The Wisdom of the I Ching

11. A Time of Harmony

A time of peace and harmony is conducive to advancement and prosperity. As in spring, all things work together to bring about robust growth. Dissensions evaporate as persons of different status are able to work together in mutually beneficial relationships. When the wise and enlightened are in control, even evil forces fall under their influence and are able to make improvements. Men's passions are ameliorated in such times, and their attention is turned toward worthy objectives. All that is inferior is pushed into the background, and the superior, taking advantage of the harmonious times, are able to operate freely. This produces a time of good fortune and progress.

When men are able to work in harmony and cooperate with one another, they are able to plan and organize their time and efforts in ways that are highly productive. Progressive ideas are welcome. Cooperative ventures are embraced. The abundance that occurs in a time of peace and harmony is directed towards proper ends, and resources are utilized efficiently. It is this harmonious relationship with even the forces of nature that produces great abundance, prosperity and success.

The Lines
1. [9] When a capable person sets out to accomplish things in propitious times, good helpers are attracted to the possibilities and join in gladly in the work that needs to be done. Good people want to be a part of a flourishing enterprise, and are gladly connected to the leader with similar objectives.

2. [9] Every person is able to contribute something to an enterprise, if they have a willing attitude. A leader, therefore, bears with those of lesser ability and tries to draw from them whatever they are capable of contributing. There is much work to be done, and some of it is quite difficult. Hence, everyone's contribution is needed and of value, and the attention of all should be directed towards the goals of the enterprise, not merely personal advancement.

3. [9] Good fortune never moves forward forever. There are always setbacks and periods of decline. Therefore, in times of good fortune, the wise leader is always aware that it will sooner or later run its course. And through whatever turns of Fate that come his way, he remains steadfast and focused on his worthy objectives.

4. [6] In times of success, the good leader is still approachable. He is not carried away by his good fortune and does not focus on his own advancement. He is generous to the lowly, because he knows that every man, regardless of his station, has a role to play and a contribution to make in this world.

5. [6] A person of great ability is capable of working under the direction of someone of lesser status without asserting their superiority. Such a submissive relationship is conducive to harmony and permits the accomplishment of necessary tasks.

Top [6] Change brings about the end of good fortune and prosperity. Decline is inevitable, and violent resistance would only make matters worse. All a person can do is keep to his worthy goals and be supportive of those around him that are in agreement with his intentions.


Top of This Page | Table of Hexagrams | Introduction & Contents