The Book of Changes

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Ta Yu / Possession in Great Measure Great Holdings

The fire in heaven above shines far, and all things stand out in the light and become manifest.
The weak fifth line occupies the place of honor and all the strong lines are in accord with it.

All things come to the man who is modest and kind in a high position.(1)



Supreme success.

The two trigrams indicate that strength and clarity unite.

Possessions great measure is determined by fate
and accords with the time. How is it possible that the weak line has power to hold the strong lines fast and

to possess them? It is done by virtue of unselfish modesty.


The time is favorable --a time of strength
within, clarity and culture without. Power is expressing itself in graceful and controlled way. This brings
supreme success and wealth.(2)

The concrete potentiality of success is granted to who possess Great Holdings; since it represents a
great departure platform to the achievement of objectives.

To possess Great Holdings means great capacity and great ability to employ the means at hand.


Fire in heaven above:
Thus the superior man curbs evil and furthers good,
And thereby obeys the benevolent will of heaven.

The sun in heaven above, shedding light over everything one earth, is the image of possession on a grand
scale. But a possession of this sort must be administered properly. The sun brings both evil and good into
the light of day. Man must combat and curb the evil, and must favor and promote the good. Only in this
way does he fulfill the benevolent will of God, who desires only good and not evil.

The fire in heaven means to rise and to be able to see the true dimension of what is possessed, in the
same way the sun that ascends clarifies the visibility. For that reason, the superior man, that is to say the
man who has risen, is aware of everything, and this way he recognizes what thing is evil and what thing is
good, as well as by the light of the day everything is perceptible. For that reason, what is good is
cultivated and what is bad is suppressed. The fire in the high illuminating the heaven is the symbol of the
properly employed wealth, that is to say, wealth to the service of the virtue.


Nine at the beginning means:

No relationship with what is harmful;
There is no blame in this.
If one remains conscious of difficulty,
One remains without blame.

Great possession that is still in its beginnings and that has not yet been challenged brings no blame, since
there has been no opportunity to make mistakes. Yet there are many difficulties to be overcome. It is only
by remaining conscious of theses difficulties that one can keep inwardly free of possible arrogance and
wastefulness, and thus in principle overcome all cause for blame.

Being the first line of the hexagram represents a great recent possession, for that reason this has not still
caused any counteractive effect, that it is said there is not contact with the noxious thing. The harmful
thing is to develop pride, but this line wouldn't fall in the intoxication that can produce the material power.


Nine in the second place means:

A big wagon for loading.
One may undertake something.
No blame.

Great possession consists not only in the quantity of goods at one's disposal, but first and foremost, in
their mobility and utility, for then they can be used in undertakings, and we remain free of embarrassment
and mistakes. The big wagon, which will carry a heavy load and in which one can journey far means that
there are at hand able helpers who give their support and are equal to their task. One can load great
responsibility upon such persons, and this is necessary in important undertakings.

The great replete wagon means accumulation, but when being such a wealth in a wagon, the transfer
idea is given, that is to say dedicating it in some project; with the result that it is enunciated that if he
undertakes something it won't be an error.


Nine in the third place means:

A prince offers it to the Son of Heaven.
A petty man cannot do this.

A magnanimous, liberal-minded man should not regard what he possesses as his exclusive personal
property, but should place it at the disposal of the ruler or of the people at large. In so doing, he takes the
right attitude toward his possession, which as private property can never endure. A petty man is incapable
of this. He is harmed by great possessions, because instead of sacrificing them, he would keep them for himself.(3)

The prince of this line symbolizes a spiritually high personality who surrenders offerings to the Son of Heaven; with this it is meant that he puts his wealth to the service of an altruistic aim. The Son of Heaven represents a supreme end.

Heaven is therefore the biggest thing, the highest thing, offering to the Son of
Heaven, meaning to go for the road towards the most virtuous thing. On the other hand, an inferior man is
not spiritually prepared for such a noble and disinterested attitude; he would only look for to take
advantages out of this and his own meanness would damage himself. Surrender to the Son of Heaven
means to act with greatness and, also, to recognize the signs of the good direction.


Nine in the fourth place means:

He makes a difference
Between himself and his neighbor.
No blame.

This characterizes the position of a man placed among rich and powerful neighbors. It is a dangerous
position. He must look neither to the right nor to the left, and must shun envy and the temptation to vie
with others. In this way he remains free of mistakes.(4)

Here reference is made to somebody who is absolutely sure about his own resources and his own
capacity, with the result that he doesn't yearn what belongs to his neighbors, but rather he continues
strong in his behavior.


Six in the fifth place means:

He whose truth is accessible, yet dignified,
Has good fortune.

The situation is very favorable. People are being won not by coercion but by unaffected sincerity, so that
they are attached to us in sincerity and truth. However, benevolence alone is not sufficient at the time of
POSSESSION IN GREAT MEASURE. For insolence might begin to spread. Insolence must be kept in
bounds by dignity; then good fortune is assured.

Here reference is made to the modesty of somebody who, in spite of having a great possession, does
not boast any ostentation of this; thus a personality gains respect, appreciation and admiration from the
other ones, because he is simple and sincere.


Nine at the top means:

He is blessed by heaven.
Good fortune.
Nothing that does not further.

In the fullness of possession and at the height of power, one remains modest and gives honor to the sage
who stands outside the affairs of the world. By this means one puts oneself under the beneficent influence
descending form heaven, and all goes well. Confucius says of this line:

To bless means to help. Heaven helps the man who is devoted; men help the man who is true. He
who walks in truth and is devoted in his thinking, and furthermore reveres the worthy, is blessed
by heaven. He has good fortune, and there is nothing that would not further.

This line, being the last of the hexagram, represents the great possession obtained in its entirety, that is
to say, in all sense, with the result that somebody is blessed by heaven. This means that it has also been
grown spiritually to such a point that now wealth is complete. To be blessed by heaven also means to be
recognized from a superior position, for that reason, everything will be opportune, because one has to be
responsible before the high spheres.

(1) The meaning of this hexagram parallels the saying of Jesus: "Blessed are the meek: for they shall
inherit the earth.

(2) It might be supposed that HOLDING TOGETHER (8) would be a more favorable hexagram than
POSSESSION IN GREAT MESURE, because in the former one strong individual gathers five weak ones
around him. But the judgment added in the present hexagram, "Supreme success," is much the more
favorable. The reason is that in the eight hexagram the men held together by the powerful ruler are only
simple subordinate persons, while here those who stand as helpers at the side of the mild ruler are strong
and able individuals.

(3) This offers the same dictum about possessions as that found in the words of the bible: "Whosoever
shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it".

(4) Another generally accepted translation of the line is as follows:
He does not rely on his abundance.
No blame.
This would mean that the individual avoids mistakes because he possesses as if he possessed nothing.