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58. Tui [Lake, Pleasure]


Thwan, or Overall Judgment (Attributed to King Wan)

Tui intimates that (under its conditions) there will be progress and attainment. (But) it will be advantageous to be firm and correct.

[Legge] The trigram Tui symbolises water as collected in a marsh or lake; and its attribute or virtus is pleasure or complacent satisfaction. It is a matter of some difficulty to determine in one's mind how this attribute came to be connected with the trigram. The Khang-hsi editors say:—'When the airs of spring begin to blow, from the collections of water on the earth the moistening vapours rise up (and descend again); so, when the breath of health is vigorous in a man's person, the hue of it is displayed in his complexion. Akin to this is the significance of the hexagram Tui representing a marsh, as denoting pleasure. Although the yin lines give it its special character they owe their power and effect to the yang; so when the qualities of mildness and harmony prevail in a man, without true-heartedness and integrity to control and direct them, they will fail to be correct, and may degenerate into what is evil. Hence it is said that it will be advantageous to be firm and correct!'

The feeling then of pleasure is the subject of this hexagram. The above quotation sufficiently explains the concluding characters of the Thwan; but where is the intimation in Tui of progress and attainments? It is supposed to be in the one weak line surmounting each trigram and supported by the two strong lines. Fancy sees in that mildness and benignity energised by a double portion of strength.

Comments on the Thwan

1. Tui has the meaning of pleased satisfaction.

2. (We have) the strong (lines) in the centre, and the weak (lines) on the outer edge (of the two trigrams), (indicating that) in pleasure what is most advantageous is the maintenance of firm correctness. Through this there will be found an accordance with (the will of) heaven, and a correspondence with (the feelings of) men. When (such) pleasure goes before the people, (and leads them on), they forget their toils; when it animates them in encountering difficulties, they forget (the risk of) death. How great is (the power of) this pleased satisfaction, stimulating in such a way the people!

[Legge] The feeling of pleasure going before the people and leading them on to endure toil and encounter death must be supposed to be produced in them by the example and lessons of their ruler. La Fad-hsien paraphrases this portion of the text thus:—'When the sage with this precedes them, he can make them endure toil without any wish to decline it, and go with him into difficulty and danger without their having any fear.' I think this was intended to be the teaching of the hexagram, but the positive expression of it is hardly discernible.

Great Symbolism

(Two symbols representing) the waters of a marsh, one over the other, form Tui. The superior man, in accordance with this, (encourages) the conversation of friends and (the stimulus of) their (common) practice.

[Legge] The application of the Great Symbolism here will recall to many readers the Hebrew maxims in Proverbs xxvii. 17, 19. The sentiment of it, however, does not readily fit in to the teaching of the hexagram as set forth in the Text.

Line Statements (Attributed to the Duke of Kau)

1. The first NINE, undivided, shows the pleasure of (inward) harmony. There will be good fortune.

[Smaller Symbolism] 1. 'The good fortune attached to the pleasure of (inward) harmony' arises from there being nothing in the conduct (of the subject of the line) to awaken doubt.

[Legge] Line 1, strong in the place of strength, with no proper correlate above, is thus confined to itself. But its subject is sufficient for himself. There will be good fortune. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] There is nothing in the conduct of the subject of line 1 to awaken suspicion. He has as yet taken no action; but it was not necessary to say anything like this about the subject of line 2, his central position being an assurance that he would never do anything of a doubtful character.

2. The second NINE, undivided, shows the pleasure arising from (inward) sincerity. There will be good fortune. Occasion for repentance will disappear.

[Smaller Symbolism] 2. 'The good fortune attached to the pleasure arising from (inward sincerity)' is due to the confidence felt in the object (of the subject of the line).

[Legge] Line 2, by the rule of place, should be weak, but it is strong. Without any proper correlate, and contiguous to the weak 3, the subject of it might be injuriously affected, and there would be cause for repentance. But the sincerity natural in his central position counteracts all this.

3. The third SIX, divided, shows its subject bringing round himself whatever can give pleasure. There will be evil.

[Smaller Symbolism] 3. 'The evil predicated of one's bringing around himself whatever can give pleasure' is shown by the inappropriateness of the place (of the line).

[Legge] The view of the third paragraph that appears in the translation is derived from the Khang-hsi editors. The evil threatened in it would be a consequence of the excessive devotion of its subject to pleasure. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Line 3 should be strong, and the desire of pleasure which is the idea of the hexagram leads its weak subject to the course which is so emphatically condemned.

4. The fourth NINE, undivided, shows its subject deliberating about what to seek his pleasure in, and not at rest. He borders on what would be injurious, but there will be cause for joy.

[Smaller Symbolism] 4. 'The joy in connexion with (the subject of) the fourth NINE, (undivided): is due to the happiness (which he will produce).

[Legge] 'The bordering on what is injurious' in paragraph 4 has reference to the contiguity of line 4 to the weak 3. That might have an injurious effect; but the subject of 4 reflects and deliberates before he will yield to the seduction of pleasure, and there is cause for joy.

5. The fifth NINE, undivided, shows its subject trusting in one who would injure him. The situation is perilous.

[Smaller Symbolism] 5. 'He trusts in one who would injure him:'—his place is that which is correct and appropriate.

[Legge] The danger to the subject of line 5 is from the weak 6 above, in whom he is represented as 'trusting.' Possibly his own strength and sincerity of mind may be perverted into instruments of evil; but possibly, they may operate beneficially. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] Paragraph 5 is incomplete. Does the correctness and appropriateness of the position of the subject of the line afford any explanation of his trusting the subject of the weak line above, who would only injure him? It ought to keep him on the contrary from doing so. The commentators have seen this, and say that the paragraph is intended by way of caution.

6. The topmost SIX, divided, shows the pleasure of its subject in leading and attracting others.

[Smaller Symbolism] 6. 'The topmost SIX, (divided), shows the pleasure (of its subject) in leading and attracting others:'—his (virtue) is not yet brilliant.

[Legge] The symbolism of paragraph 6 is akin to that of 3, though no positive auspice is expressed. The subject of line 3 attracts others round itself for the sake of pleasure; the subject of this leads them to follow himself in quest of it. [Legge: Smaller Symbolism] The action of the hexagram should culminate and end in line 5. But the subject of it has not made brilliant attainment in the firmness and correctness by which the love of pleasure should be controlled.

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