The Book of Changes

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T'ai / Peace


The Receptive, which moves downward, stands above; the Creative, which moves upward, is
below. Hence their influences meet and are in harmony, so that all living things bloom and
prosper. This hexagram belongs to the first month (February-March), at which time the forces
of nature prepare the new spring.


PEACE. The small departs,
The great approaches.
Good fortune. Success.

This hexagram denotes a time in nature when heaven seems to be on earth. Heaven has placed itself
beneath the earth, and so their powers unite in deep harmony. Then peace and blessing descend upon all
living things.

In the world of man it is a time of social harmony; those in high places show favor to the lowly, and in
their turn are well disposed towards the highly placed. There is an end to all feuds. In side, at the center, in
the key position, is the light principle; the dark principle is outside. Thus the light has a powerful
influence, while the dark is submissive.

In this way each receives its due. When the good elements of
society occupy a central position and are in control, the evil elements come under their influence and
change for the better. When the spirit of heaven rules in man, his animal nature also comes under its
influence and takes its appropriate place.
The individual lines enter the hexagram from below and leave it
again at the top. Here the small, weak, and evil elements are about to take their departure, while the great,
strong, and good elements are moving up.
This brings good fortune and success.

This is a state of harmony, where there is only place for working with an altruistic sense, that is to say
mutual cooperation and solidarity.
With the result that it is expressed that, along peace, the small thing
goes away and the big thing arrives. Peace represents the favorable state to achieve such mutual
actions, for that reason the small thing goes away, that is to say, the mean things and the selfish
interests; on the other hand, the big thing arrives, that is to say, the works that bolster the progress and
the very common one; that is why it is enunciated the fortune and the success.

In another analysis level, peace implies spiritual balance, the interior tranquility, that takes away from
one all little disturbance that doesn't allow the setting to emotional point for the big realizations, with
peace, the big thing arrives, that is to say, the being with all its spiritual capacity, maker of the big


Heaven and earth unite: the image of PEACE.
Thus the ruler
Divides and completes the course of heaven and earth,
And so aids the people.

Heaven and earth are in contact and combine their influences, producing a time of universal flowering and
prosperity. This stream of energy must be regulated by the ruler of men. It is done by a process of
division. Thus men divide the uniform flow of time into the seasons, according to the succession of
natural phenomena, and mark off infinite space by the points of the compass. In this way nature in its
overwhelming profusion of phenomena is bounded and controlled. One the other hand, nature must be
furthered in her productiveness. This is done by adjusting the products to the right time and the right
place, which increases the natural yield. This controlling and furthering activity of man in his relation to
nature is the work on nature that rewards him.

Heaven and earth represent different but complementary qualities, for that reason, they don't collide but
rather they unite.


Nine at the beginning means:

When ribbon grass is pulled up, the sod comes with it.
Each according to his kind.
Undertakings bring good fortune.

In times of prosperity every able man called to fill an office draws like minded people along with him,
just as in pulling up ribbon grass one always pulls up a bunch of it, because the stalks are connected by
their roots. In such times, when it is possible to extend influence widely, the mind of an able man is set
upon going out into life and accomplishing something.

To pull up ribbon grass represents to undertake something, but the fact that next to them the sod is also
pulled up means that such action has a summoning effect.


Nine in the second place means:

Bearing with the uncultured in gentleness,
Fording the river with resolution,
Not neglecting what is distant,
Not regarding one's companions:
Thus one may manage to walk in the middle.

In times of prosperity it is important and above all to possess enough greatness of soul to bear with
imperfect people. For in the hands of a great master no material is unproductive; he can find use for
everything. But this generosity is by no means laxity or weakness. It is during times of prosperity
especially that we must always be ready to risk even dangerous undertakings, such as the crossing of a
river, if they are necessary. So too we must not neglect what is distant but must attend scrupulously to
everything. Factionalism and the dominance of cliques are especially to be avoided. Even if people of like
mind come forward together, they ought not to form a faction by holding together for mutual advantage;
instead, each man should do is duty. Theses are four ways in which one can overcome the hidden danger
of a gradual slackening that always lurks in any time of peace. And that is how one finds the middle way
for action.

One that knows what it wants doesn't allow anything to confuse nor modify its main plan. Instead, one
must continue with its goal, crossing the river with determination, that is to say carrying out his action.
Also, as one is sure of being able to achieve something for oneself, it is not convenient to appeal to the
indulgence of anybody or to contract unnecessary commitments.

Nine in the third place means:

No plain not followed by a slope.
No going not followed by a return.
He who remains persevering in danger
Is without blame.
Do not complain about this truth;
Enjoy the good fortune you still possess.

Everything on earth is subject to change. Prosperity is followed by decline: this is the eternal law on
earth. Evil can indeed be held in check but not permanently abolished. It always returns. This conviction
might induct melancholy, but it should not; it ought only to keep us from falling into illusion when good
fortune comes to us. If we continue mindful of the danger, we remain persevering and make no mistakes.
As long as a man's inner nature remains stronger and richer than anything offered by external fortune, as
long as he remains inwardly superior to fate, fortune will not desert him.

To reckon the end of the advance will allow transcending the earthly plane, granting a bigger dedication
to the interior being. This way, problems can be presented but the spiritual force that is not prey of
material changes will overcome the affliction. For that reason one can always enjoy something, even the
small things that have been conserved.

Six in the fourth place means:

He flutters down, not boasting of his wealth,
Together with his neighbor,
Guileless and sincere.

In times of mutual confidence, people of high rank come in close contact with the lowly quite simply and
without boasting of their wealth. This is not due to the force of circumstances but corresponds with their
inmost sentiment. The approach is made quite spontaneously, because it is based on inner conviction.

Here is mentioned somebody powerful that doesn't abuse of its position to achieve privileges. To flutter
down is an act of humility; it is a sample of trust and, in consequence, of mutual dependability.

Six in the fifth place means:

The sovereign I
Gives his daughter in marriage.
And supreme good fortune.

The sovereign I is T'ang the Completer. By his decree the imperial princesses, although higher in rank
than their husbands, had to obey them like all other wives. Here too we are shown a truly modest union of
high and low that brings happiness and blessings.

King Yi marrying to his daughter symbolizes somebody that occupies an important position and that has
achieved an alliance. The daughter, representing the receptive thing, means potential wealth, therefore,
his daughter's marriage, means alliance, to exploit such a wealth.


Six at the top means:

The wall falls back into the moat.
Use no army now.
Make your commands known within your own town.
Perseverance brings humiliation.

The change alluded to in the middle of the hexagram has begun to take place. The wall of the town sinks
back into the moat from which it was dug. The hour of doom is at hand. When matters have come to this
pass, we should submit to fate and not try to stave it off by violent resistance. The one recourse left us is
to hold our own within our intimate circle. Should we persevere in trying to resist the evil in the usual
way, our collapse would only be more complete, and humiliation would be the result.

This is the end of the peace period. The city symbolizes something that is susceptible of being attacked,
for that reason it has walls; this gives the idea of need for protection.

It is not convenient to act impulsively. In the first place, it is necessary to be organized internally; the
orders should be communicated to the residents, to secure their support. A vehement action would make
the situation worse. The true strength is interior and, no matter how many walls rise externally; these will
be weak if they are not properly sustained from inside.