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The I Ching or Book of Changes

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The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is one of the 1st efforts of the human mind to place itself within the universe. It has exerted a living influence in China for 3000 years and interest in it has spread in the West.

Set down in the dawn of history as a book of oracles, the Book of Changes deepened in meaning when ethical values were attached to the oracular pronouncements; 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.

Wilhelm's rendering of the I Ching into German, published in 1924, presented it for the 1st time in a form intelligible to the general reader. Wilhelm, who translated many other ancient Chinese works and who wrote several books on Chinese philosophy and civilization, long resided in China. His close association with its cultural leaders gave him a unique understanding of the text of the I Ching. In the English translation, every effort has been made to preserve Wilhelm's pioneering insight into the spirit of the original.

This 3rd edition, completely reset, contains a new forward by Hellmut Wilhelm, one of the most eminent American scholars of Chinese culture. He discusses his father's textual methods and summarizes recent studies of the I Ching both in the West and in present-day China. The new edition contains minor textual corrections, bibliographical revisions and an index.

740 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 851

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 442 reviews
Profile Image for Danielle.
24 reviews10 followers
November 11, 2007
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).
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews46 followers
October 13, 2020
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 1983میلادی

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 346ص؛ چاپ پنجم 1381؛ چاپ دیگر نشر روایت، 1373؛ در 351ص؛ چاپ دیگر نشر ثالث، چاپ هفتم 1376؛ چاپ نهم 1381؛ شابک 9646404030؛ موضوع: آثار و نوشتارهای کهنسال چینی - سده 21پیش 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 «ئی ‌چینگ»، 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 1150سال 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 سیصد و هشتاد و چهار 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»؛ مترجم سودابه فضایلی؛ نشر نقره، چاپ اول 1362هجری خورشیدی

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 21/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Josh.
192 reviews35 followers
May 26, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Mark.
Author 14 books23 followers
August 2, 2011
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..."
10 reviews3 followers
October 3, 2007
I know that in NORMAL circles, it's odd to read an ancient chinese text upon which a non-theistic religion is based. HOWEVER, I am not normal and most of the people I enjoy aren't either. SO, let me say that of all the religious texts I have ever read, there is something fundamentally gorgeous about the foundations of this Taoist book. I find it beautiful, cosmically true and irrefutably WISE in its basic applications. By this I mean that the eight pure three-line gua are hypnotically symbolic of every possibility in life and every course of action which leads that life in wisdom -- not that I would divine a 'fortune-telling' from the single gua cast by rods or yarrow stalks or runes... But you'd have to read the book to understand any of that. What I love about the I-Ching is that it is the truest form of advice: prepare, act, reap consequences, reflect, repeat the cycle. This book speaks to my soul in a way the Bible never has, even though I love the stories in the bible. Maybe because it is a wisdom that is symbolic and personal, not a story about someone else, but a true story about MYSELF. You read it. Let me know what you think!
Profile Image for Brett C.
802 reviews182 followers
August 24, 2023
For the information that was presented, this was an excellent source. This was my first time reading on this subject. The I Ching (pronounced ee is an divination tool, an oracle. It is a divination system with 3000 year old roots in the traditions of magic and shamanism. Nearly all that was significant in traditional China—philosophy, science, politics, and popular culture—was found on interpretations and adaptations of the I. The core of the book is the oldest and most complex divinatory system to survive into modern times. (p 8)

The authors gave the history of the system, it's use throughout China's history, questioning the oracle and getting an answer, interpreting responses, interpretation of the 64 hexagram combinations, words and images, and more. Each hexagram was dissected to include its image of the situation, inner and outer aspects, counter indications, sequence, contrasted definitions, attached evidence, symbol tradition, transformation lines, and image tradition.

Overall this was a great explanation on the I Ching. At first I was overwhelmed with the information and this is not something you'll memorize by any means. Once I started reading it from an explanatory view point the book made sense. I would recommend this to anyone interested in this subject or in Asian cultural studies. Thanks!
Profile Image for Erik Graff.
5,030 reviews1,162 followers
October 24, 2020
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 are understood as having a characteristic entelechy.
Profile Image for Coco.
149 reviews29 followers
March 11, 2022

Creo que muy pocas personas han oído hablar del I Ching. La verdad es que yo sólo tenía constancia del método adivinatorio gracias a mi madre, pero leyendo la introducción he descubierto que también es un libro importante para la filosofía.
La introducción me ha parecido muy bien enfocada: trata los dos temas mencionados más la evolución histórica que ha tenido este libro. Me ha parecido muy curioso.

Sin embargo, dice que hay dos métodos de adivinación y sólo explica uno (y tampoco he terminado de entender la tabla, podrían haberla abordado más) y de las monedas, al final la fórmula más cómoda, no se dice cómo funcionan.

