Foolish people will be punished by the consequences of their actions. Punishment should only be used as a deterrent where there is clear danger.
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4 – Four. Mêng / Inexperience
A fresh Spring at the foot of the Mountain:
The Superior Person refines his character by being thorough in every activity.
The Sage does not recruit students; the students seek him.
He asks nothing but a sincere desire to learn.
If the student doubts or challenges his authority, the Sage regretfully cuts his losses.
This is a time of interchange between a mentor and pupil.
Whether you are the teacher or the student, it is a time of companionship along a mutual path.
This hexagram also emphasizes the eternal, cyclical nature of the mentor/student relationship — a mentor is merely a more seasoned pupil, further along on the journey.
A pupil holds within himself the seed of a future Master.
Nine at the top means:
In punishing folly
It does not further one
To commit transgressions.
The only thing that furthers
Is to prevent transgressions.
‘Punishment of the Baker’ – Jacopo da Pontormo (Italy, 1494-1557)
Sometimes an incorrigible fool must be punished. He who will not heed will be made to feel. This punishment is quite different from a preliminary shaking up. But the penalty should not be imposed in anger; it must be restricted to an objective guarding against unjustified excesses. Punishment is never an end in itself but serves merely to restore order.
This applies not only in regard to education but also in regard to the measures taken by a government against a populace guilty of transgressions. Governmental interference should always be merely preventive and should have as its sole aim the establishment of public security and peace.
2 – Two K’un / Receptive Force
Earth above and Earth below:
The Earth contains and sustains.
In this situation, the Superior Person should not take the initiative; he should follow the initiative of another.
He should seek receptive allies in the southwest; he should break ties with immovable allies in the northeast.
Sublime Success if you keep to your course.
This is a time for dealing with reality as it is, not as you would have it be.
If you realize that in this situation you are the receptor, not the transmitter of the stimulus, you will find yourself reaching goals that seemed unattainable under your own steam.
If you persist in futile efforts to be the Shaper rather than the Shaped, you will completely miss this unique opportunity.