The 8 Divinations and Wisdom of Life in Zhouyi

A sunset with clouds.

By giving less attention to imperfection, beauty can be found anywhere. (Image: Elroy Serrao via Flickr)

Zhouyi, which is believed to be the oldest text and is named after the Zhou Dynasty, was among the famous ancient classics of China. Every single word in Zhouyi is very profound and vivid, containing heavenly secrets and wisdom that can benefit mankind for a whole lifetime.

8 Zhouyi verses with commentaries familiar to many people

1. Heaven, in its motion, releases strength; man improves himself continuously

The universe keeps moving. A man should follow the example of heaven and earth and work diligently. Self-improving people are eager to seek out answers; they do not blame heaven nor disturb others. Hence, one will find a better own self.

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2. Earth is receptive, resting in firmness; a man with great virtue carries energy

The earth is generous and smooth. Man must also be generous and kind with a benevolent heart to contain everything like the vast sea. In daily life, there should be continuous experiences and cultivation.

Self-improving people are eager to seek out answers, they do not blame heaven nor disturb others.
Self-improving people are eager to seek out answers, and do not blame heaven or disturb others. (Image: via Pixabay)

3. The family that accumulates good deeds will receive joy; the family that does not accumulate good deeds will invite disaster

Accumulating good deeds will have a steady flow of merits and talents. One who is firm will not be affected by outside influences and, by walking the path of a good life, the family will reap good fortune.

4. The poor will change, change will flow, and flow will last

When things reach the extreme, there will be change; if change can consolidate, then it can last for a long time. As the saying goes, when things reach their peak, they will reverse; when they reach their strongest point, there will be a decline.

5. The dragon lies hidden; it is not the time for active doing

When doing things, men and women must preserve their strength and not be rash. One must be firm and wait for the right opportunity. “Do not use” does not mean “not to use,” but to use at the right time and the right opportunity will fly into the sky.

One who is firm will not be affected by outside influence and by walking a path of a good life, the family will reap good fortune.
One who is firm will not be affected by outside influence and by walking a path of a good life, the family will reap good fortune. (Image: Rob Ireton via Flickr)

6. The dragon exceeds the proper limit; there will be an occasion for repentance

Dragons that fly too high will feel regret, those who are in high positions should know how to advance and retreat at the right time. In history, there were many officials who did good deeds but did not have good endings. This is because they did not know how to retreat at the right time.

7. Heaven protects man, naturally, there will be blessings

Man cannot pursue blessings from Heaven. Self-cultivation, spiritual practice, and self-improvement are the only ways to reap blessings from Heaven.

8. The new day is prosperous with virtue

Everything changes from time to time, the next moment is new; a man should constantly improve himself. Each and every day is a new beginning. Be high-spirited and embrace the new self; this is the best gift from Heaven.

Translated by Chua BC

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