Después vienen los 64 Kua. Es cierto que abordan temas distintos y que pueden decir todas las características psicológicas de los humanos. Aunque creo que esto es interesante, creo que hubiera estado muy bien que apareciera en cada Kua la combinación que representa de yin y yan. Me gustaría aplicar el método I Ching pero tendré que buscar otros recursos para encontrar lo que representen los resultados que obtenga y después consultar este libro.
Es cierto que el libro trata de ser lo más fiel a la edición "oficial", pero también se han tomado licencias en otros sentidos y creo que ésto sería de gran ayuda para el lector.

También hay mucha filosofía, mayormente orientada a oriente (lógicamente, pues es de la tradición china), como en el Kua 42: reducir para aumentar.

Por último la edición me ha parecido muy trabajada: la tonalidad de color e ilustraciones muy bien encaminadas al sentimiento del libro, un punto de libro de tela, páginas de calidad y cubierta de tapa dura.
Profile Image for Alva Ware-Bevacqui.
111 reviews1 follower
June 1, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Brian  Fitzgerald.
19 reviews5 followers
June 17, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Souldaddy.
20 reviews
April 17, 2008
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.
Profile Image for saïd.
6,316 reviews962 followers
March 25, 2023
Edward L. Shaughnessy’s 1996 translation of the 易經 [yì jīng] is not, technically speaking, comparable to other translations of the Yi Jing, as it’s a translation not of the most common manuscript of the Yi Jing but of the version discovered amongst the Mawangdui silk texts (馬王堆帛書) in 1973. The Mawangdui texts are, true to their name, manuscripts written on silk; the texts were found buried in tomb 3 at Mawangdui, Changsha, Hunan (sealed in 168 BCE), and were thus considered lost until their rediscovery in the late 20th century. Apart from various texts previously known in name only from references in other sources, the Mawangdui texts also included earlier manuscripts of existing texts, including the Yi Jing. This is one of my personal favourites, if for no other reason than Shaughnessy’s scholarship. Unlike most other translations, Shaughnessy’s is a direct academic translation of a specific manuscript—the Mawangdui silk texts—which naturally results in understandable lacunae and confusing sections. Although probably not the best version for a beginner, this translation is amazing and I highly recommend it.

The Mawangdui version of the Yi Jing, dating back to the beginning of the Han dynasty, is not actually the oldest known manuscript: that honour goes to the bamboo strips found in tomb 2 at Baoshan, Jingmen, Hubei, uncovered in 1987 and dating back to the middle of the Warring States period. In Unearthing the Changes: Recently Discovered Manuscripts of the Yi Jing (2013), Shaughnessy himself discusses the differences between the different manuscripts: the Baoshan bamboo strips differ from the Mawangdui and other versions, particularly in regards to the order of the hexagrams. (Note that the assignment of numbers to specific hexagrams is entirely a modern invention; in fact it’s not actually known if the order of the hexagrams was even of any interest to the original author or authors.)

The traditional or “canonical” order of the hexagrams is typically known as the King Wen sequence, named after Zhou Wen Wang (周文王), founder of the Zhou dynasty, who (supposedly) reformed the method of interpretation of the text. This sequence generally pairs hexagrams with their upside-down equivalents, except for eight which are paired with their mirror equivalent. The Baoshan bamboo strips almost certainly follow this sequence, although the Mawangdui texts—herein translated—are arranged into eight groups sharing the same upper trigram. There is no academic consensus as to which order is oldest, or even if the order holds any significance.
4 reviews3 followers
July 2, 2007
This is one of my favorite translations of the Yi Jing. There are three books I use most often when I throw the coins: the classic Wilhelm/Baynes translation, this one, and Carol Anthony's A Guide to the I Ching. What I like about the Alfred Huang book is that it is very readable and useful, and at the same time feels like it is conveying the nuances of the Chinese meanings better than any other translation I have used. Huang explains in better detail a number of the odd turns of phrase that Wilhelm didn't quite seem to get. He is also more willing than Wilhelm was to let his translation be terse and cryptic when the original text is terse and cryptic -- that's both an advantage and a disadvantage, so I find that the Wilhelm/Baynes and Huang translations complement each other nicely. And then Anthony's commentaries add a layer of interpretation that strongly resonates with me.

I have a number of other translations I also like, but these are the three I find I come back to most often for regular use.
Profile Image for Chris.
71 reviews
March 6, 2014
Mind blown. The Book of Changes has changed me--significantly and substantially.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
55 reviews7 followers
January 20, 2021
Read this in 2017 while studying Carl Jung. Stuck in a relationship that wasn't working but not willing to admit it to myself, I wanted to use the process of "synchronicity" to stir up my subconscious. I got hexagram #18, which holds imagery of "insects or worms in rotting meat held in a sacrificial vessel" and deals with (among many other things) the negative side of sexual infatuation. I'm not spiritual, but am very interested in the social sciences and see how methods of divination like this and tarot (through universality of themes/ the mind's programming to grasp personal meaning) can help people gain new perspective on their problems.

28 reviews3 followers
October 26, 2009
It profits the wise man to cross the water,
to be still in winter,
active in summer,
humble in life
and graceful in death
Profile Image for Yigal Zur.
Author 10 books127 followers
November 25, 2018
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.
Profile Image for saïd.
6,316 reviews962 followers
March 28, 2023
There are quite a few English-language translations of the 易經 [yì jīng] available, and I have obviously not read all of them, but I’ll include as many as I can. The first complete translation into a Western language was when a French Jesuit missionary, Jean-Baptiste Régis, translated the book into Latin in the 1730s. Several other translations, including by the infamous James Legge, spanned the 19th century. The next influential translation was into German in 1923, by Richard Wilhelm; Cary Baynes then translated Wilhelm’s into English in 1950, and it was Baynes’s version that became most popular during the Western counterculture movement during the 1960s. Later translations of the late 20th century incorporated new archaeological findings for more up-to-date material. The two most popular English-language versions are the 1882 translation by Legge and the 1950 translation by Baynes from Wilhelm’s German version. Both are, to put it kindly, bad.
If you can get your hands on this translation, go for it, but it’s neither accurate nor accessible. I’ve only read snippets of Régis’s translation, but the fact that it’s in Latin and was written by a Jesuit missionary in the 18th century should be a tip-off that it’s not great.
McClatchie’s was the first English-language translation, and it’s also not that great. He was far less prudish than Legge, his successor, but still tragically entrenched in the predominant Western mindset towards the East of the 19th century, exemplified in the opening statement of his preface: “The task of translating and explaining the works of Pagan Philosophers is by no means easy of accomplishment. The Heathen and Christian modes of thought are so diverse [that] the Christian translator will find himself completely puzzled, unless, as a preparation for his work, he learns to view these and suchlike subjects from a heathen standpoint.” (I feel like this is a perfect example of “task failed successfully.”) Although in the public domain, McClatchie’s translation is rather difficult to find in non-academic circles, being out of print in most areas; I’ve read it, and honestly it can be skipped.
Also in the public domain is Legge’s translation, long considered the “standard” English-language version of the text. Legge is a complicated figure in the history of translation; his work was mostly terrible, but massively influential, and is still often used in translation studies, in no small part because of the fact that many of his translations included parallel Chinese and English text. Like many other translators of the Victorian era, particularly those who were also missionaries, Legge filtered all of his translation work through a Western religious context. Much scholarship has been written on the Victorian-era “invention” of Eastern “beliefs,” and Legge is one of the worst offenders; although his opinions on Eastern and particularly Chinese culture and literature did change for the positive throughout his life, the majority of his translation work is so irrevocably tinged with this 19th century-typical Orientalism, as well as his religious evangelism, so as to be functionally useless if the intent is to read something resembling the original text. For further information on Legge specifically, I’d recommend Norman J. Girardot’s The Victorian Translation of China.
Wilhelm’s original German-language translation is excellent, particularly given the time period in which it was produced. If you read German, I’d highly suggest this translation; it’s also out of copyright.
This translation uses a pivot language, the translation equivalent of homeopathy. Don’t bother reading it.
Blofeld’s dislike for Baynes is hilarious... ly relatable. This is a pretty solid translation, even from an academic perspective.
A rather simplistic translation, lacking the more robust historical context of other editions. For some reason, probably because Whincup’s intention was to “rediscover” the text, certain characters were translated oddly: 火 (“fire”) becomes “shining light”; 水 (“water”), “pits”; and so on. The numbers are also often changed, so that instead of “1” we end up with “strong action,” and instead of “2” we end up with “acquiescence,” and so on. Whincup’s translation is certainly different from most other versions, but “different” doesn’t automatically mean “better,” and in this case it definitely means “worse.”
Although a more academic translation, Cleary’s is lacking sufficient supplementary material for context. I’d recommend only reading this translation alongside another academic translation if possible—not because it’s bad, but because its potential is sadly unrealised.
Lynn’s translation is surprisingly good, with great historical and academic context. Also included is Lynn’s translation of the commentary of Wang Bi (王弼), which has been immensely influential on the reception of the Yijing for over 700 years. I would definitely recommend this translation.
Rutt’s translation incorporates contemporary research which placed the Yijing during the early Zhou dynasty, which is interesting, but then Rutt ruined practically everything by making the English-language text rhyme. In general my experience with Rutt’s work is that his scholarship is passable not because of, but despite, his translation style.
This is one of my personal favourite translations, if for no other reason than Shaughnessy’s commendable scholarship. Unlike most other translations, Shaughnessy’s is a direct academic translation of the oldest known manuscript of the Yijing, the Mawangdui (馬王堆) texts (plus the five commentaries), resulting in understandable yet lamentable lacunae and confusing sections. A wonderfully literal translation regardless, this is by far the best available English-language translation of the Mawangdui manuscript in particular.
What’s particularly interesting about Huang’s translation is that it is, as far as I’m aware, one of the few English-language translations that can be said to come “from within,” c’est-à-dire, Huang is himself Chinese and, more specifically, a Daoist master. Huang was in fact imprisoned for over two decades during the Cultural Revolution as retribution for his studies of the Yijing. This translation is clearly intended for newcomers, and as such is quite accessible, albeit sometimes too wordy for my taste.
Javary’s original translation of the Yijing was in 1989, whereupon he promptly began working on revising and correcting his translation, and has done so ever since. With the help of Pierre Faure, Javary produced a thousand-page landmark volume which is one of the best and most complete translations I’ve read in any language. It’s in French, obviously, which will (I’m sure) be alienating to some, but if you can read French I’d highly recommend it.
Penguin Classics continues to befuddle me with their translation choices. Minford’s translation is quite readable, and frequently includes various different possible interpretations of a single hexagram (the book is divided into two parts with different “versions”). There are a handful of baffling idiosyncrasies, such as Minford’s decision to include random sprinklings of Latin throughout the text (hommage à Jean-Baptiste, peut-être...?) or his occasional allusions to pop culture (such as Dickens). The commentary is good, and provides some much-needed context; I’d suggest reading this one for the scholarship more so than the translation in and of itself. Minford is clearly incredibly knowledgeable, and there’s a veritable wealth of content within these 900+ pages, but I’ve read better translations.
Redmond’s translation is... well, it’s fine. The translation is nothing special, and the commentary is mostly unhelpful, but you could certainly do worse.
I predict (no pun intended) that I’ll almost definitely return and write up a more thorough comparison of different translations, including actual examples from the text, but at the moment I simply CBF. Watch this space, I suppose.
Profile Image for Mary-Jean Harris.
Author 14 books41 followers
August 2, 2016
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.
Profile Image for Tita.
8 reviews
December 22, 2010
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.
Profile Image for Ben.
14 reviews
August 30, 2012
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.
Profile Image for sinepudore.
216 reviews5 followers
January 18, 2022
il ritorno.riuscita.
uscita ed entrata senza errore.
amici vengono senza macchia.
serpeggiante è la via.
al settimo giorno viene il ritorno.
propizio è avere dove recarsi.
("24. Fu-Il ritorno")
Profile Image for William Schram.
1,799 reviews74 followers
May 11, 2021
"The I Ching or Book of Changes" is an ancient tome from China. It discusses using numbers to divine your fortune.

