above K'AN THE ABYSMAL, WATER
below TUI THE JOYOUS, LAKE
A lake occupies a limited space. When more water comes into it, it overflows. Therefore limits must be set for the water. The image shows water below and water above, with the firmament between them as a limit.
The Chinese word for limitation really denotes the joints that divide a bamboo stalk. In relation to ordinary life it means the thrift that sets fixed limits upon expenditures. In relation to the moral sphere it means the fixed limits that the superior man sets upon his actions -- the limits of loyalty and disinterestedness.
Translator of this version of the I Ching is Richard Wilhelm. If you missed any posts in this series, please utilize the I Ching label below.