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易經
the Hexagrams, Index

In case you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex page.

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易經
het Hexagrammenboek

In case you prefer to ask a question or if you like to read a specific hexagram, then use this idex.






Table 1,

Select a hexagram by combining the trigrams:


Trigrammemindeling
Trigrammemindeling


Table 2,

Select a hexagram from the drop-down list.
The hexagrams are ordered by number:









20. Guan

Contemplation (View)



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the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
上九:观其生,君子无咎。

Nine at the top means:

Contemplation of his life.
The superior man is without blame.



While the preceding line represents a man who contemplates himself, here in the highest place everything that is personal, related to the ego, is excluded. The picture is that of a sage who stands outside the affairs of the world. Liberated from his ego, he contemplates the laws of life and so realizes that knowing how to become free of blame is the highest good.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:观我生,君子无咎。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Contemplation of my life.
The superior man is without blame.



A man in an authoritative position to whom others look up must always be ready for self-examination. The right sort of self-examination, however, consists not in idle brooding over oneself but in examining the effects one produces. Only when these effects are good, and when one's influence on others is good, will the contemplation of one's own life bring the satisfaction of knowing oneself to be free of mistakes.
六四:观国之光,利用宾于王。

Six in the fourth place means:

Contemplation of the light of the kingdom.
It furthers one to exert influence as the guest of a king.



This describes a man who understands the secrets by which a kingdom can be made to flourish. Such a man must be given an authoritative position, in which he can exert influence. He should be, so to speak, a guest-that is, he should be honored and act independently, and should not be used as a tool.
六三:观我生,进退。

Six in the third place means:

Contemplation of my life
Decides the choice
Between advance and retreat.



This is the place of transition. We no longer look outward to receive pictures that are more or less limited and confused, but direct out contemplation upon ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-contemplation means the overcoming of naive egotism in the person who sees everything solely form his own standpoint. He begins to reflect and in this way acquires objectivity. However, self-knowledge does not mean preoccupation with one's own thoughts; rather, it means concern about the effects one creates. It is only the effects our lives produce that give us the right to judge whether what we have done means progress or regression.
六二:闚观,利女贞。

Six in the second place means:

Contemplation through the crack of the door.
Furthering for the perseverance of a woman.



Through the crack of the door one has a limited outlook; one looks outward from within. Contemplation is subjectively limited. One tends to relate everything to oneself and cannot put oneself in another's place and understand his motives. This is appropriate for a good housewife. It is not necessary for her to be conversant with the affairs of the world. But for a man who must take active part in public life, such a narrow, egotistic way of contemplating things is of course harmful.
初六:童观,小人无咎,君子吝。

Six at the beginning means:

Boy like contemplation.
For an inferior man, no blame.
For a superior man, humiliation.



This means contemplation from a distance, without comprehension. A man of influence is at hand, abut his influence is not understood by the common people. This matters little in the case of the masses, for they benefit by the actions of the ruling sage whether they understand them or not. But for a superior man it is a disgrace. He must not content himself with a shallow, thoughtless view of prevailing forces; he must contemplate them as a connected whole and try to understand them.
the Sign of hexagram Contemplation (View) Qis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain

A slight variation of tonal stress gives the Chinese name for this hexagram a double meaning. It means both contemplating and being seen, in the sense of being an example. These ideas are suggested by the fact that the hexagram can be understood as picturing a type of tower a depiction of a tower much resembling a gate characteristic of ancient China.
A tower of this kind commanded a wide view of the country; at the same time, when situated on a mountain, it became a landmark that could be seen for miles around. Thus the hexagram shows a ruler who contemplates the law of heaven above him and the ways of the people below, and who, by means of good government, sets a lofty example to the masses. This hexagram is linked with the eight month (September-October). The light-giving power retreats and the dark power is again on the increase. However, this aspect is not material in the interpretation of the hexagram as a whole.

The sequence:
When things are great, one can contemplate them. Hence there follows the hexagram of Contemplation.

Miscellaneous Notes
The meaning of the hexagrams of Approach and Contemplation is that they partly give and partly take.

This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one: above is a tree, under it the earth. The tree on the earth is something to be viewed. The upper nuclear trigram Gen, the mountain, gives the same idea, for it too towers up and is widely visible. The hexagram has a double meaning: it “partly gives,” i.e., provides a sublime view, and “partly takes,” i.e., contemplates, seeks to attain something by contemplation.
the Judgement for hexagram Contemplation (View) Qis:

观:盥而不荐,有孚顒若。

Contemplation. The ablution has been made,
But not yet the offering.
Full of trust they look up to him.



The sacrificial ritual in China began with an ablution and a libation by which the Deity was invoked, after which the sacrifice was offered. The moment of time between these two ceremonies is the most sacred of all, the moment of deepest inner concentration. If piety is sincere and expressive of real faith, the contemplation of it has a transforming awe-spiring effect on those who witness it. Thus also in nature a holy seriousness is to be seen in the fact that natural occurrences are uniformly subject to law. Contemplation of the divine meaning underlying the workings of the universe gives to the man who is called upon to influence others the means of producing like effects. This requires that power of inner concentration which religious contemplation develops in great men strong in faith. It enables them to apprehend the mysterious and divine laws of life, and by means of profoundest inner concentration they give expression to these laws in their own persons. Thus a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing and dominating others without their being aware of how it happens.

