The trigram representing earth, and in the midst of it that representing water; these form Shih. The superior man, in accordance with this, nourishes and educates the people, and collects from among them the multitudes of the army.
Pi shows us joy and Shih the anxious mind.
Shih indicates how, in the case which it presupposes, with firmness and correctness, and a leader of age and experience, there will be good fortune and no error.
The name Shih describes the multitudes of the army. The firmness and correctness which the hexagram indicates, refer to moral correctness of aim. When the subject is able to use the multitude with such correctness, he may attain to the royal sway. There is the symbol of strength in the center of the lower trigram, and it is responded to by its proper correlate above. The action gives rise to perils, but is in accordance with the sentiments of men. Its subject may by such action distress all the country, but the people will follow him; there will be good fortune, and what error should there be?
The Lines and commentaries
The first six shows the army going forth according to the rules for such a movement. If these be not good, there will be evil.
'The army going forth according to the rules for such a movement': if those rules be not observed, there will be calamity.Nine in the second place
The leader in the midst of the army. There will be good fortune and no evil. The king has trice conveyed to him the orders of his favour.
He is in the midst of the army. There will be good fortune': he has received the favour of heaven.Six in the third place
'The king has trice conveyed to him the orders of his favour': the king cherishes the myriad regions in his heart.
The army may, possibly, have many inefficient leaders. There will be evil.
'The army with the possibility of its having many inefficient leaders': great will be its want of success.Six in the fourth place
The army in retreat. There is no error.
'The army is in retreat; but there is no error': there has been no failure in the regular course.Six in the fifth place
Showing birds in the field, which it will be advantageous to seize. In that case there will be no error. If the eldest son leads the army, and younger men idly occupy offices assigned to them, then however firm he may be, there will be evil.
'The eldest son leads the army': its movements are directed by him in accordance with his position in the centre.Top-most six
'Younger men idly occupy their positions': the employment of such men is improper.
The great ruler delivers his charges, appointing some to be rulers of states, and others to undertake the headship of clans; but small men should not be employed in such positions.
'The great ruler delivers his charges': thereby he rightly rewards merit.
'Small men should not be employed': they are sure to throw the states into confusion.