Category Archives: 25. Wu Wang – Innocence (The Unexpected)

Wu Wang – Innocence (The Unexpected)


Ch’ien, heaven, is above; Chên, movement, is below. The lower trigram Chên is under the influence of the strong line it has received from above, from heaven [it was empowered and fortified, strenghtened and equipped, so may be a sage or a hero]. When, in accord with this, movement follows the law of heaven, man is innocent and without guile. His mind is natural and true, unshadowed by reflection or ulterior designs [nothing hidden, sincerity and honesty with the Heavens, one does need masks for he is transparent, anything hidden comes from the dealings in the world of men, it is however in stark contrast with Heavens when this falsehood is arising in dealing with the Divine, when a human being masquarades himself in front of his kin to gain temporary superiority in his scheme, all is known, when he carries forth his habits and pretends to cheat or trick the Heavens, he is exposed at all times]. For wherever conscious purpose is to be seen, there the truth and innocence of nature have been lost [it is a spear that gathers air, and although straight in flight, it falls out of lack of kinetic energy, so with forced, hidden purposes, working to the bad, yet whenever one engages out of volition to enforce his vision per will, he ties himself with volition and the co-dependent network of events, he loses his innocence in the eyes of fates]. Nature that is not directed by the spirit is not true but degenerate nature. Starting out with the idea of the natural, the train of thought in part goes somewhat further and thus the hexagram includes also the idea of the unintentional or unexpected [lady chance, wheel of fortunes, the first characterizing the unforeseen, the latter the changes]


INNOCENCE. Supreme success. Perseverance furthers.If someone is not as he should be, He has misfortune, And it does not further him To undertake anything.Man has received from heaven a nature innately good, to guide him in all his movements [the spirits thriving in the Universal Mind, if we take a Panentheistic all-permeating view, are not devoid of it, they may be temporarily dusted or ensnared] By devotion to this divine spirit within himself, he attains an unsullied innocence that leads him to do right with instinctive sureness and without any ulterior thought of reward [one walks high-browed, without expectation of reward nor fear of punishment] and personal advantage [one does not seek advantage, but works, works set into motion may give advantage, but it is not a possession, and one should not be attached to any of that]. This instinctive certainty brings about supreme success and “furthers through perseverance.” However, not everything instinctive is nature in this higher sense of the word, but only that which is right and in accord with the will of heaven [for so many stubborn people confused that which is in accord with that which is their fanatical zeal, a personal projection, fool may have unshaken beliefs and faith, but does it make him any wiser? Out of natural wisdom come things in accord with the action of Heavens, then a Jade-like perception develops]. Without this quality of rightness, an unreflecting, instinctive way of acting brings only misfortune. Confucius says about this: “He who departs from innocence, what does he come to? Heaven’s will and blessing do not go with his deeds.” [and thus it is becried: how did this change of heart come about? return to us, to the path!]


Under heaven thunder rolls:All things attain the natural state of innocence. Thus the kings of old, Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time, Fostered and nourished all beings [paternal and maternal in mind, detached, impartial, perceiving the inter-dependent organism, perceiving and penetrating the whole, and contemplating how laws and reforms may ameliorate towards the good, and improve or rid of  that which is wrong and went to the bad]. In springtime when thunder, life energy, begins to move again under the heavens, everything sprouts and grows, and all beings receive from the creative activity of nature the childlike innocence of their original state. So it is with the good rulers of mankind: drawing on the spiritual wealth at their command, they take care of all forms of life and all forms of culture and do everything to further them, and at the proper time.


Nine at the beginning means: Innocent behavior brings good fortune. The original impulses of the heart are always good [in freedom of feeling, and focusing ideas through the heart, one with it – a feat of true men and women], so that we may follow them confidently, assured of good fortune and achievement of our aims.

Six in the second place means:If one does not count on the harvest while plowing,Nor on the use of the ground while clearing it,It furthers one to undertake something. We should do every task for its own sake as time and place demand and not with an eye to the result. [in most menial tasks to be at one thouroughly with the subject of our doing, in a similar fashion in great tasks to be thouroughly devoted and at one with subject of our doing – with no greater value attached to the latter over the former, whether cleaning the horse-stables, washing a plate, or rallying people, or governing oneself] Then each task turns out well, and anything we undertake succeeds.

Six in the third place means:Undeserved misfortune.The cow that was tethered by someone Is the wanderer’s gain, the citizen’s loss. Sometimes undeserved misfortune befalls a man at the hands of another, as for instance when someone passes by and takes a tethered cow along with him. His gain is the owner’s loss. In all transactions, no matter how innocent, we must accommodate ourselves to the demands of the time, otherwise unexpected misfortune overtakes us [innocence is not naivety, wise precaution and awareness is required to discern]

Nine in the fourth place means:He who can be persevering.Remains without blame.We cannot lose what really belongs to us, even if we throw it away. [omnia mea mecum porto: everything we have we carry within, the gifts of Heaven are suspended above, although stripped by fates to nought in terrestrial affairs, one finds consolation in the Greater Company of Heavens – refer to Chuang Tzu’s taoistic writings] Therefore we need have no anxiety. All that need concern us is that we should remain true to our own natures and not listen to others.

Nine in the fifth place means:Use no medicine in an illness. Incurred through no fault of your own.It will pass of itself.An unexpected evil may come accidentally from without. If it does not originate in one’s own nature or have a foothold there, one should not resort to external means to eradicate it, but should quietly let nature take its course [one’s nature will defeat the poison, yet means against it may tie our hands, perseverant natures conquer, these that save themselves from traps of illusionists become their victims!]. Then improvement will come of itself.

Nine at the top means: Innocent action brings misfortune.Nothing furthers.When, in a given situation, the time is not ripe for further progress, the best thing to do is to wait quietly, without ulterior designs. If one acts thoughtlessly and tries to push ahead in opposition to fate, success will not be achieved.