Hexagram Fifteen—Humbleness

Hexagram Fifteen explains how humility brings the blessings of nature, heaven, and associates.

The first line, yin, shows a qualified person who remains humble. Such a person will be successful.

The second line, yin, shows that it is okay to express humility, as long as it is sincere, and the person remains steadfast.

The third line, yang, shows a hard working person who is humble. They will be successful and others will follow their example.

The fourth line, yin, shows that humility is appropriate in every situation, since it brings out the best in other people.

The fifth line, yin, shows that when there is discord, one may humbly approach one's neighbors for a resolution. This will bring peace and prosperity to everyone.

The sixth line, yin, shows a humble person left out, wronged, or cheated. This person can act to restore order and balance to the situation without appearing proud or overly aggressive. There is no fault in such action.

Hexagram Fifteen Commentary

Hexagram Fifteen continues the theme of humbleness as the best attitude. It says humbleness "brings the blessings of nature, heaven, and associates.

The first line, yin, simply restates the law of the Dao that a qualified and humble person will succeed in the end.

The second line, yin, says it's okay to express humility, but be wary of bragging about humility. A humble person must remain steadfast, not fall into arrogance.

The third line, yang, showas a humble worker who becomes a leader because other people respect them.

The fourth line, yin, says humility is the appropriate attitude in every situation because "it brings out the best in other people." Restraining one's own ego allows other people to step forward and take some of the limelight, or focus of attention.

Humbleness does not invite exploitation, because as the fifth line, yin, says, when necessary it is wise to "humbly approach one's neighbors for a resolution." Talking things out will preserve the peace.

The sixth line, yin, confirms this. It says when a humble person feels left out, wronged, or cheated, the solution is to talk. This line does not endorse an act of pride or angry confrontation, but says a simple discussion will usually lead to resolution.

To the reader: Most of the hexagrams have at least one line that predicts bad results, but that does NOT mean you are fated to that result. The hexagrams illustrate different attitudes, so study the actions and reactions to learn the attitudes that will lead to better outcomes.

The I Ching teaches you to flow with changes and create positive change from the inside through conscious living. Your future is in your hands. Consult the I Ching for ideas that lead to clear thinking and positive mental attitude. Reading the I Ching helps you take the time to reflect on your attitudes and ideas. Continue asking until you feel positive about your course.

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A note about this interpretation of the I Ching: Nori Muster wrote this version of the I Ching in 1994 and put it online at in 2000. It is also available at Amazon: