Chapter 1

 

Eight trigrams (Qian, Kun, Zhen, Xun, Kan, Lin, Gen and Dui) are arrayed according to their creation sequence, and then the images of heaven, earth, the thunder, the wind, water, fire, the mountain and the marsh come into being amongst them.  Herewith they mount one upon another to form 64 hexagrams, wherein the line resides.  Rigidness and softness (the masculine Yang and feminine Yin) jostle each other, so that changes take place within a hexagram; by virtue of providing each line with a text and assigning it a mission, movement occurs along the timeline.

Eight substances (heaven, earth, the thunder, the wind, water, fire, the mountain and the marsh) are selected as the basic elements of Nature, and the image of each substance is represented by one trigram according to the structure or the feature created by its lines. The image itself is static, but it can create various phenomena when it interplays with others.

A hexagram is composed of two trigrams; the phenomenon is created after the images of these two trigrams interact. Herewith the hexagram is denominated and its text is determined accordingly. Each hexagram represents a specific era or world; 64 hexagrams unfold various and colourful lives in the world.

The line has its essence and instinct, as well as virtue and ability. Every line of a hexagram represents an individual phase or stage in the era or the world of a specific hexagram. The line can change or move in order to seek a favourable environment; its text is provided in accordance with its characters as well as what it encounters and how it reacts.

 

Good fortune, bad fortune, regret and resentment are those which are created by the movement of the line.  Firmness (or rigidness) and tenderness (or softness) are those which form the instinct of the line.  Change and the unobstructed progress are those which keep pace with time.  Good and bad fortune are those which succeed in persistence or fail to persist.

 

Dao (the norm) of heaven and earth is to persist in displaying the rules of Nature to people.  Dao (the norm) of the sun and moon is to persist in lightening people and the world.  The movement of the world is to persist single-mindedly in pursuing righteousness (or good fortune and avoiding bad fortune).

Masculinity and femininity are the essences of the line; firmness (or rigidness) and tenderness (or softness) its instincts. Good fortune, bad fortune, regret and resentment are the results of their performance; the movement of the line must suit the requests in different conditions. Good and bad fortune are changeable, and all depends on whether or not the right action is taken in an opportune manner; hence, Yi () is not fatalistic but rather meant to advise people how to avoid calamity and seek good fortune.

 

Qian is the one that exhibits easiness (the easily understood norms of heaven or the leader) to people with firmness.  Kun is the one that demonstrates simplicity (and talent of earth or the adherent) to people with tenderness.  The line is the one that imitates them, and the image is the one that resembles them.  The line and the image move internally, while good and bad fortune are displayed externally.  The merit and achievement appear amid changes, and the sentiment of the sage exhibits in the text.

 

The great virtue of heaven and earth is called bearing and nourishing all life.  The most valuable treasure of the sage is called position, whereby he can realise his aspirations.  That which maintains the position of the sage is called benevolence.  That which gathers people is called wealth, whereby people can live free from hunger and coldTo assist people in managing finances through the enlightenment of phenomenon, and rectify their words through the righteousness of text, as well as to prohibit people from wrongdoing though the warning of calamity are called the appropriate action.

 

Chapter 2

 

Ancestor Paoxi-Shi (包犧氏, i.e. Fu Xi) once ruled the world.  He observed upwardly the phenomena in the heavens, and viewed downwardly the rules of Nature on the earth, and studied the habitual behaviour of all birds and animals, as well as the customs of every region.  He searched those available near his body, also those far away.  Hereafter he started to invent eight trigrams in order to reach the mind of god and match the statuses of all creatures. 

He knotted cords to form a net and used it to catch animals and finish. This was derived from the image of hexagram Li (clinging, fire). The void feminine in the middle of trigram Li makes hexagram Li look like a net.

 

After Paoxi-Shi passed away, Shennong-Shi (神農氏, the legendary king credited with introduction of farming, medicine and market) succeeded him. 

