Archetype 32: Duration
But Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back each of you to your mother’s house. May the Lord deal kindly with you, as you have dealt with the dead and with me. The Lord grant that you may find security, each of you in the house of your husband.” Then she kissed them, and they wept aloud. They said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.”
But Naomi said, “Turn back, my daughters, why will you go with me? Do I still have sons in my womb that they may become your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go your way, for I am too old to have a husband. Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? Would you then refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, it has been far more bitter for me than for you, because the hand of the Lord has turned against me.” Then they wept aloud again. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth clung to her.
So she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in-law.” But Ruth said,
“Do not press me to leave you
or to turn back from following you!
Where you go, I will go;
where you lodge, I will lodge;
your people shall be my people,
and your God my God.
Where you die, I will die—
there will I be buried.
May the Lord do thus and so to me,
and more as well,
if even death parts me from you!”
When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, she said no more to her.
Naomi’s husband and sons have died. Only her two daughters-in-law, Orpah and Ruth, remain. This leaves the three of them in a very precarious position; they have no male family members to provide for them in a time when women have few options for self-support. Naomi has heard that there is food available in Moab and so decides to migrate there. She releases her two daughters-in-law to find new husbands and start new lives. Orpah leaves, but Ruth can’t bear to leave Naomi. Their bond is eternal and is forged by God. Ruth and Naomi do not know what the future will hold, but they know they will face it together.
The hexagram consists of the strength of the Word supported by the gentleness of the Spirit. There is great synergy between these two. They act as a single unit, moving together in a dance: forward, backward, growing, shrinking, but always together, and together enduring through all hardships.
There is a time...
- To honor the state of duration as a self-contained and self-renewing union, guided by God’s laws and beginning anew as each ending is reached.
- To meet life by contraction and expansion, contracting when reaching the end, and meeting each new beginning with expansion.
- To follow the example of God, whose love for us will endure forever.
- To understand the enduring laws of change and transformation: death and new life, winter and spring, night and day.
- To hold the meaning in one’s life as an enduring value.
- To recognize that one must sometimes be flexible about the path, even if one is sure of the destination.
Now is that time.
A moving line in the bottom position warns the wise one not to expect too much at first. That which endures needs to be built up patiently and gradually.
A moving line in the second position suggests a force of character that exceeds physical strength. This is a time to seek the guidance of Wisdom. By showing restraint and avoiding excess, positive movement is possible.
A moving line in the third position describes one who is at the mercy of mood swings between hope and fear. One is being buffeted by the unpredictable forces of the world, resulting in distress. But it isn’t just the world that is at fault. This is a time to look deeply into one’s own nature.
A moving line in the fourth position suggests that one’s goals can only be achieved by appropriate actions. One cannot seek treasure where there is none. Treasure can only be found where the treasure is. No amount of looking in the wrong place can result in success.
A moving line in the fifth position points back to Naomi and Ruth. It is Naomi’s role to lead with Wisdom, flexibility, and adaptability. She provides the attribute of endurance. It is Ruth’s role to follow and to support Naomi with her love and faithfulness. Both roles are necessary.
A moving line in the top position warns against busy activity that is not guided by Wisdom. One who is restless can accomplish little of value. Restlessness coupled with authority is a particularly lethal combination.
Other interpretations of Archetype 32:
- Tom Christensen's interpretation [click here]
- Cafe Au Soul's interpretation [click here]
- LiSe's interpretation [click here]
- Richard Wilhelm's interpretation [click here]
- Return to the Hexagram Index Table [click here].
- Return to Consulting the Christian I Ching [click here].
- Purchase a printed copy of Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching [click here].
- Learn about our Online Christian I Ching Workshop [click here].
- Find out about personal consultations [click here].
Reproduced with permission from Wisdom's Way; The Christian I Ching copyright (c) 2015 Roger Sessions.