Sequence of the Gua
Things cannot disperse forever. Thus, after Dispersing, restricting follows.
Prosperous and smooth.
Not appropriate to be steadfast.
In bitter restriction.
Commentary on the Decision
Prosperity and smoothness.
The firm and the yielding are equally divided,
And the firms obtain the central places.
Not appropriate to be steadfast in bitter restriction.
Its way leads to the end.
Passing the danger with joy,
Carry out restriction in the proper position.
From the central and correct place,
His advance is without limitation.
When Heaven and Earth regulate their restriction,
Then the four seasons complete their functions.
When restriction is put into regulation,
Then resources will not be exhausted
And people will not be hurt.
Commentary on the Symbol
Water over Lake.
An image of Restricting.
In correspondence with this,
The superior person creates numbers and measures fore restriction
And discusses a moral code for social conduct.
Going forward: esteem
The gua takes the image of water in a lake to illustrate that there is a need to regulate the excessiveness and insufficiency of water and applies the principle to adjusting right and wrong in human society. the nature of water is moving, When water is moving, it is fresh and clean, and when it stops, it becomes stagnant and stale. If the water moves without direction, it will be either wasted or exhausted. If it is dammed up without a plan, it will cause flood and calamity. The ancient Chinese accumilated experience in dealing with the Yellow River, which flooded once a year for thousands of years. Their experience was to dredge the riverbed and to guide the water, based upon the principle of adjusting its excessiveness and insufficiency, to control the rate of its flow. From this experience, they applied the principle of regulating rivers and watercourses to social affairs.
The lower gua is Lake. Water in the lake is rising. Beyond the third line, it will overflow. The upper gua is Water. The nature of water is to flow. When the water reaches the topmost line, it shoud stop. Otherwise flood and calamity will ensue. The message of the gua is that if there is there is too little water, one should be concerned about possible drought. In our daily lives, we should strike a balance between excess and insufficiency and walk in the central path.
The host of the gua is the solid line at the fifth place. Only a person supreme wisdom and one in an honorable place is able to adjust right and wrong and practice the Tao of restriction.
During King Wen’s sitting in stillness he realized that after overcoming dispersion, people came together to work in full cooperation and with unity of purpose. It was time to promote restriction—to set limits to one’s expenses and bounds on one’s behavior. Promoting restraint would bring people and the government sucess, but painful restriction should not become common practice. The Duke of Zhou narrates different consequences of restriction. If either government or the people do not observe restraint, it would create unhappiness. Peaceful restriction bring success and invites good fortune. Painful restriction results in misfortune.