Hexagram 5: Process Guide
The book has strong covers, bit is mere emptiness inside.
The book promises to be wise counsel on the ways of the world. However, its advice is mere vanity and the laws of foolish emperors. The Wise One observes the letter, for the Tao is found even in foolish things, but knows the spirit is free. Only the fool respects the rules of man as equal to the ways of heaven.
- Line 6 -- When the rules of man prevail to the end, misfortune results. The code is not tested and the deadlines pass. The Wise One sees the weakness above, he follows the spirit.
- Line 5 -- The emperor is strong, but his rule is not wise. Though men pay him homage, their duties are not carried out. The Wise One sees this folly and quietly writes his code. Only the fool waits endlessly at the emperor's door, seeking permission.
- Line 4 -- The rules of man are many, but they create false certainty. With every step governed by another decree, there is no freedom. The Wise One knows that beauty is found when men are free to seek it. Only the fool admires his heavy chains.
- Line 3 -- The design is beautiful, but men are not able to code. All progress is prevented until the counsels of men pass judgement. The Wise One knows there is a time to write books and a time to code. He knows that waiting brings misfortune.
- Line 2 -- The advisor to the emperor usurps his power. Rules multiply to show men the advisor is strong, but there is no wisdom in his governance. He dishonors his master by making him a fool. The Wise One sees there is no point to this vanity.
- Line 1 -- When rules become more important than code, misfortune follows. There is no sure foundation for further progress. It is not possible to produce beauty when the law prevents it. Only the fool sees this as a boon.