CHAPTER I. On the Signs and Lines, on Creating and Acting

1. The eight trigrams are arranged according to completeness: thus the images are contained in them. Thereupon they are doubled: thus the lines are contained in them.

Compare part I, chapter II, section 1. The sequence in the order of completeness is: (1) Ch'ien, (2) Tui, (3) Li, (4) Chên, (5) Sun, (6) K'an, (7) Kên, (8) K'un. The trigrams contain only the images (ideas) of the things they represent. It is only in the hexagrams that the individual lines come into consideration, because it is only in the hexagrams that the relationships of above and below, within and without, appear.

2. The firm and the yielding displace each other, and change is contained therein. The judgments, together with their counsels, are appended, and movement is contained therein.

Compare part I, chapter II, section 2. Change (as well as transformation) appears as a result of the alternation of firm and yielding lines. The judgments give their counsels through the appended oracles--"Good fortune," "Misfortune," and so on.

3. Good fortune and misfortune, remorse and humiliation, come about through movement.

Compare part I, chapter II, section 3. Good fortune and misfortune, remorse and humiliation, appear only as a result of conduct of a corresponding kind.

4. The firm and yielding stand firm when they are in their original places. Their changes and continuities should correspond with the time.

When the firm lines are in firm places and the yielding lines in yielding places, a state of equilibrium exists. However, this abstract state of equilibrium must yield to change and reorganization when the time demands it. The time, that is, the total situation represented by a hexagram, plays an important role in regard to the positions of the individual lines.

5. Good fortune and misfortune take effect through perseverance. The tao of heaven and earth becomes visible through perseverance. The tao of sun and moon becomes bright through perseverance. All movements under heaven become uniform through perseverance.

The secret action lies in duration. Good fortune and misfortune are slow in the making. Only when a trend is followed continuously do the results of single actions gradually accumulate in such a way that they become manifest as good fortune or misfortune. Similarly, heaven and earth are the results of lasting conditions. In that all clear, luminous forces constantly rise upward, and all that is solid and turbid constantly sinks downward, the cosmos separates itself out of chaos--heaven above and earth below, So it is also as regards the course of the sun and the moon; their states of radiance are results of continuous movements and conditions of equilibrium. Thus all movements and actions continued over a long period of time channel out definite courses, which then become fixed once and for all, but sustained processes in which the character of law appears the more definitely the longer they are in operation.

6. The Creative is decided and therefore shows to men the easy. The Receptive is yielding and therefore shows to men the simple.

The two fundamental principles move according to the requirements of the time, so that they are continuously undergoing change. But the nature of their movements is uniform and consistent. The Creative is always strong, decided,real, hence it meets with no difficulties. It always remains true to itself; hence its effortlessness. Difficulties always indicate vacillation and lack of clarity. In the same way it is the nature of the Receptive to be consistently yielding, to follow the line of least resistance, and therefore to be simple. Complications arise only from an inner conflict of motives.

7. The lines imitate this. The images reproduce this.

Here a definition of the lines and images is given. In Chinese the word for "line" is hsiao;"to imitate" is also rendered by hsiao (written differently). "Image" and "to reproduce" (in the sense of "to represent") are expressed by hsiang (also written differently in each case). The lines imitate in their changes the way in which good fortune and misfortune arise in a movement by reason of its duration. The images reproduce the way in which all the changes and interrelations of the firm and the yielding issue in the easy and the simple.

8. The lines and images move within, and good fortune and misfortune reveal themselves without. The work and the field of action reveal themselves in the changes. The feelings of the holy sages reveal themselves in the judgments.

The movements of the lines and images, and of the infinitesimal germs of events symbolized by them, are invisible, but their results manifest themselves in the visible world as good fortune or misfortune. So also the changes pertaining to the work and the field of action are invisible, but are revealed by the words of the judgments.

9. It is great virtue of heaven and earth to bestow life. It is the great treasure of the holy sage to stand in the right place.

How does one safeguard this place? Through men. By what are men gathered together? Through goods. Justice means restraining men from wrongdoing by regulation of goods and by rectification of judgments.

Here the connection between the three powers is shown. Heaven and earth bestow life. The holy sage is guided by the same principle; but to carry it out he must have the position of a ruler. This position is safeguarded by the men whom he gathers under him. Men are gathered together by means of goods. The means by which goods are administered, and defended against wrong, is justice.

This presents a theory of society, based on cosmic principles, that corresponds with the views of the Confucian school.

Some commentators wish to take this section as an introduction to the next chapter. This has a certain justification, inasmuch as the next chapter gives a survey of the development of civilization, with the Book of Changes as a basis.

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