above CHêN THE AROUSING, THUNDER
below K’AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
Here the movement goes out of the sphere of danger. The obstacle has been removed, the difficulties are being resolved. Deliverance is not yet achieved; it is just in its beginning, and the hexagram represents its various stages.
DELIVERANCE. The southwest furthers.
If there is no longer anything where one has to go,
Return brings good fortune.
If there is still something where one has to go,
Hastening brings good fortune.
This refers to a time in which tensions and complications begin to be eased. At such times we ought to make our way back to ordinary conditions as soon as possible; this is the meaning of “the southwest.” These periods of sudden change have great importance. Just as rain relieves atmospheric tension, making all the buds burst open, so a time of deliverance from burdensome pressure has a liberating and stimulating effect on life. One thing is important, however: in such times we must not overdo our triumph. The point is not to push on farther than is necessary. Returning to the regular order of life as soon as deliverance is achieved brings good fortune. If there are any residual matters that ought to be attended to, it should be done as quickly as possible, so that a clean sweep is made and no retardations occur.
Thunder and rain set in:
The image of DELIVERANCE.
Thus the superior man pardons mistakes
And forgives misdeeds.
A thunderstorm has the effect of clearing the air; the superior man produces a similar effect when dealing with mistakes and sins of men that induce a condition of tension. Through clarity he brings deliverance. However, when failings come to light, he does not dwell on them; he simply passes over mistakes, the unintentional transgressions, just as thunder dies away. He forgives misdeeds, the intentional transgressions, just as water washes everything clean.
Six in the third place means:
If a man carries a burden on his back
And nonetheless rides in a carriage,
He thereby encourages robbers to draw near.
Perseverance leads to humiliation.
This refers to a man who has come out of needy circumstances in to comfort and freedom from want. If now, in the manner of an upstart, he tries to take his ease in comfortable surroundings that do not suit his nature, he thereby attracts robbers. If he goes on thus he is sure to bring disgrace upon himself.
Confucius says about this line:
Carrying a burden on the back is the business of common man; a carriage is the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the appurtenance of man of rank, robbers plot to take it away from him. If a man is insolent toward those above him and hard toward those below him, robbers plot to attack him. Carelessness in guarding things tempts thieves to steal. Sumptuous ornaments worn by a maiden are an enticement to rob her of her virtue.
Six at the top means:
The prince shoots at a hawk on a high wall.
He kills it. Everything serves to further.
The hawk on a high wall is the symbol of a powerful inferior in a high position who is hindering the deliverance. He withstands the force of inner influences, because he is hardened in his wickedness. He must be forcibly removed, and this requires appropriate means. Confucius says about this line:
The hawk is the object of the hunt; bow and arrow are the tools and means.
The marksman is man (who must make proper use of the means to his end).
The superior man contains the means in his own person. He bides his time
and then acts. Why then should not everything go well? He acts and is free.
Therefore all he has to do is to go forth, and he takes his quarry.
This is how a man fares who acts after he has made ready the means.
above LI THE CLINGING, FIRE
below SUN THE GENTLE, WIND, WOOD
The six lines construct the image of Ting, THE CALDRON; at the bottom are the legs, over them the belly, then come the ears (handles), and at the top the carrying rings. At the same time, the image suggests the idea of nourishment. The ting, cast of bronze, was the vessel that held the cooked viands in the temple of the ancestors and at banquets. The heads of the family served the food from the ting into the bowls of the guests.
THE WELL (48) likewise has the secondary meaning of giving nourishment, but rather more in relation to the people. The ting, as a utensil pertaining to a refined civilization, suggests the fostering and nourishing of able men, which redounded to the benefit of the state.
This hexagram and THE WELL are the only two in the Book of Changes that represent concrete, men-made objects. Yet here too the thought has its abstract connotation.
Sun, below, is wood and wind; Li, above, is flame. Thus together they stand for the flame kindled by wood and wind, which likewise suggests the idea of preparing food.
THE CALDRON. Supreme good fortune.
While THE WELL relates to the social foundation of our life, and this foundation is likened to the water that serves to nourish growing wood, the present hexagram refers to the cultural superstructure of society. Here it is the wood that serves as nourishment for the flame, the spirit. All that is visible must grow beyond itself, extend into the realm of the invisible. Thereby it receives its true consecration and clarity and takes firm root in the cosmic order.
Here we see civilization as it reaches its culmination in religion. The ting serves in offering sacrifice to God. The highest earthly values must be sacrificed to the divine. But the truly divine does not manifest itself apart from man. The supreme revelation of God appears in prophets and holy men. To venerate them is true veneration of God. The will of God, as revealed through them, should be accepted in humility; this brings inner enlightenment and true understanding of the world, and this leads to great good fortune and success.
Fire over wood:
The image of THE CALDRON.
Thus the superior man consolidates his fate
By making his position correct.
The fate of fire depends on wood; as long as there is wood below, the fire burns above. It is the same in human life; there is in man likewise a fate that lends power to his life. And if he succeeds in assigning the right place to life and to fate, thus bringing the two into harmony, he puts his fate on a firm footing. These words contain hints about fostering of life as handed on by oral tradition in the secret teachings of Chinese yoga.