King Wên (1100 BC-1050 BC)

I Ching

Sections on Time

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

Time in the I Ching:

The situation represented by the hexagram as a whole is called the time...
In hexagrams in which the situation as a whole has to do with movement,
"the time" means the decrease or growth, the emptiness or fullness,
brought about by this movement. Hexagrams of this sort are:
T'ai, Peace (11); P'i, Standstill (12); Po, Splitting Apart (23); Fu, Return (24).

Similarly, the action or process characteristic for a given hexagram is called
the time, as in Sung, Conflict (6), Shih, The Army (7), Shih Ho, Biting Through (21),
and I, Providing Nourishment (27).

In addition, the time means the law expressed through a hexagram, as in
Lu, Treading (10), Ch'ien, Modesty (15), Hsien, Influence (31), and Heng, Duration (32).

Finally, the time may also mean the symbolic situation represented by
the hexagram, as in Ching, The Well (48), and Ting, The Caldron (50).

In all cases the time of a hexagram is determinative for the meaning of
the situation as a whole, on the basis of which the individual lines receive
their meaning. A given line— let us say, a six in the third place—
can be now favorable, now unfavorable, according to the time determinant.

Richard Wilhelm & Cary F. Baynes (trans.),
The I Ching, Book II, Part II:
The Structure of the Hexagrams, Section 3: The Time,
Bollingen Series XIX, Princeton University Press, 1967, p. 359

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