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Chinese Text Project
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《繫辭上 - Xi Ci I》

English translation: James Legge [?] Library Resources
[Also known as: "The Great Treatise I"]

1 繫辭上:
天尊地卑,乾坤定矣。卑高以陳,貴賤位矣。動靜有常,剛柔斷矣。方以類聚,物以群分,吉凶生矣。在天成象,在地成形,變化見矣。
Xi Ci I:
Heaven is lofty and honourable; earth is low. (Their symbols), Qian and Kun, (with their respective meanings), were determined (in accordance with this). Things low and high appear displayed in a similar relation. The (upper and lower trigrams, and the relative position of individual lines, as) noble and mean, had their places assigned accordingly. Movement and rest are the regular qualities (of their respective subjects). Hence comes the definite distinction (of the several lines) as the strong and the weak. (Affairs) are arranged together according to their tendencies, and things are divided according to their classes. Hence were produced (the interpretations in the Yi, concerning) what is good [or lucky] and evil [or unlucky]. In the heavens there are the (different) figures there completed, and on the earth there are the (different) bodies there formed. (Corresponding to them) were the changes and transformations exhibited (in the Yi).
是故,剛柔相摩,八卦相盪。鼓之以雷霆,潤之以風雨,日月運行,一寒一暑,乾道成男,坤道成女。乾知大始,坤作成物。乾以易知,坤以簡能。
After this fashion a strong and a weak line were manipulated together (till there were the eight trigrams), and those eight trigrams were added, each to itself and to all the others, (till the sixty-four hexagrams were formed). We have the exciting forces of thunder and lightning; the fertilising influences of wind and rain; and the revolutions of the sun and moon, which give rise to cold and warmth. The attributes expressed by Qian constitute the male; those expressed by Kun constitute the female. Qian (symbolises Heaven, which) directs the great beginnings of things; Kun (symbolises Earth, which) gives to them their completion. It is by the ease with which it proceeds that Qian directs (as it does), and by its unhesitating response that Kun exhibits such ability.
易則易知,簡則易從。易知則有親,易從則有功。有親則可久,有功則可大。可久則賢人之德,可大則賢人之業。易簡,而天下之理得矣;天下之理得,而成位乎其中矣。
(He who attains to this) ease (of Heaven) will be easily understood, and (he who attains to this) freedom from laborious effort (of the Earth) will be easily followed. He who is easily understood will have adherents, and he who is easily followed will achieve success. He who has adherents can continue long, and he who achieves success can become great. To be able to continue long shows the virtue of the wise and able man; to be able to become great is the heritage he will acquire. With the attainment of such ease and such freedom from laborious effort, the mastery is got of all principles under the sky. With the attainment of that mastery, (the sage) makes good his position in the middle (between heaven and earth).

2 繫辭上:
聖人設卦觀象,繫辭焉而明吉凶,剛柔相推而生變化。
Xi Ci I:
The sages set forth the diagrams, inspected the emblems contained in them, and appended their explanations; - in this way the good fortune and bad (indicated by them) were made clear. The strong and the weak (lines) displace each other, and produce the changes and transformations (in the figures).
是故,吉凶者,失得之象也。悔吝者,懮虞之象也。變化者,進退之象也。剛柔者,晝夜之象也。六爻之動,三極之道也。是故,君子所居而安者,易之序也。所樂而玩者,爻之辭也。
Therefore the good fortune and evil (mentioned in the explanations) are the indications of the right and wrong (in men's conduct of affairs), and the repentance and regret (similarly mentioned) are the indications of their sorrow and anxiety. The changes and transformations (of the lines) are the emblems of the advance and retrogression (of the vital force in nature). Thus what we call the strong and the weak (lines) become the emblems of day and night. The movements which take place in the six places (of the hexagram) show the course of the three extremes (i. e. of the three Powers in their perfect operation). Therefore what the superior man rests in, in whatever position he is placed, is the order shown in the Yi; and the study which gives him the greatest pleasure is that of the explanations of the several lines.
是故,君子居則觀其象,而玩其辭;動則觀其變,而玩其占。是以自天祐之,吉无不利。
Therefore the superior man, when living quietly, contemplates the emblems and studies the explanations of them; when initiating any movement, he contemplates the changes (that are made in divining), and studies the prognostications from them. Thus 'is help extended to him from Heaven; there will be good fortune, and advantage in every movement.'

3 繫辭上:
彖者,言乎象者也。爻者,言乎變者也。吉凶者,言乎其失得也。悔吝者,言乎其小疵也。无咎者,善補過也。
Xi Ci I:
The Tuan speak of the emblematic figures (of the complete diagrams). The Yao speak of the changes (taking place: in the several lines). The expressions about good fortune or bad are used with reference to (the figures and lines, as) being right or wrong (according to the conditions of time and place); those about repentance or regret refer to small faults (in the satisfying those conditions); when it is said 'there will be no error,' or 'no blame,' there is reference to (the subject) repairing an error by what is good.
是故,列貴賤者存乎位。齊小大者,存乎卦。辯吉凶者,存乎辭。懮悔吝者,存乎介。震无咎者,存乎悔。是故,卦有小大,辭有險易。辭也者,各指其所之。
Therefore the distinction of (the upper and lower trigrams and of the individual lines) as noble or mean is decided by the (relative) position (of the lines); the regulations of small and great are found in the diagrams, and the discriminations of good and bad fortune appear in the (subjoined) explanations. Anxiety against (having occasion for) repentance or regret should be felt at the: boundary line (between good and evil). The stirring up the thought of (securing that there shall be) no blame arises from (the feeling of) repentance. Thus of the diagrams some are small, and some are great; and of the explanations some are startling, and some are unexciting. Every one of those explanations has reference to the tendencies (indicated by the symbols).

4 繫辭上:
易與天地準,故能彌綸天地之道。仰以觀於天文,俯以察於地理,是故知幽明之故。原始反終,故知死生之說。精氣為物,遊魂為變,是故知鬼神之情狀。與天地相似,故不違。知周乎萬物,而道濟天下,故不過。旁行而不流,樂天知命,故不懮。安土敦乎仁,故能愛。範圍天地之化而不過,曲成萬物而不遺,通乎晝夜之道而知,故神无方而易无體。
Xi Ci I:
The Yi was made on a principle of accordance with heaven and earth, and shows us therefore, without rent or confusion, the course (of things) in heaven and earth. (The sage), in accordance with (the Yi), looking up, contemplates the brilliant phenomena of the heavens, and, looking down, examines the definite arrangements of the earth; - thus he knows the causes of darkness (or, what is obscure) and light (or, what is bright). He traces things to their beginning, and follows them to their end; - thus he knows what can be said about death and life. (He perceives how the union of) essence and breath form things, and the (disappearance or) wandering away of the soul produces the change (of their constitution); - thus he knows the characteristics of the anima and animus. There is a similarity between him and heaven and earth, and hence there is no contrariety in him to them. His knowledge embraces all things, and his course is (intended to be) helpful to all under the sky; - and hence he falls into no error. He acts according to the exigency of circumstances without being carried away by their current; he rejoices in Heaven and knows its ordinations; - and hence he has no anxieties. He rests in his own (present) position, and cherishes (the spirit of) generous benevolence; - and hence he can love (without reserve). (Through the Yi), he comprehends as in a mould or enclosure the transformations of heaven and earth without any error; by an ever-varying adaptation he completes (the nature of) all things without exception; he penetrates to a knowledge of the course of day and night (and all other connected phenomena); - it is thus that his operation is spirit-like, unconditioned by place, while the changes which he produces are not restricted to any form.

5 繫辭上:
一陰一陽之謂道,繼之者善也,成之者性也。仁者見之謂之仁,知者見之謂之知。百姓日用而不知,故君子之道鮮矣。顯諸仁,藏諸用,鼓萬物而不與聖人同懮,盛德大業至矣哉。富有之謂大業,日新之謂盛德。生生之謂易,成象之謂乾,效法之為坤,極數知來之謂占,通變之謂事,陰陽不測之謂神。
Xi Ci I:
The successive movement of the inactive and active operations constitutes what is called the course (of things). That which ensues as the result (of their movement) is goodness; that which shows it in its completeness is the natures (of men and things).The benevolent see it and call it benevolence. The wise see it and call it wisdom. The common people, acting daily according to it, yet have no knowledge of it. Thus it is that the course (of things), as seen by the superior man, is seen by few. It is manifested in the benevolence (of its operations), and (then again) it conceals and stores up its resources. It gives their stimulus to all things, without having the same anxieties that possess the sage. Complete is its abundant virtue and the greatness of its stores! Its rich possessions is what is intended by 'the greatness of its stores;' the daily renovation which it produces is what is meant by 'the abundance of its virtue.' Production and reproduction is what is called (the process of) change. The formation of the semblances (shadowy forms of things) is what we attribute to Qian; the giving to them their specific forms is what we attribute to Kun. The exhaustive use of the numbers (that turn up in manipulating the stalks), and (thereby) knowing (the character of) coming events, is what we call prognosticating; the comprehension of the changes (indicated leads us to) what we call the business (to be done). That which is unfathomable in (the movement of) the inactive and active operations is (the presence of a) spiritual (power).

6 繫辭上:
夫易,廣矣大矣,以言乎遠,則不禦;以言乎邇,則靜而正;以言乎天地之間,則備矣。夫乾,其靜也專,其動也直,是以大生焉。夫坤,其靜也翕,其動也闢,是以廣生焉。廣大配天地,變通配四時,陰陽之義配日月,易簡之善配至德。
Xi Ci I:
Yes, wide is the Yi and great! If we speak of it in its farthest reaching, no limit can be set to it; if we speak of it with reference to what is near at hand, (its lessons are) still and correct; if we speak of it in connexion with all between heaven and earth, it embraces all. There is Qian. In its (individual) stillness it is self-absorbed; when exerting its motive power it goes straight forward; and thus it is that its productive action is on a grand scale. There is Kun. In its (individual) stillness, it is self-collected and capacious; when exerting its motive power, it developes its resources, and thus its productive action is on a wide scale. In its breadth and greatness, (the Yi) corresponds to heaven and earth; in its ever-recurring changes, it corresponds to the four seasons; in its mention of the bright or active, and the dark or inactive operation, it corresponds to the sun and moon; and the excellence seen in the ease and ready response (of its various operations) corresponds to the perfect operations (presented to us in the phenomena of nature).

7 繫辭上:
子曰:「易其至矣乎!」,夫易,聖人所以崇德而廣業也。知崇禮卑,崇效天,卑法地。天地設位,而易行乎其中矣,成性存存,道義之門。
Xi Ci I:
The Master said: - 'Is not the Yi a perfect book?' It was by the Yi that the sages exalted their virtue, and enlarged their sphere of occupation. Their wisdom was high, and their rules of conduct were solid. That loftiness was after the pattern of heaven; that solidity, after the pattern of earth. Heaven and earth having their positions as assigned to them, the changes (of nature) take place between them. The nature (of man) having been completed, and being continually preserved, it is the gate of all good courses and righteousness.

