Yi Jing Introduction Table of content – I Ching, the Book of Changes

This famous system of 64 hexagrams plus their commentaries and trans­for­mations is at the root of Chinese thought. Tr. Wilhelm (en, fr).

51. Chên / The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)
Chên, the Arousing
  inciting movement
  first son Sky's two strokes trait 0 6      
trait 0 5 K´an, the Abysmal
  second son

Kên, Keeping Still
  third son
Man's two strokes trait 1 4  
Chên, the Arousing
  inciting movement
  first son trait 0 3  
Earth's two strokes trait 0 2  
trait 1 1      

    current       binomial       swap trig.       opposite       flip   X leading master   X constituent master

The Hexagram

Chên / The Arousing (Shock, Thunder)

The hexagram Chên represents the eldest son, who seizes rule with energy and power. A yang line develops below two yin lines and presses upward forcibly. This movement is so violent that it arouses terror. It is symbolized by thunder, which bursts forth from the earth and by its shock causes fear and trembling.

The Judgment

SHOCK brings success.
Shock comes–oh, oh!
Laughing words–ha, ha!
The shock terrifies for a hundred miles,
And he does not let fall the sacrificial spoon and chalice.

The shock that comes from the manifestation of God within the depths of the earth makes man afraid, but this fear of God is good, for joy and merriment can follow upon it.

When a man has learned within his heart what fear and trembling mean, he is safeguarded against any terror produced by outside influences. Let the thunder roll and spread terror a hundred miles around: he remains so composed and reverent in spirit that the sacrificial rite is not interrupted. This is the spirit that must animate leaders and rulers of men–a profound inner seriousness from which all outer terrors glance off harmlessly.

The Image

Thunder repeated: the image of SHOCK.
Thus in fear and trembling
The superior man sets his life in order
And examines himself.

The shock of continuing thunder brings fear and trembling. The superior man is always filled with reverence at the manifestation of God; he sets his life in order and searches his heart, lest it harbor any secret opposition to the will of God. Thus reverence is the foundation of true culture.

Lower line

Nine at the beginning means:
Shock comes–oh, oh!
Then follow laughing words–ha, ha!
Good fortune.

The fear and trembling engendered by shock come to an individual at first in such a way that he sees himself placed at a disadvantage as against others. But this is only transitory. When the ordeal is over, he experiences relief, and thus the very terror he had to endure at the outset brings good fortune in the long run.

Second line

Six in the second place means:
Shock comes bringing danger.
A hundred thousand times
You lose your treasures
And must climb the nine hills.
Do not go in pursuit of them.
After seven days you will get them back again.

This pictures a situation in which a shock endangers a man and he suffers great losses. Resistance would be contrary to the movement of the time and for this reason unsuccessful. Therefore he must simply retreat to heights inaccessible to the threatening forces of danger. He must accept his loss of property without worrying too much about it. When the time of shock and upheaval that has robbed him of his possessions has passed, he will get them back again without going in pursuit of them.

Third line

Six in the third place means:
Shock comes and makes one distraught.
If shock spurs to action
One remains free of misfortune.

There are three kinds of shock–the shock of heaven, which is thunder, the shock of fate, and, finally, the shock of the heart. The present hexagram refers less to inner shock than to the shock of fate. In such times of shock, presence of mind is all too easily lost: the individual overlooks all opportunities for action and mutely lets fate take its course. But if he allows the shocks of fate to induce movement within his mind, he will overcome these external blows with little effort.

Fourth line

Nine in the fourth place means:
Shock is mired.

Movement within the mind depends for its success partly on circumstances. If there is neither a resistance that might be vigorously combated, nor yet a yielding that permits of victory–if, instead, everything is tough and inert like mire–movement is crippled.

Fifth line

Six in the fifth place means:
Shock goes hither and thither.
However, nothing at all is lost.
Yet there are things to be done.

This is a case not of a single shock but of repeated shocks with no breathing space between. Nonetheless, the shock causes no loss, because one takes care to stay in the center of movement and in this way to be spared the fate of being helplessly tossed hither and thither.

Upper line

Six at the top means:
Shock brings ruin and terrified gazing around.
Going ahead brings misfortune.
If it has not yet touched one's own body
But has reached one's neighbor first,
There is no blame.
One's comrades have something to talk about.

