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Yi Jing [I Ching]: The Book of Changes

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Chún [Difficulty at the Beginning]

  Original Translation
The Image Clouds and thunder.

Kǎn (The Abysmal, Water) above, Zhèn (The Arousing, Thunder) below.
The Judgment

Chún (indicates that in the case which it presupposes) there will be great progress and success, and the advantage will come from being correct and firm. (But) any movement in advance should not be (lightly) undertaken. There will be advantage in appointing feudal princes.

In Chún we have the strong (Qián) and the weak (Kūn) commencing their intercourse, and difficulties arising.

Movement in the midst of peril gives rise to 'great progress and success, (through) firm correctness.'

By the action of the thunder and rain, (which are symbols of Kăn and Khan), all (between heaven and earth) is filled up. But the condition of the time is full of irregularity and obscurity. Feudal princes should be established, but the feeling that rest and peace have been secured should not be indulged (even then).

(The trigram representing) clouds and (that representing) thunder form Chún. The superior man, in accordance with this, (adjusts his measures of government) as in sorting the threads of the warp and woof.
Line 1 The first NINE, undivided, shows the difficulty (its subject has) in advancing. It will be advantageous for him to abide correct and firm; advantageous (also) to be made a feudal ruler.

Although 'there is a difficulty in advancing,' the mind (of the subject of the line) is set on doing what is correct. While noble, he humbles himself to the mean, and grandly gains the people.

Line 2

The second SIX, divided, shows (its subject) distressed and obliged to return; (even) the horses of her chariot (also) seem to be retreating. (But) not by a spoiler (is she assailed), but by one who seeks her to be his wife. The young lady maintains her firm correctness, and declines a union. After ten years she will be united, and have children.

The difficulty (to the subject of) the second SIX, (divided), arises from, its place over the undivided line below it. 'The union and children after ten years' shows things resuming their regular course.
Line 3 The third SIX, divided, shows one following the deer without (the guidance of) the forester, and only finding himself in the midst of the forest. The superior man, acquainted with the secret risks, thinks it better to give up the chase. If he went forward, he would regret it.
'One pursues the deer without the (guidance of the) forester:'--(he does so) in (his eagerness to) follow the game. 'The superior man gives up the chase, (knowing that) if he go forward he will regret it:'--he would be reduced to extremity.
Line 4 The fourth SIX, divided, shows (its subject as a lady), the horses of whose chariot appear in retreat. She seeks, however, (the help of) him who seeks her to be his wife. Advance will be fortunate; all will turn out advantageously.
'Going forward after such a search (for a helper)' shows intelligence.
Line 5 The fifth NINE, undivided, shows the difficulties in the way of (its subject's) dispensing the rich favours that might be expected from him. With firmness and correctness there will be good fortune in small things; (even) with them in great things there will be evil.
'Difficulty is experienced (by the subject of the fifth line) in bestowing his rich favours:'--the extent to which they reach will not yet be conspicuous.
Line 6 The topmost SIX, divided, shows (its subject) with the horses of his chariot obliged to retreat, and weeping tears of blood in streams.
'He weeps tears of blood in streams:'--how can the state (thus emblemed) continue long?
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