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27. I [Nourishing]


Thwan, or Overall Judgment (Attributed to King Wan)

I indicates that with firm correctness there will be good fortune (in what is denoted by it). We must look at what we are seeking to nourish, and by the exercise of our thoughts seek for the proper aliment.

[Whincup] Bulging cheeks.
It is auspicious to stay as one is.
Those who see bulging cheeks
   will want what fills them.

[Christensen] 27 - 頤 Nourishment  
頤 貞 吉 觀 頤 自 求 口 實 Nourishment should be of the correct kind and good [for you]. Therefore, observe if the nourishment that you seek out for your mouth has substance.

[Pearson] (yí) Jaws Persistence; good fortune. Watching the jaws; seeking food for the mouth.

[Redmond] 27. 頤 Yi Lower Jaw
27.0 Divination auspicious according to observation of the jaw. One’s own mouth asking if it is full. 貞吉觀頤. 自求口實.

[Legge] I is the symbol of the upper jaw, and gives name to the hexagram; but the whole figure suggests the appearance of the mouth. There are the two undivided lines at the bottom and top, and the four divided lines between them. The first line is the first in the trigram Kan, denoting movement; and the sixth is the third in Kan, denoting what is solid. The former is the lower jaw, part of the mobile chin; and the other the more fixed upper jaw. The open lines are the cavity of the mouth. As the name of the hexagram, I denotes nourishing,—one's body or mind, one's self or others. The nourishment in both the matter and method will differ according to the object of it; and every one must determine what to employ and do in every case by exercising his own thoughts, only one thing being premised,—that in both respects the nourishing must be correct, and in harmony with what is right. The auspice of the whole hexagram is good.

Comments on the Thwan

1. 'I indicates that with firm correctness there will be good fortune:'—when the nourishing is correct, there will be good fortune. 'We must look at what we are seeking to nourish:'—we must look at those whom we wish to nourish. 'We must by the exercise of our thoughts seek the proper aliment:'—we must look to our own nourishing of ourselves.

2. Heaven and earth nourish all things. The sages nourish men of talents and virtue, by them to reach to the myriads of the people. Great is (the work intended by this) nourishing in its time!

[Legge] Many of the critics, in illustration of paragraph 1, refer appropriately to Mencius, 6, i, chap. 14.

In illustration of paragraph 2 they refer to the times and court of Yao and Shun, sage rulers, from whose cherishing and nourishing came Yu to assuage the waters of the deluge, Zi to teach the people agriculture, Hsieh as minister of instruction, Kao Yao as minister of crime, and others;—all to do the work of nourishing the people.

Great Symbolism

(The trigram representing) a mountain and under it that for thunder form I. The superior man, in accordance with this, (enjoins) watchfulness over our words, and the temperate regulation of our eating and drinking.

[Legge: Smaller Symbolism] I do not think that the Great Symbolism here is anything but that of a thunderstorm, dispersing the oppression that bangs over nature, and followed by genial airs, and the reviving of all vegetation. But there is nothing analogous to the thunder in the application. 'Words,' it is said, 'nourish virtue; food and drink nourish the body.'

Line Statements (Attributed to the Duke of Kau)

1. The first NINE, undivided, (seems to be thus addressed), 'You leave your efficacious tortoise, and look at me till your lower jaw hangs down.' There will be evil.

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 28.1

"You cast aside your magic tortoise
And gaze upon my bulging cheeks."

[Christensen] 初 九﹕ 舍 爾 靈 龜 觀 我 朵 頤 凶 Beginning 9: You released your magic turtle and now you are looking at me with mouth agape; that’s no good!

[Pearson] Nine in the first place: Ignoring your sacred turtle [shell’s omens]. Watching our shortened jaws. Misfortune.

[Redmond] 27.1 Leave at home your numinous tortoise. Observe my drooping jaw, ominous. 初九舍爾靈龜. 觀我朶頤, 凶.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'You look at me till your (lower) jaw hangs down:'—(the subject of the line) is thus shown unfit to be thought noble.

[Legge] The first line is strong, and in its proper place; its subject might suffice for the nourishing of himself, like a tortoise, which is supposed to live on air, without more solid nourishment. But he is drawn out of himself by desire for the weak 4, his proper correlate, at whom he looks till his jaw hangs down, or, as we say, his mouth waters. Hence the auspice is bad. The symbolism takes the form of an expostulation addressed, we must suppose, by the fourth line to the first. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 1. As Mencius said, 'He that nourishes the little belonging to him is a little man.'

2. The second SIX, divided, shows one looking downwards for nourishment, which is contrary to what is proper; or seeking it from the height (above), advance towards which will lead to evil.

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 28.2

He stuffs his cheeks.
He is struck on the neck
   and his cheeks mound with food.
It is inauspicious to march forth.

[Christensen] 六 二﹕ 顛 頤 拂 經 于 丘 頤 征 凶 Second 6: Foraging on the top [of the hill] you are clearing a path to where the nourishment on the hill is, but to go on like this will be bad.

[Pearson] Six in the second place: Reversing the jaws. Gnashing at the warp at the north. Going on a campaign would bring misfortune.

