35 Jin4

The lower: Kun1 (submissiveness, earth). The upper: Li (clinging, fire).

Jin: to move upward with or forward the rising sun, i.e. to advance with brightness (like the rising sun) or toward brightness (radiated from the leader in a tender manner).






Things won't end up with strength (Zhuang); therefore Jin is granted.  Jin signifies to advance. The horns of line 6 in hexagram Da Zhuang (34) get stuck in the fence; it can neither advance nor retreat. It can’t remain stuck forever; hence, hexagram Jin is granted after it. Jin signifies to advance; it isn’t an ordinary advance, but an advance with brightness or toward brightness in a tender manner.

The lower trigram Kun1 is earth, while the upper trigram Li is the sun. The sun is rising from earth as seen in hexagram Jin; so the advance is like the rising brightness of the sun.

Hexagram Guan (20), to observe, is a model set by those above for those below to follow. After feminine line 4 advances one level, the hexagram becomes Jin, which is a lift of the feminine line, i.e. an advance of tenderness; therefore Jin is an action, tender and upward, following the pattern set by those above and creating brightness. Herewith the feminine lines of the lower trigram Kun1 in hexagram Jin advance toward the brightness of the sun (represented by line 5, the king) in a tender manner.



The inner hexagram of Jin is Jian3 (39), which is constituted by the lower trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain) and the upper trigram Kan (the abyss, water, the river). The mountain in front and the river next signifies ‘difficulty in proceeding’, which is a warning. Should the warning be ignored, the hexagram could be reversed and Jin would step into the next hexagram Ming Yi (36), brightness being tarnished, wherein the sun descends below earth.



The changing hexagram of Jin is Xu (5), to wait. One must wait and act with the right timing when the status of advance changes. In reverse, one must advance after the right timing comes.


Text: 康侯用(use)(bestow something on an inferior or junior)(horse)(proliferate)(numerousness)晝日(daytime)(three)(intersect, meet)

Jin (advance toward brightness): Duke Kang makes use of the horses bestowed by the king for reproduction, and is summoned three times during the day (or, mates the horses three times during the day).

Commentary on the text: Jin: It signifies to advance.  Brightness rises from earth; Jin exhibits its norm in the form of being submissive like the lower trigram Kun1 and then clinging to the great brightness of the upper trigram Li; the one of tenderness advances so as to move upward.  Therefore Duke Kang makes use of the horses bestowed by the king for reproduction, and is summoned three times during the day (or, mates the horses three times during the day).

Text explanation:

It is believed that Duke Kang was the ninth son of King Wen of Zhou (周文王) and the uncle of King Zheng of Zhou (周成王). He was rewarded the restored fiefs after he assisted King Zheng in quelling the rebellion of his brothers (see the postscript of hexagram 15, the last paragraph). He tirelessly strengthened his dukedom in order to repay the generosity of the king.

The advance of hexagram Jin is like the sun rising from earth, and like the sunflower growing by following its brightness. The trigram Li represents the sun and the kindness of a king, while Kun1 signifies submissiveness, the aspect of a duke or a courtier. The subject tenderly advances upward with gratitude in response to the king's call. Contribution and bestowal are the norms of monarch and subject, like a duke whose services to the country have pleased the king; in turn, the king favours him with personal attention and gifts.

The horse was vital to military forces in ancient times; therefore the rapid breeding of horses was essential for armies to succeed.

Commentary on the image: Brightness rises from earth: Jin.  A gentleman, in accordance with this, expresses himself in a bright way to demonstrate his virtue.

A gentleman should express himself like the sun shining over the earth to exhibit its virtue. In this way he will be recognised and advance.


Duke Kang made diligent use of the horses bestowed on him by the king for reproduction; then he was summoned three times during the day, signifying his services had been honoured by the king. He used what had been bestowed on him to make further contributions; as a result he was more cherished by the king. So the advance of Jin is guaranteed only after one takes advantage of being recognised and makes additional contributions in return. Therefore hexa-gram Jin suggests repaying with gratitude; it also reveals the norms of monarch and subject (or, employer and employee) in terms of contribution and bestowal.

The structure of hexagram Jin illustrates advance in a tender manner as the feminine lines of the lower trigram Kun1, those below, advance toward the upper trigram Li, the brightness of the sun and those above, like the subjects submissively responding to the king's call.

On the other hand, Jin can be also regarded as the realisation of civil rights as the feminine lines ascend (along the timeline) and attain the king's position, the dominant power, which brightens the world like the sun shining.

Duke Kang works very hard breeding the horses, and according to the conflict occurring in the lines, the text of hexagram Jin is also taken to mean to reinforce armaments (or one's strength) for a forthcoming battle.

