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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:









15. Qian

Modesty



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上六:鸣谦,利用行师,征邑国。

Six at the top means:

Modesty that comes to expression.
It is favorable to set armies marching
To chastise one's own city and one's country.



A person who is really sincere in his modesty must make it show in reality. He must proceed with great energy in this. When enmity arises nothing is easier than to lay the blame on another. A weak man takes offense perhaps, and draws back, feeling self-pity; he thinks that it is modesty that keeps him from defending himself. Genuine modesty sets one to creating order and inspires one to begin by disciplining one's own ego and one's immediate circle. Only through having the courage to marshal one's armies against oneself, will something forceful really be achieved.
六五:不富,以其邻,利用侵伐,无不利。

Six in the fifth place means:

No boasting of wealth before one's neighbor.
It is favorable to attack with force.
Nothing that would not further.



Modesty is not to be confused with weak good nature that lets things take their own course. When a man holds a responsible position, he must at times resort to energetic measures. In doing so he must not try to make an impression by boasting of his superiority but must make certain of the people around him. The measures taken should be purely objective and in no way personally offensive. Thus modesty manifests itself even in severity.
六四:无不利,撝谦。

Six in the fourth place means:

Nothing that would not further modesty
In movement.



Everything has its proper measure. Even modesty in behavior can be carried too far. Here, however, it is appropriate, because the place between a worthy helper below and a kindly ruler above carries great responsibility. The confidence of the man in superior place must not be abused nor the merits of the man in inferior placed concealed. There are officials who indeed do not strive for prominence; they hide behind the letter of ordinances, decline all responsibility, accept pay without giving its equivalent in work, and bear empty titles. This is the opposite of what is meant here by modesty. In such a position, modesty is shown by interest in one's work.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九三:劳谦,君子有终,吉。

Nine in the third place means:

A superior man of modesty and merit
Carries things to conclusion.
Good fortune.



This is the center of the hexagram, where its secret is disclosed. A distinguished name is readily earned by great achievements. If a man allows himself to be dazzled by fame, he will soon be criticized, and difficulties will arise. If, on the contrary, he remains modest despite his merit, he makes himself beloved and wins the support necessary for carrying his work through to the end.
六二:鸣谦,贞吉。

Six in the second place means:

Modesty that comes to expression. Perseverance brings good fortune.



"Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh." When a man's attitude of mind is so modest that this expresses itself in his outward behavior, it is a source of good fortune to him. For the possibility of exerting a lasting influence arises of itself and no one can interfere.
初六:谦谦君子,用涉大川,吉。

Six at the beginning means:

A superior man modest about his modesty
May cross the great water.
Good fortune.



A dangerous enterprise, such as the crossing of a great stream, is made much more difficult if many claims and considerations have to be taken into account. On the other hand, the task is easy if it is attended to quickly and simply. Therefore the unassuming attitude of mind that goes with modesty fits a man to accomplish even difficult undertakings: he imposes no demands or stipulations but settles matters easily and quickly. Where no claims are put forward, no resistances arise.
the Sign of hexagram Modesty 8is:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

This hexagram is made up of the trigrams Gen, Keeping Still, mountain, and Kun. The mountain is the youngest son of the Creative, the representative of heaven and earth. It dispenses the blessings of heaven, the clouds and rain that gather round its summit, and thereafter shines forth radiant with heavenly light. This shows what modesty is and how it functions in great and strong men. Kun, the earth, stands above. Lowliness is a quality of the earth: this is the very reason why it appears in this hexagram as exalted, by being placed above the mountain. This shows how modesty functions in lowly, simple people: they are lifted up by it.

The sequence:
He who possesses something great must not make it too full; hence there follows the hexagram of Modesty.

Miscellaneous notes:
Things are easy for the modest person.

The movement of both primary trigrams is downward, but the sinking tendency of the upper trigram is stronger than that of the lower, and in this way the connection between the two remains assured. The lower nuclear trigram sinks, while the upper rises.
the Judgement for hexagram Modesty 8is:

谦:亨,君子有终。

Modesty creates success.
The superior man carries things through.



It is the law of heaven to make fullness empty and to make full what is modest; when the sun is at its zenith, it must, according to the law of heaven, turn toward its setting, and at its nadir it rises toward a new dawn. In obedience to the same law, the moon when it is full begins to wane, and when empty of light it waxes again. This heavenly law works itself out in the fates of men also. It is the law of earth to alter the full and to contribute to the modest. High mountains are worn down by the waters, and the valleys are filled up. It is the law of fate to undermine what is full and to prosper the modest. And men also hate fullness and love the modest.
The destinies of men are subject to immutable laws that must fulfill themselves. But man has it in his power to shape his fate, according as his behavior exposes him to the influence of benevolent or of destructive forces. When a man holds a high position and is nevertheless modest, he shines with the light of wisdom; if he is in a lowly position and is modest, he cannot be passed by. Thus the superior man can carry out his work to the end without boasting of what he has achieved.

