Line-3Legge: The third line, dynamic, shows one retiring but bound -- to his distress and peril. If he were to deal with his binders as in nourishing a servant or concubine, it would be fortunate for him.
Wilhelm/Baynes: A halted retreat is nerve-wracking and dangerous. To retain people as men-and maidservants brings good fortune.
Blofeld: Yielding under constraint results in ills and trouble, but there is good fortune in store for those who are supporting servants and concubines.
Liu: Retreat with entanglements is dangerous and leads to illness. Take care of women and subordinates. Good fortune.
Ritsema/Karcher: Tied Retiring. Possessing afflicting adversity. Accumulating servants, concubines, significant.
Shaughnessy: Do the wielding; there is sickness; danger; keeping servants and consorts is auspicious.
Cleary (1): Entangled withdrawal has affliction, but it is lucky in terms of feeding servants and concubines.
Cleary (2): Entangled in withdrawal, there is affliction and danger, but feeding servants and concubines leads to good results.
Wu: The retreat is tied to a string. It will be ominous to have illness, but auspicious to have maids and servants.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: The peril is due to distress and exhaustion. A great affair cannot be dealt with in this way. Wilhelm/Baynes: The danger of a halted retreat is nerve- wracking; this brings fatigue. "To retain people as men-and maidservants brings good fortune." True enough, but one cannot use them in great things. Blofeld: The evils referred to here are those attendant on extreme fatigue. Though supporting servants and concubines brings good fortune, it does not lead to achieving anything of consequence. [Seemingly, Confucius, always inclined to be austere, does not altogether approve of this type of good fortune.]Ritsema/Karcher: Possessing afflicting weariness indeed. Not permitting Great Affairs indeed. Cleary (2): Affliction and exhaustion. Not suitable for great works. Wu: Illness can be wasting. No big business is achievable.
Legge: Line three has no proper correlate in line six, and he allows himself to be entangled and impeded by the first and second lines. Because he is too familiar with them they are presumptuous and fetter his movements. He should keep them at a distance.
Wu: The subject of this yang position feels that he is attached to the occupant of the second (line), a yin position. This sentimental attachment, symbolized here as the string attachment, hinders his freedom to retreat. Under these circumstances it is all right for him to handle small matters, such as hiring domestic help, but no big business.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: The man loses his freedom of action during retreat. The hangers-on impede and fetter his movements. The expedient course of action is to employ them in such a way as to retain the initiative. But he must maintain an appropriate distance from them and not rely on expedient actions of this kind in dealing with important matters.
Wing: You've been held back from Retreat and consequently are in the center of a difficult situation. Inferior persons or ideals may surround you. They can be used to insulate you from further difficulties, but you can accomplish nothing significant while fettered by inferior elements.
Editor: The image suggests being held back by inferior or subordinate forces within the situation. Ritsema/Karcher explain that "Possessing afflicting adversity" can connote "a spirit that seeks revenge by inflicting suffering on the living. Pacifying or exorcizing such a spirit can have a healing effect." (I have received this line when exactly that meaning was implied in the query.) Psychologically, sublimation is indicated. This is the art of making negative energy "sublime," i.e.: positive. "Servants and concubines" sometimes symbolize subconscious complexes: their libido can be either positive or negative, depending upon how it is treated. Remember that the proper nourishment of libido is not the same as indulging it.
A. Encumbered and exhausted -- make the most of whatever advantages you have to harmonize the situation.For the body is a source of endless trouble to us by reason of the mere requirement of food; and is liable also to diseases which overtake and impede us in the search after true being; it fills us full of loves, and lusts, and fears, and fancies of all kinds, and endless foolery, and in fact, as men say, takes away from us the power of thinking at all. Whence come wars, and fightings, and factions? Whence but from the body and the lusts of the body? Plato -- Phaedo
B. Sublimate, placate or otherwise transform inferior forces to serve your higher purposes.
C. "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade."
Line-4Legge: The fourth line, dynamic, shows its subject retiring notwithstanding his likings. In a superior man this will lead to good fortune. An inferior man cannot attain to this.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Voluntary retreat brings good fortune to the superior man and downfall to the inferior man.
Blofeld: Withdrawal for good reasons -- for the Superior Man, good fortune; for people of mean attainments, misfortune!
Liu: Voluntary retreat is good fortune for the superior man, but not for the inferior man.
