I Ching

LXIII. 既濟 The Kî Žî Hexagram

Kî Žî intimates progress and success in small matters. There will be advantage in being firm and correct. There has been good fortune in the beginning; there may be disorder in the end.

1. The first NINE, undivided, (shows its subject as a driver) who drags back his wheel, (or as a fox) which has wet his tail. There will be no error.

2. The second SIX, divided, (shows its subject as) a wife who has lost her (carriage-)screen. There is no occasion to go in pursuit of it. In seven days she will find it.

3. The third NINE, undivided, (suggests the case of) Kâo Žung, who attacked the Demon region, but was three years in subduing it. Small men should not be employed (in such enterprises).

4. The fourth SIX, divided, shows its subject with rags provided against any leak (in his boat), and on his guard all day long.

5. The fifth NINE, undivided, shows its subject (as) the neighbour in the east who slaughters an ox (for his sacrifice); but this is not equal to the (small) spring sacrifice of the neighbour in the west, whose sincerity receives the blessing.

6. The topmost SIX, divided, shows its subject with (even) his head immersed. The position is perilous.

既济 – Ji Ji
















1: 茀 = 上 (top) 髟 下 (bottom) 弗
2: 繻 = 纟 + 需
3: 袽 = 衤 + 如
4: 時 = 礻 + 瀹 - 氵

Appendix 1

1. 'Kî Žî intimates progress and success:'—in small matters, that is, there will be that progress and success.

2. 'There will be advantage in being firm and correct:'—the strong and weak (lines) are correctly arranged, each in its appropriate place.

3. 'There has been good fortune in the beginning:—the weak (second line) is in the centre.

4. 'In the end' there is a cessation (of effort), and 'disorder arises:'—the course (that led to rule and order) is (now) exhausted.

Appendix 2

(The trigram representing) fire and that for water above it form Kî Žî. The superior man, in accordance with this, thinks of evil (that may come), and beforehand guards against it.

1. 'He drags back his wheel:'—as we may rightly judge, there will be no mistake.

2. 'In seven days she will find it:'—for the course pursued is that indicated by the central position (of the line).

3. 'He was three years in subduing it:'—enough to make him weary.

4. 'He is on his guard all the day:'—he is in doubt about something.

5. 'The slaughtering of an ox by the neighbour in the east is not equal to (the small sacrifice of) the neighbour in the west:'—because the time (in the latter case is more important and fit).

'His sincerity receives the blessing:'—good fortune comes on a great scale.

6. 'His head is immersed; the position is perilous:'—how could such a state continue long?


LXIII The character called Kî is used as a symbol of being past or completed. Žî denotes primarily crossing a stream, and has the secondary meaning of helping and completing. The two characters, combined, will express the successful accomplishment of whatever the writer has in his mind. In dealing with this lineal figure, king Wăn was thinking of the condition of the kingdom, at length at rest and quiet. The vessel of the state has been brought safely across the great and dangerous stream. The distresses of the kingdom have been relieved, and its disorders have been repressed. Does anything remain to be done still? Yes, in small things. The new government has to be consolidated. Its ruler must, without noise or clamour, go on to perfect what has been wrought, with firmness and correctness, and ever keeping in mind the instability of all human affairs. That every line of the hexagram is in its correct place, and has its proper correlate is also supposed to harmonize with the intimation of progress and success.

Line 1, the first of the hexagram, represents the time immediately after the successful achievement of the enterprise it denotes;—the time for resting and being quiet. For a season, at least, all movement should be hushed. Hence we have the symbolism of a driver trying to stop his carriage, and a fox who has wet his tail, and will not tempt the stream again.

Line 2 is weak, and in its proper place. It also has the strong correlate 5; and might be expected to be forward to act. But it occupies its correct and central place, and suggests the symbol of a lady whose carriage has lost its screen. She will not advance further so soon after success has been achieved; but keep herself hidden and retired. Let her not try to find the screen. When it is said that she will find this 'after seven days,' the meaning seems to be simply this, that the period of Kî Žî will then have been exhausted, the six lines having been gone through, and a new period, when action will be proper, shall have commenced.

The strong line 3, at the top of the lower trigram, suggests for its subject one undertaking a vigorous enterprise. The writer thinks of Kâo Žung, the sacrificial title of Wû Ting, one of the ablest sovereigns of the Shang dynasty (B. C. 1364-1324), who undertook an expedition against the barbarous hordes of the cold and bleak regions north of the Middle States. He is mentioned again under the next hexagram. He appears also in the Shû, IV, ix, and in the Shih, IV, iii, ode 5. His enterprise may have been good, and successful, but it was tedious, and the paragraph concludes with a caution.

Line 4 is weak, and has advanced into the trigram. for water. Its subject will be cautious, and prepare for evil, as in the symbolism, suggested probably by the nature of the trigram.

'The neighbour in the East' is the subject of line 5, and 'the neighbour in the West' is the subject of the correlate 2, the former quarter being yang and the latter yin. Line 5 is strong, and 2 is weak; but weakness is more likely to be patient and cautious than strength. They are compared to two men sacrificing. The one presents valuable offerings; the other very poor ones. But the second excels in sincerity, and his small offering is the more acceptable.

The topmost line is weak, and on the outmost edge of Khân, the trigram, of peril. His action is violent and perilous, like that one attempting to cross a ford, and being plunged overhead into the water.

App-1-2:LXIII For paragraphs 1 and 2, see the note on the Text of the Thwan.

It is difficult to see the concatenation in paragraph 3 between the sentiment of the Thwan and the nature of the second line. The Khang-hsî editors compare this hexagram and the next with 11 and 12, observing that the goodness of Thâi (11) is concentrated, as here, in the second line.

The sentiment of paragraph 4 is that which we have often met with,—that things move on with a constant process of change. Disorder succeeds to order, and again order to disorder.

App-2-2:LXIII Water and fire coming together as here, fire under the water, each element occupies its proper place, and their interaction will be beneficial. Such is the common explanation of the Great Symbolism; but the connexion between it and the application of it, which also is good in itself, is by no means clear.

The notes on the different lines present nothing that has not been dealt with in the notes on the Text.