and glory will decline after having reached its extremity; this is the course of Nature. Hence there will be regret in overdoing it.

Confucius’s remarks in Xi Ci Zhuan (i.e. the commentary on the text tagging): (One is in a state of possessing) prestige but with no (corresponding) post, (and being at the) high (ranking position) but with no (support from) people; virtuous people stay below (i.e. all lines below line 6) but no assistance (is obtainable); hence, acting (without support) will (lead to) regret.

Commentary on the image: The arrogant dragon will have (cause to) regret, (signifying) superabundance won’t last long.

Enlightenment through nine six (i.e. line 6 when it is cast as the old masculine (9) and starts changing to feminine): not to overdo it after having already passed the climax. When this line is triggered to act, it means that perseverance in pursuing achievement has been overdone and is leading to arrogance. The dragon has reached its climax but still advances. It will regret what it did as there is no way ahead at the end of the hexagram. If it doesn't stop but indulges its desire for more, the hexagram will become Guai (43), (the masculine) getting rid of (the feminine), when it ends up as feminine. Here a torrential downpour of water could sweep away everything in its path; this is a potential outcome and must be avoided. 

 

The changing Qian (as named in the Zhou Yi: using (all lines in) 9)

If all six lines are cast as the old masculine (9), it is known as the changing Qian. All six lines start changing to feminine and hexagram Kun (submissiveness, earth) emerges.

Text: (The subject is in a state that) a flock of dragons appear without a leader, (which is of) auspiciousness.

Text explanation:

Qian is the head and honoured as the leader. When it is changing to Kun, it possesses the norm of that hexagram and becomes submissive and receptive. After that, the six lines won’t compete for leadership; there is no longer any leader required, and they will live together peacefully.

Commentary on the image: The virtue of the heavens doesn’t permit performing with the head (i.e. the leader).

The heavens are round like Nature; they revolve in an endless cycle of day and night, and the four seasons, each following the other. There is neither beginning (or head, i.e. a leader) nor end (or tail, i.e. an adherent).

Qian acts as a founder and leader. While there are many leaders in the world, they must learn to get along peacefully, as exemplified by the heavens.

Enlightenment: to rule the world peacefully together with other leaders. All the lines start changing to feminine now; there will be no fighting among the dragons for leadership and they can live together in peace; this is auspicious.


 

The commentary on hexagram Qian (Wen Yan Zhuan) 

 

Hexagrams Qian and Kun are the thresholds of the I Ching. All other hexagrams develop from them. They are not only fundamental but also profound. Therefore Confucius provided additional remarks on the texts of Qian and Kun, especially as they relate to human virtue.

 

Origination is the fountain of goodness (i.e. benevolence, like the creativity of Heaven); smooth progress is the convergence of optimums (i.e. the favourable interplay between masculine and feminine in accord with etiquette); advantage is the sum of appropriate acts, and persistence (in benevolence, etiquette and appropriate acts) is the principle of dealing with tasks (which is a demonstration of wisdom).  Possessing benevolence enables a gentleman to lead people; conforming to etiquette enables him to converge optimums; acting appropriately enables him to benefit all concerned, and firmly persisting (in benevolence, etiquette and appropriate acts) enables him to deal with tasks (in a wise way).  A gentleman is one who behaves in accordance with these four virtues; thus it is said: Qian; origination, smooth progress, advantage (or appropriateness), persistence.

Line 1 states: “A hidden dragon ought not to act.”  What is the meaning?  Confucius says: “It is one who possesses the virtue of the dragon but conceals itHe won’t change because of common customs, or fame and benefitHe won’t be downcast because of reclusion, or not being recognised by others.  (He is in a position) to act whenever (the subject offers) pleasure (i.e. the subject is right), and to defy it whenever (the subject will lead him to) worry (i.e. the subject is wrong.)(He is) firm and not to be influenced, (and the one called) the hidden dragon.”

