I-Ching Hexagram Fifteen, Humility

I-Ching 64 Hexagrams > 15.Humility

I-Ching-Hexagram Fifteen – Humility


This Hexagram (Humility) is consisted of two trigrams – Earth (Upper trigram) and Mountain (Lower Trigram).

Therefore, it represents humbleness (one has a humble appearance like Earth) and sublime (one has a sublime virtue in one’s mind).

One succeeds without showing off and is not complacent when getting richer.


The picture of this Hexagram (Humility) is a huge mountain located below the ground level.

The mountain is extending upward starting from the level which is below the ground.

This means one is humble and sublime.

Mountain implies one has hidden all emotion and not expressing.

Earth implies one is meek when meeting others.

This shows a gentleman who is humble all the time and associating with people yieldingly.


The nature of Taoism can be spreading due to humbleness.

It is the same for a person.

This theory can be found in other hexagrams such as Hexagram Eleven Prospering.

In Hexagram Eleven Prospering, Heaven is ascending on the ground to help all beings where as Earth is humble and walking up to nurture all beings.


In the sequence of the hexagrams, this Hexagram (Humility) comes after the Hexagram Fourteenth Great Holdings.

Great Holdings means everyone is rich and wealthy.

People will become cruelty when they are getting richer and arrogant.

This Hexagram (Humility) is to remind those people to be humble all the time and not to be complacent.

It is the hexagram of self-cultivation.

It reminds the people not to count gain and loss.

This book, I-Ching, is written for all gentlemen and states how to realize self-cultivation.

In this Hexagram (Humility), it describes many points about how to realize self-cultivation.

It emphasizes gentlemen should realize self-cultivation and be virtuous from the beginning till the end.


It seems this hexagram (Humility) shows the sign of good fortune.

However, it is related to spirituality and not related to materiality.

It is something which can only be endured by gentlemen.



[Summary of Hexagram Fifteenth – Humility]


Everything goes smoothly.

Gentlemen can be virtuous from the beginning till the end.


1st Line


This is a sign of humbleness as one who is humble and meek is working at a very low rank.

One can solve problems as one is nurturing one’s inner virtue and humbleness.

One who is not humble cannot help to solve problems.


Good fortune will come if one is humble.

An arrogant person will have misfortunes.

It is similar to a person, who realizes there are risks and how powerless a person is, will cross the river safely.

The person, who thinks he is the most powerful one in the world and can control the nature, has a great calamity.


2nd Line


One is meek and can communicate with capable and righteous people very well.

One feels a heartfelt admiration about gurus and masters and follows their teachings.

If one is faithful and honest, one will have good fortune.


3rd Line


Through one’s industrious, humbleness and acceptance of sufferings, one influences and reforms people.

Then, people will follow and work for one wholeheartedly.

When a humble person, who can persistently endure sufferings and does not claim credit for oneself, this person will carry out an undertaking from start to finish and has good fortune.


4th Line


Everything goes smoothly because one affects people with one’s humbleness and virtue.

One is humble when meeting nobles and bigwigs.

One can avoid conflicts with capable and distinguished men.

One is gentle and tactful to avoid risks knowing the trends and positions but does not go against one’s principles.

Therefore, everything goes smoothly.


5th Line


One does not lure others by gain and others will do tasks willingly.

However, one is not accepted by people who live far away.

Therefore, it is the time to go on expedition to conquer the people and their mind.

Everything will go smoothly.


5th line is the king among all lines.

One will bring people under control through one’s humbleness and send a punitive expedition to conquer rebellious people who live far away.


6th Line


One pretends to be humble so one cannot influence people.

Therefore, one has to ask armies to go to war to suppress people.


6th line shows the high profile of humbleness whereas 1st line represents the low profile of humbleness.

Therefore, the one who is low profile and humble can attain the path of humbleness.

The one who is high profile and humble pretends to be a humble person but this humbleness does not supported by the facts.

This does not convince people. 

Therefore, one need to suppress people through armed strength.

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