Commentary on the Decision:

观:盥而不荐,有孚顒若。大观在上,顺而巽,中正以观天下。观,盥而不荐,有孚顒若,下观而化也。观天之神道,而四时不忒,圣人以神道设教,而天下服矣。

A great view is above. Devoted and gentle. Central and correct, he is something for the world to view.
“Contemplation. The ablution has been made, but not yet the offering. Full of trust they look up to him.
”Those below look toward him and are transformed. He affords them a view of the divine way of heaven, and the four seasons do not deviate from their rule. Thus the holy man uses the divine way to give instruction, and the whole world submits to him.



The great view above consists of the two lines in the fifth and the top place. The lower trigram Kun is devoted, the upper, Xun, is gentle. The nine in the fifth place, the ruler of the hexagram, is central and correct. The nuclear trigram Gen, mountain, appears twice in the make-up of the hexagram, the one trigram intermeshed with the other (instead of ☶ there is Q). Gen indicates gates and palaces; these bring to mind the temple of the ancestors, mysteriously locked. Gen is the hand, Xun means pure, hence washing of the hands. Gen means pausing, hence the uncompleted sacrifice. The rite of sacrifice is shown to the people and contemplated by them. The holy man knows the laws of heaven. He reveals them to the people, and his predictions come true. Just as the seasons of the year move under divine and immutable laws, so events do not deviate from the course he prophesies. Thus he uses his knowledge of the divine ways to teach the people, and the people trust him and look up to him.
the Image going with hexagram Contemplation (View) Qis:

风行地上,观;先王以省方,观民设教。

The wind blows over the earth:
The image of Contemplation.
Thus the kings of old visited the regions of the world,
Contemplated the people,
And gave them instruction.



When the wind blows over the earth it goes far and wide, and the grass must bend to its power. These two occurrences find confirmation in the hexagram. The two images are used to symbolize a practice of the kings of old; in making regular journeys the ruler could, in the first place, survey his realm and make certain that none of the existing usages of the people escaped notice; in the second, he could exert influence through which such customs as were unsuitable could be changed. All of this points to the power possessed by a superior personality. On the one hand, such a man will have a view of the real sentiments of the great mass of humanity and therefore cannot be deceived; on the other, he will impress the people so profoundly, by his mere existence and by the impact of his personality, that they will be swayed by him as the grass by the wind.




the nuclear hexagram:

23. Bo
Splitting Apart

!
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Xun , the Gentle, the wind
   below Trigram Gen , Keeping Still, the mountain

A slight variation of tonal stress gives the Chinese name for this hexagram a double meaning. It means both contemplating and being seen, in the sense of being an example. These ideas are suggested by the fact that the hexagram can be understood as picturing a type of tower a depiction of a tower much resembling a gate characteristic of ancient China.
A tower of this kind commanded a wide view of the country; at the same time, when situated on a mountain, it became a landmark that could be seen for miles around. Thus the hexagram shows a ruler who contemplates the law of heaven above him and the ways of the people below, and who, by means of good government, sets a lofty example to the masses. This hexagram is linked with the eight month (September-October). The light-giving power retreats and the dark power is again on the increase. However, this aspect is not material in the interpretation of the hexagram as a whole.

The sequence:
When things are great, one can contemplate them. Hence there follows the hexagram of Contemplation.

Miscellaneous Notes
The meaning of the hexagrams of Approach and Contemplation is that they partly give and partly take.

This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one: above is a tree, under it the earth. The tree on the earth is something to be viewed. The upper nuclear trigram Gen, the mountain, gives the same idea, for it too towers up and is widely visible. The hexagram has a double meaning: it “partly gives,” i.e., provides a sublime view, and “partly takes,” i.e., contemplates, seeks to attain something by contemplation.


the Judgement:

观:盥而不荐,有孚顒若。

Contemplation. The ablution has been made,
But not yet the offering.
Full of trust they look up to him.



The sacrificial ritual in China began with an ablution and a libation by which the Deity was invoked, after which the sacrifice was offered. The moment of time between these two ceremonies is the most sacred of all, the moment of deepest inner concentration. If piety is sincere and expressive of real faith, the contemplation of it has a transforming awe-spiring effect on those who witness it. Thus also in nature a holy seriousness is to be seen in the fact that natural occurrences are uniformly subject to law. Contemplation of the divine meaning underlying the workings of the universe gives to the man who is called upon to influence others the means of producing like effects. This requires that power of inner concentration which religious contemplation develops in great men strong in faith. It enables them to apprehend the mysterious and divine laws of life, and by means of profoundest inner concentration they give expression to these laws in their own persons. Thus a hidden spiritual power emanates from them, influencing and dominating others without their being aware of how it happens.

