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I CHING - THE BOOK OF CHANGES

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Bianca
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« on: August 03, 2007, 09:21:07 am »








I Ching






This article is about the ancient Chinese classic text.

Traditional Chinese: 易經
Simplified Chinese: 易经
Hanyu Pinyin: Y Jīng

Literal meaning: "Classic of Changes"

Mandarin
- Hanyu Pinyin: Y Jīng
- Wade-Giles: I4 Ching1
Min
- Peh-oe-ji: e̍k-keng
Yue (Cantonese)
- Jyutping: jik6 ging1
- IPA: jɪk22 kɪŋ55
 
The I Ching (often spelled as I Jing, Yi Ching, Yi King, or Yi Jing; also called "Book of Changes" or "Classic of Changes") is the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. A symbol system designed to identify order in what seem like chance events, it describes an ancient system of cosmology and philosophy that is at the heart of Chinese cultural beliefs. The philosophy centers on the ideas of the dynamic balance of opposites, the evolution of events as a process, and acceptance of the inevitability of change (see Philosophy, below). In Western cultures, the I Ching is regarded by some as simply a system of divination; many believe it expresses the wisdom and philosophy of ancient China.
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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 09:23:04 am »








Implications of the title




易 (y), when used as an adjective, means "easy" or "simple", while as a verb it implies "to change" or 'to exchange/substitute one thing for another'.

經 (jīng) here means "classic (text)", derived from its original meaning of "regularity" or "persistency", implying that the text describes the Ultimate Way which will not change throughout the flow of time. This same character was later appropriated to translate the Sanskrit word 'sūtra' into Chinese in reference to Buddhist scripture. In this sense the two concepts, in as much as they mean 'treatise,' 'great teaching,' or 'canonical scripture,' are equivalent.



The conception behind this title, thus, is profound. It has three implications:

Simplicity - the root of the substance. The fundamental law underlying everything in the universe is utterly plain and simple, no matter how abstruse or complex some things may appear to be.

Variability - the use of the substance. Everything in the universe is continually changing. By comprehending this one may realize the importance of flexibility in life and may thus cultivate the proper attitude for dealing with a multiplicity of diverse situations.
 
Persistency - the essence of the substance. While everything in the universe seems to be changing, among the changing tides there is a persistent principle, a central rule, which does not vary with space and time.

(易一名而含三義:易簡一也;變易二也;不易三也。 commented on by Zheng Xuan (鄭玄 zhng xan) in his writings Critique of I Ching (易贊 y zn) and Commentary on I Ching (易論 y ln) of Eastern Han Dynasty).

Due to the profound ideas conveyed by the title itself, it is practically impossible to arrive at an unbiased translation which could preserve the original concepts intact. The translation of the title into English used to be Book of Changes, though a slightly more accurate name, Classic of Changes, appears more frequently in recent use.
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Bianca
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« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 09:24:41 am »








History





Traditional view


Traditionally it was believed that the principles of the I Ching originated with the mythical Fu Xi (伏羲 F Xī). In this respect he is seen as an early culture hero, one of the earliest legendary rulers of China (traditional dates 2852 BCE-2738 BCE), reputed to have had the 8 trigrams (八卦 bā ga) revealed to him supernaturally. By the time of the legendary Yu (禹 Yǔ) 2070 BC2061 BC, the trigrams had supposedly been developed into 64 hexagrams (六十四卦 lu sh s ga), which were recorded in the scripture Lian Shan (《連山》 Lin Shān; also called Lian Shan Yi). Lian Shan, meaning "continuous mountains" in Chinese, begins with the hexagram Bound (艮 gn), which depicts a mountain (::|) mounting on another and is believed to be the origin of the scripture's name.

After the traditionally recorded Xia Dynasty was overthrown by the Shang Dynasty, the hexagrams are said to have been re-deduced to form Gui Cang (《歸藏》 Gūi Cng; also called Gui Cang Yi), and the hexagram Field (坤 kūn) became the first hexagram. Gui Cang may be literally translated into "return and be contained," which refers to earth as the first hexagram itself indicates. At the time of Shang's last king, Zhou Wang, King Wen of Zhou is said to have deduced the hexagram and discovered that the hexagrams beginning with Force (乾 qin) revealed the rise of Zhou. He then gave each hexagram a description regarding its own nature, thus Gua Ci (卦辭 gu c, "Explanation of Hexagrams").

