Hexagram #24 Return

Return is developmental, going out and coming in, there is no ill. When a companion, comes, there is no fault. Reversing the path, Returning in seven days, it is beneficial to have a place to go.


EXPLANATION: Return means coming back. As for the qualities of the hexagram, above is Earth ☷, obedient, below is Thunder ☳, active; when activity obeys the mind, the heavens turn in their course while human affairs proceed successfully. Also, in the body of the hexagram one yang moves below a group of yins; this hexagram represents the Return of yang within primordial yin.

When people are first born, they are they are all good, with no evil; then when they get mixed up in acquired conditioning, yin injures their yang, and there is loss of original natural reality. But even though it is lost, it is never totally nonexistent; there still is a breath of living potential within. This may appear at times, but people do not recognize it even when it does, because they are deceived by personal desires and confused by worldly affairs.

To return it, restore it, it is necessary to take advantage of times when this living potential appears and set about quickly gathering it — only then can it be one's own. If the living potential has not yet appeared, and you keep to quietude in empty silence, how can it return? Thus it returns when a companion comes, and only then can one be without fault. The character for companion is written as a conjunction of two moons 朋; one is yang, and one is yin. When yin culminates. yang is born; there is yang within yin-this is called a companion comes. If yin does not culminate, yang is not born, and the companion does not come; if the companion does not come, yin and yang do not interact-then where would creative energy come from?

The way to do it involves working in sequence, restoring it gradually; one cannot restore it immediately, or even if one does restore it immediately it cannot be stabilized. It is necessary to first refine oneself and master the mind, waiting for the time to act. Therefore, reversing the path, reality returns in seven days. Reversing means turning around and operating in reverse, away from progressive conditioning back to the original integrity of the real mind; seven days, is the number of the yang fire. The energy of harmony of essence and feeling in people is the yang fire; this is the real. The restlessness of acquired energy in people is the yin fire; this is the false.

This path is not difficult to know, but it is difficult to practice. "Having a place to go" and promptly setting about cultivating it, it will surely Return gradually, from a single yang, until six yangs are pure and complete. What can compare to the growth and fruition of that Return? --Liu Yiming, Hexagram #24 Return, The Taoist I Ching

The 3rd line: Repeated Return; danger, no fault.

EXPLANATION: When Return to good is not stable, and you return again and again and lose it again and again, this is called repeated Return. Yet if your nature is flexible and your will is firm, and you are single-mindedly intent on Return, and you handle yourself in danger, if you can do it once you can do it a hundred times, and if you can do it a hundred times you can do it a thousand times. Even though you may be ignorant, you will surely gain understanding, and even though you may be weak you will surely become strong; even though faulty at first, you can thereby come to be without fault. This is Return in which one studies when at a loss and strives diligently to carry it out. -- Liu Yiming, Hexagram #24 Return, The Taoist I Ching
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The hexagram Return










On the left the Liushutong character, in the middle another ancient shape and on the right the present shape of the character
for Hexagram #24 Return







A salmon swimming against the stream







A signboard at the Koryuji temple
(Kyoto, Japan) with the Chinese characters "one heart" (read from left to right). The Chinese text says 一心于複:you are
single-mindedly intent on Return







A Japanese Daruma tumbler doll, modelled after Bodidharma, the 1st Patriarch of Zen Buddhism. A tumbler doll is weighted at the bottom in a way that it will always Return to an upright position when tilted over.

Japanese proverb:
Fall seven times, stand up eight.