蒙 Méng Initiation Immaturity [hexagram 4]
Month 1 ; Host or Controlling line : 2
蒙: 亨. 匪我求童蒙, 童蒙求我. 初筮告, 再三渎, 渎则不告. 利贞.Méng: hēng. Fěi wǒ qiú tóng méng, tóng méng qiú wǒ. Chū shì gào, zài sān dú, dú zé bù gào. lì zhē.
Meng (indicates that in the case which it presupposes) there will be progress and success. I do not (go and) seek the youthful and inexperienced, but he comes and seeks me. When he shows (the sincerity that marks) the first recourse to divination, I instruct him. If he apply a second and third time, that is troublesome; and I do not instruct the troublesome. There will be advantage in being firm and correct.彖传: 蒙, 山下有险, 险而止, 蒙. 蒙亨, 以亨行时中也. 匪我求童蒙, 童蒙求我, 志应也. 初噬告, 以刚中也. 再三渎, 渎则不告, 渎蒙也. 蒙以养正, 圣功也. Tuàn zhuàn: Méng, shān xià yǒu xiǎn, xiǎn ér zhǐ, méng. méng hēng, yǐ hēng háng shí zhōng yě. fěi wǒ qiú tóng méng, tóng méng qiú wǒ, zhì yìng yě. chū shì gào, yǐ gāng zhōng yě. zài sān dú, dú zé bù gào, dúméng yě. Méng yǐ yǎng zhēng, shèng gōng yě.
In Meng we have (the trigram for) a mountain, and below it that of a rugged defile with a stream in it. The conditions of peril and arrest of progress (suggested by these) give (the idea in) Meng. ‘Meng indicates that there will be progress and success:’ - for there is development at work in it, and its time of action is exactly what is right. ‘I do not seek the youthful and inexperienced; he seeks me:’ - so does will respond to will. ‘When he shows (the sincerity that marks) the first recourse to divination, I instruct him:’ - for possessing the qualities of the undivided line and being in the central place, (the subject of the second line thus speaks). ‘A second and third application create annoyance, and I do not instruct so as to create annoyance:’ - annoyance (he means) to the ignorant. (The method of dealing with) the young and ignorant is to nourish the correct (nature belonging to them); - this accomplishes the service of the sage.象传: 山下出泉, 蒙; 君子以果行育德. Xiàng zhuàn: Shān xià chū quán, méng; jūn zǐ yǐ guǒ háng yù dé.
(The trigram representing) a mountain, and beneath it that for a spring issuing forth form Meng. The superior man, in accordance with this, strives to be resolute in his conduct and nourishes his virtue.
The first ‘six’, divided, (has respect to) the dispelling of ignorance. It will be advantageous to use punishment (for that purpose), and to remove the shackles (from the mind). But going on in that way (of punishment) will give occasion for regret.象传: 利用刑人, 以正法也. Xiàng zhuàn: Lì yòng xíng rén, yǐ zhèng fǎ yě.
‘It will be advantageous to use punishment:’ - the object being to bring under the influence of correcting law.
The second ‘nine’, undivided, (shows its subject) exercising forbearance with the ignorant, in which there will be good fortune; and admitting (even the goodness of women, which will also be fortunate. (He may be described also as) a son able to (sustain the burden of) his family.象传: 子克家, 刚柔接也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zǐ kè jiā, gāng róu jiē yě.
‘A son able to (sustain the burden of) his family:’ - as appears from the reciprocation between this strong line and the weak (fifth line).
The third ‘six’, divided, (seems to say) that one should not marry a woman whose emblem it might be, for that, when she sees a man of wealth, she will not keep her person from him, and in no wise will advantage come from her.象传: 勿用取女, 行不顺也. Xiàng zhuàn: Wù yòng qǔ nǚ, háng bù shùn yě.
‘A woman (such as is here represented) should not be taken in marriage:’ - her conduct is not agreeable to what is right.
The fourth ‘six’, divided, (shows its subject as if) bound in chains of ignorance. There will be occasion for regret.象传: 困蒙之吝, 独远实也. Xiàng zhuàn: Kùn méng zhī lìn, dú yuǎn shí yě.
‘The regret arising from ignorance bound in chains’ is due to the special distance of (the subject of this line) from the solidity (shown in lines 2 and 6).
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject as a simple lad without experience. There will be good fortune.象传: 童蒙之吉, 顺以巽也. Xiàng zhuàn: Tóng méng zhī jí, shùn yǐ xùn yě.
‘The good fortune belonging to the simple lad without experience’ comes from his docility going on to humility.
In the topmost ‘nine’, undivided, we see one smiting the ignorant (youth). But no advantage will come from doing him an injury. Advantage would come from warding off injury from him.象传: 利用御寇, 上下顺也. Xiàng zhuàn: Lì yòng yù kòu, shàng xià shùn yě.
‘Advantage will come from warding off injury:’ - (the subject of this line) above and (the ignorant) below, all do and are done to in accordance with their nature.
Then the association of the gua to the annual cycle is shown - this is the Chinese lunar month number (not Western month). The controlling or host ‘yao’ is considered the most important line in the gua and is highlighted in the hexagram.
The main description for the hexagram is then followed by a section for each of the six possible changing lines which indicate the transformation into another, related gua. The text uses ‘nine’ to refer to a yang line and ‘six’ for a yin line. The pure yin and yang hexagrams have, however, a different text structure as they are so important.