Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

I Ching: The Ancient Chinese Book of Changes

Availability: Ready to download

The 2,500 year old Yi-jing or I Ching, translated as The Book of Changes, is a Chinese work of divination and prophecy. Dating from the 4th century BC, it is traditionally consulted by performing complex routines of dropping bundles of dried grass stalks. The particular patterns formed when six stalks are dropped are represented by 64 symbols called hexagrams, which show e The 2,500 year old Yi-jing or I Ching, translated as The Book of Changes, is a Chinese work of divination and prophecy. Dating from the 4th century BC, it is traditionally consulted by performing complex routines of dropping bundles of dried grass stalks. The particular patterns formed when six stalks are dropped are represented by 64 symbols called hexagrams, which show every possible combination of broken and unbroken stalks. The Book of Changes tells the reader how to interpret the hexagrams to decide which is the best approach or action in a given situation. This book features these 64 hexagrams, and their accompanying name in Chinese script, accompanied by an elegant translation of the interpretations. The book also features additional commentaries and explanations of ancient Chinese divination. Beautifully produced in traditional Chinese binding and with a timeless design, this book will allow anyone fascinated by the traditional philosophies of the East to follow in the footsteps of Confucius and use the I Ching to predict their destiny.


Compare
Ads Banner

The 2,500 year old Yi-jing or I Ching, translated as The Book of Changes, is a Chinese work of divination and prophecy. Dating from the 4th century BC, it is traditionally consulted by performing complex routines of dropping bundles of dried grass stalks. The particular patterns formed when six stalks are dropped are represented by 64 symbols called hexagrams, which show e The 2,500 year old Yi-jing or I Ching, translated as The Book of Changes, is a Chinese work of divination and prophecy. Dating from the 4th century BC, it is traditionally consulted by performing complex routines of dropping bundles of dried grass stalks. The particular patterns formed when six stalks are dropped are represented by 64 symbols called hexagrams, which show every possible combination of broken and unbroken stalks. The Book of Changes tells the reader how to interpret the hexagrams to decide which is the best approach or action in a given situation. This book features these 64 hexagrams, and their accompanying name in Chinese script, accompanied by an elegant translation of the interpretations. The book also features additional commentaries and explanations of ancient Chinese divination. Beautifully produced in traditional Chinese binding and with a timeless design, this book will allow anyone fascinated by the traditional philosophies of the East to follow in the footsteps of Confucius and use the I Ching to predict their destiny.

30 review for I Ching: The Ancient Chinese Book of Changes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The I Ching or Book of Changes, Anonymous The I Ching or Yi Jing, also known as Classic of Changes or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, literature, and art. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000 The I Ching or Book of Changes, Anonymous The I Ching or Yi Jing, also known as Classic of Changes or Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and the oldest of the Chinese classics. Possessing a history of more than two and a half millennia of commentary and interpretation, the I Ching is an influential text read throughout the world, providing inspiration to the worlds of religion, psychoanalysis, literature, and art. Originally a divination manual in the Western Zhou period (1000–750 BC), over the course of the Warring States period and early imperial period (500–200 BC) it was transformed into a cosmological text with a series of philosophical commentaries known as the "Ten Wings". After becoming part of the Five Classics in the 2nd century BC, the I Ching was the subject of scholarly commentary and the basis for divination practice for centuries across the Far East, and eventually took on an influential role in Western understanding of Eastern thought. تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه مارس سال 1983 میلادی عنوان: ئی چینگ، یآ: کتاب تقدیرات، کهنترین کتاب حکمت و فالنامه چینی، گردآوری: آلفرد داگلاس؛ پیشگفتار: کارل گوستاو یونگ؛ مترجم: سودابه فضائلی؛ تهران، نقره، 1362؛ در 346 ص؛ چاپ پنجم 1381؛ چاپ دیگر: نشر روایت، 1373؛ در 351 ص؛ چاپ دیگر: نشر ثالث، چاپ هفتم 1376؛ چاپ نهم 1381؛ شابک: 9646404030؛ موضوع: آثار و نوشتارهای کهنسال چینی - سده 21 پیش از میلاد ئی چینگ، یا کتاب دگرگونی‌ها، کتاب مقدس چینیان، و کهن‌ترین متن برجای مانده، از چین باستان است. در این کتاب مقدس، که بیش از چهار هزار سال قدمت دارد، شصت و چهار علامت، همراه با تفسیر آن علامتها، آورده شده‌ است. هدف «ئی چینگ»، بیان تغییراتی است، که در سطح کیهان، رخ می‌دهند، و امواج و حلقه‌ های بخت را، تشکیل می‌دهند. انسان، به وسیله ی «ئی چینگ»، نیروهای بخت را، رهبری می‌کند، و از رویدادهای درون زندگی، با خبر می‌شود، و در مواقع موردنیاز، می‌تواند جریان زندگی را، به سود خویش دگرگون کند. «ئی چینگ» نمی‌گوید، که چه چیزی در آینده رخ خواهد داد، اما می‌گوید: چرا رخدادها بدانگونه هستند، و روشی را که آدمی، باید در آینده برگزیند، پیشنهاد می‌دهد. تاریخچه ی «ئی چینگ»: بنا بر نظریه‌ ای، ریشه‌ های علائم «یی‌چینگ»، از خطوط پشت لاک‌ پشت، اقتباس شده‌ است، و افسانه‌ ها، کشف هشت «سه‌ خطی» را، به «فوه سی» امپراتور اسطوره‌ ای چین، نسبت می‌دهند. مرحله ی بعدی پیشرفت «ئی چینگ»، در حدود 1150 سال پیش از میلاد، در اواخر سلسله شانگ، رخ داد، در آن زمان، آخرین امپراتور آن سلسله، «چو هسین»، دستور دستگیری امیر «ون» را داد، و او را در پایتخت خود، زندانی کرد. امیر «ون»، با مطالعه بر روی سه‌ خطی‌ها، شصت و چهار «شش‌خطی»، به دست آورد. پس از آنکه دولت مرکزی، به دست طرفداران امیر «چو، پسر امیر ون» منحل شد، و امیر «چو»، به عنوان امپراتور شناخته شد، وی با مطالعه در آثار پدر، تفسیر خود، در مورد هر خط، از شش‌ خطی‌ها را، به کتاب افزود، که شامل سیصدوهشتادوچهار قطعه شد. بعدها، این کتاب، به: «کتاب چویی»، معروف شد. در اوایل سده ی پنجم پیش از میلاد، کنفوسیوس «چویی» را مطالعه کرد، و به احتمال بسیار، برخی از تفسیرهای «ئی چینگ» را، ایشان، یا شاگردانش، نوشته باشند. در اواخر سده سوم میلادی، عارفی جوان، به نام: «وانگ پی»، با خوانش «ئی چینگ»، آنرا فلسفه ی زندگی شمرد. ئی چینگی را که اکنون در دسترس است، همان روایت «وانگ پی» می‌دانند، که به زبان چینی جدید تدوین شده‌ است. منبع: داگلاس، آلفرد. «یی‌چینگ یا کتاب تقدیرات». مترج:ه سودابه فضایلی. نشر نقره، چاپ اول 1362 هجری خورشیدی. ا. شربیانی

