I-Ching Hexagram Seventeen, Following
I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 17.Following
I-Ching-Hexagram Seventeen – Following
Following each other.
Go with the law of nature.
This hexagram (Following) consists of the upper trigram, Lake and the lower trigram, Thunder.
It is vibrating like thunder inside and it is to water a lake outside implying it is happy due to moving.
It is a sign of going with the law of nature. Let it be.
The upper trigram of this hexagram (Following) is Thunder meaning the oldest son.
The lower trigram of this hexagram (Following) is Lake meaning the youngest daughter.
It is the sign of the youngest daughter following the older son.
If the questioner who has got this hexagram (Following) asks about marriage, this couple is a perfect match.
They will have a fortunate family because the husband is humble and the wife is thoughtful and active.
The wife is happy to follow her husband.
This hexagram (Following) in Chinese has a meaning of going with the law of nature.
Following time means following the trajectory of the nature and the natural law in order to be moved and to act.
Therefore, one starts working when the sun rises and rests after sunset.
This hexagram (Following) comes after Hexagrams Fifteenth Humility and Sixteenth Delight.
Hexagram Fifteenth Humility reminds the wealthy gentleman to review himself and carries out self cultivation.
The wealthy gentleman should be humble all the time.
Hexagram Sixteenth Delight implies one has to cultivate one’s temper through recreations.
This hexagram (Following) shows one goes with the law of nature, being calm, having less desire and going back to nature.
Everything is fine because one “follows” the law of nature.
The questioner who has got this hexagram (Following) has to goes with the law of nature, be calm and do nothing.
If one pretends to do something or works so hard for something, the effect will be adverse.
If one misunderstands the meaning of going with the law of nature such as one is casual and let everything alone, one will fail.
It is Hexagram Eighteenth Poison after this hexagram (Following).
Hexagram Eighteenth Poison shows the result of being too casual and non-interference all the time is ruining a project.
[Summary of Hexagram Seventeenth – Following]
Let it be.
Everything can go smoothly.
It is better to be virtuous.
Then, there will be no faults.
The leader has changed.
It is better to be calm and to be virtuous.
Fruitful results will be finalized if one goes outsides and associates with people.
Although one is leading and implementing the project, one has to follow the idea of the superior (leader).
The superior’s mind is changing all the time so it is difficult for one to understand his real intention.
Therefore, it is better to stop and to change.
If one can uphold the principle and be virtuous, one can change one’s strategies according to the situation.
Then, good fortune will come.
Going out and associating with people leading to fruitful results.
The children are tied but the husband is running away.
This implies one cannot take care of children and the husband at the same time.
One can take one thing into consideration to the neglect of the other.
One is trying to save a little only to lose a lot.
In terms of obligation and emotion, one should follow a virtuous guy.
Because of the situation, you have followed villains.
This situation has forced you to give up following the virtuous guy.
Therefore, you cannot burn the candle at both sides and cannot give consideration to both sides.
2nd line of this hexagram (Following) is paired up with the 5th line of this hexagram (Following).
However, in this hexagram (Following), the relationship among all lines is prioritized based on the sequence of the lines.
For example, 2nd line of this hexagram (Following) is following the 1st line of this hexagram (Following).
In the 1st line, it is better for a person to go outside and associate with others.
The 1st line is yang and the 2nd line is yin so the yang energy is embedded by the yin energy.
If they are against each other, one will fail.
It is because the 1st line is adjacent to the 2nd line.
Originally, the 2nd line is paired up with the 5th line and the 2nd line should follow the 5th line.
However, when the 2nd line is adjacent to the 1st line, 2nd line has to prioritize and follow the 1st line.
Therefore, the relationship between the 2nd line and the 5th line has disappeared.
It is called losing a husband.
The husband is tied up but the children are lost.
One is following the right person obtaining something required.
It is better to stay and does not move.
This implies one cannot burn the candle at both sides.
However, one has chosen the right option so one has got a lot.
When one has got the right choice, one just stay and does not move.
You are following a gentleman whom is worth to obey.
This makes you give up following villains.
You are following a powerful minister.
You gain a lot if you follow this minister and you can take advantages from this relationship.
In this hexagram (Following), the relationship among all lines is prioritized based on the sequence of the lines.
The 3rd line of this hexagram (Following) follows the 2nd line of this hexagram (Following).
Both lines belong to yin energy but the 3rd line is not paired up with the 2nd line.
The 3rd line is also not paired up with the 1st line of this hexagram (Following).
Therefore, it is called losing the children.
The 4th line of this hexagram (Following) follows the 3rd line.
Things go smoothly from the 3rd line to the 4th line.
This is called entangled husband.
You have got a lot when a group of people follows you.
Although it is a righteous path, misfortune will come.
When someone is virtuous walking a righteous path, it is open and aboveboard.
Where does misfortune come from?
4th line of this hexagram (Following) states that a person is loved by a group of people so the emperor is envious leading to calamities.
It does not mean that someone has made a mistake.
4th line of this hexagram (Following) is adjacent to the minister and supported by 2 yin lines (the 2nd line and the 3rd line of this hexagram (Following)).
It is the sign the 4th line is loved and supported by a group of people.
Therefore, when one follows, one will obtain something.
However, the 4th line is also adjacent to the emperor.
Staying next to the emperor is as dangerous as staying next a tiger.
The 4th line is not supported by 5th line of this hexagram (Following).
It also does not paired up with the emperor of the 5th line.
In addition, 4th line has got a group of followers so the 5th line is jealous.
Therefore, it is misfortune.
One is better to treat others with sincerity and walking a righteous path.
In this way, one can only avoid faults.
If one can transfer all his credit to one’s superior and give up one’s credit, one will be safe.
Go forward and back at the right time.
Handling cases appropriately.
If one upholds one’s sincerity following one’s obligation, one can actualize the essential points of this hexagram (Following).
Good fortune will come.
King Wen of Zhou State was taken into custody by King Zhou of Shang.
When King Wen of Zhou State was released, he won the people by virtue to make people believe in him.
Therefore, more and more people followed him and everything went smoothly in Xi Shan (a name of a place).
This is the end of this hexagram (Following) and the path of this hexagram (Following) has changed.
At this stage, there is no one people can follow.
Therefore, one has to walk the opposite way and is taken into custody.
In this way, everything will go smoothly.
The story of King Wen of Zhou is applied to explain the meaning of this line.