Lin / ApproachThu, September 25, 2008 - 6:29 PM
Above K’un THE RECEPTIVE, EARTH
Below Tui THE JOYOUSE, LAKE
The Chinese word Lin has a range of meanings that is not exhausted by any single word of another language. The ancient explanations in the Book of Changes give as its first meaning, “becoming great.” What becomes great are the two strong lines growing into the hexagram from below; the light giving power expands with them. The meaning is then further extended to include the concept of approach, especially the approach of what is strong and highly placed in relation to what is lower. Finally the meaning includes the attitude of and in general the setting to work on affairs. This hexagram is linked with the twelfth month (January- February) , when, after the winter solstice, the light power begins to ascend again.
APPROACH has supreme success.
When the eighth month comes,
There will be misfortune.
The hexagram as a whole points to a time of joyous, hopeful progress. Spring is approaching. Joy and forbearance bring high and low nearer together. Success is certain.
But we must work with determination and perseverance to make full use of the propitiousness of the time. And one thing more: spring does not last forever. In the eight month the aspects are reversed. Then only two strong light lines are left; these do not advance but are in retreat. We must take heed of this change in good time. If we meet evil before it becomes reality- before it has even begun to stir- we can master it.
The earth above the lake:
The image of APPROACH
Thus the superior man is inexhaustible
In his will to teach,
And without limits
In his tolerance and protection of the people.
The Earth borders upon the lake from above. This symbolizes the approach and condescension of the man higher position to those beneath him. The two parts of the image indicate what his attitude toward these people will be. Just as the lake is inexhaustible in depth, so the sage is inexhaustible in his readiness to teach mankind, and just as the earth is boundlessly wide, sustaining and caring for all creatures on it, so the sage sustains and cares for all people and excludes no part of humanity.
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