The Book and the Lines

On the Use of the Book and the Lines

1. The Changes is a book from which one may not hold aloof.

Its Tao is forever changing – alteration, movement without rest, flowing through the six empty places; rising and sinking without fixed law, firm and yielding transform each other.

They cannot be confined within a rule; it is only change that is at work here.

The Changes is a book

From which one may not hold aloof.

No one is beyond the changes.

Everyone is influenced by the heavenly lights above, the moving lights, and the dark receptive earth below.

The zodiac signs, the sun, the moon, the planets and the astrological houses determine the nature and changes of life.

Everything that lives is part of the changes of the light and the darkness.

Its Tao is forever changing –

The Tao is considered to be that which does not go through the changes.

What is probably referred to here is that the balance of the relationship of light to darkness is always changing.

The seasons of the year are always changing, the phases of the moon are always changing, and the amount of light I a day is always changing.

Here Tao is referred to as the balance of the light and the dark at any moment.

Perhaps this is the original implication of Tao.

This word has been in use since the birth of Taoism (circa 500 BC)

It seems to have been an adaptation of one’s cosmic moment or one’s horoscope in which the balance of nature and its ways are revealed.

Alteration, movement without rest,

This is the way of the heavenly lights, the sun, moon and planets, and the turning of the earth.

Everything is in a constant state of change.

Flowing through the six empty places;

 This reveals that the heavenly lights, the moving lights, and the changing circumstances of the earth.

All move through the six places within each of the sixty-four hexagrams.

The sun, moon and planets will move through the six places of the sixty-four hexagrams.

The changing circumstances of the earth can be understood by the movements of the hours of the day through the six places of the sixty-four hexagrams.

Thus 384 places of the hexagrams in their natural sequence represent the zodiac, the sun, moon and planetary cycles, and the astrological houses.

Rising and sinking without fixed law,

This is a silly or frivolous comment.

The very nature of the changes is that there is order and sequence in everything, and that is the cosmic or universal law of nature of which each of us is a living part.

This is representative of explanations in the mathematical era of Later Heaven in which numbers were ordered, but nature and the nature of change was random.

Even in modern days nature is far from random.

This sense of randomness was promoted as a justification for the numerological access to the changes through the technique of divination by yarrow stalks, rather than through the horoscope or natural sequence of earth and heaven.

It was the same belief in randomness of numbers that justified the rearrangement of the original sequence of the trigrams of Earlier Heaven, in the times of Fu Hsi.

If there was no fixed law, why couldn’t the sequence of trigrams and hexagrams be altered?

Since the trigram sequence was changed by King Wan and the Duke of Chou, it became only proper and right to follow the ways of the new emperor, however random and detached from nature they were.

This has been an exercise of abstraction and perhaps even madness, in the name of random divine mathematical revelation.

It began a schism between man’s understanding and the nature of life.

Firm and yielding transform each other.

Day and night follow each other.

The seasons follow a natural sequence of light and darkness as do the phases of the moon.

They cannot be confined within a rule;

This is a product of the dogma of numerological abstraction.

The sequence of the changes is the rule and the measure of natural justice.

It is only change that is at work here.

This is a personalizing or idealizing of the concepts of random change.

In reality, change is not random and is perfectly represented by the natural sequence of the trigrams of Earlier Heaven.

Again, thoughts about the decline of an era come to mind.

2. They move inward and outward according to fixed rhythms. Without or within, they teach caution.

They move inward and outward according to fixed rhythms.

The fixed rhythms are the laws of change and their natural sequence.

Without or within, they teach caution.

Above or below, within or without the upper trigram and the lower trigram the changes have been written to teach caution.

If one goes against the ways of change or the cycles of nature, discord and disease will result.

It is interesting that the Sequence of Later Heaven, of King Wan and the Duke of Chou, went against the cycles of nature.

The natural order of things was replaced with a mathematical concept of change.

Perhaps this marks the beginnings of the era of mathematical deduction and scientific theory.

With its deviation from natural ways, we witness the growth of pollution and disease in the world.

