61 Zhong1 Fu2 中孚

The lower: Dui (joy, the marsh). The upper: Xun (to enter, the wind).

Zhong Fu: just right (i.e. balanced) sincerity and trust (i.e. sincerity and trust carried out through the principle of moderation); sincerity and trust radiate from the heart.

 

 

Hexagram

 

Preface:

(The sweet) restriction (Jie) then wins trust (); therefore Zhong Fu is granted. Sweet restriction wins people’s trust because it is implemented according to the principle of moderation. Zhong () means the middle and connotes 'just right' (i.e. neither excessive nor insufficient) which is referred to as the principle of moderation. Fu (), a son (zi3) under the claw (zhua3), signifies hatching; also xin4, as human (ren2) word (yan2) must be abided by like the hen's egg bringing forth a chicken, not a duck, by the prescribed time. Additionally xin4 is equivalent to cheng2 (honesty or sincerity). Therefore Zhong Fu is signified as just right (i.e. balanced) sincerity and trust, i.e. sincerity and trust carried out through the principle of moderation; or sincerity and trust in the heart radiating from the middle of the human body.

Zhong Fu exhibits reliability with a humble heart in the form of two void feminine lines between two solid masculine above and below. Additionally lines 2 and 5, the axle centres, are the firm masculine. In this way Zhong Fu exhibits an upright attitude through the principle of moderation.

The lower trigram is Dui, while the upper is Xun - its reversed image. Their paired match represent two tokens of a pledge. The wind of Xun above blows over the marsh of Dui creating ripples; the air is full of peace and harmony. People can reach such an inspiring and inspired state through sincerity, and interacting with each other through moderation and trust.

The inner hexagram of Zhong Fu is Yi2 (27), to nourish, signifying that incubation requires nourishment and Zhong Fu requires constant nourishment of righteousness. Its changing hexagram is Xiao Guo (62), a little excess, which resembles a flying bird, signifying that after incubation Zhong Fu becomes a bird. The fledgling bird practices by flying low rather than higher, i.e. with a low profile.
 

Text: Zhong Fu (sincerity and trust radiate from the heart), (that which reaches) the puffer fish is auspicious; it is instrumental in crossing a great river; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist.

Commentary on the text: Zhong Fu (sincerity and trust carried out through the principle of moderation); (those of) tenderness (i.e. lines 3 and 4) stay internally, while (lines 2 and 5, those of) rigidity occupy the core positions (of the lower and the upper trigrams which are the dominant positions and possess the principle of moderation).  (Zhong Fu exhibits its norm in the form of) speaking (like the lower trigram Dui) and then Xun (i.e. modesty and obedience reflected in the upper trigram). Fu (sincerity and trust) cultivates the state.  The puffer fish is auspicious (signifying) sincerity and trust reaches the puffer fish.  It is instrumental in crossing a great river, (which is due to) boarding the hollow wooden boat (represented by Zhong Fu).  Zhong Fu facilitates persistence (in righteousness), (as) it conforms to (the norm of) Heaven.

Text explanation:

Sincerity and trust radiate from the heart and plunge deeply into the water, reaching and affecting the puffer fish, which is auspicious. The puffer fish which lives deep in the water is delicious but poisonous; it can kill people if it isn’t prepared and cooked in the right way. Sincerity and trust can reach and affect those far away who are valuable, but difficult to deal with; this is auspicious. It s advantageous (or appropriate) to continually maintain this virtue as heartfelt sincerity and trust can dissolve enmity and bring forth what is intended.

The upper trigram Xun expresses modesty and obedience as its feminine line prostrates itself beneath two masculine lines; the lower trigram Dui is signified as speaking. Once words are spoken, they must be abided by, which signifies sincerity and trust.

The tender feminine, lines 3 and 4 in the middle of the hexagram, denotes a sincere and trustworthy heart. The strong and firm masculine occupies the exterior, and lines 2 and 5, at the middle positions of the lower and the upper trigrams, possess the principle of moderation. Therefore Zhong Fu performs with sincerity and trust, strongly and firmly but in a moderate manner.

The upper trigram Xun denotes wood, while the lower trigram Dui is the marsh; wood over the marsh performs like a boat; the boat is hollow internally and solid externally, like hexagram Zhong Fu; therefore it is instrumental in crossing a great river, i.e. overcoming difficulties to undertake what is intended.

