Line-1Legge: The first line, magnetic, shows us the superior man who adds temperance to his temperance. Even the great stream may be crossed with this, and there will be good fortune.
Wilhelm/Baynes: A superior man modest about his modesty may cross the great water. Good fortune.
Blofeld: The Superior Man, ever modest and retiring, fords the great river -- good fortune! [Any journey undertaken at this time will bring good fortune.]
Liu: The superior man is modest in his modesty. It is favorable to cross the great water. Good fortune.
Ritsema/Karcher: Humbling, Humbling: chun tzu. Availing-of wading the Great River. Significant.
Shaughnessy: So modest is the gentleman; herewith ford the great river; auspicious.
Cleary (1): Humble about humility, the superior person thereby crosses great rivers. This is auspicious.
Cleary (2): Extreme humility. It is fortunate if leaders use this to cross great rivers.
Wu: Being humble about his humility, the jun zi can make use of this virtue to cross the big river. It will be auspicious.
COMMENTARYConfucius/Legge: The superior man who adds temperance to his temperance is one who nourishes his virtue in lowliness. Wilhelm/Baynes: The superior man is lowly in order to guard himself well. Blofeld: He shows humility in disciplining himself. Ritsema/Karcher: Lowliness uses originating-from herding indeed. Cleary (2): In extreme humility, leaders manage themselves with lowliness. Wu: The jun zi uses humility for self-discipline.
Legge: A magnetic line at the lowest place in the figure is the fitting symbol of the superior man adding temperance to his temperance. The phrase "nourishes his virtue” in the Confucian commentary is literally: "pastures himself.” He is all temperance -- that is what makes him who he is.
NOTES AND PARAPHRASESSiu: At the outset, the man retains his humility and does not press any claims. As a result he is free from challenges and does not encounter resistance. Difficult enterprises can be undertaken successfully.
Wing: If you can carry out your proposed endeavor quietly, competently, and thoroughly, without obvious announcements of your intentions, you can achieve even significant aims. With a modest and disciplined attitude, you do not create resistance or invite challenge.
Editor: Wilhelm translates the Confucian commentary in terms of lowliness as a technique of self-protection. Blofeld renders it as showing humility in one's self-discipline. Ritsema/Karcher render the verb MU, Herd, as: “tend cattle; watch over, superintend; ruler, teacher;” which recalls Legge's rendering of: "pastures himself.” The idea is to use the discipline of will to keep oneself under control. The line is conceptually a kind of "shadow” to line one of the following hexagram of Enthusiasm, which see. Sometimes it can have the meaning of "reserve” or "reservations,” as in "taking something with a grain of salt.”
A. If you can maintain perspective, an advance is warranted.The signs of one who is making progress are these: he censures no man, he praises no man, he blames no man, he accuses no man, he says nothing about himself as if he were somebody or knew something: when he is impeded at all or hindered, he blames himself ... he removes all desire from himself, and transfers aversion only to those things within his power which are contrary to nature: he employs a moderate movement towards every thing: whether he is considered foolish or ignorant, he cares not: and in a word he watches himself as if he were an enemy and lying in ambush. Epictetus
B. A double portion of temperance: preserve your reserve, or your reservations about the matter at hand.
C. The ego undertakes responsibility for the Work with the full awareness that it is only the instrument of a higher intelligence within the psyche. This requires a servant's sense of reserve.