Thus caution became based on random coincidence, rather than the natural order of things.

Thoughts about the decline of an era come to mind.

3. They also show care and sorrow and their causes. Though you have no teacher, approach them as you would your parents.

They also show care and sorrow and their causes.

In our relationship to nature and its ongoing changes, the hexagrams reveal the need for care and caution.

If one is not in touch with the demands of the time, opportunities will be missed, losses will occur, and sorrow will result.

If only I had waited a week longer before planting the crop.

If only I had been a little more diligent in weeding.

If only I had collected the harvest one week earlier.

If only I had gotten up an hour earlier.

If only I had asked the right question at the right time.

If only I had completed my work before relaxing.

If only I had been more caring and sensitive to my children.

etc. etc. etc.

Why does this have to happen now?

Why did this happen to me?

What am I expected to do?

Why wasn’t I chosen?

Why did I fail?

What did I do wrong?

What should I do next?

How can I fix this?

Why bother?

Why not?

The changes show the great beginnings or the seed moments.

They reveal the subsequent developments and changes.

They reveal the growth of the light and the darkness and the prerequisites for healthy happy living, and for the successful completion of affairs.

They act as an almanac or guide to living.

The concerns of each season are presented in good order.

Guidelines for dealing with the effects of the changing moon are revealed.

The challenges and demands of the different hours of the day are also presented.

Thus the prerequisites for success and failure are revealed and divine guidance is made available.

Though you have no teacher,

Approach them as you would your parents.

Even without someone to teach you, these changes will guide you in your life and reveal appropriate action.

Just as your father and mother helped to bring you up, so will an understanding of the light and the dark guide you through the challenges and opportunities of life.

The light and the dark are the parents of all creation.

They reveal the nature of the seasons, of the tides and the weather, and of the circumstances of day and night.

What else is there that can do this?

4.  First take up the words, ponder their meaning, then the fixed rules reveal themselves, but if you are not the right man, the meaning will not manifest itself to you.

First take up the words and ponder their meaning,

Words are the trails to images.

Images are the traps of meaning.

The words will lead us to the images in the heavens, their effects on the earth, and all phenomena in between.

The images reveal the seasons, the moon phases, and the time of day.

(The zodiac, the moving lights or aspects of relationships and the houses)

The images will reveal the implications of the moment and what needs to be done.

It is wise to contemplate the meaning and implications of these heavenly and earthly images, and their circumstances.

Then the fixed rules reveal themselves.

The fixed rules are the movements of the light and the dark

– in the seasons or zodiac,

– in the moon phases of the month

and in the light of the gods or moving lights

and subsequent aspects of interrelationships,

in the circumstances of the world as it turns from day to day

throughout the ever changing seasons and moon phases.

The fixed rules are the great secret of the changes.

They reveal the workings of the gods or moving lights, and the heavenly lights or zodiac signs, and the affairs of the earth or astrological houses.

In the mathematical era of Later Heaven, the fixed rules were considered to be the numerical patterns of lines within the hexagrams, considered as abstract validation independent of nature.

But if you are not the right man, the meaning will not manifest itself to you.

The right man is

one who lives in a conscious relationship to what is above and what is below.

one who knows the ways of the light and the dark.

one who listens to and reflects upon these changes,

as one would to one’s parents.

He lives aligned to the changes in the seasons.

He observes the new and full moons.

He is aware of the circumstances of the light in the darkness.

He lives day to day accordingly and he lives with awareness of the great secret of life.

Such a person is the right person.

Such a person will clearly see the meaning of the changes.

They will manifest to him, or her, clearly without distortion or misconception.

The Lines  (continued)

1. The Changes is a book whose hexagrams begin with the first line and are summed up in the last. The lines are the essential material. The six lines are interpreted according to the meaning belonging to them at the time.

The Changes is a book

This is the first reference to the changes as a book.

The book presents the mathematical implications of the lines within each hexagram.

It would be more appropriate to say the solid and broken lines within the odd or even places of each hexagram.