  2. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    I read a little bit of this book almost every day. I can usually find a sentence or more that resonates with me on that day. The ancients believed that this book was a representation of the voices of spirits. It is thousands of years old. I don't know how to use divination with it, but I feel like it is a reliable friend who always gives good advice pertinant to my situation. My favorite line today is, "Everything that gives light is dependent on something to which it clings, in order that it ma I read a little bit of this book almost every day. I can usually find a sentence or more that resonates with me on that day. The ancients believed that this book was a representation of the voices of spirits. It is thousands of years old. I don't know how to use divination with it, but I feel like it is a reliable friend who always gives good advice pertinant to my situation. My favorite line today is, "Everything that gives light is dependent on something to which it clings, in order that it may continue to shine" (119, trigram 30, The Clinging, Fire). This is how I feel about books. Books are the things to which I cling and which allow me to contribute any portion of light to the world (ie. not dwell entirely in despair and darkness).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    I find it strange when people quote this book. I've seen multiple philosophers, writers, History Channel documentaries, heck, even Sean Connery in Zardoz quote the I Ching. Don't they realize that the I Ching's advice is directed towards the specific hexagram casted in response to a specific question? Its advice is catered to those who ask it– its words cannot be pulled out of context and applied to any life situation willy-nilly! The results could be disastrous! Take these two quotes, as an exa I find it strange when people quote this book. I've seen multiple philosophers, writers, History Channel documentaries, heck, even Sean Connery in Zardoz quote the I Ching. Don't they realize that the I Ching's advice is directed towards the specific hexagram casted in response to a specific question? Its advice is catered to those who ask it– its words cannot be pulled out of context and applied to any life situation willy-nilly! The results could be disastrous! Take these two quotes, as an example: "It is worthwhile to cross great rivers." "It is not worthwhile to cross great rivers." So is it worthwhile to cross great rivers or not? Without casting, who would know! You could choose the former, and cross that great river, and all get dysentery and get swept away! "Most likely" safe to cross, huh. Shoulda flipped some coins first, yeah, good ol' Chingy would've told you to take the toll road around it, that way you could've made it to Oregon with some surviving family members.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    At one point in my life while semi-transient, it was necessary to leave a portion of my library behind. So I left a box of books on a corner in Berkeley. My I Ching- the Blofeld translation- was amongst these. Some ten years later, I was browsing a bookstore on Haight St. and found a copy of the I Ching in the dollar discount rack. Opening it to the inside cover revealed a very familiar ink stain- green ink, which I suppose I had spilled on it, back in high school. So what are the odds of anyone At one point in my life while semi-transient, it was necessary to leave a portion of my library behind. So I left a box of books on a corner in Berkeley. My I Ching- the Blofeld translation- was amongst these. Some ten years later, I was browsing a bookstore on Haight St. and found a copy of the I Ching in the dollar discount rack. Opening it to the inside cover revealed a very familiar ink stain- green ink, which I suppose I had spilled on it, back in high school. So what are the odds of anyone finding again the exact same copy of a book long abandoned and given up for dead? "Don't leave me, don't leave me again!" it cried. Needless to say, I took it back home & resolved never again to forsake... "It must have been karma, man." I originally got my copy somewhere around 1969, and bought it specifically because it was smaller, more portable, much less expensive, and an easier ("less thick") translation than the Wilhelm book. I think in many ways it's a lot better, since Wilhelm's focused on the yarrow-stalk technique (yarrow stalks being not an item one can find at hand nor in your usual downtown suburban Woolworth's)- and Blofeld's gave instructions on how to use coins- any three coins of a similar value would do, but pennies being most common, are easily fished from a pocket and available even in most dire circumstances (the kind you'd like to ask the I Ching how you can get out of!) And of course, the I Ching, once you begin using it & get its idioms, isn't exactly the kind of book you ever "finish reading..."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Erik Graff

    The introduction by C.G. Jung was quite helpful in making sense of these ancient "divination texts" as reflective tools. So helpful that I tried it several times with the simple coin method and could see what he was getting at. Intellectually, however, the most interesting thing was the suggestion of a radically different sense of time. Emotionally, I had been brought up with the ideology of evolutionary progress while intellectually I subscribed to the notion of time as the essentially neutral The introduction by C.G. Jung was quite helpful in making sense of these ancient "divination texts" as reflective tools. So helpful that I tried it several times with the simple coin method and could see what he was getting at. Intellectually, however, the most interesting thing was the suggestion of a radically different sense of time. Emotionally, I had been brought up with the ideology of evolutionary progress while intellectually I subscribed to the notion of time as the essentially neutral schematization of change. Here, in the I Ching, was a formalistic approach to time. In other words, as in astrology or even in Marx's conception of epochs, periods of time have a characteristic entelechy.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Souldaddy