Jin should disregard self-interest, work hard and make further contributions for advance as it possesses none of Qian2's and Kun1's virtues: origination (i.e. motivation), smooth progress, benefit or persistence (preservation).

Due to the difficulty in proceeding as indicated by its inner hexagram Jian (39), and the warning to withhold action as peril lies in front as seen in its changing hexagram Xu (5), as well as the tarnished brightness in the reverse hexagram Ming Yi (36), Jin must advance in a tender (i.e. civilised or obedient) and bright (open and honest) manner and with a ceaseless expansion of its strength.






From the perspective of the formation of hexagram Jin and its text, Jin signifies to advance with brightness and toward brightness, like the king rising with brightness and the courtier serving him as he advances to the brightness of the sun. In this way, they interact according to the norms of monarch and subject.

From the perspective of the layout of the lines and their texts, those below, the feminine lines of the lower trigram Kun1, intend to advance to a higher ranking position in the upper trigram. Correlation and friend neighbour provide a route for advance. However line 4, a courtier and the representative line of inner lower trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain), stops, and restrains them from advancing. Due to the fact that Jin is formed after lines 4 and 5 of hexagram Guan exchange their positions, the king, line 5, clearly permits the courtier to remain at his position. Consequently, the king's mother, line 6, has to correct all these, while the king retreats to a state behind the screen.

The line doesn't stay at its right position signifying that it isn’t placed at an appropriate post. Lines 1 and 3 advance to the positions right to them. Line 5 is the founding line, the host line as well as the representative line, the text of which alludes to the true spirit of Jin: one can attain what one aims for without regret if advance is made in a tender manner, and it will be auspicious if one can further advance without consideration of gain and loss. Then nothing is unfavourable.

According to the words, advancing, being beaten, and attacking in the line texts, Jin can also refer to the advance of the troops in battle.


The 1st Line

Text: 晉如(like, if)(devastate)貞吉(no)裕无(no)

The subject is in a state of Jin (advancing) and being beaten as if they appear one after another (like what does); to persist is auspicious.  Although this is of no sincerity and trust (), this is of spaciousness () and no fault (or calamity).

Text explanation:

It advances but is beaten, however it is auspicious to persist in advancing. Line 1 is in the initial phase, like a novice placed at an inappropriate position. Due to his inexperience in the eyes of others, he is allowed to undertake trials and make errors. There is spacious room for him, and he should advance as designated with determination as well as freedom to exert himself; there will be no fault (or calamity). yu4 signifies wealthy, abundant, plentiful, etc; it here refers to the room to tolerate it.

Line 1 is trying to advance to position 4 according to the correlation with line 4; however line 4 is the representative line of the inner lower trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain), to stop. If line 1 exchanges positions with line 4, the inner upper trigram Kan (the abyss, water), sincerity and trust, will disappear; however the inner upper trigram will become Kun1, earth, signifying receptiveness and a wide space in which it can move freely.



When referring to a battle, it is normal to advance and retreat (after having been beaten); it is auspicious to persist in advancing. It won’t be captured as the situation is spacious; it can be free from fault (or calamity) as long as corrections are made in a timely manner. Remarks: In addition to sincerity and trustworthiness, fu2 also has the meaning of being captured, as the masculine line of trigram Kan is trapped by two feminine lines, one on either side.

Commentary on the image: Line 1 is in a state of Jin (advancing) and being beaten as if they appear one after another; what it does is solely to carry out righteousness. Spaciousness and no fault (or calamity): It is because no mission has been assigned.

Although line 1 advances and is beaten, that which it seeks is righteousness (i.e. a position right to it). It can freely advance without fault because no mission has been assigned to it, including that it should not replace line 4, the incompetent courtier who abdicated position 5 of hexagram Guan (20) for the king of hexagram Jin to be enthroned. The hexagram that changes after that is Yi (27), wherein as long as what it does complies with righteousness, it is auspicious.

Enlightenment through six one: to advance in following what is right. One advances and is beaten, but it is auspicious to persist in advancing. It need not be concerned with loss or gain, nor will it be trapped as the room available to it is spacious. It is free from calamity (or fault) as it is designated to advance. If this line changes to masculine, the hexagram will become Shi He (21), biting through, which shows that its line 4 is a barrier in the mouth and must be bitten off.


The 2nd Line

Text: 晉如愁(worry)貞吉(receive)(this)(great)(good fortune)(from)(third person, possessive case but not literally translated)(king)(mother)

The subject is in a state of Jin (advancing) and worrying as if they appear one after another; to persist is auspicious.  It will be greatly blessed with good fortune, which is from the king’s mother.