This reference to the changes as a book tends to direct the focus away from the heavens, the seasons, the moving lights and their effects of earth, to circumstances within the hexagram itself.

This is like focusing on the divisions of each day rather than the uniqueness of each day within the natural sequence of the year.

This happens also within astrology, where much literature focuses on the houses more than the zodiac signs, and where mathematical factors seemed to have replaced the seasonal ones as the main standards.

whose hexagrams begin with the first line and are summed up in the last.

In the natural cycle of the year the lines all have their fixed places, as the amount of daylight and darkness wax and wane.

The cycle begins after the greatest darkness of six broken lines, when a solid line appears in the first place.

From this moment up to the longest day the solid lines ascend and increase until they occupy all six places in a hexagram.

This occurs at the summer solstice or longest day on June 21.

After the longest day or greatest brightness a broken line appears in the first place at the bottom of the hexagram.

From this moment up to the longest night, the broken lines ascend and increase until they occupy all six places at the winter solstice or longest night on Dec. 22.

Just after the greatest darkness, the first place of the first hexagram of the year will hold a solid line and it will be the only solid line in the hexagram.

The sixth place of the last hexagram of the year just before the greatest darkness will be solid and it will be the only solid line in the hexagram.

Hence the story of the light lines, or the superior man, across the sequence of the yearbegins with a solitary solid line in the first place at the bottom of the hexagram, and ends with a solitary solid line in the sixth place at the top of the hexagram.

The lines all take their fixed places around the cycle of the year.

It is from this fixed and natural sequence, that the primary distinctions of each hexagram in its combination of solid and broken lines, are determined.

Every day in the year is unique and has its own balance or Tao of light and darkness.

Every degree in the zodiac is unique and has its own balance or Tao of light and darkness.

Mathematically the lines can be considered as being in one of the six places.

Each place within a hexagram has a numerical value of one to six, counting from the bottom to the top.

Circumstances were considered to begin in the first place and end at the sixth place.

The lines are the essential material.

This both confirms the natural sequence and draws attention to the line positions in the six places within each hexagram.

The six lines are interpreted according to the meaning belonging to them at the time.

This refers to the lines’ fixed positions determined by the changing relationship of light to darkness across the year, or in the natural sequence of Early Heaven.

It also refers to the numerological nature of each place in the hexagrams, considered individually, as the solid or broken lines occupy them.

Places 1, 3 and 5 are odd places.

Places 2, 4 and 6 are even places.

The action of a solid line is appropriate in an odd place.

The passivity or yielding of a broken line is appropriate in an even place.

This is the primary numerological consideration.

The numbers of the three places within each trigram were also used as a further association.

The Later Heaven interpretation became based on the lines and their numbers, more than the places with the light and the dark within them as was predominant in the sequence of Earlier Heaven.

A new era of understanding and exploration began.

Thoughts about the decline of an era come to mind.

2. The beginning line is difficult to understand. The top line is easy to understand. For they stand in the relationship of cause and effect. The judgement on the first line is tentative, but at the last line everything has attained completion.

The beginning line is difficult to understand.

In the sequence of Earlier Heaven the appearance of the first solid line after the greatest darkness reveals that daylight has begun to increase again.

It also reveals the first step based on the necessity of winter rather than on understanding (six broken lines).

Similarly in the mathematical considerations of Later Heaven the first line in any hexagram was the first step or action and difficult to understand or interpret without seeing the relevance of the other lines.

Since this relevance developed in the following numbered places, it was difficult to understand the implications of the first action on its own.

The top line is easy to understand.

In the sequence of Earlier Heaven the appearance of a solid line in the sixth place at the top of the last hexagram before the receptive or greatest darkness, implies the final action before the greatest darkness.

This is action (solid line) moving into understanding of the hexagram of greatest darkness, the receptive.

Its implications are easily seen.

It is the end of the year.

Harvest time has come and gone.

One has the supplies and shelter that one has.

There is nothing more one can do but understand the potential hardships of the winter to come.

The time of vulnerable winter will soon prevail.

This is the very last opportunity to act and improve one’s situation before winter sets in.

