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Book of Changes 《易經》

鼎 Ding

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Ding gives the intimation of great progress and success.

In Ding we have (symbolically) the figure of a caldron. (We see) the (symbol of) wood entering into that of fire, which suggests the idea of cooking. The sages cooked their offerings in order to present them to God, and made great feasts to nourish their wise and able (ministers). We have the symbol of) flexible obedience, and that (which denotes) ears quick of hearing and eyes clear-sighted. (We have also) the weak (line) advanced and acting above, in the central place, and responded to by the strong (line below). All these things give the idea of 'great progress and success.'

(The trigram representing) wood and above it that for fire form Ding. The superior man, in accordance with this, keeps his every position correct, and maintains secure the appointment (of Heaven).

The first SIX, divided, shows the caldron overthrown and its feet turned up. (But) there will be advantage in its getting rid of what was bad in it. (Or it shows us) the concubine (whose position is improved) by means of her son. There will be no error.

'The caldron is overturned, and its feet turned upwards:' - but this is not (all) contrary (to what is right). 'There will be advantage in getting rid of what was bad:' - thereby (the subject of the line) will follow the more noble (subject of the fourth line).

The second NINE, undivided, shows the caldron with the things (to be cooked) in it. (If its subject can say), 'My enemy dislikes me, but he cannot approach me,' there will be good fortune.

'There is the caldron with the things (to be cooked) in it:' - let (the subject of the line) be careful where he goes. 'My enemy dislikes me:' - but there will in the end be no fault (to which he can point).

The third NINE, undivided, shows the caldron with (the places of) its ears changed. The progress (of its subject) is (thus) stopped. The fat flesh of the pheasant (which is in the caldron) will not be eaten. But the (genial) rain will come, and the grounds for repentance will disappear. There will be good fortune in the end.

'There is the caldron with (the places for) its ears changed:' - (its subject) has failed in what was required of him (in his situation).

The fourth NINE, undivided, shows the caldron with its feet broken; and its contents, designed for the ruler's use, overturned and spilt. Its Subject will be made to blush for shame. There will be evil.

'The contents designed for the ruler's use are overturned and spilt:' - how can (the subject of the line) be trusted?

The fifth six, divided, shows the caldron with yellow ears and rings of metal in them. There will be advantage through being firm and correct.

'The caldron has yellow ears:' - the central position (of the line) is taken as (a proof of) the solid (virtue of its subject).

The sixth NINE, undivided, shows the caldron with rings of jade. There will be great good fortune, and all action taken will be in every way advantageous.

'The rings of jade' are at the very top: - the strong and the weak meet in their due proportions.

English translation: Legge 1882

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