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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

25: Innocence


Innocence implies a natural harmlessness, openness and pure intentions that are unsullied by ulterior motives. This condition of innocence has less to do with age than attitude. Innocence springs from a heart that remains open to joy and wonder. Innocence, when guided by a firm faith in what is right, brings supreme success. Naiveté unanchored by the ability to discern right from wrong, on the other hand, brings misfortune.

The hallmark of innocence is a willingness to treat all creatures with compassion and respect. Those who possess a pure heart are best guided by their instincts and intuition. Thinking too much severs links with the guidance of the heart. Be wary of courses of action that require too much cleverness.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

The first impulses of the heart are usually pure and good. It is safe to follow them confidently, provided your conscience is not offended. When you reach an impasse in tangled affairs, it is helpful to review the original impulse for that course of action, to examine the original purpose. Good fortune awaits.

Line 2

The skilled farmer doesn’t calculate the harvest while still plowing the field. Success in the current situation is likely, so long as you don’t try to measure how well you are doing while you are still at work. Focus on the task at hand. Like the farmer, cultivate your field one row at a time, focus on what is required of you, and the rewards will take care of themselves. It is such innocence that leads in the end to a good harvest.

Line 3

Unexpected and undeserved misfortune can befall even the most innocent. In such situations, it is of no use to claim that you have been treated unfairly. As parents tell children, life is unfair, the world is unfair. There is nothing to do in the face of an unfair loss except to take the high road and accept it with equanimity. You win some, you lose some!

Line 4

Remember, that if something truly belongs to or with you, it cannot really be taken from you. Let go of it and it will naturally return. As long as you are true to yourself, and listen to your intuition, you can make no mistakes.

Line 5

Sudden misfortune! It is important to discover whether a misfortune has been an accident of nature, or the result of your own mistakes. If it was an accident, take no action; let nature take its course without interference. Do not try to come up with a clever quick-fix solution.

Line 6 (top line)

Even innocent action can backfire if the timing is not right for progress. When there is little hope in a situation, the best thing to do is to just wait as calmly as possible. Otherwise, you run the risk of creating trouble for yourself and others.