The Book of Changes

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Chung Fu / Inner Truth

The wind blows over the lake and stirs the surface of the
water. Thus visible effects of the invisible manifest
themselves. The hexagram consists of firm lines above and
below, while it is open in the center. This indicates a heart
free of prejudices and therefore open to truth.

On the other
hand, each of the two trigrams has a firm line in the middle;
this indicates the force of inner truth in the influences they

The attributes of the two trigrams are: above, gentleness,
forbearance toward inferiors; below, joyousness in obeying
superiors. Such conditions create the basis of a mutual
confidence that makes achievements possible.

The character of fu ("truth") is actually the picture of a bird's
foot over a fledgling. It suggests the idea of brooding. An
egg is hollow. The light-giving power must work to quicken
it from outside, but there must be a germ of life within, if
life is to be awakened. Far-reaching speculations can be
linked with these ideas.


INNER TRUTH. Pigs and fishes.
Good fortune.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
Perseverance furthers.

Pigs and fishes are the least intelligent of all animals and therefore the
most difficult to influence.

The force of inner truth must grow great
indeed before its influence can extend to such creatures. In dealing with
persons as intractable and as difficult to influence as a pig or a fish, the
whole secret of success depends on finding the right way of approach.
One must first rid oneself of all prejudice and, so to speak, let the
psyche of the other person act on one without restraint. Then one will
establish contact with him, understand and gain power over him. When a
door has thus been opened, the force of one's personality will influence
him. If in this way one finds no obstacles insurmountable, one can
undertake even the most dangerous things, such as crossing the great
water, and succeed.

But it is important to understand upon what the force inner truth depends.
This force is not identical with simple intimacy or a secret bond. Close
ties may exist also among thieves; it is true that such a bond acts as a
force but, since it is not invincible, it does not bring good fortune. All
association on the basis of common interests holds only up to a certain
point. Where the community of interest ceases, the holding together
ceases also, and the closest friendship often changes into hate. Only
when the bond is based on what is right, on steadfastness, will it remain
so firm that it triumphs over everything.

The interior sincerity is what really happens inside one. The inner
sincerity means to recognize it, to assume it, not to cover it, because it
is what one knows as true.

Pigs and fish were presented to the Lord of Heaven by the common
people, but these humble contributions, presented with inner sincerity
were worthy of blessings. See Comment to the Judgment in DECREASE


Wind over lake: the image of INNER TRUTH.
Thus the superior man discusses criminal cases
In order to delay executions.

Wind stirs water by penetrating it. Thus the superior man, when obliged
to judge the mistakes of men, tries to penetrate their minds with
understanding, in order to gain a sympathetic appreciation of the
circumstances. In ancient China, the entire administration of justice was
guided by this principle. A deep understanding that knows how to pardon
was considered the highest form of justice. This system was not without
success, for its aim was to make so strong a moral impression that there
was no reason to fear abuse of such mildness. For it sprang not from
weakness but from a superior clarity.

The wind that stirs the lake represents the action of the truth that
mobilizes the internal content. The wind on the lake means to try to
penetrate. That means that somebody capable, somebody who has
risen for its internal sincerity perceives things in such a deep way that
everything that can be sanctioned or negated, becoming understood.


Nine at the beginning means:

Being prepared brings good fortune.
If there are secret designs, it is disquieting.

The force of inner truth depends chiefly on inner stability and
preparedness. From this state of mind springs the correct attitude toward
the outer world. But if a man should try to cultivate secret relationships
of a special sort, it would deprive him of his inner independence. The
more reliance he places on the support of others, the more uneasy and
anxious he will become as to whether these secret ties are really tenable.
In this way inner peace and the force of inner truth are lost.

This means to move away from all other people's influence that could
create distortions, prejudices or oppositions. For that reason, if external
stimuli are sought, tranquility will be lost; it would lose the direction of
the search and therefore the possibility of inner truth.

Nine in the second place means:

A crane calling in the shade.
Its young answers it.
I have a good goblet.
I will share it with you.

This refers to the involuntary influence of a man's inner being upon
persons of kindred spirit. The crane need not show itself on a high hill. It
may be quite hidden when it sounds its call; yet its young will hear its
not, will recognize it and give answer. Where there is a joyous mood,
there a comrade will appear to share a glass of wine.

