Sequence of the Gua
When things are accumilated in great amount, nourishing becomes available. Thus, after Great Accumulation, Nourishing follows.
Being steadfact and upright: good fortune.
Watch your nourishment;
Pay attention to what is in your mouth.
Commentary on the Decision
Steadfast and upright: good fortune.
When nourishing is right,
Good fortune comes.
Watching how you nourish others;
It is to watch what you provide nourishment for.
Paying attention to what is in your mouth.
It is to pay attention to how you nourish yourself.
Heaven and Earth nourish all beigns.
The holy sages nourish the virtuous,
And thus reqach all.
Great indeed is nourishing in its time!
Commentary on the Symbol
Thunder beneath Mountain.
An imager of Nourishing.
In correspondence with this,
The superior person is careful of his words
And moderate in eating and drinking.
Putting aside your spiritual tortoise,
Staring at me with mouth drooling.
This gua outlines the principle of nourishing. In ancient times, the Chinese concept of nourishing included nurturing, especially nurturing one’s virtue. To the ancient Chinese, nourishing without nurturing was the way of animals, The revered sage Mencius says,
Filling with food,
Living leisurely without learning,
It is little short of animals.
The ancient sages proclaimed that nourishing and nurturing were not a matter reserved for the family but concerned society as a whole. Nourishing and nurturing family was selfish, nourishing and nurturing society was selfless. Compared with nourishing one’s virtue, nourishing one’s body was secondary. thus, the sages were cautious of words and moderate in diet and provided nourishment and nurturing to the peopleEither the yielding line at the fifth place or the solid line at the top could be the host of the gua. However, the solid line at the top is the source of nourishment. Confucius’s Commentary on the Decision says, “Heaven and Earth nourish all beings. The holy sages nourish the virtuous, and thus reach all.” The host of the gua refers to the person who is trying to follow in the steps of the sages. The first three lines of the gua refer to nourishing oneself. Either misfortune results or nothing will be favorable. The next three lines have to do with nourishing one’s self as as well as others. The results are beneficial.
The gua indicated that after King Wu overthrew the Tyrant of Shang there was a famine in the realm of the Shang dynasty. King Wen instructed the people to nourish the adherents of the Shang dynasty physically as well as spiritually. The Duke of Zhou tells how the adherents of the Shang dynasty put aside their spiritual tortoises and sought physical nourishment from the Zhou dynasty. Normally, the conquered provide sustenance to the conqueror, but here the conqueror nourishes the conquered. If the conqueror were to supply only physical nourishment to the conquered, it would lead to misfortune. Nourishing physical needs and spiritual needs brought good fortune.
Initial Nine: Nourishing alternates to Falling Away (23)
The sold line at the bottom represents a person of resolute character, responding to the yielding line at the fourth place. A tortoise is an animal able to survive without eating and drinking for a long period of time. In ancient China, the tortoise was regarded as a spiritual animal because of its longevity. The Yao Text, “Putting aside your spiritual toirtoise, staring at me with mouth drooling,” denotes that one at this place puts his spirituality aside and watches the person high above him eating. A drooling mouth suggests greed. there is a Chinese adage that says, “Mouth drooling with greed. It is not a noble manner.” The solid line at the bottom is firm and strong. He ought to rely on himself in seeking nourishment for his physical body as well as his spiritual nature. yet he puts adside his own resources and seeks profit from other people’s toil. This behavior ends in misfortune.