Hello there! I'm sorry for the delayed response, but I've been busy with some other stuff (plus I needed to take a break for a day or two). So, here go some responses on things you've been contributing:
刚 and 柔 are two opposing forces. when they meet, they are against each other. But as we know, too rigid and easy to fold, too soft and easy to bend(太刚易折太柔易曲). Therefore these two opposing forces support each other and reinforce each other.
This seems obvious, but it is easily overlooked. The simple fact that 刚柔 are OPPOSING forces should be enough to understand why there are difficulties in their first encounter. I can't find the citation right now (I'm sure it was in the Wilhelm translation), but he mentions that there was this very antique spring ritual in China in which a lot of man and woman would stand on opposing sides of a river, and then mimic a "war" in which they supposedly fought (symbolically, I hope) and mated at the same time. If I manage to find the citation, I'll share it here with you.
難生 = not easy to grow (in that environment)
Now, move on to the definition of "生" (verb): (1) 出 (《說文.出》進也, 象艸木益滋, 上出達也;《說文解字注》引伸爲凡生長之偁) 'to grow out of and develop'; (2) 產 'to give birth, produce, breed'; (3) 活 'to live, remain alive'; (4) 養 'to rear'; (5) 造 'to create'. ==> I pick (1) because it is the meaning of "生" (本義:草木從土里長出來) that is most fitting to the original meaning of 屯 (象艸木之初生) and it works well in the sentence in question.
This makes sense to me. In the context of 刚柔始交 to be born and to grow are not easy tasks (難生). Many translators do make 難生 into "difficult birth", in the sense of a mother giving birth for the first time and having difficulties. I should add that, in the lines of this sign we do find a reference to a "maiden" (六二 : [...] 女子貞不字。十年乃字。The whole sentence is longer). Also, as a nuclear trigram (互卦) there is 坤卦, the Mother, and 震卦, the first-born son. So, it would make sense to translate it as something related to "giving birth", as well. Yet, I do prefer your translation, it makes more sense to me in that particular context. About the definition of 生, I find all of the meanings somehow conceptually related. They all make a reference to the creative powers (grow and develop, give birth, produce, live, create, raise...). At some point, they are all the activities one would expect a mother (柔;坤) and a father (刚;乾) to perform for their children. Also, it is, by all means, the creative activity of nature effects on all living beings.
乎 = in (於)
中 = middle, midst
...乎...中 = ...in the midst of...
動乎險中 = move in the midst of perils
Perfectly clear, thank you. So, whenever I find "...乎...中", it should be read as "in the midst of"?
亨 = (1) a situation where good things/people come and work together (【易·乾·文言】亨者, 嘉之會也; 善物聚會一起, 人才濟濟一堂); (2) a state of being free from impediments (《康熙字典》通也).
大亨 = a great situation where (with the help of all the good things/people that come and work together) one finally breaks free from all the impediments and henceforth everything goes smoothly (猶大通, 順暢無阻)
貞 = upright, righteous (【易疏·乾卦·元亨利貞】貞, 正也)。
大亨貞 = great prosperity comes to the righteous (《易·臨》大亨以正; 孔穎達疏：大得亨通而利正)
Again, thank you, this is very clear. Also, I did not know 亨 could mean "(1) a situation where good things/people come and work together".
This is another sentence. Too much to ask in one thread. I prefer discussing only one sentence at a time.
I swear I'll start bringing up specific phrases from now on 😅
The ancient society subdivided the annual climate change into 72 seasons, one "候" every five days. The farming plan for the whole year is in full accordance with the timing. This is the "利建侯" , keeping pace with the times and adjusting at any time.Therefore, as far as a new life and new organization is concerned, "建侯" is almost the first major event .Only by properly arranging its own structure, no matter how rapidly changing outside, can make corresponding counter measures at the first time.
I still think this is a brilliant interpretation, and even though 建侯 is actually used as "appoint rulership" and so on, I strongly believe the astronomical/seasonal interpretation has a lot to offer. Also, this: "Only by properly arranging its own structure, no matter how rapidly changing outside, can make corresponding counter measures at the first time."
, perfectly puts into words what I couldn't properly formulate, but always had in my mind, about 屯. So, again, thank you for this fragment of light 😇
孔颖达 疏：It is the beginning of the journey，it is difficult and danger. But if you move, this danger will come to pass, and will 大亨贞.
I don't fully agree here. Even though 屯 does represent a form of very careful movement, I believe it strongly suggests not advancing, but rather staying put and accumulating strength. So, when Zhun passes
, and you can once again move freely, then 大亨贞 comes. But I could be wrong about this. I just feel that "movement in the midst of peril", i. e., 屯, is more a recommendation of not moving, than of moving. But it could also be true that if one moves and manages to survive, great rewards will come.
With the combination of heaven and earth and each other, everything has a good origin, a solid foundation, this is assured (元亨利贞); However, because this is just your start, you are still very young, You can't just do it (勿用), and you can't be like a headless fly, rushing around everywhere (有攸往), but you also can’t do nothing (而不宁), should sit down calmly, first do a good job of organizing, establishing rules, establishing governance, and carefully doing all the internal governance work (利建侯/宜建侯).
Brilliant. This is a good synthesis of what 屯 represents to me.
Rain water of 坎 hexagram will fall but not fall（将落未落)
I'm not catching the sense of this. Could you expand on what this means?
《易·屯》："天造草昧。" 孔颖达 疏："言天造万物于草创之始，如在冥昧之时也。"
草：起草,draft,make a graft.
草创: starting drafting, starting to create, just in the beginning.
The state of chaos and darkness before the heavens and the earth were formed.
天造草昧 means at the time of creation, before the heaven and earth were formed, all things are in the state of chaos and darkness(unclear).
Wow. This actually makes a whole lot more of sense. Yes, totally! I wrote an essay a couples of weeks ago, when i first started to study Zhun, and I actually made some cross–references with occidental tradition imagery making reference to this same process of creation. See: