32 Heng2



The lower: Xun (to enter, the wind). The upper: Zhen (to move, the thunder).

Heng: to endure, to be long-lasting; to maintain a long-lasting state through endurance and well-timed adjustments related to fixed aims.






The norm of husband and wife (who are married after Xian) must be long-lasting; therefore Heng is granted.  Heng is signified as a long time. The male and female marry thanks to telepathy (Xian). After the wedding, their relationship must endure. Heng literally means to remain constant and permanent, which here is annotated as to endure and last long. Heng is the reverse hexagram of Xian. Xian of hexagram 31 refers to (those moving) fast as telepathy can occur at a distance without physical contact, while Heng of hexagram 32 means long.

The upper (the external) trigram Zhen is the eldest son and the lower trigram (the internal) Xun is the eldest daughter, which here is taken to mean a couple. The male above takes charge of external affairs, while the female below is in charge of the internal, indicating harmonious co-operation, so their relationship will be long-lasting.

Hexagram Xian (31) is telepathy between the male and female, while Heng is a substantial and long term relationship between husband and wife, providing the basis for a new generation and the continuation of life.

The inner hexagram Guai (43), to get rid of, has the image of a dike breaking, signalling that Heng possesses the latent possibility of a break-up. Its changing hexagram is Yi4 (42), to enrich, signifying a long-lasting relationship between husband and wife resulting in mutual benefit and the increase (of life); in reverse, those above enriching those below of Yi4 will make their relationship last.


Text: Heng (endurance or everlasting), (which entails or contains) smooth progress, (which assures or there is) no fault (or calamity); it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist; it is instrumental in going somewhere.

Commentary on the text: Heng, (signifying) a long time.  (The one of) rigidity ascends while (the one of) tenderness descends; thunder and wind associate with each other.  (Heng exhibits its norm in the form of) Xun (as the internal trigram behaves) and then moves (as the external trigram Zhen acts); (those of) rigidity and (those of) tenderness are in correlation with one another.  Heng (entails or contains) smooth progress, (which assures or there is) no calamity (or fault); it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist, (signifying) to remain everlasting with its norm; the norm of heaven and earth is (nothing but) endurance without stop.  It is instrumental in going somewhere; a start will follow in the wake of the ending.  Sun and moon obtain the (eternal) heavens and then can shine everlastingly; four seasons vary (consistently) and then can achieve the longlasting (growth of all creatures); the sage endures with his norm and then the world can be cultivated (accordingly)By observing that which constructs Heng, the sentiment (how to act and why) of heaven and earth as well as the whole of creation can be seen.

Text explanation:

Hexagram Heng forms after the bottom line of trigram Qian (perseverance, heaven) ascends to the bottom position of trigram Kun (submissiveness, earth), creating trigram Zhen, and the bottom line of trigram Kun descends to the bottom position of trigram Qian, creating trigram Xun. Trigram Zhen is thunder and trigram Xun is wind; both disappear quickly. However the thunder carried by the wind can travel far, and the wind accompanied by the thunder can move with prestige (instead of appearing silently and disappearing without leaving a trace).




The interior of Heng, trigram Xun, is as flexible as the wind; its exterior, trigram Zhen, therefore acts in accordance with the trend of the times. This facilitates its endurance and achievement of the everlasting.

The endurance of hexagram Heng entails smooth progress; freedom from fault (or calamity) can be attained after smooth progress. Smooth progress and freedom from fault (or calamity) ensure the everlasting. Therefore it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist in the norm of Heng (i.e. to act flexibly according to the trend of the times), and it is instrumental in achieving the everlasting of what is intended.

On the other hand, all the lines of the upper and the lower trigram correlate with one another in a harmonious manner; therefore the quality of the everlasting in hexagram Heng contains smooth progress and freedom from fault (or calamity), which is instrumental in undertaking what is intended.

As the heavens are eternal, the sun and moon circulate eternally, illuminating the world. The seasons constantly change creating the pattern of spring, summer, autumn and winter, by which all life is incubated, matures and breeds, generation after generation. The sage follows this norm, and the world becomes civilised under his cultivation.

Commentary on the image: The wind (and) the thunder; Heng.  A gentleman, in accordance with this, performs without changing his principles.

Both wind and thunder disappear quickly; however they can travel far when they act together. The gentleman must persist in upholding his principles when he acts, which will make what he does everlasting.


To endure in order to achieve the everlasting; the everlasting entails smooth progress and it will be free from fault (or calamity) after smooth progress is attained. It is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist in the norm of Heng (i.e. to act flexibly according to the trend of the times) and it is instrumental in achieving the everlasting of what is intended. On the other hand, the everlasting contains properties of smooth progress and freedom from fault (or calamity); therefore it is advantageous (or appropriate) to maintain it and it is instrumental in undertaking what is planned.

