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I Ching Hexagram 63 - Chi Chi / After Completion

hexagram 63
  • Above K'an the abysmal, Water
  • Below Li the Clinging, Fire


This hexagram is the evolution of T'ai Peace (11) . The transition from confusion to order is completed, and everything is in its proper place even in particulars. The strong lines are in the strong places, the weak lines in the weak places. This is a very favorable outlook, yet it gives reason for thought. For it is just when perfect equilibrium has been reached that any movement may cause order to revert to disorder. The one strong line that has moved to the top, thus effecting complete order in details, is followed by the other lines. Each moving according to its nature, and thus suddenly there arises again the hexagram P'i, Standstill (12).Hence the present hexagram indicates the conditions of a time of climax, which necessitate the utmost caution.

See the James Legge translation of this hexagram.

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After Completion. Success in small matters. Perseverance furthers. At the beginning good fortune. At the end disorder.

Judgement Commentary

The transition from the old to the new time is already accomplished. In principle, everything stands systematized, and it si only in regard to details that success is still to be achieved. In respect to this, however, we must be careful to maintain the right attitude. Everything proceeds as if of its own accord, and this can all too easily tempt us to relax and let thing take their course without troubling over details. Such indifference is the root of all evil. Symptoms of decay are bound to be the result. Here we have the rule indicating the usual course of history. But this rule is not an inescapable law. He who understands it is in position to avoid its effects by dint of unremitting perseverance and caution.

The Image

Water over fire: the image of the condition In After Completion. Thus the superior man takes thought of misfortune and arms himself against it in advance.

Image Commentary

When water in a kettle hangs over fire, the two elements stand in relation and thus generate energy (cf. the production of steam). But the resulting tension demands caution. If the water boils over, the fire is extinguished an its energy is lost. If the heat is too great, the water evaporates into the air. These elements here brought in to relation and thus generating energy are by nature hostile to each other. Only the most extreme caution can prevent damage. In life too there are junctures when all forces are in balance and work in harmony, so that everything seems to be in the best of order. In such times only the sage recognizes the moments that bode danger and knows how to banish it by means of timely precautions.

The Lines

Nine at the beginning means: He breaks his wheels. He gets his tail in the water. No blame.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 39 - Chien / Obstruction. Once the goal has been achieved stop. Going too far is as bad as not getting there. This line is affected by others going too far, it is not this lines fault but he is slightly injured nonetheless. Legge's "...represents the time immediately after the successful achievement of the enterprise it denotes; the time for resting and being quiet" not further pushing forward. The outcome hexagram is 39, Obstruction. This is an indication that we have made problems for ourselves "an individual is confronted by obstacles that cannot be overcome directly. In such a situation it is wise to pause in view of the danger and to retreat."

Six in the second place means: The woman loses the curtain of her carriage. Do not run after it; On the seventh day you will get it.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 5 - Hsu / Waiting (Nourishment). This line does not get the recognition it deserves and so is tempted to resort to unprincipled behaviour to get what it wants. Do not do this. If one has value it will be recognized eventually. Legge says this line need only wait and it will attain its goals. "There is no occasion to go in pursuit of it (your goals). In seven days she will find it." The resultant hexagram 5, Waiting (Nourishment), further reinforces the idea of confident waiting "...the gift of food comes in its own time, and for this one must wait" We will, eventually, get what we want.

Nine in the third place means: The Illustrious Ancestor disciplines the Devil's Country. After three years he conquers it. Inferior people must not be employed.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 3 - Chun / Difficulty at the Beginning. Great enterprises require the appointment of capable people else success prove elusive. This line needs to consider carefully who it associates with. Legge says this line "...suggests for its subject one undertaking a vigorous enterprise...small men should not be employed in such enterprises." The outcome hexagram 3, Difficulty at the Beginning, shows that the outcome here will most likely be good but "...it is very important not to remain alone; in order to overcome the chaos he needs helpers." Who will you employee now?

Six in the fourth place means: The finest clothes turn to rags. Be careful all day long.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 49 - Ko / Revolution (Molting). Things are good, goals have been reached but we must always be on our guard for the return of the bad. Forethought is forearmed. Legge uses this colorful analogy "...its subject with rags provided against any leak in his boat, and on his guard all day long." Just don't go to far in this. The resultant hexagram 49, Revolution, warns us that big changes are ahead. Is this despite out vigilance or because of it? The augury predicts "Revolution. On your own day you are believed. Supreme success, Furthering through perseverance. Remorse disappears."

Nine in the fifth place means: The neighbor in the east who slaughters an ox does not attain as much real happiness as the neighbor in the west with his small offering.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 36 - Ming I / Darkening of the light. Insincerity rules here, mere pomp and show boating. It will be better for this line to make a real effort based on sincerity rather than a pretend display based on self interest. Legge puts it like this "The one presents valuable offerings, the other very poor ones. But the second excels in sincerity, and his small offering is the more acceptable." The resultant hexagram 36, Darkening of the light, indicates that this line will not learn or change and so suffer the consequences. "In adversity. It furthers one to be persevering."

Six at the top means: He gets his head in the water. Danger.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 37 - Chia Jen / The Family (The Clan). Its not over till its over. If one climbs Everest and falls when 2 feet below the summit has one climbed Everest? legge adds that "...His action is violent and perilous, like that one attempting to cross a ford, and being plunged overhead into the water." Not a positive outcome at all. The resultant hexagram 37, The Family, counsels us to pay attention to the details of our activities through to their end.

See the James Legge - I Ching Hexagram 63 - Chi Chi / After Completion translation of this hexagram.