It is easy to see and understand what needs to be done.

In the mathematical consideration of Later Heaven the sixth place represented the end of things and it was easier to understand because it rested on the five conditions of the first five places which have already been considered.

For they stand in the relationship of cause and effect.

In the sequence of Earlier Heaven things begin after the seed moment of the winter solstice, or the new moon, or midnight.

Each cycle or action starts with the first step or light and ends at the last step or end of light.

In the mathematical considerations of Later Heaven the first step or beginning is the first place and the results will manifest or complete themselves in the sixth place at the top of the hexagram.

The judgement on the first line is tentative, but at the last line everything has attained completion.

Again emphasis here is being given to the line rather than the place.

The place appears to affect the line, whereas the place in Earlier Heaven was lightened or darkened by the solid or dark line occupying it.

(This appears as a subtle innuendo or triviality but governments thrive on propagating such suggestions.

Confucius represented the emperor and his ways.

The superior man had to hold to his duty to the emperor.

There was not much concern over individual expression, in fact, it was undermined and warned about.)

In both cases the beginning, from the seed moment or first action, is revealed tentatively at the beginning of a cycle and at the first place in the hexagram.

It is like a cycle within a cycle.

The cyclical nature of change is being seen in the different levels of the hexagrams in sequence and within each hexagram totem.

Beginning to end is referred to as bottom to top.

The nature of the first place and the sixth place are presented and elaborated.

3. But if one wishes to explore things in their manifold gradation, and their qualities as well, and to discriminate between right and wrong, it cannot be done completely without the middle lines.

But if one wishes to explore things in their manifold gradation,

Here the manifold gradation of things is referred to as all the lines between the first and the last.

In the mathematical considerations of Later Heaven this is considered to be the lines in the second, third, fourth and fifth places.

In the natural sequence of Earlier Heaven this is considered to be the actual fixed sequence of the 382 lines between the first and the last lines

in the cycle of the year with its seasons,

in the cycle of the moon with its phases and tides,

and in the cycle of the day with its rising and setting of light.

The first and the last line are considered to be the seed moments, the great beginning and the great ending.

The remaining lines represent the sequence of change.

and their qualities as well,

In the mathematical considerations of Later Heaven each place had its number and position in the hexagram.

The oddness or evenness of which and the subsequent interrelationships determine the qualities and circumstances represented by each line.

In the natural sequence of Earlier Heaven the lines in their sequential places revealed the qualities of the time or phase of a circle.

The qualities of days within each season

The qualities of days within each moon cycle

The qualities of hours within each day cycle.

and to discriminate between right and wrong,

In the mathematical considerations of Later Heaven this was determined by the solid and broken lines in the odd or even places.

Solid in an odd numbered place was considered appropriate and right.

Broken in an even numbered place was considered appropriate and right.

Solid in an even place and broken in an odd place was usually considered wrong or inappropriate.

In the natural sequence of Earlier Heaven It was the increasing light and the increasing darkness that determined the phase of the cycle and what was appropriate and what was not.

As light increased, planting was appropriate.

As darkness increased, weeding was appropriate.

it cannot be done completely without the middle lines.

In the mathematical considerations of Later Heaven the middle four places held the main significations of what was happening.

In the natural sequence of Earlier Heaven it was the fixed sequence of all 384 lines in their places that determined the texture, quality and nature of each hexagram or situation.

4. Yes, even that which is most important in regard to surviving or perishing, in regard to good fortune or misfortune, can be known in the course of time. The man of knowledge contemplates the judgement on the decision, and thus he can think out for himself the greater part.

Yes, even that which is most important in regard to surviving or perishing,

Surviving refers to the increasing light half of the cycle.

In the year this was winter and spring, from Dec. 22 to June 21.

This is the seeding, birth, and growth half of the year.

Perishing refers to the increasing dark half of the cycle.

In the year this was summer and fall, from June 21 to Dec 22.

This is the harvest and decaying half of the year.

in regard to good fortune or misfortune,

These are images of gain and loss.

