Today is a day of action. Everything in heaven and earth supports your endeavors. You have the power. Do now what you may have put off.
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1 – One Ch’ien / Creative Activity
Heaven above and Heaven below:
Heaven in constant motion.
With the strength of the dragon, the Superior Person steels himself for ceaseless activity.
Sublime Success if you keep to your course.
The time for action has come.
You now have the focus and the stamina necessary for accomplishing great tasks.
The path before you is being cleared and reward lies ahead.
|above: Ch’ien / The Creative, Heaven|
|below: Ch’ien / The Creative, Heaven|
THE FIRST hexagram is made up of six unbroken lines. These unbroken lines stand for the primal power, which is light-giving, active, strong, and of the spirit. The hexagram is consistently strong in character, and since it is without weakness, its essence is power or energy. Its image is heaven. Its energy is represented as unrestricted by any fixed conditions in space and is therefore conceived of as motion. Time is regarded as the basis of this motion. Thus the hexagram includes also the power of time and the power of persisting in time, that is, duration.
The power represented by the hexagram is to be interpreted in a dual sense—in terms of its action on the universe and of its action on the world of men. In relation to the universe, the hexagram expresses the strong, creative action of the Deity. In relation to the human world, it denotes the creative action of the holy man or sage, of the ruler or leader of men, who through his power awakens and develops their higher nature.1
The creative works sublime success,
ACCORDING to the original meaning, the attributes [sublimity, potentiality of success, power to further, perseverance] are paired. When an individual draws this oracle, it means that success will come to him from the primal depths of the universe and that everything depends upon his seeking his happiness and that of others in one way only, that is, by perseverance in what is right.
|The act of creation having found expression in the two attributes sublimity and success, the work of conservation is shown to be a continuous actualisation and differentiation of form. This is expressed in the two terms “furthering” (literally, “creating that which accords with the nature of a given being”) and “persevering” (literally, “correct and firm”). “The course of the Creative alters and shapes beings until each attains its true, specific nature, then it keeps them in conformity with the Great Harmony. Thus does it show itself to further through perseverance.”
In relation to the human sphere, this shows how the great man brings peace and security to the world through his activity in creating order: “He towers high above the multitude of beings, and all lands are united in peace.”
Another line of speculation goes still further in separating the words “sublime,” “success,” “furthering,” “perseverance,” and parallels them with the four cardinal virtues in humanity. To sublimity, which, as the fundamental principle, embraces all the other attributes, it links love. To the attribute success are linked the mores, which regulate and organise the expressions of love and thereby make them successful. The attribute furthering is correlated with justice, which creates the conditions in which each receives that which accords with his being, that which is due him and which constitutes his happiness. The attribute perseverance is correlated with wisdom, which discerns the immutable laws of all that happens and can therefore bring about enduring conditions. These speculations, already broached in the commentary called Wen Yen, later formed the bridge connecting the philosophy of the “five stages (elements) of change,” as laid down in the Book of History (Shu Ching) with the philosophy of the Book of Changes, which is based solely on the polarity of positive and negative principles. In the course of time this combination of the two systems of thought opened the way for an increasingly intricate number symbolism.
Conjuction of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury above the Atlantic Ocean
The movement of heaven is full of power.
SINCE there is only one heaven, the doubling of the trigram Chien, of which heaven is the image, indicates the movement of heaven. One complete revolution of heaven makes a day, and the repetition of the trigram means that each day is followed by another. This creates the idea of time. Since it is the same heaven moving with untiring power, there is also created the idea of duration both in and beyond time, a movement that never stops nor slackens, just as one day follows another in an unending course. This duration in time is the image of the power inherent in the Creative.
1. The hexagram is assigned to the fourth month, May-June, when the light-giving power is at its zenith, i.e., before the summer solstice has marked the beginning of the year’s decline. [The German text reads “April-May”; this is obviously a slip, for the first month of the Chinese lunar year extends approximately from the beginning of February to the beginning of March. New Year is a variable date, falling around February 5. Two or three other slips of this sort occurring later in the book have been similarly corrected, but without special mention.]
2. [The German word used here is fördernd, literally rendered by “furthering.” It occurs again and again as a key word in Wilhelm’s rendering of the Chinese text. To avoid extreme awkwardness, the phrase “is favorable” is occasionally used as an alternative.]
3. Cf. Gen. 2: 1 ff., where the development of the different creatures is also attributed to the fall of rain.