Text explanation:

Line 2 has no correlation with line 5, the king; therefore it is worried about its future while seeking a way to move upward. Even though there is no access to the king, it must still persist in maintaining a tender manner (for advancing); then it will be blessed by the king's mother thanks to its acting moderately and righteously at its position (see line 5).

The king’s mother can be taken for the mother of King Wu of Zhou (周武王), Tai Si (太姒), i.e. the wife of King Wen of Zhou. By virtue of the mother-like cultivation she assisted her husband in establishing a prosperous and strong dukedom, and her descendants in building a stable and harmonious kingdom. She was honoured as the most virtuous queen in the early Zhou and was the model for women at the time. Line 6 of hexagram Guan (20) is the model for those below to follow, and here it is taken for the mother of the king. Once line 6 descends humbly to position 5, and to those below who are virtuous and talented, line 2 will be in a position to correlate with it.




As in a battle, troops advance and worry as the peril of the inner upper trigram Kan lies in front; it is auspicious to persist in advancing as one will be blessed with good fortune.

Commentary on the image: Line 2 deserves to be greatly blessed with good fortune, as it is moderate and righteous.

Line 2 is a feminine axle centre at its right position; it obtains a great blessing because it acts moderately and righteously according to the norm of Jin.

Should it change to masculine and intend to advance contrary to the norm of Jin, the lower trigram would become Kan (the abyss, water) and it would find itself in the middle of peril. Should it advance to position 5, the hexagram would become Pi (12), blockage and stagnation.



Enlightenment through six two: to remain moderate and righteous, and bide one’s time. One advances with worry as there is no correlate in front. It is auspicious to persist in acting righteously and moderately at one's position, i.e. to remain tender and make every effort to enhance oneself while waiting, since one will be recognised by a relevant third party. The hexagram will appear as Wei Ji (64), not yet completed, if this line changes to masculine. This signals that all what has been done is in vain.


The 3rd Line

Text: (multitude)(allow, consent)悔亡(gone, die)

All people consent; regret will be gone.

Text explanation:

Line 3 is in correlation with line 6 and at the position for marching upward; however line 4 in front is the representative line of the inner lower trigram Gen, to stop, signifying that it encounters line 4's interference while advancing upward; this causes regret. It stays at the top of the lower trigram Kun1, i.e. the people, where both lines 1 and 2 have the same intent to advance as it does; therefore it obtains a unanimous resolution to advance. Actually position 6 is a place for the shrine, the symbol of a country, which is primarily for the people.

After it moves to position 6 with unanimous support, it will be at its appropriate position; therefore regret will be gone. However the hexagram will become Xiao Guo (62), where the feminine exceeds the masculine in number, suggesting it must keep a low profile.




One of the important factors in winning a battle is that all participants have the same goal; once consensus is reached, there won’t be any regret in marching forward.

Commentary on the image: All people consent to it; aspiration is to move upward (i.e. to develop upwardly).

    After line 3 advances and exchanges positions with line 6, the contour of the hexagram becomes similar to that of trigram Kan (the abyss, water) which is taken for aspiration. Aspiration appears after line 3 moves upward, signifying that to develop upwardly is the wish of hexagram Jin, particularly of those below.

Enlightenment through six three: to advance with consensus. To advance with everyone's consent; regret will be gone. One's aspiration is to develop upwardly. If this line changes to masculine, the lower trigram will become Gen (stop) and the hexagram will appear as Lu (56), to journey (in adversity), wherein line 3 loses every thing needed for the journey.


The 4th Line

Text: 晉如(like)鼫鼠(hamster)貞厲

Jin (to advance) as does a hamster; to persist is stern and cruel.

Text explanation:

The hamster is greedy as well as cowardly; it has five skills but all are inferior. Line 4 represents the inner lower trigram Gen, to stop; it stays at the position inappropriate for it, next to line 5, the king, where it stops the lines below from advancing. In this way it is like a hamster, i.e. an incapable person occupying a high-ranking post and preventing those below from gaining promotion. It is in the middle of the inner upper trigram Kan (the abyss, water) and represents peril, which makes the route of advance stern and cruel.




To battle with ambition but with less capability and cowardice; it is perilous to persist in advancing.

Footnotes: Line 4 has the following features of the hamster:

1) It can take a flying jump but can't reach the roof. The flames of the upper trigram Li blaze upward, but the inner lower trigram Gen stops it from going up.

2) It can climb but can't reach the top of the tree. Li is a hollow tree with the upper part withered; it is at the bottom and stopped by Gen.

3) It can swim but can't cross the river. It is in the middle of the inner upper trigram Kan (the abyss, water, the river).

