The Book of Changes

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Sun / The Gentle (The Penetrating, Wind) Compliance

Sun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest
daughter and symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute
gentleness, which nonetheless penetrates like the wind or
like growing wood with its roots.

The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved
by the penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates
itself in gentleness. In nature, it is the wind that disperses the
gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear and serene. In human
life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts all dark
hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the
powerful influence of a great personality that uncovers and
breaks up those intrigues which shun the light of day.


THE GENTLE. Success through what is small.
It furthers one to have somewhere to go.
It furthers one to see the great man.

Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be
effected not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses.
Results of this kind are less striking to the eye than those won by
surprise attack, but they are more enduring and more complete.

If one
would produce such effects, one must have a clearly defined goal, for
only when the penetrating influence works always in the same direction
can the object be attained. Small strength can achieve its purpose only by
subordinating itself to an eminent man who is capable of creating order.

Success through what is small refers to certain attitude, compliant,
humble, but persistent and determined. This means to be imposed little
by little, but in a sure way, because the wind means what passes over,
what opens up, what doesn't stop.

As the wind can achieve results only in a gradual manner, perseverance
is requested, thus the text says: It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

To see the great man means to rise mentally and spiritually. To see the
great man means to be up to the situation to manage it like it should. Of
course, it could also mean to meet some real great man to take counsel
or guidance.


Winds following one upon the other:
Thus the superior man
Spreads his commands abroad
And carries out his undertakings.

The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This
is what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the
ruler's thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires
a lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only
when the command has been assimilated by the people is action in
accordance with it possible. Action without preparation of the ground
only frightens and repels.

The wind that, blowing unceasingly, penetrates everywhere represents
the power of perseverance when it acts on something. The wind
following one upon the other means to arrive, to be imposed.

To spread the commands abroad means that one projects its objective
correctly and sustains it with stability until it is summed up. To spread
the commands means here to influence, to penetrate with ideas, to
bolster the advance of the project. It means also to make feel the force
of the will anywhere it is necessary.

As this is a time of compliance, if one spreads the commands correctly,
them it will be undertaken as a matter of course, with full correctness.


Six at the beginning means:

Six at the beginning means:
In advancing and in retreating,
The perseverance of a warrior furthers.

Inborn gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One
does not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. A thousand doubts
crop up; one is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively
to and fro. In such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing,
so that one resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is
far better than irresolute license.

Here reference is made to a state of indecision; as somebody that
advances and retreats. This means that there still is not enough
security, for that reason, the will hesitates, there is a lack of stability.

To act with the perseverance of a warrior means to face the situation, to
assume the own duty, to go ahead without hesitating.

Nine in the second place means:

Penetration under the bed.
Priests and magicians are used in great number.
Good fortune. No blame.

At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that
slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion.
In instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the
most secret recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences
to be dealt with. This is the task of the priests; removing the influences is
the task of the magicians. The very anonymity of such plotting requires
an especially vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well worth
while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light and
branded, they lose their power over people.

The priests and the magicians symbolize the way to catch hidden
factors. Priest can be translated also as chronicles, which point to
influences from the past. Therefore, to use both priests and magicians
represents the need for detecting, for bringing light to the problem. To
use the service of priests and magicians also means to call to those
who know, to the specialists for each case in particular.

In another analysis level, to penetrate under the bed would mean to cast
light over unconsciously factors. This line also means what penetrates
from under the bed; for that reason, the cause is hidden and it is
necessary its detection.

Nine in the third place means:

Repeated penetration. Humiliation.
Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the
power of decision. After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is
essential to form a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings
fresh doubts and scruples, and thereby humiliation, because one shows
oneself unable to act.

Other authors, and the same Wilhelm in the Book III, explain the subject
of this line as someone who can't accomplish its will. Thus he will try to
force his way. To seek to penetrate violently means not to be patient.
Also, it denotes the lack of capacity to approach a question; with the
result that there is degradation, that is to say, a violent insistence
indicates that it is failing.

Such blindly fight will erode his will and this conduct will lead to

Six in the fourth place means:

Remorse vanishes.
During the hunt
Three kinds of game are caught.

When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to
combine innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured.
The three kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods,
for feasting guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch
answered all three purposes, the hunt was considered especially

To caught three different kinds or preys means to get something that
provides a multiple utility or simply a great utility. Therefore, it also
means that everything was not planned and the result is a success in all

Nine in the fifth place means:

Perseverance brings good fortune.
Remorse vanishes.
Nothing that does not further.
No beginning, but an end.
Before the change, three days.
After the change, three days.
Good fortune.

In the situation described in Ku, WORK ON WHAT HAS BEEN
SPOILED (18), an entirely new point of departure must be set up,
whereas here it is only a question of reforms. The beginning has not been
good, but the moment has been reached when a new direction can be
taken. Change and improvement are called for. Such steps must be
undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with a firm and correct attitude of
mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will disappear. But it must be
remembered that such improvements require careful consideration.
Before a change is made, it must be pondered over again and again. After
the change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for some time after
how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such careful work is
accompanied by good fortune.

The beginning wasn't good because there was a sudden attempt to
change the situation with hard methods. Nothing that does not further
means that things can be amended instead.

The three days before and the three days after pointed to the essential
adaptation time to accustom the people to the new situation. The
change is necessary, but people can't change without the correct

Good fortune comes, but only if one acts gradually, as the wind does.

Nine at the top means:

Penetration under the bed.
He loses his property and his ax.
Perseverance brings misfortune.

A man's understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up
injurious influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has
the strength to combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to
penetrate into the personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.

Here reference is made to the fact of wanting to face what is ignored or
what remains hidden without neither the force nor the enough means.

To lose the axe means to lose the means to cut, to lose the power, to
lose the safeguards.