8 繫辭上:
聖人有以見天下之賾,而擬諸其形容,象其物宜,是故謂之象。聖人有以見天下之動,而觀其會通,以行其典禮。繫辭焉,以斷其吉凶,是故謂之爻。言天下之至賾,而不可惡也。言天下之至動,而不可亂也。擬之而後言,議之而後動,擬議以成其變化。「鳴鶴在陰,其子和之,我有好爵,吾與爾靡之。」
Xi Ci I:
The sage was able to survey all the complex phenomena under the sky. He then considered in his mind how they could be figured, and (by means of the diagrams) represented their material forms and their character. Hence these (diagrams) are denominated Semblances (or emblematic figures, the Hsiang). A (later) sage was able to survey the motive influences working all under the sky. He contemplated them in. their common action and special nature, in order to bring out the standard and proper tendency of each. He then appended his explanation (to each line of the diagrams), to determine the good or evil indicated by it. Hence those (lines with their explanations) are denominated Imitations (the Yao). (The diagrams) speak of the most complex phenomena under the sky, and yet there is nothing in them that need awaken dislike; the explanations of the lines speak of the subtlest movements under the sky, and yet there is nothing in them to produce confusion. (A learner) will consider what is said (under the diagrams), and then speak; he will deliberate on what is said (in the explanations of the lines), and then move. By such consideration and deliberations he will be able to make all the changes which he undertakes successful.
'Here hid, retired, cries out the crane;
Her young's responsive cry sounds there.
Of spirits good I drain this cup;
With thee a cup I'll freely share.'
子曰:「君子居其室,出其言,善則千里之外應之,況其邇者乎,居其室,出其言不善,則千里之外違之,況其邇者乎,言出乎身,加乎民,行發乎邇,見乎遠。言行君子之樞機,樞機之發,榮辱之主也。言行,君子之所以動天地也,可不慎乎。」
The Master said: - 'The superior man occupies his apartment and sends forth his words. If they be good, they will be responded to at a distance of more than a thousand Li; - how much more will they be so in the nearer circle! He occupies his apartment and sends forth his words. If they be evil, they will awaken opposition at a distance of more than a thousand Li; - how much more will they do so in the nearer circle! Words issue from one's person, and proceed to affect the people. Actions proceed from what is near, and their effects are seen at a distance. Words and actions are the hinge and spring of the superior man. The movement of that hinge and spring determines glory or disgrace. His words and actions move heaven and earth; - may he be careless in regard to them?'
「同人,先號咷而後笑。」子曰:「君子之道,或出或處,或默或語,二人同心,其利斷金。同心之言,其臭如蘭。」
'(The representative of) the union of men first cries out and weeps, and afterwards laughs.' The Master said, on this, -
'The ways of good men (different seem).
This in a public office toils;
That in his home the time beguiles.
One man his lips with silence seals;
Another all his mind reveals.
But when two men are one in heart,
Not iron bolts keep them apart;
The words they in their union use,
Fragrance like orchid plants diffuse.'
「初六,藉用白茅,无咎。」子曰:「苟錯諸地而可矣。藉之用茅,何咎之有?慎之至也。夫茅之為物薄,而用可重也。慎斯術也以往,其无所失矣。」
'The first six, (divided), shows its subject placing mats of the white grass beneath what he sets on the ground.' The Master said: - 'To place the things on the ground might be considered sufficient; but when he places beneath them mats of the white grass, what occasion for blame can there be? Such a course shows the height of carefulness. The white grass is a trivial thing, but, through the use made of it, it may become important. He who goes forward using such careful art will not fall into any error.'
「勞謙君子,有終吉。」子曰:「勞而不伐,有功而不德,厚之至也,語以其功下人者也。德言盛,禮言恭,謙也者,致恭以存其位者也。」
'A superior man toiling laboriously and yet humble! He will bring things to an end, and with good fortune.' The Master said on this: - 'He toils with success, but does not boast of it; he achieves merit, but takes no virtue to himself from it; - this is the height of generous goodness, and speaks of the man who with (great) merit yet places himself below others. He wishes his virtue to be more and more complete, and in his intercourse with others to be more and more respectful; - he who is so humble, carrying his respectfulness to the utmost, will be able to preserve himself in his position.'
「亢龍有悔」,子曰:「貴而无位,高而无民,賢人在下位而无輔,是以動而有悔也。」
'The dragon (is seen) beyond his proper haunts; there will be occasion for repentance.' The Master said on this: - 'He is noble, but is not in his correct place; he is on high, but there are no people to acknowledge him; there is a man of virtue and ability below, but he will not assist him. Hence whatever movement he may make will give occasion for repentance.'
