1 -- The Dynamic -- 1
HEXAGRAM NUMBER ONE --
Other titles: The Creative, The Symbol of Heaven, The Creative Principle, Force, The Key, Creativity, The Originating, Creative Power, Primal Power, Yang, The Life Force, Kundalini, God the Father
Legge:The Dynamic represents what is great and originating, penetrating, advantageous, correct and firm.
Wilhelm/Baynes:The Creative works sublime success, furthering through perseverance.
Blofeld: The Creative Principle . Sublime Success! Persistence in a righteous course brings reward.
Liu:The Creative brings great success, benefiting all through perseverance.
Ritsema/Karcher:Force: Spring Growing Harvesting Trial. [This hexagram describes your situation in terms of the primal spirit power that both creates and destroys. It emphasizes that dynamic, unwearied persisting, the action of Force, is the adequate way to handle it. To be in accord with the time, you are told to: persist!]
Shaughnessy:The Key: Primary reception; beneficial to determine.
Cleary(1):Heavencreates, develops, brings about fruition and consummation.
Cleary(1): The creative is successful; this is beneficial if correct.
Wu:The Originator is primordial, pervasive, prosperous and persevering.
Legge: Heaven, in its motion, gives the idea of strength. The superior man, in accordance with this, nerves himself to ceaseless activity.
Wilhelm/Baynes: The movement of heaven is full of power. Thus the superior man makes himself strong and untiring.
Blofeld: This hexagram symbolizes the power of the celestial forces in motion, wherewith the Superior Man labors unceasingly to strengthen his own character.
Liu: Heaven moves powerfully; the superior man strengthens himself unceasingly.
Ritsema/Karcher: Heaven moves persistingly. A Chun tzu uses originating strength not to pause.
Cleary(1): The activity of heaven is powerful; superior people thereby strengthen themselves ceaselessly.
Wu: Heaven moves in full strength. Thus the jun zi strives ceaselessly to be self-reliant.
Confucius/Legge: All things owe their inception to the vast and originating power of The Dynamic. It contains all the meaning of the word: Heaven. Clouds move, rain falls, and the myriad things appear in their created forms. The sages comprehend the link between the end and the beginning. They understand how the changes of the six lines of the hexagram are accomplished, each in its season, and with this knowledge they ascend toward Heaven as though mounted on six dragons. The intent of The Dynamic is to transform everything so that it reflects its correct nature as originally conceived by the mind of Heaven. Thereafter, this great harmony is preserved in union and firm correctness. The sage appears aloft, high above all things, and the myriad states are harmoniously united.
Legge: For the Chinese, the dragon has been from the earliest times a symbol of dignity, wisdom, sovereignty and sagehood. It is the symbol of the superior man, and especially the "great man," exhibiting all the virtues and attributes of Heaven. Although the dragon's home is in the water, it can disport itself on land, and also fly through the air.
The sage rules in the world of men as Heaven rules nature. He sees the connection between the end and the beginning as the law of cause and effect in the operations of nature and human affairs. The various steps in that course are symbolized by the lines of the hexagram, and the ideal sage, conducting his ideal government, is represented as driving through the sky in a carriage drawn by six dragons.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASES
Judgment:The Dynamic is the life force itself.
The Superior Man tirelessly furthers the Great Work of Transformation.
The image of a dragon appears in every line of this hexagram, except the third. Like most symbols, the dragon has both a positive and a negative aspect. In Western myth, it is usually an adversary which the hero must conquer before he can obtain a treasure or often, a captive maiden. The Chinese, on the other hand, regard the dragon positively. Blofeld comments:
In China, the dragon has always been regarded as a highly admirable creature of celestial origin. Dragons provide rain; make rivers run and rule the ocean. The European dragon is clearly of another species.
This seeming anomaly may say more about how east and west perceive the forces of nature, rather than refer to any true differences in the forces perceived.
Wilhelm compares the dragon to the electrical energy within a thunderstorm -- as lightning it can destroy us, but in the form of electricity it can be harnessed to do useful work. A dragon is nothing if not a huge serpent, and this suggests the idea of the "serpent power," or Kundalini energy which when aroused in the human body has been likened to a sudden jolt of electricity running up from the base of the spine to the top of the head. The Kundalini force is equated in turn with sexual energy -- dynamic power which ensures the continuance of all but the most primitive of living organisms. Without the powerful energy of sexuality, life as we know it could not exist.
When the dragon remains unconquered in the cave-like depths of the unconscious, the life force autonomously rules our lives and we become passive vehicles for random desires and appetites. This "electricity" will flow wherever it finds a circuit of least resistance, and under these conditions an individual's life is largely "created" by chance and circumstance. When one begins the Work, the task of Individuation, one assumes the role of the hero or warrior, who does battle with the dragon in order to bring it under his will. This is a great struggle, and success is not guaranteed, but if one is able to control the primordial power of the life force, the treasure (or the maiden, which in the male psyche amounts to the same thing), is obtained. This is tantamount to attaining a higher level of consciousness -- in its highest form it constitutes "enlightenment."
The symbolism of all of the hexagrams works on many different levels, and this is especially true of the first two, which must be studied together for a full comprehension of each. (Kabbalists, for example, will recognize in these two figures the same forces found in Chokmah and Binah on the Tree of Life.) For the purposes of this comparison it must be noted that the first hexagram symbolizes Heaven, and the second symbolizes Earth: Force and Form. (As consciousness is to the body it inhabits, so Force is to Form and Heaven to Earth.) Form is magnetic, or "negative" in polarity, and Force is dynamic, or "positive."
In esoteric symbolism "Heaven" does not mean the universe above us -- it means the consciousness within us. This polarity is also reflected in the relationship between the ego and the Self -- in a properly regulated psyche, the ego is always magnetic to the dynamic Self.
There is an invisible universe within the visible one, a world of causes within the world of effects. There is force within matter, and the two are one, and are dependent for their existence on a third, which is the mysterious cause of their existence. There is a world of soul within a world of matter, and the two are one, and caused by the world of spirit.
F. Hartmann -- Paracelsus: Life and Prophecies
SUGGESTIONS FOR MEDITATION
To get a fuller grasp of the numinously beautiful structure of the I Ching and the transcendent reality which it reflects, one should meditate on each of the hexagrams as often as possible -- one can never exhaust their meaning. The first two hexagrams (because they are the "cosmic parents" of all the others), are especially rich in their associations. Here are a few suggestions for meditation:
1. Compare and contrast the general ideas in the first three hexagrams, noting how the third is a logical progression of the first two.
2. The Confucian commentary on The Dynamic is particularly rich in meaning. Read it over and over again -- it contains the principles of the Work as outlined in more detail in the other hexagrams. Compare the sixth sentence with the ideas in hexagram number twenty, Contemplation.
3. Compare the first two hexagrams with hexagram number eleven, Harmony, and number twelve, Divorcement, noting the implications of the symbolism in terms of the proper management of the Work.
Legge: In the first line, dynamic, we see its subject as the dragon lying hid in the deep. It is not the time for active doing.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Hidden dragon. Do not act.
Blofeld: The concealed dragon refrains from action.
Liu: The hibernating dragon does not act.
Ritsema/Karcher: Immersed dragon, no availing-of.
Shaughnessy: Submersed dragon; do not use.
Cleary(1): Hidden dragon: Do not use it.
Cleary(2): The hidden dragon is not to be employed.
Wu: The dragon lying submerged is not to be used.
Confucius/Legge: This appears from the dynamic and undivided line being in the lowest place. Wilhelm/Baynes: For the light-giving force is still below. Blofeld: The life- sustaining force is still submerged. Ritsema/ Karcher: Yang located below indeed. Wu: Because the yang is in the lowest position.
The Master said:"There he is, with the powers of the dragon, and yet lying hid. The world cannot influence him, for he does not pander to its approval. He lives withdrawn from the world without regret, and its disapproval doesn’t bother him. He rejoices in this opportunity to further his work, but if circumstances do not favor this he can as easily retire. He cannot be separated from the source of his being. This is the dragon lying hid."
Miscellaneous notes: The position is too low. The dynamic power is stored up and hidden. This is the originating power which is the source of life and growth. The actions of the superior man demonstrate his virtue every day, but when concealment is required he restrains the full expression of his work and takes no action.