He chopped wood to carpenter the plough, as well as roasted and bent wood to form the handle, and then made use of the plough and handle to teach people of the world how to weed and plough. This was derived from the image of hexagram Yi (hexagram 42, to increase or to enrich). Yi is constituted by the upper trigram Xun (to enter, wood) and the lower trigram Zhen (to move). Wood enters earth, denoted by the inner lower trigram Kun (earth), and moves it suggesting ploughing. 

He opened the market at midday, exhibited commodities collected worldwide, and left after trading; everyone obtained what he needed. This was derived from the image of hexagram Shi He (hexagram 21: biting through). The upper trigram Li (clinging, fire) of Shi He denotes the sun, and its lower trigram Zhen (to move, the thunder) suggests noisy activity. This indicates businesses hustle and bustle under the sun.

 

After Shennong-Shi passed away, Yellow Emperor (黃帝), Emperor Yao () and Emperor Xun () were enthroned, successively.  They were adept at the changes of Nature and the measures of accommodation; therefore they employed the people but wouldn’t exhaust them.  They performed in such a superb way like god, so that they could employ the people according to what is appropriate to them. 

Yi means making a change when destitute of ways to continue.  Change offers an opportunity for unobstructed progress, and things can last long after progressing smoothly.  Hence, to be blessed by Heaven, which is of auspiciousness and nothing unfavourable. 

In the times of Yellow Emperor, Emperor Yao and Emperor Xun, they let fall their robes and the world was ruled (signifying to govern by doing nothing that goes against Nature). This was derived from the images of hexagrams Qian and Kun. Qian possesses the quality of ease and Kun possesses simplicity; ease and simplicity constituted their governance.

Yellow Emperor is honoured as the common ancestor of Chinese. He established the first kingdom in the region of the Central Plains in China approximately in 2697 B.C. It is said that he invented the Chinese characters and calendar. Emperor Yao and Emperor Xun both were the virtuous kings in ancient China around 2357 to 2208 B.C. as Yao transferred the throne to Xun, and Xun transferred it to Yu the Great, instead of to their sons.

 

The ancient people excavated wood to form a boat and cut wood to form a paddle, and then made use of the boat and paddle to cross obstacles of the river and reach far distances in order to benefit the world.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Huan (hexagram 59, to disperse). Huan is constituted by the upper trigram Xun (the wind) and the lower trigram Kan (water). Xun denotes wood and Kan, water; wood above water means sailing on the river.

 

The ancient people drove the ox cart and rode on the horse, carrying heavy load and reaching far distances in order to benefit the world.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Sui (hexagram 17, to follow). Sui is constituted by the lower trigram Zhen (to move) and the upper trigram Dui (joy). The one below moves and the one above expresses joy; this indicates that the ox and the house move according to the driver's or the rider's wish.

 

With multi-doors the ancient people defended against the bandit and refused the violent guest.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Yu (hexagram 16, to take precautions against calamity). The inner upper trigram Kan (the abyss, water) of Yu denotes the bandit and the inner lower trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain) looks like a door.

 

The ancient people chopped wood to carpenter a pestle and dug the ground to form a mortar, and then made use of the pestle and mortar to husk the grain, by means of which all people were fed.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Xiao Guo (hexagram 62, a little excess). Hsiao Guo is constituted by the upper trigram Zhen (to move) and the lower trigram Gen (keeping still), indicating that a pestle moves above and the mortar below remains still.

 

The ancient people arched wood to form a bow and sharpened wood to form an arrow, then made use of the bow and arrow to deter the world from division.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Kui (hexagram 38). Kui means alienation but its mission is to not defy discrepancy but rather undertake reconciliation for common interests or goals.

 

In very ancient times people lived in caves in the wild.  The sage later replaced this with a house, where the ridgepole above sustains the house and people live below the roof; in this way people are protected from the wind and rain.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Da Zhuang (hexagram 34, largeness and strength). Da Zhuang is constituted by the lower trigram Qian (heaven) and the upper trigram Zhen (the thunder). Qian, the doom of the sky, is seen as the roof of a house; it protects people from the thunder of Zhen.

In the ancient funeral the body was just covered by stubble and exposed in the wild, without covering soil or planting trees; the funeral was held without selecting a propitious day.  The sage later replaced this with the coffin.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Da Guo (hexagram 28, large excess). Da Guo is constituted by the lower trigram Xun (to enter, the wind) and the upper trigram Dui (joy, the marsh). Xun denotes wood and is taken here for the coffin, while Dui looks like a cave.

 

In very ancient times, people knotted cord as a reminder for what must be done; the sage later replaced this with written note; this way the official can manage his job, and people can check their pending works.  This was derived from the image of hexagram Guai (hexagram 43: to get rid of), as the feminine line at the top looks like a knot

 

Chapter 3

 

Thus, Yi is that which consists of 64 hexagrams and exhibits various phenomena, and the phenomenon is that which is created by images.  Tuan (the commentary on the hexagram text) means material which constructs the significance of the hexagram.  Yao (the line) is that which imitates various movements in the world.  Thus, good and bad fortune are created, and regret and resentment appear.

The hexagram is a presentment of phenomena formed by its images. The image is an imagination created according to the characteristics of a trigram (or a hexagram) associated with substantial object. Tuan provides judgement to the hexagram like material building a house. The line represents each space-time continuum in the era or the world of a hexagram; it moves along the timeline to achieve its mission. Good fortune or bad fortune is created, wherein gain or loss depends on what action is taken and how; regret and resentment will emerge if the right action isn't taken or correction isn't made timely.

 

Chapter 4

 

The masculine trigram possesses more feminine line, while the feminine trigram possesses more masculine line.  What is the reason?  The masculine trigram is constituted by the line stroke of the odd number, while the feminine trigram is constituted by the line stroke of the even number.  What is their virtue?  The masculine trigram is one king with two subjects; it is Dao (the norm) of the gentleman.  The feminine trigram is one subject with two kings; it is Dao (the norm) of the villain.

Trigram Kan consists of two feminine lines and one masculine line. It is regarded as a masculine trigram as it has a total of five line strokes. The odd number denotes masculinity as the masculine line is one single line. Trigram Li consists of two masculine lines and one feminine line. It is regarded as a feminine trigram as it has a total of four line strokes. The even number denotes femininity as the feminine line possesses two line strokes. The masculine trigram Kan has one masculine line (i.e. the king) and the two feminine lines (the subjects). According to the principle of the minority leading the majority, this indicates one masculine leading two feminine and two subjects serving one king; this represents the norm of the gentleman. The feminine trigram Li has two kings but one subject; one subject serves two kings, and the feminine leads the masculine, representing the norm of the villain.

 

Chapter 5

 

Yi (line 4 of hexagram Xian (31), telepathy) states: "Back and forth moving unstably, the fellows follow your thoughts."  Confucius says: "What does the world think of and what is its concern?  The world moves toward one destination via different routes, and one goal with different thoughts.  What (else) does the world think of and what (else) is its concern?  The sun goes and then the moon comes, the moon goes and then the sun comes.  The sun and the moon push each other, by virtue of which light is created.  Cold goes and then heat comes; heat goes and then cold comes. Cold and heat push each other, by virtue of which a year is formed.  The one leaving signifies retreat, while the one coming signifies advance.  That of which retreat and advance have telepathy is instrumental in creation of day and night, as well as four seasons.  The earthworm’s drawing back is for advance; the hibernation of the dragon and the snake is for continuing life the next year.  With proficiency at its true significance, one can bring this into full play in one's life; this is that with which one lives and by which one enhances virtue.  That which is beyond this has not yet been experienced but might be understandable; to endlessly seek the rule of god and understand all changes is the highest virtue."

