I-Ching

Current

60 - Chieh / Limitation
Above: K`AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
Below: TUI THE JOYOUS, LAKE
A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore, limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit. The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions, specifically, the limits of loyalty and disinterestedness.

The Judgement

LIMITATION. Success. Galling limitation must not be persevered in.
Limitations are troublesome, but they are effective. If we live economically in normal times, we are prepared for times of want. To be sparing saves us from humiliation. Limitations are also indispensable in the regulation of world conditions. In nature there are fixed limits for summer and winter, day and night, and these limits give the year its meaning. In the same way, economy, by setting fixed limits upon expenditures, acts to preserve property and prevent injury to the people. But in limitation we must observe due measure. If a man should seek to impose galling limitations upon his own nature, it would be injurious. And if he should go too far in imposing limitations on others, they would rebel. Therefore, it is necessary to set limits even upon limitation.

The Image

Water over lake: the image of LIMITATION. Thus, the superior man creates number and measure, and examines the nature of virtue and correct conduct.
A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water, and this is its peculiarity. In human life too, the individual achieves significance through discrimination and the setting of limits. Therefore, what concerns us here is the problem of clearly defining these discriminations, which are, so to speak, the backbone of morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man, and if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man`s life needs the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. The individual attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is.

Changing

Nine at the beginning means:
Simple conduct. Progress without blame.
The situation is one in which we are still not bound by any obligations of social intercourse. If our conduct is simple, we remain free of them We can quietly follow our predilections as long as we are content and make no demands on people.
The meaning of the hexagram is not standstill but progress. A man finds himself in an altogether inferior position at the start. However, he has the inner strength that guarantees progress. If he can be content with simplicity, he can make progress without blame. When a man is dissatisfied with modest circumstances, he is restless and ambitious and tries to advance, not for the sake of accomplishing anything worth while, but merely in order to escape from lowliness and poverty by dint of his conduct. Once his purpose is achieved, he is certain to become arrogant and luxury-loving. Therefore blame attaches to his progress. On the other hand, a man who is good at his work is content to behave simply. He wishes to make progress in order to accomplish something. When he attains his goal, he does something worth while, and all is well.
Six in the third place means:
A one-eyed man is able to see, a lame man is able to tread. He treads on the tail of the tiger, and the tiger bites the man. Misfortune. Thus does a warrior act on behalf of his great prince.
A one-eyed man can indeed see, but not enough for clear vision. A lame man can indeed tread, but not enough to make progress. If in spite of such defects a man considers himself strong and consequently exposes himself to danger, he is inviting disaster, for he is undertaking something beyond his strength. This reckless way of plunging ahead, regardless of the adequacy of ones powers, can be justified only in the case of a warrior battling for his prince.

Transformed

10 - Lü / Treading (Conduct)
Above: CH`IEN THE CREATIVE, HEAVEN
Below: TUI THE JOYOUS, LAKE
The name of the hexagram means on the one hand the right way of conducting oneself. Heaven, the father, is above, and the lake, the youngest daughter, is below. This shows the difference between high and low, upon which composure, correct social conduct, depends. On the other hand the word for the name of the hexagram, TREADING, means literally treading upon something. The small and cheerful (Tui) treads upon the large and strong (Ch`ien). The direction of movement of the two primary trigrams is upward. The fact that the strong treads on the weak is not mentioned in the Book of Changes, because it is taken for granted. For the weak to take a stand against the strong is not dangerous here, because it happened in good humor (Tui) and without presumption, so that the strong man is not irritated but takes it all with good humor.

The Judgement

TREADING. Treading upon the tail of the tiger. It does not bite the man. Success.
The situation is really difficult. That which is strongest and that which is weakest are close together. The weak follows behind the strong and worries it. The strong, however, acquiesces and does not hurt the weak, because the contact is in good humor and harmless.
In terms of a human situation, one is handling wild, intractable people. In such a case ones purpose will be achieved if one behaves with decorum. Pleasant manners succeed even with irritable people.

The Image

Heaven above, the lake below: The image of TREADING. Thus, the superior man discriminates between high and low, and thereby fortifies the thinking of the people.
Heaven and the lake show a difference of elevation that inheres in the natures of the two, hence no envy arises. Among mankind also there are necessarily differences of elevation; it is impossible to bring about universal equality. But it is important that differences in social rank should not be arbitrary and unjust, for if this occurs, envy and class struggle are the inevitable consequences. If, on the other hand, external differences in rank correspond with differences in inner worth, and if inner worth forms the criterion of external rank, people acquiesce and order reigns in society.