Commentary on the image: Over the marsh, there is wind; Zhong Fu.  A gentleman, in accordance with this, considers a legal case and postpones the death penalty.

The wind blows over the water of the marsh, creating ripples and making the still water seem alive; in accordance with this a gentleman realises that the decision of a legal case will have deep and far reaching consequences; he examines the case carefully, and treasures life.

Overview:

Sincerity and trust radiate from the heart travelling a great distance and affecting what is valuable but difficult to deal with; it is auspicious and instrumental in overcoming difficulties to undertake what is intended. It is advantageous or appropriate to persist.

Zhong Fu is also annotated as 'just right' sincerity and trust, i.e. to express sincerity and trust in a moderate manner, whereby people build their credibility and develop credit systems.

Zhong Fu doesn't have the virtues of origination and smooth progress (i.e. great and smooth progress, meaning that the undertaking is difficult). However it possesses the virtues of benefit twice and persistence (expressed in the forms of being instrumental and persistence bringing forth benefit), signifying that where wholehearted dedication is directed, the whole world will step aside to let you by.

Its changing hexagram Xiao Guo (62), a little excess, is the next hexagram, where one must slightly exceed the principle of moderation to offset the feminine in excess of the masculine. In the hexagram after that, Ji Ji (63), the masculine and feminine lines will attain their right positions and correlate with each other.

 

 

Lines

 

Deduction:

Zhong Fu is signified as sincerity and trust in the heart and is expressed externally as one’s credibility; it must be firm and steadfast. Therefore the line should remain still at its right position, i.e. act righteously with sincerity and trust independent of its correlate. Otherwise, it would be affected and become unstable.

Zhong Fu is also annotated as sincerity and trust carried out through the principle of moderation. The principle of moderation is available at positions 2 and 5, i.e. the middle positions of the lower and the upper trigrams. Lines 3 and 6 exceed the middle position, signifying that they are inclined to make commitments beyond their abilities. Lines 1 and 4, below the middle position, lack the principle of moderation; therefore they must seek it instead of exceeding the limit of sincerity and trust.

 

The 1st line

Text: To remain steadfast and contemplate () is auspicious; possessing others (rather than seeking the principle of moderation will lead to) unease and unhappiness (不燕).

Text explanation:

Line 1 possesses sincerity and trust as it stays at a position right to it. However masculine tends to move and it is in correlation with line 4 where sincerity and trust almost reach the peak of the hexagram. Should it rush there, it would arrive at a position not right to it, signifying that it has deserted and no longer complies with sincerity and trust.

In the beginning of Zhong Fu, one should remain still with budding sincerity and trust, and contemplate the next step. Otherwise one’s credibility will be called into question and one will be in an uneasy and unhappy state if what one does in haste proves ill-advised later.

yu2 depicts a forester, Mr. Wu (), wearing a tiger's hide (hu3) in a dangerous forest to avoid attack by wild animals. It is annotated here as staying still and contemplating, like a forester hidden in a bush, considering his next move; this is like line 1 arriving at a new hexagram and unfamiliar place determining what's best for it. yan4 is a swallow; rather than in a tree in the wild, the swallow nests on a roof beam symbolising a state of comfort and ease. bu2 (not) means that it will be in an uneasy state if it doesn't stay in its place.

Commentary on the image: It is auspicious for line 1 to remain steadfast (or, to contemplate); aspiration hasn't changed.

The aspiration of line 1 is to carry out sincerity and trust through the principle of moderation and establish its credibility. If line 1 exchanges positions with line 4, it will leave the aspiration denoted by the lower trigram Kan. For the moment, what line 1 lacks and should seek is the principle of moderation which is available at the middle position of the lower trigram, i.e. the position next to it.

                    

Enlightenment through nine one: to treasure what one has and remain still before deter-mining the next step. What one aims for is to establish enduring credibility; it is auspicious for one to remain still, contemplate what is needed and determine the next step. If this line changes to feminine and doesn't act righteously with sincerity and trust, the lower trigram will become Kan and the hexagram will be Huan (59), (the upper wind) to disperse (the lower sincerity and trust), where the king is busy reuniting what has scattered, i.e. rebuilding his sincerity and trust. 

 

The 2nd line

Text: A calling crane (perches) in the shade; its young responds to it; I have a goblet of good wine and will share it with you.