    As a skeptic I have a hard time reconciling logic & reason with my experiences concerning this book. The I Ching is like Chinese astrology that uses coins instead dates. You throw the coins and get a nugget of wisdom that speaks to your life and its problems. Logic would immediately say this is preposterous and I tend to agree, even now. The only problem with my conclusion is that hundreds of coin throws have shown me the I Ching is anything *but* random. A friend introduced me to the book an As a skeptic I have a hard time reconciling logic & reason with my experiences concerning this book. The I Ching is like Chinese astrology that uses coins instead dates. You throw the coins and get a nugget of wisdom that speaks to your life and its problems. Logic would immediately say this is preposterous and I tend to agree, even now. The only problem with my conclusion is that hundreds of coin throws have shown me the I Ching is anything *but* random. A friend introduced me to the book and how to "throw the bones." At some point I started throwing the coins without his help, and my errors were the first clue that logic alone was unable to comprehend this book. The I Ching is based on a binary gate, a broken or unbroken line, formed in trigrams and hexagrams. It's easy to interpret results the opposite of what they are, reversing a line or the order they are interpreted. So I would ask the book a question and throw a hexagram which vaguely commented on my issue. To double-check my work, I would read the various hexagrams that were opposite or perpendicular to the "true" hexagram. It was then I found out that, as vague as the true hexagram was, the other hexagrams didn't comment on my question at all. Many smart people have read the I Ching simply as a book of wisdom. For this purpose I highly recommend it as one of the best works of eastern philosophy available. Like astrology, the I Ching divides life into archetypes, forces that play off of each other in creating the basic human experience. The I Ching philosophy is a model and like any model some people will find it hopelessly vague, but this should never be your excuse for avoiding this kind of writing. The wisdom does not arise from what names the I Ching chooses to throw your experience into, but rather how it divides these experiences and how such archetypes balance off each other. The I Ching focuses on change specifically. In the end, I realized the secret to the I Ching's success was in making it's philosophy personal. I can read Nietzschean philosophy but because I don't personally ascribe to his logic it stands apart from me. Yet in taking my life into account whenever I read the I Ching, it's had a more profound effect on my thinking then all of my favorite philosophers combined. The accuracy of the book becomes irrelevant, the important thing is the thought process through which the I Ching takes you.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Alva Ware-Bevacqui

    I have used this little Book of Changes for about 15 years (I'm on my second copy) and it has never, ever, ever steered me wrong (unless I've ignored what it said, which has been far too often). Sure, you may think that throwing three coins in the air six times can't tell you anything, but you'd be surprised at how accurate the I Ching is. I've read other I Ching books and this is by far the most accessible. Written by the head doctor for a major circus (go figure!), it is unpretentios and alway I have used this little Book of Changes for about 15 years (I'm on my second copy) and it has never, ever, ever steered me wrong (unless I've ignored what it said, which has been far too often). Sure, you may think that throwing three coins in the air six times can't tell you anything, but you'd be surprised at how accurate the I Ching is. I've read other I Ching books and this is by far the most accessible. Written by the head doctor for a major circus (go figure!), it is unpretentios and always, always wise with imagery you can understand. The I Ching is NOT about telling the future (in case you were hoping it was) - it's really about how to live and it fits into any religion or no religion. If you approach the book seriously, you'll get a lot out of it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brian Fitzgerald

