Line-4Legge: The fourth line, dynamic, shows us one followed and obtaining adherents. Though he is firm and correct, there will be evil. If he is sincere however in his course, and make that evident, into what error will he fall?
Wilhelm/Baynes: Following creates success. Perseverance brings misfortune. To go one's way with sincerity brings clarity. How could there be blame in this?
Blofeld: Following someone with an ulterior motive -- persisting in this course would bring misfortune. But, if as he goes his way he makes sincerity his beacon, what harm can come to him?
Liu: Success is gained by following. But to continue brings misfortune. Going the correct way leads to glory (brightness). How can there be blame?
Ritsema/Karcher: Following possessing catching. Trial: pitfall. Possessing conformity, locating-in tao uses brightening. Wherefore faulty? [Possessing conformity: "Inner and outer are in accord; confidence of the spirits has been captured..."]
Shaughnessy: In following there is a catch; determination is inauspicious. There is a return on the way; at the end of brightness, what trouble is there?
Cleary (1): Following has gain. Even if right, it is inauspicious. Truthfully remaining on the path, using understanding, what blame is there?
Cleary (2): Following gains, but it bodes ill even if right. Having faith in the way, thereby understanding, what fault is there?
Wu: To have a following may be advantageous. Despite perseverance, it will be foreboding. With confidence in his course, he can explain his intention. What blame can there be?
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: "He is followed and obtains adherents" -- according to the idea of the hexagram, this is evil. "He is sincere in his course" -- showing his intelligence, and leading to achievement. Wilhelm/Baynes: This bodes misfortune...This brings clear-sighted deeds. Blofeld: Following others with ulterior motives is surely evil; whereas sincerity along the way produces brilliant results. Ritsema/Karcher: One's righteousness: pitfall indeed... Brightening achieving indeed. Cleary (2): When following gains, the meaning is inauspicious. Having faith in the way, the understanding is successful. Wu: With confidence in his course, he can be successful.
Legge: Line four is dynamic, and in the place of a minister next to the ruler in line five. His having adherents will be injurious to the authority of the supreme ruler, and only sincere loyalty will save him from error and misfortune.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: The man acquires followers who flatter, scheme, and act subservient to seek personal gains. There is a chance that he will become dependent on them because of gratifying associations, which will detract from his authority in his position of influence. He must see through such adherents and free himself from egotistical encumbrances.
Wing: Those whom you appear to influence actually have ulterior motives in their allegiance to you. Look beyond the current flattering situation into your original principled aim. Strive to act independently.
Editor: The line is a clear warning about being corrupted by the projections of others. Viewed objectively, the ego is only a temporary personality created for the purpose of transforming psychic energy – a transitional tool or vessel emanated into matter by the Self for one brief lifetime. It is only a servant--never a master. Long dedication to the Work can concentrate power which the ego may be tempted to use for its own benefit--a dangerous seduction which can only harm the Work.
By permitting credulous and vulgar admirers to congregate about thee, there is liability of falling into the error of becoming puffed up with worldly pride. Guru Gampopa --Precepts of the Gurus
Line-5Legge: The fifth line, dynamic, shows its subject contemplating his own life course. A superior man, he will thus fall into no error.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Contemplation of my life. The superior man is without blame.
Blofeld: The Superior Man does no wrong in keeping a watch upon our lives. [It is not wrong for us to be curious about the affairs of others if our motive is to be of more help to them.]
Liu: Observation of ourselves. No blame for the superior man.
Ritsema/Karcher: Viewing my birth. A chun tzu: without fault.
Shaughnessy: Looking up at my life; for the gentleman there is no trouble.
Cleary (1): Observing personal growth, a superior person is blameless.
Cleary (2): … Developed people are impeccable.
Wu: He examines his own life. The jun zi is without blame.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: He should for this purpose contemplate the condition of the people. Wilhelm/Baynes: "Contemplation of my life,” that is, contemplation of the people. Blofeld: In this passage, "our lives” means the lives of the people. Ritsema/Karcher: Viewing the commoners indeed. Cleary (2): What is appropriate for a great leader is balance in action. Wu: He actually looks after his people.
Legge: Line five is dynamic, and in the place of the ruler. He is a superior man, but this does not relieve him from the duty of self-contemplation or examination.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: The man in a position of power studies the impact of his life upon the welfare of others. If he so conducts himself that the condition of the people is always good, he will not fall into error.
Wing: You will gain an understanding of what the future holds for you by Contemplating the effect of your life upon others. If your influence and example are good, then you are without blame. This, you will find, is its own reward.