Text explanation:

A calling crane in the shade can’t be seen, but its young recognise its call and respond to it. Line 2 possesses the principle of moderation which isn't recognised publicly, like the crane in the shade with its virtue obscured. However those who recognise it yearn for it. Line 2 values its virtue very much like cherishing a goblet of good wine, and would like to share it with those who value it as well.

Position 2 is a place beneath the mountain of the inner upper trigram Gen and in the middle of the marsh of the lower trigram Dui, which is the best place for the crane to be. Line 2 is the calling crane denoted by the lower trigram Dui (the chicken) and the inner lower trigram Zhen (the thunder). It is in the shade as the place it occupies is the shaded feminine.

 

                

 

Line 2, at the middle position of the lower trigram, possesses the principle of moderation. Line 1, its young (as it is masculine as well), is seeking it. The inner lower trigram Zhen is a ritual vessel, while the lower trigram Dui is the mouth. This way lines 2 and 1 share the good wine in the ritual vessel represented by line 2.

 

           

 

Confucius’s statement in Xi Ci Zhuan (the commentary on the text tagging): A gentleman stays home; what he says is good; people thousands of miles away will respond to him; how much more so those next to him! Staying home, what he says is bad; people thousands of miles away will defy him; how much more so those next to him! (The influence of) what a gentleman says will be imposed on people; (the effect of) what a gentleman does in the vicinity will reach far. Words and deeds constitute the axle centre of a gentleman; what radiates from the axle centre is the origin of honour and disgrace. Words and deeds are those which a gentleman counts on to move the world; how could one not be cautious?

Commentary on the image: Its young responds to it, which penetrates the will (or, the principle of moderation is the will of the heart).

The principle of moderation expressed in the call of line 2 is what line 1 waits for and responds to; it is also what line 2 intends to pass on.

Enlightenment through nine two: 1) to exhibit one's virtue or talent for recognition, and 2) to hand down. One’s virtue or talent is unknown to the public but recognised by those who value it. Sharing it signifies passing it on to others. The hexagram that forms after this line is activated, changing to feminine and possessing not only the principle of moderation but also sincerity and trust, is Yi4 (42), (those above) enriching (those below), which signals a successful handing down, and also suggests imitating goodness once it is seen.

 

The 3rd line

Text: (The subject is in a state of) obtaining its match (while moving forward or acting); now it beats the drum, now it stops; now it sobs, now it sings.

Text explanation:

Due to internal instability and external influence, sincerity and trust lose their bearings. One seemingly refuses the influence and beats the battle drum, but this turns into its opposite. One’s sincerity and trust move up and down like fickle emotion.

The feminine tends to remain still. However it correlates with line 6, a nice but unrealistic commitment, and is at the position for marching upward. Therefore it is affected by line 6; following it, its sincerity and trust become unstable.

The inner lower trigram Zhen (to move, the thunder) can be taken here for beating the drum, while the inner upper trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain) is signified as to stop. They are presented in a contradictory way of moving and stopping along the way to position 6.

 

                  

The lower trigram Dui (joy) is signified as to speak, denoting that it sings when correlated with line 6. However, If line 3 moves to position 6, the upper and the inner upper trigram will become Kan (the abyss, water) and Li (clinging, fire, the eyes) respectively, resulting in the eyes teeming with water like weeping.

 

               

Commentary on the image: Now it beats the drum, now it stops, (which is due to the fact that) the position (where it stays) is inappropriate (to it).

Line 3 isn’t at a position right to it and can't act righteously with sincerity and trust; it exceeds the middle of the lower trigram (i.e. the principle of moderation) signifying that the sincerity and trust it exhibits (through the mouth denoted by the lower trigram Dui) exceeds what is required. Therefore it moves back and forth in order to fulfil its commitments (which fly up into the sky at position 6).

Enlightenment through six three: 1) to remain firm and not be affected, or 2) be discreet in giving one's commitment. Sincerity and trust are excessive. One's credibility fluctuates regarding one's ability to fulfil a commitment. Even if this line changes to masculine (i.e. possesses sincerity and trust but excessive moderation), the hexagram appears as Xiao Chu (9); dense clouds are gathering but it doesn't rain. This describes a state of uncertainty and anxiety where the small plays games with the large, i.e. deals a job beyond one's capability.

