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The original Richard Wilhelm translation for the hexagram line...


Hexagram 33
Tun - Retreat

yang above: Ch'ien / The Creative, Heaven
yin below: Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain
I Ching Online


Hexagram Thirty-Three/Line Two

Six in the second place means:
He holds him fast with yellow oxhide.
No one can tear him loose.

Yellow cowhide

Yellow cowhide

Yellow is the color of the middle. It indicates that which is correct and in line with duty. Oxhide is strong and not to be torn.
While the superior men retreat and the inferior press after them, the inferior man represented here holds on so firmly and tightly to the superior men that the latter cannot shake him off. And because he is in quest of what is right and so strong in purpose, he reaches his goal.1 Thus the line confirms what is said in the Judgement:
"In what is small" - here equivalent to "in the inferior man" - "perseverance furthers."

1. A similar idea is suggested in the story of Jacob's battle with the angel of Peniel: "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me" (Gen. 32:26).

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