||Ground: Tui, Kên, Li
Ch'ien / Modesty
Ch'ien / Modesty
Above K'UN THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH
Below KÊN KEEPING STILL, MOUNTAIN
hexagram is made up of the trigrams Kên, Keeping Still, mountain,
and K'un. The mountain is the youngest son of the Creative, the
representative of heaven and earth. It dispenses the blessings of
heaven, the clouds and rain that gather round its summit, and
thereafter shines forth radiant with heavenly light. This shows what
modesty is and how it functions in great and strong men. K'un, the
earth, stands above. Lowliness is a quality of the earth: this is the
very reason why it appears in this hexagram as exalted, by being placed
above the mountain. This shows how modesty functions in lowly, simple
people: they are lifted up by it.
MODESTY creates success.
The superior man carries things through.
is the law of heaven to make fullness empty and to make full what is
modest; when the sun is at its zenith, it must, according to the law of
heaven, turn toward its setting, and at its nadir it rises toward a new
dawn. In obedience to the same law, the moon when it is full begins to
wane, and when empty of light it waxes again. This heavenly law works
itself out in the fates of men also. It is the law of earth to alter
the full and to contribute to the modest. High mountains are worn down
by the waters, and the valleys are filled up. It is the law of fate to
undermine what is full and to prosper the modest. And men also hate
fullness and love the modest.
destinies of men are subject to immutable laws that must fulfill
themselves. But man has it in his power to shape his fate, according as
his behavior exposes him to the influence of benevolent or of
destructive forces. When a man holds a high position and is
nevertheless modest, he shines with the light of wisdom; if he is in a
lowly position and is modest, he cannot be passed by. Thus the superior
man can carry out his work to the end without boasting of what he has
Within the earth, a mountain:
The image of MODESTY.
Thus the superior man reduces that which is too much,
And augments that which is too little.
He weighs things and makes them equal.
wealth of the earth in which a mountain is hidden is not visible to the
eye, because the depths are offset by the height of the mountain. Thus
high and low competent each other and the result is the plain. Here an
effect that it took a long time to achieve, but that in the end seems
easy of accomplishment and self-evident, is used as the image of
modesty. The superior man does the same thing when he establishes order
in the world; he equalizes the extremes that are the source of social
discontent and thereby creates just and equable conditions.