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#17 隨 Sui (Following)

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

Sui means following.

What is this about?

The revolution against the Shang was in full force, King Wu having taken up the cause after his father's death. There were many supporters. Some were newcomers, and some were opportunists. Nevertheless, they would influence the course of events that followed the downfall of the Shang dynasty.


17.0 元亨利貞。无咎

What follows will be a progressive success. It is good to stick to your principles. There will be no mistake. The uprising was predicted to succeed. By remaining virtuous, King Wu created a vibrant empire without oppression. Follow your destined course. Follow through with an idea or a promise. There will be a success if you hold fast to your ethics and values.

17.1 初九官有渝。貞吉。出門,交,有功

Yang on Line 1: The officer in charge has changed. Stick to the old principles, and the outcome will be fortunate. Finding new associates is worthwhile. These lines suggest that King Wen has passed away. With King Wu (King Wen's son) at the helm, he needed to gain additional allies to ensure the uprising's success. If you take a leadership position, find outside supporters who can benefit from your role. Be true to yourself, and you will succeed.

17.2 六二係小子;失丈夫

Yin on Line 2: Networking with vicious people will cause the competent ones to leave. King Wu understood it was disadvantageous to ally with a dishonest, spiteful, and vengeful person. Acknowledging and giving attention to the problematic and undeserving will cause the reliable person to become unhappy, finding suitable attention elsewhere.

17.3 六三係丈夫;失小子。隨有求得。利居貞

Yin on Line 3: Networking with capable people will cause the vicious ones to leave. The latter group will feel they got what they deserved. It is helpful to remain valid. King Wu appointed essential duties to faithful people. Empowered by their new importance, they served the king productively and proudly. Attracting the good and the bad will avoid your company.

17.4 九四隨有獲。貞凶。有孚在道以明,何咎

Yang on Line 4: There are more and more followers. Taking on new ones will lead to misfortune. Clearly explain the reasons for the noble mission, and there will not be a mistake. Success draws followers with selfish motives. Some even may have been spies of King Shang. To subdue potential troublemakers, King Wu won them over with sincerity. It was the right thing to do. If you accept new people into your fold, you must first educate them about your mission before you can assign them a job. Be selective.

17.5 九五孚于嘉,吉

Yang on Line 5: Sincerity is appreciated. This is promising. King Wu's followers appreciated his earnestness, integrity, and goodwill. Your sincerity will move your friends. Proceed without fear.

17.6 上六拘係之,乃從維之王用亨于西山

Yin on Line 6: To control the multitude of followers, it is necessary to establish rules. The king conducts a ceremony on West Hill. Before beginning the full-scale military attack against the Shang, King Wu gathered his allies in Zhou territory (in the west). He formed rules and regulations, binding all as a cohesive unit—set ground rules. Your project/ relationship/ idea is ready to begin.

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