696689 · 4.1.2.3.4.6Hexagram 4

Out of young ignorance.

Line image

When our intuitive feeling is not active (line 2) we do not have a gut knowledge of what the life flow is doing, and yet in this tao we are involved in outer activity (lines 4 and 3), without this feeling and without our inner being having awareness (line 6). The effect of this pattern is that we have to act in ignorance and learn from direct experience of the world by our “mistakes” when we take the world to be other than it is.

The common name for this hexagram is “youthful folly” because the young learn in this pattern; it has a spontaneous and dynamic flavor which is sadly lost when folly is not allowed.

Trigram image

There is no flow of our emerging energy (K’an) but a great flow outside (Chên) which continues in our accepting identity (K’un) while our inner being is watching (Kên) This trigram flow shows that our inner being is not merely unaware but is contemplating what is going on without involvement; the learning of our situation is out in the world, finding out what happens, not applying rules from our accumulated experience. We act, and learn from our actions, we may be clumsy and make mistakes but unless we act in this way, we cannot learn about an environment unknown to us.

The Chinese Oracle

Youthful, immature growth.
Good fortune.
I seek not the immature but if they come to me I answer them; if they continue with immature questioning I am silent.

Comments

The oracle wisdom is, like all religious exercises, about the sentient outer form of our being keeping in touch with its inner non-manifest counterpart. In this tao we face outwards (and are identified where we face) so that the wisdom is held in abeyance as we make a foray, so to speak, into this outer mode to fully experience it. We will be puzzled by the oracle and continue to try and make sense by further questioning, but it is not the time for making sense, it is time for trusting our senses. Few religious exercises allow us to be foolish and consider it to be good fortune.

Manifestations

The pattern
To reach from the fluid and unstable
for the heights
comes to a barrier,
or perhaps a peak.
For humans
Assuming ground beneath the feet.
Treading with confidence into pitfalls,
sometimes succeeds
with a grace and sympathy
it usually lacks.
In nature
Kittens catch shadows
knowing their solidity,
and learn.
In forms we make
Assumption of power
without humility
closes the gate of sympathy.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yang

life force shows less change

In this tao our inner being is not influenced (line 6 is yang) and our intuitive feeling is inactive (line 2 is yang) so we cannot be aware of the life force (this moving line 1) and it appears to dry up. We are being over-sensitive to the tao and we allow it to inhibit our impulse to experience; we should allow ourselves more curiosity and freedom; there is no advantage in being so cautious that we cannot move.

The Chinese Image
Youthful growth requires disciplined experience.
Fetters should be removed.
Too much restriction is harmful.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

The opening of feeling in this tao means to become more sensitive to our immaturity in some respect; this makes for less errors of judgement, makes us more able to understand what is “other” to us, and by feeling our ignorance (this we have been ignoring) we become receptive to the experience we lack. By all this, we increase our dynamic experience of the tao.

The Chinese Image
To be gentle with the developing brings good fortune.
To understand the woman brings good fortune.
The son is able to run the household.

The son, elemental male offspring representing newly growing idea, takes over from the woman, elemental female representing our being in the flow of feeling. If he is to be successful, he needs to take account of feelings which he may not understand too well. In this tao, idea is growing out of experience but in this line feeling is opening, so gentleness and understanding is required.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

Our outer activity is necessary for learning the ways of our environment, so if our outer activity is lessening, what are we putting in its place? Perhaps we are thinking there is someone or something that will do it for us. In this tao about young growth, doing is essential, and nobody can do it for us. It is our personal growth; if somebody else provides, we shall have missed learning how to provide for ourselves.

The Chinese Image
Do not marry a girl who cannot resist a strong, wealthy (bronze) man.
No advantage comes.

To marry is to be become one with. We should not become one with this feeling (girl) who needs someone to protect and provide for her—there is no development for us in this way.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Outer activity is dynamic in this tao and necessary to the movement of learning. Here we are taking our interest away from this because it is not being attractive (pleasurable). In a sense, we are not accepting that we need to experience what our circumstances have provided—we are not accepting our ignorance and so do not see the paramount need to learn.

The Chinese Image
Bound by ignorance. This is harmful.

We are bound by our ignorance when we are not aware of it.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

In this tao our intuitive state is not active. Our identity is more free to experience its life if it does not worry about this at this time because it needs to face its experience outwardly. This line shows us free to experience as separate identity, which is what the tao asks for.

The Chinese Image
Immature experience brings advantage.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

Here the inner being accepts, and this is “learning from experience”; it is also applying past experience to our learning. In this tao learning is by folly, which is by exploration and needs risk; we need to act without working out the consequences. By applying past experience to our present activity we perpetuate our errors.

The Chinese Image
Committing folly to learn control of his folly brings no advantage.
Advantage comes from separating him from his folly.

Applying past experience interferes with our dynamic witnessing of the present. Only by witnessing as we act do we have a dynamic learning experience without the need for regretful afterthoughts and promises to do it better next time.

Secondary HexagramHexagram 55

Plentiful relationship.

Line image

As our inner being (line 6) links with an inactive emerging life force (line 1) and the outer part of the hexagram (lines 3 and 4) is yang, the activity we are concerned with is feeling (lines 2 and 5); the inactivity we are concerned about is that of the emerging life force. The feeling line 2 is between two yang lines so it is contained by not being able to feel activity; the tao is full of feeling, great in feeling, and its common name is “abundance” or “fullness”.

Trigram image

The flow starts hesitantly (Li), becomes firm in the outer world (Sun) so does not cause movement there, then there is a budding of hope in our identified self (about activity) shown by Tui which turns into a torrent of change in our inner being (Chên). This is a fullsome flow that is occurring within ourselves, the abundance is there in the way we experience but it is not at present an abundance of outer activity.

This is a time when we can feel gladly, the outside is secure and we could think this to be an inevitably good experience; unfortunately our identity may be looking to outer achievement and this is a misunderstanding of where the abundance is; we are it, we have no need to seek, if we remain within, outer action follows in its natural course.

The Chinese Oracle

Abundance is followed by success.
The king has abundance,
do not feel anxious
but shine like the sun at midday.

Comments

What we usually call success is the happy conclusion of outer activity; the abundance is not there but the success follows out of the abundance which is inner. The inner identifying process which rules our identity is the king who has abundance, there is an abundance of material to identify amongst because it is feeling that is identified and the tao is full of feeling. It is all here and now, so we should be feeling complete like the sun at its zenith, but if our habit is to live for the future, planning always the next move and desire, we will be anxious.

Manifestations

The pattern
The life force finds a form
which enables it to act plentifully.
For humans
His energies flow naturally
into activity.
What he needs comes to hand.
Acting after maturing
has abundant success.
In nature
When the fire has fuel
there is a great blaze.
In forms we make
The idea
worked out in privacy
comes out with an easy force.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

When the life force is actively changing we can take part in this. We find it easier to take part in activity, which we see as progress, than in the inactive phase where we tend to create activity by planning.

The Chinese Image
He meets a prince of equal rank.
Ten days they are together
without error.
Going forward is favourable.

Our prince of equal rank is the unexpressed half of ourself. When the life force is active there is no barrier to conscious expression of the inner self so it is favourable to go forward with this for its full cycle (the ten days).

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

To feel less in this tao is to misunderstand, and to act on such misunderstanding courts disaster. When we do not feel the present we look to the future to seek a direction; we avoid feeling, but feeling is the essence of our present situation. We have arrived, we are here now and need no direction.

The Chinese Image
His vision is obscured.
At midday he sees only a star.
Going forward; mistrust and aversion.

A star is the guiding light of navigators, so here we are trying to navigate, mistaking the sun, the abundance, for a direction. Going forward, which is following the mood of looking forward, is a mistrust of the life force, an aversion to feeling the present.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

If we are engrossed in outer activity we are avoiding the abundance of feeling; abundance may seem to risk being overwhelmed by feeling, but go with it, it is the tao and outer action is not fruitful at present.

The Chinese Image
Abundant obscuration.
A small star at midday.
He breaks his right arm.
No error.

The abundance of feeling is obscured so as to seem tiny and far away, a guide to direction and not a warmth to bask in. We cannot act out in this tao and this symbolically breaks our right arm, our arm of action.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

The outer state which we are now taking to be a centre of interest is distracting us from feeling; we are asking where the abundance is when it is there inside. This line deals with our outer identity so here we are projecting the feeling of the tao to our outer reality; it will find a response, a reflection of the tao.

The Chinese Image
Obscuration.
The midday sun a small star.
He meets his ruler,
who reflects him.
Good fortune.

We are still not seeing the tao for what it is and we still look for a direction, mistaking the sun that warms for a guiding star to some future event. Here we face the outer world as our reality and it becomes our ruler; its appearances are a reflection of our point of view, we see them through the filters of our choice. Our good fortune is being able to move (change) by accepting the tranquil (line 3, outer, as a substitute for line 1, inner).

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

Here the fullness of feeling is ending with the end of the resonance between the second and fifth lines. The abundance goes on to its next phase, the outer manifestation which we call success.

The Chinese Image
Afterwards there are wonderful variations passing.
Blessings and fame approach.
Good fortune.

