Summary of the Changes

1. In the Book of Changes it is said: “He is blessed by heaven. Good fortune. Nothing that does not further.”

The Master said: To bless means to help. Heaven helps the man who is devoted; men help the man who is true. He who walks in truth and is devoted in his thinking, and furthermore reveres the worthy, is blessed by heaven. He has good fortune, and there is nothing that would not further.

2. The Master said: Writing cannot express words completely. Words cannot express thoughts completely. Are we then unable to see the thoughts of the holy sages?

The Master said: The holy sages set up the images in order to express their thoughts completely; they devised the hexagrams in order to express the true and the false completely. Then they appended judgements and so could express their words completely. (They created change and continuity, to show the advantage completely; they urged on, they set in motion, to set forth the spirit completely.)

3. The Creative and the Receptive are the real secret of the Changes. Inasmuch as the Creative and the Receptive present themselves as complete, the changes between them are also posited. If the Creative and the Receptive were destroyed, there would be nothing by which the changes could be perceived. If there were no more changes to be seen, the effects of the Creative and the Receptive would also gradually cease.

4. Therefore: What is above form is called tao; what is within form is called tool. (That which transforms things and fits them together is called change; that which stimulates them and sets them in motion is called continuity.  That which raises them up and sets them forth before all people on earth is called the field of action.)

5. Therefore, with respect to the Images: The holy sages were able to survey all the confused diversities under heaven. They observed forms and phenomena, and made representations of things and their attributes. There were called the Images. The holy sages were able to survey all the movements under heaven. They contemplated the way in which these movements met and became interrelated, to take their course according to eternal laws. Then they appended judgements, to distinguish between the good fortune and misfortune indicated. These were called the Judgments.

6. The exhaustive presentation of the confused diversities under heaven depends upon the hexagrams. The stimulation of all movements under heaven depends upon the Judgments.

7. The transformation of things and the fitting together of them depend upon the changes. Stimulation of them and setting them in motion depend upon continuity. The spirituality and clarity depend upon the right man. Silent fulfillment, confidence that needs no words, depend upon virtuous conduct.

The nature of change