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).

6. Sung / Conflict
Ch´ien, the Creative
  father Sky's two strokes trait 1 6      
trait 1 5 Sun, the Gentle
  wind, wood
  first daughter

Li, the Clinging
  second daughter
Man's two strokes trait 1 4  
K´an, the Abysmal
  second son trait 0 3  
Earth's two strokes trait 1 2  
trait 0 1      

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

The Hexagram

Sung / Conflict

The upper trigram, whose image is heaven, has an upward movement; the lower trigram, water, in accordance with its nature tends downward. Thus the two halves move away from each other, giving rise to the idea of conflict.

The attribute of the Creative is strength, that of the Abysmal is danger, guile. Where cunning has force before it, there is conflict.

A third indication of conflict, in terms of character, is presented by the combination of deep cunning within and fixed determination outwardly. A person of this character will certainly be quarrelsome.

The Judgment

CONFLICT. You are sincere
And are being obstructed.
A cautious halt halfway brings good fortune.
Going through to the end brings misfortune.
It furthers one to see the great man.
It does not further one to cross the great water.

Conflict develops when one feels himself to be in the right and runs into opposition. If one is not convinced of being in the right, opposition leads to craftiness or high-handed encroachment but not to open conflict.

If a man is entangled in a conflict, his only salvation lies in being so clear- headed and inwardly strong that he is always ready to come to terms by meeting the opponent halfway. To carry on the conflict to the bitter end has evil effects even when one is the right, because the enmity is then perpetuated. It is important to see the great man, that is, an impartial man whose authority is great enough to terminate the conflict amicably or assure a just decision. In times of strife, crossing the great water is to be avoided, that is, dangerous enterprises are not to be begun, because in order to be successful they require concerted unity of focus. Conflict within weakens the power to conquer danger without.

The Image

Heaven and water go their opposite ways:
The image of CONFLICT.
Thus in all his transactions the superior man
Carefully considers the beginning.

The image indicates that the causes of conflict are latent in the opposing tendencies of the two trigrams. Once these opposing tendencies appear, conflict is inevitable. To avoid it, therefore, everything must be taken carefully into consideration in the very beginning. If rights and duties are exactly defined, or if, in a group, the spiritual trends of the individuals harmonize, the cause of conflict is removed in advance.

Lower line

Six at the beginning means:
If one does not perpetuate the affair,
There is a little gossip.
In the end, good fortune comes.

While a conflict is in the incipient stage, the best thing to do is to drop the issue. Especially when the adversary is stronger, it is not advisable to risk pushing the conflict to a decision. It may come to a slight dispute, but in the end all goes well.

Second line

Nine in the second place means:
One cannot engage in conflict;
One returns home, gives way.
The people of his town,
Three hundred households,
Remain free of guilt.

In a struggle with an enemy of superior strength, retreat is no disgrace. Timely withdrawal prevents bad consequences. If, out of a false sense of honor, a man allowed himself to be tempted into an unequal conflict, he would be drawing down disaster upon himself. In such a case a wise and conciliatory attitude benefits the whole community, which will then not be drawn into the conflict.

Third line

Six in the third place means:
To nourish oneself on ancient virtue induces perseverance.
Danger. In the end, good fortune comes.
If by chance you are in the service of a king,
Seek not works.

This is a warning of the danger that goes with an expansive disposition. Only that which has been honestly acquired through merit remains a permanent possession. It can happen that such a possession may be contested, but since it is really one's own, one cannot be robbed of it. Whatever a man possesses through the strength of his own nature cannot be lost. If one enters the service of a superior, one can avoid conflict only by not seeking works for the sake of prestige. It is enough if the work is done: let the honor go to the other.

Fourth line

Nine in the fourth place means:
One cannot engage in conflict.
One turns back and submits to fate,
Changes one's attitude,
And finds peace in perseverance.
Good fortune.

This refers to a person whose inner attitude at first lacks peace. He does not feel content with his situation and would like to improve it through conflict. In contrast to the situation of the nine in the second place, he is dealing with a weaker opponent and might therefore succeed. But he cannot carry on the fight, because, since right is not on his side, he cannot justify the conflict to his conscience. Therefore he turns back and accepts his fate. He changes his mind and finds lasting peace in being at one with eternal law. This brings good fortune.

Fifth line

Nine in the fifth place means:
To contend before him
Brings supreme good fortune.

This refers to an arbiter in a conflict who is powerful and just, and strong enough to lend weight to the right side. A dispute can be turned over to him with confidence. If one is in the right, one attains great good fortune.

Upper line

Nine at the top means:
Even if by chance a leather belt is bestowed on one,
By the end of a morning
It will have been snatched away three times.

Here we have someone who has carried a conflict to the bitter end and has triumphed. He is granted a decoration, but his happiness does not last. He is attacked again and again, and the result is conflict without end.


L'eau est au-dessus du feu :
Image de la ...
Si l'eau déborde, le feu s'éteint et sou énergie est perdue"

contains a typo. Should be "...et son énergie...".

repi – 3 – 2009/12/01
Anon. – 2008/11/02
les "gentilles ombres"
Anon. – 4 – 2008/11/02
Depuis plus de 5 ans ... Annoncé à la télé par Benazir Bhutto qui meurt elle aussi peu de temps après. Extrême futilité.
Kath – 2008/12/09
Anon. – 0 – 2008/12/09
Ben Laden est-il mort?
Anon. – 2 – 2008/12/08
Devise judicieuse ...
Kath – 0 – 2008/12/08
Devise judicieuse ...
Kath – 0 – 2008/12/08
'Nine at the beginning means:
He breaks his wheels. ' contains a typo. Should be 'brakes his wheels'.. this can be seen in the Chinese. If one doubts this one can check a print version of Wilhelm/Baynes.
Anon. – 3 – 2008/12/07
nouvelle ère lumineuse
algiz – 4 – 2008/12/05
so appreciative of this oracle!
Anon. – 2008/12/04
la rigueur & la persistence ....
mimosa91 – 4 – 2008/12/03
thank you!!!!!!
Anon. – 4 – 2008/12/03
un ouragan qui s'exteriorise amene t'il a l'accomplissement?
1p0 – 4 – 2008/12/03
thank you, much gratefulness and appreciation
Anon. – 4 – 2008/12/02
so prophetic!
junea – 3 – 2007/11/03
Il est venu, il est là, mais ses appels n'ont pas été entendus. Dans sa fin est son commencement. le 13/08/08
an ninh – 4 – 2007/12/08
Prétendre à la filiation familiale d'un Lê n'est pas un destin réservé à tous les mortels. Un abus d'une telle mansuétude n'est donc pas à redouter.
Lê Van an ninh 27/07/08
an ninh – 1 – 2007/12/08
Devise de Matisse : "d'abord, admettre"...
rod – 0 – 2007/12/06
l'ère nouvelle s'augmente par le contraste qu'il forme avec la misère de l'époque ancienne................
Soul FLower – 4 – 2007/12/01
Yi Jing I. 6. (6) IntroductionTable of content
Previous page
Next page
Chinese landscape on plate (36)

I Ching, the Book of Changes – Yi Jing I. 6. – Chinese on/offFrançais/English
Alias Yijing, I Ching, Yi King, I Ging, Zhou yi, The Classic of Changes (Lynn), The Elemental Changes (Nylan), Le Livre des Changements (Javary), Das Buch der Wandlung.

The Book of Odes, The Analects, Great Learning, Doctrine of the Mean, Three-characters book, The Book of Changes, The Way and its Power, 300 Tang Poems, The Art of War, Thirty-Six Strategies
Welcome, help, notes, introduction, table.

Wengu, Chinese Classics multilingual text base