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the Hexagrams, Index

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

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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:








明夷

36. Ming Yi

Darkening of the Light



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the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
上六:不明晦,初登于天,后入于地。

Six at the top means:

Not light but darkness.
First he climbed up to heaven,
Then plunged into the depths of the earth.



Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:箕子之明夷,利贞。

Six in the fifth place means:

Darkening of the light as with Prince Ji.
Perseverance furthers.



Prince Ji lived at the court of the evil tyrant Zhou Xin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnished the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Ji was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from the court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions.
This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.
六四:入于左腹,获明夷之心,出于门庭。

Six in the fourth place means:

He penetrates the left side of the belly.
One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light.
And abandons gate and court.



We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his mot secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.
九三:明夷于南狩,得其大首,不可疾贞。

Nine in the third place means:

Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.
Their great leader is captured.
One must not expect perseverance too soon.



It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly because the abuses have been in existence so long.
the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:明夷,夷于左股,用拯马壮,吉。

Six in the second place means:

Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh.
He gives aid with the strength of a horse.
Good fortune.



Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting according to duty.
初九:明夷于飞,垂其翼。君子于行,三日不食,有攸往,主人有言。

Nine at the beginning means:

Darkening of the light during flight.
He lowers his wings.
The superior man does not eat for three days
On his wanderings.
But he has somewhere to go.
The host has occasion to gossip about him.



With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation. Never the less he has a fixed goal to strive for even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him.
the Sign of hexagram Darkening of the Light Uis:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire

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

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally "wounding of the bright"; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man.

The sequence:
Expansion will certainly encounter resistance and injury. Hence there follows the hexagram of Darkening of the Light. Darkening means damage, injury.

Miscellaneous notes:
Darkening of the Light means injury.

The whole hexagram has a historical background. For at the time when King Wen wrote the judgments on the hexagrams, conditions in China were just as this hexagram pictures them. In the judgments on the lines, the Duke of Zhou refers to Prince Ji as exemplifying the situation. Confucius carries this further in the Commentary on the Decision by adding the example of King Wen.
Later on - quite in keeping with the meaning - historical personages came to be linked with each of the lines. The evil ruler was Zhou Xin, the last king of the Yin dynasty. He is symbolized by the six at the top. Under him the most able princes of the realm were all made to suffer severely, and their fates are mirrored in the individual lines. The highminded Bo Yi withdrew into hiding with his brother, Shu Qi. He is represented by the nine at the beginning. The six in the second place pictures King Wen, who, as the foremost of the feudal princes, was long held prisoner by the tyrant, with constant danger to his life. The nine in the third place represents his son, afterward King Wu of Zhou, who overthrew the tyrant. The six in the fourth place depicts the situation of Prince Wei Zi who was able to save himself by timely flight abroad. Finally, the six in the fifth place depicts the situation of Prince Ji, who could save his life only by dissembling.
This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one.
the Judgement for hexagram Darkening of the Light Uis:

明夷:利艰贞。

Darkening of the Light. In adversity
It furthers one to be persevering.



One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities. In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.

Commentary on the Decision:

明入地中,明夷。内文明而外柔顺,以蒙大难,文王以之。利艰贞,晦其明也,内难而能正其志,箕子以之。

The light has sunk into the earth: Darkening of the Light. Beautiful and clear within, gentle and devoted without, hence exposed to great adversity—thus was King Wen.
“In adversity it furthers one to be persevering”: this means veiling one’s light. Surrounded by difficulties in the midst of his closest kin, nonetheless keeping his will fixed on the right—thus was Prince Ji.