Commentary on the Decision:

谦,亨,天道下济而光明,地道卑而上行。天道亏盈而益谦,地道变盈而流谦,鬼神害盈而福谦,人道恶盈而好谦。谦尊而光,卑而不可逾,君子之终也。

Modesty creates success, for it is the way of heaven to shed its influence downward and to create light and radiance. It is the way of the earth to be lowly and to go upward.
It is the way of heaven to make empty what is full and to give increase to what is modest. It is the way of the earth to change the full and to augment the modest. Spirits and gods bring harm to what is, full and prosper what is modest. It is the way of men to hate fullness and to love the modest.
Modesty that is honored spreads radiance. Modesty that is lowly cannot be ignored. This is the end attained by the superior man.



Here the structure of the hexagram is used to explain the saying that modesty creates success. The nine in the third place is the representative of the yang force, which has sunk down. It brings light and radiance, attributes of the trigram Gen, the mountain. The upper trigram Kun shows the earth as having moved upward (the nuclear trigram Zhen has a rising movement). The law governing the abasing of the proud and the elevation of the modest is set forth in four ways: (1) in heaven: when the sun reaches the zenith, it begins to decline; when the moon is full, it wanes; when dark, it begins to wax; (2) on earth: high mountains become valleys, valleys become hills; water turns toward the heights and wears them down; water turns toward depth and fills it up (the lower nuclear trigram is Kan, water); (3) in the effect of the forces of fate: powerful families draw down destruction upon themselves, modest ones become great; (4) among men: arrogance brings dislike in its train, modesty wins love.
The ultimate cause is never the outside world, which moreover reacts according to fixed laws, but rather man himself. For according to his conduct he draws upon himself good or evil influences. The way to expansion leads through contraction.
the Image going with hexagram Modesty 8is:

地中有山,谦;君子以裒多益寡,称物平施。

Within the earth, a mountain:
The image of Modesty.
Thus the superior man reduces that which is too much,
And augments that which is too little.
He weighs things and makes them equal.



The wealth of the earth in which a mountain is hidden is not visible to the eye, because the depths are offset by the height of the mountain. Thus high and low competent each other and the result is the plain. Here an effect that it took a long time to achieve, but that in the end seems easy of accomplishment and self-evident, is used as the image of modesty. The superior man does the same thing when he establishes order in the world; he equalizes the extremes that are the source of social discontent and thereby creates just and equable conditions.




the nuclear hexagram:

40. Jie
Deliverance

5
the Sign:

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

the nuclear trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Kan , the Abysmal, the water

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth

This hexagram is made up of the trigrams Gen, Keeping Still, mountain, and Kun. The mountain is the youngest son of the Creative, the representative of heaven and earth. It dispenses the blessings of heaven, the clouds and rain that gather round its summit, and thereafter shines forth radiant with heavenly light. This shows what modesty is and how it functions in great and strong men. Kun, the earth, stands above. Lowliness is a quality of the earth: this is the very reason why it appears in this hexagram as exalted, by being placed above the mountain. This shows how modesty functions in lowly, simple people: they are lifted up by it.

The sequence:
He who possesses something great must not make it too full; hence there follows the hexagram of Modesty.

Miscellaneous notes:
Things are easy for the modest person.

The movement of both primary trigrams is downward, but the sinking tendency of the upper trigram is stronger than that of the lower, and in this way the connection between the two remains assured. The lower nuclear trigram sinks, while the upper rises.


the Judgement:

谦:亨,君子有终。

Modesty creates success.
The superior man carries things through.



It is the law of heaven to make fullness empty and to make full what is modest; when the sun is at its zenith, it must, according to the law of heaven, turn toward its setting, and at its nadir it rises toward a new dawn. In obedience to the same law, the moon when it is full begins to wane, and when empty of light it waxes again. This heavenly law works itself out in the fates of men also. It is the law of earth to alter the full and to contribute to the modest. High mountains are worn down by the waters, and the valleys are filled up. It is the law of fate to undermine what is full and to prosper the modest. And men also hate fullness and love the modest.
The destinies of men are subject to immutable laws that must fulfill themselves. But man has it in his power to shape his fate, according as his behavior exposes him to the influence of benevolent or of destructive forces. When a man holds a high position and is nevertheless modest, he shines with the light of wisdom; if he is in a lowly position and is modest, he cannot be passed by. Thus the superior man can carry out his work to the end without boasting of what he has achieved.

Commentary on the Decision:

谦,亨,天道下济而光明,地道卑而上行。天道亏盈而益谦,地道变盈而流谦,鬼神害盈而福谦,人道恶盈而好谦。谦尊而光,卑而不可逾,君子之终也。

Modesty creates success, for it is the way of heaven to shed its influence downward and to create light and radiance. It is the way of the earth to be lowly and to go upward.
It is the way of heaven to make empty what is full and to give increase to what is modest. It is the way of the earth to change the full and to augment the modest. Spirits and gods bring harm to what is, full and prosper what is modest. It is the way of men to hate fullness and to love the modest.
Modesty that is honored spreads radiance. Modesty that is lowly cannot be ignored. This is the end attained by the superior man.



