Engaging the difficult and dangerous threats to the unity of community are worthy of your commitment, devotion and sacrifice. It will avert a complete descent into chaos and injustice. It will also renew the bonds which originally formed the community.
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#21, line 5, #13
As a result the lips cannot meet. To bring them together one must bite energetically through the obstacle. Since the hexagram is made up of the trigrams for thunder and for lightning, it indicates how obstacles are forcibly removed in nature. Energetic biting through overcomes the obstacle that prevents joining of the lips; the storm with its thunder and lightning overcomes the disturbing tension in nature. Recourse to law and penalties overcomes the disturbances of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanderers. The theme of this hexagram is a criminal lawsuit, in contradistinction to that of Sung, CONFLICT (6), which refers to civil suits.
BITING THROUGH has success.
It is favorable to let justice be administered.
When an obstacle to union arises, energetic biting through brings success. This is true in all situations. Whenever unity cannot be established, the obstruction is due to a talebearer and traitor who is interfering and blocking the way. To prevent permanent injury, vigorous measures must be taken at once. Deliberate obstruction of this sort does not vanish of its own accord. Judgement and punishment are required to deter or obviate it.
However, it is important to proceed in the right way. The hexagram combines Li, clarity, and Chên, excitement. Li is yielding, Chên is hard. Unqualified hardness and excitement would be too violent in meting out punishment; unqualified clarity and gentleness would be too weak. The two together create the just measure. It is of moment that the man who makes the decisions (represented by the fifth line) is gentle by nature, while he commands respect by his conduct in his position.
Thunder and lightning:
The image of BITING THROUGH.
Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws
Through clearly defined penalties.
Penalties are the individual applications of the law. The laws specify the penalties. Clarity prevails when mild and severe penalties are clearly differentiated, according to the nature of the crimes. This is symbolized by the clarity of lightning. The law is strengthened by a just application of penalties. This is symbolized by the terror of thunder. This clarity and severity have the effect of instilling respect; it is not that the penalties are ends in themselves. The obstructions in the social life of man increase when there is lack of clarity in the penal codes and slackness in executing them. The only way to strengthen the law is to make it clear and to make penalties certain and swift.
Six in the fifth place means:
Bites on dried lean meat.
Receives yellow gold.
Perseveringly aware of danger.
The case to be decided is indeed not easy but perfectly clear. Since we naturally incline to leniency, we must make every effort to be like yellow gold — that is, as true as gold and as impartial as yellow, the color of the middle [the mean]. It is only by remaining conscious of the dangers growing out of the responsibility we have assumed that we can avoid making mistakes.
FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN in the open.
It furthers one to cross the great water.
The perseverance of the superior man furthers.
True fellowship among men must be based on a concern that is universal. It is not the private interests of the individual that create lasting fellowship among men, but rather the goals of humanity. That is why it is said that fellowship with men in the open succeeds. If unity of this kind prevails, even difficult and dangerous tasks, such as crossing the great water, can be accomplished. But in order to bring about this sort of fellowship, a persevering and enlightened leader is needed – a man with clear, convincing, and inspiring aims and the strength to carry them out. (The inner trigram means clarity; the outer, strength.)
Heaven together with fire:
The image of FELLOWSHIP WITH MEN.
Thus the superior man organises the clans
And makes distinctions between things.
Heaven has the same direction of movement as fire, yet it is different from fire. Just as the luminaries in the sky serve for the systematic division and arrangement of time, so human society and all things that really belong together must be organically arranged. Fellowship should not be a mere mingling of individuals or of things – that would be chaos, not fellowship. If fellowship is to lead to order, there must be organisation within diversity.