Ritsema/Karcher: Loving Retiring. A chun tzu significant. Small People obstructing.
Shaughnessy: Good wielding; for the gentleman auspicious, for the little man negative.
Cleary (1): A superior person who withdraws well is fortunate, an inferior person is not.
Cleary (2): Developed people who withdraw in the right way are fortunate; petty people are not.
Wu: To retreat from what he is fond of is easy for a Jun zi, but not so for a little man.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: A superior man retires notwithstanding his likings; an inferior man cannot attain to this. Wilhelm/Baynes: The superior man retreats voluntarily; this brings downfall for the inferior man. Blofeld: For when, quite rightly, the Superior Man withdraws, lesser men are bound to suffer. Ritsema/ Karcher: A chun tzu lovingly Retiring. Small People obstructing indeed. Cleary (2): Developed people withdraw well; petty people do not. Wu: The Jun zi uses retreat to his advantage, but the little man doesn’t.
Legge: Line four has a proper correlate in the magnetic first line, but as four is the first line in the upper trigram of Strength, he is free to exercise his choice.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: The man withdraws, despite his desire to do otherwise. The superior man can retreat in a friendly way, adjusting to the situation, and retaining his convictions. The inferior man is unable to do this.
Wing: If you recognize the moment for Retreat, be certain that you do so with the proper attitude -- that is, willingly. In this way you will adjust easily and progress in your new environment. Those who are filled with emotional turmoil during withdrawal will suffer greatly.
Editor: Psychologically interpreted, to "retire notwithstanding one's likings" is to exercise willpower over an inferior impulse for the good of the Work. The image suggests that you have the requisite strength to do this. It is a truism that when positive libido is withdrawn from something, unsupported inferior forces must wane.
A. Despite your desires, abandon your proposed plan of action. To ignore temptation strengthens the will and robs weakness of its power.The good is one thing, the pleasant another; these two, having different objects, chain a man. It is well with him who clings to the good; he who chooses the pleasant, misses the end. Katha Upanishad
Line-5Legge: The fifth line, dynamic, shows its subject retiring in an admirable way. With firm correctness there will be good fortune.
Wilhelm/Baynes: Friendly retreat. Perseverance brings good fortune.
Blofeld: An admirably carried out withdrawal. Persistence in a righteous course brings good fortune.
Liu: Appropriate retreat. To continue brings good fortune.
Ritsema/Karcher: Excellence Retiring, Trial: significant.
Shaughnessy: Enjoyable wielding; determination is auspicious.
Cleary (1): Excellent withdrawal; correctness is auspicious.
Wu: The commendable retreat is auspicious if persevering.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: This is due to the rectitude of his purpose. Wilhelm/ Baynes: Because the will thereby reaches a correct decision. Blofeld: This results from a withdrawal carried out as a result of rectifying our aims. [I.e. revising them in the light of unfavorable circumstances.]Ritsema/Karcher: Using correcting the purpose indeed.) Cleary (2): Because of right aspiration. Wu: He needs to put his aims in the right perspective.
Legge: The K'ang-hsi editors refer to the words of I Yin as an illustration of what is said in line five: "The superior man will not for favor or gain continue in an office whose work is done." He advances or withdraws according to the character of the time. The strength and correct position of the fifth line show that he is able to maintain himself, and as he is responded to by the magnetic second line, no opposition would come from any of the others. Therefore, he is free to keep his place, but since he recognizes the advance of inferior men in lines one and two, he deems it better to withdraw from the field for a time. Thus there is successful progress even in his retreat.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: The man recognizes the proper time for an admirable retirement with necessary amenities and without disagreeableness. Firmness in the rectitude of his purpose is necessary to guard against being misled by irrelevant issues.
Wing: Make your Retreat friendly but firm. Do not be drawn into irrelevant discussions or considerations concerning your decisions. A persevering withdrawal brings good fortune.
Editor: Both Legge and Blofeld use the concept of rectification in their translations of the Confucian commentary. [Rectify: 1.a: to make or set right: remedy. 2.a: to restore to a healthy state.] The idea is that one must pleasantly but firmly disassociate oneself from an inferior alliance -- the only hope of improvement lies in withdrawal from the scene.
A. Withdraw to make correct – don’t make a big deal of it.A faultless person is one who withdraws from affairs. This must be done with strength. Yamamoto Tsunetomo -- The Book of the Samurai
B. The integrity of the Work demands a withdrawal from an inferior alliance.