...life can be translucent


Hex 4 (Meng) from Confucius's viewpoint


Aug 31, 2008
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Dear all,

I would like to share the enlightenment of Hex 4 (Meng) with you.

Meng 蒙 literally signifies ‘to be sheltered’ and refers to ignorance; however that which is paraphrased in the hexagram Meng is 啟蒙: to dispel ignorance and enlighten intelligence. Its upper trigram Gen (keeping still, the mountain) is the mountain and means ‘to stop’, and its bottom trigram Kan (the abyss, water), water and peril; like water running into the mountain, it needs enlightenment of which way to go, and like one whose interior is peril but exterior remains still, one will act after enlightenment. The feminine line 5 is the student and the masculine line 2, the teacher; line 5 condescends with the principle of moderation to line 2 that is rigid and moderate as well, for enlightenment. The hexagram text: It is not I who look for the uncivilized children (to teach them); it is the uncivilized children who look for me (for their education). The first request to explain the divination will be answered because rigidity acts moderately; the second and the third requests should be refused if the requests are made insincerely, signifying the student must be sincere and believe in the teacher like practicing divination, otherwise he won’t be accepted.
The advice given in Confucius’s commentary on the phenomenon: A gentleman realizes that he must cultivate his virtue with determination while he sees a fountain welling up from the heavy mountain on top.
Usually the motivation or the behavioral tendency of a hexagram can be understood through its inner hexagram; the inner hexagram of Meng is Fu: to recover (hexagram 24); the return of masculinity signifies that darkness will be dispersed and brightness is going to recover. Its changed hexagram, Ge: reform or revolution (hexagram 49), signifies that new perspectives of life are formed after a person is enlightened.
Sometimes people will make analysis of a hexagram from the perspective in viewing whether it possesses the four virtues: 元 origination which suggests creativity, 亨 smooth progress, 利 appropriateness or benefit which suggests fruitful results, and 貞 persistence or preservation. Meng doesn’t possess the virtue of creativity but the other three; hence it needs to be enlightened to gain creativity.

Line 1: Newborn life is created in the hexagram Juen (hexagram 3); it must be civilized. To enlighten Meng (ignorance); it is advantageous (or appropriate) to utilize the convict (to educate people); the shackle gets loosened; to go forth will lead to resentment.
According to Confucius’s paraphrase, it is advantageous (or appropriate) to utilize the convict (to educate people in order) to rectify the law.
Making use of the convict to teach people is to deter them from wrong doing. People must be disciplined right from the beginning; otherwise they will become very difficult to be rectified once they indulge in bad practices, and this will be resented. The hexagram that evolves while this line is activated, is Sun: to diminish (hexagram 41), which signifies loss and suggests that a person should restrain his anger and lessen his desire, i.e. to minimize the cause of misbehaviors; these are possibly the outcome and the advice.

Line 2 embraces Meng (ignorance) is auspicious; to wed a woman is auspicious; the son can manage the household well.
According to Confucius’s paraphrase, the son can manage the household well, (as) it is the intersection of rigidity and tenderness.
Line 2 correlates with line 5 and is friendly next to lines 1 and 3. The masculine line is the teacher and the feminine line, the student. To embrace ignorant students and enlighten them is auspicious. In ancient China, very seldom was education offered to females; ‘to provide education to the woman’ can be regarded as ‘to accept all kinds of students without discrimination’, To wed a woman, i.e. to accept all kinds of students, is auspicious and the son can well manage the household, signifying the result of marriage, i.e. education, is successful. Should this line change its mandate, the hexagram would become Bo: to peel away (hexagram 23), which depicts the feminine line (i.e. the ignorant student) having gradually terminated the masculine line, one after another till line 6 is reached; this is possibly the outcome if the ignorant people can’t be timely enlightened.

Line 3 is the woman whom (one should) not take action to wed; (while) meeting a wealthy man, (she) does not behave herself; nothing favorable.
According to Confucius’s paraphrase, do not take action to wed the woman, (as) her activity is not submissive (to marriage, i.e. education).
A person neglects receiving an education like a woman pursuing vanity and giving up marriage; it is wrong conduct caused by wrong comprehension, like line 3 riding on line 2 instead of correlating with line 6; there is nothing favorable. Should this line keep on acting accordingly, the hexagram would become Gu: long-standing malpractice (hexagram 18), that which lures people like miasma, must be removed; this is possibly the advice.

Line 4 is trapped in Meng (ignorance), resentful.
According to Confucius’s paraphrase, the resentment of being trapped in Meng (ignorance) is due to it being lonely and far away from solidity (i.e. the masculine).
One is trapped in ignorance, as one is isolated (by the feminine lines 3 and 5) and far from being enlightened (i.e. line 2); this is resentful. The hexagram that evolves while this line is activated accordingly, is Wei Chi: not completed yet (hexagram 64), signifying all that has been done will be in vain since Wei Chi triggers restart at the end.

Line 5 is the child in Meng (enlightenment), auspicious.
According to Confucius’s paraphrase, the auspiciousness of the child in Meng (enlightenment) is due to (he behaving) submissively with Shun (entrance, the wind).
The child is ignorant but abides by discipline (i.e. line 6) and condescends to education (i.e. line 2); he is submissive to all advice and integrates it into his behavior; it is auspicious. The hexagram while this line is activated, becomes Huan: to disperse (hexagram 59), like the scattering people are beckoned by the king who goes to the shrine to declare his legitimacy.

Line 6 chastises Meng (ignorance); it is not appropriate (or not advantageous) to make it become the bandit; it is appropriate (or advantageous) to defend against the bandit.
According to Confucius’s paraphrase, it is appropriate (or advantageous) to take action to defend against the bandit; the one above and the one below get along smoothly.
Ignorance reaches the extreme. Severe measures must be taken but they can’t be violent; this must be done like defending against the bandit instead of offending the bandit; otherwise it will cause a backlash and become more serious. The hexagram that evolves while this line is activated, signifies Shi: the army (hexagram 7), which is a defensive force but also a dangerous means; additionally Shi highlights the importance of good leadership which ensures a harmonious relationship with those below.

Best regards
Tuck :bows:

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