When inner shock is at its height, it robs a man of reflection and clarity of vision. In such a state of shock it is of course impossible to act with presence of mind. Then the right thing is to keep still until composure and clarity are restored. But this a man can do only when he himself is not yet infected by the agitation, although its disastrous effects are already visible in those around him. If he withdraws from the affair in time, he remains free of mistakes and injury. But his comrades, who no longer heed any warning, will in their excitement certainly be displeased with him. However, he must not take this into account.

renoncement sublime
algiz – 2008/11/03
au revoir c'etait fort instructif
Anon. – 2008/11/02
W/ref to Hexagram 58: I think there's a transcribing error here in the last line of the Judgement. Instead of the character "qi" (seven), it should read "bi" (ladle). The ladle and sacrificial wine (chang) are implements of religious sacrifice – the meaning here is that things (eg religious sacrifices) continue as per usual (despite the shock).
n.nair – 2008/12/03
Ai appris un truc le Yi king ne reponds jamais a ce que l'on croit etre, juste a nos actions.
Orsius – 2008/12/02
Tout bouge? Tout est remis en doute?Même les choses qui semblent immuables?
Il semble effectivement qu'il le faille, mais avec prudence...
Anon. – 2007/12/07
les chose sont la pour nous aider, toutes ces choses de la vie, si on cherche a couper le fromage, ca peut faire tres mal,
alors marche par marche,,, comme dans cube le film...on a tous un chemin il faut just le suivre, sans chercher a couper le fromage... ou si no a la fin ca peut couter cheres...
pierre – 2007/12/01
Les infections ORL peuvent être associées aux suites de chocs affectifs répétés - voir homéopathie, Ignatia amara.
: ) – 2006/11/03
Comment vaincre mes infections ORL?
Shinobi – 2006/11/02
Wouahhh après m'etre mis en colère je viens de tirer ceci..
superherman – 2006/11/01
Travail sur l'énergie interne(le Chi) pour le Xin Yi?
La puissance du tonnerre et de la foudre sont bien là!
Anon. – 2006/11/01
love sent
Anon. – 2006/12/09
See also:
"Complete Works of Aristotle," vol. 1, pp 555, "Meteorology."
Anon. – 2006/12/09
See also:
"Thunder: Perfect Mind" from Nag Hammadi Library...
anonyMoses – 2006/12/06
un cas d'école quand on est confronté à une séparation
sixpattes – 2005/12/08
asta ar trebui sa fie viitorul meu...
simona – 2005/12/07
It seems that there is some difference of translation on the commentary for 51. Wilhelm and Legge bring the Divine/God into the meaning. For Wihelm's commentary, the trigram Chen, doubled into the hexagram 51, means "the coming forth of God in the spring." Through stillness of mental agitation, we attune to this deep Reality. But other translations of commentaries make no mention of the Divine/God. This includes Chung Wu's recent version. And so the question arises as to just what the true truth of this is. One thing is certain: only in the mind's stillness will direct realization come. Not in any commentary, which only finger-points to the Reality. Let us read the commentary and then turn our backs on it and enter our own experience of being.
frank hall – 2004/11/02
I personally don't see any theology in Taoist thought and I Ching is no different. It is nature that sets the tone and rhythm of our lives, not god. Fear makes one realize that there is no pilot other than the self that develops thru experience, fear is what makes one humble and sensitive and pliant to Tao. Your interpretation is Eurocentric: the fear spoken of here is not nihilistic a la existentialism; it is a knowing of one limits and the boundlessness to be seen in that acknowledgement. Fear is catalyst, not final state.
Jpt Arnakak – 2004/12/05
Voici ma journée de demain...PFOU, en fait je n'ai pas hâte d'y être pourvu que la nuit dure une éternité.
Anon. – 2004/12/03
Este hexagrama exibiu-se diante mim como uma completíssima teologia dos valores do medo: o medo do céu, o medo da fé e o medo do coração. Ou melhor: o medo que reconduz os seres a Deus, às coisas do céu, o medo que conduz os seres à fé, revivificando-a e fazendo-a crescer e o medo que conduz os seres ao cerne do seu coração e aqui a auto-análise ou a retrospecção torna-se presente. É já longo (nada é longo) o caminho que tenho percorrido no cerne do I Ching e sempre que me encontro diante deste hexagrama eu sinto-o como o mais teológico de todo o I Ching. Ele é a imagem profunda daquilo a que muitas vezes retratamos como frutos de uma maldição.
A todos os que comentarem esta minha opinião eu agradeço profundamente.
João Reis D'Affonseca
11 de Fevereiro de 2005
João Reis D\\\\\\ – 2004/12/02
This hexagram shows to me a complete theology of the fear: the fear of the sky, the fear of the faith and the fear of the heart. Better telling: the fear ho makes the beings turn to God, the fear who makes the beings turn to faith and the fear who makes the beings turn to there hearts. It is long (nothing is long enough) my journey inside the I Jing and, in front of this hexagram, I feel it like the most theological of all I Jing. I thank to all who comment this my opinion.
João Reis D¡¦Affonseca
11, February, 2005
João Reis D'Affonseca – 2004/12/02
Yi Jing I. 51. (51) IntroductionTable of content
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