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Memorizing the I Ching Hexagram 4

rosada

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4. Meng / Youthful Folly

THE JUDGEMENT

YOUTHFUL FOLLY has success.
It is not I who seek the young fool;
The young fool seeks me.
At the first oracle I imform him.
If he asks two or three times, it is importunity.
If he importunes, I give him no information.
Perseverance furthers.
 

rosada

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This is one of my favorite hexagrams. I don't know why, maybe because it is such a clear direct responce. The I Ching may not be giving me the answer I want, but I do feel I've made contact with something greater, wiser than myself who knows about me. Sometimes when I read this I feel I'm being shut out for asking stupid questions, other times I get the sence the I Ching would love to tell me the answer but I need to calm down to be able to receive it. But I always get a heighten sence of the life force flowing through these lines that I don't often feel with other hexagrams.

Plus, Youthful Folly always gives the reassurance that I can be successful if I just persever.
 

Trojina

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This is the hex that sent shivers down Jungs spine when he received it isn't it ? He felt he was communing with a living being. Is this the only hex where the Yi actually seems to speak for itself, laying down its limits quite clearly ?

Karchers translation "I did not seek the foolish youth, the foolish youth sought me"
At the first consultation there is notification:'the old time is ending'.
You ask two and three times and it is obscured.
When things are obscured, there is no longer a notification.


To me this reads as the Yi saying of itself that there will be times it will not answer, will not give notification, if for example being asked the same thing over and over etc

Strange then we just had on another thread someone asserting how foolish some of us were for treating the Yi as a being, an oracle when infact it were merely a 'tool'.

Hmm a tool eh, like a spade or a rake or a screwdriver ? Now when was the last time you heard one of them say "hey you use me one more time, bug me one more time with that waste of time job and I just ain't going to work for you !"

Tool indeed, lol.

Backto an earlier point though where else does the Yi refer to itself so directly apart from this hex ?
 
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bruce_g

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Yes, now that I think about it, 4 does carry that character of being the Yi in a personal sort of way. But of course that wouldn't be so if we didn’t lend ourselves to it in the form of a fool. The Yi in that case becomes infinitely older and wiser to us who are the unlearned. There’s no fool so foolish as one who doubts he’s a fool.
 

rosada

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Yes, unless it's one who knows he's a fool and tries to hide it. After the tremendous outpouring of support I got to my question concerning my mother on the other thread, I realized how hard I had been on myself wrestling with this worry alone thinking I should somehow already know the answer. It's okay to be a Fool! It's okay to ask questions!
 

rosada

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4.0

THE IMAGE
A spring wells up at the foot of a mountain:
The image of YOUTH
Thus the superior man fosters his character
By thoroughness in all that he does.
 

rosada

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One of the issues that stumps me about Youthful Folly is the implied suggestion that we're fools who have already been given the right answers and just haven't been paying attention. But what have we been told we aren't paying attention to? And why can't we ask more than one question? Anyway, in studying the advice of the image, "The superior man fosters his character by thoroughness in all that he does," it occured to me that while I've memorized hexagrams 1 and 2, I didn't have all of hexagram 3 by heart yet. So I went back to review. You know what, hexagram 3 tells you everything you need to know about the I Ching when you're afraid to ask:
3.1 If you are stuck, don't give up, ask for assistance.
3.2 The first idea may not be the right one.
3.3 So don't give up.
3.4 Ask someone else.
3.5 Give the ideas a chance.
3.6 Don't argue.

The point is, that I think we're being guided in 3 that we are meant to ask for help, ask anything, try different approaches, just don't think we are meant to go it alone, and not to expect there is only one right answer. Finally, it's only when we don't give ideas a chance but instead argue that we're one step away from being fools and the warning we'll have to be ignored for importuning.
 
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bruce_g

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Rosada, interesting points.

The fool is born of chaos. The instruction in 3 is to sort through that chaos, making a coherent life form, a fabric of flesh. The child is born. Each time around the cycle, it’s the same. We return to each and every hexagram, and no-one is exempt from it. 4 is critical point in the cycle, because as we get older we lose elasticity. Becoming as a child again when you grow stubborn and stiff isn’t easy. But my point is, it’s important to renew the unknowing and impetuous, regardless of age.
 
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bruce_g

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other thoughts on 4:

While I have no formula to prove this, there seems a correlation between 4 in 18. 18 results from inertia and often has roots in our early upbringing. Thus if a son had a punitive father or a daughter a punitive mother, there are old, hard rules and subconscious memories that immobilize us over time. We, in essence, become our parents. 4 provides a non-hostile way to reckon with these old, worn out modes of behavior. We become open and teachable in new ways.

