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35. Zin [Advancing]


Thwan, or Overall Judgment (Attributed to King Wan)

In Zin we see a prince who secures the tranquillity (of the people) presented on that account with numerous horses (by the king), and three times in a day received at interviews.

[Legge] The Thwan of this hexagram expresses its subject more fully and plainly than that of any of the previous thirty-four. It is about a feudal prince whose services to the country have made him acceptable to his king. The king's favour has been shown to him by gifts and personal attentions such as form the theme of more than one ode in the Shih; see especially III, iii, 7. The symbolism of the lines dimly indicates the qualities of such a prince. Zin means 'to advance.' Hexagrams 46 and 53 agree with this in being called by names that indicate progress and advance. The advance in Zin is like that of the sun, 'the shining light, shining more and more to the perfect day.'

Comments on the Thwan

1. Zin denotes advancing.

2. (In Zin we have) the bright (sun) appearing above the earth; (the symbol of) docile submission cleaving to that of the Great brightness; and the weak line advanced and moving above:—all these things give us the idea of 'a prince who secures the tranquillity (of the people), presented on that account with numerous horses (by the king), and three times in a day received at interviews.'

[Legge] To those who advocate the view that the hexagrams of the Yi have been formed by changes of the lines in manipulating with the divining stalks, the words of paragraph 2, that we have in the figure 'the weak line advanced and moving above,' suggest the derivation of Zin from Kwan, whose 4th and 5th lines are made to change places (20_000011). But we have seen that that view is inadmissible in the interpretation of the Yi. And a simple explanation of the language at once presents itself. As Hsiang An-shih (Sung dynasty) says, 'Of the three "daughter" trigrams it is only Li which has its divided line occupying the central place of honour, when it is the upper trigram in a hexagram.'

Great Symbolism

(The trigram representing) the earth and that for the bright (sun) coming forth above it form Zin. The superior man, according to this, gives himself to make more brilliant his bright virtue.

[Legge] The sun rising above the earth, and then travelling up to his meridian height, readily suggests the idea of advancing. On the application of this symbolism, Hu Ping-wan (Yuan dynasty) says:—'Of strong things there is none so strong as heaven; and hence the superior man after its pattern makes himself strong; of bright things there is none so bright as the sun, and after its pattern he makes himself bright.'

Line Statements (Attributed to the Duke of Kau)

1. The first SIX, divided, shows one wishing to advance, and (at the same time) kept back. Let him be firm and correct, and there will be good fortune. If trust be not reposed in him, let him maintain a large and generous mind, and there will be no error.

[Smaller Symbolism] 1. 'He appears wishing to advance, but (at the same time) being kept back:'—all-alone he pursues the correct course. 'Let him maintain a large and generous mind, and there will be no error:'—he has not yet received an official charge.

[Legge] Line 1 is weak, and in the lowest place, and its correlate in 4 is neither central nor in its correct position. This indicates the small and obstructed beginnings of his subject. But by his firm correctness he pursues the way to good fortune; and though the king does not yet believe in him, he the more pursues his noble course. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] If the subject of line 1 had received an official charge, then when unrecognised by his sovereign, and obstructed in his progress, his correct course would have been to cease to advance, and retire from the office in which he was not allowed to carry out his principles.

2. The second SIX, divided, shows its subject with the appearance of advancing, and yet of being sorrowful. If he be firm and correct, there will be good fortune. He will receive this great blessing from his grandmother.

[Smaller Symbolism] 2. 'He will receive this great blessing:'—for he is in the central place and the correct position for him.

