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I Ching 201.4: Meng "Childhood"

The Fourth Hexagram in I Ching is Meng (“Childhood”) is Meng . It is the same as Chun, its predecessor, but upside-down. It is thus composed of Stillness over the Abyss. Meng relates to the First Month of the Lunar Year, around February, and is ruled by the Earth Element. The symbolism bounces back and forth between "youth" and "folly".



Chun denotes what has just been born. What has just been born is in its childhood. Thus, after Beginnings, Childhood follows.


Youth has success. It is not I who sought the Fool; the Fool seeks me. At the first oracle I inform him. If he asks two or three times, it is importunity. If he importunes, I give him no information. Perseverance advances.

I Ching itself appears to be speaking in first person. Is this a general warning? Perhaps the Diviner is being told not to ask the Question more than Once! If you are performing a Reading, and derive this Hexagram, it’s probably Time to revise your Technique.


A spring flows forth from the base of a mountain: the image of Childhood. Thus the Sage cultivates Virtue by thoroughness in action.

Although Success has been implied, be careful!


Six at the beginning means: In Enlightening a Fool, it advances one to apply discipline. Remove the shackles, or going on in this way will bring humiliation.

This is the First line of Meng, but also, the beginning of Kan. Just like a stream trickles out the bottom of the mountain and later becomes a raging river, a child needs education, but mustbe allowed to think. In other Words, seek out more information and educate yourself.

Nine in the second place means: He was kind to the Fool and knew how to woo a maiden, which brought him good fortune. Their son will be capable of taking charge of the family.

This appears to relate to the child that the maiden will bear in Chun. The implication is to be charitable, and plan for the Future. This line is said to rule the Hexagram.

Six in the third place means: Take not a maiden who, when she sees a handsome man, Loses possession of herself. Nothing advances.

The Chinese literally says “Golden Man”, which Means either a rich or handsome man. Not a good Omen, here. This Means, look beneath the surface, and do not make any changes or moves

Six in the fourth place means: Allowing the Fool to remain bound in chains of ignorance brings humiliation.

The implication seems here, that you have to break your chains and find out the real truth.

Six in the fifth place means: The Fool is now enlightened, bringing good fortune.

This line is also said to be the Ruler. This line is a good Omen. Ignorance has been destroyed.

Nine at the top means: Do not punish the Fool. It does not advance one to commit transgressions. The only thing that furthers is to prevent transgressions.

If you have been foolish, don’t beat yourself up. If the Fool is someone else, strive to understand them and guide them.

Make a decision and stick with it.

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