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13. Thung Zan [Union of Men]


Thwan, or Overall Judgment (Attributed to King Wan)

Thung Zan (or 'Union of men') appears here (as we find it) in the (remote districts of the) country, indicating progress and success. It will be advantageous to cross the great stream. It will be advantageous to maintain the firm correctness of the superior man.

[Legge] Thung Zan describes a condition of nature and of the state opposite to that of Phi. There was distress and obstruction; here is union. But the union must be based entirely on public considerations, without taint of selfishness.

The strong line in the fifth, its correct, place, occupies the most important position, and has for its correlate the weak second line, also in its correct place. The one divided line is naturally sought after by all the strong lines. The upper trigram is that of heaven, which is above; the lower is that of fire, whose tendency is to mount upwards. All these things are in harmony with the idea of union. But the union must be free from all selfish motives, and this is indicated by its being in the remote districts of the country, where people are unsophisticated, and free from the depraving effects incident to large societies. A union from such motives will cope with the greatest difficulties; and yet a word of caution is added.

Comments on the Thwan

1. In Thung Zan the weak (line) has the place (of influence), the central place, and responds to (the corresponding line in) Khien (above); hence comes its name of Thung Zan (or 'Union of men').

2. Thung Zan says:—

3. The language, 'Thung Zan appears here (as we find it) in (the remote districts of) the country, indicating progress and success, and that it will be advantageous to cross the great stream,' is moulded by its containing the strength (symbolled) in Khien. (Then) we have (the trigram indicating) elegance and intelligence, supported by (that indicating) strength; with the line in the central, and its correct, position, and responding (to the corresponding line above):—(all representing) the correct course of the superior man. It is only the superior man who can comprehend and affect the minds of all under the sky.

[Legge] To understand the various points in this commentary, it is only necessary to refer to the Text of the hexagram. The proper correlate of line 2 is line 5, and I have said therefore that it 'responds to (the corresponding line in) Khien.' The editors of the Khang-hsi edition, however, would make the correlate to it all the lines of Khien, as being more agreeable to the idea of union.

I do not think that a second paragraph has been lost. The 'Thung Zan says' is merely a careless repetition of the three concluding characters of paragraph 1.

Great Symbolism

(The trigrams for) heaven and fire form Thung Zan. The superior man, in accordance with this, distinguishes things according to their kinds and classes.

[Legge: Smaller Symbolism] The style of 'heaven and fire form Thung Zan' is such as to suggest the appearance of fire ascending up, blazing to the sky, and uniting with it. The application of the symbolism is again perplexing.

Line Statements (Attributed to the Duke of Kau)

1. The first NINE, undivided, (shows the representative of) the union of men just issuing from his gate. There will be no error.

[Smaller Symbolism] '(The representative of) the union of men is just issuing from his gate:'—who will blame him?

[Legge] Line 1 emblems the first attempts at union. It is strong, but in the lowest place; and it has no proper correlate above. There is, however, no intermixture of selfishness in it. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] In line 1, the party just issuing from his gate has all the world before him, with which to unite. Selfish thoughts disposing to union have no place in him.

2. The second SIX, divided, (shows the representative of) the union of men in relation with his kindred. There will be occasion for regret.

[Smaller Symbolism] '(The representative of) the union of men appears in relation with his kindred:'—that is the path to regret.

[Legge] Lines 2 and 5 are proper correlates, which fact suggests in this hexagram the idea of their union being limited and partial, and such as may afford ground for blame. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] In line 2, union (only) with kindred implies narrowness of mind. For line 3, see note on the Text.

3. The third NINE, undivided, (shows its subject) with his arms hidden in the thick grass, and at the top of a high mound. (But) for three years he makes no demonstration.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'He hides his arms in the thick grass:'—because of the strength of his opponent. 'For three years he makes no demonstration:'—how can he do anything?

[Legge] Line 3 is strong, and in an odd place; but it has not a proper correlate in 6. This makes its subject more anxious to unite with 2; but 2 is devoted to its proper correlate in 5, of whose strength 3 is afraid, and takes the measures described. His abstaining so long, however, from any active attempt, will save him from misfortune.

4. The fourth NINE, undivided, (shows its subject) mounted on the city wall; but he does not proceed to make the attack (he contemplates). There will be good fortune.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'He is mounted on his city-wall;' but yielding to the right, 'he does not proceed to make the attack (he contemplated).' (Where it is said),'There will be good fortune,' (that shows how) he feels the strait he is in, and returns to the rule of law.

[Legge] Line 4 is strong, but in an even place, which weakens its subject, He also would fain make an attempt on 2; but he is afraid, and does not carry his purpose into effect. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] In line 4, stress should be laid on 'yielding to the right.'

5. In the fifth NINE, undivided, (the representative of) the union of men first wails and cries out, and then laughs. His great host conquers, and he (and the subject of the second line) meet together.

[Smaller Symbolism] The first action of (the representative of) the union of men (here described) arises from his central position and straightforward character. 'The meeting secured by his great host' intimates that the opponents of it have been overcome.

[Legge] Line 5 is strong, in an odd, and the central place; and would fain unite with 2, which indeed is the proper correlate of its subject. But 3 and 4 are powerful foes that oppose the union, Their opposition makes him weep; but he collects his forces, defeats them, and effects his purpose.

[Great Appendix, Section 1 ] 43. '(The representative of) the union of men first cries out and weeps, and afterwards laughs.' The Master said, on this,—

'The ways of good men (different seem).
This in a public office toils;
That in his home the time beguiles.
One man his lips with silence seals;
Another all his mind reveals.
But when two men are one in heart,
Not iron bolts keep them apart;
The words they in their union use,
Fragrance like orchid plants diffuse.'

6. The topmost NINE, undivided, (shows the representative of) the union of men in the suburbs. There will be no occasion for repentance.

[Smaller Symbolism] '(The representative of) the union of men appears in the suburbs:'—his object has not yet been attained.

[Legge] The union reaches to all within the suburbs, and is not yet universal; but still there is no cause for repentance. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] The Khang-hsi editors append the following note to the last paragraph: —'Under line 1 it is said that "union in the open country indicates progress and success," while here it is only said that "with union in the suburbs there is no cause for repentance." Beyond the suburbs was the open country, and till the union reached so far, the object of the hexagram was not attained. We may truly say that Confucius was a skilful reader of the duke of Kau.' Of course the editors did not doubt Confucius' authorship of all the Appendixes.

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Editorial features of this edition © 2012 by Joseph F. Morales