Example is better than precept. The model set up by those above of the hexagram Guan (20) is the example for those below to follow, while the penal code enacted and enforced in the hexagram Shi Ke (21) is the precept. Shi Ke signifies to bite through (the barrier in the mouth in order to resume its proper function, like that which the penal code is assigned to maintain the social order). Line 5, the founding line and the host line of Shi Ke which acts as one of the executors of the penal code, is a feminine line at the middle position of the upper trigram and at the position of masculinity, signifying a lenient person (due to the instinct of femininity) with the principle of moderation (which is available at the middle position) executes a strict penal code (as that its masculine ground is).
The penal code of Shi Ke (21) without sentiment and reason will be like tyranny, severe and difficult to execute; therefore it must be lubricant applied with sentiment and reason. The grace (of the tender feminine applied to the rigid masculine) of the hexagram Bi (22) is that which makes it progress smoothly, but which must not change its essence. Therefore a gentleman should administrate public affairs with a clear mind (like brightness radiating internally and reliability remaining externally), and should not decide lawsuits vaguely, i.e. to be misguided by their appearances (as stated in Da Xiang Zhuan: the commentary on the image of the hexagram).
Grace is something like adding adjectives and adverbs to an article .If the grace of the hexagram Bi (21) is overdone, the feminine (the grace) will overpower the masculine (the essence) like the hexagram Bo (23): to peel away (the masculine).
The feminine tends to overpower the masculine in the hexagram Bo (23) but is stopped by the masculine and strung like fishes. Hereafter the remaining masculine rides on a carriage and returns to the hexagram Fu (24), like the uneaten fruit falling onto earth (Kun) and starting to sprout. From the feminine line appearing in the hexagram Gou (44) and gradually increasing (in Dun 33, Pi 12 ….) to the masculine line recovering in Fu takes seven steps, and Fu to Gou, seven steps. The feminine and the masculine can never exterminate each other, which is the course of Nature; now is the timing for masculinity increasing, and friends (the other masculine lines) will join. Although masculinity is still weak but it will grow stronger without illness. On the other hand, the returned masculine is taken as goodness, and all the feminine lines in the hexagram Fu are designated to return to goodness.
The recovery of the masculine in the hexagram Fu (24) signifies that goodness and solidity returns (Yin is taken for a symbol of emptiness, while Yang is solidity which people can feel its existence since it is visible under the brightness of Yang); solidity moving (i.e. line 1, the representative line of Wu Wang, acts in a solid manner) under the norm of Heaven (like Zhen beneath Qian) is signified as no pretense. Therefore people shouldn’t think and do what is undeserved in the hexagram of Wu Wang (25). The undeserved and unexpected calamity befalls line 3; it is not the fault of following the norm of Wu Wang, but following the norm doesn't ensure freedom from calamity.
After things become solid in the hexagram Wu Wang (25), they can be stored (Chu), signifying people can be built stronger after they act pragmatically. In the hexagram Da Chu (26), the masculine (trigram Gen) reserves and enhances the masculine (trigram Qian), like people largely enhancing and strictly disciplining themselves since the king respects and recruits virtuous & talent persons, which is signified as large storage and great restraint, Da Chu (26).
In hexagram 26: Da Chu, the livestock are herded and grew up; people are also well enhanced and corrected. Consequently line 6 of Da Chu can act freely like marching on the avenue of heaven, and the hexagram Da Chu moves forth and arrives at a new era, hexagram 27: Yi: nourishment. In hexagram Yi, the livestock become foodstuff and perform their duty; on the other hand people start to fight one another for food; fortunately while people are scrambling power and benefit, there are also some people who exhibit their virtue and fulfill their responsibility of nourishing people.
After the masculine power having experienced the extinction and revival from the hexagram Bo (23) to Fu (24), it learns how to act pragmatically at Wu Wang (25) and enhances itself at Da Chu (26). If masculinity is continuously nourished at Yi (27), it will become excessive while it reaches Da Guo (28): large excess (in terms of masculinity in excess of femininity in large quantity), wherein the beam is bent due to the heavy masculine, and masculinity must be counter-balanced by femininity.
Humans are like mineral stones; they need constant and repeated forgings, and then the stone can become jade or steel. Although after people having experienced death and revival in the hexagram Da Guo (28), line 6 of hexagram 28 wades the river and the water of the river is over its head, which is ominous but of no calamity. Although it is free from calamity, it is still trapped in the river after it left Da Guo and arrives at Repeated Kan (29), multiple perils, seemingly ordeals never end up.
Line 6 of the hexagram Repeated Kan (29) is put into jail, which will last till it passes over three steps (i.e. three years) and reaches position 2 of the next hexagram Li (30), wherein the sun at midday is seen, i.e. it is released from the dark prison. However human civilization seems to be that short. Line 1 was just released from multiple perils and its steps are still in disorder; line 2 has already reached brilliant civilization like the sun at midday. Shortly before the end of the bottom trigram, the sun is going to set; thus the old man doesn’t beat the earthenware and sing but laments over that his life will not remain much longer. Suddenly like a fire disaster, the overwhelming war destroys every thing, like that which line 4 suffering. Line 5 laments and sighs over all these. Luckily line 6 is assigned to carry out the sacred battle, to punish the ringleader but pardon the followers; what it pursues or it can achieve is freedom from calamity and volume I of the I Ching ends up merely with freedom from calamity.