「不出戶庭,无咎。」子曰:「亂之所生也,則言語以為階。君不密,則失臣;臣不密,則失身;幾事不密,則害成。是以君子慎密而不出也。」
'He does not quit the courtyard before his door; - there will be no occasion for blame.' The Master said on this: - 'When disorder arises, it will be found that (ill-advised) speech was the steppingstone to it. If a ruler do not keep secret (his deliberations with his minister), he will lose that minister. If a minister do not keep secret (his deliberations with his ruler), he will lose his life. If (important) matters in the germ be not kept secret, that will be injurious to their accomplishment. Therefore the superior man is careful to maintain secrecy, and does not allow himself to speak.'
子曰:「作易者其知盜乎?易曰:負且乘,致寇至。負也者,小人之事也。乘也者,君子之器也。小人而乘君子之器,盜思奪之矣!上慢下暴,盜思伐之矣!慢藏誨盜,冶容誨淫,易曰:「負且乘,致寇至,盜之招也。」
The Master said: - 'The makers of the Yi may be said to have known (the philosophy of) robbery. The Yi says, "He is a burden-bearer, and yet rides in a carriage, thereby exciting robbers to attack him." Burden-bearing is the business of a small man. A carriage is the vehicle of a gentleman. When a small man rides in the vehicle of a gentle man, robbers will think of taking it from him. (When one is) insolent to those above him, and oppressive to those below, robbers will wish to attack him. Careless laying up of things excites to robbery, (as a woman's) adorning of herself excites to lust. What the Yi says about the burden-bearer's riding in a carriage, and exciting robbers to attack him, (shows how) robbery is called out.'

9 繫辭上:
天一地二,天三地四,天五地六,天七地八,天九地十。天數五,地數五,五位相得而各有合。天數二十有五,地數三十,凡天地之數,五十有五,此所以成變化,而行鬼神也。大衍之數五十,其用四十有九。分而為二以象兩,掛一以象三,揲之以四以象四時,歸奇於扐以象閏。五歲再閏,故再扐而後掛。
Xi Ci I:
To heaven belongs (the number) 1; to earth, 2; to heaven, 3; to earth, 4; to heaven, 5; to earth, 6; to heaven, 7; to earth, 8; to heaven, 9; to earth, 10. The numbers belonging to heaven are five, and those belonging to earth are (also) five. The numbers of these two series correspond to each other (in their fixed positions), and each one has another that may be considered its mate. The heavenly numbers amount to 25, and the earthly to 30. The numbers of heaven and earth together amount to 55. It is by these that the changes and transformations are effected, and the spirit-like agencies kept in movement. The numbers of the Great Expansion, (multiplied together), make 50, of which (only) 49 are used (in divination). (The stalks representing these) are divided into two heaps to represent the two (emblematic lines, or heaven and earth). One is then taken (from the heap on the right), and placed (between the little finger of the left hand and the next), that there may thus be symbolised the three (powers of heaven, earth, and man). (The heaps on both sides) are manipulated by fours to represent the four seasons; and then the remainders are returned, and placed (between) the two middle fingers of the left hand, to represent the intercalary month. In five years there are two intercalations, and therefore there are two operations; and afterwards the whole process is repeated.
