History of the I Ching (Classic of Changes)
I Ching or the Classic of Changes (from "I", meaning "change", and "Ching", meaning "classic") is one of the fundamental books of the classical
Chinese culture. Every element of the Chinese culture is considered to have been influenced by this book or to have influenced it further.
Fu Hsi, the mytical creator of pa-kua,
the eight trigrames
I Ching was consulted and completed by
Confucius himself, if it is to believe what the historian Ssu-ma Ch'ien said. Confucius declared that the study of this book would have helped him avoid many dangers.
Moreover, I Ching is the only book saved from the arson ordered by the first emperor of China Ch'in Shih-huang-di, in 213 AD. The emperor himself used
this book as an oracle.
Confucius contributed himself
to the wealth of the book by writing its commentaries
The antiquity of Classic of Changes is traditionally considerable. It seems to be the creation of the cultural ancestor Fu Hsi, a mytical God-like being, of
a remarkable nature (a dragon), who would have created the first eight trigrams - pa-kua - and the oracle with yarrow stalks.
It is certain that the genuine version of this classic was systematized by King Wen, who wrote the hexagram names and the judgements, and Duke of Chou who added the texts of the individual lines.
I Ching may be used as an oracular means to inquire into the future. All you need to do is phrase the question in your mind and consult the oracle. There
are two consulting methods: the yarrow stalks, and the coins method.
The eight trigrams - pa-kua
What is most important is the fact that unlike other oracles, I Ching functioning is based on the influence
of the spirit-like entities like yarrow stalks.
Moreover, the oracle functioning is explained by the use of synchronicity theory developed by C.G. Jung himself. Jung wrote a valuable preface to this classic, showing how to use it as an oracle.
-> More about I Ching history and content may be learned from the introductory study of Richard Wilhelm - click here to access this resource
-> You may further study in-depth the content, usage and meaning of I Ching
through our email course especially designed for beginners - click here
to learn more...
-> Should you need to consult the oracle online, please click here
-> I Ching Versions:
- Legge version
- Wilhelm version