According to the Ninth Wing on the sequence of the Hexagrams, it is said that,
‘Things cannot be destroyed once and for all. When what is above is completely split apart, it returns below. Hence there follows the hexagram of Return / Fu.’
If Yi students go by what was explained in the Ninth Wing, we come to understand sequential change.
Following the above highlighted explanation it is quite obvious why Hexagram 24 is called Fu, Return. But the explanation does not do much justice to the Hexagram. It contains more subtlety than meets the eye.
In Book III of his translation, Wilhelm provided a comprehensive explanation on why this hexagram is related to character formation and cultivation. Perhaps not many Yi students and/or cultivators of Tao understand the importance of this hexagram to their related studies.
Fu is the only hexagram where the Judgment mentioned Tao (the Way): 'To and fro goes the way.'
Fu can be a simple and easy hexagram to understand, since all six lines speak about return. But the line at the beginning represented by the sole Light line of the entire hexagram counts as the most important. That is why it is the ruler. The remaining five lines are all dark lines.
The hexagram begins the far journey of a return to Tao. (It is not that obvious to the eye, is it?)
How? By the cultivation of essence and life – the dual cultivation indicated by the three great sages followed later by the Zhen Ren and/or Daoist heavenly immortals of Quanzhen.
In a previous entry, one had already discussed this hexagram relating to the Circulation of the Light and neidan meditation. In this entry, one will briefly touch on the cultivation of life. It is up to fellow earnest and sincere students to read up the hexagram and go from there.
In the hexagram, the first five lines return to the Light.
The line at the beginning, return from a short distance. (According to Confucius, Yen Hui is one who will surely attain it - Refer Book III W/B).
Next comes, quiet return. Then, repeated return. The line at the fourth place walks in the midst of others, returns alone. The line in the fifth place far from the first made a noble-hearted return.
All these five lines know what is right, by returning to the Light.
But the line at the top, perhaps deluding self into thinking he is already a sage, missed the return. Misfortune. Misfortune from within and without. If armies are set marching in this way, one will in the end suffer a great defeat, disastrous for the ruler of the country. For ten years it will not be possible to attack again.
With the warning of misfortune from within and without, perhaps neidan practitioners understand the importance of why Buddha told high level meditators not to think that they have reached the stage of a sage while in meditation. (Refer to the Shurangama Sutra)
Whether or not, you want to return to the Light is up to you; since sometimes we get to hear that, fate is in our hands!