Interpretation

Even if you accept the present translation as correct the question still remains why the lines were written and how they should be understood.

However, there can be no doubt that the Zhou Yi was written for the purpose of divination and as such it can only be read and understood in that context. There may be references to a few persons and events in the Shang and Zhou periods but the lines always describe different aspects of human life. Every hexagram is meant as a help to understand life and learn how to avoid and solve problems, and, perhaps most importantly, how to see and use opportunities.

The 64 hexagrams all have a main theme like friendship, conflict, maintenance, increase, decrease, joy, stilness and so on. The six underlying lines of each hexagram are different aspect of the main theme. These aspects always follow a progression from the basic to the extreme.

The lines in ‘The Well’ are all about a well and the lines in ‘Thunder’ are all about thunder. But not all hexagrams are that simple because you must find the common theme in lines of very different nature.