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I ching

Heng (Duration)

I Ching Hexagram 32
Heng (Duration)

Action: Commit

Hu Gua (hidden influence) 43 Determination: Breakthrough

Zong Gua (underlying cause) 42 Increase: Expand

Commitment is the force of attraction that brings all things back to you.

Tis not the many oaths that make the truth;
but the plain single vow, that is vowed true. – Shakespeare

Reading at a Glance: While much changes in life, there are elements that are enduring. Constancy and commitment ensure success in both relationships and career. A person who is committed to achieving a particular goal will persevere until the goal is achieved. They do so because they focus on results and not just tasks. At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter how many tasks you accomplished. Rather, did you accomplish your goal? When obstacles appear, it is the commitment to succeed that can turn the obstacle into a learning experience. For someone not committed to success, an obstacle is a reason to give up. If we share a lot of words to tell the story of our failure, it is a good sign that commitment was lacking. Commitment needs no words and is reflected in endurance. In the same way, marriages that operate on commitment weather any conditions. Marriages sought just for benefit or pleasure will break apart the moment difficulties set in. Yet in nature difficulty or limitations are its treasure trove for bringing something to a higher level. This can enhance relationships which explore difficulty as a means of digging deeper into intimacy and understanding. The hidden influence is Determination because breaking through any obstacle requires this constancy and commitment. The underlying cause of Expansion shows that rather than look at accomplishment out there, we turn within and examine our foundation. Commitment is like gravity that pulls you toward the object of your desire. Once in orbit, there is not much that can pull you from success. You can be sure that there is an element of consistency associated with the object of your inquiry. You can be committed to either failure or success and the end result will always reveal which one it is.

colorful jungle frog looking up with big eyes

Nature teaches constancy –

in relentless


Never complete

and without extremes.

“Relationships should be long lasting; therefore follows the principle of duration.” The Thunder and Wind Arouse movement in an enduring portrayal of what remains constant.

The situation requires your commitment to weather the highs and lows in the same way that all successful partnerships are founded in this way. Either you are validating reasons to go or reasons to stay. Observing this validation process will reveal your level of commitment to stay the course.

The master said: “When you act from benevolence, it will feel good; it will feel like self-realization.” Benevolence allows you to recognize your connection to what unfolds. Nowhere is this more apparent than when you make a commitment to your spouse. Fulfilling their needs is inseparable from fulfilling your own. Only when both of you are fulfilled, do you experience personal contentment in the relationship.

The same commitment should be cultivated in following the Way.

The nuclear trigrams of the Joyous Lake and the Creative portray ‘firmness in joy.’ Firm in joy, you will experience the joy of discovery. The image of two broken pieces of pottery that fit together perfectly suggests the partnership formed at the threshold of perspective. Commitment is the force of attraction that brings all things back to you.

Commitment gives durability to the changes. Nature is composed of phenomenon that arises from the unseen or hidden movement of something deeper. Thunder is the explosive sound of expanding air when heated by lightning. Wind is the movement of air when hot and cold pressure systems collide. Although you cannot see the greater force, you can observe its effects in what unfolds. This is how a commitment or trust in the way gives durability to that which is to come.

Benevolence is an unconditional appreciation for what is, and keeps you open. Union brings two things together to make them one. In this case, your inner perspective is ‘joined’ with experience. Whether in relationship to each other or to events, “stand firm and do not change direction.”

Embodied in Heng is the idea that although things come to a conclusion there remains a quality that is enduring. A torrential storm can pass through a landscape, but what is firm will not only remain, it will be strengthened. The master said: “It furthers one to have somewhere to go.” Through movement you can you test your unwavering commitment in the face of adversity.

Commitment always unites what was once perceived to be separate. When you “fix the mind on an end that endures,” commitment is the unseen, which gives durability to the changes.

Approaching the gateway of perception, strengthen your trust in what remains unseen and unproven. You are carried through life as the image of a boat and a heart between two shores. The two shores are how you travel between good and bad, right and wrong, emptiness and fullness as you classify your journey. In reality, they are merely the banks of one great river. Life is powerful and good; it is profoundly committed to your success, but you must remain committed to meeting events ‘half way’ with sincerity and openness.

