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Book of Changes 易經

師 Shi

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Shi indicates how, in the case which it supposes, with firmness and correctness, and (a leader of) age and experience, there will be good fortune and no error.

(The name) Shi describes the multitude (of the host). The 'firmness and correctness' (which the hexagram indicates) refer to (moral) correctness (of aim). When (the mover) is able to use the multitude with such correctness, he may attain to the royal sway. There is (the symbol of) strength in the centre (of the trigram below), and it is responded to (by its proper correlate above). The action gives rise to perils, but is in accordance (with the best sentiments of men). (Its mover) may by such action distress all the country, but the people will follow him; - there will be good fortune, and what error should there be?

(The trigram representing) the earth and in the midst of it that representing water, form Shi. The superior man, in accordance with this, nourishes and educates the people, and collects (from among them) the multitudes (of the hosts).

The first SIX, divided, shows the host going forth according to the rules (for such a movement). If these be not good, there will be evil.

'The host goes forth according to the rules (for) such a movement:' - if those rules be not observed, there will be evil.

The second NINE, undivided, shows (the leader) in the midst of the host. There will be good fortune and no error. The king has thrice conveyed to him the orders (of his favour).

'He is in the midst of the host, and there will be good fortune:' - he has received the favour of Heaven. 'The king has thrice conveyed to him the orders (of) his favour:' - (the king) cherishes the myriad regions in his heart.

The third SIX, divided, shows how the host may, possibly, have many inefficient leaders. There will be evil.

'The host with the possibility of its having many idle leaders:' - great will be its want of success.

The fourth SIX, divided, shows the host in retreat. There is no error.

'The host is in retreat; but there is no error:' - there has been no failure in the regular course.

The fifth SIX, divided, shows birds in the fields, which it will be advantageous to seize (and destroy). In that case there will be no error. If the oldest son leads the host, and younger men (idly occupy offices assigned to them), however firm and correct he may be, there will be evil.

'The oldest son leads the host:' - its movements are directed by him in accordance with his position in the centre. 'Younger men idly occupy their positions:' - the employment of such men is improper.

The topmost SIX, divided, shows the great ruler delivering his charges, (appointing some) to be rulers of states, and others to undertake the headship of clans; but small men should not be employed (in such positions).

The great ruler delivers his charges:' - thereby he rightly apportions merit. 'Small men should not be employed:' - they are sure to throw the states into confusion.

English translation: Legge 1882

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