11. T'ai / Peace
above K'UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH
below CH'IEN THE CREATIVE, HEAVEN
Richard Wilhelm & Cary F. Baynes (trans.),
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.
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.
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.
I Ching (Book of Changes, circa 1000 B.C.)
Bollingen Series XIX, Princeton University Press, 1967, pp. 48-49