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26. Ta Khu [Great Accumulation]


Thwan, or Overall Judgment (Attributed to King Wan)

Under the conditions of Ta Khu it will be advantageous to be firm and correct. (If its subject do not seek to) enjoy his revenues in his own family (without taking service at court), there will be good fortune. It will be advantageous for him to cross the great stream.

[Legge] Khu has two meanings. It is the symbol of restraint, and of accumulation. What is repressed and restrained accumulates its strength and increases its volume. Both these meanings are found in the treatise on the Thwan; the exposition of the Great Symbolism has for its subject the accumulation of virtue. The different lines are occupied with the repression or restraint of movement. The first three lines receive that repression, the upper three exercise it. The accumulation to which all tends is that of virtue; and hence the name of Ta Khu, 'the Great Accumulation.'

What the Thwan teaches, is that he who goes about to accumulate his virtue must be firm and correct, and may then, engaging in the public service, enjoy the king's grace, and undertake the most difficult enterprises.

Comments on the Thwan

1. In (the trigrams composing) Ta Khu we have (the attributes) of the greatest strength and of substantial solidity, which emit a brilliant light; and indicate a daily renewal of his virtue (by the subject of it).

2. The strong line is in the highest place, and suggests the value set on talents and virtue; there is power (in the upper trigram) to keep the strongest in restraint:—all this shows 'the great correctness' (required in the hexagram).

3. 'The good fortune attached to the subject's not seeking to enjoy his revenues in his own family' shows how talents and virtue are nourished.

4. 'It will be advantageous to cross the great stream:'—(the fifth line, representing the ruler,) is responded to by (the second, the central line of Khien, representing) Heaven.

[Legge] In paragraph 1, Ta Khu evidently means the 'grand accumulation' of virtue, indicated by the attributes of its component trigrams. 'Substantial solidity' may very well be given as the attribute of mountains.

'The strong line in the highest place' of paragraph 2 is line 6, whose subject is thus above the ruler represented by 5, and has the open firmament for his range in doing his work. This, and his ability to repress the strongest opposition, show how he is supported by all that is correct and right.

In a kingdom where the object of the government is the accumulation of virtue, good and able men will not be left in obscurity.

What will not a high and good purpose, supported by the greatest strength, be able to do?

Great Symbolism

(The trigram representing) a mountain, and in the midst of it that (representing) heaven, form Ta Khu. The superior man, in accordance with this, stores largely in his memory the words and deeds of former men, to subserve the accumulation of his virtue.

[Legge] I have quoted, in the Introduction, [Chapter 3, Par 5.7], Ku Hsi's remark on the Great Symbolism here. Khang-zze says:—'Heaven is the greatest of all things, and its being in the midst of a mountain gives us the idea of a very large accumulation. And so great is the labour of the superior man in learning, acquiring, and remembering, to accumulate his virtue.'

Line Statements (Attributed to the Duke of Kau)

1. The first NINE, undivided, shows its subject in a position of peril. It will be advantageous for him to stop his advance.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'He is in a position of peril; it will be advantageous for him to stop his advance:'—he should not rashly expose himself to calamity.

[Legge] Line 1 is subject to the repression of 4, which will be increased if he try to advance. It is better for him to halt. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 1. The 'calamity' is that of opposition from, or repression by, the subject of line 4.

2. The second NINE, undivided, shows a carriage with the strap under it removed.

[Smaller Symbolism] '(He is as) a carriage from which the strap under it has been removed:'—being in the central position, he will incur no blame.

[Legge] Line 2 is liable to the repression of 5, and stops its advance of itself, its subject having the wisdom to do so through its position in the central place. The strap below, when attached to the axle, made the carriage stop; he himself acts that part.

3. The third NINE, undivided, shows its subject urging his way with good horses. It will be advantageous for him to realise the difficulty (of his course), and to be firm and correct, exercising himself daily in his charioteering and methods of defence; then there will be advantage in whatever direction he may advance.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'There will be advantage in whatever direction he may advance:'—(the subject of) the topmost line is of the same mind with him.

[Legge] Line 3 is the last of Khien, and responds to the sixth line, the last of Kan, above. But as they are both strong, the latter does not exert its repressive force. They advance rapidly together; but the position is perilous for 3. By firmness and caution, however, its subject will escape the peril, and the issue will be good. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 3. When the action of the hexagram has reached line 6, its work is done. The subject of 6 will no longer exercise repression, but join with that of 3, assisting him to advance.

4. The fourth SIX, divided, shows the young bull, (and yet) having the piece of wood over his horns. There will be great good fortune.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'The great good fortune indicated by the fourth six, (divided),' shows that there is occasion for joy.

[Legge] The young bull in line 4 has not yet got horns. The attaching to their rudiments the piece of wood to prevent him from goring is an instance of extraordinary precaution; and precaution is always good. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 4. The subject of line 4 has indeed occasion for joy. Without the use of punishment for crimes committed, by precaution anticipating them, without any trouble he has repressed evil.

5. The fifth SIX, divided, shows the teeth of a castrated hog. There will be good fortune.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'The good fortune indicated by the fifth six, (divided),' shows that there is occasion for congratulation.

[Legge] A boar is a powerful and dangerous animal. Let him be castrated, and though his tusks remain, he cares little to use them. Here line 5 represents the ruler in the hexagram, whose work is to repress the advance of evil. A conflict with the subject of the strong second line in its advance would be perilous; but 5, taking early precaution, reduces it to the condition of the castrated pig. Not only is there no evil, but there is good fortune. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] The 'joy' [of line 4] gives place in paragraph 5 to 'congratulation,' the people being all interested in the action of the ruler.

6. The sixth NINE, undivided, shows its subject (as) in command of the firmament of heaven. There will be progress.

[Smaller Symbolism] 'In command of the firmament of heaven:'—the way is grandly open for movement.

[Legge] The work of repression is over, and the strong subject of line 6 has now the amplest scope to carry out the idea of the hexagram in the accumulation of virtue.

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