I Ching Hexagram 58 - Tui / The Joyous, Lake

hexagram 58
  • Above Tui the Joyous, Lake
  • Below Tui the Joyous, Lake


This hexagram, like sun, is one of the eight formed by doubling of a trigram. The trigram Tui denotes the youngest daughter; it is symbolized by the smiling lake, and its attribute is joyousness. Contrary to appearances, it is not the yielding quality of the top line that accounts for joy here. The attribute of the yielding or dark principle is not joy but melancholy. However, joy is indicated by the fact that there are two strong lines within, expressing themselves through the medium of gentleness. True joy, therefore, rests on firmness and strength within, manifesting itself outwardly as yielding and gentle.

See the James Legge translation of this hexagram.

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The Joyous. Success. Perseverance is favorable.

Judgement Commentary

The joyous mood is infectious and therefore brings success. But joy must be based on steadfastness if it is not to degenerate into uncontrolled mirth. Truth and strength must dwell in the heart, while gentleness reveals itself in social intercourse. In this way one assumes the right attitude toward God and man and achieves something. Under certain conditions, intimidation without gentleness may achieve something momentarily, but not for all time. When, on the other hand, the hearts of men are won by friendliness, they are led to take all hardships upon themselves willingly, and if need be will not shun death itself, so great is the power of joy over men.

The Image

Lakes resting one on the other: The image of The Joyous. Thus the superior man joins with his friends for discussion and practice.

Image Commentary

A lake evaporates upward and thus gradually dries up; but when two lakes are joined they do not dry up so readily, for one replenishes the other. It is the same in the field of knowledge. Knowledge should be a refreshing and vitalizing force. It becomes so only through stimulating intercourse with congenial friends with whom one holds discussion and practices application of the truths of life. In this way learning becomes many-sided and takes on a cheerful lightness, whereas there is always something ponderous and one-sided about the learning of the self-taught.

The Lines

Nine at the beginning means: Contented joyousness. Good fortune.

A quiet, wordless, self-contained joy, desiring nothing from without and resting content with everything, remains free of all egotistic likes and dislikes. In this freedom lies good fortune, because it harbors the quiet security of a heart fortified within itself.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 47 - K'un / Oppression (Exhaustion). This line is happy, life is good because this line is satisfied with what he is and has. Legge puts it as "...shows the pleasure of inward harmony." The resultant hexagram 47, Oppression (Exhaustion), shows that even this modest happiness will pass to its opposite eventually. "Times of adversity are the reverse of times of success, but they can lead to success if they befall the right man." This line man may be the right man and be able to use this situation to his advantage and so obtain the success that is possible. It wont be easy though.

Nine in the second place means: Sincere joyousness. Good fortune. Remorse disappears.

We often find ourselves associating with inferior people in whose company we are tempted by pleasures that are inappropriate for the superior man. To participate in such pleasures would certainly bring remorse, for a superior man can find no real satisfaction in low pleasures. When, recognizing this, a man does not permit his will to swerve, so that he does not find such ways agreeable, not even dubious companions will venture to proffer any base pleasures, because he would not enjoy them. Thus every cause for regret is removed.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 17 - Sui / Following. Inner strength and worth saves this lines from temptation and delivers him from evil. By focusing on things and people of real worth we protect ourselves from what is injurious. Legge's interpretation is "...the subject of it (this line) might be injuriously affected, and there would be cause for repentance. But the sincerity natural in his central position counteracts all this." The outcome hexagram 17, Following, advises us that "...consistency in doing right... it is only under this condition that we can in turn follow others without coming to harm."

Six in the third place means: Coming joyousness. Misfortune.

True joy must spring from within. But if one is empty within and wholly given over to the world, idle pleasures come streaming in from without. This is what many people welcome as diversion. Those who lack inner stability and therefore need amusement, will always find opportunity of indulgence. They attract external pleasures by the emptiness of their natures. Thus they lose themselves more and more, which of course has bad results.

Changing only this line creates Kuai / Break-through (Resoluteness). This line does the opposite of the previous one. Pleasures of all kinds attract and distract do things of worth fall to the background. This is hardly for the best. In Legge we find "The evil threatened in it would be a consequence of the excessive devotion of its subject to pleasure." Seems very straightforward a situation. The resultant hexagram 43, Break-through (Resoluteness), shows that this line needs to act to fix the situation we find here. Such action will be onerous and dangerous and require that utmost courage. Is this line really up to this or even interested? Success if it is.

Nine in the fourth place means: Joyousness that is weighed is not at peace. After ridding himself of mistakes a man has joy.

Often a man finds himself weighing the choice between various kinds of pleasures, and so long as he has not decided which kind he will choose, the higher or the lower, he has no inner peace. Only when he clearly recognizes that passion brings suffering, can he make up his mind to turn away from the lower pleasures and to strive for the higher. Once this decision is sealed, he finds true joy and peace, and inner conflict is overcome.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 60 - Chieh / Limitation. This line needs to decide how it will live its life. Material pleasure or higher concerns, which to choose? Ultimately this line makes the correct choice. In Legge we see that this line "...reflects and deliberates before he will yield to the seduction of pleasure, and there is cause for joy." The resultant hexagram is 60, Limitation. Do not take pursuit of higher things to an extreme as suppression of ones instincts causes many more problems than it solves. "Galling limitation must not be persevered in." The middle way is appropriate here.

Nine in the fifth place means: Sincerity toward disintegrating influences is dangerous.

Dangerous elements approach even the far best of men. If a man permits himself to have anything to do with them, their disintegrating influence acts slowly but surely, and inevitable brings dangers in its train. But if he recognizes the situation and can comprehend the danger, he knows how to protect himself and remains unharmed.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 54 - Kuei Mei / The Marrying Maiden. Care in choosing ones associates is a mark of wisdom. Legge "...shows its subject trusting in one who would injure him. The situation is perilous." The outcome predicted here is hexagram 54, The Marrying Maiden. Do not associate with those who one should not associate with! Simple.

Six at the top means: Seductive joyousness.

A vain nature invites diverting pleasures and must suffer accordingly (cf. the six in the third place). If a man is unstable within, the pleasures of the world that he does not shun have so powerful an influence that he is swept along by them. Here it is no longer a question of danger, of good fortune or misfortune. He has given up direction of his own life, and what becomes of him depends upon chance and external influences.

Changing only this line creates Hexagram 10 - Lu / Treading (conduct). If one has no self-control, control over ones self will be exercised elsewhere. This line has no control over its life anymore it is solely concerned with such fripperies as fame and notoriety. Legge's interpretation is the same, this line "...attracts others round itself for the sake of pleasure." The outcome of this situation is hexagram 10, Treading (conduct). This line will find itself in a difficult and dangerous position. Perhaps, if it exercises great circumspection it will escape with its life.

See the James Legge - I Ching Hexagram 58 - Tui / The Joyous, Lake translation of this hexagram.