I Ching (Book of Changes, circa 1000 B.C.)
Richard Wilhelm & Cary F. Baynes translation, 1950
57. Sun / The Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind)
above SUN THE GENTLE, WIND, WOOD
below SUN THE GENTLE, WIND, WOOD
Sun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter
and symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness,
which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood
with its roots. The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable,
is dissolved by the penetrating light principle, to which it
subordinates itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that
disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene.
In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts
all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the
powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks
up those intrigues which shun the light of day.
THE GENTLE. Success through what is small.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
It furthers one to see the great man.
Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected
not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this
kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they
are more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one
must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence works
always in the same direction can the object be attained. Small strength can
achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who is
capable of creating order.
Winds following one upon the other:
The image of THE GENTLY PENETRATING.
Thus the superior man
Spreads his commands abroad
And carries out his undertakings.
The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is
what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the ruler's
thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a lasting
influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when the command
has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with it possible.
Action without preparation of the ground only frightens and repels.
Six at the beginning means:
In advancing and in retreating,
The perseverance of a warrior furthers.
In born gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does
not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. A thousand doubts crop up; one
is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively to and fro. In
such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing, so that one
resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is far better than
Nine in the second place means:
Penetration under the bed.
Priests and magicians are used in great number.
Good fortune. No blame.
At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into
dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In instances like this,
it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to
determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with. This is the task of the
priests; removing the influences is the task of the magicians. The very anonymity
of such plotting requires an especially vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this
is well worth while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light
and branded, they lose their power over people.
Nine in the third place means:
Repeated penetration. Humiliation.
Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the power
of decision. After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is essential to
form a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings fresh doubts and
scruples, and thereby humiliation, because one shows oneself unable to act.
Six in the fourth place means:
During the hunt
Three kinds of game are caught.
When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to combine
innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured. The three
kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods, for feasting
guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch answered all three
purposes, the hunt was considered especially successful.
° Nine in the fifth place means:
Perseverance brings good fortune.
Nothing that does not further.
No beginning, but an end.
Before the change, three days.
After the change, three days.
In the situation described in Ku, WORK ON WHAT HAS BEEN SPOILED (Hexagram 18),
an entirely new point of departure must be set up, whereas here it is only
a question of reforms. The beginning has not been good, but the moment has
been reached when a new direction can be taken. Change and improvement are
called for. Such steps must be undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with
a firm and correct attitude of mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will
disappear. But it must be remembered that such improvements require careful
consideration. Before a change is made, it must be pondered over again and
again. After the change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for some
time after how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such careful work
is accompanied by good fortune.
Nine at the top means:
Penetration under the bed.
He loses his property and his ax.
Perseverance brings misfortune.
A man's understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious
influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has the strength
to combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to penetrate into the
personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.
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