I-Ching Hexagram Twenty, Beholding

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 20.Beholding

I-Ching-Hexagram Twenty – Beholding


To view and emulate.


To raise one’s head looking.

The instructing according to sacred way.


In Hexagram Nineteenth Arrival, 2 yang lines are in the lower trigram of the hexagram (Arrival).

It implies the emperor goes out of the palace and visits people.

In Hexagram Twenty Beholding, the emperor stays in an imperial court and people raise their heads looking at the emperor.


In this hexagram (Beholding), the upper trigram is Wind and the lower trigram is Earth.

Wind is blowing on the ground representing it is meek internally and progress externally.

Where the wind passes, the grass bends the inferiors imitating the superiors.

This represents one influences others by goodness.

It also has a meaning of orders so one will announce the imperial mandate to the world.

The upper trigram of this hexagram (Beholding) also means a piece of wood is stabbing on the ground.

It symbolizes the orders are announced to the world and the laws will be implemented.


This hexagram (Beholding) explains that emperor uses religion as a means of education.


This hexagram (Beholding) is paired up with Hexagram Nineteenth Arrival.

After Hexagram Eighteenth Poison, the country is in straitened circumstance.

It is the time the emperor makes every effort to make the country prosperous.

Therefore, in Hexagram Nineteenth Arrival, the emperor goes out in person to observe the condition of the citizenry and all ministers.

In this hexagram (Beholding), the whole country implements the orders and the common people are educated.

In various aspects, the meanings are this hexagram (Beholding) are different.

These include

l   the orders are announced and implemented in the country

l   the people are educated with morals and

l   the emperor uses religion as a means of education in order to learn natural law and show its national power to behold customs and political systems of other countries.


The one who has got this hexagram (Beholding) should behold and learn.

It is better to behold all the time, do as less as possible and examine oneself.

To edify oneself for a long time and then what happens will be without extra effort.

The best part of beholding is one is able to access to the centre of authority sincerely and solemnly.

It is similar to watching the celebration of National Day that the one sits nearby the president, so one can see the whole celebration clearly.

That means when one is beholding through mind, one is able to see the way to do something.

If one watches the National Day like an unprofessional person, one is merely chasing his tail.



[Summary of Hexagram Twenty – Beholding]

If one is watching sacrificial ceremony, one must see the ceremony of pouring wine and calling up deities.

There is nothing interesting to watch presenting an animal sacrifice in the ceremony.

Using religion to educate people can enable them to see the manifestation of God’s will and holy God.


The one who has got this hexagram (Beholding) must be sincere, watching and learning attentively, like watching a great ceremony.



1st Line

Children is watching the ceremony playing and do not know what is going on.

It is fine for villains to have such attitude.

However, gentlemen who have such attitude will be unaware of general interest.

What a shame.


This line is far from watching the great ceremony of a country so one is difficult to be part of the ceremony or watch the ceremony.

It is like children watching the ceremony playing not knowing what is going on

For ordinary people, it is not a fault at all.

For ministers and gentlemen, not watching the ceremony attentively is totally a shame.

The faults are coming.


2nd Line

Prying and Peering the ceremony like a little girl.

This situation cannot become a major scene.

It is better for a girl to be virtuous and silent.

It is very provinciality and unwholesome to peer the ceremony through the cracks of a crowd.

Her mind and her behaviour is similar to the womanfolks of an agricultural society.

Those women and babblers are talking about others and gossips.

It is alright for women to do such so it is good to be silent and virtuous when one has got this hexagram (Beholding).

However, men keep in mind in all directions seeing all things in the world paying attentions to big events and issues.

Therefore, it is misfortune to talk gossips for men.


3rd Line

 See the situation oneself and decide to go forward or back forward.

One cannot be indifferent to the ceremony like common people.

One cannot join the ceremony like a state guest.

One is making a decision in between going forward and not going forward or going backward and not going backward.


3rd line is adjacent to the emperor in the ceremony and matches up with 5th line.

Therefore, one can join the ceremony.

However, 6th line is not the main emperor.

Yin energy of 3rd line does not match up with the yang position of this line.

It represents one does not have a right identify to join this ceremony.

It is also a place of anxiety so one will encounter many difficulties when going forward and watch.

Therefore there are signs of going forward and going backward.

It depends on the condition for whether one can join the ceremony or not and what one will see in the ceremony.


4th Line

One can see the best time of the country because one is the guest invited by the emperor.

One can join the ceremony and be the guest of the ceremony watching the whole ceremony.

The one who gets this hexagram (Beholding) can go to visit others’ company, country or formal grand meetings.


This line shows one can sit at the best position watching the ceremony clearly as this line is nearby the emperor.

This line follows 5th line of emperor so one is the state guest and watches all parts of the ceremony.



5th Line

Beholding oneself.

Examining oneself.

This gentleman will have no faults.


The one who holds this ceremony is viewed and emulated by others and you are also the one who is viewed and emulated.

Therefore, you should join the crowd and view and emulate them too.

The one who has got this hexagram (Beholding) should encourage oneself to improve so that one will not regret.



6th Line


It is the line where it is a highland but it does not have a seat.

You are standing at the peak so people are raising their heads looking at you.

Therefore, one should examine oneself like the emperor of this line and pay attention to one’s speeches and behavior.



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