King Wên (1100 BC-1050 BC)

King Wên & Duke Chou

I Ching

Hexagram #11: T'ai / Peace

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

   11. T'ai / Peace

       above  K'UN  THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH

The Receptive, which moves downward, stands above; the Creative, which moves upward, is below. Hence their influences meet and are in harmony, so that all living things bloom and prosper. This hexagram belongs to the first month (February-March), at which time the forces of nature prepare the new spring. THE JUDGMENT PEACE. The small departs, The great approaches. Good fortune. Success. This hexagram denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth. Heaven has placed itself beneath the earth, and so their powers unite in deep harmony. Then peace and blessing descend upon all living things. In the world of man it is a time of social harmony; those in high places show favor to the lowly, and the lowly and inferior is an end to all feuds. Inside, at the center, in the key position, is the light principle; the dark principle is outside. Thus the light has a powerful influence, while the dark is submissive. In this way each receives its due. When the good elements of society occupy a central position and are in control, the evil elements come under their influence and change for the better. When the spirit of heaven rules in man, his animal nature also comes under its influence and takes its appropriate place. The individual lines enter the hexagram from below and leave it again at the top. Here the small, weak, and evil elements are about to take their departure, while the great, strong, and good elements are moving up. This brings good fortune and success. THE IMAGE Heaven and earth unite: the image of PEACE. Thus the ruler Divides and completes the course of heaven and earth, And so aids the people. Heaven and earth are in contact and combine their influences, producing a time of universal flowering and prosperity. This stream of energy must be regulated by the ruler of men. It is done by a process of division. Thus men divide the uniform flow of time into the seasons, according to the succession of natural phenomena, and mark off infinite space by the points of the compass. In this way nature in its overwhelming profusion of phenomena is bounded and controlled. One the other hand, nature must be furthered in her productiveness. This is done by adjusting the products to the right time and the right place, which increases the natural yield. This controlling and furthering activity of man in his relation to nature is the work on nature that rewards him.

Richard Wilhelm & Cary F. Baynes (trans.),
I Ching (Book of Changes, circa 1000 B.C.)
Bollingen Series XIX, Princeton University Press, 1967, pp. 48-49

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (3-8-2003)