Category Archives: 32. Hêng – Duration

Hêng – Duration


The strong trigram Chên is above, the weak trigram Sun below. This hexagram is the inverse of the preceding one. In the latter we have influence, here we have union as an enduring condition. The two images are thunder and wind, which are likewise constantly paired phenomena. The lower trigram indicates gentleness within; the upper, movement without.In the sphere of social relationships, the hexagram represents the institution of marriage as the enduring union of the sexes. During courtship the young man subordinates himself to the girl, but in marriage, which is represented by the coming together of the eldest son and the eldest daughter, the husband is the directing and moving force outside, while the wife, inside, is gentle and submissive.


DURATION. Success. No blame.Perseverance furthers.It furthers one to have somewhere to go [the potential of choice and act opens itself in the portend of events] Duration is a state whose movement is not worn down by hindrances. It is not a state of rest, for mere standstill is regression [a tree that achieves its finest momentum focuses on strenghtening its branches and roots]. Duration is rather the self-contained and therefore self-renewing movement of an organized, firmly integrated whole [co-arising in co-dependence of firm harmony], taking place in accordance with immutable laws and beginning anew at every ending. The end is reached by an inward movement [after the act, we reflect and regenerate our forces, fortify the branches and roots], by inhalation, systole, contraction, and this movement turns into a new beginning, in which the movement is directed outward, in exhalation, diastole, expansion.Heavenly bodies exemplify duration. They move in their fixed orbits, and because of this their light-giving power endures [12-year cycle of the Sun’s repolorization may be taken for phoenix-like breath or a heartbeat]. The seasons of the year follow a fixed law of change and transformation, hence can produce effects that endure.So likewise the dedicated man embodies an enduring meaning in his way of life, and thereby the world is formed. In that which gives things their duration, we can come to understand the nature of all beings in heaven and on earth.


Thunder and wind: the image of DURATION.Thus the superior man stands firm And does not change his direction.Thunder rolls, and the wind blows; both are examples of extreme mobility and so are seemingly the very opposite of duration, but the laws governing their appearance and subsidence, their coming and going, endure. In the same way the independence of the superior man is not based on rigidity and immobility of character. He always keeps abreast of the time and changes with it. What endures is the unswerving directive, the inner law of his being, which determines all his actions.


Six at the beginning means: Seeking duration too hastily brings misfortune persistently. [analogies: works unfinished, breath untaken – to solidy something without running its full course brings no fruit,the former is of low quality, or falls into ruin, or brings about bad consequences, the latter may lead to suffocation and the next breath is harsh and quick] Nothing that would further.Whatever endures can be created only gradually by long-continued work and careful reflection. In the same sense Lao-tse says: “If we wish to compress something, we must first let it fully expand.” [expanding nature, works, imagination, notion requires exploration in its fullest, this mental activity let’s contract it to its essential parts and makes it fruitful, conveyable and understood well, when one masters a science well, one speaks about it in meaningful way to expert and non-expert audiences, in simple and complex ways, similarly when one masters one’s nature well, one expresses is in manifold ways, depending on the audiences – one does not act like a general in front of one’s friend, one does it in front of an army, one does not act like a beggar when he one has food to eat, but if he is destitute, what else is there to act like a mendicant and be one, even if one was a general before? ‘He hides his nature when it’s expression is superficial, he expands his nature when it’s expression is necessary’, and ‘Each time he expands his nature, he attempts to contract it to the finest’ according to situation, according to need] He who demands too much at once is acting precipitately, and because he attempts too much, he ends by succeeding in nothing [if one plots to many threads, bening, or malevolent, one get’s captured in anothers’ net]

Nine in the second place means:Remorse disappears.The situation is abnormal. A man’s force of character is greater than the available material power. Thus he might be afraid of allowing himself to attempt something beyond his strength. However, since it is the time of DURATION, it is possible for him to control his inner strength and so to avoid excess. Cause for remorse then disappears.

Nine in the third place means:He who does not give duration to his character Meets with disgrace.Persistent humiliation.If a man remains at the mercy of moods of hope or fear aroused by the outer world, he loses his inner consistency of character [detachment from the outer world, and engaging it when necessary is a question of discernment]. Such inconsistency invariably leads to distressing experiences. These humiliations often come from an unforeseen quarter. Such experiences are not merely effects produced by the external world, but logical consequences evoked by his own nature [‘characters and natures are sowing fates’ – which means that we do take responsibility for evoking consequences of our existence, but partially, being a part of the causality we may retrace selective trends of events with density-of-causality* to this, self-grasping defeats us, non-attachment to self and good conduct safeguards us] .

*The density of event-threads, similar to the weigh of nodes 
and connections in-between them related to a particular 
subject and actor of the event-threads, flashes of events etc. 
As in 'a dog barked and five people heard it', constitutes a
network of six, in which the dog is an actor, and people are
subjects; One person in this network is the subject in which
he is aware of the dog barking as a single event; The whole
net-density is greater then the sum of events and nods, but
it varies from node to node in varied ways, for example a couple
may hear the dog at once and the situation is triangulated in 
between the dog and the couple [two persons]

Nine in the fourth place means:No game in the field.If we are in pursuit of game and want to get a shot at a quarry, we must set about it in the right way. A man who persists in stalking game in a place where there is none may wait forever without finding any [seeking knowledge, wisdom, or keys in the desert leads nowhere, although we may be convinced we are looking in a treasury, this may be a mere illusion. people attached to studious knowledge related to soteriology may seek it all their lives, but a fool acting out may accidentally find it faster, too much distate of the former ones, both the studious master, and a brilliant fool may find a way arousing too much  feelings of disparity in the studious pedants, and miracle-seeking fools although they should not be discarded by a discerning sage – ‘a fools has a right to live, just like anyone else’, if ‘we can talk many ways’, yet preserve dignity and honesty of a clear mind, we may find allies amongst anyone without degrading or compomising our nature by an inch]. Persistence in search is not enough. What is not sought in the right way is not found.

Six in the fifth place means:Giving duration to one’s character through perseverance.This is good fortune for a woman, misfortune for a man. A woman should follow a man her whole life long, but a man should at all times hold to what is his duty at the given moment. Should he persistently seek to conform to the woman, it would be a mistake for him [wise female may see both perspectives]. Accordingly it is altogether right for a woman to hold conservatively to tradition, but a man must always be flexible and adaptable and allow himself to be guided solely by what his duty requires of him at the moment. [in some cultures a female was considered the ‘steel centre of societal core’, upon which one might rely, if she was wise and strong to know herself, the Huns were travelling, relying on a matriarchy, in China it was different, let us remember that  mixing modern concepts – like feminism or chauvinism – and applying them to these social and inter-sex arrangements misses the point: majority of ‘liberation’ of female was taken from ‘liberation from Judeo-Christian model of a female’, sex reality construed by a Judeo-Christian, a Roman patriarchate female, a Thracian female, a Hindi caste female had a different role, identity, and parity in their respectful societies]

Six at the top means:Restlessness as an enduring condition brings misfortune.There are people who live in a state of perpetual hurry without ever attaining inner composure. Restlessness not only prevents all thoroughness but actually becomes a danger if it is dominant in places of authority.