Legge: The dragon can be the symbol of the superior man, or the great man -- the sage on the throne.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASES
Siu: At the outset, the man is unknown, like a dragon lying hidden. The occasion is not yet ripe for his appearance. He is not moved by public opinion and the desire for fame. He bides his time in self-confidence and silence.
Wing: The time is not ripe for action. You have all the Creative Power that you need to achieve your aim, but you must wait for the opportune moment. If necessary, you may direct activities from behind the scenes.
Editor: The image suggests the dragon in its cave. The forces of the unconscious psyche are hidden from conscious awareness and constitute a potential threat. To take action under such circumstances would at the very least be to risk an unpleasant or unmanageable confrontation with a superior force. Since this is the bottom line of the hexagram, the image reminds us of the serpent power, or Kundalini, lying coiled and asleep at the base of the spine. Those who have experienced the premature and uncontrolled release of this force have attested to its extremely negative qualities -- both physical pain and acute psychological stress are commonly described. If this is the only changing line, the hexagram becomes number forty-four,Temptation, the corresponding line of which reads in part: "...If she moves in any direction, evil will appear." This reinforces the idea of taking no action whatsoever under the prevailing conditions, despite your possible temptation to do so.
The unconscious is not a demoniacal monster, but a natural entity which, as far as moral sense, aesthetic taste, and intellectual judgment go, is completely neutral. It only becomes dangerous when our conscious attitude to it is hopelessly wrong. To the degree that we repress it, its danger increases.
Jung -- The Practice of Psychotherapy
A. There are concealed forces in the situation. Take no action when you are unaware of the hidden consequences.
B. Energy is gathering in the unconscious psyche. Leave it alone -- it will express itself when the time is ripe.
Legge: The second line, dynamic, shows the dragon appearing in the field. It will be advantageous to meet with the great man.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Dragon appearing in the field. It furthers one to see the great man.
Blofeld: The dragon is perceived in an open place; it is advantageous to visit a great man.
Liu: The dragon is seen on the field. There is benefit in meeting a great man.
Ritsema/Karcher: Visualizing dragon located-in the fields. Harvesting: visualizing great people.
Shaughnessy: Appearing dragon in the fields; beneficial to see the great man.
Cleary(1): Seeing the dragon in the field: It is beneficial to see a great person.
Wu: There appears the dragon in the field. It will be advantageous to see the great man.
Confucius/Legge: The diffusion of virtuous influence has been wide. Wilhelm/Baynes: Already the influence of character reaches far. Blofeld: The great man's deeds are everywhere distributed. Ritsema/Karcher: Actualizing-tao spreading-out throughout indeed. [Actualize-tao: ...ability to follow the course traced by the ongoing process of the cosmos... Linked with acquire, TE: acquiring that which makes a being become what it is meant to be.]Wu: Because his virtue is being widely recognized.
The Master said:"There he is, with the qualities of the dragon, and occupying exactly the central place. His everyday speech and conduct is natural and without affectation. He is on guard against depravity, and thereby preserves his inner virtue. The world recognizes his power because he does not call attention to it. Such expressions of integrity are the qualities of a ruler, and transform the world."
Miscellaneous notes: The time still requires him to be unemployed. All under Heaven begins to be adorned and brightened. The correct accumulation of power creates beneficial results. The superior man consolidates his perceptions and evaluates their implications with bemused detachment, as befits a virtuous ruler.
Legge: We have the superior man developing, by means of the processes described, into the great man, with the attributes of a ruler, the appearance of whom is a blessing to men.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASES
Siu: A transformation ensues. The man appears among his peers, although not yet in a position of authority. His virtues are displayed, and his goodness becomes known. The prognosis is good for his impact upon the world. It is propitious to see him.
Wing: Take note of a person who is active in the field of your interest. Although he may not be in a position of Creative Power, his conduct is above reproach and therefore he has significant influence. It would be to your advantage to align yourself with him.
Editor: A field is a wide and open place where movement is relatively unrestricted. The dynamic force here has room to move in any direction. To ensure that this energy moves in the proper direction, we are counseled to maintain a firm connection with "the great man" -- the best that is in us, our highest intuition or inner voice: the Self. The imagery of the line therefore suggests the expansion of awareness, or of coming into one's power. It does not necessarily counsel action.
We should watch the activity of the Self within ourselves and try to make it an influence in our actual life. If for instance I have a dream that I should do something (since our hypothesis is that the dream is so to speak a letter from the Self), that would be an activity from the archetype of the Self, and to give that to the dragon to eat would mean that I make it valid for the body of my actual physical life, i.e., my decision, whether I do this or that, from morning to evening.
M.L. Von Franz -- Alchemical Active Imagination
A. You are beginning to get the idea -- stay connected to avoid going astray.
B. Power accumulates -- stay in touch with your highest potential to ensure that this energy stays focused on the Work.
Legge: In the third line, dynamic, we see its subject as the superior man
active and vigilant all the day, and in the evening still careful and
apprehensive. The position is dangerous, but there will be no mistake.
Wilhelm/Baynes: All day long the superior man is creatively active. At nightfall his mind is still beset with cares. Danger. No blame.
Blofeld: The superior man busies himself the whole day through and evening finds him thoroughly alert. Trouble threatens, but he is not at fault.
Liu: The superior man works creatively the whole day, and is cautious in the evening. Danger. No blame.
Ritsema/Karcher: A Chun tzu completing the day: Force, Force. Nightfall, awe, like adversity. Without fault.
Shaughnessy: The gentleman throughout the day is so initiating; at night he is ashen as if in danger; there is no trouble.
Cleary (1): A superior person works diligently all day, is careful at night. Danger, but no error.
Wu: The jun zi should follow the way of The Dynamic all day long. He should keep himself alert in the day as well as in the evening. If so, he will be free from error, despite alarming situations.
Confucius/Legge: This refers to the treading of the proper path over and over again. Wilhelm/Baynes: One goes to and fro on the right path. Blofeld: He goes over his work again and again. Ritsema/Karcher: Reversing returning tao indeed. Wu: Take into consideration the principle of cyclic reversion.
The Master said:"The superior man evolves through faithful devotion to his work; and he ensures its endurance by the awareness and control of his speech. His comprehension of fundamental principles enables him to attain his goals, but once attained, he does not exceed their proper limit. Exalted without pride, abased without fear, vigilant in his actions and attentive to the requirements of the time, he copes with danger without error."
Miscellaneous notes: Now he does his proper business. He acts according
to the requirements of the time. He is doubly strong, but beyond the center -- neither in Heaven above, or the field below. Vigilance and concern in a perilous position insure against error.
Legge: The dynamic line is in its proper place. In the exercise of his caution he will refrain from any improper action.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASES
Siu: The man's fame begins to spread. Such periods of transition are always unsettling. There is tension in the air. But the man retains his integrity and avoids being swept along by the masses, which flock to him. He remains active, vigilant, careful, and apprehensive. The prevention of mistakes under perilous circumstances is ever on his mind.
Wing: A new world of Creative Power is opening to you. Others will become aware of this and attach themselves to you in hopes that they may use your gain in influence for their own aims. There is danger in this, for your energies may become distracted before they are stabilized. If you hold fiercely to your vision and integrity you will be protected.
Editor: This line marks the threshold between the lower and upper trigrams, and suggests a place of transition -- a kind of no-man's land where forces advance and retreat as conditions require. The superior man is the warrior in the service of the Work, and although he is consciously aware of his task (he is vigilant during the day), he must remain alert to unconscious (night, or evening) factors which might usurp his judgment. This is alluded to in the Confucian commentary in terms of the awareness and control of speech. The control of language is extremely difficult, for it is by means of spontaneous remarks that unconscious forces often manage to express themselves despite all of our intentions to the contrary. It is for this reason that a common discipline of inner work is the strict control of expression -- for example, the vow not to use the word "I" in conversation. (Aleister Crowley is said to have demanded that his disciples slash their arms with a razor every time they broke this rule!) Ritsema/Karcher render "adversity," (LI) as: "Danger, threatening, malevolent demon ... It indicates a spirit or ghost that seeks revenge by inflicting suffering upon the living. Pacifying or exorcizing such a spirit can have a healing effect." If this is the only changing line, the new hexagram created is number ten, Cautious Advance, which repeats the image of careful vigilance as well as the idea in the Confucian commentary of "Treading the proper path over and over again." Compare with line 3 of Hexagram 10.
The psyche is a self-regulating system that maintains its equilibrium just as the body does. Every process that goes too far immediately and inevitably calls forth compensations, and without these there would be neither a normal metabolism nor a normal psyche. In this sense we can take the theory of compensation as a basic law of psychic behavior. Too little on one side results in too much on the other.
Jung -- The Practice of Psychotherapy
A. Although you are consciously devoted to the Work, you must watch out for unconscious elements in your psyche which would hinder your progress.
B. Monitor your words and deeds.
C. Be very careful now in what you do.
Legge: In the fourth dynamic line we see its subject as the dragon looking as if he were leaping up, but still in the deep. There will be no mistake.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Wavering flight over the depths. No blame.
Blofeld: Leaping about on the brink of a chasm, he is not at fault.
Liu: The dragon leaps from the abyss. No blame.
Ritsema/Karcher: Maybe capering located-in the abyss. Without fault.
Shaughnessy: And now jumping in the depths; there is no trouble.
Cleary(1): Sometimes leaping, or in the abyss: no error.
Cleary(2): One may leap in the abyss. No error.
Wu: The dragon may leap out of the abyss. There will be no blame.
Confucius/Legge: He seems to be leaping up, but is still in the deep. If he advances there will be no error. Wilhelm/Baynes: Advance is not a mistake. Blofeld: For him to advance would involve no fault. Ritsema/Karcher: Advancing without fault indeed. Wu: It is blameless to proceed.
The Master said:"Without a permanent home either above or below, the superior man yet commits no error. He advances or retreats as circumstances require and conforms to the law of his nature. The superior man, devoted to his work and the evolution of his virtue, advances only at the proper time, and therefore avoids mistakes."
Miscellaneous notes: He tests himself. A change is in process. The power is not central: neither in Heaven above, nor in the field beneath, nor in the human realm between them. Because he is perplexed and anxious about his choices he will incur no blame.
Legge: Both the third and fourth lines of any hexagram belong to man, and are intermediate between those of Heaven above and those of Earth beneath. K'ung Ying-ta, to explain the difficulty in what is said on this fourth line, says that man is actually nearer to Earth than to Heaven, and is aptly represented therefore by the third line and not by the fourth. In any event, the subject of this fourth line will move very cautiously, and so escape blame.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASES
Siu: After a while the man is confronted with a choice for public service in world affairs or solitude in further personal development. Either is appropriate if pursued in virtue and at the proper time.
Wing: A time of choice is at hand. Because of amplification in your Creative Power you must decide whether to enter the public eye and serve society, or whether to withdraw and work on your inner development. Follow your deepest intuition and you will not make a mistake.
Editor: The fourth line bears a certain similarity to the third: as the lowest line of the upper trigram, it is also in a threshold position of transition. Although hesitation and uncertainty are implied, one is counseled to take action when it is appropriate to do so. This implies that you are on the right track, but that certain self-confidence is required. The line can sometimes just portray a confused situation.
Every advance in culture is, psychologically, an extension of consciousness, a coming to consciousness that can take place only through discrimination. Therefore an advance always begins with individuation, that is to say with the individual, conscious of his isolation, cutting a new path through hitherto untrodden territory. To do this he must first return to the fundamental facts of his own being, irrespective of all authority and tradition, and allow himself to become conscious of his distinctiveness.
Jung -- The Structure and Dynamics of the Psyche
A. Keep trying.
B. The will is being tested through a transitional period. The power for advancement depends upon the self- confidence that comes with knowing you have made a correct choice.
C. To stay on top of a changing situation, keep the faith and play it by ear.
Legge: The fifth dynamic line shows its subject as the dragon on the wing in the sky. It will be advantageous to meet with the great man.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Flying dragon in the heavens. It furthers one to see the great man.
Blofeld: The dragon wings across the sky; it is advantageous to visit a great man.
Liu: The dragon flies in the heavens. There is benefit in meeting a great man.
Ritsema/Karcher: Flying dragon located-in heaven. Harvesting: visualizing Great People.
