678667 · 4.1.4.5Hexagram 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 10

Becoming real.

Line image

Here, the only yin or active line is in the place of the outer world (line 3). Our response shown by line 4 is inactive which both means that we are not manipulating it and that we are not very aware of its nature. This unawareness is accentuated by the other yang lines in the top half of the hexagram to make a situation where we have to learn by experience of what happens, to handle the unexpected. The common name for the hexagram are “treading” and “conduct”.

Trigram image

In this flow the life force is tentative (Tui), our activity hesitant (Li), and our personality reactions are structured (Sun); so we are using our previously acquired experience to deal with new forms of experience and so we treat warily. This is an outer learning tao and the inner being (Ch’ien) is not affected.

The Chinese Oracle

Treading upon the tail of the tiger.
It does not bite him. Success.

Comments

Walking into new situations. Wondering if it will turn out all right. All this is necessary to gain outer experience, and it is only by treading on the tiger’s tail that we can discover that it does not bite us. Without risk there is no success, everything is a foregone conclusion; so outer success is here as part and parcel of risk, not because in all cases we shall achieve it. Our personal self has success anyway because it increases its experience.

Manifestations

The pattern
Life force shines through,
linking the outer with inner.
For humans
A knowing of inner knowing
gives a realization.
Making this firm in ourselves
increases potential.
Each realization takes a liberty
with the reality of the one,
but is also a link with it.
In nature
The fire of heaven
draws the water in the earth.
In forms we make
To enter where power is
can easily be confused
with being that power.
To enter gently is not dangerous.

Changing Lines

Line 1 goes yin

life force shows more change

The top three lines of the hexagram, being yang, show that our responses are withheld, so this return of activity in the emerging life force is not our anticipation but the natural turn of events.

The Chinese Image
Simple energy.
going forward blamelessly.

Line 2 goes yin

intuitive feeling more active

Here we open our awareness to a quiet inner energy (line 1), we feel quiet and in tune with the tao. In general it is more difficult for our acutely identified form of identity to feel something inactive, for the quieter it gets the less there is for identity to do, but here it is beneficial to learn about this quietness and to persevere with these feelings.

The Chinese Image
Treading a smooth level path.
A dark man perseveres and brings good fortune.

In an inner interpretation the dark man is an unconscious element in us, a feeling (as this is the line of feeling) that has not been defined in consciousness.

Line 3 goes yang

outer world changes less

The way in which we are ignorant of outer activity in this tao (line 4 is yang) leads to its decrease; in a sense, we are controlling outer activity and miss-seeing the tao, which is to learn from the tao rather than manipulate it. We may think that we are awake but our ignorance makes it more like dream-walking and this not-quite-seeing in the outer world leads to mistaking our situation; we learn, but through making mistakes.

The Chinese Image
With one eye he can still see.
With one leg he can still walk.
He treads upon the tail of the tiger and it bites him.
Warriors act thus in service of their overlord.

This is symbolic of identity out there on the battlefield of the outer world to learn the lessons needed by his greater self (the overlord). In this greater sense our errors are inevitable and so no error at all.

Line 4 goes yin

accepting the outer state more

In this tao the outer state has the only manifest activity. As we become more absorbed in outer activity we lose sight within (insight) and are liable to lose contact with the tao. The third line is yin and to accept the natural activity of the tao is in keeping with it, but to accept it as our activity is to lose the experience that the tao can give us.

The Chinese Image
Great caution is required when treading on the tiger’s tail but the outcome (of treading with caution) is fortunate.

The distinction between action and self-involved action is not always easy to make while we are in activity; here we need the caution.

Line 5 goes yin

more awareness of intuition

Our direct knowing is inactive in this tao and being aware of this quietness is different to being involved in it and making it our way of being; there is no dividing line to make this difference distinct so we need to be very wary of being absorbed in the quietness until we lose the witnessing of events and also of stimulating feeling into activity.

The Chinese Image
Treading with care and attention to danger. There may be trouble.

The trouble would arise if we were not attentive enough and think we were being bold or if we become afraid and fail to tread at all.

Line 6 goes yin

our inner being accepts more

Inner change is not yet manifesting in this tao, so it is about being with quietness inside and activity outside. In this moving line we accept learning this by a balance of witnessing with participation which provides a very effective living technique. The balance is dynamic, it is constantly modified and never made into rules to live by. This becomes the art of riding life, responding to its every movement yet never falling into the role of mastering it.

The Chinese Image
Watch your conduct and be alert to signs and great good fortune will follow.

Riding life, never adrift and never entangled is the greatest good fortune.

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.