I Ching on Election 2020, Part 2 – Wu Wang • Without Falsehood

by Bob Schwartz

“Wu Wang means truthful, honest, and sincere, without any fabrication. It was considered to be the natural state of the individual.”

“This gua tells us that after King Wu overthrew the Tyrant of Shang, there was decay among the people. It was corrected before it had gone too far. The social norm returned in a short period of time. King Wen said that the principle of the new administration should be truthfulness.”

At this moment, the outcome of the election remains undetermined. So as many thoughts as there may be, there is nothing to say. The I Ching, asked again about the election, has plenty of valuable insight, as it has had for thousands of years. People are, after all, people, then and now.

From The Complete I Ching by Taoist Master Alfred Huang (emphasis added)


Hexagram 25
Wu Wang • Without Falsehood

NAME AND STRUCTURE

Wu Wang literally means not untruthful. Wilhelm translates Wu Wang as Innocence (the Unexpected) and Blofeld as Integrity, the Unexpected. In this book I adopt the term Without Falsehood. In Chinese, Wu means not, and Wang is untruthful, dishonest, or insincere. Thus, Wu Wang means truthful, honest, and sincere, without any fabrication. It was considered to be the natural state of the individual.

DECISION

Without Falsehood.
Sublimely prosperous and smooth.
Favorable to be steadfast and upright.
If one’s intention is not truthful,
There is trouble.

Unfavorable to have somewhere to go.

COMMENTARY ON THE DECISION

Without Falsehood.
The firm comes from the outer
And becomes the host of the inner.
Movement with strength;
The firm is at the central place and has a correspondent.
Great prosperity and smoothness through its correctness.
This is the will of Heaven.
If one’s intention is not truthful,
One will fall into errors.
It is unfavorable for one
To have somewhere to go.
When truthfulness is gone,
Where can one go?
When the will of Heaven will not protect,
How can anything be done?

COMMENTARY ON THE SYMBOL

Under Heaven, Thunder rolls.
An image of all things accompanied by truthfulness.
In correspondence with this,
The ancient king enriches his virtue in harmony with the time
And nurtures myriad beings.

SIGNIFICANCE

This gua displays the wisdom of holding to the truth—that is, no matter how situations change, truthfulness never changes. The ancient Chinese did not have a personal God; they submitted to the will of Heaven and resigned themselves to their fate. They believed that to live and act in harmony with the will of Heaven was the nature and the duty of humanity. To act in accordance with the virtue of Heaven would eventually bring everlasting fortune and success. If one had this faith, then one was able to not count on the harvest while plowing. This attitude does not neglect the law of cause and effect. What is important is whether one’s attitude and motivation are aligned with the virtue of Heaven. What is considered first is not the reward one will attain, but whether the work is really good for humanity. Fostering and nurturing the myriad beings is the virtue of Heaven.

The solid line at the bottom and the solid line at the fifth place are qualified to be the hosts of the gua. However, the bottom line is the starting point of a gua. In this gua, one starts with truthfulness. Truthfulness is the nature of humanity. When one approaches a task, one should start with truthfulness. For this reason, the bottom line is more suitable to be host of this gua.

This gua tells us that after King Wu overthrew the Tyrant of Shang, there was decay among the people. It was corrected before it had gone too far. The social norm returned in a short period of time. King Wen said that the principle of the new administration should be truthfulness. He accepted the lessons learned from decay and pointed out that if one’s intention, especially that of a leader, was not truthful he would fall into error. It would not be favorable for him to move in any direction. The Duke of Zhou recalls that advancement with truthfulness brought good fortune. For a just cause one should count on neither the harvest nor the result while recultivating old land. Even if truthfulness encounters misfortune, one should still remain steadfast and upright. But in taking action, if the direction is lost, there would be no advantage.