乾之策,二百一十有六;坤之策,百四十有四,凡三百有六十,當期之日。二篇之策,萬有一千五百二十,當萬物之數也。是故,四營而成易,十有八變而成卦。八卦而小成,引而伸之,觸類而長之,天下之能事畢矣。顯道神德行,是故可與酬酢,可與祐神矣。子曰:「知變化之道者,其知神之所為乎。」
The numbers (required) for Qian (or the undivided line) amount to 216; those for Kun (or the divided line), to 144. Together they are 36o, corresponding to the days of the year. The number produced by the lines in the two parts (of the Yi) amount to 11,520, corresponding to the number of all things. Therefore by means of the four operations is the Yi completed. It takes 18 changes to form a hexagram. (The formation of) the eight trigrams constitutes the small completion (of the Yi). If we led on the diagrams and expanded them, if we prolonged each by the addition of the proper lines, then all events possible under the sky might have their representation. (The diagrams) make manifest (by their appended explanations), the ways (of good and ill fortune), and show virtuous actions in their spiritual relations. In this way, by consulting them, we may receive an answer (to our doubts), and we may also by means of them assist the spiritual (power in its agency in nature and providence). The Master said: - 'He who knows the method of change and transformation may be said to know what is done by that spiritual (power).'

10 繫辭上:
易有聖人之道四焉;以言者尚其辭,以動者尚其變,以制器者尚其象,以卜筮者尚其占。以君子將有為也,將有行也,問焉而以言,其受命也如響,无有遠近幽深,遂知來物。非天下之至精,其孰能與於此。
Xi Ci I:
In the Yi there are four things characteristic of the way of the sages. We should set the highest value on its explanations to guide us in speaking; on its changes for (the initiation of) our movements; on its emblematic figures for (definite action as in) the construction of implements; and on its prognostications for our practice of divination. Therefore, when a superior man is about to take action of a more private or of a public character, he asks (the Yi), making his inquiry in words. It receives his order, and the answer comes as the echo's response. Be the subject remote or near, mysterious or deep, he forthwith knows of what kind will be the coming result. (If the Yi) were not the most exquisite thing under heaven, would it be concerned in such an operation as this?
參伍以變,錯綜其數,通其變,遂成天下之文。極其數,遂定天下之象。非天下之至變,其孰能與於此。易无思也,无為也,寂然不動,感而遂通天下之故。非天下之至神,其孰能與於此。
(The stalks) are manipulated by threes and fives to determine (one) change; they are laid on opposite sides, and placed one up, one down, to make sure of their numbers; and the (three necessary) changes are gone through with in this way, till they form the figures pertaining to heaven or to earth. Their numbers are exactly determined, and the emblems of (all things) under the sky are fixed. (If the Yi) were not the thing most capable of change of all things under heaven, how could it effect such a result as this?
夫易,聖人之所以極深而研幾也。唯深也,故能通天下之志。唯幾也,故能成天下之務。唯神也,故不疾而速,不行而至。子曰:「易有聖人之道四焉」者,此之謂也。
In (all these operations forming) the Yi, there is no thought and no action. It is still and without movement; but, when acted on, it penetrates forthwith to all phenomena and events under the sky. If it were not the most spirit-like thing under the sky, how could it be found doing this? The (operations forming the) Yi are the method by which the sages searched out exhaustively what was deep, and investigated the minutest springs (of things). 'Those operations searched out what was deep:' - therefore they could penetrate to the views of all under the sky. 'They made apparent the minutest springs of (things):' - therefore they could bring to a completion all undertakings under the sky. 'Their action was spirit-like:' - therefore they could make speed without hurry, and reached their destination without travelling. This is the import of what the Master said, that 'In the Yi there are four things indicating the way of the sages.'

11 繫辭上:
子曰:「夫易,何為者也?夫易開物成務,冒天下之道,如斯而已者也。是故,聖人以通天下之志,以定天下之業,以斷天下之疑。」是故,蓍之德,圓而神;卦之德,方以知;六爻之義,易以貢。聖人以此洗心,退藏於密,吉凶與民同患。神以知來,知以藏往,其孰能與此哉!古之聰明叡知神武而不殺者夫?
