17 — Following — 17




Other titles: According With, Acquiring Followers, Adapting, Adjusting, To Accord With, To Accompany, Concordance, Conformance to The Work, “Learn to serve in order to rule. Quit the old ways.” — D.F. Hook



Legge: The following indicates successful progress and no error through firm correctness.

Wilhelm/Baynes: Following has supreme success. Perseverance furthers. No blame.

Blofeld: Following. Sublime success! Righteous persistence brings reward — no error! [This sublime success comes, of course, only to those who follow what is right, namely the will of heaven or of those whose own will embodies it.]

Liu: Following. Great success. It is of benefit to continue. No blame.

Ritsema/Karcher: Following. Spring Growing Harvesting Trial.

Without fault. [This hexagram describes your situation as being impelled or drawn into moving forward. It emphasizes that yielding to the impulse by accepting guidance is the adequate way to handle it. To be in accord with the time, you are told to: follow!]

Shaughnessy:Following: Prime receipt; beneficial to determine; there is no trouble.

Cleary (1): Following is greatly developmental: it is beneficial if correct; then there is no fault.

Cleary (2): Following is very successful, etc.

Wu: Following is primordial, pervasive, prosperous, and persevering. There will be no blame.


The Image

Legge: Thunder in the marsh: the image of Following. The superior man, by this, at nightfall, enters his house and rests.

Wilhelm/Baynes: Thunder in the middle of the lake: the image of Following. Thus the superior man at nightfall goes indoors for rest and recovery.

Blofeld: This hexagram symbolizes thunder rumbling within a swamp! When darkness falls, the Superior Man goes within and rests peacefully. [The component trigrams can be read as thunder and marsh, but also as movement and joy. In the Book of Change, joy is frequently associated with willing obedience and glad acceptance of what is right.]

Liu: Thunder in the lake symbolizes the following. In the evening, the superior man rests and relaxes in his home.

Ritsema/Karcher: Marsh center possessing thunder. Following. A chun-tzu uses turning-to darkening to enter a reposting pause.

Cleary (1): There is thunder in the lake, Following. Thus superior people go inside and rest when the sun goes down.

Cleary (2): … Leaders go in and rest at sundown.

Wu: Thunder in the marsh is the symbol of Following. Thus the jun zi retires toward the twilight of the day.



Confucius/Legge: In the following, the dynamic trigram places itself under the magnetic. We see in them the attributes of Movement and Pleasure. Through firm correctness, all under heaven will be found following at such a time.

Legge: The following comes after Enthusiasm, the symbol of harmony and satisfaction. When these conditions prevail, men are sure to follow. The hexagram includes the ideas of following others and being followed by others.(Emphasis mine, Ed.) The good auspice is due to this flexibility, but in either instance, the following must be guided by a reference to what is correct. The lower trigram of Movement represents the eldest son, and the upper trigram of Pleasure represents the youngest daughter. The strong places itself under the weak — esteeming others higher than himself and giving the idea of following. The union of Movement with Pleasure suggests the same idea.



Judgment: Following means advancement through willpower.

The Superior Man rests on his inner virtue.

In Following, the trigram of Movement “follows” the trigram of Cheerfulness: independent action subordinates itself and allows itself to be led by cheerful obedience. In terms of the Work, this symbolizes our willingness to “follow” or adhere to its principles. Psychologically interpreted, the Following means the compliant subordination of ego-autonomy to the Great Work of psychic integration.

Blofeld points out that the trigram of Joy, or Cheerfulness, is often associated with “willing obedience to and glad acceptance of what is right.” Hence the cheerful following of the intent of the Self. He explains the role of the superior man in the Image: “It is not hard to see the connection between following and resting peacefully; for, once we have given our allegiance to others [the Self], we no longer have to worry about what should be done.”

At seventy … Confucius allowed his mind to follow whatever it desired, yet everything he did was naturally right itself. His actions no longer needed a conscious guide. He was acting without effort. This represents the last stage in the development of the sage.
Fung Yu-Lan — A Short History of Chinese Philosophy

When received without changing lines, this hexagram often means: “To accord with” — in such instances, the answer is an affirmation to your query.

Gaiam Meditation Banner