1. The Creative is the strongest of all things in the world. The expression of its nature is invariably the easy, in order thus to master the dangerous. The Receptive is the most devoted of all things in the world. The expression of its nature is invariably simple, in order thus to master the obstructive.
The two cardinal principles of the Book of Changes, the Creative and the Receptive, are here once more presented in their essential features. The Creative is represented as strength, to which everything is easy, but which remains conscious of the danger involved in working from above downward, and thus masters the danger. The Receptive is represented as devotion, which therefore acts simply, but which is conscious of the obstructions inherent in working from below upward, and hence masters these obstructions.
2. To be able to preserve joyousness of heart and yet to be concerned in thought: in this way we can determine good fortune and misfortune on earth, and bring to perfection everything on earth.
In the text there appear next to the expression, "to be concerned in thought," two other characters that Chu Hsi has quite correctly eliminated as later additions. Joyousness of heart is the way of the Creative. To be concerned in thought is the way of the Receptive. Through joyousness one gains an over-all view of good fortune and misfortune, through concern one attains the possibility of perfection.
3. Therefore: The changes and transformations refer to action. Beneficent deeds have good auguries. Hence the images help us to know the things, and the oracle helps us to know the future.
The changes refer to action. Hence the images of the Book of Changes are of such sort that one can act in accordance with the changes and know reality (cf. also chap II above, where inventions are traced to the images). Events tend toward good fortune or misfortune, which are expressed in omens. In that the Book of Changes interprets these omens, the future becomes clear.
4. Heaven and earth determine the places. The holy sages fulfill the possibilities of the places. Through the thoughts of men and the thoughts of spirits, the people are enabled to participate in these possibilities.
Heaven and earth determine the places and thereby the possibilities. The sages make these possibilities into reality, and through the collaboration of the thought of spirits and of men in the Book of Changes, it becomes possible to extend the blessings of culture to the people as well.
5. The eight trigrams point the way by means of their images; the words accompanying the lines, and the decisions, speak according to the circumstances. In that the firm and the yielding are interspersed, good fortune and misfortune can be discerned.
6. Changes and movements are judged according to the furtherance (that they bring). Good fortune and misfortune change according to the conditions. Therefore: Love and hate combat each other, and good fortune and misfortune result therefrom. The far and the near injure each other, and remorse and humiliation result therefrom. The true and the false influence each other, and advantage and injury result therefrom. In all the situations of the Book of Changes it is thus: When closely related things to not harmonize, misfortune is the result: this gives rise to injury, remorse, and humiliation.
The close relationships between the lines are those of correspondence and of holding together. According to whether the lines attract or repel one another, good fortune or misfortune ensues, in all the gradations possible in each case.
7. The words of a man who plans a revolt are confused. The words of a man who entertains doubt in his inmost heart are ramified. The words of men of good fortune are few. Excited men use many words. Slanderers of good men are roundabout in their words. The words of a man who has lost his standpoint are twisted.
This passage summarizes the effects of states of mind on verbal expression. It becomes plain therefrom that the authors of the Book of Changes, who are so sparing of words, belong in the category of men of good fortune.