Of course we can also become obstinate brats, and this is further complicated if our upbringing was pampered and spoiled and our life lacked hard tribulation. An obstinate child can not hear, and the master doesn’t run after us.
 
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bruce_g

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I think it’s telling, the way people react to receiving 4. When I see someone who can only feel slapped down from receiving 4, I see someone who has had a punitive upbringing, and who has gravitated toward religious views of an angry and judging God, or else has become an atheist, which in my opinion is a better option between the two.
 

rosada

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Oh dear, questions about the nature of God introduced here? LOL. I was wondering if some key issue would emerge at hex 4 to give us a focus for this journey...
 

rosada

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They're off!

4.1
To make a fool develop
It furthers one to apply discipline.
the fetters should be removed.
To go on this way brings humiliation.
 
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bruce_g

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----- Warning! Warning, Will Robinson! -----

4 is perhaps my second favorite hexagram (tied with 23). Favorite being 11. So I have things to say about 4.

4.1
Since the child you grow now will become the parent later, the very beginning is the most critical time to take stock in the child’s development, for future generations. If the root is spoiled, the tree can not grow in health. It’s a good time to plant guidelines.
 

rosada

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Any guidelines we should be planting here?
 
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bruce_g

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I don't think so. 4 is sorta spontaneous. :p :)

It's cool that you open these hexagrams for discussion.
 

rosada

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That was a joke.

Hey, I had a dramatic leap of conciousness today. Seems like a lot of life treads are coming together and making sence.

Anybody else have a story to tell? 4.1 - Open Mike.
 
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bruce_g

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Arising from internal cause: resulting from internal or natural processes, with no apparent external influence.

Free beer for open mic performances?

What leap?
 

rosada

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Well, just seeing a lot of parallels, syncronisities. I think the focus I've been putting on this book the last couple of weeks has suddenly kicked in. Like I've been following the discipline of obediantly writing the lines out - To make a fool develop it furthers one to apply discipline". But I didn't know where to look for a "without fetters" moment . Then, you posted a clear definition of spontaneous, and that alerted me to what a "without fetters" experience is and how to recognize one - be alert to inner feelings.

As a result I just followed my impulse to visit my neighbor this afternoon. We've known each other for sometime but today she told me much more of her life story. She was talking about how she had had to run the household even as a child growing up. As we were speaking her son age 3 came up to us, concerned about his kitten. I could see that he was feeling responcible for the household from his perspective. When I came home I note that tomorrow's study line is 4.2 "...the son is capable of taking charge of the household."

Anyway, noticing that sort of thing. Like, I finally have enough I Ching phrases memorized in my head so more interesting stories are starting to manefest in my life.
 
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nicky_p

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4.1

This reminds me of a comedy sketch (or it may have been an advert) I've seen and an aspect of my childhood.

When I was younger - around 3 or 4 - and just finding my feet and being allowed to walk beside my mum when she was shopping she used to have me on a kind of halter - like reins. That way she could discipline me to walk close to her and not run off whilst she was looking in another direction as children are inclined to do :)

The sketch in question shows a woman picking her 9 or 10 year old child up from school and immediately putting these reins on him to walk him home. He gets quite a bit of stick from his class mates and even the mother gets a fair amount of funny looks.

A council for overprotective parents perhaps?

Actually when the reins came off I used to get lost quite a bit and get myself into trouble.... nothing much has changed in 20 years! Except now I enjoy it a bit more! :mischief:
 

rosada

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Hee-hee, Nicky! Yeah, and I think the enjoying is key! Like 4.1 is the fetters removed, 4.2 is enjoying the freedom but then if you don't take responcibility for your situation - the "trouble" you've created, you start thinking someone else could do it better, or solve your "problem", then you run into 4.3. But I'm getting ahead of the game here...
 

rosada

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hex4.2

4.2
To bear wiith fools in kindliness brings good fortune.
To know how to take women
Brings good fortune.
The son is capable of taking charge of the household.
 
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bruce_g

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nicky_p said:
This reminds me of a comedy sketch (or it may have been an advert) I've seen and an aspect of my childhood.

When I was younger - around 3 or 4 - and just finding my feet and being allowed to walk beside my mum when she was shopping she used to have me on a kind of halter - like reins. That way she could discipline me to walk close to her and not run off whilst she was looking in another direction as children are inclined to do :)

The sketch in question shows a woman picking her 9 or 10 year old child up from school and immediately putting these reins on him to walk him home. He gets quite a bit of stick from his class mates and even the mother gets a fair amount of funny looks.