This is the echo awakened in men through spiritual attraction. Whenever
a feeling is voiced with truth and frankness, whenever a deed is the clear
expression of sentiment, a mysterious and far-reaching influence is
exerted. At first it acts on those who are inwardly receptive. But the
circle grows larger and larger. The root of all influence lies in one's own
inner being: given true and vigorous expression in word and deed, its
effect is great. The effect is but the reflection of something that
emanates from one's own heart. Any deliberate intention of an effect
would only destroy the possibility of producing it. Confucius says about
this line:

The superior man abides in his room. If his words are well
spoken, he meets with assent at a distance of more than a
thousand miles. How much more then from near by! If the
superior man abides in his room and his words are not well
spoken, he meets with contradiction at a distance of more than a
thousand miles. How much more then from near by! Words go
forth from one's own person and exert their influence on men.
Deeds are born close at hand and become visible far away.
Words and deeds are the hinge and bowspring of the superior
man. As hinge and bowspring move, they bring honor or
disgrace. Through words and deeds the superior man moves
heaven and earth. Must one not, then, be cautious?

If one cultivates sincerity all those who share the same temperament will

Six in the third place means:

He finds a comrade.
Now he beats the drum, now he stops.
Now he sobs, now he sings.

Here the source of a man's strength lies not in himself but in his relation
to other people. No matter how close to them he may be, if his center of
gravity depends on them, he is inevitably tossed to and fro between joy
and sorrow. Rejoicing to high heaven, then sad unto death --this is the
fate of those who depend upon an inner accord with other persons whom
they love. Here we have only the statement of the law that this is so.
Whether this condition is felt to be an affliction of the supreme
happiness of love, is left to the subjective verdict of the person

Other translations for "comrade" would be "antagonist" or "enemy". In
both cases, the center of gravity is outside one and for this reason the
behavior of this line is inconsistent and erratic.

Six in the fourth place means:

The moon nearly at the full.
The team horse goes astray.
No blame.

To intensify the power of inner truth, a man must always turn to his
superior, from whom he can receive enlightenment as the moon receives
light from the sun. However, this requires a certain humility, like that of
the moon when it is not yet quite full. At the moment when the moon
becomes full and stands directly opposite the sun, it begins to wane. Just
as on the one hand we must be humble and reverent when face to face
with the source of enlightenment, so likewise must we on the other
renounce factionalism among men. Only be pursuing one's course like a
horse that goes straight ahead without looking sidewise at its mate, can
one retain the inner freedom that helps one onward.

"The nearly full moon" refers to a cycle about to culminate. This implies
to begin something new, to be projected in a new direction; for that
reason, one of the horses separates from its couple. The horse's
separation implies it leaves a cycle behind and it goes towards the
unreachable thing for which it has not evolved yet, with the result that it
has chosen the superior road, that is to say, the one on the way to the
growth, that is why there is no mistake. The horse that separates is a
symbol of free force, of energy that comes unfastened and advances.
The horse that gets apart its couple represents what no longer remains
together. It also means the end of a society, liberation, and the end of a
cycle that marks different roads.

Nine in the fifth place means:

He possesses truth, which links together.
No blame.

This describes the ruler who holds all elements together by the power of
his personality. Only when the strength of his character is so ample that
he can influence all who are subject to him, is he as he needs to be. The
power of suggestion must emanate from the ruler. It will firmly knit
together and unite all his adherents. Without this central force, all
external unity is only deception and breaks down at the decisive moment.

The power of the sincerity is the cohesion factor. Something which
maintains so strong the unit of a social group as the tangible truth of who
takes charge of it.

This is the proper time to establish relationships and to attach

Nine at the top means:

Cockcrow penetrating to heaven.
Perseverance brings misfortune.

The cock is dependable. It crows at dawn. But it cannot itself fly to
heaven. It just crows. A man may count on mere words to awaken faith.
This may succeed now and then, but if persisted in, it will have bad

When reputation is higher than capability promises can't be carried out.
Sooner or later reality will take charge of the situation and misfortune
will arrive.