Good fortune comes with the increasing light.

Misfortune comes with the increasing darkness.

The sun rises and the sun sets.

The day is born and grows, and then it sets and dies.

In the hours of the day and in the course of the year much can be gained or lost.

We will meet with good fortune and misfortune in the circumstances of the houses (hours of the day) or changes on the earth.

can be known in the course of time.
Understanding or knowing the course of time is to know the heavenly lights, the moving lights, and the changes on the earth.

The course of time is the path of the zodiac in the heavens.

It is the cycle of the sun and moon across a month, and of the planets or wanderers throughout the zodiac.

It is also the cycle of what is rising and setting across the day cycle or through the astrological houses.

The man of knowledge

This refers to one who knows the heavenly lights above (zodiac), the moving lights (sun, moon and planets), and the changing circumstances on the earth (houses).

It refers to one who knows the changes and what they reference.

contemplates the judgement on the decision,

This refers to the primary section of the I Ching book that explains the implications and meaning of each hexagram.

This meaning is obtained from the relationship of the primary trigrams above and below, and the nuclear trigrams within.

In the sequence of Earlier Heaven this would include information on the place of each hexagram within the cycle of the year, the month and the day, just like an almanac.

In the sequence of Later heaven more emphasis was placed on the trigrams within the hexagram and on numerological associations.

and thus he can think out for himself the greater part.

Using the hexagrams and the judgements as a guide the one who knows will be able to make all the other relevant associations both within the hexagram and concerning the hexagrams place in the sequence of the year, month and day.

5. The second and the fourth place correspond in their work but are differentiated by their positions. They do not correspond as regards the degree to which they are good. The second is usually praised, the fourth is usually warned, because it stands near the ruler. The meaning of the yielding is that it is not favorable for it to be far away. The important thing, however, is to remain without blame; its expression consists in being yielding and central.

The second and the fourth place correspond in their work but are differentiated by their positions.

The second place is an even place.

Its nature is to be receptive.

It is the centre and ruling line of the lower primary trigram.

Its receptivity holds the action of the first and third places together.

The first three lines in a hexagram hold together as the lower trigram.

The second line, like a prince, or a wife, is receptive to the primary foundation and the needs of the lower trigram.

The lower trigram is the foundation or basis of the hexagram and is the support of the upper trigram.

In a similar way a prince provides the motivational foundation of the emperor, and a wife provides a motivational foundation for the husband.

If a prince or a wife were to take independent action

it would be represented by a solid line in the receptive second place.

Such an action would be inappropriate, and usually would lead to misfortune unless saved or corrected by other lines.

The fourth place is an even place.

Its nature is to be receptive.

It is the bottom place of the upper primary trigram.

The top three places, or primary upper trigram, are held together by the strength and activity of the odd numbered fifth place.

The fourth place is even and receptive.

The fourth place is the foundation of the upper trigram.

It is the servant or support of the fifth line, or ruler of the upper primary trigram and of the hexagram.

If the servant is too aggressive or acts independently it would be like a solid line in the fourth or even place.

It would represent inappropriate action.

An insensitive servant would be in a dangerous relationship to the emperor.

He could lose his life.

An insensitive servant to the husband could bring about the disruption of the home and family and cause trouble with his wife.

It is difficult to find good help.

This place is usually warned of danger and encouraged to wait or be passive.

Thus the work of the second and the fourth places are the same.

They both need to be receptive to and supportive of the emperor or ruler of the upper trigram (fifth place).

They do not correspond as regards the degree to which they are good.

The ruler of the lower primary trigram, the prince or the wife, has a more intrinsic and important relationship to the emperor than the servant in the fourth place.

The prince or wife has a special intimacy with the emperor in the fifth place.

The servant in the fourth place does not.

Hence the differences of the positions of the second and fourth places can be determined and observed.

The second is usually praised, the fourth is usually warned, because it stands near the ruler.

Both lines are near to the ruler but the second line is usually praised because it is the prince (son) or wife of the emperor.

The fourth line is warned because it is the servant or advisor to the emperor.

