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46. Shang [Ascending Upwards]


Thwan, or Overall Judgment (Attributed to King Wan)

Shang indicates that (under its conditions) there will be great progress and success. Seeking by (the qualities implied in it) to meet with the great man, its subject need have no anxiety. Advance to the south will be fortunate.

[Whincup] Rising.
Rising is blessed.
Do not be afraid
   to go see someone big.
Is is auspicious to march south.

[Christensen] 46 - 升 Moving Upwards  
升 元 亨 用 見 大 人 勿 恤 南 征 吉 Moving upwards is fundamental for things to go well. You apply it when you go to see a great person [for advice] so you have no worries that the campaign to the south will go well.

[Pearson] (shēng) Pushing Upwards
Pushing upwards: great success. Consult a great one now, to be without anxiety. Proceeding to the south brings good fortune.

[Redmond] 46. 升 Sheng Going Up
46.0 Begin the offering. Useful to see the important person. Do not worry, for the southern campaign, auspicious. 元亨. 用見大人. 勿恤, 南征吉.

[Legge] The character Shang is used of advancing in an upward direction, 'advancing and ascending.' And here, as the name of the hexagram, it denotes the advance of a good officer to the highest pinnacle of distinction. The second line, in the centre of the lower trigram, is strong, but the strength is tempered by its being in an even place. As the representative of the subject of the hexagram, it shows him to be possessed of modesty and force. Then the ruler's seat, the fifth place, is occupied by a divided line, indicating that he will welcome the advance of 2. The officer therefore both has the qualities that fit him to advance, and a favourable opportunity to do so. The result of his advance will be fortunate.

It is said that after he has met with the ruler, 'the great man' in 5, 'advance to the south will be fortunate.' Ku Hsi and other critics say that 'advancing to the south' is equivalent simply to 'advancing forwards.' The south is the region of brightness and warmth; advance towards it will be a joyful progress. As P. Regis explains the phrase, the traveller will proceed 'via recta simillima illi qua itur ad austrates felicesque plagas.'

Comments on the Thwan

1. (We find) the weak (line), as it finds the opportunity, ascending upwards.

2. We have (the attribute) of flexibility and that of obedience; we have the strong line (below) and its proper correlate above:—these things indicate that there will be 'great progress and success.'

3. 'Seeking (by the qualities implied in Shang) to meet with the great man, its subject need have no anxiety:'—there will be ground for congratulation.

'Advance to the south will be fortunate:'—his aim will be carried out.

[Legge] The explanation of the first paragraph has given occasion to much difference of opinion. Some will have 'the weak (line)' to be 4; some 5; and some the whole of Khwan, the upper trigram. The advocates of 4, make it come from hexagram 40, the weak 3 of which ascends to the strong 4, displaces it, and takes its place; but we have seen repeatedly the folly of the doctrine of changing lines and figures. The ['Great Symbolism,' below] suggests the proper explanation. The lower trigram, Sun, represents here not wind but wood. The first line, weak, is the root of a tree planted beneath the earth. Its gradual growth symbolises the advance upwards of the subject of the hexagram, fostered, that is, by the circumstances of the time.

Great Symbolism

(The trigram representing) wood and that for the earth with the wood growing in the midst of it form Shang. The superior man, in accordance with this, pays careful attention to his virtue, and accumulates the small developments of it till it is high and great.

[Legge] See what has been said on the Great Symbolism in [the 'Comments on the Thwan,' above]. The application which is made of it here may be accepted, though it has nothing to do with the teaching of the Text about the gradual rise of a good officer to high social distinction and influence.

Line Statements (Attributed to the Duke of Kau)

1. The first SIX, divided, shows its subject advancing upwards with the welcome (of those above him). There will be great good fortune.

011000 changing to 111000

Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 45.1

Trusted and rising.
Great good fortune.

[Christensen] 初 六﹕ 允 升 大 吉 Beginning 6: Moving upwards with a sincere motive will be very good.

[Pearson] Six in the first place: Advancing upwards. Great good fortune.

[Redmond] 46.1 Truly goes up, greatly auspicious. 初六允升, 大吉.

[Smaller Symbolism] 1. 'He is welcomed in his advance upwards, and there will be great good fortune:'—(the subjects of) the upper (trigram) are of the same mind with him.

[Legge] Line 1 is weak, where it should be strong; its subject, that is, is humble and docile. Those above him, therefore, welcome his advance. Another interpretation of the line is suggested by [the 'Comments on the Thwan']; which deserves consideration. As the first line of Sun, moreover, it may be supposed to concentrate in itself its attribute of docility, and be the lord of the trigram. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 1. Instead of finding in this the three lines of Khwan and their subjects, Khang-zze makes 'the upper' denote only line 2.

2. The second NINE, undivided, shows its subject with that sincerity which will make even the (small) offerings of the vernal sacrifice acceptable. There will be no error.

011000 changing to 001000

Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 45.2

Allegiance makes even a small offering effective.
He comes to no harm.

