Article Index

Chapter VIII - On the use of the appended explanations
VIII - 1
The sages were able to survey all the complex phenomena under the sky. They then considered in their minds how they could be figured; and by means of the hexagrams they represented their material forms and their character. Hence the hexagrams are denominated semblances. These were called the images.

VIII - 2
The later sages were able to survey the motive influences working all under the sky. They contemplated them in their common action and special nature, in order to bring out the standard and proper tendency of each. They then appended their explanation to each of the hexagrams, to determine the good and evil indicated by it. Hence the lines with their explanations are denominated imitations. These were called the judgements.
Note: the paragraphs 1 and 2 are literally repeated in: Section 1, Chapter XII-5.

VIII - 3
The hexagrams speak of the most complex phenomena under the sky, and yet there is nothing in them to awaken dislike. The explanations speak of the subtlest movements under the sky, and yet there is nothing in them to produce confusion.

VIII - 4
They considered what was said, before they spoke; they deliberated on what was said before they made a move. By such consideration and deliberation they were able to make all the changes they undertook successful.

VIII - 5
Hexagram 61: Chung Fu - Inner Truth, nine in the second place:
'Here hid, retired, cries out the crane; her young's responsive cry sounds there.
Of spirits good, I drain this cup; with thee a cup I'll freely share'.

The master said: 'The superior man occupies his appartment and sends forth his words. If they be good, they will be responded to at a distance of more than a thousand miles; how much more so in the nearer circle! He occupies his appartment and sends forth his words. If they be evil, they will awaken opposition at a distance of more than a thousand miles; how much more so in the nearer circle!
Words issue from one's person and proceed to affect people. Actions proceed from what is near and their effects are seen at a distance. Words and actions are the hinges and springs of the superior man. The movements of these hinges and springs determine glory or disgrace. His words and actions move heaven and earth; may he be careless in regard to them'?

VIII - 6
Hexagram 13: T'ung Jen - Companionship, nine in the fifth place:
'The union of men first cries out and weeps, and afterwards laughs'.

The master said, on this: 'The ways of good men different seem. This one in a public office toils; that one at home the time beguiles.
One man his lips with silence seals; another all his mind reveals.
But when two men are one in heart, not iron bolts keep them apart;
The words they in their union use, fragrance like orchids will diffuse'.

VIII - 7
Hexagram 28: Ta Kuo - Excess, bottom six:
'The first six shows its subject placing mats of the white mao grass beneath what he puts on the ground'.

The master said: 'To place the things on the ground might be considered sufficient, but when he places beneath them mats of the white grass, what occasion for blame can there be? Such a course shows the height of carefulness. The white grass is insignificant, but by the use made of it, it may become important. He who goes forward using such carefull art, will not fall into any error'.

VIII - 8
Hexagram 15: Ch'ien - Modesty, nine in the third place:
'A superior man toiling laboriously and yet humble! He will bring things to an end, and with good fortune'.

The master said, on this: 'He toils with success, but does not boast of it; he achieves merit, but takes no virtue to himself from it. This is the height of generous goodness, and speaks of the man who, with great merit, yet places himself below others. He wishes his virtue to be more and more complete, and his intercourse with others to be more and more respectful; he who is so humble, carrying his respectfulness to the utmost, will be able to preserve himself in his position.'

VIII - 9
Hexagram 1: Ch'ien - Creative Principle, top-most nine:
'The dragon beyond his proper haunts; there will be occasion for repentance'.

The master said, on this: 'He is noble, but is not in his correct place; he is on high, but there are no people to acknowledge him; there is a man of virtue and ability below, but he will not assist him. Hence whatever movement he may make will give occasion for repentance.'

VIII - 10
Hexagram 60: - Restraint, bottom nine:
Chien 'He does not quit the courtyard before his door; there will be no occasion for blame'.

The master said, on this: 'Where disorder arises, it will be found that speech was the stepping-stone to it. If a ruler does not keep secret his deliberations with his minister, he will lose that minister. If a minister does not keep secret his deliberations with his ruler, he will lose his life. If important matters in the germ be not kept secret, that will be injurious to their accomplishment. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain secrecy, and does not allow himself to speak'.

VIII - 11
Hexagram 40: Hsieh - Deliverance, six in the third place:
'Showing a porter with his burden, yet riding in a carriage. He will only tempt robbers to attack him. However firm and correct he may try to be, there will be cause for regret'.

The master said: 'The makers of the I may be said to have known the philosophy of robbery. The I says: 'Here is a burden-bearer, and yet rides in a carriage, thereby exciting robbers to attack him'. Burden-bearing is the business of a small man. A carriage is the vehicle of a gentleman. When a small man rides in the vehicle of a gentleman, robbers will think of taking it from him. Insolent to those above him, and oppressive to those below, robbers will wish to attack him. Careless laying up of things excites to robbery as a woman's adorning herself excites to lust. What the I says about the burden-bearer's riding a carriage, and exciting robbers to attack him, shows how robbery is called out'.