676867 · 4.1.3.5Hexagram 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 9

Using what is small.

Line image

In line 4, the only yin line, we are accepting that there is quietness in our outer world—we experience it directly, physically, and so accept it as real—but we are not experiencing the inactivity of inner energies and our absence of feeling about them so we are prone to expect more than there is available to us.

Trigram image

The emerging flow is tranquil (Ch’ien) but there is a hope or expectation of outer action (Tui). Identity is hesitant to act on this (Li) so our inner being is structured, unflowing (Sun). We learn to change our expectations to suit circumstances in this tao and the common name for the hexagram is “nourishment of the small”; it is part of the maturing of the personal self when the activity of its growth is no longer the only thing that matters.

The Chinese Oracle

Nourishment of the small.
Success.
Dense clouds but no rain
from the west.

Comments

When we are aware that we are nourished by what is small, the success is that we take that nourishment instead of rejecting it for something we see as more important (larger). The clouds presage rain (relief, flow of activity) from the west (maturity, sunset) but this relief is something we are looking for, the effect of maturing has not reached us yet and we are to be content with what progress (success) our situation provides

If we feel disappointed with this it indicates that we are using our energy in anticipation to the detriment of our present experience.

Manifestations

The pattern
Creative tranquility
feels for activity.
Hesitates to move.
A little movement
soon matures.
For humans
To expect more than there is
will lose the value
of what we have.
To savour this little
gives nourishment.
In nature
The sun breaks through the clouds
late in the day,
giving a mellow evening.
If a small fire is blown
it is soon ashes.
In forms we make
Wise government
and good craftsmen
attend to quality.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

At this first sign of activity in this restricting tao, we should not move, the emerging energy that is available will turn out to be too small; so we need to return to the tao of accommodating ourselves to it and thus we learn how to manage this situation.

The Chinese Image
The return to the way is beneficial and blameless.

This may seem to be a setback or error just as we thought we were free to be active, but this is the separate view of identity and not wide enough to take in the situation.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here our feelings open to the tao instead of being in it with resentment; we are willing to play the game that small is beautiful instead of always looking for more.

The Chinese Image
We comply with a need to go back and that is beneficial.

Here, going back is from the point of view of outer identity in which going on means creating more of itself—more clarity of separateness by definition. Here, after hexagram 8, growth takes more subtle forms.

Line 3 goes yin

outer world changes more

When we create outer activity that the tao (our circumstances) will not support, this makes a stress in our situation. We are attempting to drive our vehicle but there is no driving power.

The Chinese Image
A carriage or spoked wheel, separated.
Man and wife with eyes averted.

The spokes of a wheel join the inner and the outer, the hub and the rim. The chariot is separated from the wheel, the rim is separated from its hub, the man is separated from his wife. The inner is separated from the outer here because we identify outwards without awareness that our activity is not supported by the life energies.

Line 4 goes yang

accepting the outer state less

If we do not accept the stillness of our outer world (line 3) we itch for activity and lose confidence in following the tao.

The Chinese Image
Confidence.
Blood and fear are no more.
No error.

Confidence in the inner energies, in the tao. Blood is the life flow and if we have confidence we do not lose this energy needlessly and our fear of not having enough disappears. To a part of ourselves, we may seem to be doing too little, so this is answered by the addition of “no error”.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

In this tao intuition is quiet; by accepting this quietness of feeling we also feel the quietness of acceptance. Quiet feeling is open to its environment in a way that active feeling can never be because it already has direction, so our acceptance of what is small in importance to us makes us at one with our situation.

The Chinese Image
Genuine involvement binds his heart to others and enriches his neighbour.

“Bind” is used here not in the sense of restricting but of making a very close relationship. Our neighbours are the circumstances we find ourselves amongst.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

When we accept the lightly manifest energy of this tao it is almost to accept the non-manifest as real. This has dangers to our manifest identity which still has its active cycle to run. We should witness without entanglement.

The Chinese Image
Rain and rest come. Virtue increases.
Even natural action brings peril to women.
The moon is nearly full.
Persistence by the superior man would bring misfortune.

The essence of virtue is that the whole is not led astray by the part. Here the part rests in the whole which is an increase of virtue. For the part to persist in its separate activity, whether of feeling or of distinguishing, will diminish the virtue and we will miss the peak of restfulness (the moon is nearly full); so we do not pursue our situation but simply rest in it.

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.