 

Yi (line 3 of hexagram Kun4 (47), to be besieged) states: "Kun4 (being besieged) amidst rocks, and crouching on caltrops.  While entering into the house, one is unable to see the wife, which is of an ominous omen."  Confucius says: "To be besieged by that which should not besiege one; one's name is definitely ruined; to occupy (i.e. to crouch on) that which should not be occupied; one is definitely in peril.  While one is in a state of humiliation and peril, death is near; how could one see one's wife?’

 

Yi (line 6 of hexagram Xie (40), to alleviate) states: "The nobleman takes action to shoot the hawk on a high wall, and acquires it; nothing is unfavourable."  Confucius says: "The hawk is a raptor, the bow and arrow are the implements (the tools) and the archer is a man. The gentleman hides the implement (or his talent) on his body and waits for the right time to take action. What disadvantage is there? He is in a position to act without restraining his tool or talent; thus, once action is taken, there will definitely be something obtainable; it is the reason for having the implement (or the talent) properly prepared before taking action.

 

Confucius says: "The villain is not ashamed for not being benevolent, not afraid of living without justice, not diligent before he sees advantages, and not to be deterred if there is no penal code.  He will be restrained from committing a serious crime if he is punished for a misdemeanour; this is good fortune for the villain."  Yi (line 1 of hexagram Shi He (21), biting through) states: "The feet are shackled and the toes covered; (there will be) no calamity (or fault)."

 

It isn’t good enough to lead to fame if goodness is not well accumulated; it isn’t evil enough to perish if evil is not accumulated to a certain extent.  The villain thinks that the small goodness brings no benefit, so he doesn’t do it; the villain thinks that the small evil causes no harm, so he doesn’t get rid of it.  Hence evil is so heavily accumulated, that it can’t be veiled; the offence is so big, that it can’t be pardoned.  Yi (line 6 of hexagram Shi He (21), biting through) states: "Wearing a wooden cangue by which the ears are covered, which is of an ominous omen."

 

Confucius says: "The one who is in peril had been in safety for a long time; the one who is dead had been alive for a long time; the one that is in turmoil had been well ruled for a long time. Therefore a gentleman shouldn’t ignore peril while feeling safe; he shouldn’t ignore death while he is still alive, and he shouldn’t ignore turmoil while the rule is in order; hence, (the life of) individuals can be secured and (the safety of) the country can be guarded."  Yi (line 5 of hexagram Pi (12), blockage and stagnation) states: "It is still perilous and still at stake; one has to tie one's self to the flower buds of the flourishing and densely growing mulberry trees."

 

Confucius says: "A person occupies an honoured position with little virtue, plans a big project with limited knowledge, and carries a heavy responsibility with less ability; it is obvious that the person is incompetent at his job"  Yi (line 4 of hexagram Ding (50), to innovate or to nourish and respect the virtuous and reliable person) states: "The legs of Ding are bent, which tips the courtier’s delicious food, and the cauldron’s body is dampened; this is of an ominous omen"  This signifies the incapability of doing this job.

 Confucius says: "If one is capable of being aware of things while they are still being incubated, one's foresight is like that of a god!  A gentleman deals with those above without flattery and associates with those below with neither scorn nor neglect (signifying he won't be affected by their social status but will watch their motivation); he is able to notice things while they are still at the initial stage. Things at the initial stage display very slight movement; it is fortunate for the one who can see it.  A gentleman takes action once he sees it and doesn’t wait until the end of the day. "  Yi (line 2 of hexagram Yu (16), a foresight and precautionary action) states: ‘Firmly upright like a rock, not a whole day; to persist is auspicious."  Firmly upright like a rock; how could it take a whole day?  It is in a position to judge in accordance with what is known.  A gentleman is aware of how things will turn out by observing them when they are still small, and he is aware of what is rigid through observing what is soft.  Thus all people admire him. Firmly upright like a rock; how could it take a whole day? 

 

Confucius says: "The son of Yan (i.e. 顏回 Yan Hui, the most virtuous student of Confucius) behaves like a perfect gentleman who takes action immediately once he sees a problem at its initial stage; he doesn’t wait until the end of the day.  If he has done anything wrong, he can always see what it is; once he knows what it is, he will never make the same mistake again."  Yi (line 1 of hexagram Fu (24), to return, to recovery) states: "Fu (to return) from no great extent, which will not cause regret, (but) great auspiciousness."