From hexagrams Qian and Kun, Heng inherits the virtues of smooth progress, advantage twice and persistence (as expressed in the forms of persistence bringing forth benefit and being instrumental), but excludes that of origination. Hence, Heng must seek the root so as to ensure those virtues will be everlasting.

Its changing hexagram is Yi4 (42), to enrich, signifying that benefit will accrue once the everlasting is achieved and maintained.

The hexagram text of Heng exhibits an auspicious state; contrarily its line texts are teeming with ominous omens, which is due to the fact that Heng focuses on the conclusion instead of each individual phase.






To act rightly according to normality ensures the required steadiness to achieve the everlasting; the normality is available at the position which is right or appropriate to its line. To act according to the principle of moderation (i.e. neither hasty nor slow) will lead one to the everlasting and maintain it forever. Endurance is that which can finally achieve the everlasting, necessary change in accordance with the times makes it possible.  

The lower trigram Xun blows like the wind, where steadiness is required, while the upper trigram Zhen quakes like the thunder, where consistency is required. On the other hand, the internal trigram Xun exhibits flexibility like the wind in order to conform to the requirement of the everlasting and establish it, while the external trigram Zhen (to move) acts in accordance with circumstances to maintain it.  

Therefore, line 1 must build a foundation for the everlasting based on normality. The principle of moderation in line 2 offers endurance and leads to the everlasting. Line 3 doesn't maintain its virtue to carry it to the upper trigram; therefore nothing can be obtained at position 4. Heng of the female at position 5 is to serve one husband to the end, but the male must do what is appropriate in accordance with the trend of the times. In line 6 endurance becomes unsteady due to the frequent changes, which is ominous; or, if the everlasting becomes unsteady, a change must occur.


The 1st line

Text: (The subject engages in) dredging Heng (everlasting); to persist is ominous, (and) nothing is favourable.

Text explanation:

Line 1 comes originally from the trigram Kun, and arrives at the earth position (i.e. positions 1 and 2) of hexagram Heng to become the representative line of the lower trigram Xun, to enter. Therefore it dredges deep into the ground and endures.

It isn't at the position right to it but is in correlation with line 4. Instead of moving forth and exchanging positions with line 4 to attain steadiness, line 1 moves downward in the opposite direction, deep into the ground. This is ominous if line 1 persists in acting against normality, i.e. not to move along the timeline in seeking its right position. Nothing is favourable in continuing to do this.

Should it exchange positions with line 4, it would gain normality and the hexagram would become hexagram Tai (11), to proceed smoothly and without obstruction, signifying it can last long.



Commentary on the image: The misfortune of dredging Heng (everlasting), (which is due to) looking for depth right at the beginning.

The everlasting requires a deep and stable foundation. Deep dredging at the wrong position won't secure steadiness.

Enlightenment through six one: 1) normality is that which can last long, or 2) to find out what is the aim and take correct action. Doing spadework (for the ever-lasting) without evaluating what is right to do. To persist is ominous. No matter what is done, there will be nothing favourable. The hexagram that appears while this line changes to masculine and acts rightly at its position is Da Zhuang (34), largeness and strength, which persists in righteousness bringing forth benefit.


The 2nd line

Text: Regret will be gone.

Text explanation:

The text jumps to a conclusion without noting the cause; that is because the status of line 2 is self-explanatory.

Masculine line 2 doesnt stay at a position right to it, i.e. it cant obtain the stability to maintain the long-lasting, so it has regret. However, it is at the middle position of the lower trigram and behaves moderately; the principle of moderation is that which can keep things everlasting; thus regret will be gone.

Commentary on the image: The regret of line 2 is gone, (which is due to the fact that it is) able to remain long with (the principle of) moderation.

Enlightenment through nine two: 1) the principle of moderation is that which offers endurance, or 2) stamina is that which achieves the goal. Originally it feels regret when it seems that it can't maintain the everlasting, yet it actually achieves that once it acts in accordance with moderation; thus regret is gone. The hexagram appears in the form of Xiao Guo (62), slightly exceeding the principle of moderation, i.e. a slight over-compensation in order to return to what is right, when this line is activated and ends up as feminine.


The 3rd line

Text: (The subject does) not Heng (endure) with its virtue; as if suffering humiliation, to persist will be resented.

Text explanation:

Masculine line 3 stays at a position right for it, signifying it possesses normality and it acts righteously according to the requirement of Heng, i.e. maintaining steadiness. Supposedly it should remain where it is. However the masculine tends to move, and it is at the position for marching upward, as well as being in correlation with line 6 (the quaking Heng). If it exchanges positions with line 6, the hexagram will become Wei Ji (64), not having completed yet, which is seen as a failure as the perfect state achieved in hexagram Ji Ji (63) is completely destroyed. This result shows that it is humiliated by what it did.

