The Book of Changes

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Yü / Enthusiasm Provinding-for


The strong line in the fourth place, that of the leading official, meets with response and
obedience from all the other lines, which are all weak. The attribute of the upper trigram,
Chên, is movement; the attributes of K'un, the lower, are obedience and devotion. This begins
a movement that meets with devotion and therefore inspires enthusiasm, carrying all with it.
Of great importance, furthermore, is the law of movement along the line of least resistance,
which in this hexagram is enunciated as the law for natural events and for human life.




ENTHUSIASM. It furthers one to install helpers
And to set armies marching.

The time of ENTHUSIASM derives from the fact that there is at hand an eminent man who is in sympathy
with the spirit of the people and acts in accord with it. Hence he finds universal and willing obedience.

arouse enthusiasm it is necessary for a man to adjust himself and his ordinances to the character of those
whom he has to lead. The inviolability of natural laws rests on this principle of movement along the line
of least resistance. These laws are not forces external to things but represent the harmony of movement
immanent in them.

That is why the celestial bodies do not deviate from their orbits and why all events in
nature occur with fixed regularity. It is the same with human society: only such laws are rooted in popular
sentiment can be enforced, while laws violating this sentiment merely arouse resentment.

Again, it is enthusiasm that enables us to install helpers for the completion of an undertaking without fear
of secret opposition. It is enthusiasm too that can unify mass movements, as in war, so that they achieve

The motivation awaken by a certain cause is product of an identification between the event and people;
for that reason the enthusiasm generates gathering union. Enthusiasm means desires of carrying out,
happiness and passion to begin a new stage. To establish helpers means to choose capable, suitable
people who have the same ideal. It also means to dispose of good will to be organized; and, in another
analysis level, it means not to act unexpectedly and without a minimum of planning. In another
interpretation level, to establish helpers is to look for support points, coincidence points. To enlist the
troops means to work, to start a campaign, to advance.


Thunder comes resounding out of the earth:
The image of ENTHUSIASM.
Thus the ancient kings made music.
In order to honor merit,
And offered it with splendor
To the Supreme Deity,
Inviting their ancestors to be present.

When, at the beginning of summer, thunder --electrical energy-- comes rushing forth from the earth
again, and the first thunderstorm refreshes nature, a prolonged state of tension is resolved. Joy and relief
make themselves felt. So too, music has power to ease tension within the heart and to loosen the grip of
obscure emotions. The enthusiasm of the heart expresses itself involuntarily in a burst of song, in dance
and rhythmic movement of the body. From immemorial times the inspiring effect of the invisible sound
that moves all hearts, and draws them together, has mystified mankind.

Rulers have made use of this natural taste for music; they elevated and regulated it. Music was looked
upon as something serious and holy, designed to purify the feelings of men. It fell to music to glorify the
virtues of heroes and thus to construct a bridge to the world of the unseen. In the temple men drew near to
God with music and pantomimes (out of this later the theater developed). Religious feeling for the
Creator of the world was united with the most sacred of human feelings, that of reverence for the
ancestors. The ancestors were invited to these divine services as guests of the Ruler of Heaven and as
representatives of humanity in the higher regions. This uniting of the human past with the Divinity in
solemn moments of religious inspiration established the bond between God and man. The ruler who
revered the Divinity in revering his ancestors became thereby the Son of Heaven, in whom the heavenly
and the earthly world met in mystical contact.

These ideas are the final summation of Chinese culture. Confucius has said of the great sacrifice at which
these rites were performed: "He who could wholly comprehend this sacrifice could rule the world as
though it were spinning on his hand."

The thunder resounding on the earth means call, convocation, attracting men attention. The thunder
means phenomenon, appearance; the thunder resounding represents the motivational phenomenon. The
earth, in this case, represents the conscience that perceives the message and reacts to it, with the result
that the attention of men turns into enthusiasm.

But this call must be answered somehow, therefore "the ancient kings" are mentioned, offering the virtue
of their music to God. This means that motivation lies hidden in human unconscious, for that reason,
reference is made to old kings. The enthusiasm is the answer that emerges from such a psychic plane for
the external cause. The thunder is the external thing, it is the sound of what is not seen but understood,
for that reason one reacts to the music, that is to say, with the feeling of enthusiasm to the external call.

Because of that, at the end it is said that, this way, the alliance between God and his town was
completed. This means that the communication between external and internal feeling is summed up. This
also means that it has emerged an unconscious desire, and now it is reckoned and integrated in a
conscious plane.