A council for overprotective parents perhaps?

Actually when the reins came off I used to get lost quite a bit and get myself into trouble.... nothing much has changed in 20 years! Except now I enjoy it a bit more! :mischief:

View attachment 62

:D
 
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hilary

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I love 4.2 . But I'm not putting up with 'knowing how to take women'. Sorry, Wilhelm.

'Embracing ignorance, good fortune.
Involving the woman, good fortune.
The son governs the dwelling.'

Not knowing stripped away. When all certainty is stripped from you, you realise you don't have a clue about who you are or what you're doing. What can possibly come next?

Enfold and embrace the young fool. Marry the woman, create a space for nurture. Let the child - the zi, sage and seed-kernel - govern. (Christianity offers some ideas about this, too.) Being truly without expectations is a rare, blessed state.

(Aside - to remember what goes where, I need to connect the words to the structure. So making sense of 4.2 as 'not knowing's stripping away' is a mnemonic device for me.)
 
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bruce_g

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Hi Hilary,

How does LiSe's 4.2 strike you?

"To care for the ignorant, auspicious. To impregnate the wife, auspicious. A son sustains the family."

PS: Please accept my condolences.
PPS: Did you quote from your own Yi? I like it.
 

rosada

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I'm giving Wilhelm a free pass on this one cause I think the I Ching is giving advice to a very young fool here. Dad's going off to work and wont be there to watch him (the fetters removed) so to make sure the tyke doesn't run wild he's is being made to know he's got a responcibiliy:

To bear with fools in kindliness brings good fortune.
(Be nice to your little brother.)
To know how to take woman brings good fortune.
(Don't get your mother mad.)
The son is capable of taking charge of the household.
(I'm counting on you till I get home tonight, Kiddo.)

In a reading, I see this as a reminder that every sentient being has an influence. As Martin was saying, who's imagination are we figments of? When things are not going well- say dinner falls on the floor - 4.2 reminds me to ask myself, who's goal is this serving? Sure enough, Sir Puppy is right there smiling at me, and it occurs to me this could be his letting me know he has ways of getting a better quality dog food. Likewise, when I'm feeling powerless 4.2 reminds that I can influence a situation too.
 

Trojina

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I was half asleep this morning thinking about 4 and the image that floated before me was of me doing that stupid kind of 'rummaging', searching for some lost item before going out and all the time the thing is just under your nose. Real life examples are : frantically searching for keys whilst all the time they are in pocket, or worse, hand, or already in the door lock ::rolleyes: searching for glasses while they are on head etc etc.

That led me on to thinking about the nature of 'mistakes' . Just plain and simple mistakes, if there be such a thing. Alot of them may be down to absent mindedness, not being there, sometimes its just being silly, putting your clothes on back to front or inside out, (forgetting to put them on :eek: ) driving to work on your day off etc

I was wondering if 4 can just decribe this kind of 'foolishness' extrapolated (?) to larger concerns. Imagine if one makes that kind of dumb mistake in larger issues. Like wondering for 40 years what ones true vocation is, fretting over it, whilst all the time having been doing it, mm not such a good example. I suppose I mean like a simple lack of vision that you might look back on and think 'how could I be so dim'.

Then again I thought if there was a hexagram of 'the mistake' it would probably be 25 wouldn't it, but I think 4 could be it too ?
 

hilary

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Hi Bruce!

Impregnating the wife certainly adds something, doesn't it? I don't - of course - know what is the 'right' translation... I suppose in my experience this one's been more to do with absolutely allowing new possibilities rather than initiating them, fwiw...

I get a very strong feeling from 4.2 that anything is possible now. Been watching the second edition of 'What the Bleep' - all 5 DVDs of it, give me strength... - and one thing I latch onto is the idea that we miss a lot because we are naturally wired up to see things through the filter of our expectations. It makes life workable - not having to work out from first principles every morning that this shape is a chair (not unless I had a really late night, anyway) - but closes the opening for seeing anything new.

P.S. Thank you.
P.P.S. Sort of, but it's about 85% Ritsema and Karcher, so I'd have a bit of a cheek calling it 'mine'.

Rosada - nice one - sounds related to Brad's take on the line. The son could well be taking charge in a limited, protected way, as an apprenticeship. There's nothing in the Chinese about 'knowing how to', though.

I think of 4 as 'not knowing' and living with that for long enough to learn something. Something I have problems with! I'd like to collect the knowledge and skip the actual learning-and-understanding part - so then Yi gives me this one, as a compassionate thwack round the head.
 

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