When King Wu of Zhou, son of King Wen, toppled the Shang Dynasty, his brother Zhou Gong Dan is said to have created Yao Ci (爻辭 yo c, "Explanation of Horizontal Lines") to clarify the significance of each horizontal line in each hexagram. It was not until then that the whole context of I Ching was understood. Its philosophy heavily influenced the literature and government administration of the Zhou Dynasty (1122 BCE - 256 BCE).

Later, during the time of Spring and Autumn (722 BCE - 481 BCE), Confucius is traditionally said to have written the Shi Yi (十翼 sh y, "Ten Wings"), a group of commentaries on the I Ching. By the time of Han Wu Di (漢武帝 Hn Wǔ D) of the Western Han Dynasty (circa 200 BCE), Shi Yi was often called Yi Zhuan (易傳 y zhan, "Commentary on the I Ching"), and together with the I Ching they composed Zhou Yi (周易 zhōu y, "Changes of Zhou"). All later texts about Zhou Yi were explanations only, due to the classic's deep meaning.
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 09:26:00 am »








Western ("Modernist") view





In the past 50 years a "Modernist" history of the I Ching has been emerging, based on context criticism and research into Shang and Zhou dynasty oracle bones, as well as Zhou bronze inscriptions and other sources (see below). These reconstructions are dealt with in a growing number of books, such as The Mandate of Heaven: Hidden History in the I Ching, by S. J. Marshall, and Richard Rutt's Zhouyi: The Book of Changes, (see References, below).

Scholarly works dealing with the new view of the Book of Changes include doctoral dissertations by Richard Kunst and Edward Shaughnessy. These and other scholars have been helped immensely by the discovery, in the 1970s, by Chinese archaeologists, of intact Han dynasty era tombs in Mawangdui near Changsha, Hunan province. One of the tombs contained more or less complete 2nd century BCE texts of the I Ching, the Dao De Jing and other works, which are mostly similar yet in some ways diverge significantly from the "received," or traditional, texts preserved by the chances of history.

The tomb texts include additional commentaries on the I Ching, previously unknown, and apparently written as if they were meant to be attributed to Confucius. All of the Mawangdui texts are many centuries older than the earliest known attestations of the texts in question. When talking about the evolution of the Book of Changes, therefore, the Modernists contend that it is important to distinguish between the traditional history assigned to texts such as the I Ching (felt to be anachronistic by the Modernists), assignations in commentaries which have themselves been canonized over the centuries along with their subjects, and the more recent scholarly history aided by modern linguistic textual criticism and archaeology.

Many hold that these perspectives are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but, for instance, many Modernist scholars doubt the actual existence of Fuxi, think Confucius had nothing to do with the Book of Changes, and contend that the hexagrams came before the trigrams. Modern scholarship comparing poetic usage and formulaic phrasing in this book with that in ancient bronze inscriptions has shown that the text cannot be attributed to King Wen or Zhou Gong, and that it likely was not compiled until the late Western Zhou, perhaps ca. the late 9th century BCE.

Rather than being the work of one or several legendary or historical figures, the core divinatory text is now thought to be an accretion of Western Zhou divinatory concepts. As for the Shi Yi commentaries traditionally attributed to Confucius, scholars from the time of the 11th century A.D. scholar Ouyang Xiu onward have doubted this, based on textual analysis, and modern scholars date most of them to the late Warring States period, with some sections perhaps being as late as the Western Han period.
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Bianca
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« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2007, 09:27:20 am »








Structure




The text of the I Ching is a set of predictions represented by a set of 64 abstract line arrangements called hexagrams (卦 gu). Each hexagram is a figure composed of six stacked horizontal lines (爻 yo), where each line is either Yang (an unbroken, or solid line), or Yin (broken, an open line with a gap in the center). With six such lines stacked from bottom to top there are 26 or 64 possible combinations, and thus 64 hexagrams represented.

The hexagram diagram is conceptually subdivided into two three-line arrangements called trigrams (卦 gu). There are 23, hence 8, possible trigrams. The traditional view was that the hexagrams were a later development and resulted from combining the two trigrams. However, in the earliest relevant archaeological evidence, groups of numerical symbols on many Western Zhou bronzes and a very few Shang oracle bones, such groups already usually appear in sets of six. A few have been found in sets of three numbers, but these are somewhat later. Note also that these numerical sets greatly predate the groups of broken and unbroken lines, leading modern scholars to doubt the mythical early attributions of the hexagram system (see, e.g., Shaugnessy 1993).

Each hexagram represents a description of a state or process. When a hexagram is cast using one of the traditional processes of divination with I Ching, each of the yin or yang lines will be indicated as either moving (that is, changing), or fixed (that is, unchanging). Moving (also sometimes called "old", or "unstable") lines will change to their opposites, that is "young" lines of the other type -- old yang becoming young yin, and old yin becoming young yang.

The oldest method for casting the hexagrams, using yarrow stalks, is a biased random number generator, so the possible answers are not equiprobable. While the probability of getting young yin or young yang is equal, the probability of getting old yang is three times greater than old yin. The yarrow stalk method was gradually replaced during the Han Dynasty by the three coins method. Using this method, the imbalance in generating old yin and old yang was eliminated. However, there is no theoretical basis for indicating what should be the optimal probability basis of the old lines versus the young lines. Of course, the whole idea behind this system of divination is that the oracle will select the appropriate answer anyway, regardless of the probabilities.

There have been several arrangements of the trigrams and hexagrams over the ages. The bā ga is a circular arrangement of the trigrams, traditionally printed on a mirror, or disk. According to legend, Fu Hsi found the bā ga on the scales of a tortoise's back. They function rather like a magic square, with the four axes summing to the same value (e.g., using 0 and 1 to represent yin and yang, 000 + 111 = 111, 101 + 010 = 111, etc.).

The King Wen sequence is the traditional (i.e. "classical") sequence of the hexagrams used in most contemporary editions of the book. The King Wen sequence was explained for the first time in STEDT Monograph #5, where it is shown to contain within it a demonstration of advanced mathematical knowledge.
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Bianca
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« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2007, 09:29:16 am »








Trigrams




The solid line represents yang, the creative principle. The open line represents yin, the receptive principle. These principles are also represented in a common circular symbol (☯), known as taijitu (太極圖), but more commonly known in the west as the yin-yang (陰陽) diagram, expressing the idea of complementarity of changes: when Yang is at top, Yin is increasing, and the reverse.

In the following lists, the trigrams and hexagrams are represented using a common textual convention, horizontally from left-to-right, using '|' for yang and '' for yin, rather than the traditional bottom-to-top. In a more modern usage, the numbers 0 and 1 can also be used to represent yin and yang, being read left-to-right.

There are eight possible trigrams (八卦 bāgu):


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching


The hexagrams



The text of the I Ching describes each of the 64 hexagrams, and later scholars added commentaries and analyses of each one; these have been subsumed into the text comprising the I Ching.

Each hexagram's common translation is accompanied by the corresponding R. Wilhelm translation, which is the source for the Unicode names.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Ching


The hexagrams, though, are mere mnemonics for the philosophical concepts embodied in each one. The philosophy centres around the ideas of balance through opposites and acceptance of change.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 09:42:02 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2007, 09:46:47 am »






Binary sequence



In his article Explication de l'Arithmtique Binaire (1703) Gottfried Leibniz writes that he has found in the hexagrams a base for claiming the universality of the binary numeral system. He takes the layout of the combinatorial exercise found in the hexagrams to represent binary sequences, so that would correspond to the binary sequence 000000 and | would be 000001, and so forth.

The binary arrangement of hexagrams is associated with the famous Chinese scholar and philosopher Shao Yong (a neo-Confucian and Taoist) in the 11th century. He displayed it in two different formats, a circle, and a rectangular block. Thus, he clearly understood the sequence represented a logical progression of values. However, while it is true that these sequences do represent the values 0 through 63 in a binary display, there is no evidence that Shao understood that the numbers could be used in computations such as addition or subtraction.







 Divination




Main article: I Ching divination


The I Ching has long been used as an oracle and many different ways coexist to "cast" a reading, i.e., a hexagram, with its dynamic relationship to others.
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Bianca
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2007, 09:48:39 am »











 Symbolism




The flag of South Korea, with Taegeuk in the center with four trigrams representing Heaven, Water, Earth, and Fire (beginning top left and proceeding clockwise).

Flag of the Empire of Vietnam used Trigram Li - FireThe Flag of South Korea contains the Taijitu symbol, or tijt, (yin and yang in dynamic balance, called taegeuk in Korean), representing the origin of all things in the universe. The taegeuk is surrounded by four of the eight trigrams, starting from top left and going clockwise: Heaven, Water, Earth, Fire.


