I Ching 4 Hexagram
I Ching 4 Hexagram Méng (Youthful foolishness)
Keywords Learning, Beginner, A lot to learn.
Short interpretation of Hexagram 4 – Youthful foolishness
Strong attraction in love, but still to be developed into something more concrete. It is good to regulate physical fitness and nutrition. For work you are in a moment of great confusion and you are unable to face the obstacles that arise before you.
I Ching – General Description
The idea of youth and foolishness is suggested in a double way in this sign. The upper half-sign, Kenn, has the mountain as its image, the lower, Kkann, has water as its image. The spring that comes out at the foot of the mountain is the image of inexperienced youth. The quality of the higher sign is arrest, that of the lower the abyss, danger. Standing still before a dangerous abyss is also a symbol of the restless foolishness of youth. However, the way to overcome the foolishness of youth is also contained in both signs: water is something that continues to flow out of necessity. When the source gushes, it doesn’t know where to go at first. But with its constant flow it fills the point that prevents it from progressing, and then success comes.
I Ching – Comment on sentence
Juvenile foolishness has succeeded.
Not I seek the young fool, The young fool seeks me.
Consulted for the first time, I give an answer.
If he questions two, three times, this is annoying.
If he bothers I do not respond.
Auspicious is perseverance.
Foolishness is nothing bad when you are young. It can be done anyway. You just need to find an expert teacher and face him in the right way. It is first of all necessary to recognize one’s inexperience, and then to seek a teacher. Only this modesty and this interest guarantee sufficient preparation to accept the teachings, and the preparation will manifest itself in a respectful acknowledgment of the teacher. The teacher therefore has to wait quietly, until he is sought. It must not offer itself: only in this way will the teaching take place at the right time and in the right way.
The answers that the teacher gives to the student’s questions must be as clear and decisive as the answers one wishes to receive from an oracle. They must then be accepted as a solution to doubts and as decisive. Continuing to question with suspicious or careless questions only serves to annoy the teacher, and it will be better for him to keep silent, neglecting them as does the oracle who gives only one answer, and, if faced with insidious doubts, it loses its effectiveness. If you add to this a perseverance that does not fade until one has appropriated the teaching point by point, a good success will be sure. The sign therefore gives advice intended for both the one who teaches and the one who learns.
I Ching – Image
At the foot of the mountain a spring gushes out: the image of youth.
Thus the noble nourishes his character by acting with care and seriousness.
The source is able to flow and overcome the stagnation, filling all the cavities it encounters on its way. Thus the way to form the character is to act with a serious foundation that does not fly over anything, but which gradually and steadily fills all the gaps like water and progresses.
I Ching – Series
When, after the initial difficulties, things have just come to light, they are always enveloped at birth by immaturity. For this it follows the sign: Youthful foolishness. For youthful folly means youthful immaturity. This is the state of affairs in their youth.
I Ching – Single Lines
Analytical description of each individual line
I Ching – First line:
Six at the beginning means:
To develop the fool,
It is propitious to discipline man.
Constraints must be removed.
To continue like this brings shame.
At the beginning of education is the norm. The inexperience of youth is inclined to first take everything lightly and almost as a game. It is therefore necessary to show her the seriousness of life. A certain gathering of strength, achieved by means of a rigid discipline, is good. Whoever plays with life never gets over anything. But the discipline must not degenerate into military rigor. Continuous rigor produces humiliation and paralyzes the forces.
I Ching – Second line:
Nine in the second place means: To
bear the fool in mildness brings health!
Knowing how to take women brings health.
The son is up to the housework.
Here is represented a man who has no external power but who has the strength necessary to bear the responsibility that weighs on his shoulders. He possesses that interior superiority and that strength which make one bear with meekness the insufficiencies of human foolishness. The same mentality holds value in relation to women as the weaker sex. You have to know how to take and support them with a certain chivalrous indulgence. Only with this union of inner strength and outer sustain can one take on the responsibility of leading a larger social organism, and be truly successful in doing so.
I Ching – Third line:
Six in the third place means:
You don’t have to take a girl Who sees a bronze man And does not remain in possession of herself.
Nothing is propitious.
An inexperienced weak man who aspires to great things easily loses his personal character when he sees a strong personality in a high position and imitates her as a slave. He resembles a girl who indulges herself when she meets a robust man. Faced with such an unfree approach, one must not be compliant. Accepting him would not be good for either the adolescent or the educator. The dignity of a girl demands that she wait to be courted. In both cases it is unworthy to offer oneself and it is not good to accept such an offer.
I Ching – Fourth line:
Six in the fourth place means:
Foolishness of narrow mind brings shame.
The most desperate thing for youthful foolishness is to get entangled in vain chimeras. The more stubbornly it insists on such distant chimeras from reality, the more certainly it draws shame upon itself. When the educator is faced with a foolish and narrow mind, he often has no other way than that of abandoning it for a certain time to itself and not sparing it from the shame resulting from its behavior. This is often the only way to salvation.
I Ching – Fifth line:
Six in the fifth place means:
Childish foolishness brings health.
An inexperienced man who seeks teaching like a child is unpretentious, he is fine; since he who, free from pride, submits to the teacher will certainly be favored.
I Ching – Sixth line:
Nine above means:
When foolishness is punished, it is not propitious to commit prevarication.
It is only propitious to defend oneself from prevarication.
Under certain circumstances an incorrigible fool must be punished. Whoever does not want to hear must hear. This punishment is different from the shaking mentioned at the beginning. However, the imposition of the penalty must not take place in anger, but be limited to the objective defense against unjustified violence. It is never an end in itself; it must serve only to establish regular conditions. This applies both to education and to the measures that a government takes against a population that has been guilty of excesses. Government intervention must always be defensive only, for the sole purpose of establishing public safety and tranquility.