  

Heaven and earth interact with each other, by which the whole of creation comes into being; the male and the female mate so that all life is given birth.  Yi (line 3 of hexagram Sun (41), to diminish) states: "Three persons journey together; as a result, their number Sun (decreases) by one.  One person journeys, which results in obtaining one's friends."  This signifies that they aim to one end. 

 

Confucius says: "A gentleman must prepare himself well and be sure of success before taking action, and pacify his heart before talking to others, as well as establish friendship before asking for a favour.  A gentleman will become faultless after he accomplishes these three self-cultivations.  While he is acting in peril, people won’t join.  While he is frightening others with words, people won’t respond.  With demand but no friendship, people won’t give anything.  No one is with you, and then those who will hurt you approach."  Yi (line 6 of hexagram Yi4 (42), to enrich) states: "Not Yi (to enrich) it, perhaps to strike it; the resolution is inconsistent, which is of an ominous omen."

 

Chapter 6

 

Confucius says: “Is Qian and Kun the door of Yi?  Qian is a thing of the masculine Yang as it is composed entirely of the masculine lines.  Kun is a thing of the feminine Yin. The feminine Yin of Kun and the masculine Yang of Qian integrate their virtues procreating Zhen, Xun, Kan, Lin, Gen and Dui, while rigidness and softness (i.e. the masculine yang and feminine Yi materialised on the earth) form their entities (in the forms of the thunder, the wind, water, fire, the mountain, the marsh, etc).  The eight trigrams display the compositions of the world, and attain the heart of god, signifying that the eight trigrams present the images of all the substances in the world, and constitute 64 hexagrams reflecting the phenomena of the world according to the rules of Nature.  The denomination of 64 hexagrams is miscellaneous but doesn’t exceed the phenomena of the world.  As to examining what 64 hexagrams are, are they the phenomena of the troubled times?"  

 

Yi is the one that observes the past and illuminates the future, as well as magnifies those which are minute and makes clear those which are obscure.  It starts from providing each hexagram with a name to distinguish one from another, and then provides each hexagram with appropriate advice and judgement to accomplish its function.

 

The name of each hexagram itself is of little meaning, but its extended significance is great.  Its gist is profound, and its text is rhetorical.  What it tells is allusive but hits the point; the event that it refers to is explicit but with implication.  It aids people to act according to its advice associated with good and bad fortune, as well as enlightens them through award of gain and loss.

 

Chapter 7

 

Was Yi composed in the middle ancient times?  Did the writer have a sense of latent crises? 

Thus, Lu (hexagram 10, to carry out according to etiquette) is the foundation of virtue.  Gian (15, humility) is the handle of virtue which can bring the virtue into full play.  Fu (24, to return to goodness) is the origin of virtue.  Heng (32, to endure and last long) consolidates virtue.  Sun (41, to restrain one's anger and lessen one's desire) cultivates virtue.  Yi4 (42, to imitate goodness and get rid of wrongdoing) enriches virtue.  Kun4 (47, to be besieged) reveals differences in people’s virtue.  Jing (48, the well) is a place of virtue like the well un-exhaustingly providing water to people without discrimination.  Xun (57, the wind) makes virtue be appropriate, signifying that the flexibility of the wind conforms the virtue to the trend of the times.