Like the highs and lows and the vicissitudes of emotions spent during courtship, once a commitment is established, the Way becomes much easier. “Fix the mind on and end that endures. Knowing that which is to come” is made easier by the simple act of devotion.


Constancy endures = commitment is like gravity. Duration unchanging can show that the situation you are inquiring about is a lasting one. That might be good news if you are looking for constancy in a presently good situation. If the idea of a current situation continuing isn’t good news, perhaps because you are single, then you might want to give consideration to what you are committed to achieving. If all of your relationships feel like abandonment or rejection, then examine a possible fear of intimacy that is making you attract the wrong partners. Perhaps you don’t realize you are afraid to have a lasting relationship. If you are not achieving success as you would like, examine your vision, perseverance and whether you give up too soon. Heng is about constancy and aligning with the appropriate time. You may be seeking an answer about what you don’t understand today, but its ‘appropriateness’ will manifest as time passes. Its core message is that the result always rests in your mindset. A move toward commitment or the need for examining consistency in outlook is necessary in your present situation. A commitment that is enduring can move mountains.

Line 1:

Seeking duration too soon, misfortune = nothing that would further. Changes to (34) Great Power. You are seeing a situation that is in flux as permanent. Don’t jump to conclusions or rush in making a commitment too soon. There are elements that are still unfolding so be patient and examine sincerity in the direction you would like to go. Let events unfold before drawing conclusions.

Line 2:

Regret disappears = abide in the due mean. Changes to (62) Small Exceeding. Avoid extremes in action and find the middle way between receptivity and action. You may have complicated the situation with too much force and may need a more simple approach. By matching your fortitude to what the situation calls for, regret disappears and things flow more easily. The due mean and Small Exceeding both suggest the middle path without extremes.

Line 3:

No duration to character leads to disgrace = persistent humiliation. Change to (40) Liberation. Emotions run between hope and fear leading to inconsistency in character. The result is not only a lack of success but an undermining of self esteem. Calm the turbulent waters of your emotions and hold to your inner consistency. Vacillating with a lack of commitment to success leads to failure. Liberation shows that you need to keep your mind free of fear in moving forward. Hope is not the same thing as commitment.

Line 4:

No game in the field = persistence is inadequate. Change to (46) Pushing Upward. If your goals are unrealistic you’ll have difficulty achieving them. Therefore you reinforce failure because nothing happens. However, if you examine your desire and set small attainable goals, you can succeed. You are seeking something that cannot be found where you are currently looking. Seeking something in the wrong way is also futile. Pushing Upward suggests patience and rising from the center toward real fulfillment.

Line 5:

Duration to character through perseverance = male and female keep to proper roles. Changes to (28) Critical Mass. Logic and the need to act or not act is always changing although emotional responses should be tamed. The feminine sense of following intuition and being receptive should remain constant even while masculine traits of daring and force will be flexible and changing as events call for a different approach. This is the essence of constancy in character. Emotionalism can waste the energy necessary for endurance. Tame yourself and change as the circumstances require.

Line 6:

Restlessness as an enduring condition brings exhaustion = misfortune. Changes to (50) Cauldron. The concept of duration teaches constancy but a lack of focus and perpetual anxiety will wear you down. You can rush to conclusions or feel that a decision has to be made instantly when the situation will resolve itself if you leave it alone. Life often makes the decision for you if given time. All the worrying merely depletes your power to succeed. The Cauldron shows that a transformation of thought is in order.

*This page provides insight on the following combinations: Hexagram 32 unchanging Hexagram 32.1 Hexagram 32.1.2 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 32.2 Hexagram 32.2.3 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 32.3 Hexagram 32.3.4 Hexagram Hexagram Hexagram 32.4 Hexagram 32.4.5 Hexagram Hexagram 32.5 Hexagram 32.5.6 Hexagram 32.6