Hexagram Twenty-five—Reckless Action
A bad situation can be redeemed, but it would be better to do nothing than to act recklessly.
The first line, yang, shows a sincere person who acts carefully. Such activity will bring good fortune.
The second line, yin, shows one who fails to cultivate their fields. By the third year there is little grain to harvest, and blaming the field itself, the subject wishes to start something else.
The third line, yin, shows one who is sincere, but who has neglected certain details. When a cow goes missing, they unfairly accuses the townspeople of theft.
The fourth line, yang, shows that through serious effort a situation is made right.
The fifth line, yang, shows one who has fallen ill with a psychosomatic illness. The cure involves setting oneself back on the true path and diligently performing the work at hand.
The sixth line, yang, shows its subject at an impasse. Going forward at this time will only cause more problems.
Hexagram Twenty-five Commentary
This hexagram is about the dangers of reckless action. It usually causes mistakes and can lead to disaster. The introduction says, "it would be better to do nothing than to act recklessly.
The first line, yang, shows the right way to do a thing—carefully, with attention to detail.
The metaphor of the second line, yin, shows a person who fails to cultivate their fields. This is a yin, or passive type of recklessness. By the third year there is little to harvest. The subject blames the field rather than look at their own mistakes and "wishes to start something else." It's an example of running away from one's own mistakes.
The third line, yin, shows another similar example of yin recklessness. The metaphor is of a person who neglects the details on their farm and a cow goes missing. Again, the subject fails to look at their own recklessness. Instead, the subject accuses innocent townspeople of stealing the cow.
After making a big mistake like the subjects of the second and third lines, the fourth line, yang, says it's possible to straighten things out. However it takes "serious effort." Letting the crops go over a period of years will take time to fix. Accusing innocent people of crimes that were the subject's own fault is another delicate situation that will take serious effort to fix.
The fifth line, yang, shows how dilemmas due to the subject's own recklessness form a syndrome that may invite psychosomatic illness. If the subject can't get up out of bed, they certainly cannot be blamed for everything going wrong, right? The fifth line says, "The cure involves setting oneself back on the truth path and diligently performing the work at hand."
The sixth line, yang, shows how to avoid acting recklessly. The metaphor is of a person who reaches an impasse. Going forward without thinking things through is reckless. An impasse is the exact right time to think things through, rather than impulsively and recklessly move ahead.
To the reader: Most of the hexagrams have at least one line that predicts bad results, but that does NOT mean you are fated to that result. The hexagrams illustrate different attitudes, so study the actions and reactions to learn the attitudes that will lead to better outcomes.
The I Ching teaches you to flow with changes and create positive change from the inside through conscious living. Your future is in your hands. Consult the I Ching for ideas that lead to clear thinking and positive mental attitude. Reading the I Ching helps you take the time to reflect on your attitudes and ideas. Continue asking until you feel positive about your course.
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A note about this interpretation of the I Ching: Nori Muster wrote this version of the I Ching in 1994 and put it online at Surrealist.org in 2000. It is also available at Amazon: