The Book of Changes

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Ta Ch'u / The Taming Power of the Great Great Accumulation

The Creative is tamed by Kên, Keeping Still. This produces great power, a situation in
contrast to that of the ninth hexagram, Hsiao Ch'u, THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL,
in which the Creative is tamed by the Gentle alone. There one weak line must tame five strong
lines, but here four strong lines are restrained by two weak lines; in addition to a minister,
there is a prince, and the restraining power therefore is far stronger.

The hexagram has a threefold meaning, expressing different aspects of the concept "Holding
firm." Heaven within the mountain gives the idea of holding firm in the sense of holding
together; the trigram Kên which holds the trigram Ch'ien still, gives the idea of holding firm
in the sense of holding back; the third idea is that of holding firm in the sense of caring for
and nourishing. This last is suggested by the fact that a strong line at the top, which is the ruler
of the hexagram, is honored and tended as a sage. The third of these meanings also attaches
specifically to this strong line at the top, which represents the sage.



Perseverance furthers.
Not eating at home brings good fortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.


To hold firmly to great creative powers and store them up, as set forth in this hexagram, there is need of a
strong, clear-headed man who is honored by the ruler. The trigram Ch'ein points to strong creative power;
Kên indicates firmness and truth. Both point to light and clarity and to the daily renewal of character.
Only through such daily self-renewal can a man continue at the height of his powers. Force of habit helps
to keep order in quiet times; but in periods when there is a great storing up of energy, everything depends
on the power of the personality.

However, since the worthy are honored, as in the case of the strong
personality entrusted with leadership by the ruler, it is an advantage not to eat at home but rather to earn
one's bread by entering upon public office. Such a man is in harmony with heaven; therefore even great
and difficult undertakings, such as crossing the great water, succeed.

Before accomplishing great achievements, great virtue must be accumulated. To act before the right time
will be not effective this way.

To leave the own house in order to look for sustenance means to expand, to advance with power, and not
to concentrate it where it is not effective.


Heaven within the mountain:
Thus the superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity
And many deeds of the past,
In order to strengthen his character thereby.

Heaven within the mountain points to hidden treasures. In the words and deeds of the past there lies
hidden a treasure that men may use to strengthen and elevate their own characters. The way to study the
past is not to confine oneself to mere knowledge of history but, through application of this knowledge, to
give actuality to the past.

The wealth of heaven within the mountain means latent power; thus the superior man keeps in his memory
the wisdom of archaic times and facts. His intelligence power assimilates and relates all that which is
useful and this accumulation of knowledge strengthens his character.


Nine at the beginning means:

Danger is at hand. It furthers one to desist.

A man wishes to make vigorous advance, but circumstances present an obstacle. He sees himself held
back firmly. If he should attempt to fore an advance, it would lead him into misfortune. Therefore it is
better for him to compose himself and to wait until an outlet is offered for release of his stored-up

This line suggests to wait for a change of conditions that allows an adequate employment of the power,
otherwise, it could remain a dangerously situation.

Nine in the second place means:

The axletrees are taken from the wagon.

Here advance is checked just as in the third line of THE TAMING POWER OF THE SMALL (9).
However, in the latter the restraining force is slight; thus a conflict arises between the propulsive and the
restraining movement, as a result of which the spokes fall out of the wagon wheels, while here the
restraining force is absolutely superior; hence no struggle takes place. One submits and removes the
axletrees from the wagon --in other words, contents himself with waiting. In this way energy accumulates
for a vigorous advance later on.

Here the detention of an action is indicated. A car from which the axes are removed means this. The car
represents the action in advance, the opportune thing at this moment is not to advance, thus, there is not
place for disapproval. Therefore, removing the axes means not to throw but to contain the load.

Nine in the third place means:

A good horse that follows others.
Awareness of danger,
With perseverance, furthers.
Practice chariot driving and armed defense daily.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

The way opens; the hindrance has been cleared away. A man is in contact with a strong will acting in the
same direction as his own, and goes forward like one good horse following another. But danger still
threatens, and he must remain aware of it, or he will be robbed of his firmness. Thus he must acquire skill
on the one hand in what will take him forward, and on the other in what will protect him against
unforeseen attacks. It is good in such a pass to have a goal toward which to strive.

To advance with good horses means to go with force, speed, presence, vitality and nobility. To advance
with good horses implies to open up the road, to go ahead with decision; good horses mean excellent
resources, capacity of means; to advance with them is to mobilize them, to deploy forces. However, this
doesn't mean to trust or to underestimate what is around.

"Practice chariot driving and armed defense daily" means to be qualified to develop as much as
possible the potential that one has within. To train every day implies a gradual, planned, organized
learning. The handling of the chariot symbolizes the domain of power and of force.

Six in the fourth place means:

The headboard of a young bull.
Great good fortune.

This line and the one following it are the two that tame the forward-pushing lower lines. Before a bull's
horns grow out, a headboard is fastened to its forehead, so that later when the horns appear they cannot do
harm. A good way to restrain wild force is to forestall it. By so doing one achieves an easy and great

The young bull represents a potential power, a future force that could be threatening. The headboard
means the necessary cautions before such a force reaches its development.

Six in the fifth place means:

The tusk of a gelded boar.
Good fortune.

Here the restraining of the impetuous forward drive is achieved in an indirect way. A boar's tusk is in
itself dangerous, but if the boar's nature is altered, the tusk is no longer a menace. Thus also where men
are concerned, wild force should not be combated directly; instead, its roots should be eradicated.

The tusk of a castrated wild pig represent a structure without movement, a paralyzed force. A castrated
wild pig gives the idea that a threatening danger has been disassembled. The castrated wild pig means
definitively controlled danger. For that reason, there is happiness and approval. It also means to go to
the origin of danger.

Nine at the top means:

One attains the way of heaven. Success.

The time of obstruction is past. The energy long dammed up by inhibition forces its way out and achieves
great success. This refers to a man who is honored by the ruler and whose principles now prevail and
shape the world.

Here reference is made to overcoming all those things that prevented the power from manifesting. To
attain the way of heaven means to find the appropriate way, to go in the correct direction; it also means
to have found the action level that overcomes all that was an obstacle before.