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p. 118


Khan, here repeated, shows the possession of sincerity, through which the mind is. penetrating. Action (in accordance with this) will be of high value.

1. The first SIX, divided, shows its subject in the double defile, and (yet) entering a cavern within it. There will be evil.

2. The second NINE, undivided, shows its subject

p. 119

in all the peril of the defile. He will, however, get a little (of the deliverance) that he seeks.

3. The third SIX, divided, shows its subject, whether he comes or goes ( =descends or ascends), confronted by a defile. All is peril to him and unrest. (His endeavours) will lead him into the cavern of the pit. There should be no action (in such a case).

4. The fourth SIX, divided, shows its subject (at a feast), with (simply) a bottle of spirits, and a subsidiary basket of rice, while (the cups and bowls) are (only) of earthenware. He introduces his important lessons (as his ruler's) intelligence admits. There will in the end be no error.

5. The fifth NINE, undivided, shows the water of the defile not yet full, (so that it might flow away); but order will (soon) be brought about. There will be no error.

6. The topmost SIX, divided, shows its subject bound with cords of three strands or two strands, and placed in the thicket of thorns. But in three years he does not learn the course for him to pursue. There will be evil.


119:XXIX The trigram Khan, which is doubled to form this hexagram, is the lineal symbol of water. Its meaning, as a character, is 'a pit,' 'a perilous cavity, or defile;' and here and elsewhere in the Yî it leads the reader to think of a dangerous defile, with water flowing through it. It becomes symbolic of danger, and what the authors of the Text had in mind was to show how danger should be encountered, its effect on the mind, and how to get out of it.

The trigram exhibits a strong central line, between two divided lines. The central represented to king Wăn the sincere honesty and goodness of the subject of the hexagram, whose mind was sharpened and made penetrating by contact with danger, and who p. 120 acted in a manner worthy of his character. It is implied, though the Thwan does not say it, that he would get out of the danger,

Line 1 is weak, at the bottom of the figure, and has no correlate above, no helper, that is, beyond itself. All these things render the case of its subject hopeless. He will by his efforts only involve himself more deeply in danger.

Line 2 is strong, and in the centre. Its subject is unable, indeed, to escape altogether from the danger, but he does not involve himself more deeply in it like the subject of 1, and obtains some ease.

Line 3 is weak, and occupies the place of a strong line. Its subject is in an evil case.

Line 4 is weak, and will get no help from its correlate in 1. Its subject is not one who can avert the danger threatening himself and others. But his position is close to that of the ruler in 5, whose intimacy he cultivates with an unostentatious sincerity, symbolled by the appointments of the simple feast, and whose intelligence he cautiously enlightens. In consequence, there will be no error.

The subject of line 5 is on the eve of extrication and deliverance. The waters of the defile will ere long have free vent and disappear, and the ground will be levelled and made smooth. The line is strong, in a proper place, and in the place of honour.

The case of the subject of line 6 is hopeless. When danger has reached its highest point, there he is, represented by a weak line, and with no proper correlate below. The 'thicket of thorns' is taken as a metaphor for a prison; but if the expression has a history, I have been unable to find it.

Next: XXX. The Lî Hexagram