Commentary on the image: (Line 3 does) not Heng (endure) with its virtue, (which results in) no room for it.

Line 3 forfeited its virtue (of moderation) when it left position 2 for position 3, and it forsakes its virtue (of righteousness) while it is marching to the upper trigram (i.e. a higher level). Therefore those below are appalled by what it did, while those above belittle it. 

Enlightenment through nine three: to carry on with what has been achieved or is engaged in because continuance is that which leads to the end. If a person cant maintain his virtue (of moderation and righteousness), he will be humiliated and shunned by society. He will be resented if he persists without a correction. The hexagram will become Xie (40), alleviation, if this line changes to feminine and remains still. The crisis is alleviated as it will be attacked here if it doesnt behave itself. 

The 4th line

Text: (The subject catches) no bird in the (hunting) field.

Text explanation:

Masculine line 4 is the one that comes originally from trigram Qian to trigram Kun, the field. Its arrival results in the bottom line of trigram Kun leaving for trigram Qian and forming the lower trigram Xun, the chicken, which here is taken for the bird that line 4 is looking for. Line 4 arrives at the field but no bird is here.




Commentary on the image: (Line 4) not having stayed long at its position, how to acquire the bird?

Line 4 just steps into the upper trigram, a new field, and position 4 is not a place right to it, signifying it hasn't stayed long and cant stay long. A person doesn't stay at his post long enough, so how can he attain achievement?

Enlightenment through nine four: 1) endurance is necessary for achievement, or 2) don't stick to your folly and do nothing. No bird is in the hunting field, so nothing can be acquired. A person hasn't stayed at his post long enough, so he can hardly attain any achievement. The hexagram that appears while this line changes to feminine, acting righteously and remaining still, is Sheng (46), where the plant that grows with the seasons can grow high.


The 5th line

Text: (The subject is in a state of) Heng (everlasting or endurance) with ones virtue; to persist, (which is) auspicious to the female, (but) ominous to the male.

Text explanation:

Line 5 is the feminine in the middle position of the upper trigram and in correlation with masculine line 2, signifying it is tender and moderate in responding to the masculine. Although line 5 isnt at an appropriate position for it, it must persist in remaining still with what it is; it is auspicious for the female to maintain this virtue. In ancient China, the virtue of the female was to be with one husband for life. Once married, no matter what future the husband had, she was expected to be chaste and loyal, and share his fate.

If line 5 changes to masculine (becoming a male), the hexagram will become Da Guo (28), large excess, which presents a bending ridgepole and signifies the rigidity (of masculinity) reaching an extreme, i.e. a lack of flexibility. Therefore it is ominous for the male to remain still at this position.

Commentary on the image: It is auspicious for the female to persist, (signifying) to be engaged to one (husband) for life.  The male should do what is appropriate; it is ominous to follow (the virtue of) the female.

The female must persist in her virtue and stay with her husband for life. However the male must do what is appropriate, i.e. to act with the trend of the times.

Enlightenment through six five: a female should remain still with what she is; however a male should do what is appropriate. It is auspicious for the female to endure with her virtue, but it is ominous for the male. The male must follow the trend of the times and do what is appropriate as the hexagram will become Da Guo (28), a bending ridgepole, if this line changes to masculine.


The 6th line

Text: (The subject is in a state of) quaking Heng (everlasting or endurance), (which is) an ominous omen.

Text explanation:

The hexagram reaches the end and is about to change, like the everlasting at the upper extremity of the upper trigram Zhen starting to quake, while line 6 is feminine and at its right position, i.e. it tends to remain still and tries to maintain the everlasting. This wont last long if it doesn't follow the trend of the times and change accordingly; that would be ominous.

The everlasting is not that which precludes change; necessary changes must be made if conditions don't comply with its requirement. Change can create a favourable turn and offer continuous development.

Commentary on the image: Quaking Heng (the everlasting or endurance) at the top, (signifying) no achievement at all.

Quaking Heng can also be understood as endurance becoming destabilized due to frequent changes in accordance with the trend of the times, nothing can be achieved, like a rolling stone gathering no moss.

Enlightenment through six six: 1) Nothing can be achieved if endurance becomes unstable. However, 2) when one's position is precarious, a proper change must be made in order to obtain a breakthrough and maintain the everlasting. Endurance reaches the end and becomes unstable; nothing can be achieved if endurance can't last to the end. Or, a person ignores that the environment is going to change but remains still; this is ominous. To change according to the trend of the times is that which makes things last longer. If this line makes a change becoming active masculine, the hexagram will become Ding (50), innovation, which signifies that change will create a new lease on life.