1. The holy sages were able to survey all the confused diversities under heaven. They observed forms and phenomena, and made representations of things and their attributes. These were called the Images.
Here we are shown how the images of the Book of Changes developed out of the archetypal images that underlie the phenomenal world.
2. The holy sages were able to survey all the movements under heaven. They contemplated the way in which these movements met and became interrelated, to take their course according to eternal laws. Then they appended judgments, to distinguish between the good fortune and misfortune indicated. These were called the Judgments.
The last word, "Judgments," is actually "lines" in the text. The present translation incorporates the correction made by Hu Shih in his history of Chinese philosophy, because it brings out more clearly the contrast between Image and Judgment that is found also in other passages of the Book of Changes.
3. They speak of the most confused diversities without arousing aversion. They speak of what is most mobile without causing confusion.
4. This comes from the fact that they observed before they spoke and discussed before they moved. Through observation and discussion they perfected the changes and transformations.
These two sections present again the contrast between the observation in the Image, which gives us knowledge of the diversities of things, and the discussion in the Judgment, which gives us knowledge of the directions of movement. We have here comments of the theory of the simple as the root of diversity in form (in conformity with the Receptive) and of the easy as the root of all movement (in conformity with the Creative), as given in chapter 1 (secs. 6 et seq.). The following sections (fragments of a detailed commentary on the individual lines) give examples.
5. "A crane calling in the shade. Its young answers it. I have a good goblet. I will share it with you."
The Master Said: The superior man abides in his room. If his words are well spoken, he meets with assent at a distance of more than a thousand miles. How much more then from near by! If the superior man abides in his room and his words are not well spoken, he meets with contradiction at a distance of more than a thousand miles. How much more then from near by! Words go forth from one's own person and exert their influence on men. Deeds are born close at hand and become visible far away. Words and deeds are the hinge and bowspring of the superior man. As hinge and bowspring move, they bring honor or disgrace. Through words and deeds the superior man moves heaven and earth. Must one not, then, be cautious?
Compare book I, hexagram 61, Chung Fu, INNER TRUTH, nine in the second place, comment on the subject of speaking.
6. "Men bound in fellowship first weep and lament, but afterward they laugh. After great struggles they succeed in meeting."
The Master said: Life leads the thoughtful man
on a path of many windings.
Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again.
Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words,
There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence.
But when two people are at one in the inmost hearts,
They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze.
And when two people understand each other in their inmost hearts,
Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids.
Compare book I, hexagram 13, T'ung Jên, FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN, nine in the fifth place, comment on the subject of speaking.
7. "To spread white rushes underneath. No blame."
The Master Said: It does well enough simply to place something on the floor. But if one puts white rushes underneath, how could that be a mistake? This is the extreme of caution. Rushes in themselves are worthless, but they can have a very important effect. If one is as cautious as this in all that one does, one remains free of mistakes.
Compare book III, hexagram 28, Ta Kuo, PREPONDERANCE OF THE GREAT, six at the beginning, comment on action.
8. "A superior man of modesty and merit carries things to conclusion. Good Fortune."
The Master Said: When a man does not boast of his efforts and does not count his merits a virtue, he is a man of great parts. It means that for all his merits he subordinates himself to others. Noble of nature, reverent in his conduct, the modest man is full of merit, and therefore he is able to maintain his position.
Compare book III, hexagram 15, Ch'ien, MODESTY, nine in the third place, comment on action.
9. "Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent."
The Master said: He who is noble and has no corresponding position, he who stands high and has no following, he who has able people under him who do not have his support, that man will have cause for regret at every turn.
Compare book III, hexagram 1, Ch'ien, THE CREATIVE, nine at the top, comment on action. The citation there from the Wen Yen contains this passage, obviously from the same commentary, word for word.
10. "Not going out of the door and the courtyard is without blame."
The Master said: Where disorder develops, words are the first steps. If the prince is not discreet, he loses his servant. If the servant is not discreet, he loses his life. If germinating things are not handled with discretion, the perfecting of them is impeded. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain silence and does not go forth.
Compare book I, hexagram 60, Chieh, LIMITATION, nine at the beginning, comment on speaking.
11. The Master said: The authors of the Book of Changes knew what robbers are like. In the Book of Changes it is said: "If a man carries a burden on his back and nonetheless rides in a carriage, he thereby encourages robbers to draw near." Carrying a burden on the back is the business of a common man; a carriage is the appurtenance of a man of rank. Now, when a common man uses the appurtenance of a 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. In the Book of Changes it is said: "If a man carries a burden on his back and nonetheless rides in a carriage, he thereby encourages robbers to draw near." For that is an invitation to robbers.
Compare book I, hexagram 40, Hsieh, DELIVERANCE, six in the third place, comment on action.