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The original Richard Wilhelm translation for the hexagram line...


噬嗑

Hexagram 21
Shih Ho - Biting Through

yang
yin above: Li / The Clinging, Fire
yang
yin
yin below: Chên / The Arousing, Thunder
yang
I Ching Online

CHANGING LINE:

Hexagram Twenty-One/Line Six


Nine at the top means:
His neck is fastened in the wooden cangue,
So that his ears disappear.
Misfortune.

Wooden cangue


In contrast to the first line, this line refers to a man who's incorrigible. His punishment is the wooden cangue, and his ears disappear under it—that is to say, he is deaf to warnings. This obstinacy leads to misfortune.1



1. It should be noted here that there is an alternative interpretation of this hexagram, based on the idea, "Above, light (the sun); below, movement." In this interpretation the hexagram symbolizes a market below, full of movement, while the sun is shining in the sky above. The allusion to meat suggests that it is a food market. Gold and arrows are the articles of trade. The disappearance of the nose means the vanishing of smell, that is, the person in question is not covetous. The idea of poison points to the dangers of wealth, and so on throughout.
Confucius says in regard to the nine at the beginning in this hexagram: "The inferior man is not ashamed of unkindness and does not shrink from injustice. If no advantage beckons he makes no effort. If he is not intimidated he does not improve himself, but if he is made to behave correctly in small matters he is careful in large ones. This is fortunate for the inferior man."
On the subject of the nine at the top Confucius says: "If good does not accumulate, it is not enough to make a name for a man. If evil does not accumulate, it is not strong enough to destroy a man. Therefore the inferior man thinks to himself, 'Goodness in small things has no value, ' and so neglects it. He thinks, 'Small sins do not harm,' and so does not give them up. Thus his sins accumulate until they can no longer be covered up, and his guilt becomes so great that it can no longer be wiped out."



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