[Legge] Line 2 is weak, and its correlate in 5 is also weak. Its subject therefore has still to mourn in obscurity. But his position is central and correct, and he holds on his way, till success comes ere long. The symbolism says he receives it 'from his grandmother;' and readers will be startled by the extraordinary statement, as I was when I first read it. Literally the Text says 'the king's mother,' as P. Regis rendered it,—'Istam magnam felicitatem a matre regis recipit.' He also tries to give the name a historical reference;—to Thai-Kiang, the grandmother of king Wan; Thai-Zan, his mother; or to Thai-sze, his wife, and the mother of king Wu and the duke of Kau, all famous in Chinese history, and celebrated in the Shih. But 'king's father' and 'king's mother' are well-known Chinese appellations for 'grandfather' and 'grandmother.' This is the view given on the passage, by Khang-zze, Ku Hsi, and the Khang-hsi editors, the latter of whom, indeed, account for the use of the name, instead of 'deceased mother,' which we find in hexagram 62, by the regulations observed in the ancestral temple. These authorities, moreover, all agree in saying that the name points us to line 5, the correlate of 2, and 'the lord of the hexagram.' Now the subject of line 5 is the sovereign, who at length acknowledges the worth of the feudal lord, and gives him the great blessing. The 'New Digest of Comments on the Yi (1686),' in its paraphrase of the line, has, 'He receives at last this great blessing from the mild and compliant ruler.' I am not sure that 'motherly king' would not be the best and fairest translation of the phrase.

Canon McClatchie has a very astonishing note on the name, which he renders 'Imperial Mother' (p. 164):—'That is, the wife of Imperial Heaven (Juno), who occupies the "throne of the diagram," viz. the fifth stroke, which is soft and therefore feminine. She is the Great Ancestress of the human race. See Imp. Ed. vol. iv, Sect. v, p. 25, Com.' Why such additions to the written word?

[Legge: Smaller Symbolism] There is nothing said on line 2 to explain particularly the symbolism of 'the grandmother' in the Text.

3. The third SIX, divided, shows its subject trusted by all (around him). All occasion for repentance will disappear.

[Smaller Symbolism] 3. 'All (around) trust him:'—their (common) aim is to move upwards and act.

[Legge] Line 3 is weak, and in an odd place; but the subjects of 1 and 2 are possessed by the same desire to advance as the subject of this. A common trust and aim possess them; and hence the not unfavourable auspice.

4. The fourth NINE, undivided, shows its subject with the appearance of advancing, but like a marmot. However firm and correct he may be, the position is one of peril.

[Smaller Symbolism] 4. '(He advances like) a marmot. However firm and correct he may be, his position is one of peril:'—his place is not that appropriate for him.

[Legge] Line 4 is strong, but it is in an even place, nor is it central. It suggests the idea of a marmot (? or rat), stealthily advancing. Nothing could be more opposed to the ideal of the feudal lord in the hexagram.

5. The fifth SIX, divided, shows how all occasion for repentance disappears (from its subject). (But) let him not concern himself about whether he shall fail or succeed. To advance will be fortunate, and in every way advantageous.

[Smaller Symbolism] 5. 'Let him not concern himself whether he fails or succeeds:'—his movement in advance will afford ground for congratulation.

[Legge] In line 5 that lord and his intelligent sovereign meet happily. He holds on his right course, indifferent as to results, but things are so ordered that he is, and will continue to be, crowned with success.

6. The topmost NINE, undivided, shows one advancing his horns. But he only uses them to punish the (rebellious people of his own) city. The position is perilous, but there will be good fortune. (Yet) however firm and correct he may be, there will be occasion for regret.

[Smaller Symbolism] 6. 'He uses his horns only to punish (the rebellious people of) his city:'—his course of procedure is not yet brilliant.

[Legge] Line 6 is strong, and suggests the idea of its subject to the last continuing his advance, and that not only with firm correctness, but with strong force. The 'horns' are an emblem of threatening strength, and though he uses them only in his own state, and against the rebellious there, that such a prince should have any occasion to use force is matter for regret. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] 'The course of procedure' in paragraph 6 has still an element of force in it, which is more than 'the firm correctness' that was to king Wan the ideal character of a feudal lord, and therefore his light is not yet that of the full-orbed sun.

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