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I Ching, The (Book of Changes)

I Ching, The (Book of Changes)

Product no.: 0-691-09750-X
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, a common source for both Confucianist and Taoist philosophy, is one of the first efforts of the human mind to place itself within the universe.

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Publisher's Synopsis
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, has exerted a living influence in China for more than three thousand years. Written before the Bible, interest in it has been growing in the West for the past century. First set down in the dawn of history as a book of oracles, it became a book of wisdom, eventually one of the Five Classics of Confucianism, and provided the common source for both Confucianist and Taoist philosophy.


"Princeton's Bollingen edition - still regarded as the best and most authentic by I Ching aficionados."      ~New York Times Book Review

"The I Ching does not offer itself with proofs and results; it does not vaunt itself, nor is it easy to approach. Like a part of nature, it waits until it is discovered. It offers neither facts nor power, but for lovers of self-knowledge, of wisdom - if there be such - it seems to be the right book. To one person its spirit appears as clear as day; to another, shadowy as twilight; to a third, dark as night. He who is not pleased by it does not have to use it, and he who is against it is not obliged to find it true. Let it go forth into the world for the benefit of those who can discern its meaning."     ~Carl Gustav Jung

"The definitive English translation; from Chinese into German by Wilhelm, into English by Baynes. Wilhelm was in prolonged contact with the oral tradition at the very end of the Imperial era, via his teacher Lao Nai-hsüan. He was the right man in the right place at the right time; this is not something that can be re-done, no matter how good fresh translations are. As Carl Jung put it, it is as if this book 'delivered the last message of the old, dying China to Europe'. The quality of the language used is superb, it rates as a work of literature.

To understand the I Ching one must go through a number of phases, and none of these can be hurried. The Book of Changes is, as Wilhelm said, 'a work that represents thousands of years of slow organic growth and that can be assimilated only through prolonged reflection and meditation'. The fault I detect in many of the new versions is that they hand out an immature view, often a view that hasn't even been digested at all, simply regurgitated without engaging the brain."      ~Joel Biroco

"The only person who approached the book [I Ching] as a document of culture and worked with scholars steeped in the still living tradition of the greatest philosophies of China, was Richard Wilhelm, who was himself not only a scholar, but a man with an open mind, honest enough to set aside his own religious convictions in recognition of the cultural values of Chinese tradition... The work which he has created stands as a landmark of our knowledge and a monument of one of the greatest books of humanity."      ~Lama Anagarika Govinda

"When Tsingtau became the residence of a number of the most eminent scholars of the old school, I met among them my honored teacher, Lao Nai Hsuan. I am indebted to him not only for a deeper understanding... but also because he first opened my mind to the wonders of the Book of Changes. Under his experienced guidance I wandered entranced through this strange and yet familiar world. The translation of the text was made after detailed discussion. Then the German version was translated into Chinese and it was only after the meaning of the text had been fully brought out that we considered our version to be truly a translation."

CHAPTER IV. The Deeper Implications of the Books of Changes 

"We are shown here how the individual can attain mastery over fate by means of the Book of Changes. Its principles contain the categories of all that is - literally, the molds and the scope of all transformations. These categories are in the mind of man; everything, all that happens and everything that undergoes transformation, must obey the laws prescribed by the mind of man. Not until these categories become operative do things become things. These categories are laid down in the Book of Changes; hence it enables us to penetrate and understand the movements of the light and the dark, of life and death, of gods and demons.

This knowledge makes possible mastery over fate, because fate can be shaped if its laws are known. The reason why we can oppose fate is that reality is always conditioned, and these conditions of time and space limit and determine it. The spirit, however, is not bound by these determinants and can bring them about as its own purposes require. The Book of Changes is so widely applicable because it contains only these purely spiritual relationships, which are so abstract that they can find expression within every framework of reality. They contain only the tao that underlies events. Therefore all chance contingencies can be shaped according to this tao. The conscious application of these possibilities assures mastery over fate."

The sinologist Richard Wilhelm was born in Germany in 1879. He was ordained as a protestant minister in 1895, and arrived in China in 1899 to serve as a pastor in the German colonial city of Tsingtao. He soon found that he had a natural gift for the Chinese language, and he began to immerse himself in Chinese culture and religious texts.

Wilhelm held the belief that Christians should look to find God in China rather than attempt to proselytize, and he told Jung that during the whole of his time in China, he never baptized a single Chinese. He felt that his mission was to form a bridge between Western and Eastern spirituality.

Author Wen, King
Contributor Confucius
Translator Wilhelm, Richard
Cotranslator Baynes, Cary F.
Book Type Hardcover
Page Count 806 pp.
Publisher Princeton University Press 1967
Series Bollingen Series XIX
Platinum Medal

Platinum Medal


Platinum Medal Essential Reading


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I Ching Coins (Authentic Set of 3) $9.00
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Browse these categories as well: I Ching Texts and Commentaries, Confucian Classics, The Taoist Canon, Platinum Medal Essential Reading

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