[Christensen] 九 二﹕ 孚 乃 利 用 禴 无 咎 Second 9: When you have inner confidence you can fruitfully perform the summer sacrifice without mistakes.

[Pearson] Nine in the second place: If you are sincere, then your making the summer sacrifice is effective. No blame.

[Redmond] 46.2 Captives are beneficial to use for Yue sacrifice. Nothing blameworthy. 孚乃利用禴. 无咎.

[Smaller Symbolism] 2. 'The sincerity of the subject of the second NINE, undivided,' affords occasion for joy.

[Legge] See on the second line of Zhui. Line 2 is strong, and the weak 5 is its proper correlate. We have a strong officer serving a weak ruler; he could not do so unless he were penetrated with a sincere and devoted loyalty. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 2. The subject of line 2 in his loyal devotion to 5 will do much good and benefit many; hence we have the words, affords occasion for joy.'

3. The third NINE, undivided, shows its subject ascending upwards (as into) an empty city.

011000 changing to 010000

Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 45.3

Rising in an empty city.

[Christensen] 九 三﹕ 升 虛 邑 Third 9: Go up to the empty village.

[Pearson] Nine in the third place: Going up to the empty city.

[Redmond] 46.3 Going up to the empty city. 九三升虛邑.

[Smaller Symbolism] 3. 'He advances upwards (as into) an empty city:'—he has no doubt or hesitation.

[Legge] Paragraph 3 describes the boldness and fearlessness of the advance of the third line. According to the Khang-hsi editors, who, I think, are right, there is a shade of condemnation in the line. Its subject is too bold. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 3. 'He has no doubt or hesitation:'—but this is presuming rather on his strength.

4. The fourth SIX, divided, shows its subject employed by the king to present his offerings on mount Khi. There will be good fortune; there will be no mistake.

011000 changing to 011100

Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 45.4

The king makes offering on Mount Qi.
Auspicious. No harm.

[Christensen] 六 四﹕ 王 用 亨 于 岐 山 吉 无 咎 Fourth 6: The King performs an offering on Qi Mountain to make things good and ensure no failure.

[Pearson] Six in the fourth place: The ruler made an offering on Mount Qi. Good fortune without blame.

[Redmond] 46.4 The king carries out an offering at Qi Mountain. Auspicious; there will be no blame. 六四王用亨于岐山. 吉, 无咎.

[Smaller Symbolism] 4. 'The king employs him to prevent his offerings on mount Khi:'—such a service (of spiritual Beings) is according to (their mind).

[Legge] Line 4 occupies the place of a great minister, in immediate contiguity to his ruler, who confides in him, and raises him to the highest distinction as a feudal prince. The mention of mount Khi, at the foot of which was the capital of the lords of Kau, seems to take the paragraph out of the sphere of symbolism into that of history. 'The king' in it is the last sovereign of Shang; the feudal prince in it is Wan. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 4. The Khang-hsi editors say:—'Such an employment of men of worth to do service to spiritual Beings is serving them according to their mind.'

5. The fifth SIX, divided, shows its subject firmly correct, and therefore enjoying good fortune. He ascends the stairs (with all due ceremony).

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 45.5

It is auspicious to keep on.
He ascends the steps.

[Christensen] 六 五﹕ 貞 吉 升 階 Fifth 6: You will act correctly and things will be good if you move upwards step by step.

[Pearson] Six in the fifth place: Persistence brings good fortune, pushing upwards in stages.

[Redmond] 46.5 Divination auspicious for going up steps. 六五貞吉升階.

[Smaller Symbolism] 5. 'He is firmly correct, and will therefore enjoy good fortune. He ascends the stairs (with all due ceremony):'—he grandly succeeds in his aim.

[Legge] In line 5 the advance has reached the highest point of dignity, and firm correctness is specially called for. 'Ascending the steps of a stair' may intimate, as Ku Hsi says, the ease of the advance; or according to others (the Khang-hsi editors among them), its ceremonious manner.

6. The sixth SIX, divided, shows its subject advancing upwards blindly. Advantage will be found in a ceaseless maintenance of firm correctness.

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 45.6

Rising into darkness.
Continue without pause.

[Christensen] 上 六﹕ 冥 升 利 于 不 息 之 貞 Top 6: Moving upwards in the dark will be beneficial if you act unceasingly correct.

[Pearson] Six at the top: Pushing upwards in the darkness just before dawn. An unswerving persistence is effective.

[Redmond] 46.6 Going up in the dark, it is beneficial not to stop to divine. 上六冥升, 利于不息之貞.

[Smaller Symbolism] 6. 'He blindly advances upwards,' and is in the highest place:—but there is decay in store for him, and he will not (preserve) his riches.

[Legge] What can the subject of the hexagram want more? He has gained all his wishes, and still he is for going onwards. His advance is blind and foolish; and only the most exact correctness will save him from the consequences. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 6. When one has reached the greatest height, he should think of retiring. Ambition otherwise may overleap itself.

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