Commentary on the Decision:

观:盥而不荐,有孚顒若。大观在上,顺而巽,中正以观天下。观,盥而不荐,有孚顒若,下观而化也。观天之神道,而四时不忒,圣人以神道设教,而天下服矣。

A great view is above. Devoted and gentle. Central and correct, he is something for the world to view.
“Contemplation. The ablution has been made, but not yet the offering. Full of trust they look up to him.
”Those below look toward him and are transformed. He affords them a view of the divine way of heaven, and the four seasons do not deviate from their rule. Thus the holy man uses the divine way to give instruction, and the whole world submits to him.
 


The great view above consists of the two lines in the fifth and the top place. The lower trigram Kun is devoted, the upper, Xun, is gentle. The nine in the fifth place, the ruler of the hexagram, is central and correct. The nuclear trigram Gen, mountain, appears twice in the make-up of the hexagram, the one trigram intermeshed with the other (instead of ☶ there is Q). Gen indicates gates and palaces; these bring to mind the temple of the ancestors, mysteriously locked. Gen is the hand, Xun means pure, hence washing of the hands. Gen means pausing, hence the uncompleted sacrifice. The rite of sacrifice is shown to the people and contemplated by them. The holy man knows the laws of heaven. He reveals them to the people, and his predictions come true. Just as the seasons of the year move under divine and immutable laws, so events do not deviate from the course he prophesies. Thus he uses his knowledge of the divine ways to teach the people, and the people trust him and look up to him.


the Image:

风行地上,观;先王以省方,观民设教。

The wind blows over the earth:
The image of Contemplation.
Thus the kings of old visited the regions of the world,
Contemplated the people,
And gave them instruction.



When the wind blows over the earth it goes far and wide, and the grass must bend to its power. These two occurrences find confirmation in the hexagram. The two images are used to symbolize a practice of the kings of old; in making regular journeys the ruler could, in the first place, survey his realm and make certain that none of the existing usages of the people escaped notice; in the second, he could exert influence through which such customs as were unsuitable could be changed. All of this points to the power possessed by a superior personality. On the one hand, such a man will have a view of the real sentiments of the great mass of humanity and therefore cannot be deceived; on the other, he will impress the people so profoundly, by his mere existence and by the impact of his personality, that they will be swayed by him as the grass by the wind.


the Lines:


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
上九:观其生,君子无咎。

Nine at the top means:

Contemplation of his life.
The superior man is without blame.



While the preceding line represents a man who contemplates himself, here in the highest place everything that is personal, related to the ego, is excluded. The picture is that of a sage who stands outside the affairs of the world. Liberated from his ego, he contemplates the laws of life and so realizes that knowing how to become free of blame is the highest good.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九五:观我生,君子无咎。

Nine in the fifth place means:

Contemplation of my life.
The superior man is without blame.



A man in an authoritative position to whom others look up must always be ready for self-examination. The right sort of self-examination, however, consists not in idle brooding over oneself but in examining the effects one produces. Only when these effects are good, and when one's influence on others is good, will the contemplation of one's own life bring the satisfaction of knowing oneself to be free of mistakes.


六四:观国之光,利用宾于王。

Six in the fourth place means:

Contemplation of the light of the kingdom.
It furthers one to exert influence as the guest of a king.



This describes a man who understands the secrets by which a kingdom can be made to flourish. Such a man must be given an authoritative position, in which he can exert influence. He should be, so to speak, a guest-that is, he should be honored and act independently, and should not be used as a tool.


六三:观我生,进退。

Six in the third place means:

Contemplation of my life
Decides the choice
Between advance and retreat.



This is the place of transition. We no longer look outward to receive pictures that are more or less limited and confused, but direct out contemplation upon ourselves in order to find a guideline for our decisions. This self-contemplation means the overcoming of naive egotism in the person who sees everything solely form his own standpoint. He begins to reflect and in this way acquires objectivity. However, self-knowledge does not mean preoccupation with one's own thoughts; rather, it means concern about the effects one creates. It is only the effects our lives produce that give us the right to judge whether what we have done means progress or regression.


六二:闚观,利女贞。

Six in the second place means:

Contemplation through the crack of the door.
Furthering for the perseverance of a woman.



Through the crack of the door one has a limited outlook; one looks outward from within. Contemplation is subjectively limited. One tends to relate everything to oneself and cannot put oneself in another's place and understand his motives. This is appropriate for a good housewife. It is not necessary for her to be conversant with the affairs of the world. But for a man who must take active part in public life, such a narrow, egotistic way of contemplating things is of course harmful.


初六:童观,小人无咎,君子吝。

Six at the beginning means:

Boy like contemplation.
For an inferior man, no blame.
For a superior man, humiliation.



This means contemplation from a distance, without comprehension. A man of influence is at hand, abut his influence is not understood by the common people. This matters little in the case of the masses, for they benefit by the actions of the ruling sage whether they understand them or not. But for a superior man it is a disgrace. He must not content himself with a shallow, thoughtless view of prevailing forces; he must contemplate them as a connected whole and try to understand them.