The variations which fill us with wonder are the changes that come to our outer lives as though undeserved, like blessings, they are not caused out there but come from the inner abundance.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

Our inner being does not accept the abundance of feeling so it is inhibited from flowing in the next cycle of our being.

The Chinese Image
Abundance within his house
and within the wall.
Peering through the gate
he sees no one.
For three years he sees no one.

The abundance stays inside so he cannot share it outside his person. Until we change (the three years is a cycle of change) we can find no one to share with. We need to learn to allow the abundance within to flow outwards; this follows its inner acceptance.

Nuclear HexagramHexagram 24

Return and make new.

Line image

Our whole personal self is accepting and active in this tao where the outer is fully active but its source, line 1, is inactive. We are fully acting out and experiencing a phase of the life force which has now ceased to provide new impetus—we are carrying through something we have already begun. This heralds the end of a cycle of activity because all of our activity comes from the inner and is expressed outwardly. The hexagram is called “return” or “turning point”.

Trigram image

The impetus from the inner life force is great (Chên). It flows freely in our outer world, in our identity, and in our inner being (all K’un). The flow is fully outwards and fully accepted, a clearing out operation in which energy returns to its source, the inner, which makes it also a turning point in the cycle, an emptying out which makes room for the new to appear.

The Chinese Oracle

Return. Success.
Going and coming without distress.
Friends come without error
and he returns in seven days.
All directions are advantageous.

Comments

Here the cycle is pictured as a coming and going, its free flow being the success and harmony. He relates for the full cycle of identifying (7 symbolizes the cycle as seen in consecutive steps like the days of our week) and then returns to his centre, the inner, the non-identified state. When we go through the outer experience and allow it to finish when it has no more energy all directions are favourable because none are selected or grasped.

Manifestations

The pattern
That which arises
returns to its source.
For humans
To the place where we have been
we return.
To the mood we have lived
we return.
But returning is arising anew.
In nature
The nature of nature in the earth
at the moment of interchange.
In forms we make
Returning to a form we reform it
and make it new.
By this the form of society evolves.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

As the top line of the hexagram is accepting this line, it is not we who see the life force as becoming active, it is itself returning to an active phase already and we do not have difficulty in making things anew.

The Chinese Image
A return from a short journey
No regret.
Great good fortune.

Life force activity returns from a short journey, a short time away; there was not a great trough of inactivity to cause us regret and our normal urge to activity is in keeping with the tao, which brings harmony to our actions and is the great good fortune.

Line 2 goes yang

intuitive feeling less active

When we do not interpret the life force in feeling we are not separated from it by our selection; this is in keeping with the free flow we are in.

The Chinese Image
A quiet, blessed return.
good fortune.

We react to the tao without fuss or stress. Whenever we can be one with the tao we are blessed with good fortune.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

In this situation of finishing off a cycle of activity it is necessary to completely finish or there are remainders, karma is made which will still need expression; these retained forms are habit.

The Chinese Image
Many returns. Danger.
No error.

The cycles come and go and if we are slaves to our habits we repeat ourselves; this is the danger. No blame because in habit we cannot see ourselves.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

Here we project ourselves less into outer activity in a tao which is the end part of a cycle of the life force; this has the effect of centring us, making us more one in ourselves.

The Chinese Image
He moves in the midst of them
and returns alone.

By choosing the middle way, not identifying in the outer nor the inner, the multitude we are becomes a whole, returning alone is returning as one.

Line 5 goes yang

less awareness of intuition

At the turning point where old activity of the life force is spent and new is about to arrive we remove our involvement from the old, now silent and gone. This is in preparation for a new cycle.

The Chinese Image
A noble return. No regret.

The nobleness of this return is symbolic of the withdrawal of self interest, of priority to the way we are feeling, allowing it to die away with a readiness to take on something new. As this opens out into new activity in the coming cycle there is no regret.

Line 6 goes yang

our inner being accepts less

If we become less involved in the emerging tao when it is in an inactive phase we are likely to miss the next emergence of activity and be out of phase with it.

The Chinese Image
Confusion about return.
Misfortune.
Armies marching bring defeat.
Disaster for the ruler.
Ten years without return to order.

It is self-evident that if we do not recognize that we are at a turning point of the cycle and press on, we shall miss the changes that are taking place and all our responses will be inappropriate. We will be ruled by desire patterns of our already formed identity, so disaster is stated for the ruler (the identifying process is the ruler of identity). If the turning point of the cycle is completely ignored nothing can be done about it until the next turning point, a complete cycle away and symbolized by ten, the whole, and year, the cycle.