Hexagram #61 Faithfulness in the Center

Faithfulness in the center is auspicious when it reaches even pigs and fish. It is beneficial to cross great rivers. It is beneficial to be correct.

EXPLANATION: Faithfulness is truthfulness; faithfulness in the center means truthfulness is within. Above is Wind ☴, below is Lake ☱; there is wind above a lake.The body of the hexagram has four yangs outside and two yins inside: Open inside, solid outside, openness and solidity balance each other, inside and outside correspond. Also, the qualities of the hexagram are inner joy and outer accord; traversing the Path with joyful accord, not obsessed and not astray, it is therefore called Faithfulness in the Center.

This hexagram represents seeking fulfillment by being empty; it follows on the previous hexagram Dispersal. In Dispersal, yang is trapped by yin; yin sneaks in and yang gradually dissolves. If you want yin not to trap yang but to accord with yang, so that yin and yang conjoin, this is impossible unless you are seriously faithful to the Tao; without faithfulness to the Tao, practice is insubstantial and lacks power, inevitably leading to failure to complete what has been started. But if the mind is faithful and united, and the one thought is pure and true, the ten thousand ruminations cease and sincerity within reaches outward, so that one can genuinely carry on true practice leading from lowliness to exaltation, from shallowness to depth, gradually enabling one to reach the state of profound attainment and self- realization.

Spiritual alchemy, the science of the gold elixir, uses the "yellow woman" as the go-between for yin and yang. The "yellow woman" is true intent; Faithfulness in the Center is truthfulness in the center-truthfulness is associated with earth, which is called the yellow woman. With the yellow woman in the center, it is possible to harmonize yin and yang, to communicate with self and others, to respond to myriad things-there is nothing that cannot be influenced. Therefore "faithfulness in the center is auspicious when it reaches even pigs and fish." Pigs and fish represent those without knowledge; when truthfulness can influence them, those without knowledge can harmonize themselves-how much the more so those with knowledge. If practitioners of Tao can apply the truthfulness that influences even "pigs and fish" to cultivation of essence and life, they will not fail to produce good results.

However, if faithfulness can be carried out in ease but not adversity, that faithfulness is not real, and will surely crumble in the end; even if one is faithful in this way, it does not bode well. There are people who believe in the Tao, and there are those who believe in the Tao and practice it regularly when all is well and comfortable; but there are hardly any who forget themselves for the Tao and do not lose control in situations of great difficulty and stress, when there are great obstacles, when things are topsy-turvy and in a shambles, and it is difficult to bear up patiently.

If one can remain unmoved and unperturbed in situations that are hard to endure, can go on through and get out, this alone is faithfulness that can move pigs and fish. This is why "it is beneficial to cross great rivers" for faithfulness in the center to bode well. Great rivers represent most hazardous places, adverse situations; if one can cross over adverse situations, needless to say one can cross over favorable situations. When able to pass through both favorable and adverse situations, that faithfulness is beneficial and suspicious wherever it goes.

However, the seventy-two aberrant schools, with their three thousand six hundred deviant practices, all cling to voidness or stick to forms; these are not studies that can fulfill our nature and lead to the meaning of life. The false distorts the real, the aberrant adulterates the correct; if you have faith without discriminating the false and real, the aberrant and correct, this is incorrect faithfulness, which is not beneficial and does not lead to good results. Therefore faithfulness is only beneficial if it is correct. Correct faith and correct practice meet wit good results, unhindered in adversity or ease, entering from action into non-acion, thereby perfecting essence and life, completing beginning and end; of this one can be sure. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #61 Faithfulness in the Center, The Taoist I Ching

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Hexagram #61 Faithfulness in the Center

On the left the ancient shape of character
for Faithfulness in the Center. On the right
the present-day shape. Literally, Zhong Fu means to hit the core of sincerity and trustworthiness.

The elongated ideograph for center — 中.Text on the scroll: Zen practice pursued within activity is a million times superior to that pursued in tranquility. -- Zen master Hakuin

Eve After the Fall, Rafaelle Monti jpg

The child turns out to be a snake, which symbolizes the lower self.. This symbolizes the inabilty to discriminate the false from the real.