I Ching

LX. 節 The Kieh Hexagram

Kieh intimates that (under its conditions) there will be progress and attainment. (But) if the regulations (which it prescribes) be severe and difficult, they cannot be permanent.

1. The first NINE, undivided, shows its subject not quitting the courtyard outside his door. There will be no error.

2. The second NINE, undivided, shows its subject not quitting the courtyard inside his gate. There will be evil.

3. . The third SIX, divided, shows its subject with no appearance of observing the (proper) regulations, in which case we shall see him lamenting. But there will be no one to blame (but himself).

4. The fourth SIX, divided, shows its subject quietly and naturally (attentive to all) regulations. There will be progress and success.

5. The fifth NINE, undivided, shows its subject sweetly and acceptably enacting his regulations. There will be good fortune. The onward progress with them will afford ground for admiration.

6. The topmost SIX, divided, shows its subject enacting regulations severe and difficult. Even with firmness and correctness there will be evil. But though there will be cause for repentance, it will (by and by) disappear.

节 – Jie
















Appendix 1

1. 'Kieh intimates progress and attainment:'—the strong and weak (lines) are equally divided, and the strong lines occupy the central places.

2. 'If the regulations (which Kieh prescribes) be severe and difficult, they cannot be permanent:'—its course (of action) will in that case come to an end.

3. (We have the feeling of) pleasure and satisfaction directing the course amidst peril. (We have) all regulations controlled (by authority) in its proper place. (We have) free action proceeding from the central and correct position.

4. Heaven and earth observe their regular terms, and we have the four seasons complete. (If rulers) frame their measures according to (the due) regulations, the resources (of the state) suffer no injury, and the people receive no hurt.

Appendix 2

(The trigram representing) a lake, and above it that for water, form Kieh. The superior man, in accordance with this, constructs his (methods of) numbering and measurement, and discusses (points of) virtue and conduct.

1. 'He does not quit the courtyard outside his door:'—he knows when he has free course and when he is obstructed.

2. 'He does not quit the courtyard inside his gate. There will be evil:'—he loses the time (for action) to an extreme degree.

3. In 'the lamentation for not observing the (proper) regulations,' who should there be to blame?

4. 'The progress and success of the quiet and natural (attention) to all regulations' is due to the deference which accepts the ways of (the ruler) above.

5. 'The good fortune arising from the regulations enacted sweetly and acceptably' is due to (the line) occupying the place (of authority) and being in the centre.

6. 'The regulations are severe and difficult. Even with firm correctness there will be evil:'—the course (indicated by the hexagram) is come to an end.


LX The primary application of the character Kieh was to denote the joints of the bamboo; it is used also for the joints of the human frame; and for the solar and other terms of the year. Whatever makes regular division may be denominated a Kieh; there enter into it the ideas of regulating and restraining; and the subject of this hexagram is the regulations of government enacted for the guidance and control of the people. How the constituent trigrams are supposed to suggest or indicate this meaning will be seen in Appendix II.

Kû Hsî anticipates that symbolism in trying to account for the statement that the figure gives the promise of success and attainment; but the ground of this is generally made out by referring to the equal division of the undivided and divided lines and our having in 2 and 5, the central places, two undivided lines. An important point concerning 'regulations' is brought out in the conclusion of the Thwan,—that they must be adapted to circumstances, and not made too strict and severe.

Line 1 is strong, and in its correct place. Its subject therefore would not be wanting in power to make his way. But he is supposed to be kept in check by the strong 2, and the correlate 4 is the first line in the trigram of peril. The course of wisdom therefore is to keep still. The character here rendered door is that belonging to the inner apartments, leading from the hall into which entrance is found by the outer gate, mentioned under line 2. The courtyard outside the door and that inside the gate is one and the same. The 'Daily Lecture' says that the paragraph tells an officer not to take office rashly, but to exercise a cautious judgment in his measures.

Line 2 is strong, in the wrong place; nor has it a proper correlate. Its subject keeps still, when he ought to be up and doing. There will be evil.

Line 3 should be strong, but it is weak. It is neither central nor correct. It has no proper correlate, and it is the topmost line in the trigram of complacent satisfaction. Its subject will not receive the yoke of regulations; and he will find out his mistake, when it is too late.

Line 4 is weak, as it ought to be, and its subject has respect to the authority of the strong ruler in 5. Hence its good symbolism and auspice.

Line 5 is strong, and in its correct place. Its subject regulates himself, having no correlate; but he is lord of the hexagram, and his influence is everywhere beneficially felt.

Line 6 is weak, in its proper place. The subject of the topmost line must be supposed to possess an exaggerated desire for enacting regulations. They will be too severe, and the effect will be evil. But as Confucius (Analects 3. 3) says, that is not so great a fault as to be easy and remiss. It may be remedied, and cause for repentance will disappear.

App-1-2:LX Paragraph 1. See what is said on the Text of the Thwan.

'Its course will come to an end' is the opposite of the intimation in Kieh of progress and attainment.

In paragraph 3 the writer re-turns to this intimation of the figure:—by the attributes of the trigrams; by the appropriate positions of lines 4 and 5; and boy the central and correct place of 5.

Paragraph 4 illustrates the importance of doing things according to rule by reference to the operations of nature and the enactments and institutions of sage rulers.

App-2-2:LX Various explanations of the Great Symbolism have been attempted. E. g., Khăng-žze says:—'The water which a lake or marsh will contain is limited to a certain quantity. If the water flowing in exceed that, it overflows. This gives us the idea of Kieh.' What is found on the application of it is to my mind equally unsatisfactory.

The subject of line 1 knows when he might have free course and when he is obstructed, and acts accordingly. He is regulated by a consideration of the time.

The subject of line 1 ought not to act, and he is still. The subject of line 2 ought to act, and he also is still. The error and the effect of it are great.

The subject of line 3 shows by his lamentation how he blames himself.

The other three paragraphs are sufficiently explained in what is said on the Text.