Hexagram Sixty—Articulating Boundaries

Hexagram Sixty explains it is better to follow the natural order, maintaining firmness as well as flexibility, when setting up boundaries. People will not follow boundaries or rules that are arbitrary or unnecessarily strict.

The first line, yang shows one who does not leave the inner courtyard of the house. This symbolizes one who knows what will succeed and what will fail.

The second line, yang, shows an unfortunate person who will not leave their own yard to seek opportunities. People must leave their yards sometimes, just as some rules must be broken sometimes.

The third line, yin, shows that one must be self-regulated. If one has no standards, who is there to blame but him/herself?

The fourth line, yin, shows one who attends to all their obligations. This person can rise above the crowd.

The fifth line, yang, shows one who lives a balanced and productive life, who lives by boundaries that are acceptable and comfortable. This person's life is successful.

The sixth line, yin, shows one who tries to abide by rules that they feel are too painful to follow. It is inauspicious, but gradually their cause for regret goes away.

Hexagram Sixty Commentary

This hexagram is a call for common sense boundaries, rather than rigid thinking. The introduction recommends following the natural order of things, remaining both firm and flexible. Once sensible boundaries are established, it will help everyone get along.

The subject of the first line, yang, remains in the inner courtyard of the house. This is a symbol for a person who understands what works and what does not.

The second line, yang, shows another person who will not leave their own yard. However, in this case, the person needs to leave the yard. If there was an arbitrary rule smart people must be content in their own yards and never leave, then they would miss out on opportunities. The line says, "People must leave their yards sometimes."

The third line, yin, recommends relying on the self for what is right and wrong, rather than having to be told. Hexagram Thirty-eight endorses the big laws, which it refers to as "god's laws," such as do not steal or commit murder. This hexagram deals with the more subtle points of right and wrong, in the realm of moral or ethical dilemmas.

The subject of the fourth line, yin, meets all their obligations. This person rises naturally, not because they are fenced in with a lot of unnecessary rules.

The subject of the fifth line, yang, lives a good life, balanced and productive. This person is in harmony with the boundaries and rules in his life.

The subject of the sixth line, yin, offers a different example, where a person has trouble following rules. Like children who lack self-control, following rules and observing boundaries may be difficult. However, as the person matures, obeying rules becomes second nature, like the subject of the previous line.

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: