Line-4Legge: The fourth line, magnetic, shows one looking as if adorned, but only in white. As if mounted on a white horse, and furnished with wings, she seeks union with the subject of the first line, while the intervening third pursues, not as a robber, but intent on a matrimonial alliance.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Grace or simplicity? A white horse comes as if on wings. He is not a robber, he will woo at the right time.
Blofeld: He so adorns himself as to seem white as snow. He is, as it were, a white steed. What delays his progress is not an obstacle but a matter of betrothal.
Liu: Simple decoration. A white horse comes as though flying. Not a robber, but a suitor.
Ritsema/Karcher: Adorning thus, hoary thus. A white horse, soaring thus. In-no-way outlawry, matrimonial allying.
Shaughnessy: Luxuriantly, lushly, the white horse is lofty-like; it is not the robbers who confusedly slander.
Cleary (1): Adorned or plain? A white horse runs swiftly. It is not an enemy but a mate. [It is best if one finds what is right when one is weak; the true heart and genuine intention come forth spontaneously, not forced – when there is no enmity or injury, then it is desirable to seek partnership. This is the adornment of the weak seeking clarity.]
Cleary (2): Adorned plainly, a white horse runs swiftly. They are not enemies but partners.
Wu: He adorns himself in white like a white horse with wings. He is a suitor, not a transgressor.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: The place occupied by the fourth line affords ground for doubt as to its subject. But because the third line pursues not as a robber, but intent on marriage, she will in the end have no grudge against him. Wilhelm/Baynes: The fourth place is in doubt; this accords with its place. "He is not a robber, he will woo at the right time.” In the end, one remains free of blame. Blofeld: This ruling line indicates the existence of suspicion; however, as revealed by the last sentence, nothing blameworthy is involved. [It would seem that someone is suspected of loitering or hesitating for a somewhat sinister reason, but that his motive is in fact an honorable one.] Ritsema/Karcher: Appropriate situation to doubt indeed. In- no-way outlawry, matrimonial allying. Completing without surpassing indeed. Cleary (2): The fourth (magnetic line), in its place, doubts. They are not enemies but partners, and ultimately have no grudge. Wu: If he is a suitor, not a transgressor, he will have nothing to worry about at all.
Legge: Line four has its proper correlate in line one, from whose strength she should receive adornment. But lines two and three intervene and keep them apart so that the only adornment is white. The fourth line is faithful to line one however, and desires their union. Finally line three appears in a good character, and not with the purpose to injure, so that the union between one and four takes place. All this in intended to show how adornment recognizes the superiority of solidity. Compare hexagram lines 3:2 and 38:6. Because of their separation we might doubt how far line four would remain loyal to line one. The loyalty is insured through the character and object of line three.
Second , the image of a flying white horse. This suggests purified (white) psychic energy (horsepower) united with the wings of intellectual aspiration. Wings enable entities to fly in the air -- symbolically, the realm of thought. We are immediately reminded of Pegasus, and although we can assume that the Duke of Chou knew nothing of Pegasus, the symbolic associations are not irrelevant here. Pegasus is associated in Greek mythology with the Muses -- the sources of creativity and inspiration.
The third idea is of marriage -- the conjunction of masculine and feminine in a holy union or hieros gamos: the creative synthesis of thought and feeling within the psyche. However, the suitor can't unite with the subject of the line until all confusion has been eliminated from the situation. He is perceived as a "robber" because the barriers to union must be removed ("stolen") before the alliance can take place: in other words, an illusion prevails.
Line-1Legge: The first line, dynamic, shows its subject in a position of peril. It will be advantageous for him to stop his advance.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Danger is at hand. It furthers one to desist.
Blofeld: Trouble threatens -- it would be wise to bring activities to a halt.
Liu: When one meets danger, it is better to stop.
Ritsema/Karcher: Possessing adversity. Harvesting: climaxing.
Shaughnessy: There is danger; beneficial to stop.
Cleary (1): There is danger; it is beneficial to stop.
Cleary (2): There is danger; help yourself.
Wu: There is danger ahead. It will be advantageous to stop here.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: He should not rashly expose himself to calamity. Wilhelm/ Baynes: Thus one does not expose oneself to danger. Blofeld: That is, no attempt should be made to avert the trouble. Ritsema/Karcher: Not opposing calamity indeed. Cleary (2): Help yourself – do not get into trouble. Wu: To avoid calamities.
Legge: Line one is subject to opposition or repression from line four. This calamity will be increased if he tries to advance, so it is better for him to halt.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: At the outset, the man is confronted with dangerous obstacles. He should not attempt to advance rashly but remain composed.
Wing: Compose yourself. You may feel that you are restrained from advancing. In fact, there are obstacles on the path ahead. It would be wise to halt.
Editor: The line itself is unambiguous, though the contradictory Confucian commentaries are subject to interpretation: depending on context, one should either actively avoid danger, or passively allow it to run its course. It is generally safest to accept Wilhelm's translation when doubt prevails.
A. Stop now -- don't expose yourself to danger.Those that live their life in Tao achieve realization of their nature in inaction. Chuangtse, quoting Confucius
Line 1 Danger on the horizon = it furthers one to cease and desist. Changes to (18) Decay. Something is blocking your progress and without examining the misunderstanding or decay of the situation, further progress can only lead to danger. This is a time to explore what you can learn about the obstacle through inaction. Exerting your power will lead nowhere so step back until you have a clear understanding of everyone’s motivations.