Hexagram Sixteen—Harmony

When there is a general state of happiness, people will support new projects. Enthusiasm helps move things forward, but excess can stop progress.

The first line, yin, shows a self-satisfied person bragging about their happy condition. Such a demonstration will bring bad luck. It is better to keep one's feelings to oneself for now.

The second line, yin, shows its subject acting on intuition without hesitating. It is important to act quickly; success will be in proportion to one's balance and sincerity.

The third line, yin, shows one who is in a position for which they are not suited, who looks to heaven to supply happiness and success. Their situation is faulty and must be rectified at once, because there is more work to do.

The fourth line, yang, shows one who is successful and a pleasure to know. This person feels unconditional love and trust for others, and thus attracts many worthy friends.

The fifth line, yin, shows a greedy, complaining person who maintains a position of power, but because this person makes others miserable, it is an unhappy situation for everyone. It is like a terminally ill, bitter person who lingers on indefinitely.

The sixth line, yin, shows a sincere, steadfast person who has obtained the height of happiness. Everything is temporary, but for this person, happiness is never lost, for it simply changes to another form.

Hexagram Sixteen Commentary

This is another hexagram with instructions for life's good days. In this case, it's a time of harmony, which is perfect for pursuing new plans. The introduction says in times of harmony, people will support the subject's actions.

The first line, yin, is another warning against arrogance. It shows a self-satisfied person bragging. This attitude can trigger procrastination and mistakes. The line recommends, "It is better to keep one's feelings to oneself for now."

The second line, yin, shows the proper attitude of spontaneous action without considering the ego. The point is to move forward with plans while the timing is right. There is no time to sit back and brag.

The third line, yin, explains that if a person finds a great opportunity, but fails to take action, then they were not suited for the job to begin with. It says the person "looks to heaven to supply happiness and success." However, this is a time for action. Success will not simply fall from the sky.

The fourth line, yang, explains the correct attitude to meet a perfect moment of opportunity. The attitudes of unconditional love and trust for others makes a person a pleasure to know and attracts worthy friends.

The fifth line, yin, shows the opposite attitude. The person in this line has power, but is a miserable, complaining wreck. This person could be compared to a bitter, terminally ill person who lingers on indefinitely, creating only a situation where they make everybody else miserable.

The sixth line, yin, summarizes the positive attitude again. A person who can embrace harmony when it appears is truly happy. The person in the final line realizes the moment is temporary, but for someone with an open heart, happiness remains, "for it simply changes to another form."

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: