...life can be translucent


What does it mean to see the Great Man and to Cross the Water


Senior member
Apr 30, 2019
Reaction score
About da chuan大川, 'great river(s)': in the old texts it is most often used as a general reference to the large rivers in the country or state, which often served as boundaries.

Reminding us that there was little communications between the regions, that they were fuedal and often warring one with t'other and wouldnt be likely to share their precious divination secrets, that might give them a distinct adavantage when it came to any conflict or any negotiations or any interactions with their delightful, but intrusted neighbours. So what got passed down, or survived is likely to be only a fragment of any original forms of divination, or of the Yi itself, if of course such a thing ever existed and a single original structured document.

Context is rather important.

On the point of Kan being a reference, not to a pit or hole, but a drum, I was being rather obtuse in taking perhaps the most opposite view than what is commonly accepted as Hex 29.
It should be remebered that "drums" were a way of communicating over large distances, when there was lots of other nois, such as during acts of warfare, and were used in that context. With the possibility that is how "danger" becomes associated with Kan. It seems that a "pit" might act very well as a resonator and extend the range of a drum.
Drum -pit- conflict- danger.
That could mean that particular section of interpretation survived as a relic from a warring region, such as the art of war, and not as that of any inner fundamental underlying principles, or that the translators over the years, not understanding that a drum might be used other than a means of war have only seen the danger aspect and have limited the meaning of the character to something that it, might be in one context, but wouldnt be in the context of underlying principles.



Senior member
Mar 8, 2018
Reaction score
Thanks again Harmen. Is it possible then that to 'cross the great river(s)' might be advice to cross some boundary or limitation (internal or external), or maybe to get out of our comfort zone? I'd expect that crossing a river in ancient times - especially one that was large or unknown - might feel like that.
Hmmm, yes, I can live with that :)

Also, as an aside ... I asked in another thread if anyone knew of any good or decent translations of the Zhuanzi-(Chuang-Tzu) that might be 'accessable' (e.g. not too convoluted or fluffy).
I am not vey familiar with the Zhuangzi so I don't know which translation I would prefer. There are some threads on Reddit with questions related to yours:



Although I have the impression that most translations are not the complete Zhuangzi. I am fine with Legge's translation and when I doubt what he says I'll resort to the Chinese text.

Office 17622,
PO Box 6945,
United Kingdom

Phone/ Voicemail:
+44 (0)20 3287 3053 (UK)
+1 (561) 459-4758 (US).