 

Lu (10) signifies being harmonious to attain one's target, as Lu acts according to etiquette which brings about harmonious relation.  Gian (15) signifies prestige with glory as humility can win people’s respect.  Fu (24) means things small but distinguishable as masculinity will gradually increase to reach the state of Qian (1) even though Fu recovers with one masculine line.  Heng (32) means undergoing complexities without getting tired as one will untiringly undergo complexities if one is endurable.  Sun (41, to restrain one's anger and lessen one's desire) means that it is difficult in the beginning but easy later as practicing self-restraint is difficult in the beginning but this will become easier once one gets used to it.  Yi4 (42) signifies that one should enrich one’s virtue for a long time and without pretence as the most valuable part of enriching virtue is to maintain it with sincerity.  Kun4 (47) signifies a predicament but it looks for the unobstructed progress; this means that people are besieged but maintain their aspirations; they are in peril but still optimistically keep on progressing.  Jing (48) means that one remains steady oneself but flexible with others as the well remains still while people are free to come and go in drawing water from it.  Xun (57) signifies to act appropriately and not to show off, i.e. to act according to the trend of the times and with a low profile, as Xun is wind which denotes flexibility and invisibility.

 

By virtue of Lu (acting with etiquette), one can carry out one’s aspirations in a harmonious manner.  By virtue of Gian (humility), one can establish etiquette.  By virtue of Fu (reflection), one can have a better understanding of oneself.  By virtue of Heng (endurance), one’s virtue can remain consistent.  By virtue of Sun (restraining one's anger and lessening one's desire), one can stay away from harm.  By virtue of Yi4 (enriching those below), one can create benefit for the worldBy virtue of Kun4 (being besieged), one can learn how to lessen complaint and rancour.  By virtue of Jing (the well), one can understand one’s obligation.  By virtue of Xun (flexibility), one can expediently carry out one’s right.

  

Chapter 8

 

Yi is a book, from which people can’t live far.  

Frequent changes constitute its doctrine.  The line changes and moves rather than remains in a fixed place.  It shuttles amongst six vacant positions, goes up and down uncertainly, and changes between rigidness and softness (the masculine and feminine).  It doesn’t permit a standard rule, signifying that it is not possible to define a rule for its changes.  It changes according to what is best to it.

Yi guides people to move in and out (i.e. to advance and retreat, in other words, to act) according to its norms, and lets their exterior and interior be aware of fear (signifying to make people always think and act prudently), as well as helps them understand latent crises and causes.  It provides no armed protection but advice as if teaching the child who stands in front of their parents.  Through leading them to study the text and guiding them to contemplate their directions (i.e. which way to go), the code of conduct will be available.  If it isn’t right people, Yi won’t spend any effort on them.

 

Chapter 9

 

Yi is a book; through investigating cause and seeking consequence it constitutes its essence. 

Though six lines (either the masculine or the feminine) mingle with one another, they are creatures related to time, signifying that the line develops along the timeline from the bottom to the top, phase by phase.  The first line features 'difficulty in understanding (what will happen later in the hexagram)', while the feature of the top line is 'easy to understand (what has happened in the hexagram)', as they are the beginning and end of a hexagram, respectively Once the first text is schemed, the remaining tasks are to carry on and make an ending.  Miscellaneous things to present virtue and distinguish right from wrong can’t be accomplished without the middle lines (lines 2, 3, 4 and 5)

Life and death, as well as good and bad fortune can be understood through cruising its texts.  The wise can understand more than half its significance after reading the text of Tuan (Confucius's commentary on the hexagram text).

 

Lines 2 and 4 possess the same function but are posted at the different positions, and what they are adept at is differnt.  Line 2 has plenty of good reputation, while line 4 is full of fear due to its proximity to the king.  Dao (the norm) of tenderness is not instrumental to go far (i.e. act aggressively); its priority is to stay away from calamity, and to act tenderly and with the principle of moderation. 

Lines 3 and 5 possess the same function but are posted at the different positions.  Line 3 is full of ominous signs, while line 5 has plenty of feats, which is due to the rankings of nobleness and lowliness.  It is perilous for lines 3 and 5 to be tender (feminine), while rigidity (the masculine strength) can overwhelm the evil.

Positions 2 and 4 are the places for femininity. The line at the tender position is assigned to submissively serve those above; thus they are designated as the courtier. Line 2 is in the middle of the lower trigram where the principle of moderation is available; therefore it can act in an appropriate manner. Position 4 is next to the king (line 5) and without moderation; therefore line 4 is full of fear.