Xi Ci I:
The Master said: - 'What is it that the Yi does? The Yi opens up (the knowledge of the issues of) things, accomplishes the undertakings (of men), and embraces under it (the way of) all things under the sky. This and nothing more is what the Yi does. Thereby the sages, through (divination by) it, would give their proper course to the aims of all under the sky, would give stability to their undertakings, and determine their doubts.' Therefore the virtue of the stalks is versatile and spirit-like; that of the diagrams is exact and wise; and the meaning given by the six lines is changeful to give (the proper information to men). The sages having, by their possession of these (three virtues), cleansed their minds, retired and laid them up in the secrecy (of their own consciousness). But their sympathies were with the people in regard both to their good fortune and evil. By their spirit-like ability they knew (the character of) coming events, and their wisdom had stored up (all experiences of) the past. Who could be able to accomplish all this? (Only our) ancient sages, quick in apprehension and clear in discernment, of far-reaching intelligence, and all-embracing knowledge, and with a majesty, going spirit-like to its objects; - it was only they who could do so.
是以,明於天之道,而察於民之故,是興神物以前民用。聖人以此齊戒,以神明其德夫!是故,闔戶謂之坤;闢戶謂之乾;一闔一闢謂之變;往來不窮謂之通;見乃謂之象;形乃謂之器;制而用之,謂之法;利用出入,民咸用之,謂之神。
Therefore (those sages), fully understanding the way of Heaven, and having clearly ascertained the experience of the people, instituted (the employment of) these spirit-like things, as a provision for the use of the people. The sages went about the employment of them (moreover) by purifying their hearts and with reverent caution, thereby giving (more) spirituality and intelligence to their virtue. Thus, a door shut may be pronounced (analogous to) Kun (or the inactive condition), and the opening of the door (analogous to) Qian (or the active condition). The opening succeeding the being shut may be pronounced (analogous to what we call) a change; and the passing from one of these states to the other may be called the constant course (of things). The (first) appearance of anything (as a bud) is what we call a semblance; when it has received its complete form, we call it a definite thing. (The divining-plant having been produced, the sages) set it apart and laid down the method of its employment, - what we call the laws (of divination). The advantage arising from it in external and internal matters, so that the people all use it, stamps it with a character which we call spirit-like.
是故,易有太極,是生兩儀,兩儀生四象,四象生八卦,八卦定吉凶,吉凶生大業。是故,法象莫大乎天地,變通莫大乎四時,縣象著明莫大乎日月,崇高莫大乎富貴;備物致用,立成器以為天下利,莫大乎聖人;探賾索隱,鉤深致遠,以定天下之吉凶,成天下之亹亹者,莫大乎蓍龜。
Therefore in (the system of) the Yi there is the Grand Terminus, which produced the two elementary Forms. Those two Forms produced the Four emblematic Symbols, which again produced the eight Trigrams. The eight trigrams served to determine the good and evil (issues of events), and from this determination was produced the (successful prosecution of the) great business (of life). Therefore of all things that furnish models and visible figures there are none greater than heaven and earth; of things that change and extend an influence (on others) there are none greater than the four seasons; of things suspended (in the sky) with their figures displayed clear and bright, there are none greater than the sun and moon; of the honoured and exalted there are none greater than he who is the rich and noble (one); in preparing things for practical use, and inventing and making instruments for the benefit of all under the sky, there are none greater than the sages; to explore what is complex, search out what is hidden, to hook up what lies deep, and reach to what is distant, thereby determining (the issues) for good or ill of all events under the sky, and making all men under heaven full of strenuous endeavours, there are no (agencies) greater than those of the stalks and the tortoise-shell.
是故,天生神物,聖人則之;天地變化,聖人效之;天垂象,見吉凶,聖人象之。河出圖,洛出書,聖人則之。易有四象,所以示也。繫辭焉,所以告也。定之以吉凶,所以斷也。
Therefore Heaven produced the spirit-like things, and the sages took advantage of them. (The operations of) heaven and earth are marked by (so many) changes and transformations; and the sages imitated them (by means of the Yi). Heaven hangs out its (brilliant) figures from which are seen good fortune and bad, and the sages made their emblematic interpretations accordingly. The He gave forth the map, and the Lo the writing, of (both of) which the sages took advantage. In the (scheme of the) Yi there are the four symbolic figures by which they inform men (in divining of the lines making up the diagrams); the explanations appended to them convey the significance (of the diagrams and lines); and the determination (of the divination) as fortunate or the reverse, to settle the doubts (of men).