    This book has changed my life more than once. It's an old friend now, dog-eared and battered from travels on five continents, a bit salt-stained from time at sea. In the 1980s I created a software version on a floppy disk. In 2014 I upgraded that to an app for iPhone, Kindle, iPad, Android, and Apple Watch. It's my spelunking buddy in the caverns of the sub-conscious, my wise father, my Sancho Panza, my mystic magician. You might enjoy this piece I wrote about the I Ching in WIRED: My Quest to b This book has changed my life more than once. It's an old friend now, dog-eared and battered from travels on five continents, a bit salt-stained from time at sea. In the 1980s I created a software version on a floppy disk. In 2014 I upgraded that to an app for iPhone, Kindle, iPad, Android, and Apple Watch. It's my spelunking buddy in the caverns of the sub-conscious, my wise father, my Sancho Panza, my mystic magician. You might enjoy this piece I wrote about the I Ching in WIRED: My Quest to bring Hippy Mysticism to the Apple Watch.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    Mind blown. The Book of Changes has changed me--significantly and substantially.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Yigal Zur

    great to practice and brood. my hero Dotan Naor in my thrillers use it when he wonder which path to take to solve a case.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tita

    This one is, for me, the grandfather of all the books I use. I occasionally read it, consult it, when I want a complete and full (and usually quite symbolic and mysterious) reading, for it is the translation closest to the original that I have found. However, I have other translations I use for faster readings or for explanations/explorations into deeper aspects of the figures. My longtime copy of this book has been packed away for several years (long story!), and I have continually thought that This one is, for me, the grandfather of all the books I use. I occasionally read it, consult it, when I want a complete and full (and usually quite symbolic and mysterious) reading, for it is the translation closest to the original that I have found. However, I have other translations I use for faster readings or for explanations/explorations into deeper aspects of the figures. My longtime copy of this book has been packed away for several years (long story!), and I have continually thought that it will surface one day. Finally, recently, I realized that it's okay simply to buy another copy! Seeing it on my shelves again is like finding an old friend to reconnect with. I also recommend highly the Introduction in this book, just for good reading, for it is written by Carl Jung, who was a friend of Richard Wilhelm (the translator) and who tells a charming story of his own discovery of the I Ching through Wilhelm's friendship. For English readers, I would guess that this is the "authentic" version.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    A beautiful book that teaches us that change can't be changed...it will become what it was meant to be without our consideration or approval.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    This isn't a book that you sit down a read through (although you can if you want), but more of a tool to use daily/weekly/whenever the needed arises. The wisdom in these pages is incredible, and for whatever reason whichever chapter(s) you roll, the advise within said chapters is always relevant. I highly suggest everyone get a copy and use it to provide some perspective whenever you find yourself in need. You don't need to believe in any supernatural powers to utilize this. Its power lies in it This isn't a book that you sit down a read through (although you can if you want), but more of a tool to use daily/weekly/whenever the needed arises. The wisdom in these pages is incredible, and for whatever reason whichever chapter(s) you roll, the advise within said chapters is always relevant. I highly suggest everyone get a copy and use it to provide some perspective whenever you find yourself in need. You don't need to believe in any supernatural powers to utilize this. Its power lies in it's ability to be relevant no matter what - you unconsciously make it fit into whatever is going on in your life.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robtee

    It profits the wise man to cross the water, to be still in winter, active in summer, humble in life and graceful in death

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lehcim Nosre-dna

    IT'S ALIVE!!!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary-Jean Harris