Six at the beginning means:

Enthusiasm that expresses itself
Brings misfortune.

A man in an inferior position has aristocratic connections about which he boasts enthusiastically. This
arrogance inevitably invites misfortune. Enthusiasm should never be an egotistic emotion; it is justified
only when it is a general feeling that unites one with others.

Here reference is made to the disadvantages that express the enthusiasm amid a situation where most is
not predisposed to such an emotion. Such an individual attitude would go against the feeling of other
people who would not admit it, because what cannot be shared will be possibly rejected. For that reason,
this way of acting will take to failure.

Six in the second place means:

Firm as a rock. Not a whole day.
Perseverance brings good fortune.

This describes a person who does not allow himself to be misled by any illusions. While others are letting
themselves be dazzled by enthusiasm, he recognizes with perfect clarity the first signs of the time. Thus
he neither flatters those above nor neglects those beneath him; he is as firm as a rock. When the first sign
of discord appears, he knows the right moment for withdrawing and does not delay even for a day.
Perseverance in such conduct will bring good fortune. Confucius says about this line:

To know the seeds, that is divine indeed. In his association with those above him, the superior
man does not flatter. In his association with those beneath him, he is not arrogant. For he knows
the seeds. The seeds are the first imperceptible beginning of movement, the first trace of good
fortune (or misfortune) that shows itself. The superior man perceives the seeds and immediately
takes actin. He does not wait even a whole day. In the Book of Changes it is said:

"Firm as a rock. Not a whole day. Perseverance brings good fortune."
Firm as a rock, what need of a whole day?
The judgment can be known.
The superior man knows what is hidden and what is evident.
He knows weakness, he knows strength as well.
Hence the myriads look up to him.

Here reference is made to the contagious thing that can be the enthusiasm but, however, can drive
towards non-convenient roads. For that reason one does not allow to be attracted for such feelings and
does not change their direction, thus one stays strong as a rock. This means to be sure of what is
wanted. To be strong as a rock means not to be susceptible of being influenced. Thus, who behaves in
this way would not waste time and will always be ahead, without losing even a day. This means that there
is a limited time for the realization, for that reason, perseverance contributes to fortune. To be firm as a
rock also means staying in the assumed position because it is the correct one.

Six in the third place means:

Enthusiasm that looks upward creates remorse.
Hesitation brings remorse.

This line is the opposite of the preceding one: the latter bespeaks self-reliance, while here there is
enthusiastic looking up to a leader. If a man hesitates too long, this also will bring remorse. The right
moment for approach must be seized: only then will he do the right thing.

This is a hesitant or skeptic person who delays to take a decision. But such attitude can make this
person lose the opportunity to achieve something, because there is a time for everything, for that reason
it is enunciated that its doubts will bring remorse, because it is not in the appropriate place, that is to say,
it doesn't act as it should.

Nine in the fourth place means:

The source of enthusiasm.
He achieves great things.
Doubt not.
You gather friends around you
As a hair clasp gathers the hair.

This describes a man who is able to awaken enthusiasm through his own sureness and freedom from
hesitation. He attracts people because he has no doubts and is wholly sincere. Owing to his confidence in
them he wins their enthusiastic co-operation and attains success. Just as a clasp draws the hair together
and hold it, so he draws man together by the support he gives them.

This person acts generating enthusiasm. He is the source of the forces that achieve something big.
Those people identified with their position will congregate towards him; this way, he will maintain them
united for the cause and their objective will be carried out.

Six in the fifth place means:

Persistently ill, and still does not die.

Here enthusiasm is obstructed. A man is under constant pressure, which prevents him from breathing
freely. However, this pressure has its advantage --it prevents him from consuming his powers in empty
enthusiasm. Thus constant pressure can actually serve to keep one alive.

The illness represents a period without successes, of lack of progress. However, such a state doesn't
reach a total decadence, with the result that he does not die. This also means that the illness
("harassment" in other translations) is not as serious as it seems.

Six at the top means:

Deluded enthusiasm.
But if after completion one changes,
There is no blame.

It is a bad thing for a man to let himself be deluded by enthusiasm. But if this delusion has run its course,
and he is still capable of changing, then he is freed of error. A sober awakening from false enthusiasm is
quite possible and very favorable.

When somebody gets hallucinated with enthusiasm, the contrast with the reality will finish with an
overreached attitude and disillusion will take place. Therefore a question arises: how long could he
continue this way? If he modifies his attitude at the end of the blindness it will not be a misunderstanding,
because truth will be accepted.