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I Ching Hexagram Interpretations

32: Endurance


Endurance is fostered when determination is coupled with flexibility. Long-distance runners must adapt to changing conditions, while maintaining a strong sense of purpose. Two trees growing near each other bend and adapt to enhance each other’s survival. A strong image of durability is the stable marriage of intimate partners, which strikes a dynamic balance between involvement in the outside world and nourishment in the home.

True endurance is not based on rigidity, for endurance implies movement, not being locked in position. Only by adapting to change can we stay in the race, while only by deepening our sense of purpose can we call forth the fortitude to win it.

Continuity is achieved through movement, not by keeping still. That which has ceased to grow is moving toward death. Be actively changing, but stay strongly connected with your roots, your deepest thoughts and feelings.

Changing Line Interpretations

Line 1 (bottom line)

Trying to establish an enduring relationship too quickly will bring misfortune. Have patience, and do not expect immediate success. Work step by step. What endures best is what has been carefully developed. If you are craving too much, too quickly, you may end up with nothing.

Line 2

Success in lengthy undertakings comes to those who know how to manage resources. If you are attempting something that seems to be beyond your capabilities, time is your friend. Focus on perseverance in seeing things through. Control your energy. Avoid serious risk-taking right now and there will be no cause for remorse.

Line 3

Moody inconsistency brings misfortune. A weakened sense of purpose can be caused by excessive concern for the desires or values of others or society at large. Cultivate the simple pleasures of life in the home, and even your work may improve. Develop consistency of character to keep humiliation at bay.

Line 4

Pure motives do not ensure success. Skill is required, but even that is not all. The hunter who searches for game in deserted areas might wait forever without firing a shot. Persistent searching in the wrong places is not enough. Master the essential skills of your enterprise, position yourself wisely and your efforts will not be in vain. What is not searched for in the right place cannot be found.

Line 5

Only the true nature of the times can determine whether you should be supportive or assertive right now. What role do circumstances need from you right now -- to be an active leader or a follower? There are no absolute answers, no formulae, no permanent solutions, on the path to good fortune. To endure to the end, you must be adaptable and continually readjust yourself like a sailor tacking in the wind. Let yourself be guided by the winds of your higher calling.

Line 6 (top line)

Restlessness defeats endurance. Scurrying about in circles just makes one dizzy. Seek to regain inner composure, so that you can tune your body and mind like a fine violin. Only when the inner frenzy stops can sweet music echo through the halls of time. Perseverance furthers.