 

The 4th line

Text: The moon is nearly full; (the necessity of) horse mating and reproduction (馬匹) has gone, (which will end up with) no fault (or calamity).

Text explanation:

The norm of Zhong Fu is almost consummated and needs a final push toward the goal. Line 4 acts righteously with sincerity and trust, and sustains line 5 at the peak of the hexagram, signifying its sincerity and trust are nearly full and what it needs is to closely follow line 5, the one that possesses sincerity and trust as well as the principle of moderation.

Line 1, in correlation with line 4, is at its back. Should line 4 exchange positions with line 1, the lower trigram would become Kan (the abyss, water) which is the horse with a beautiful spine, signifying that the mating of the feminine line 4 and masculine line 1 produces a horse. But line 4 will lose the opportunity to become a full noon like line 5. Therefore line 4 must devote itself to sustaining line 5 and turn down line 1, the request for mating and reproduction; this will end up with neither fault nor calamity, as it pursues balanced sincerity and trust through the principle of moderation, rather than constantly expanding sincerity and trust.

 

           

pi1 of ma3 (horse) signifies to double two. Lines 1 and 4 here are seen as two horses in a pair; their mating will produce more sincerity and trust.

Commentary on the image: (The necessity of) horse mating and reproduction has gone, (signifying) turning down one's fellow (i.e. line 1 which also possesses sincerity and trust, but) sustaining (the one) above (i.e. line 5).

Enlightenment through six four: no need to expand credibility, rather seek its optimal expression. The target must be firmly maintained; the interference of a secondary target always exists but one must be single-minded and stick to one's original intent; there will be no fault or calamity if one has no excessive desire for more (sincerity and trust) and seeks just what is wanted (the principle of moderation as well as balanced sincerity and trust). Should this line change to masculine, acting not only without the principle of moderation but also without sincerity and trust, the hexagram would become Lu (10), to tread a tiger’s tail. Here it must act in an apprehensive and prudent manner to avoid being hurt.

 

The 5th line

Text: As if sincerity and trust are bound together, (which results in) no calamity (or fault).

Text explanation:

Both lines 4 and 5 stay at their right positions; therefore the masculine line 5 sincerely and trustworthily occupies the feminine line 4 based on the principle of moderation. Line 4 follows the principle of moderation exhibited by line 5 and sustains line 5 with sincerity and trust, which bind them together like the cord denoted by the upper trigram Xun binding them.

 

                     

Commentary on the image: As if sincerity and trust are bound together, (as) the position (where it stays) is right and appropriate (to it).

Line 5, the host line of Zhong Fu, is at the king's position; its sincerity and trust, carried out in a moderate manner, is used by the king create close relations with his subjects and cultivate the country, as stated in the commentary on the hexagram text.

Enlightenment through nine five: 1) to demonstrate sincerity and trust in a moderate manner, or 2) to build a moderate credit system. A close association based on sincerity and trust exhibited in a moderate manner establishes a chain of credit, and precludes calamities such as credit expansion or restriction. Should this line not abide by its mandate and change to feminine, the hexagram would become Sun (41), (those above) diminishing (those below), which is signified as loss.

 

The 6th line

Text: High-flying sound (or, cock crow) mounts to the sky; to persist is ominous.

Text explanation:

Line 6 isn't at a position right to it and exceeds the middle of the upper trigram, signifying that it is neither sincere, trustworthy nor moderate. It stays in the domain of the heavens and correlates with line 3, the representative line of the lower trigram Dui (joy and to speak); therefore its sincerity and trust are linked with smooth talking and floating in the air.

 

                         

The lower trigram Dui also denotes the rooster which remains on the ground as it can’t fly; its crowing mounts to the sky, signifying that the call falls short of the reality.

Commentary on the image: High-flying sound (or, cock crow) mounts to the sky; how can it last long?

Line 6 makes too many nice but unrealistic commitments; its sincerity and trust will fall from the sky as the rising sound fades in the air.

Enlightenment through nine six: 1) commitment must be realistic, followed up by action, or 2) don't pursue or undertake what you can't accomplish. Sincerity and trust are not used to garner fame and compliments. When there is only smooth talk with no corresponding action, credibility is destined to wane; to persist is ominous. When this line changes to feminine and acts righteously with sincerity and trust, the hexagram will appears as Jie (60), to restrict, suggesting that moderate restriction is needed.