The Changes is a book
From which one may not hold aloof.
Its Tao is forever changing –
Alteration, movement without rest,
Flowing through the six empty places;
Rising and sinking without fixed law,
Firm and yielding transform each other.
They cannot be confined within a rule;
It is only change that is at work here.
They move inward and outward according
to fix rhythms.
Without or within, they teach caution.
They also show care and sorrow and their causes,
Though you have no teacher,
Approach them as you would your parents.
First take up the works,
Ponder their meaning,
Then the fixed rules reveal themselves.
But if you are not the right man,
The meaning will not manifest itself to you.
In half rhythmic and half rhymed prose, we are here admonished to study the Book of Changes diligently. It is pointed out with praise that continuous change is the rule of the book. In conclusion, attention is called to the fact that an innate capacity is essential to an understanding of the book, otherwise it will remain locked as if with seven seals. If the person consulting the oracle is not in contact with Tao, he does not receive an intelligible answer, since it would be of no avail.
– I Ching