When I picked up the book, I was misinformed about its contents. I thought it was a book of philosophy or ancient wisdom. I would say it has cultural significance, but I did not consider it earth-shattering.
Profile Image for Brandon Burrup.
201 reviews15 followers
September 23, 2012
My intent is not to offend any who use this book for spiritual meaning or guidance, therefore if that is you I highly recommend you not read my review and simply move on and accept that not everyone finds meaning in the same way. And frankly much worse has been said about my own religious literature than what I'm about to say.

That said, this book is absolutely ridiculous. I'll be honest I only made it through about 3 or 4 pages, and all I gathered from that is that man is good and man is bad and man is animal that means animal is bad and good and is man is bad and good that means bad is good and good is bad and everything is everything and nothing all at once and absolutely nothing in the universe makes any sense. That's about what the first few pages were like for me. Utter nonsense.
Profile Image for Joe Fiala.
19 reviews2 followers
July 29, 2007
4 stars is a little generous in my book, but these are 4 stars relative to other works. A good all-around translation. I think he adds too much at times, perhaps lending to much credibility to his own interpretations. Nonetheless, it is nice to see how a well-educated Taoist would present his understanding of the Yi Jing to others.
Profile Image for Mark.
49 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2013
Classic Confucius. This book sent me into real-life mind-bending mysteries and opened my creative channels. Loved it and practiced it.
Profile Image for Jimmy.
Author 6 books215 followers
April 22, 2016
Jimmy's I Ching:

One star at the top means
Jimmy fell asleep reading this.
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