Line 5 is at the dominant position of a hexagram (the core position of the upper trigram and higher society); therefore it is regarded as the king, and all feats are attributed to the king. Line 3 is at the end position of the lower trigram and is eager to advance to the upper trigram, like an ambitious duke seeking a higher position. It will be repelled by those above; therefore this position teems with bad omens. Positions 3 and 5 are the places of masculinity and suited for the masculine line.

 

Chapter 10

 

Yi is a book, which extensively covers everything in detail.  It is inclusive of Dao (the rule) of heaven, Dao (the norm) of humanity, and Dao (the rule) of earth.  Therefore, a hexagram is divided into three domains and each domain comprises two positions, for a total of six onesThese six positions exhibit nothing but Dao (the rule or the norm) of three domains.  Dao is inclusive of change and move; the one involved is called Yao (i.e. the line, yao2 depicts the intercrossing of the long and short line as if the masculine and feminine line interact with each other reflecting changes and movements in the world)

The line has ranking; thus those which possess the characteristics of large and small, and the positions of nobleness and lowliness, etc. are called living creatures.  The creatures mingle with one another; the intersection that they form is called interplay. The interplay can be appropriate or inappropriate; thus, good and bad fortune are created.

 

Chapter 11

 

Was Yi composed in the time of the Shang dynasty nearly over and Dukedom Zhou prospering with its great virtue?  Is it the events in the time of Wen Wang (文王, King Wen) and King Zhou ()?  Thus, its texts teem with hazards.  One who remains vigilant in peril can overcome crises, but one who is used to live with ease will fall down.  Its Dao (norm) is so great that never will anything be exceptional.  It is furnished with fear from the beginning to the end, the significance of which is to pursue freedom from calamity.  This is called Dao (the doctrine) of Yi.

 

Chapter 12

 

Qian is the most persevering in the world, and its virtue enables it to act constantly with ease; therefore it can perceive peril and won’t risk it.  Kun is the most submissive in the world, and its virtue enables it to act constantly with simplicity; therefore it can perceive obstruction and won’t get bogged down.

 

Qian, Kun and their procreating 62 hexagrams are those which please the hearts of all people, study the worries of all people, and determine good and bad fortune in the world, as well as achieve the everlasting undertakings of the world.

 

Change means action to make a breakthrough.  Auspicious thing has a good omen; so does ominous thing have an evil sign.  Through studying the images presented by a hexagram what implements it suggests are known (signifying what measures to be taken are known).  Divination of an event is for knowing what is going to come. 

 

Heaven and earth are positioned and give birth to other 62 hexagrams. The sage empowered the yarrow stalk to work with them. The yarrow stalk can be easily manipulated by either humans or spirits; therefore, the commoners are able to participate in its practice.

 

Eight trigrams relay messages through their images, while the texts of the lines provide advice according to their statuses (i.e. what they present).  Rigidness and softness (the masculine and feminine line) mingle with each other; good and bad fortune of a hexagram appear. 

 

Change and move are those which the line undertakes to seek favourable conditions.  Good and bad fortune are those which shift according to the status of interplay amongst the lines.  Thus, love and hatred (between the neighbouring lines like two magnets attracting or repelling each other) compete with each other; then good and bad fortune are created.  Those far at the correlative position and near at side tend to gain something from others; then regret and resentment emerge.  Those which have the true or fake affection (created by the friendly or hostile correlation) influence each other; then advantage and disadvantage occur.  In the scenarios of Yi, those stay close but can’t obtain assistance from each other leading to misfortune; they hurt each other leading to regret and resentment. 

 

The word of a person who is going to rebel teems with shame.  The word of a person who has doubt in his mind beats around the bush.  A person spares his words bringing him auspiciousness (as loose lips sink ships), while an anxious person keeps talking.  The word of a person who defames others is equivocal.  The word of a person who can’t hold on to his ground is not straight.