Hexagram 19: Quality
Following the ten thousand rules produces mountains of parchment. The Tao becomes small and goes to sleep.
The emperor issues many rules to make it easy to find the Golden Code. Following the rules make ministers happy, but the code is late and does not reflect beauty. The Wise One knows the Great Empress is not wooed with parchment. Only the fool seeks the Tao in more rules. All progress recedes into the bit bucket.
- Line 6 -- Reports have been written and fed to the dragon. The code fulfills all requests, but has no beauty. Meetings are held to determine why the Golden Code is so elusive. Great blame is assigned. No progress.
- Line 5 -- The emperor sits upon his throne. He sees the light but his feet do not touch the ground. He issues edicts to guide the programmers in their work, but he leads them into darkness. He does not know how to seek the Tao.
- Line 4 -- Ministers gather orders into great books that have no wisdom. They say following the book will make fools into Wise Ones. The Wise One takes up his quill and pursues the Golden Code in silence.
- Line 3 -- Great designs are written down and judged by the councils of men. Much effort is expended, but beauty is not glimpsed. The Wise One knows that heaven must be seen before the Golden Code can be brought down to earth. Ministers are happy, no blame.
- Line 2 -- Programmers huddle in masses, reading more books of endless rules. Their eyes are fixed on heaven, but their feet are mired in the swamp. The Golden Code gleams like the setting sun behind the distant mountains. Discontent grows.
- Line 1 -- Great changes in the code are demanded. Deadlines are set and programmers are appointed. But no beauty was requested and so none will appear. There is no foundation for future progress.