58 Dui4



The lower: Dui (joy, the marsh). The upper: Dui (joy, the marsh).

Dui: joy (or to please), to speak, or to persuade; the marsh   






It becomes joy (or speaking, or persuasion) () after an entrance (Xun); therefore Dui () is granted.  Dui is signified as joy, or speaking, or persuasion (). A reformer, the feminine line of hexagram Xun (57), enters and turns hexagram Xun upside down to create Dui, which must be a true joy as it is entirely persuaded. dui4 is the conjugate of yue4 (joy or to please), (shuo: to speak, or shui4: to persuade, or yue4: to please), rui4 (sharpness like metal), etc. It is commonly paraphrased as joy () but is actually annotated in the I Ching as (joy, or speaking, or persuasion). Dui is the reverse hexagram of Xun; Xun is signified as to conceal as its feminine line prostrates itself beneath two masculine lines, while Dui is signified as to visualise and is sometimes regarded as a show-off as its joy appears externally.

Trigram Dui is a trigram of rigidity (two masculine lines) staying internally with tenderness (the feminine line on top) appearing externally; therefore it is signified as joy, i.e. a tender and joyous appearance but with a firm and reliable interior. Trigram Dui resembles a mouth which relates to speaking. Speaking with a firm attitude but tender expression is the way to persuade others.

Trigram Kan (the abyss, water) denotes water; after its bottom line changes to the masculine, like a sink being plugged, water is conserved becoming a marsh; therefore trigram Dui is taken for a marsh.

Hexagram Dui is comprised of two marshes, one atop of the other. Their waters flow reciprocally and complement each other, suggesting a mutually beneficial relationship; thus Dui is also referred to as friendship.

The inner hexagram of Dui is Jia Ren (37), the household, where its members righteously and harmoniously live together, leading to true joy. Its changing hexagram is Gen (52), to keep still, which refers to the self-cultivation of curbing one's desires and putting moral precepts into practice. This signifies that true joy (in the heart) is required to withstand the trials of self-cultivation; conversely, cultivating oneself brings about heartfelt joy.


Text: Dui (joy, or speaking, or persuasion), (which offers) smooth progress; it is advantageous (or appropriate) to persist (in the norm of hexagram Dui).

Commentary on the text: Dui, (signifying) joy (or speaking, or persuasion) ()(Those of) rigidity stay in the middle and (those of) tenderness appear externally.  Joy (or speaking, or persuasion) facilitates persistence (in what is intended); therefore it must submit to (the mandate of) Heaven and cater to (the wishes of) the people.  (Those above ought) to lead the people by means of joy (or speaking, or persuasion), so that the people will forget hardship: to joyously undertake ventures (for the people), so that the people won’t mind death (as a form of repayment).  Joy (or speaking, or persuasion) is so great that the people encourage one another.

Text explanation:

To retain masculine rigidity internally and express feminine tenderness externally leads to smooth progress. Therefore it is advantageous or appropriate to persist in the norm of hexagram Dui.

The tender (feminine) lines 6 and 3 represent the upper and the lower trigrams of Dui respectively, expressing joy externally, while the rigid (masculine) lines 2 and 5, at the core position of both trigrams, are firm and unyielding. Therefore Dui (i.e. joyously speaking to others and persuading them) facilitates persistence in what is intended. Additionally firmness at the dominant position possesses the principle of moderation enabling Dui to submit to Heaven, while tenderness appears externally enabling it to cater to the people. The norm of the hexagram is to be tender externally but remain firm with the principle of moderation internally.

In relation to Dui, those above should not seek to please people intentionally or superficially, rather they should always put the people's intentions first, to take care of their interests and treat them with kindness. Then the people will be willing to work hard and risk their lives in repayment.

Commentary on the image: The marshes which cling to each other, Dui.  A gentleman, in accordance with this, should repeatedly reconcile (講習) in a friendly manner.

The waters of two marshes complement each other like two friends helping each other, in accordance with which a gentleman should resolve disputes in a friendly manner. The original meaning of jiang3 is to reconcile, and xi2 means (a bird) repeatedly flapping its wings.


Hexagram Dui retains its masculine rigidity internally and expresses its feminine tenderness externally, so it can progress smoothly, and it is advantageous to persist. On the other hand, hexagram Dui remains firm with the principle of moderation internally and expresses joy externally; it is instrumental in persisting in and realising what is intended. However what is intended must submit to the mandate of Heaven and caters to the wishes of the people.

Dui isn't just limited to the meaning of joy; it is also an attitude of pleasantly getting along with others in order to obtain their cooperation, and a way of persuading others through firm but tender communication in order to achieve what one intends. It also involves acting ahead of them, as a vanguard, to win their heart.

Dui possesses the virtues of smooth progress, advantage and persistence (expressed in the form of persistence bringing forth benefit), but lacks that of origination; therefore it needs to seek what creates true joy.

Its changing hexagram is Gen (52), to keep still, signifying that true joy will lead to advanced self-cultivation.