Line 2 states: “The dragon appears in the field; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord.”  What is the meaning?  Confucius says: “It is one who possesses the virtue of the dragon and acts righteously and moderately (i.e. neither conservatively nor radically)(He is in a position) to keep one’s word and act prudently in daily life, to restrain evil and be sincere and trustworthy, and to make a contribution to society without flaunting it; (his) virtue is widespread and cultivates others.”  Yi () states: “The dragon appears in the field; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord”.  (To employ him is) the virtue of the king (or, it is the virtue needed to be the (future) leader).

Line 3 states: “A gentleman is Qian and Qian (i.e. doubly persevering in exerting himself) for the entire day, as well as vigilant and cautious at night; (the status is of) sternness and cruelty (but with) no calamity (or fault).”  What is the meaning?  Confucius says: “(It is how) a gentleman (acts) to improve (his) virtue and cultivate (his) career.  Loyalty and trust improve virtue; being discreet in one’s word establishes sincerity and honesty, and on the basis of these traits a career is performed.  Through knowing what (ideal) to achieve and (exerting oneself) to attain it, (the target is) almost accomplished; through knowing what must be stopped and ending it accordingly, appropriateness can be maintained.  Thus (one should) not be proud of attaining a high-ranking post, nor be upset (while staying) at a lower position, (but rather always be) Qian and Qian (i.e. doubly persevering) and vigilant when necessary, (so that there will be) no calamity even in peril.”

Line 4 states: “As if (a dragon is) leaping (up and down) over a deep pond, (which is of) no calamity (or fault).”  What is the meaning?  Confucius says: “(The dragon leaps) up and down irregularly; it does not look for evil (but an opportunity to fly into the sky). It advances and retreats inconstantly; it does not depart from its fellows (signifying that it won't go beyond its position or abandon its aspirations).  A gentleman (ought) to timely improve (his) virtue and cultivate (his) career; as a result, (he can be) free from calamity (or fault).”

Line 5 states: “A flying dragon in the sky; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord.”  What is the meaning?  Confucius says: “(People tend) to communicate when the topic is the same, and to conjoin when aspiration is the same.  Water flows (through and all becomes) wet; (all becomes) dry around a flame; the cloud (rises torrentially) behind a dragon; the wind (blasts) after a tiger; the whole world will watch when the saint illuminates his virtue.  Those (like birds) belong to the sky (flying) high in the air; those (like plants) live on the ground going deep (with their roots), things of a kind follow one another.”

Line 6 states: “An arrogant dragon has (cause to) regret.”  What is the meaning?  Confucius says: “(One is in a state of possessing) prestige but with no (corresponding) post, (and being at the) high (ranking position) but with no (support from) people; virtuous people (i.e. the lines below the line 6) stay below but no assistance (is obtainable); thus, acting (without support) has (cause to) regret.”

 

The following expresses each line's viewpoint on realising one's aspirations.

A hidden dragon ought not to act, (which is due to its staying at) the low rank (like the bottom of the hexagram).  The dragon appears in the field, (suggesting) biding one's time. To be Qian and Qian (i.e. doubly persevering in exerting oneself) for the entire day, (which is an attitude of) dealing with tasks.  As if (the dragon is) leaping (up and down) over a deep pond, (signifying) engaging in a self-trial.  A flying dragon in the sky, (symbolising staying at) the top so as to rule (the world).  An arrogant dragon has (cause to) regret, (which is because it is) destitute (of self-reflection and this) incurs calamity.  Great Qian uses (all lines in) nine, (by the submissive and receptive character of which) the world is ruled.

 

The norm of a gentleman matures as masculinity ascends gradually from the bottom, like the power of the sun increasing as it rises.

The analogy is seen this way: A hidden dragon ought not to act, as masculinity is concealed (i.e. its masculinity is still weak as it would be at dawn).  The dragon appears in the field, (when) the world becomes civilised (i.e. the power of the sun appears at sunrise)To be Qian and Qian for the entire day, (signifies that) a gentleman exerts himself all the time (like plants eager to flourish during the day).  As if leaping (up and down) over a deep pond, (signifies that) the norm of Qian is being reformed (i.e. it is not only persevering but also flexible in achieving its goal, like the power of the sun varying during the four seasons).  A flying dragon in the sky, (signifies that) it stays at the (sky) position with the virtue of Heaven (i.e. its masculinity is prevailing like at midday).  An arrogant dragon has (cause to) regret, (because) it reaches the end (of a hexagram and its development) also in terms of time (i.e. the power of the sun is declining like at sunset).  Great Qian uses (all lines in) nine, wherein the rule of Nature is displayed (i.e. its rigidity is changing to yielding with the conversion of masculine to feminine, day to night, which is the rule of Nature).