The advisor, although closer to the emperor in his activities, does not have the same influence or security as the wife or son (second line).

The advisor will usually not have as enduring a relationship to the ruler as the wife or the son.

Hence the advisor’s life itself depends on his ability to be receptive and wise.

He must constantly be aware of his limits and vulnerabilities.

He must tread carefully.

The meaning of the yielding is that it is not favorable for it to be far away.

Both the advisor (fourth place – even) and the son or wife (second place – even) have privileges because of their position and relationship to the emperor (fifth place – odd).

They need to stay receptive and close to the emperor.

Away from the emperor, they will have no special status and could even be harmed by the envy and insensitivity of others and the world at large.

Hence it is wise for the servant, the wife and the prince to be yielding and not force issues.

The important thing, however, is to remain without blame;

Remaining without blame implies that one takes no inappropriate actions.

This is a consistent and main theme in the Later World understanding of the changes.

Appropriate action will not be blamed.

Inappropriate action will generate blame and lead to greater misfortune.

Hence the virtue of the prince, the wife and the servant is consistently considered through the changes.

its expression consists in being yielding and central.

The prince or wife (second place) is the centre of the lower primary trigram.

It is an even place.

Hence through being yielding and receptive they live up to the appropriateness of their position.

The second place is central to the lower trigram and it is in an even place that requires one to yield to the demands of the active first line below, and the third line immediately above, and to the fifth line of the emperor in the fifth place.

The second line remains centred by its receptivity to the actions around it.

It will not contend!

It is supposed to yield.

Thus it remains centred and appropriate.

There will be no blame.

In the natural sequence of Earlier Heaven:

The first line determines or reveals the main direction.

Daylight is increasing or darkness is increasing.

Thus the primary insight into appropriate action and reaction to nature is seen.

The second line determines the season

and whether the light or the darkness is greater.

Hence it reveals what is appropriate action or reaction within each season.

Cautious action is appropriate in winter.

Daylight is increasing and darkness is greater.

To be prepared is well guarded and wise (broken in the second place).

Effort to plant things is appropriate in spring.

Daylight is increasing and daylight is greater.

Forceful output of energy to plant as many seeds as possible is the appropriate course of action (Solid in the second place)

To cultivate and take care of the plants is appropriate in summer.

Darkness is increasing and daylight is greater.

One has to act in the second place but the action needs to be helpful to the broken line in the first place.

To work on the harvest is appropriate and wise.

To preserve and store up the food that one has is appropriate to better survive the fall and upcoming winter, when nothing grows.

Darkness is increasing and darkness is greater.

Preparation for the greatest darkness and the greatest cold is appropriate.

The third line determines the light and dark halves of each season

in which the extremes of each season are revealed.

The dark half of winter is the coldest and most passive half.

One is sensitive to the elements and one stays within one’s defenses.

Any action will be very difficult and must be rooted in necessity (broken in the third, of winter).

The light half of winter

Action becomes easier. Days are longer and warmer.

The end of winter is near.

The dark half of spring

Light is increasing and is greater than darkness but it is still difficult to get around and to do things.

This represents the flooding of the lakes and the movement of water on the earth.

 The light half of spring

Light is increasing and is greater than darkness.

It is increasing to its maximum.

This is the time of happy creative action.

So much light and warmth, so much can be done.

People, animals and plants are all active.

 The light half of summer

Darkness begins to increase but daylight is greater.

Here the nature of the crops planted shows what needs to be done to keep them nourished and growing.

If there is no rain, one will have to water the crops oneself.

One’s actions (third line) become guided by the beginning effects of increasing darkness.

One can see how well the crops are doing.

 The dark half of summer

These are the last days of the summer’s dominant light.

Harvest time.

Increasing darkness marks the completion of the light life cycle.

One must be receptive (broken in the third) to do what must be done.

To reap the best harvest.

Any waste here, will prove costly later.

The light half of fall

This is the completion of harvest.

Even though darkness is increasing and is now dominant.

Still there is much one can do to make life easier or better.

