A stream begins in the mountains; and then rushes straight into dangerous places.




Keeping still



Youthful folly has success.

It is not I who seeks the young fool.
The young fool seeks me.

At the first question I inform him.
Two or three times will be annoying.
If so, I give no information.

Constant perseverance is needed.


Below the mountain a stream appears.

A wise man produces rewards to motivate virtuous behaviour.






Youthful folly is about young fools and about teaching.

Compared to the I Ching, you are a young fool; so you should treat it with respect.

It is foolish to ask it the same question twice because you did not like the first answer.

If you are teaching, you are advised that you should motivate your students with rewards rather than with punishments.




1) 6 at the start

a) Sending out fools. You will need to use penalties and restrictions to make them feel shamed.

b) Applying correcting discipline.

If you are sending people out, to do something on your behalf, you must realise in advance that they may not do it as wisely as you would do it. It is your responsibility to foresee problems and to set limits, otherwise, when things go wrong, your people will say "how were we to know?"


2) 9 in 2nd throw

a) Taking care of the immature. Good fortune.
Giving responsibilities to the wife. Good fortune.
The son takes charge of the household.

b) Separate but connected.

This line represents the teacher and the ruler of the situation. The teacher must be strong inside, but also must understand other people's way of thinking, and adapt his way to suit each individual. It is right to give responsibilities to other people so that they may gain experience.


3) 6 in 3rd throw

a) Do not take a grasping woman who wants a man made of money.
You could not keep her. Nothing that is favourable.

b) She will not be docile.

You should avoid being seduced by someone who is only interested in what they can get from you.


4) 6 in 4th throw

a) Stubborn foolishness. Humiliation.

b) This leads to alienation and isolation.

Some fools will not listen to the truth. It may not fit in with the things that they want to believe. If they know some others who will agree with them, then they are satisfied. This line says they will learn the hard way; when their delusions are shattered by some unexpected events.


5) 6 in 5th throw

a) Childlike questioning. Good fortune.

b) Flexibility allows possibility.

If you approach life with an open mind, like a child, you will learn the things you need to know. Even a highly placed person should approach a wise man in a humble childlike manner. Then he may learn something useful. This line represents a good pupil.


6) 9 at the top

a) Hitting fools.
Causing resentments brings harm.
Resisting criminals is beneficial.

b) It is best to resist law breaking; those above, and those below, agree.

Sometimes a fool must be punished; but it must be done in the right way. Punishment should not be done angrily with an intention to hurt. Instead, it should just be enough to prevent the bad behaviour. This creates order without creating resentments.