Trigram Dui is presented in the form of a feminine exterior with a masculine interior. The tender feminine exhibits a pleasant appearance which can please, or bewitch, others, while the masculine rigidity is signified as a firm mind. Speaking with determination and a pleasant countenance to convince others is what people usually do when engaged in talks.

This even-tempered attitude, as well as a sincere and trustworthy approach provide the basis for successful talks and policies. The hexagram starts with harmonious talks at position 1. Line 2 holds talks based on sincerity and trust; however it has no correlation with line 5, the king and decision-maker. Line 4, the courtier in charge of talks, shuttles between them as a go-between. The capricious approach of line 3 reveals that line 5 is affected by line 6. After the king breaks his word, people leave him in the next hexagram Huan (59).

The 1st line

Text: Harmonious and peaceful () Dui (speaking and persuasion), (which is of) auspiciousness.

Text explanation:

Harmonious and peaceful talks signify eliminating hostility to reach a reconciliation through an even-tempered and good-humoured approach; peace and harmony are the foundation of smooth talks.

Lines 1 and 2 stay next to each other in a state of mutual repulsion (like two magnets with the same polarity repelling each other). This signifies that they must find a way to live peacefully together. Line 1, at the position right to it, can act righteously, while line 2, at the middle position of the lower trigram, possesses the principle of moderation. Therefore they should be able to get along in a harmonious manner. The original meaning of he4 is to join in singing harmony; it can be also pronounced as he2 and interpreted as 和平ping2 (peace).    

Commentary on the image: The auspiciousness of harmonious (and peaceful) Dui (speaking and persuasion), (signifying that) the action doesn't (or won't) cause suspicion.

From the viewpoint of the lower trigram confronting the upper trigram, it is essential for lines 1 and 2 to reach an internal consensus (within the lower trigram) before negotiating with their counterpart. It will be auspicious even though they occupy different positions and have different views (on a subject). This is because line 1 acts righteously, and line 2 can trust it through the principle of moderation.

From the perspective of assuming power through internal reform in hexagram Xun (57), talks are necessary as the new regime wasn't fully established. Talks are held in a peaceful way, which is auspicious as earlier actions didn't incur suspicion from the other side. If line 1 changes to feminine and doesn't act righteously according to what is designated, the lower trigram will become Kan (the abyss, water) denoting an illness of the heart, i.e. suspicion. Then the hexagram will become Kun4 (47), to be besieged, where no matter what is said, it won’t be believed.

Enlightenment through nine one: be harmonious with your partner and peaceful with counterpart. Talks start in a harmonious and peaceful way, which is auspicious. Or, it is auspicious because what is intended doesn't cause suspicion in one's counterpart. The hexagram becomes Kun4 (47) when this line changes to feminine.


The 2nd line

Text: Sincere and trustworthy Dui (speaking and persuasion), (which is of) auspiciousness; regret will be gone.

Text explanation:

Line 2 is a masculine axle centre in the place of feminine. Masculine solidity is signified as reliability, while the axle centre means that it is always in the middle. Masculine line 2 is surrounded by femininity (at the place where it stays) presenting a reliable and centric heart in the middle of tender flesh; this symbolises sincerity and trust. Therefore it holds talks with a sincere attitude accompanied by trustworthy actions.

It has no correlation with line 5, the decision-maker, and is ridden over by feminine line 3. It is faced with varied and changing approaches (see line 3), yet maintains sincerity and trust regardless of its counterparts and what type of approach they take. This attitude wins the trust of the decision-maker as the changing approaches were in fact determined by line 5 (see line 4). This is auspicious, and regret will be gone as an agreement will soon be reached.

Commentary on the image: The auspiciousness of sincere and trustworthy Dui (speaking and persuasion), (which is due to) trust in (its) intention.

Enlightenment through nine two: Sincerity and trust are the best approach (for talks). Holding talks based on sincerity and trust is the best approach; it is auspicious as one's counterpart will trust the intention to reach a fair deal. Regret will be gone as soon as an agreement is reached. If this line changes to feminine and has a correlation with line 5, the hexagram will become Sui (17), to follow, where one must make timely adjustments in accordance with the occasion but always stick to what is righteous.


The 3rd line

Text: Coming () Dui (to please and to speak), (which is) an ominous omen.

Text explanation:

lai2 (to come) is signified as downward movement along the timeline and here is taken for an approach from line 3 to line 2.

Line 3, the representative line of the lower trigram Dui, rides over line 2. It approaches line 2 toughly at times, like the feminine intimidating the masculine; other times it approaches in an ingratiating way, like Dui with a pleasant expression.

Should it come down to position 2, the lower trigram would become Li (clinging, fire) which denotes armour and weaponry, signifying that its approaches, i.e. menace or inducement, would lead to conflict.



Commentary on the image: The misfortune of coming Dui (to please and to speak), (which is due to) the position (where it stays is) inappropriate.

Line 3 isn’t at its right position, therefore, doesn’t act righteously. It exceeds the middle position of the lower trigram (i.e. the principle of moderation), signifying that it acts without restriction as well; therefore what it is doing will lead to misfortune.