The flag of the Empire of Vietnam used the Li (Fire) trigram and was known as cờ quẻ Ly (Li trigram flag) because the trigram represents South. Its successor the Republic of Vietnam connected the middle lines, turning it into the Qin (Heaven) trigram. (see Flag of the Republic of Vietnam).





Influence on Western culture




Main article: I Ching's influence

The I Ching has influenced countless Chinese philosophers, artists and even businesspeople throughout history. In more recent times, several Western artists and thinkers have used it in fields as diverse as psychoanalysis, music, fiction and science fiction, movies, drama, and eschatology.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2007, 09:57:53 am by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2007, 10:00:16 am »








Translations





Anthony, Carol K. & Moog, Hanna. I Ching: The Oracle of the Cosmic Way. Stow, Massachusetts: Anthony Publishing Company, Inc., 2002. ISBN 1-890764-00-0. The publisher's internet address is www.ichingoracle.com.

Balkin, Jack M. 2002. "The Laws of Change: I Ching and the Philosophy of Life". New York: Schocken Books. ISBN 0-8052-4199-X

Benson, Robert G. 2003. I Ching for a New Age: The Book of Answers for Changing Times. New York: Square One Publishers.

Blofeld, J. 1965. The Book of Changes: A New Translation of the Ancient Chinese I Ching. New York: E. P. Dutton.

Huang, A. 1998. The Complete I Ching: the Definitive Translation From the Taoist Master Alfred Huang. Rochester, N.Y: Inner Traditions.

Hua-Ching Ni. 1999. I Ching: The Book of Changes and the Unchanging Truth. (2nd edition). Los Angeles: Seven Star Communications.

Karcher, Stephen, 2002. I Ching: The Classic Chinese Oracle of Change: The First Complete Translation with Concordance. London: Vega Books. ISBN 1-84333-003-2. The publisher can be found at www.chrysalisbooks.co.uk. This version manages to pull together a wide variety of sources and interpretations into a coherent, intelligible whole which is generally easier to understand than the Wilhelm/Baynes edition. Especially interesting are its multiple translations of the Chinese words used and the concordance at the end.

Legge, J. 1964. I Ching: Book of Changes. With introduction and study guide by Ch'u Chai and Winberg Chai. New York: Citadel Press.

I Ching, The Classic of Changes, The first English translation of the newly discovered second-century B.C. Mawangdui texts by Edward L. Shaughnessy, Ballantine, 1996. ISBN 0-345-36243-8.

Wilhelm, R. & Baynes, C., 1967. The I Ching or Book of Changes, With forward by Carl Jung. 3rd. ed., Bollingen Series XIX. Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press (1st ed. 1950).

Lynn, Richard J. 1994, The Classic of Changes, A New Translation of the I Ching as Interpreted by Wang Bi. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08294-0

Wei, Wu 2005. "I Ching, The Book Of Answers" Power Press ISBN 0-943015-41-3 New revised edition, interpreted by Wu Wei. Appears to follow the Wilhelm and Baynes translation real well, leaving out the sometimes confusing mechanics. Would be handy to use in conjunction with Wilhelm and Baynes when divining for the lay person.

Cheng Yi translated by Cleary, Thomas 1988, 2003. "I Ching: The Book of Change" Shambala Library, Boston, London ISBN 1-59030-015-7

Aleister Crowley, Marcelo Motta, Legge - liber CCXVI- The Book of Changes- I CHing - The Equinox, Vol III NO 7. A.'.A.'. copyright OTO.
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Heather Delaria
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« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2007, 06:17:14 am »

Nice work, Bianca!  I have always had the most difficulty understanding the I CHING, maybe of all the philosophies.

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I think Chinese writing produces the most beautiful letters.

Bright Blessings!

Heather
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marcio6067
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« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2007, 11:12:19 am »

Hi Bianca, Hi Heather,

In fact the work of Bianca is fantastic.
I only knew the work of Richard Wilhelm, that with the preface of C.G.Jung in the English version.
Her presentation deserve our attention and gratitude.
Thank you.
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Bianca
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« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2007, 11:49:27 am »




Thank you, marcio6067.

WELCOME  To Atlantis On Line!!!


Love and Peace,
Bianca
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