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Yi Jing [I Ching]: The Book of Changes

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Hexagram 56

Lǚ [The Wanderer]

    Original Translation
The Image   Fire on the mountain.
  Lí (The Clinging, Fire) above, Gèn (Keeping Still, Mountain) below.
The Judgment   Lü intimates that (in the condition which it denotes) there may be some little attainment and progress. If the stranger or traveller be firm and correct as he ought to be, there will be good fortune.

'Lü indicates that there may be some small attainment and progress:'--the weak (line) occupies the central place in the outer (trigram), and is obedient to the strong (lines on either side of it). (We have also the attributes of quiet) resting closely attached to intelligence (in the component trigrams). Hence it is said, 'There may be some small attainment and progress. If the stranger or traveller be firm and correct as he ought to be, there will be good fortune.'

Great is the time and great is the right course to be taken as intimated in Lü!


(The trigram representing) a mountain and above it that for fire form Lü. The superior man, in accordance with this, exerts his wisdom and caution in the use of punishments and not allowing litigations to continue.
Line 1 1 The first SIX, divided, shows the stranger mean and meanly occupied. It is thus that he brings on himself (further) calamity.
  'The stranger is mean and meanly occupied:'--his aim is become of the lowest character, and calamity will ensue.
Line 2 2 The second SIX, divided, shows the stranger, occupying his lodging-house, carrying with him his means of livelihood, and provided with good and trusty servants.
  'He is provided with good and trusty servants:'--he will in the end have nothing of which to complain.
Line 3 3 The third NINE, undivided, shows the stranger, burning his lodging-house, and having lost his servants. However firm and correct he (try to) be, he will be in peril.
  'The stranger burns his lodging-house:'--and he himself also suffers hurt thereby. When, as a stranger, he treats those below him (as the line indicates), the right relation between him and them is lost.
Line 4 4 The fourth NINE, undivided, shows the traveller in a resting-place, having (also) the means of livelihood and the axe, (but still saying), 'I am not at ease in my mind.'

'The stranger is in a resting-place:'--but he has not got his proper position. 'He has the means of livelihood, and the axe:'--but his mind is not at ease.

Line 5 5 The fifth SIX, divided, shows its subject shooting a pheasant. He will lose his arrow, but in the end he will obtain praise and a (high) charge.
  'In the end he will obtain praise and a (high) charge:'--he has reached a high place.
Line 6 6 The sixth NINE, undivided, suggests the idea of a bird burning its nest. The stranger, (thus represented), first laughs and then cries out. He has lost his ox(-like docility) too readily and easily. There will be evil.

'Considering that the stranger is here at the very height (of distinction),' with the spirit that possesses him, it is right he (should be emblemed by a bird) burning (its nest). 'He loses his ox(-like docility) too readily and easily:'--to the end he would not listen to (the truth about the course to be pursued).

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