The Book of Changes

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Hsien / Influence (Wooing)

Reciprocal Influence
The name of the hexagram means "universal," "general," and
in a figurative sense "to influence," "to stimulate." The upper
trigram is Tui, the Joyous; the lower is Kên, Keeping still.
By its persistent, quiet influence, the lower, rigid trigram
stimulates the upper, weak trigram, which responds to this
stimulation cheerfully and joyously.

Kên, the lower trigram,
is the youngest son; the upper, Tui, is the youngest daughter.
Thus the universal mutual attraction between the sexes is
represented. In courtship, the masculine principle must seize
the initiative and place itself below the feminine principle.

Just as the first part of book I begins with the hexagrams of
heaven and earth, the foundations of all that exists, the
second part begins with the hexagrams of courtship and
marriage, the foundations of all social relationships.


Influence. Success.
Perseverance furthers.
To take a maiden to wife brings good fortune.

The weak element is above, the strong below; hence their powers attract
each other, so that they unite. This brings about success, for all success
depends on the effect of mutual attraction. By keeping still within while
experiencing joy without, one can prevent the joy from going to excess
and hold it within proper bounds.

This is the meaning of the added
admonition, "Perseverance furthers," for it is perseverance that makes
the difference between seduction and courtship; in the latter the strong
man takes a position inferior to that of the weak girl and shows
consideration for her. This attraction between affinities is a general law
of nature. Heaven and earth attract each other and thus all creatures come
into being. Through such attraction the sage influences men's hearts, and
thus the world attains peace. From the attractions they exert we can learn
the nature of all beings in heaven and on earth.

This is a natural influence, without second objectives and implies both
to accept and to exercise influence on other person. Perseverance
means to continue in the sense that provides the influence until
achieving a union that reaffirms it. Influence is symbol of a progressive
and quick conquest.


A lake on the mountain:
The image of influence.
Thus the superior man encourages people to approach him
By his readiness to receive them.

A mountain with a lake on its summit is stimulated by the moisture from
the lake. It has this advantage because its summit does not jut out as a
peak but is sunken. The image counsels that the mind should be kept
humble and free, so that it may remain receptive to good advice. People
soon give up counseling a man who thinks that he knows everything
better than anyone else.

The lake resting in the summit of a mountain gives the idea of a
reciprocal influence of complementary forces. To be in touch with this
time, one must receive others with an open mind, without selfish
attitudes. All preconceive attitudes are useless in this time.


Six at the beginning means:

The influence shows itself in the big toe.
A movement, before it is actually carried out, shows itself first in the
toes. The idea of an influence is already present, but is not immediately
apparent to others. As long as the intention has no visible effect, it is of
no importance to the outside world and leads neither to good nor to evil.

This represents to have achieved a small mobilization or motivation. To
move the big toe also means influence not noticed by whom achieves it.
In another interpretation level, to make a person move the big toe
means insufficient influence.

Six in the second place means:

The influence shows itself in the calves of the legs.
Tarrying brings good fortune.

In movement, the calf of the leg follows the foot; by itself it can neither
go forward nor stand still. Since the movement is not self-governed, it
bodes ill. One should wait quietly until one is impelled to action by a
real influence. Then one remains uninjured.

To move the calves means lack of own decision in the movements,
misfortune. For that reason it is announced that it would be better to stay
in one's place, that is to say, not to lose the independence in the actions.

Nine in the third place means:

The influence shows itself in the thighs.
Holds to that which follows it.
To continue is humiliating.

Every mood of the heart influences us to movement. What the heart
desires, the thighs run after without a moment's hesitation; they hold to
the heart, which they follow. In the life of man, however, acting on the
spur of every caprice is wrong and if continued leads to humiliation.
Three considerations suggest themselves here. First, a man should not
run precipitately after all the persons whom he would like to influence,
but must be able to hold back under certain circumstances. As little
should he yield immediately to every whim of those in whose service he
stands. Finally, where the moods of his own heart are concerned, he
should never ignore the possibility of inhibition, for this is the basis of
human freedom.

To move the thighs refers to an impulsive, not meditated movement, with
the result if continuing this way it would be inconvenient. This implies
that one is susceptible of any influence, or of a constant search of being
influenced, that is to say, a tendency to follow others, with the result that
one cannot stay in calm. Not to be able to stay in calm means not to find
what is really wanted. For that reason, in this case, to follow the other
ones is not a virtuous behavior.

Nine in the fourth place means:

Perseverance brings good fortune.
Remorse disappears.
If a man is agitated in mind,
And his thoughts go hither and thither,
Only those friends
On whom he fixes his conscious thoughts
Will follow.

Here the place of the heart is reached. The impulse that springs from this
source is the most important of all. It is of particular concern that this
influence be constant and good; then, in spite of the danger arising from
the great susceptibility of the human heart, there will be no cause for
remorse. When the quiet power of a man's own character is at work, the
effects produced are right. All those who are receptive to the vibrations
of such a spirit will then be influenced. Influence over others should not
express itself as a conscious and willed effort to manipulate them.
Through practicing such conscious incitement, one becomes wrought up
and is exhausted by the eternal stress and strain. Moreover, the effects
produced are then limited to those on whom one's thoughts are
consciously fixed.

This person is looking for exercising influence, but such a search takes
to an over anxious activity to influence others, for that reason he acts
restlessly. But as his influence power is very limited, only his friends will
follow him. This means that influence is not applicable in a more general
way, which doesn't have expansion possibility at the moment.

Nine in the fifth place means:

The influence shows itself in the back of the neck.
No remorse.

The back of the neck is the most rigid part of the body. When the
influence shows itself there, the will remains firm and the influence
does not lead to confusion. Hence remorse does not enter into
consideration here. What takes place in the depths of one's being, in the
unconscious mind. It is true that if we cannot be influenced ourselves,
we cannot influence the outside world.

The back of the neck can also be translated as "the flesh along the
spine above the heart" (James Legge). The spine means center,
therefore, the reference to the influence that achieves a person to move
the spine means non-confused, authentic influence. All the nervous
ramifications take root in the spine, for that reason, an influence that it is
able to move along it, also means expanding influence.

Six at the top means:

The influence shows itself in the jaws, cheeks, and tongue.

The most superficial way of trying to influence others is through talk
that has nothing real behind it. The influence produced by such mere
tongue wagging must necessarily remain insignificant. Hence no
indication is added regarding good or bad fortune.

A weak person intends to influence others by sweet words. But the
extensive oratorical perhaps doesn't express anything or very little and
would achieve nothing.