Here the structure of the hexagram is used to explain the saying that modesty creates success. The nine in the third place is the representative of the yang force, which has sunk down. It brings light and radiance, attributes of the trigram Gen, the mountain. The upper trigram Kun shows the earth as having moved upward (the nuclear trigram Zhen has a rising movement). The law governing the abasing of the proud and the elevation of the modest is set forth in four ways: (1) in heaven: when the sun reaches the zenith, it begins to decline; when the moon is full, it wanes; when dark, it begins to wax; (2) on earth: high mountains become valleys, valleys become hills; water turns toward the heights and wears them down; water turns toward depth and fills it up (the lower nuclear trigram is Kan, water); (3) in the effect of the forces of fate: powerful families draw down destruction upon themselves, modest ones become great; (4) among men: arrogance brings dislike in its train, modesty wins love.
The ultimate cause is never the outside world, which moreover reacts according to fixed laws, but rather man himself. For according to his conduct he draws upon himself good or evil influences. The way to expansion leads through contraction.


the Image:

地中有山,谦;君子以裒多益寡,称物平施。

Within the earth, a mountain:
The image of Modesty.
Thus the superior man reduces that which is too much,
And augments that which is too little.
He weighs things and makes them equal.



The wealth of the earth in which a mountain is hidden is not visible to the eye, because the depths are offset by the height of the mountain. Thus high and low competent each other and the result is the plain. Here an effect that it took a long time to achieve, but that in the end seems easy of accomplishment and self-evident, is used as the image of modesty. The superior man does the same thing when he establishes order in the world; he equalizes the extremes that are the source of social discontent and thereby creates just and equable conditions.


the Lines:


上六:鸣谦,利用行师,征邑国。

Six at the top means:

Modesty that comes to expression.
It is favorable to set armies marching
To chastise one's own city and one's country.



A person who is really sincere in his modesty must make it show in reality. He must proceed with great energy in this. When enmity arises nothing is easier than to lay the blame on another. A weak man takes offense perhaps, and draws back, feeling self-pity; he thinks that it is modesty that keeps him from defending himself. Genuine modesty sets one to creating order and inspires one to begin by disciplining one's own ego and one's immediate circle. Only through having the courage to marshal one's armies against oneself, will something forceful really be achieved.


六五:不富,以其邻,利用侵伐,无不利。

Six in the fifth place means:

No boasting of wealth before one's neighbor.
It is favorable to attack with force.
Nothing that would not further.



Modesty is not to be confused with weak good nature that lets things take their own course. When a man holds a responsible position, he must at times resort to energetic measures. In doing so he must not try to make an impression by boasting of his superiority but must make certain of the people around him. The measures taken should be purely objective and in no way personally offensive. Thus modesty manifests itself even in severity.


六四:无不利,撝谦。

Six in the fourth place means:

Nothing that would not further modesty
In movement.



Everything has its proper measure. Even modesty in behavior can be carried too far. Here, however, it is appropriate, because the place between a worthy helper below and a kindly ruler above carries great responsibility. The confidence of the man in superior place must not be abused nor the merits of the man in inferior placed concealed. There are officials who indeed do not strive for prominence; they hide behind the letter of ordinances, decline all responsibility, accept pay without giving its equivalent in work, and bear empty titles. This is the opposite of what is meant here by modesty. In such a position, modesty is shown by interest in one's work.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
九三:劳谦,君子有终,吉。

Nine in the third place means:

A superior man of modesty and merit
Carries things to conclusion.
Good fortune.



This is the center of the hexagram, where its secret is disclosed. A distinguished name is readily earned by great achievements. If a man allows himself to be dazzled by fame, he will soon be criticized, and difficulties will arise. If, on the contrary, he remains modest despite his merit, he makes himself beloved and wins the support necessary for carrying his work through to the end.


六二:鸣谦,贞吉。

Six in the second place means:

Modesty that comes to expression. Perseverance brings good fortune.



"Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaketh." When a man's attitude of mind is so modest that this expresses itself in his outward behavior, it is a source of good fortune to him. For the possibility of exerting a lasting influence arises of itself and no one can interfere.


初六:谦谦君子,用涉大川,吉。

Six at the beginning means:

A superior man modest about his modesty
May cross the great water.
Good fortune.



A dangerous enterprise, such as the crossing of a great stream, is made much more difficult if many claims and considerations have to be taken into account. On the other hand, the task is easy if it is attended to quickly and simply. Therefore the unassuming attitude of mind that goes with modesty fits a man to accomplish even difficult undertakings: he imposes no demands or stipulations but settles matters easily and quickly. Where no claims are put forward, no resistances arise.