Shaughnessy: Flying dragon in the heavens; beneficial to see the great man.
Cleary(1): The flying dragon is in the sky: it is beneficial to see a great person.
Cleary(2): … Beneficial to see great people.
Wu: The flying dragon is in the sky. It will be advantageous to see the great man.
Confucius/Legge: The great man rouses himself to his work. Wilhelm/ Baynes: This shows the great man at work. Blofeld: This passage presages the emergence of a being who is truly great. Ritsema/Karcher: Great People creating indeed. Wu: This signifies success of the great man.
The Master said:"Notes of the same key vibrate in harmony, birds of a feather flock together. Water descends and fire ascends. Clouds follow the dragon, and the winds follow the tiger. When the sage appears, all men look up to him. Heavenly things ascend, earthly things descend -- so does everything follow its kind."
Miscellaneous notes: The subject of the line commands from above. This shows that his position is based upon heavenly virtue. The attributes of the great man are in harmony with Heaven and Earth: his intelligence is like the sun and moon; his procedures are like the four seasons, and his equilibrium
resonates with the powers of the inner worlds. If he precedes Heaven, Heaven will not oppose him; if he follows Heaven, he will follow its laws. If Heaven does not oppose, how much less will men or spiritual forces!
Legge: The fifth is almost always the place of honor and authority in the hexagram, and here the great man is seen as the sage on the throne. The argument is that as things of the same kind respond to and seek one another, so is it with the sage and ordinary men. They are of the same kind, though far apart; and when a sage appears, all other men look to him with admiration and hope. Ch'eng-tzu says here that "Heaven and Earth are another name for Tao, and that because the sage is in harmony with the Tao or practical reason of the universe, how could men or spirits be contrary to him?"
NOTES AND PARAPHRASES
Siu: In due time, the man makes his appearance and sets about his work, like the dragon on wing in the heavens. His beneficent influence spreads over the world.
Wing: Whatever you choose to do is in accord with the cosmos. Your thinking is clearheaded. Because of this your influence is great and your milieu will look to you for inspiration.
Editor: Whatever the specific meaning of this line may be in regard to the situation at hand, it is a very powerful omen. If this is the only changing line, the new hexagram created is number fourteen, Wealth. The alchemists regarded the winged dragon as the "volatile element," which is exactly what is pictured here. Wings enable entities to travel in the element of air: the mental realm of thought. The image suggests the life force breaking free into a higher plane -- this could refer to anything from the invention of a better mousetrap to the attainment of an enlightened state of awareness. One is cautioned however, not to get carried away with this sudden release of power -- it is always advantageous to meet with the "great man" -- that is, stay connected to the best that is in you lest you ascend to the condition imaged in line six. That the great man "rouses himself to his work" suggests that an open and decorous handling of one's power is in accordance with the intent of the Self from which it emanates.
The hero's main feat is to overcome the monster of darkness: it is the long hoped-for and expected triumph of consciousness over the unconscious. The coming of consciousness was probably the most tremendous experience of primeval times, for with it a world came into being whose existence no one expected before. "And God said, Let there be light'" is the projection of that immemorial experience of the separation of consciousness from the unconscious.
Jung -- The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
A. Incredible energy is being released within the psyche. Maintain your connection with your best intuition.
B. You are in harmony with your Tao.
C. You have all the power you need to achieve your goal.
Legge: The sixth dynamic line shows its subject as a dragon exceeding the proper limits. There will be occasion for repentance.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent.
Blofeld: A willful dragon has cause for regret.
Liu: The dragon is arrogant and will have cause to repent.
Ritsema/Karcher: Overbearing dragon possesses repenting.
Shaughnessy: Resisting dragon; there is regret.
Cleary(1): A proud dragon has regrets.
Cleary(2): At the peak, the dragon has regret.
Wu: The arrogant dragon will have regret.
Confucius/Legge: A state of fullness cannot be made to last forever. Wilhelm/Baynes: What is full cannot last. Blofeld: This signifies that not for long will his cup be full. Ritsema/Karcher: Overfilling, not permitting lasting indeed. Wu: A state of fullness may not be had for long.
