The Book of Changes

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Ts'ui / Gathering Together [Massing]

This hexagram is related in form and meaning to Pi,
HOLDING TOGETHER (8). In the latter, water is over the
earth; here a lake is over the earth. But since the lake is a
place where water collects, the idea of gathering together is
even more strongly expressed here than in the other

The same idea also arises from the fact that in the
present case it is two strong lines (the fourth and the fifth)
that bring about the gathering together, whereas in the
former case one strong line (the fifth) stands in the midst of
weak lines.


The king approaches his temple.

It furthers one to see the great man.
This brings success. Perseverance furthers.
To bring great offerings creates good fortune.
It furthers one to undertake something.

The gathering together of people in large communities is either a natural
occurrence, as in the case of the family, or an artificial one, as in the
case of the state. The family gathers about the father as its head. The
perpetuation of this gathering in groups is achieved through the sacrifice
to the ancestors, at which the whole clan is gathered together. Through
the collective piety of the living members of the family, the ancestors
become so integrated in the spiritual life of the family that it cannot be
dispersed or dissolved.

Where men are to be gathered together, religious forces are needed. But
there must also be a human leader to serve as the center of the group. In
order to be able to bring others together, this leader must first of all be
collected within himself. Only collective moral force can unite the
world. Such great times of unification will leave great achievements
behind them. This is the significance of the great offerings that are made.
In the secular sphere likewise there is no need of great deeds in the time

The king is the natural leader of the group, who starts the gathering. He
needs a temple, a point to focus the attention of people, a symbol that
unifies the energies of all folks.

To see the great man means to rise spiritually and mentally, it implies to
be placed in a superior level that will open the access towards the
really deep thing, towards the ancestral temple. The temple gives the
idea of religiosity, of meditation place, therefore, to come closer to the
ancestral temple implies to understand.

Sacrifice implies to who carries it out an effort, a will, and a commitment.
To offer big sacrifices means to make all the necessary effort that the
situation requires, to resign the own will for the sake of the community;
then there will be achievements. For that reason, it is important to begin
something, that is to say, to start.


Over the earth, the lake:
Thus the superior man renews his weapons
In order to meet the unforeseen.

If the water in the lake gathers until it rises above the earth, there is
danger of a breakthrough. Precautions must be taken to prevent this.
Similarly where men gather together in great numbers, strife is likely to
arise; where possessions are collected, robbery is likely to occur. Thus
in the time of GATHERING TOGETHER we must arm promptly to ward
off the unexpected. Human woes usually come as a result of unexpected
events against which we are not forearmed. If we are prepared, they can
be prevented.

The waters of the lake over the earth refer to forces that constitute a
threat, since the danger of overflow exists. Hence the superior man
renews his armament to be opposed to the unexpected thing, he notices
the signs of the risk of everything that begins to take suspicious
dimensions, and he gets ready to contain to what could probably harm


Six at the beginning means:

If you are sincere, but not to the end,
There will sometimes be confusion, sometimes gathering together.
If you call out,
Then after one grasp of the hand you can laugh again.
Regret not. Going is without blame.

The situation is this: People desire to gather around a leader to whom
they look up. But they are in a large group, by which they allow
themselves to be influenced, so that they waver in their decision. Thus
they lack a firm center around which to gather. But if expression is given
to this need, and if they call for help, one grasp of the hand from the
leader is enough to turn away all distress. Therefore they must not allow
themselves to be led astray. It is undoubtedly right that they should attach
themselves to this leader.

To be sincere, but not to the end, means that one is confused and timid;
one fears not to be accepted. One doesn't have very clear to what circle
or which leader one must follow.

To call out means to request the admission to the group clearly. This
will bring happiness.

Six in the second place means:

Letting oneself be drawn
Brings good fortune and remains blameless.
If one is sincere,
It furthers one to bring even a small offering.

In the time of GATHERING TOGETHER, we should make no arbitrary
choice of the way. There are secret forces at work, leading together
those who belong together. We must yield to this attraction; then we
make no mistakes. Where inner relationships exist, no great preparations
and formalities are necessary. People understand one another forthwith,
just as the Divinity graciously accepts a small offering if it comes from
the heart.

To be drawn means to accept the summon, without hesitation or
resistance. Maybe one can not offer so much, but one's sincerity and
good will be a good contribution to the group.

Six in the third place means:

Gathering together amid sighs.
Nothing that would further.
Going is without blame.
Slight humiliation.

Often a man feels an urge to unite with others, but the individuals around
him have already formed themselves into a group, so that he remains
isolated. The whole situation proves untenable. Then he ought to choose
the way of progress, resolutely allying himself with a man who stands
nearer to the center of the group, and can help him to gain admission to
the closed circle. This is not a mistake, even though at first his position
as an outsider is somewhat humiliating.

One has resolved to be admitted into a group, but there isn't an easy
way given the fact that the group doesn't want to accept the newcomer.
Anyway, pressuring hard the objective will be reached. Thus, he will not
make a mistake because he will be accepted, but to become a member
in such way will be debasing.

Nine in the fourth place means:

Great good fortune. No blame.

This describes a man who gathers people around him in the name of his
ruler. Since he is not striving for any special advantages for himself but
is working unselfishly to bring about general unity, his work is crowned
with success, and everything becomes as it should be.

This person is powerful, but he is a subordinate, who gathers people for
his King. He must be cautious to not arouse suspicion, because his
position is not suitable.

But he is the correct man to carry out the task, and, if his work is well
done, he will have excellent fortune.

Nine in the fifth place means:

If in gathering together one has position,
This brings no blame.
If there are some who are not yet sincerely in the work,
Sublime and enduring perseverance is needed.
Then remorse disappears.

When people spontaneously gather around a man, it is only a good. It
gives him a certain influence that can be altogether useful. But of course
there is also the possibility that many may gather around him not because
of a feeling of confidence but merely because of his influential position.
This is certainly to be regretted. The only means of dealing with such
people is to gain their confidence through steadfastness and intensified,
unswerving devotion to duty. In this way secret mistrust will gradually be
overcome, and there will be no occasion for regret.

Here reference is made to a worthy person who gathers people. There
are some people who don't trust him, but he would get the confidence of
people by cultivating benevolence and keeping his rectitude.

Six at the top means:

Lamenting and sighing, floods of tears.
No blame.

It may happen that an individual would like to ally himself with another,
but his good intentions are misunderstood. Then he becomes sad and
laments. But this is the right course. For it may cause the other person to
come to his senses, so that the alliance that has been sought and so
painfully missed is after all achieved.

This means frustration, objectives not summed up in spite of the effort.
But he is still on time of being integrated if he leaves aside his position
and descends a little towards where they are, since he does not still
reach his objective of being in the highest point.