    This is a great introduction to the I Ching. First of all, it contains the whole I Ching with lots of commentaries and explanations, historical ones and those from the author. And secondly, the introduction by John Minford was excellent, with a history of divination that progressed to the I Ching, as well as very useful examples of how to actually DO it--when I first got the book and flipped through it, it seemed all fine and dandy, but although you can flip through the hexagrams, how do you act This is a great introduction to the I Ching. First of all, it contains the whole I Ching with lots of commentaries and explanations, historical ones and those from the author. And secondly, the introduction by John Minford was excellent, with a history of divination that progressed to the I Ching, as well as very useful examples of how to actually DO it--when I first got the book and flipped through it, it seemed all fine and dandy, but although you can flip through the hexagrams, how do you actually read some meaning out of it? This is what the author laid out quite nicely. To me, this book is like Tarot cards, and I use it in a similar manner to the cards. Although the process is different, the spirit of it is the same. What you read from it is different for each person, and yet there is an underlying truth to it that many can read from it. It's not just arbitrary, but very relevant to what we ask it. It is beautifully written and can not only help us guide our lives, but understand the world we live in. It's an honour to be able to read this ancient text, and this translation is a wonderful place to start.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Avery

    A translation into a mixture of English and Latin. Some commentaries are translated. "Horses wheel; They pull at odds. A wife is sought. A Destination Is Auspicious, Hoc bonum. All things Profit, In nullo non convenit. "On the Image: Both the seeking and the Destination Show clarity, Claritas. "[Author’s commentary] Yin Line in Yin Place. The bride ‘goes’ with her suitor. All is ‘clear.’ This Line Resonates with Yang in First Place. This is the right moment, advises Magister Liu. True Yang Energy i A translation into a mixture of English and Latin. Some commentaries are translated. "Horses wheel; They pull at odds. A wife is sought. A Destination Is Auspicious, Hoc bonum. All things Profit, In nullo non convenit. "On the Image: Both the seeking and the Destination Show clarity, Claritas. "[Author’s commentary] Yin Line in Yin Place. The bride ‘goes’ with her suitor. All is ‘clear.’ This Line Resonates with Yang in First Place. This is the right moment, advises Magister Liu. True Yang Energy is in sight.” I think it's now safe to reveal that there was originally a much longer review in this space, but I was asked to remove it by John Minford's son, on the grounds that it was too negative. Suffice to say I was not satisfied with this translation and I find the Wilhelm far superior.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tracy O

    Yes, I KNOW. All of the hackles on your back are going up as you read this title. All I can say is that when you read this (and, yep, cast the pennies in this case) you will think this is SO much baloney. But, I really think that the readings are just a way to think about your life using a new window - what's another way to look at my situation? Everytime I think about an issue using this, I have a new insight - it's darn straight-forward.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

    de facto translation of the i ching for english-onlys like us americans tend to be. if you are really interested in the i ching, you need to read this book at least once and to keep it as a reference. the readings are incredibly insightful and sound incredibly natural given the two levels of translation (chinese -> german -> english). i often find myself wondering if the obfuscation of the double translation is actually a blessing for such an esoteric and uninterpretable text.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sidhartha

    This is only alive book I know. I'm reading it constantly or maybe it would be more correct to say am talking with it constantly.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mr. P

    I've been studying this book since 1973, the same year I went to college.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    This is THE authoritative version of the I Ching, or Book of Changes. It is both a compendium of ancient knowledge that is still perfectly applicable to contemporary situations, and an oracle that clearly defines any situation and points to the correct action (or non-action) required to resolve the situation in the most effective manner. I have used the oracle on and off for nearly 50 years and it has never led me astray. A good deal of immersion / meditation / intuition is required to understan This is THE authoritative version of the I Ching, or Book of Changes. It is both a compendium of ancient knowledge that is still perfectly applicable to contemporary situations, and an oracle that clearly defines any situation and points to the correct action (or non-action) required to resolve the situation in the most effective manner. I have used the oracle on and off for nearly 50 years and it has never led me astray. A good deal of immersion / meditation / intuition is required to understand the book's description of the players in any given situation, and to (as I think of it) lay the book's "template" over the situation to "decode" it, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature. The book was first translated in the early 20th century from the original Chinese into German by Richard Wilhelm, and then from German into English in the late 1940s by Cary F. Baynes. There is a wonderful Foreword written by Carl Jung, who used the German version of the oracle to cast light on events in his own life. Well worth the time and effort.

