|There were "old" features in your gua (hexagram). It means that you have two hexagrams. The first one — is something that the Book tells you at the moment, the second is something it warns you about.
4. Enveloping (méng). Youthful Folly
Ignorance is won by wisdom. Emptiness should be filled in. Nature stands no emptiness.
Inital text of I Ching
Youthful Folly has success. It is not I who seek the young fool; The young fool seeks me. At the first oracle I inform him. If he asks two or three times, it is importunity. If he importunes, I give him no information. Perseverance furthers.
A spring wells up at the foot of the mountain:
The image of Youth. Thus the superior man fosters his character by thoroughness in all that he does.
- To make a fool develop it furthers one to apply discipline. The fetters should be removed. To go on in this way brings humiliation.
- To bear with fools in kindliness brings good fortune. To know how to take women brings good fortune. The son is capable of taking charge of the household.
- Take not a maiden who, when she sees a man of bronze, loses possession of herself. Nothing furthers.
- Entangled folly brings humiliation.
- Childlike folly brings good fortune.
- In punishing folly it does not further one to commit transgressions. The only thing that furthers is to prevent transgressions.
Natural gifts are subjected by ignorance. Efforts to overcome it are needed. An ignorant person is in captivity of illusions. Difficulties when moving forward are inevitable. Plenitude and emptiness can be of two kinds: material and spiritual. Do not worry about material emptiness, be afraid of spiritual emptiness. Seek no material plenitude, seek knowledge instead of gold. Do not envy rich men; do not try to be like them. Gold can dazzle and ignorance will become deeper. Find a teacher, ask questions, but try to avoid excessive importunity. Take the first directions of teacher into account. Do not wait that knowledge will find you itself, show initiative. Do not worry about temporary stop. Lack of knowledge makes movement dangerous.
In this hexagram we are reminded of youth and folly in two different ways.
The image of the upper trigram, Kên, is the mountain, that of the lower,
K'an, is water; the spring rising at the foot of the mountain is the image of
inexperienced youth. Keeping still is the attribute of the upper trigram; that of
the lower is the abyss, danger. Stopping in perplexity on the brink of a
dangerous abyss is a symbol of the folly of youth. However, the two trigrams
also show the way of overcoming the follies of youth. Water is something
that of necessity flows on. When the spring gushes forth, it does not know at
first where it will go. But its steady flow fills up the deep place blocking its
progress, and success is attained.
In the time of youth, folly is not an evil. One may succeed in spite of it,
provided one finds an experienced teacher and has the right attitude toward
him. This means, first of all, that the youth himself must be conscious of his
lack of experience and must seek out the teacher. Without this modesty and
this interest there is no guarantee that he has the necessary receptivity, which
should express itself in respectful acceptance of the teacher. This is the reason
why the teacher must wait to be sought out instead of offering himself. Only
thus can the instruction take place at the right time and in the right way.
A teacher's answer to the question of a pupil ought to be clear and definite
like that expected from an oracle; thereupon it ought to be accepted as a key
for resolution of doubts and a basis for decision. If mistrustful or
unintelligent questioning is kept up, it serves only to annoy the teacher. He
does well to ignore it in silence, just as the oracle gives one answer only and
refuses to be tempted by questions implying doubt.
Given addition a perseverance that never slackens until the points are
mastered one by one, real success is sure to follow. Thus the hexagram
counsels the teacher as well as the pupil.
A spring succeeds in flowing on and escapes stagnation by filling up all the
hollow places in its path. In the same way character is developed by
thoroughness that skips nothing but, like water, gradually and steadily fills up
all gaps and so flows onward.
Law is the beginning of education. Youth in its inexperience is inclined at first
to take everything carelessly and playfully. It must be shown the seriousness
of life. A certain measure of taking oneself in hand, brought about by strict
discipline, is a good thing. He who plays with life never amounts to
anything. However, discipline should not degenerate into drill. Continuous
drill has a humiliating effect and cripples a man's powers.
These lines picture a man who has no external power, but who has enough
strength of mind to bear his burden of responsibility. He has the inner
superiority and that enable him to tolerate with kindliness the shortcomings
of human folly. The same attitude is owed to women as the weaker sex. One
must understand them and give them recognition in a spirit of chivalrous
consideration. Only this combination of inner strength with outer reserve
enables one to take on the responsibility of directing a larger social body with
A weak, inexperienced man, struggling to rise, easily loses his own
individuality when he slavishly imitates a strong personality of higher
station. He is like a girl throwing herself away when she meets a strong man.
Such a servile approach should not be encouraged, because it is bad both for
the youth and the teacher. A girl owes it to her dignity to wait until she is
wooed. In both cases it is undignified to offer oneself, and no good comes of
accepting such an offer.
For youthful folly it is the most hopeless thing to entangle itself in empty
imaginings. The more obstinately it clings to such unreal fantasies, the more
certainly will humiliation overtake it.
Often the teacher, when confronted with such entangled folly, has no other
course but to leave the fool to himself for a time, not sparing him the
humiliation that results. This is frequently the only means of rescue.
An inexperienced person who seeks instruction in a childlike and
unassuming way is on the right path, for the man devoid of arrogance who
subordinated himself to his teacher will certainly be helped.
Sometimes an incorrigible fool must be punished. He who will not heed will
be made to feel. This punishment is quite different from a preliminary
shaking up. But the penalty should not be imposed in anger; it must be
restricted to an objective guarding against unjustified excesses. Punishment
is never an end in itself but serves merely to restore order.
This applies not only in regard to education but also in regard to the
measures taken by a government against a populace guilty of transgressions.