The inner trigram is Li, light, whose attributes are beauty and clarity; the outer trigram is Kun, the Receptive, whose attributes are yieldingness and devotion. King Wen, in whom these attributes are seen united, is depicted in one of the rulers of the hexagram, the six in the second place.
Prince Ji is depicted by the six in the fifth place. He too is in difficulties; these are represented by the nuclear trigram Kan, the Abysmal, danger. King Wen is as it were hidden by this nuclear trigram over him. For the six in the fifth place the difficulties lie within, that is, below. It is not overcome by them because it is at the top of the upper nuclear trigram Zhen, movement. By movement it gets clear of the difficulties, and the light, although jeopardized, cannot be extinguished.
the Image going with hexagram Darkening of the Light Uis:

明入地中,明夷;君子以莅众,用晦而明。

The light has sunk into the earth:
The image of Darkening of the Light.
Thus does the superior man live with the great mass:
He veils his light, yet still shines.



In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.




the nuclear hexagram:

40. Jie
Deliverance

5
the Sign:

the primary trigrams:
   above Trigram Kun , the Receptive, the earth
   below Trigram Li , the Clinging, the fire

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

the enveloping trigrams:
   above Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder
   below Trigram Zhen , the Arousing, the thunder

Here the sun has sunk under the earth and is therefore darkened. The name of the hexagram means literally "wounding of the bright"; hence the individual lines contain frequent references to wounding. The situation is the exact opposite of that in the foregoing hexagram. In the latter a wise man at the head of affairs has able helpers, and in company with them makes progress; here a man of dark nature is in a position of authority and brings harm to the wise and able man.

The sequence:
Expansion will certainly encounter resistance and injury. Hence there follows the hexagram of Darkening of the Light. Darkening means damage, injury.

Miscellaneous notes:
Darkening of the Light means injury.

The whole hexagram has a historical background. For at the time when King Wen wrote the judgments on the hexagrams, conditions in China were just as this hexagram pictures them. In the judgments on the lines, the Duke of Zhou refers to Prince Ji as exemplifying the situation. Confucius carries this further in the Commentary on the Decision by adding the example of King Wen.
Later on - quite in keeping with the meaning - historical personages came to be linked with each of the lines. The evil ruler was Zhou Xin, the last king of the Yin dynasty. He is symbolized by the six at the top. Under him the most able princes of the realm were all made to suffer severely, and their fates are mirrored in the individual lines. The highminded Bo Yi withdrew into hiding with his brother, Shu Qi. He is represented by the nine at the beginning. The six in the second place pictures King Wen, who, as the foremost of the feudal princes, was long held prisoner by the tyrant, with constant danger to his life. The nine in the third place represents his son, afterward King Wu of Zhou, who overthrew the tyrant. The six in the fourth place depicts the situation of Prince Wei Zi who was able to save himself by timely flight abroad. Finally, the six in the fifth place depicts the situation of Prince Ji, who could save his life only by dissembling.
This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one.


the Judgement:

明夷:利艰贞。

Darkening of the Light. In adversity
It furthers one to be persevering.



One must not unresistingly let himself be swept along by unfavorable circumstances, nor permit his steadfastness to be shaken. He can avoid this by maintaining his inner light, while remaining outwardly yielding and tractable. With this attitude he can overcome even the greatest adversities. In some situations indeed a man must hide his light, in order to make his will prevail inspite of difficulties in his immediate environment. Perseverance must dwell in inmost consciousness and should not be discernible from without. Only thus is a man able to maintain his will in the face of difficulties.

Commentary on the Decision:

明入地中,明夷。内文明而外柔顺,以蒙大难,文王以之。利艰贞,晦其明也,内难而能正其志,箕子以之。

The light has sunk into the earth: Darkening of the Light. Beautiful and clear within, gentle and devoted without, hence exposed to great adversity—thus was King Wen.
“In adversity it furthers one to be persevering”: this means veiling one’s light. Surrounded by difficulties in the midst of his closest kin, nonetheless keeping his will fixed on the right—thus was Prince Ji.