 

The following is to praise hexagram Qian and its host line, line 5.

Qian’s origination is a new beginning with smooth progress (as it starts with masculinity and continues that way to the end thereby forming Qian. This is the way that Heaven creates life, with each form of life going on to develop into its own species).  Advantage (or appropriateness) and persistence comprise (its) instinct and disposition. To persist in the norm of heaven is its instinct; to create an appropriate environment for all concerned is its disposition.  By virtue of optimum appropriateness, Qian’s origination benefits the world, which is done without flaunting its merit.  How mighty it is!  The mighty Qian (like host line 5) is firm, persevering, moderate and righteous; they are the most purified essences.  Six lines are all activated (to change); (then it becomes hexagram Kun) and accessible laterally with affection (i.e. each pair of the masculine and the feminine lines of Qian and Kun associate congenially with each other at their corresponding positions)(Qian) rides six dragons to dominate the heavens in an opportune way (i.e. according to the sequence of the hidden dragon, the dragon appearing in the field, and so on)(After that) the clouds fly, the rain falls and the world becomes pacified (signifying that the six masculine lines rise one after another like clouds. Ultimately the masculine starts changing to feminine.  At that point, the masculine and feminine mate, creating rain which moistens the world where all founders and leaders submit to each other and live in peace).

 

The following are the combined remarks made for each line, and for a gentleman (or woman) to follow.

A gentleman must concentrate on (cultivating and) achieving (his) virtue by employing it daily (before undertaking what is intended).  The word ‘hidden’ means (his virtue is) concealed and not seen, as well as being carried out but not having succeeded yet.  Therefore a gentleman ought not to act.

A gentleman collects (knowledge) by studying, obtains clarity through questioning, lives in ease (signifying he isn't eager to advance upward), and acts with benevolence.  Yi says: “The dragon appears in the field; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to see a great lord.”  (To employ him is) the virtue of the king (or, it is the virtue required to be the (future) leader).

Masculine line 3 depends too much on rigidity (as it is masculine rigidity and stays at the position for marching upward) and exceeds the middle (of the lower trigram where the principle of moderation is available)It is neither high in the sky (like line 5 occupying the dominant position and carrying out its aspirations) nor low in the field (like line 2 preparing itself and waiting for a great lord).  Therefore it is Qian and Qian (i.e. doubly persevering in exerting itself) and properly vigilant, (thus there will be) no calamity (or fault) even in peril.

Masculine line 4 depends too much on rigidity (as it is masculine rigidity and very active in the upper trigram, i.e. a higher society) but doesn't attain the middle (of the upper trigram, i.e. the dominant position)It is not high in the sky, low in the field, or in the middle of humanity (signifying that it left the lower trigram which is regarded as the society of common people) Therefore it is as if (were leaping up and down over a deep pond, trying to reach the dominant position).  'As if' expresses (a type of) suspicion (i.e. uncertainty on success and possibility of being hurt; it must act according to the situation); hence (there is) no calamity (or fault).

A great lord is one whose virtue aligns with Heaven and earth, shines with the sun and moon, runs in an ordered way with the four seasons, and keeps pace with (the criteria of) good fortune and misfortune used by god and ghost (who encourage good and express evil).  He respects astronomical phenomena and acts accordingly (because he knows it is nothing but truth); no matter whether he is one step ahead of astronomical phenomena (and acts according to his virtue) or follows them, Nature will agree (with him).  As Nature agrees (with him), there is no reason that humans, god and ghost will not.

Arrogance means to keep on advancing without knowing when to retreat, to only think of existence and ignore perishing, and to always look for gain without preparing for loss.  The saint (for instance, the creator of the I Ching) is one who knows about advancing and retreating, existence and death, and who acts without losing righteousness; this is the saint.