Governmental interference should always be merely preventive and should
have as its sole aim the establishment of public security and peace.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
Now all around of you as is covered by a veil; but this veil will soon disappear, and the world again will get for you clearness. Now your nerves are strongly loosened, therefore try to not accept hasty decisions. Soon all will change. If wish to become successful - do not neglect councils of friends, the heads, ponder upon them. Give more time to dialogue with children. Do not despond. Already there are the new plans, new prospects, but for new love time has not come yet. Gather; also concentrate will on performance of the one and only desire.
57. Ground (xùn). The Gentle
Let small things develop. Humble pride - be soft and flexible. Advice of a great person does not degrade, but exalts. Mercenariness disciplines.
Inital text of I Ching
The Gentle. Success through what is small. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. It furthers one to see the great man.
Winds following one upon the other:
The image of the Gently Penetrating. Thus the superior man spreads his commands abroad and carries out his undertakings.
- In advancing and in retreating, the perseverance of a warrior furthers.
- Penetration under the bed. Priests and magicians are used in great number. Good fortune. No blame.
- Repeated penetration. Humiliation.
- Remorse vanishes. During the hunt three kinds of game are caught.
- Perseverance brings good fortune. Remorse vanishes. Nothing that does not further. No beginning, but an end. Before the change, three days. After the change, three days. Good fortune.
- Penetration under the bed. He loses his property and his ax. Perseverance brings misfortune.
Life offers you a new environment in which you may appear an inexperienced person. Errors are possible: misconceptions about the intentions, wrong judgments and estimates, the failure of plans. It is necessary to grasp the essence of change, to develop a clear plan and step by step, 'grope'. Get ready for that you will find only small having lost a lot. It is useful to seek help from a more sophisticated man. What is important is the ability to obey, the ability to comply, give up ambitions, as well as clarity of intentions. Hypocrisy, pretence and arrogance are unacceptable. It is dangerous to muddle on, 'at your own risk', show inappropriate at this time determination and stubbornness. There may be conflicts with friends, quarrels with your beloved, family problems.
Sun is one of the eight doubled trigrams. It is the eldest daughter and
symbolizes wind or wood; it has for its attribute gentleness, which
nonetheless penetrates like the wind or like growing wood with its roots.
The dark principle, in itself rigid and immovable, is dissolved by the
penetrating light principle, to which it subordinates itself in gentleness. In
nature, it is the wind that disperses the gathered clouds, leaving the sky clear
and serene. In human life it is penetrating clarity of judgment that thwarts
all dark hidden motives. In the life of the community it is the powerful
influence of a great personality that uncovers and breaks up those intrigues
which shun the light of day.
Penetration produces gradual and inconspicuous effects. It should be effected
not by an act of violation but by influence that never lapses. Results of this
kind are less striking to the eye than those won by surprise attack, but they are
more enduring and more complete. If one would produce such effects, one
must have a clearly defined goal, for only when the penetrating influence
works always in the same direction can the object be attained. Small strength
can achieve its purpose only by subordinating itself to an eminent man who
is capable of creating order.
The penetrating quality of the wind depends upon its ceaselessness. This is
what makes it so powerful; time is its instrument. In the same way the
ruler's thought should penetrate the soul of the people. This too requires a
lasting influence brought about by enlightenment and command. Only when
the command has been assimilated by the people is action in accordance with
it possible. Action without preparation of the ground only frightens and
In born gentleness is often carried to the point of indecisiveness. One does
not feel strong enough to advance resolutely. A thousand doubts crop up; one
is, however, not minded to withdraw but drifts indecisively to and fro. In
such a situation, a military decisiveness is the proper thing, so that one
resolutely does what order demands. Resolute discipline is far better than
At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that
slink into dark corners and from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In
instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret
recesses, in order to determine the nature of the influences to be dealt with.
This is the task of the priests; removing the influences is the task of the
magicians. The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially
vigorous and indefatigable effort, but this is well worth while. For when such
elusive influences are brought into the light and branded, they lose their
power over people.
Penetrating reflection must not be pushed too far, lest it cripple the power of
decision. After a matter has been thoroughly pondered, it is essential to form
a decision and to act. Repeated deliberation brings fresh doubts and scruples,
and thereby humiliation, because one shows oneself unable to act.
When a responsible position and accumulated experience lead one to
combine innate modesty with energetic action, great success is assured. The
three kinds of animals referred to served for offerings to the gods, for feasting
guests, and for everyday consumption. When the catch answered all three
purposes, the hunt was considered especially successful.
In the situation described in Ku, WORK ON WHAT HAS BEEN SPOILED
(18), an entirely new point of departure must be set up, whereas here it is only
a question of reforms. The beginning has not been good, but the moment has
been reached when a new direction can be taken. Change and improvement
are called for. Such steps must be undertaken with steadfastness, that is, with
a firm and correct attitude of mind; then they will succeed, and remorse will
disappear. But it must be remembered that such improvements require
careful consideration. Before a change is made, it must be pondered over
again and again. After the change is made, it is necessary to note carefully for
some time after how the improvements bear the test of actuality. Such
careful work is accompanied by good fortune.
A man's understanding is sufficiently penetrating. He follows up injurious
influences into the most secret corners. But he no longer has the strength to
combat them decisively. In this case any attempt to penetrate into the
personal domain of darkness would only bring harm.
Barbara Hejslip interpretation
At present to you not so - that simply to understand a state of affairs and it is reasonable to estimate it. But you too exaggerate, representing events. Try to follow on that way which to you will be specified by the person well knowing you; and it will be the best exit. In five months your destiny will change for the better. To eliminate obstacles in a way of performance of your desires the woman will help. At all do not allow to persuade now itself on such actions as which consider erroneous and unnecessary.
Richard Wilhelm's commentary