Hexagram Fifty-seven—Conforming

Hexagram Fifty-seven is the influence of the great over the small. When powerful people move in a given direction, those under them tend to follow. This adds momentum and gives direction to the small.

The first line, yin, describes a person who follows the latest trend, or line of reasoning without having a steadfast purpose. It is better to have the strength and purpose of a warrior.

The second line, yang, explains that divine inspiration will bring good fortune, whereas following the crowd will take one to lower levels.

The third line, yang, shows that repeatedly conforming to society's expectations will bring regret.

The fourth line, yin, shows a true individual, able to give up their grief and set out with definite purpose. This attitude will bring good fortune.

The fifth line, yang, shows that once the journey is started, one must be steadfast and careful at every step. It takes perfect balance to accomplish great works.

The sixth line, yang, shows an individual in a society of unimaginative, conservative individuals. It is unfortunate to be a leader among people in this state of mind.

Hexagram Fifty-seven Commentary

This hexagram explains the idea of conformity, or "the influence of the great over the small." It shows the magnetic influence powerful elements have over smaller elements. It says, "When powerful people move in a given direction, those under them tend to follow."

The subject of the first line, yin, follows the latest trends without giving it much thought. The line warns it would be better to "have the strength and purpose of a warrior."

The second line, yang, says when inspiration comes from the heart it will lead to better outcomes. Following the crowd will lead to lesser outcomes. This theme is repeated in another classic positive thinking classic that came out during the Great Depression, Think and Grow Rich, by Earl Nightingale. Nightingale famously said: "The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it's conformity."

The third line, yang, explains simply, "repeatedly conforming to society's expectations will bring regret."

The subject of the fourth line, yin, went through a difficult situation that led to grief. Rising up again after that, the person moves forward with a sense of purpose.

The fifth line, yang, elaborates on the previous line. It says once a person begins such a journey, it will take balance and care at every step to accomplish their goals.

The sixth line, yang, shows a whole society of unimaginative people. This is unfortunate for the people, and uncomfortable for the leader. It's also a difficult atmosphere for an individual who wants to follow his or her own heart.

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: