(Lî suggests the idea of) one treading on the tail of a tiger, which does not bite him. There will be progress and success.
1. The first NINE, undivided, shows its subject treading his accustomed path. If he go forward, there will be no error.
2. The second NINE, undivided, shows its subject treading the path that is level and easy;--a quiet and solitary man, to whom, if he be firm and correct, there will be good fortune.
3. The third SIX, divided, shows a one-eyed man (who thinks he) can see; a lame man (who thinks he) can walk well; one who treads on the tail of a tiger and is bitten. (All this indicates) ill fortune. We have a (mere) bravo acting the part of a great ruler.
4. The fourth NINE, undivided, shows its subject treading on the tail of a tiger. He becomes full of apprehensive caution, and in the end there will be good fortune.
5. The fifth NINE, undivided, shows the resolute tread of its subject. Though he be firm and correct, there will be peril.
6. The sixth NINE, undivided, tells us to look at (the whole course) that is trodden, and examine the
presage which that gives. If it be complete and without failure, there will be great good fortune.
80:X The character giving its name to the hexagram plays an important part also in the symbolism; and this may be the reason why it does not, as the name, occupy the first place in the Thwan. Looking at the figure, we see it is made up of the trigrams Tui, representing a marsh, and Khien, representing the sky. Tui is a yin trigram, and its top line is divided. Below Khien, the great symbol of strength, it may readily suggest the idea of treading on a tiger's tail, which was an old way of expressing what was hazardous (Shû V, XXV, 2). But what suggests the statement that 'the tiger does not bite the treader?' The attribute of Tui is pleased satisfaction. of course such an attribute could not be predicated of one who was in the fangs of a tiger. The coming scatheless out of such danger further suggests the idea of 'progress and success' in the course which king Wăn had in his mind. And according to Appendix VI, that course was 'propriety,' the observance of all the rules of courtesy. On these, as so many stepping-stones, one may tread safely amid scenes of disorder and peril.
Line 1 is an undivided line in an odd place; giving us the ideas of activity, firmness, and correctness. One so characterised will act rightly.
Line 2 occupies the middle place of the trigram, which is supposed to symbolise a path cut straight and level along the hill-side, or over difficult ground. Line, is not a proper correlate, and hence the idea of the subject of 2 being 'a quiet and solitary man.'
Line 3 is neither central nor in an even place, which would be proper to it. But with the strength of will which the occupant of an odd place should possess, he goes forward with the evil results so variously emblemed. The editors of the imperial edition, in illustration of the closing sentence, refer to Analects VII, x.
Line 4 is in contiguity with 5, whose subject is in the place of authority; but he occupies the place proper to a weak or divided line, and hence he bethinks himself, and goes softly.
Beneath the symbolism under line 5, lies the principle that the most excellent thing in 'propriety' is humility. And the subject of the line, which is strong and central, will not be lacking in this, but bear in mind that the higher he is exalted, the greater may be his fall.
What is said on line 6 is good, but is only a truism. The whole course has been shown; if every step has been right and appropriate, the issue will be very good.