The inner trigram is Li, light, whose attributes are beauty and clarity; the outer trigram is Kun, the Receptive, whose attributes are yieldingness and devotion. King Wen, in whom these attributes are seen united, is depicted in one of the rulers of the hexagram, the six in the second place.
Prince Ji is depicted by the six in the fifth place. He too is in difficulties; these are represented by the nuclear trigram Kan, the Abysmal, danger. King Wen is as it were hidden by this nuclear trigram over him. For the six in the fifth place the difficulties lie within, that is, below. It is not overcome by them because it is at the top of the upper nuclear trigram Zhen, movement. By movement it gets clear of the difficulties, and the light, although jeopardized, cannot be extinguished.


the Image:

明入地中,明夷;君子以莅众,用晦而明。

The light has sunk into the earth:
The image of Darkening of the Light.
Thus does the superior man live with the great mass:
He veils his light, yet still shines.



In a time of darkness it is essential to be cautious and reserved. One should not needlessly awaken overwhelming enmity by inconsiderate behavior. In such times one ought not to fall in with the practices of others; neither should one drag them censoriously into the light. In social intercourse one should not try to be all-knowing. One should let many things pass, without being duped.


the Lines:


the yellow square is indicating this line as the constituting ruler of the hexagram
上六:不明晦,初登于天,后入于地。

Six at the top means:

Not light but darkness.
First he climbed up to heaven,
Then plunged into the depths of the earth.



Here the climax of the darkening is reached. The dark power at first held so high a place that it could wound all who were on the side of good and of the light. But in the end it perishes of its own darkness, for evil must itself fall at the very moment when it has wholly overcome the good, and thus consumed the energy to which it owed its duration.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六五:箕子之明夷,利贞。

Six in the fifth place means:

Darkening of the light as with Prince Ji.
Perseverance furthers.



Prince Ji lived at the court of the evil tyrant Zhou Xin, who, although not mentioned by name, furnished the historical example on which this whole situation is based. Prince Ji was a relative of the tyrant and could not withdraw from the court; therefore he concealed his true sentiments and feigned insanity. Although he was held a slave, he did not allow external misery to deflect him from his convictions.
This provides a teaching for those who cannot leave their posts in times of darkness. In order to escape danger, they need invincible perseverance of spirit and redoubled caution in their dealings with the world.


六四:入于左腹,获明夷之心,出于门庭。

Six in the fourth place means:

He penetrates the left side of the belly.
One gets at the very heart of the darkening of the light.
And abandons gate and court.



We find ourselves close to the commander of darkness and so discover his mot secret thoughts. In this way we realize that there is no longer any hope of improvement, and thus we are enabled to leave the scene of disaster before the storm breaks.


九三:明夷于南狩,得其大首,不可疾贞。

Nine in the third place means:

Darkening of the light during the hunt in the south.
Their great leader is captured.
One must not expect perseverance too soon.



It seems as if chance were at work. While the strong, loyal man is striving eagerly and in good faith to create order, he meets the ringleader of the disorder, as if by accident, and seizes him. Thus victory is achieved. But in abolishing abuses one must not be too hasty. This would turn out badly because the abuses have been in existence so long.


the yellow circle is indicating this line as the governing ruler of the hexagram
六二:明夷,夷于左股,用拯马壮,吉。

Six in the second place means:

Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh.
He gives aid with the strength of a horse.
Good fortune.



Here the Lord of Light is in a subordinate place and is wounded by the Lord of Darkness. But the injury is not fatal; it is only a hindrance. Rescue is still possible. The wounded man gives no thought to himself; he thinks only of saving the others who are also in danger. Therefore he tries with all his strength to save all that can be saved. There is good fortune in thus acting according to duty.


初九:明夷于飞,垂其翼。君子于行,三日不食,有攸往,主人有言。

Nine at the beginning means:

Darkening of the light during flight.
He lowers his wings.
The superior man does not eat for three days
On his wanderings.
But he has somewhere to go.
The host has occasion to gossip about him.



With grandiose resolve a man endeavors to soar above all obstacles, but thus encounters a hostile fate. He retreats and evades the issue. The time is difficult. Without rest, he must hurry along, with no permanent abiding place. If he does not want to make compromises within himself, but insists on remaining true to his principles, he suffers deprivation. Never the less he has a fixed goal to strive for even though the people with whom he lives do not understand him and speak ill of him.