One acts to take complete advantage of the time and to increase what one will have for winter.

One gathers food and wood and stores them.

So much to do, so little time.

One will do what one can within the time available.

 The dark half of fall

The approach of the greatest darkness and cold.

There is nothing one can do for oneself here.

It becomes appropriate to adapt to and be receptive to the needs of others.

Teamwork will accomplish more than individual efforts.

In the Earlier Heaven the lines were not used mathematically to determine the scene and implications.

The lines revealed the stages of nature and the seasons and by so doing set the course for what is appropriate and what is inappropriate action.

If one did not adjust to these natural cycles of life, one would encounter misfortune and blame.

Nature and not mathematics was used to determine appropriate behaviour.

6. The third and the fifth place correspond in their work but are differentiated by their positions. The third usually has misfortune, the fifth usually has merit, because they are graded according to rank. The weaker is endangered, the stronger has victory.

The third and the fifth place correspond in their work but are differentiated by their positions.

The third place is an odd numbered place.

Its nature and work is to be active and strong.

It is the top place on the lower primary trigram.

Its activity is based on the need or orders of the ruler of the lower trigram in the second place.

This is the administrator of the prince who will implement and act on the prince’s needs and orders, and carry the prince’s instructions out into the world of the emperor’s affairs.

This is the son who will implement his mother’s needs and instructions. and take them out into the world of his father, the emperor (upper trigram).

This is an odd place requiring strength and action.

If the administration of the prince is weak, or the son does not take care of the mother’s needs, that would be most inappropriate.

It would furthermore make the prince or wife look bad in the court or eyes of the emperor.

Misfortune would arise from such weakness.

The fifth place is an odd numbered place.

Its nature or work is to be active and strong.

It is the middle place of the upper primary trigram.

Hence it is the ruler of the upper trigram which represents affairs in the outer world.

This is the place of the emperor.

It is centred in its position and its firmness and strength holds the kingdom together, and sets the people and armies in motion.

If the emperor is not strong and firm the empire will be vulnerable, and the people will be unruly and disrespectful.

Both the third and fifth places require action, strength and firmness.

Hence their work is the same.

However the fifth place of the emperor is higher and more prominent than the third place of the prince’s administrator.

Likewise the father is more prominent than the son.

This shows the differences of their positions and subsequent duties.

The third usually has misfortune,

Its position is in the lower trigram and it is not central or ruling.

Being strong for a prince or tribal ruler implies that the strength is conditional and must not reach beyond its proper limits.

Hence its strength while necessary and appropriate can easily lead to inappropriate representation of the prince or wife in the outer world.

One is not secure in one’s position and can easily be replaced.

This is why misfortune often results.

the fifth usually has merit,

Its position is in the upper trigram and it is central.

This is the place of the emperor.

What the emperor says, is done.

What the emperor does, sets the standard and will usually be accepted and respected.

There is no one who will restrict or limit the action of the emperor.

The emperor is firm and in charge of all.

Hence this place usually is given respect and has merit.

because they are graded according to rank.

Benefits come naturally to the superior position of emperor.

The administrator of the prince has power but the emperor has control and greater position and greater power.

In the realms of the firm and the active places the way of the strongest and most powerful prevails.

The fifth place is the uppermost or highest of the odd numbered places.

It is the place of the ruler.

The weaker is endangered, the stronger has victory.

The law of the strong is the law of the land.

The strongest will enforce their will.

The weaker will adjust and follow.

Thus the way of Later Heaven assessed the lines and the hexagrams to develop meaning and relevance and to determine what was appropriate at different levels of society and what was not.

This application of the lines and their numbers is the most insightful and well used standard of Later Heaven.

In these associations and their relevance to the superior man the way of Later Heaven stands strong.

Unfortunately its relationship to nature, the seasons and the natural sequence of events became abstracted by numerological theories and deduction rather than by the experiential and perceivable natural sequence of Earlier Heaven.

The world of Later Heaven became out of touch with the natural order of life with its light and dark phases.

It transposed the numerological associations over the natural experiential ones.


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