Enlightenment through six three: 1) not to threaten or bribe, or 2) not to act like just a messenger (see line 4). To alternately please and menace one's counterpart is a clumsy approach. This will expose one’s intent, and reveal one's weakness and inconstancy. This is ominous. The hexagram that appears after this line is activated and changes to masculine is Guai (43), (the masculine) getting rid of (the feminine) with determination but peacefully as 1) this might cause an overwhelming counterattack. 2) Here it is misunderstood that it were assimilated by line 6 and therefore must win trust from its own people.


The 4th line

Text: Negotiating Dui (speaking, or persuasion) is underway but has not been settled yet (商兌未寧); to delimit (or to shuttle between) () illness will result in happiness.

Text explanation:

Talks are underway but have not yet reached a consensus. Navigating through the issues (or making use of a go-between) is the way to find compromise and reach an agreement. Happiness related to illness can be taken for the illness being cured, i.e. the problems being solved.

Line 4 is at the position of the courtier, i.e. the one who is responsible for talks; however it has no association with line 5, the decision-maker, or line 2, the sincere and trustworthy talks. If it can exchange positions with line 3, it will become feminine and sustain line 5, which will make the upper trigram appeared in the form of Kan (the abyss, water), illness of the heart. This signifies that the king’s concerns appear. After having acknowledged the king's will, feminine line 4 returns to its original position and expresses it openly to line 2; in the meantime Kan disappears.



shang means to conjecture (i.e. to know the interior of an object from its appearance), to discuss, and trade (by exchanging commodities); ning2 is the word spoken when praying, or making a wish, i.e. a heartfelt word, or states that are tranquil and peaceful. 商兌未 wei4 (not yet) can be paraphrased as: both sides have not yet talked in a heartfelt manner; therefore they continue to argue. jie4 originally meant to delimit and is commonly signified as being situated between.

Commentary on the image: The happiness of line 4, (signifying) there will be a celebration.

By going between the parties involved, the upper trigram and lower trigram, the problem is raised and solved. The happiness of line 4 signifies that the talks will succeed, and there will be a celebration after an agreement is reached.

Enlightenment through nine four: Through mediating between the parties concerned success is in sight. The talks have not been settled yet. Shuttling between the parties to raise and solve the issue can lead to a consensus. The hexagram that appears while this line is activated and changes to feminine is Jie (60), to restrict. Here it is advised to act righteously and submissively according to line 5 or what is designated.


The 5th line

Text: Sincerity and trust (is in a state of) being peeled off (like Bo, hexagram 23), (which is of) sternness and cruelty.

Text explanation:

A person loses sincerity and trust (i.e. credibility and reliability required to keep his word in talks), which will put him in a stern and cruel state (as everyone will leave him).

Line 5 at the king's position is the one who gives final approval to the talks, but it is ridden by feminine 6, the guiding Dui. It is affected by line 6 and risks its sincerity and trust being peeled off, like masculinity being overpowered by femininity.

If line 5 is changed to feminine, the inner upper trigram will become Kan (the abyss, water) denoting sincerity and trust, as well as peril, where line 5 rides on line 4, the representative line of trigram Kan, like intimidating sincerity and trust, and also like sitting on top of peril.



Commentary on the image: Sincerity and trust (is in a state of) being peeled off, (which is due to the fact that) the position (where it stays) is appropriate (to it).

Line 5 at the king's position is one whom all people want to please, and who easily indulges in flattery. This distances him from the truth (of line 2), especially when he isn't personally involved in the talks.

Enlightenment through nine five: 1) to keep one's word and not be affected, or 2) to look behind you. One is in a position of being influenced by others and erring in judgement. One will lose sincerity and trust through a refusal to accept the truth or concessions made during talks. The hexagram that appears while this line is affected and changes to feminine as well is Gui Mei (54), the younger sister accompanies her older sister in marriage to her brother-in-law as a concubine, where it doesn't follow the prescribed procedure (of marriage or what is agreed upon) but takes an aggressive action (i.e. reaches the target by one step); this is ominous and will result in nothing favourable (because it becomes a concubine).


The 6th line

Text: Guiding () Dui (pleasing and persuasion).

Text explanation:

yin3 signifies to draw (a bow), i.e. to pull and guide something to a certain position. Therefore guiding Dui is understood as: to please someone in order to persuade him to do something you want.

Line 6 represents the upper trigram Dui and rides on line 5, which signifies that it is driving line 5 in the talks by pleasing and flattering.

Commentary on the image: The guiding Dui (pleasing and persuasion) of line 6, (signifying its intent) has not been exposed (or, what it is doing is not honest and open).

Line 6 is a shaded feminine line in the place of the shaded feminine, signifying that it is acting in stealth, and its intent obscured when pleasing line 5; this is not honest and open.

Enlightenment through six six: 1) to act behind the scenes, or 2) look behind you. To persuade others to do something by pleasing and flattery is effective but not honest. If this line changes to the bright masculine, the hexagram will become Lu (10), to walk behind a tiger-like king, which suggests acting cautiously according to etiquette, i.e. the order of a system.