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I Ching – Hexagram 4: 蒙 “Youthful Folly” – Meng

What Is Hexagram 4: “Youthful Folly” ?

Meng is the Chinese name of the I Ching Hexagram 4. With inner and outer trigrams forming mountain over water, this Hexagram is called ‘youthful folly’ or alternatively named ‘enveloping’ or ‘discovering’. This Chinese Hexagram plays off of the Hexagram 3 or ‘difficult in the beginning’. It shows that there is still much to discover and learn; much like a young person needs to continue studying in order to progress into adulthood.

The best way to gain full knowledge about one subject is to in turn to each to someone else. Teaching and learning go hand in hand, but there is a way proper way to go about learning through this method. There are many aspects about our youth that will influence the rest of the life.

Interpretation & Meaning of IChing - Hexagram 4: 蒙 "Youthful Folly" - Meng

Interpretation & Meaning of Hexagram 4:

Hexagram 4 is a dynamic symbol that can alter the perspective in certain situations. It reminds us to be youthful but also to be aware of certain youthful characteristics that can hinder us. Being childlike reminds us to have kindness towards others and have a positive outlook on the future. Remembering the great events in our youth can help us feel up lifted and confident. Looking at the world through the eyes of a child gives a different, refreshing, perspective on life.

Parts of the youth period should be remembered and retained while other parts need to be forgotten and left behind. Remember to be youthful when teaching new students in order to make the learning process fun and enjoyable. But when realizing that a student is having difficulty learning, they should not be shunned, but instead encourage the student with wisdom so that they may gain the knowledge you are willing to teach.

I Ching Hexagram 4 – Personal Goals:

Be willing to teach not only worldly wisdom or business knowledge but also how to act in society. There is much that can be taught verbally, but a student will be watching how a teacher acts. Knowledge can also be obtained by watching others and how they react to the same situations.

I Ching Hexagram 4 – Love:

It is important to remember the happiness of the younger years, but it is harder to forget those who have wronged us during this time period. Love is a strong emotion that often sprouts in our youth. It is much more than loving our friends and family, but finding love in a partner.

Often it is easy to give away our love when we are young because of the inexperience that a young person will have. Hexagram 4 encourages us to destroy the feelings of lost love found in youth so that when we are adults we might be able to find true love. It is through our trials of difficulty that we gain the knowledge to understand truth from fiction.

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I Ching Hexagram 4 – Career & Business:

With all that we gain in knowledge, we must be willing to teach those who have yet to obtain the wisdom themselves. The rising generation needs to be mentored in order to avoid similar situations the elders have already experienced. Hexagram 4 teaches not only to be youthful in the older ages but to be willing to teach others with honest and integrity. Being mindful of this time period will also help strengthen projects at school or work.


YOUTHFUL FOLLY has success.
It is not I who seek the young fool;
The young 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 furthers.


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


Whether the caster is in the process of learning or teaching, remember to be youthful and childlike in all forms of life. Let go of any negativity that might have arisen from this time period, and only remember the times of happiness and growth. Use what you have learned and apply it to a life of love and success.

Take with you the knowledge you have gained and prepare to share and teach it to others who will need it. Be kind and patient with students as they struggle to obtain the same wisdom and by doing so you will continue to learn and gain a higher knowledge through teaching.

The 64 Hexagrams

1乾 Force Ch’ien2坤 Field K’un
3屯 Difficult in the Beginning Chun4蒙 Youthful Folly Meng
5需 Waiting Hsu6訟 Conflict Sung
7師 Integrity Shih8比 Holding Together Pi
9小畜 Attention To Detail Hsiao Ch’u10履 Correct Conduct Lu
11泰 Peace T’ai12否 Stagnation P’i
13同人 Fellowship T’ung Jen14大有 Abundance Ta Yu
15謙 Humbling Ch’ien16豫 Enthusiasm Yu
17隨 Following Sui18蠱 Correcting Ku
19臨 Nearing Lin20觀 Observation Kuan
21噬嗑 Biting Through Shih Ho22賁 Grace Pi
23剝 Splitting Apart Po24復 Returning Fu
25無妄 Innocence Wu Wang26大畜 Great Accumulating Ta Ch’u
27頤 Nourishment I28大過 Preponderance of the Great Ta Kuo
29坎The Abysmal K’an30離Radiance Li
31咸Courtship Hsien32恆Constancy Heng
33遯 Retreat Tun34大壯 Great Invigorating Ta Chuang
35晉 Progress Chin36明夷 Darkening of the Light Ming I
37家人 The Family Chai Jen38睽 Opposition K’uei
39蹇 Obstruction Chien40解 Deliverance Hsieh
41損 Decrease Sun42益 Increase I
43夬 Displacement Kuai44姤 Coming to Meet Kou
45萃 Gathering Together Ts’ui46升 Ascending Sheng
47困 Exhaustion K’un48井 The Well Ching
49革 Revolution Ko50鼎 The Cauldron Ting
51震 The Arousing Chen52艮 Stilling Ken
53漸 Gradual Progress Chien54歸 妹 The Marrying Maiden Kuei Mei
55豐 Abundance Feng56旅 The Wanderer Lu
57巽 Ground Sun58兌 Open Tui
59渙 Dispersion Huan60節 Limitation Chieh
61中孚 Center Returning Chung Fu62小 過 Small Surpassing Hsaio Kup
63既 濟 After Completion Chi Chi64未 濟 Before Completion Wei Chi
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