The master said: "Although noble, he is not in his proper place; although exalted, there are none to acknowledge him. There are men of virtue and ability below, but he does nothing to assist them. Hence whatever he does will lead to regret."
Miscellaneous notes: When the mean is exceeded, calamity ensues. It is too late now -- the time of opportunity has passed. He only knows how to advance, but not how to retreat; he knows life, but not death; how to gain, but not how to lose. He can dish it out, but he can't take it --only the sage understands such things, but he is not a sage.
Legge: The dragon appears in the sixth line as going beyond the proper limits. The ruling-sage has gone through all the spheres in which he is called on to display his attributes, and now it is time for him to relax. The line should not always be pulled tight, the bow should not always be kept drawn. The continuous use of force will give occasion for repentance. In short, the exalted shall be abased.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASES
Siu: There is always danger in circumstances of abundance. The inferior man pushes forward through excessive ambition, thereby losing touch with men of talent and virtue in positions below him. The ruling sage knows when to display his qualities and to relax, to maintain and to let go, to win and not to lose.
Wing: Your ambitions far exceed the possibilities of your Creative Power. If you pursue this dream you will lose touch with reality and lose contact with your community. You will no longer know how to behave appropriately and will ultimately regret your actions.
Editor: The high-flying dragon of the fifth line has gone too far and the energy which began in the unconscious depths of line number one has now become unbalanced power which is doomed to exhaustion and failure. We are reminded of the saying: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." If this is the only changing line, the hexagram becomes number forty-three, Breakthrough -- in this instance suggesting break-down into a condition of chaos. The corresponding line of that hexagram says: "Shows its subject without any helpers on whom to call. Her end will be evil." The injunction to maintain connected with the Self has been ignored, and one is left to suffer the consequences. Note however that there is an implicit qualifier in this line: it states what happens when one is arrogant: it doesn’t necessarily state that the querent is arrogant. Often the line seems to be more of a reminder about cause and effect than a fait accompli. Wilhelm/Baynes show this best: “[An] Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent.”
Just as a negative inflation brings life to a standstill, so a positive inflation, causing the ego to feel itself powerful, dominant, and "always right," is likewise against life. For a person whose ego suffers from such an invasion of nonpersonal powers does not contact life directly either. Instead of facing life and its tasks realistically on the level of his actual attainments, he approaches them with the assumption that he is master.
M.E. Harding -- Psychic Energy
A. Arrogant illusions of power will destroy you.
B. Without guidance from the Self, the ego creates chaos.
Editor: If all of the lines of The Dynamic are changing, an extremely momentous situation is indicated. This and hexagram number two, The Magnetic,are the only figures in which such a configuration is commented upon; hence, these are arguably the two strongest images the oracle has to offer.
Legge: If the host of dragons thus appearing were to divest themselves of their heads, there would be good fortune.
Wilhelm/Baynes: There appears a flight of dragons without heads. Good fortune.
Blofeld: A brood of headless dragons appears; good fortune.
Ritsema/Karcher: Visualizing flocking dragons without a head.
Shaughnessy: See the flock of dragons without heads; auspicious.
Cleary(1): Having dragons appear without heads is good.
Cleary(2): Using yang, you see a group of headless dragons; this is auspicious.
Wu: There appears a group of dragons without a leader. Auspicious. [If the transformation of all the six yang (dragons) takes place together as a group without any one yang trying to lead the others, hence “without a leader,” the transformed hexagram will be The Magnetic, the pure yin hexagram. And this will be great … In terms of human affairs, the message here simply is: Do your work the best you can, but don’t think you are very much better than everyone else. When you are ready to lead, your purpose should be serving your fellow men, but not self-serving.]
Further Commentaries (from Wilhelm)
"When The Creative, the great, undergoes change in all the [lines], the world is set in order."
"When The Creative, the great, undergoes change in all the [lines], one perceives the law of heaven."
Editor: Wu’s interpretation of “head” as “leader” makes more sense than any of the other translations.
Personal Note: The very first time I ever consulted theI ChingI received The Dynamic with all changing lines. At the time I didn't understand it, and it meant nothing to me; in retrospect I see that it was a portent which has changed my entire life.
June 2, 2001; 12/10/08