Article Index

Chapter X - The fourfold use of the Book of Change
X - 1
In the I there are four things characteristic of the way of the sages. We should set the highest value on its judgements to guide our speaking; on its changes for the initiation of our movements; on its images for the construction of implements; and on its predictions for our practice of divination.

X - 2
Therefore, when a superior man is about to take action of a more private or of a public character, he asks the I, making his inquiry in words. It receives his order and the answer comes as an echo's response. Be the subject remote or near, mysterious or deep, he forthwith knows of what kind will be the coming result. If the I were not the most exquisite thing under heaven, would it be able to perform such an operation as this?

X - 3
The sticks are manipulated by threes and fives to determine one change; they are laid on opposite sides, and placed one up, one down, to make sure of their numbers; and the changes are gone through with this way till they form the figures pertaining to heaven and earth. Their numbers are exactly determined and the images of all things under the sky are fixed (i.e. the 4096 transitions). If the I were not the thing most capable of change of all things under heaven, how could it effect such a result as this?

X - 4
In the I there is no thought and no action. It is still and without movement; but, when acted on, it penetrates forthwith to all phenomena and events under the sky. If it were not the most spirit-like thing under the sky, how could it be found doing this?

X - 5
The operations forming the I are the method by which the sages searched out exhaustively what was deep, and investigated the minutest springs of things.

X - 6
Those operations searched out what was deep: therefore they could penetrate to the views of all under the sky. They made apparent the minutest springs of things: therefore the could bring to a completion all undertakings under the sky. Their action was spirit-like: therefore they could make speed without hurry and reach their destination without travelling.

X - 7
This is the import of what the master said, that 'In the I there are four things indicating the way of the sages'.