Upper trigram: Sun The Gentle, Wind
Lower trigram: Tui The Joyous, Lake
Inner Truth. Pigs and fishes.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Wind over lake: the image of Inner Truth.
Thus the superior man discusses criminal cases
In order to delay executions.
These texts apply only for the lines that were marked, when the hexagram was cast. Note that the lines are counted from the bottom up.
The bottom line marked means:
Being prepared brings good fortune.
If there are secret designs, it is disquieting.
The 2nd line marked means:
A crane is calling in the shade.
Its young answers it.
I have a good goblet.
I will share it with you.
The 3rd line marked means:
He finds a comrade.
Now he beats the drum, now he stops.
Now he sobs, now he sings.
The 4th line marked means:
The moon nearly at the full.
The team horse goes astray.
The 5th line marked means:
He possesses truth, which links together.
The top line marked means:
Cockcrow penetrating to heaven.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
The interpretations above and comments below are from Richard Wilhelm's version of the I CHING.
Comments on the Hexagram
The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the water. Thus visible
effects of the invisible manifest themselves. The hexagram consists of firm
lines above and below, while it is open in the center. This indicates a heart
free of prejudices and therefore open to truth. On the other hand, each of the
two trigrams has a firm line in the middle; this indicates the force of inner
truth in the influences they present.
The attributes of the two trigrams are: above, gentleness, forbearance
toward inferiors; below, joyousness in obeying superiors. Such conditions
create the basis of a mutual confidence that makes achievements possible.
The character of fu ("truth") is actually the picture of a bird's foot over a
fledgling. It suggests the idea of brooding. An egg is hollow. The light-giving
power must work to quicken it from outside, but there must be a germ of life
within, if life is to be awakened. Far-reaching speculations can be linked with
Pigs and fishes are the least intelligent of all animals and therefore the most
difficult to influence. The force of inner truth must grow great indeed before
its influence can extend to such creatures. In dealing with persons as
intractable and as difficult to influence as a pig or a fish, the whole secret of
success depends on finding the right way of approach. One must first rid
oneself of all prejudice and, so to speak, let the psyche of the other person act
on one without restraint. Then one will establish contact with him,
understand and gain power over him. When a door has thus been opened,
the force of one's personality will influence him. If in this way one finds no
obstacles insurmountable, one can undertake even the most dangerous
things, such as crossing the great water, and succeed.
But it is important to understand upon what the force inner truth depends.
This force is not identical with simple intimacy or a secret bond. Close ties
may exist also among thieves; it is true that such a bond acts as a force but,
since it is not invincible, it does not bring good fortune. All association on
the basis of common interests holds only up to a certain point. Where the
community of interest ceases, the holding together ceases also, and the closest
friendship often changes into hate. Only when the bond is based on what is
right, on steadfastness, will it remain so firm that it triumphs over
Wind stirs water by penetrating it. Thus the superior man, when obliged to
judge the mistakes of men, tries to penetrate their minds with understanding,
in order to gain a sympathetic appreciation of the circumstances. In ancient
China, the entire administration of justice was guided by this principle. A
deep understanding that knows how to pardon was considered the highest
form of justice. This system was not without success, for its aim was to make
so strong a moral impression that there was no reason to fear abuse of such
mildness. For it sprang not from weakness but from a superior clarity.
The bottom line marked
The force of inner truth depends chiefly on inner stability and preparedness.
From this state of mind springs the correct attitude toward the outer world.
But if a man should try to cultivate secret relationships of a special sort, it
would deprive him of his inner independence. The more reliance he places
on the support of others, the more uneasy and anxious he will become as to
whether these secret ties are really tenable. In this way inner peace and the
force of inner truth are lost.
The 2nd line from the bottom marked
This refers to the involuntary influence of a man's inner being upon persons
of kindred spirit. The crane need not show itself on a high hill. It may be
quite hidden when it sounds its call; yet its young will hear its not, will
recognize it and give answer. Where there is a joyous mood, there a comrade
will appear to share a glass of wine.
This is the echo awakened in men through spiritual attraction. Whenever
a feeling is voiced with truth and frankness, whenever a deed is the clear
expression of sentiment, a mysterious and far-reaching influence is exerted.
At first it acts on those who are inwardly receptive. But the circle grows larger
and larger. The root of all influence lies in one's own inner being: given true
and vigorous expression in word and deed, its effect is great. The effect is but
the reflection of something that emanates from one's own heart. Any
deliberate intention of an effect would only destroy the possibility of
producing it. Confucius says about this line:
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?
The 3rd line from the bottom marked
Here the source of a man's strength lies not in himself but in his relation to
other people. No matter how close to them he may be, if his center of gravity
depends on them, he is inevitably tossed to and fro between joy and sorrow.
Rejoicing to high heaven, then sad unto death-this is the fate of those who
depend upon an inner accord with other persons whom they love. Here we
have only the statement of the law that this is so. Whether this condition is
felt to be an affliction of the supreme happiness of love, is left to the
subjective verdict of the person concerned.
The 4th line from the bottom marked
To intensify the power of inner truth, a man must always turn to his
superior, from whom he can receive enlightenment as the moon receives
light form the sun. However, this requires a certain humility, like that of the
moon when it is not yet quite full. At the moment when the moon becomes
full and stands directly opposite the sun, it begins to wane. Just as on the one
hand we must be humble and reverent when face to face with the source of
enlightenment, so likewise must we on the other renounce factionalism
among men. Only be pursuing one's course like a horse that goes straight
ahead without looking sidewise at its mate, can one retain the inner freedom
that helps one onward.
The 5th line from the bottom marked
This describes the ruler who holds all elements together by the power of his
personality. Only when the strength of his character is so ample that he can
influence all who are subject to him, is he as he needs to be. The power of
suggestion must emanate from the ruler. It will firmly knit together and
unite all his adherents. Without this central force, all external unity is only
deception and breaks down at the decisive moment.
The top line marked
The cock is dependable. It crows at dawn. But it cannot itself fly to heaven. It
just crows. A man may count on mere words to awaken faith. This may
succeed now and then, but if persisted in, it will have bad consequences.
Here I add some perspectives on this hexagram, as well as other methods to read its meaning, in additon to what Richard Wilhelm derives from it above.
Meaning of the Trigrams Combined
Each hexagram combines two trigrams, making one the upper and the other the lower. The meaning of the hexagram is mainly derived from that combination. Here's what it means for this hexagram:
Wind upon Lake
This part of the text is being edited. It will be added shortly.
Compare to the Reversed Trigrams
It's common to compare a hexagram to the one where the lines are the opposite: a full line is broken and a broken line full. But I find it much more interesting to compare hexagrams with the trigrams reversed: the upper trigram becomes the lower, and the lower trigram becomes the upper. That deepens the understanding of the trigrams at work — when they're not identical. Click the image to see what it means for the two trigrams of this hexagram:
The hexagram with the trigrams reversed
Compare to the Reversed Lines
You can also compare this hexagram to its opposite according to the six lines, where each broken line is full, and vice versa. In some cases it leads to the same hexagram as the one where the trigrams are switched. Here is the hexagram with reversed lines (click it to get to its webpage):
Hexagram with opposite lines
Click the header to read more about the eight trigrams that are combined into the 64 hexagrams.
The 64 I Ching Hexagrams
An I Ching hexagram is composed of two trigrams. Each of the 64 hexagrams has its own name, meaning, and divinatory text. Here they all are, in the traditional order. Click on the image of an I Ching hexagram to get to its webpage.
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