  23. 5 out of 5

    John Burns

    You aren't really meant to read it from cover to cover. It's more something that you delve into in a semi-chaotic manner from time to time. The text functions as something of a "random fresh-perspective generator" and can help you to see specific problems in a new light. I found it pretty insightful and hope that i can find it useful in the future. I haven't spent enough time with it to be able to recommend it but i suspect most people would find the sort of input that the I Ching can offer to be You aren't really meant to read it from cover to cover. It's more something that you delve into in a semi-chaotic manner from time to time. The text functions as something of a "random fresh-perspective generator" and can help you to see specific problems in a new light. I found it pretty insightful and hope that i can find it useful in the future. I haven't spent enough time with it to be able to recommend it but i suspect most people would find the sort of input that the I Ching can offer to be helpful in a wide variety of situations.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    If you are looking for a beginners book on the I Ching that is easy to understand and easy to use then this book is for you. I use it almost daily and it never fails to offer good advice.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Jackson

    6 in the fourth position. Bones are scattered. A heavy tome is regarded. The solemn reader is rewarded. No blame.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan B

    This is the best translation I've ever read. I keep it with my Bible. They are my guides in life.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Paul Haspel

    I change, and you change. Each of our lives is a book of change; and every day, each one of us wonders how our fortunes may change in the future. Therefore, it is perfectly understandable that one of the oldest known books is a divination manual that dates back to ancient China, and that is titled I Ching: The Book of Change. Scholars estimate that the I Ching dates back to around 825 B.C., meaning that it predates Homer’s Iliad by 75 years or so. As the I Ching is a divination manual, I expect t I change, and you change. Each of our lives is a book of change; and every day, each one of us wonders how our fortunes may change in the future. Therefore, it is perfectly understandable that one of the oldest known books is a divination manual that dates back to ancient China, and that is titled I Ching: The Book of Change. Scholars estimate that the I Ching dates back to around 825 B.C., meaning that it predates Homer’s Iliad by 75 years or so. As the I Ching is a divination manual, I expect that many readers will respond to it in terms of their feelings about divination. For my part, I see the I Ching as a chapter – an early chapter – in the ongoing story of human beings seeking to find meaning in their existence, to discern order and pattern in what often seems a difficult and chaotic world. John Blofeld, the editor and translator of this 1968 Penguin Books edition of the I Ching, does believe in the efficacy of this book as a means of anticipating the future. But you don’t have to believe in the I Ching as divination manual to get something out of it. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the method of divination set forth by the I Ching involves the manipulation of divining sticks, each of which displays either a solid pattern, or one that is broken in the middle. Place the sticks in groups of six, and the possible patterns that those six sticks can make total 64. Each of these groups of six sticks is known as a hexagram; and from the way these divining sticks combine into hexagrams, the diviner is said to be able to offer advice regarding the suitability (or lack thereof) of a proposed action. This method of divination seems analogous to (though less messy than) the ancient Greek practice of reading the entrails of birds in order to divine the future. Translator and editor Blofeld provides helpful commentary that shows how the people who composed the I Ching looked at fortune in human life. Blofeld suggests that “The authors of the Book of Change did not regard the future as unalterable; they thought in terms of mighty sequences of change following a regular course with predictable results, like the process of the four seasons, or like a river…its water destined, sooner or later, to reach the sea” (p. 61). The people of other early civilizations believed that the future was fixed and unchangeable; an Athenian of Sophocles’ time would have told you that it was Oedipus’ fate to murder his father and marry his mother, and that Oedipus could do nothing about it. All that can be hoped for, in the system of the ancient Greeks, is to accept with dignity the unalterable dictates of all-powerful fate. The ancient Chinese view seems to have been different: in Blofeld’s words, “[A] man who swims with the current can, within reason, choose his course; and, even should he attempt to swim against the current and amidst treacherous whirlpools, his destruction can be advanced or delayed within certain limits by his own action” (p. 61). The I Ching is meant to help one make good decisions by anticipating the inevitable, cyclical changes of fortune in every life. The advice given is sometimes vague, as when Hexagram 6 (Sung, or Conflict) declares that “It is advantageous to visit a great man, but not to cross the great river (or sea)” (p. 100). Okay, fine, but what great man? And what great river or sea? One interprets the advice in terms of one’s own situation, and how one interprets an ambiguous pronouncement could make all the difference. During the Persian Wars, Themistocles of Athens heard the Delphic oracle’s advice that “a wall of wood alone shall be uncaptured” and wisely interpreted the oracle’s words as referring to shipbuilding rather than fortifications; and the “wooden walls” of the Athenian navy subsequently defeated the Persians at the decisive battle of Salamis. By contrast, King Croesus of Lydia, contemplating an attack against the Persians, went to the oracle and was told, “If you attack, a mighty empire will be destroyed.” Croesus did attack the Persians, and a mighty empire was destroyed – his own. Some of the advice in the I Ching may seem rather common-sense; the frequent repetition of variations on the advice that “Persistence in a righteous course brings reward” (p. 200) may leave some readers thinking that they could simply go to Abraham Lincoln’s suggestion, “Be sure that you are right, then go ahead.” But there are many passages that convey much of the world-view of ancient China, as with the statement in Hexagram 23 (Po, or “Peeling Off”) that “The Superior Man respectfully contemplates the ebb and flow, the unending succession of repletion and depletion which constitutes the way of heaven” (p. 132). There is one more thing that comes to my mind as I consider the I Ching – something that occurred to me as I read the book on a recent visit to Hong Kong and Macau, Chinese territories where people have turned to the I Ching countless times over the centuries. Many times, in my childhood home in Bethesda, Maryland, I would hear my mother on the telephone, taking excitedly with her friends about the horoscopes from that morning’s Washington Post. My mom and her friends, all devout Catholics, all really enjoyed reading the astrology page, even though doing so might seem somewhat paradoxical. On the one hand, there are the stern anti-divination dictates of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition (as when Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, denounces anyone “that useth divination” as “an abomination unto the Lord”). On the other hand, all people feel that understandable, inescapable human curiosity that is encapsulated in that universal question: “What is going to happen to me today?” The I Ching provides a valuable early example of human beings responding to, and seeking answers for, that question.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Atalina Wright

