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I Ching – The Chinese Oracle

Copyright © 2009 by Tony Crisp

Smashwords Edition 1.0 December 2009


The I Ching intrigued me, not so much because it is a very ancient book, the culmination of many great minds and a great culture, but because it was largely couched in symbols. My work with dreams and the way people use imagery in thinking and expression, made me want to tackle the I Ching. I wanted to see if I could put into clearer English what is usually said in rather poetic and indefinite prose.

Apart from being a book of wisdom in the ancient Chinese tradition, the I Ching was also consulted on questions of state, warfare and personal decision making. It is this aspect of it which is dealt with here. Consulting the I Ching does not present us with statements of what will happen as a fated future. The wisdom behind the book does not see the future as unalterably fixed, but rather like a constantly shifting flux similar to the seasons, with which we can interact. What we receive in a consultation is like a conversation with a wise and experienced friend, who through their experience might point out that if we take our present course within the situation as it stands, the results might be in a direction we do not wish - but if we take another attitude circumstances could change, then we can act more forcefully and effectively.

The Chinese Book of Change - The I Ching (pronounced Yee Jing) - is one of the most ancient books in existence - some of it is 3000 years old. It is not about archaic religious beliefs, nor about fortune telling, or simple tribal convictions. Rather it is a profound study of change as it occurs in human life and the universe as understood by Chinese thinkers. Within the great Chaos or the Unexpected that is a basic fact of life and the universe, there also exists the push toward Order. The interaction between these two great processes brings about patterns and cycles. These, impinging on our life we know as Change. Our life is constantly confronted by the Unexpected. The shifting events and opportunities of our life may lift us up or cast us down. The I Ching presents skilful ways of riding these currents, and surfing the waves of such changes? The I Ching does this by giving responses to questions that in their simplicity help us to clarify decisions and calm emotions in meeting our life situations or making important decisions.

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