The Book of Changes

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Kou / Coming to Meet Encounter

This hexagram indicates a situation in which the principle of
darkness, after having been eliminated, furtively and
unexpectedly obtrudes again from within and below. Of its
own accord the female principle comes to meet the male. It
is an unfavorable and dangerous situation, and we must
understand and promptly prevent the possible consequences.

The hexagram is linked with the fifth month (June-July),
because at the summer solstice the principle of darkness
gradually becomes ascendant again.


COMING TO MEET. The maiden is powerful.
One should not marry such a maiden.

The rise of the inferior element is pictured here in the image of a bold
girl who lightly surrenders herself and thus seizes power. This would not
be possible if the strong and light-giving element had not in turn come
halfway. The inferior thing seems so harmless and inviting that a man
delights in it; it looks so small and weak that he imagines he may dally
with it and come to no harm.

The inferior man rises only because the superior man does not regard
him as dangerous and so lends him power. If he were resisted from the
first, he could never gain influence.

The time of COMING TO MEET is important in still another way.
Although as a general rule the weak should not come to meet the strong,
there are times when this has great significance. When heaven and earth
come to meet each other, all creatures prosper; when a prince and his
official come to meet each other, the world is put in order.

It is
necessary for elements predestined to be joined and mutually dependent
to come to meet one another halfway. But the coming together must be
free of dishonest ulterior motives, otherwise harm will result.

Coming to meet means a casual encounter with an inferior element.

One should not marry a maiden because she does not agree with her
yin nature: she is bold and strong. Such a relation can't last long and it
is potentially dangerously.

When dealing with casual encounters one must take what is useful, but
things should not be adopted when they are not properly located in their


Under heaven, wind:
The image of COMING TO MEET.
Thus does the prince act when disseminating his commands
And proclaiming them to the four quarters of heaven.

The situation here resembles that in hexagram 20, Kuan,
CONTEMPLATION (VIEW). In the latter the wind blows over the earth,
here it blows under heaven; in both cases it goes everywhere. There the
wind is on the earth and symbolizes the ruler taking note of the
conditions in his kingdom; here the wind blows from above and
symbolizes the influence exercised by the ruler through his commands.
Heaven is far from the things of earth, but it sets them in motion by
means of the wind. The ruler is far from his people, but he sets them in
motion by means of his commands and decrees.

The wind is a symbol of an extensive influence. Heaven is the highest
thing; therefore, the wind blowing under the heaven means what is
imparted from above, the power of reaching all points from a high
position. Thus, the prince disseminates his commands towards all the
points of his Kingdom. This means that a ruler goes to the encounter of
his citizens through his orders that emanate of the summit of power.

In another interpretation level, the wind under the heaven means that to
be able to arrive to certain goals, first it is necessary to rise, to grow,
and then to be projected from there to the utmost points.


Six at the beginning means:

It must be checked with a brake of bronze.
Perseverance brings good fortune.
If one lets it take its course, one experiences misfortune.
Even a lean pig has it in him to rage around.

If an inferior element has wormed its way in, it must be energetically
checked at once. By consistently checking it, bad effects can be avoided.
If it is allowed to take its course, misfortune is bound to result; the
insignificance of that which creeps in should not be a temptation to
underrate it. A pig that is still young and lean cannot rage around much,
but after it has eaten its fill and become strong, its true nature comes out
if it has not previously been curbed.

That it must be checked with a brake of bronze means not to leave it
loose, to limit its action, to have it watched over, to drive it.

The misfortune occurs if it is left free, thus it will increase it negative
tendency as the time goes by.

Nine in the second place means:

There is a fish in the tank. No blame.
Does not further guests.

The inferior element is not overcome by violence but is kept under
gentle control. Then nothing evil is to be feared. But care must be taken
not to let it come in contact with those further away, because once free
it would unfold its evil aspects unchecked.

The fish lives in the water; the water represents another world, another
environment. The tank means reclusion, confinement, therefore, a fish
maintained in a tank means that such fellow or element should not leave
its environment, its world.

Not to further meeting means the convenience of not mixing elements so
different, not to bring such subject to certain places or companions. It
also means not to bring questions to places where they are

Nine in the third place means:

There is no skin on his thighs,
And walking comes hard.
If one is mindful of the danger,
No great mistake is made.

There is a temptation to fall in with the evil element offering itself --a
very dangerous situation. Fortunately circumstances prevent this; one
would like to do it, but cannot. This leads to painful indecision in
behavior. But if we gain clear insight into the danger of the situation, we
shall at least avoid more serious mistakes.

The skin is the symbol of sensibility, therefore, to lack skin on the thighs
means lack of orientation. This person is isolated, unsatisfied and
without guidance.

To be mindful means to stop, to meditate at the risk of following an
improper wish and desisting from it.

Nine in the fourth place means:

No fish in the tank.
This leads to misfortune.

Insignificant people must be tolerated in order to keep them well
disposed. Then we can make use of them if we should need them. If we
become alienated from them and do not meet them halfway, they turn
their backs on us and are not at our disposal when we need them. But this
is our own fault.

The tank without fish means lack of support. Not being magnanimous or
tolerant with the common folk, one is without collaborators. Misfortune is
to be alone and without help.

In other analysis level this means lack of comprehension from people of
different circles.

Nine in the fifth place means:

A melon covered with willow leaves.
Hidden lines.
Then it drops down to one from heaven.

The melon, like the fish, is a symbol of the principle of darkness. It is
sweet but spoils easily and for this reason is protected with a cover of
willow leaves. This is a situation in which a strong, superior, well-poised
man tolerates and protects the inferiors in his charge. He has the firm
lines of order and beauty within himself but he does not lay stress upon
them. He does not bother his subordinates with outward show or
tiresome admonitions but leaves them quite free, putting his trust in the
transforming power of a strong and upright personality. And behold! Fate
is favorable. His inferiors respond to his influence and fall to his
disposition like ripe fruit.

A covered melon with leaves represents something that is maturing
privately, without being seen. This means that it is not yet the moment to
appear. There are still many things that should happen in the future.

What drops from heaven means that when the moment comes, the
phenomenon will take place naturally and without additional effort.

Nine at the top means:

He comes to meet with his horns.
Humiliation. No blame.

When a man has withdrawn from the world, its tumult often becomes
unbearable to him. There are many people who in a noble pride hold
themselves aloof from all that is low and rebuff it brusquely wherever it
comes to meet them. Such persons are reproached for being proud and
distant, but since active duties no longer hold them to the world, this
does not greatly matter. They know how to bear the dislike of the masses
with composure.

To advance showing his horns means an over proud behavior. This can
take to solitary and non-pleasant consequences but he has the right to
repel who he doesn't want to tolerate.