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18.2 .4 .5 .6: 4 x whys in hexagram 18

tuckchang

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Hi ! Dear all,

Have you ever wondered:

1) Why does line 2 remove the mother’s Gu (the long-standing malpractice) instead of the father’s, like the other lines doing?
2) Why does line 5 remove the father’s Gu by making use of reputation?
3) Who is the one that refuses to remove the long-standing malpractice?
4) Why doesn’t line 6 serve the king and the duke, but make one’s undertakings decent.

Gu in Chinese means evil emanating from decay like an enclosed bowl in which poisonous worms are breeding; therefore Gu can be interpreted as the long-standing malpractice. Since it has existed for quite a long period of time; thus it is described as the malpractice left from the generation of the father and the mother.

1) Why does line 2 remove the mother’s Gu (the long-standing malpractice) instead of the father’s, like the other lines doing?
The malpractice of the mother can refer to the malpractice that can’t be terminated drastically like the father’s. Line 2 correlates with line 5, the king; line 5 is the one to be corrected as it doesn’t stay at its right position, i.e. doesn’t act righteously. Reform involves the person holding power; one should not proceed forcibly. The outcome will be even worse if one persists in acting desperately.

2) Why does line 5 remove the father’s Gu by making use of reputation?
To make use of reputation means to use one’s prestige and the other person’s capability to carry out the job. The reform involves both line 5, the king, and line 2. Usually it is not suitable for a king to carry out reforms in person, especially self-reform is involved as well. As it correlates with the masculine line 2 which is rigid and moderate as well as at the position full of reputation, it can utilize line 2 to get rid of the long-standing malpractice. In such case the king can be flexible with both conciliation and hard line, and will have more room to succeed. Remarks: according to Xi Ci Zhuan (Confucius’s commentary on the text tagging), line 2 is at the position full of reputation, as the courtier of the duke usually is intelligent and fulfills his duty faithfully.

3) Who is the one that refuses to remove the long-standing malpractice?
It is line 4 that tolerates the father’s Gu, i.e. a person who occupies the high-ranking post and possesses vested interests, keep flattering those above but ignores and tolerates the long-standing malpractice, as line 4 rides over the masculine line 3 and tolerates the feminine line 1 which possesses the same malpractice as line 5, the king.

4) Why doesn’t line 6 serve the king and the duke, but make one’s undertakings decent.
The Chinese character: Gu appears in the line text from line 1 to line 5, but disappears in line 6’s, signifying removal of the long-standing practice has been accomplished at the end, line 6 need not get involved any longer.

Best regards
Tuck :bows:
 

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