The Book of Changes

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Ta Kuo / Preponderance of the Great Great Exceedding

This hexagram consists of four strong lines inside and two weak lines outside. When the
strong are outside and the weak inside, all is well and there is nothing out of balance, nothing
extraordinary in the situation. Here, however, the opposite is the case. The hexagram
represents a beam that is thick and heavy in the middle but too weak at the ends. This is a
condition that cannot last; it must be changed, must pass, or misfortune will result.



The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

The weight of the great is excessive. The load is too heavy for the strength of the supports. The ridgepole
on which the whole roof rests, sags to the breaking point, because its supporting ends are too weak for the
load they bear. It is an exceptional time and situation; therefore extraordinary measures are demanded.

is necessary to find a way of transition as quickly as possible, and to take action. This promises success.
For although the strong element is in excess, it is in the middle, that is, at the center of gravity, so that a
revolution is not to be feared. Nothing is to be achieved by forcible measures. The problem must be
solved by gentle penetration to the meaning of the situation (as is suggested by the attribute of the inner
trigram, Sun); then the change-over to other conditions will be successful. It demands real superiority;
therefore the time when the great preponderates is a momentous time.

The continuous accumulation in only one point is symbolized here by the overweight in the center of a
ridgepole. The ridgepole can represent a sense, a road, but when being overloaded in its center, it
would mean half-done things, that is to say, a sense that finally is not experienced. Therefore, the
ridgepole, that is to say, the sense is sagging, losing its rightness, since the excessive weight will bend
it, and thus it will lose its nature. Overweight in the center of a ridgepole means to insist too much, it also
means to abuse.

On the other hand, the overweight gives the idea of incorrect distribution; the overweight in the center
indicates that it is out of balance. Then, it could also mean incorrect calculations.

To save the ridgepole from sinking, Compliance (Sun) and Joy (Tui) must be used here to balance the


The lake rises above the trees:
Thus the superior man, when he stands alone,
Is unconcerned,
And if he has to renounce the world,
He is undaunted.

Extraordinary times when the great preponderates are like flood times when the lake rises over the
treetops. But such conditions are temporary. The two trigrams indicate the attitude proper to such
exceptional times: the symbol of the trigram Sun is the tree, which stands firm even though it stands
alone, and the attribute of Tui is joyousness, which remains undaunted even if it must renounce the world.

The waters of the lake up the trees represent what has overflowed, what has been covered by the
constant accumulation. The lake means what was advancing, growing gradually. The trees represent
what is no longer possible to see, what has disappeared. The forest under the lake also means isolation,
for that reason, the superior man, when being alone does not anguish nor he complains if it has been
disconnected of the world. This means that in spite of the adverse moment, a capable personality
remains faithful to its essence and its nature like the trees, although they are under water.


Six at the beginning means:

Six at the beginning means:
To spread white rushes underneath.
No blame.

When a man wishes to undertake an enterprise in extraordinary times, he must be extraordinarily cautious,
just as when setting a heavy thing down on the floor, one takes care to put rushes under it, so that nothing
will break. This caution, though it may seem exaggerated, is not a mistake. Exceptional enterprises cannot
succeed unless utmost caution is observed in their beginnings and in the laying of their foundations.

The preparations at beginning of a task are symbolized here by somebody that places layers of white
rush as a support for a heavy thing. The layers of white rush as support mean caution, care in what is
carried out, for that reason there is no error. To place the layers of rush white means to prepare the field
for future works. It also means to muffle.

Nine in the second place means:

A dry poplar sprouts at the root.
An older man takes a young wife.
Everything furthers.

Wood is near water; hence the image of an old poplar sprouting at the root. This means an extraordinary
situation arises when an older man marries a young girl who suits him. Despite the unusualness of the
situation, all goes well.

From the point of view of politics, the meaning is that in exceptional times one does well to join with the
lowly, for this affords a possibility of renewal.

The dry tree gives the idea of death, an irreversible state, but to have sprouted again means that such a
circumstance, was more resignation that a final state. Therefore, a dry poplar sprouting again means a
turn that changes the way to face the life.

An old man taking a young wife means that the old structure is renewed with the union of a new one, that
the old thing is adaptive to the new thing. The old man and the young wife symbolize excess and
insufficiency, balancing both is which achieve success.

This also means excellent opportunity that opens up. In another analysis level, a dry tree sprouting again
means great motivation that transforms.

Nine in the third place means:

The ridgepole sags to the breaking point.

This indicates a type of man who in times of preponderance of the great insists on pushing ahead. He
accepts no advice from others, and therefore they in turn are not willing to lend him support. Because of
this the burden grows, until the structure of things bends or breaks. Plunging willfully ahead in times of
danger only hastens the catastrophe.

This person is in a position with no sustenance, this means lack of stability, and, in consequence,
untenable situation and bad fortune.

The ridgepole represents a posture, a norm. The ridgepole that breaks in the center means that such a
posture is not in agreement with the circumstances that are demanded, with the result that it doesn't have
any support. A rigid and self-willed position is very dangerous at this moment.

Nine in the fourth place means:

The ridgepole is braced. Good fortune.
If there are ulterior motives, it is humiliating.

Through friendly relations with people of lower rank, a responsible man succeeds in becoming master of
the situation. But if, instead of working for the rescue of the whole, he were to misuse his connections to
obtain personal power and success, it would lead to humiliation.

Here reference is made to a manifestation of support, solidarity; thus the ridgepole is shored up. In short
it symbolizes that the ridgepole should be maintained in their place.

It would be unworthy if at the present time of support there are a personal interest, which implies second

Nine in the fifth place means:

A withered poplar puts forth flowers.
An older woman takes a husband.
No blame. No praise.

A withered poplar that flowers exhausts its energies thereby and only hastens its end. An older woman
may marry once more, but no renewal takes place. Everything remains barren. Thus, though all the
amenities are observed, the net result is only the anomaly of the situation.

Applied to politics, the metaphor means that if in times of insecurity we give up alliance with those below
us and keep up only the relationships we have with people of higher rank, an unstable situation is created.

The dry tree flourishing represents a last encouragement, a final effort, but it only hurries even more the
process of senility. This is only an unreal state of an irreversible circumstance.

The old woman means barren sources. The youth husband means not well channeled wasted energy;
therefore, an old woman that gets a youth husband implies an unproductive union. Such states can't
endure a long time.

Six at the top means:

One must go through the water.
It goes over one's head.
Misfortune. No blame.

Here is a situation in which the unusual has reached a climax. One is courageous and wishes to
accomplish one's task, no matter what happens. This leads into danger. The water rises over one's head.
This is the misfortune. But one incurs no blame in giving up one's life that the good and the right may
prevail. There are things that are more important than life.

This circumstance is beyond the results, it is no longer important the achievement, but the action in
agreement with the own values. To cross the river fearlessly means to make what should be made at any