恒 Héng Perseverance Endurance [hexagram 32]
Month 7 ; Host or Controlling line : 2
恒: 亨, 无咎, 利贞, 利有攸往. Héng: hēng, wú jiù, lì zhēn, lì yǒu yōu wǎng.
Heng indicates successful progress and no error (in what it denotes). But the advantage will come from being firm and correct; and movement in any direction whatever will be advantageous.彖传: 恒, 久也. 刚上而柔下, 雷风相与, 巽而动, 刚柔皆应, 恒. 恒亨无咎, 利贞; 久于其道也, 天地之道, 恒久而不已也. 利有攸往, 终则有始也. 日月得天, 而能久照, 四时变化, 而能久成, 圣人久于其道, 而天下化成; 观其所恒, 而天地万物之情可见矣! Tuàn zhuàn: Héng, jiǔ yě. Gāng shàng ér róu xià, léi fēng xiāng yǔ, xùn ér dòng, gāng róu jiē yīng, héng. héng hēng wú jiù, lì zhēn; jiǔ yú qí dào yě, tiān dì zhī dào, héng jiǔ ér bù yǐ yě. lì yǒu yōu wǎng, zhōng zé yǒu shǐ yě. Rì yuè dé tiān, ér néng jiǔ zhào, sì shí biàn huà, ér néng jiǔ chéng, shèng rén jiǔ yú qí dào, ér tiān xià huà chéng; guān qí suǒhéng, ér tiān dì wàn wù zhī qíng kě jiàn yǐ!
Heng denotes long continuance. The strong (trigram) is above, and the weak one below; (they are the symbols of) thunder and wind, which are in mutual communication; (they have the qualities of) docility and motive force; their strong and weak (lines) all respond, each to the other: - these things are all found in Heng. (When it is said that) 'Heng indicates successful progress and no error (in what it denotes); but the advantage will come from being firm and correct,' this indicates that there must be long continuance in its way of operation. The way of heaven and earth is to be long continued in their operation without stopping. (When it is said that) 'Movement in any direction whatever will be advantageous,' this implies that when (the moving power) is spent, it will begin again. The sun and moon, realizing in themselves (the course of Heaven), can perpetuate their shining. The four seasons, by their changing and transforming, can perpetuate their production (of things). The sages persevere long in their course, and all under the sky are transformed and perfect. When we look at what they continue doing long, the natural tendencies of heaven, earth, and all things can be seen.象传: 雷风, 恒; 君子以立不易方. Xiàng zhuàn: Léi fēng, héng; jūn zǐ yǐ lì bù yì fāng.
(The trigram representing) thunder and that for wind form Heng. The superior man, in accordance with this, stands firm, and does not change his method (of operation).
The first ‘six’, divided, shows its subject deeply (desirous) of long continuance. Even with firm correctness there will be evil; there will be no advantage in any way.象传: 浚恒之凶, 始求深也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jùn héng zhī xiōng, shǐ qiú shēn yě.
‘The evil attached to the deep desire for long continuance (in the subject of the first line)’ arises from the deep seeking for it at the commencement (of things).
The second ‘nine’, undivided, shows all occasion for repentance disappearing.象传: 九二悔亡, 能久中也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiǔ èr huǐ wáng, néng jiǔ zhōng yě.
‘All occasion for repentance on the part of the subject of the second ‘nine’, (undivided,), disappears:’ - he can abide long in the due mean.
The third ‘nine’, undivided, shows one who does not continuously maintain his virtue. There are those who will impute this to him as a disgrace. However firm he may be, there will be ground for regret.象传: 不恒其德, 无所容也. Xiàng zhuàn: Bù héng qí dé, wú suǒ róng yě.
‘He does not continuously maintain his virtue:’ - nowhere will he be borne with.
The fourth ‘nine’, undivided, shows a field where there is no game.象传: 久非其位, 安得禽也. Xiàng zhuàn: Jiǔ fēi qí wèi, ān dé qín yě.
(Going) for long to what is not his proper place, how can he get game?
The fifth ‘six’, divided, shows its subject continuously maintaining the virtue indicated by it. In a wife this will be fortunate; in a husband, evil.象传: 妇人贞吉, 从一而终也. 夫子制义, 从妇凶也. Xiàng zhuàn: Fù rén zhēn jí, cóng yī ér zhōng yě. fū zǐ zhì yì, cóng fù xiōng yě.
‘Such firm correctness in a wife will be fortunate:’ - it is hers to the end of life to follow with an unchanged mind. The husband must decide what is right, and lay down the rule accordingly: - for him to follow (like) a wife is evil.
The topmost ‘six’, divided, shows its subject exciting himself to long continuance. There will be evil.象传: 振恒在上, 大无功也. Xiàng zhuàn: Zhèn héng zài shàng, dà wú gōng yě.
‘The subject of the topmost line is exciting himself to long continuance:’ - far will he be from achieving merit.
Then the association of the gua to the annual cycle is shown - this is the Chinese lunar month number (not Western month). The controlling or host ‘yao’ is considered the most important line in the gua and is highlighted in the hexagram.
The main description for the hexagram is then followed by a section for each of the six possible changing lines which indicate the transformation into another, related gua. The text uses ‘nine’ to refer to a yang line and ‘six’ for a yin line. The pure yin and yang hexagrams have, however, a different text structure as they are so important.
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