12 繫辭上:
易曰:「自天祐之,吉无不利。」子曰:「祐者,助也。天之所助者,順也;人之所助者,信也。履信思乎順,又以尚賢也。是以自天祐之,吉无不利也。」
Xi Ci I:
It is said in the Yi, 'Help is given to him from Heaven. There will be good fortune; advantage in every respect.' The Master said: - 'You is the symbol of assisting. He whom Heaven assists is observant (of what is right); he whom men assist is sincere. The individual here indicated treads the path of sincerity and desires to be observant (of what is right), and studies to exalt the worthy. Hence "Help is given to him from Heaven. There will be good fortune, advantage in every respect."'
子曰:「書不盡言,言不盡意。然則聖人之意,其不可見乎。」子曰:「聖人立象以盡意,設卦以盡情偽,繫辭以盡其言,變而通之以盡利,鼓之舞之以盡神。」
The Master said: - 'The written characters are not the full exponent of speech, and speech is not the full expression of ideas; - is it impossible then to discover the ideas of the sages?' The Master said: - 'The sages made their emblematic symbols to set forth fully their ideas; appointed (all) the diagrams to show fully the truth and falsehood (of things); appended their explanations to give the full expression of their words; and changed (the various lines) and made general the method of doing so, to exhibit fully what was advantageous. They (thus) stimulated (the people) as by drums and dances, thereby completely developing the spirit-like (character of the Yi).'
乾坤其易之縕邪?乾坤成列,而易立乎其中矣。乾坤毀,則无以見易,易不可見,則乾坤或幾乎息矣。是故,形而上者謂之道,形而下者謂之器。化而裁之謂之變,推而行之謂之通,舉而錯之天下之民,謂之事業。
May we not say that Qian and Kun [= the yang and yin, or the undivided and divided lines] are the secret and substance of the Yi? Qian and Kun being established in their several places, the system of changes was thereby constituted. If Qian and Kun were taken away, there would be no means of seeing that system; and if that system were not seen, Qian and Kun would almost cease to act. Hence that which is antecedent to the material form exists, we say, as an ideal method, and that which is subsequent to the material form exists, we say, as a definite thing. Transformation and shaping is what we call change; carrying this out and operating with it is what we call generalising the method; taking the result and setting it forth for all the people under heaven is, we say, (securing the success of) the business of life.
是故,夫象,聖人有以見天下之賾,而擬諸其形容,象其物宜,是故謂之象。聖人有以見天下之動,而觀其會通,以行其典禮,繫辭焉,以斷其吉凶,是故謂之爻。極天下之賾者,存乎卦;鼓天下之動者,存乎辭;化而裁之,存乎變;推而行之,存乎通;神而明之,存乎其人;默而成之,不言而信,存乎德行。
Hence, to speak of the emblematic figures: - (The sage) was able to survey all the complex phenomena under the sky. He then considered in his mind how they could be figured, and (by means of the diagrams) represented their material forms and their character. Hence those (diagrams) are denominated Semblances. A (later) sage was able to survey the motive influences working all under the sky. He contemplated them in their common action and special nature, in order to bring out the standard and proper tendency of each. He then appended his explanation (to each line), to determine the good or evil indicated by it. Hence those (lines with their explanations) are denominated Imitations (the Yao). The most thorough mastery of all the complex phenomena under the sky is obtained from the diagrams. The greatest stimulus to movement in adaptation to all affairs under the sky is obtained from the explanations. The transformations and shaping that take place are obtained from the changes (of the lines); the carrying this out and operating with it is obtained from the general method (that has been established). The seeing their spirit-like intimations and understanding them depended on their being the proper men; and the completing (the study of) them by silent meditation, and securing the faith of others without the use of words, depended on their virtuous conduct.

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