    This discrete little book presented itself to me at a timely juncture in my life during my early twenties. Over ten years later, it is still a timeless collection of philosophies on life, containing within it that mysterious mystical quality which seems to correspond, often with great accuracy, to one's state of consciousness and life circumstances in any particular moment. Written by the great and ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, who to some was a scholar and to some simply a legend, it is This discrete little book presented itself to me at a timely juncture in my life during my early twenties. Over ten years later, it is still a timeless collection of philosophies on life, containing within it that mysterious mystical quality which seems to correspond, often with great accuracy, to one's state of consciousness and life circumstances in any particular moment. Written by the great and ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, who to some was a scholar and to some simply a legend, it is filled with simple passages providing deep wisdom and understanding on all aspects of life; from the nature of reality and existential questions to guidance on morality and conduct. Whilst female readers may need to insert their own pronoun in places, The I Ching remains a unique and special book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    James Berghout

    I have and have read many version of The I Ching. This is one of my favorites for it's simplicity and beauty. This is generally the first one I pick up when consulting the I Ching, and then if I want to go more in depth, I'll refer to others, particularly The Complete I Ching by Huang, which is a close second.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Ohara

    Holy fucking shit, I finnaly finished this thing!!!! Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but it is not a 'read in one sitting' book. Challenging, intricate and even repetitive, the I Ching is a book for the ones who really want to understand the idea of mutation and the eternal cycle of life. But, more than that, it is a great example of how chinese philosophy was built and how it gave basis for confucianism, taoism and confirmation to the advent of buddhism.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.