[Redmond] 27.2 Twitching jaw. Brushing fabric for a burial mound. Jaw: going on an expedition, ominous. 六二顛頤. 拂經于丘. 頤征, 凶.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'The evil of advance by the subject of the second SIX, (divided),' is owing to his leaving in his movements his proper associates.

[Legge] The weak 2, insufficient for itself, seeks nourishment first from the strong line below, which is not proper, and then from the strong 6, not its proper correlate, and too far removed. In either case the thing is evil. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 2. Neither the subject of line 1, nor of line 6, is the proper associate of 2.

3. The third SIX, divided, shows one acting contrary to the method of nourishing. However firm he may be, there will be evil. For ten years let him not take any action, (for) it will not be in any way advantageous.

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 28.3

He is struck on the cheeks.
Keeping on brings misfortune.
Do not act for ten years.

[Christensen] 六 三﹕ 拂 頤 貞 凶 十 年 勿 用 无 攸 利 Third 6: Clearing a path to where the nourishment is, [may be considered] correct but is still not good to do because [out there] you can accomplish nothing for a very long time, [and there is really] nothing much to find [on the hill].

[Pearson] Six in the third place: Gnashing the jaws. Persisting brings misfortune. For ten years, don’t do it, since no course of action will work out.

[Redmond] 27.3 Stroking the jaw—ominous divination. For ten years, do not put to use. Nothing is beneficial. 六三拂頤—貞凶. 十年勿用. 无攸利.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'For ten years let him not take any action:'—his course is greatly opposed (to what is right).

[Legge] Line 3 is weak, in an odd place; and as it occupies the last place in the trigram of movement, all that quality culminates in its subject. Hence he considers himself sufficient for himself, without any help from without, and the issue is bad.

4. The fourth SIX, divided, shows one looking downwards for (the power to) nourish. There will be good fortune. Looking with a tiger's downward unwavering glare, and with his desire that impels him to spring after spring, he will fall into no error.

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 28.4

He is struck on the cheeks.
The tiger's gaze is steady,
   but what it wants les far away.
It does him no harm.

[Christensen] 六 四﹕ 顛 頤 吉 虎 視 眈 眈 其 欲 逐 逐 无 咎 Fourth 6: Foraging on the top [of the hill] is good. To stare like a tiger pursuing its prey is not wrong of you.

[Pearson] Six in the fourth place: Jaws reversed: good fortune. The tiger gazes “dan-dan” (his eyes down], his face “didi” (flute-like). No blame.

[Redmond] 27.4 Twitching jaw, auspicious. Tiger stares—glaring, glaring. Craving—chasing chasing. There will be no blame. 六四顛頤, 吉. 虎視 — 眈眈. 其欲, 逐逐. 无咎.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'The good fortune attached to looking downwards for (the power to) nourish,' shows how brilliant will be the diffusion (of that power) from (the subject of the line's) superior position.

[Legge] With line 4 we pass into the upper trigram. It is next to the ruler's place in 5 moreover, and bent on nourishing and training all below. Its proper correlate is the strong 1; and though weak in himself, its subject looks with intense desire to the subject of that for help; and there is no error.

5. The fifth SIX, divided, shows one acting contrary to what is regular and proper; but if he abide in firmness, there will be good fortune. He should not, (however, try to) cross the great stream.

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 28.5

He is struck on the neck.
It is inauspicious for him to stay where he is.
He must not try to ford a great river.

[Christensen] 六 五﹕ 拂 經 居 貞 吉 不 可 涉 大 川 Fifth 6: [You want to] clear a path, but it is correct and good to stay where you are. Don’t cross the great river [to seek other sources of nourishment].

[Pearson] Six in the fifth place: Gnashing at the warp [or, knocking the neck]. Persisting where you dwell brings good fortune. You cannot ford the great river now.

[Redmond] 27.5 Brushing silk. For a home, the divination is auspicious. Should not ford the great river. 六五拂經. 居貞吉. 不可涉大川.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'The good fortune from abiding in firmness' is due to the docility (of the subject of the line) in following (the subject of the line) above.

[Legge] The subject of line 5 is not equal to the requirements of his position; but with a firm reliance on the strong 6, there will be good fortune. Let him not, however, engage in the most difficult undertakings.

6. The sixth NINE, undivided, shows him from whom comes the nourishing. His position is perilous, but there will be good fortune. It will be advantageous to cross the great stream.

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Matching Line in Adjacent Hexagram: 28.6

From bulging cheeks
   come danger and then good fortune.
It is favorable to ford a great river.

[Christensen] 上 九﹕ 由 頤 厲 吉 利 涉 大 川 Top 9: [Going to] the source of nourishment can be hard, but [nourishment] is good for us. Therefore, it will be beneficial to cross the great river.

[Pearson] Nine at the top: From the jaws, dangers and good fortune. Fording the great river is effective.

[Redmond] 27.6 According to the jawbone, harsh. Auspiciously beneficial to ford cross the great river. 上九由頤, 厲. 吉利涉大川.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'The good fortune, notwithstanding the peril of his position, of him from whom comes the nourishing,' affords great cause for congratulation.

[Legge] The topmost line is strong, and 5 relies on its subject; but being penetrated with the idea of the hexagram, he feels himself in the position of master or tutor to all under heaven. The task is hard and the responsibility great; but realising these things, he will prove himself equal to them.

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