The trigram representing a mountain, and beneath it that for a spring issuing forth; these form Meng,the image of youth. The superior man, in accordance with this, strives to be resolute in his conduct and nourishes his virtue.
Chun manifests itself, yet keeps its place; 'Mid darkness still, to light Meng sets its face.
Meng indicates that in the case which it presupposes, there will be progress and success. I do not seek the young and inexperienced fool, 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.
In Meng we have a mountain and below it a rugged defile with a stream in it. The conditions of peril and arrest of development 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 right.
'I do not seek the young and inexperienced fool, but he comes and 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.
'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.
The Lines and commentaries
This line 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 persisting in the way of punishment will give occasion for regret.
'It will be advantageous to use punishment', the object being to impose the influence of correcting law.Nine in the second place
Showing its subject exercising forebearance with the ignorant, in which there will be good fortune; and admitting 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.
'A son able to sustain the burden of his family'; as appears from the reciprocation between this strong line and the weak fifth line.Six in the third place
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 way will advantage come from her.
'A woman such as here represented should not be taken in marriage': her conduct is not agreeable to what is right.Six in the fourth place
Showing its subject as if bound in chains of ignorance. There will be occasion for regret.
The 'regret arising from ignorance, as if bound in chains', is due to the special distance of the line's subject from solidity (shown in the second line and the top-most).Six in the fifth place
Showing its subject as a simple lad without experience. There will be good fortune.
The 'good fortune belonging to the simple lad without experience', comes from his docility going on to humility.Top-most nine
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.
'Advantage will come from warding off injury': the subject of this line, above, and the ignorant below, all do and are done to according to their nature.