4) It can excavate but the tunnel can't cover its body. There are three feminine lines, i.e. trigram Kun1, earth, beneath it but only one feminine line above it.

    5) It can walk but not faster than the human foot. It correlates with feminine line 1 at the foot’s position, but the feminine tends to remain still.

Commentary on the image: The persistence of a hamster is stern and cruel, as the position which it occupies is inappropriate to it.

Enlightenment through nine four: to remove the barrier. It is stern and cruel if an incapable person persists in advancing, as he will limit other people's opportunity. If this line is deposed becoming feminine (i.e. the barrier disappears), the hexagram will become Bo (23), to peel off, where the feminine advances to position 5.


The 5th Line

Text: 悔亡(loss)(gain)(not)(worry)(go forward)(nothing)(not)(advantage)

Regret is gone.  Gain and loss is not what needs to worry about, and to go forward is auspicious; nothing is unfavourable.

Text explanation:

Line 4 of hexagram Guan (20) rises to the king’s position, the most powerful position, so regret is gone; however position 5 which it gains isn't appropriate to it (i.e. a position for masculine and without correlation with those below). If it continues to position 6, an honoured but titular position, which is right for it, a loss will result from the perspective of leaving the centre of power. But after that masculine line 5 (i.e. king's mother from position 6, the shrine's position) will be in correlation with line 2, the representative line of the lower trigram Kun1, the people, signifying that the people will have the opportunity to advance upward, which is a gain for everyone and good for the country. In the meantime the worry signified by the inner upper trigram Kan (the abyss, water) disappears. There is definitely loss and gain while advancing; therefore it is auspicious once the drawbacks are surmounted, and nothing is beyond reach.




In carrying out a battle, it is inevitable that one will have losses and gains. By disregarding these eventualities and advancing bravely, it can go anywhere.

Commentary on the image: Do not worry about gain and loss; there is a celebration in going forward.

Once line 5 advances to position 6, the upper trigram becomes Dui (joy, the marsh). A celebration is an event where many people feel joyful; once everyone has the opportunity to advance upward, all feel happy and there will be a celebration.




Enlightenment through six five: to retire and give room to better man. Regret will be gone. It is auspicious to proceed without worrying about loss and gain. No matter what is to be done, there is nothing unfavourable. Should this line change to active masculine, the hexagram would become Pi (12), blockage and stagnation, where the sun disappears and no interplay occurs between masculine and feminine.


The 6th Line

Text: 晉其(its)(horn)維用伐邑厲吉 无咎貞吝

Jin (to advance) is at its horn.  It cannot help but attack its own town (維用伐邑), which is of sternness and cruelty but auspiciousness and no calamity (or fault).  To persist will be resented.

Text explanation:

The horn is the highest point (of an animal, like the top of a hexagram) and is also symbolic of belligerence. When an advance reaches the top, it gets used to advancement. Then it turns to masculine rigidity, like the horn, and becomes bellicose, like the ram. To attack one’s own town signifies self-reform. Line 6 advances to the highest-ranking position, so there is no way to go further. It must restrain itself from advancing. The process is stern and cruel as masculine tends to move. But it is auspicious and can be free from calamity if a correction is made in time. This will be resented if it persists in advancing aggressively.

yi4 (the city) of wei2 (only can) yong4 (to use or act) fa2 (to attack) is taken here as its own town as it is stuck at its horn.

The war reaches a decisive moment when action is taken to attack the town. The upper trigram Li is fire, as well as armour and weaponry, i.e. the symbols of war. The lower trigram Kun1 is land and people, which stands for the town.




To attack the town is stern and cruel, yet it signals winning without fault; however the town will be destroyed, like fire on the top of the town, if the war continues without end.

Commentary on the image: Line 6 cannot help but attack its own town, as the norm doesn't radiate.

Tender advance reaches the end and changes to rapacity. One loses the norm of Jin and must undertake self-reform by either changing to feminine and remaining still, or retreating to position 5 as suggested by line 5 and forming hexagram Cui (45), elites gathering.



The war lasts until the town is attacked, signifying that the opponent doesn't concede his failure and still intends to resist, which is because what one advocates doesn’t convince the opponent.

Enlightenment through nine six: 1) do not overdo it, and 2) happy is he who is content. Advance reaches the upper extremity; it becomes an insatiable demand. One must restrain oneself. The process of self-reform is stern and cruel but auspicious, and one can be free from fault (or calamity) if corrections are made in time. It will be resented if one persists in advancing aggressively, as the next hexagram is Ming Yi, brightness being tarnished. The hexagram that appears when this line is activated changing to feminine and then remains still is Yu (16), comfort and pleasure, signifying that feeling content leads to feeling happy.