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The I Ching or Book of Changes

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  20,079 ratings  ·  377 reviews
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;
Hardcover, Third Edition, 27th printing, 740 pages
Published 1997 by Princeton University Press (first published -850)
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Thomas The interpretations of the castings are online, such as via this link:

Numerous other sites provide Wilhelm/Bay…more
The interpretations of the castings are online, such as via this link:

Numerous other sites provide Wilhelm/Baynes translation of the "I Ching," and numerous other sites provide other interpretations of the castings. I personally recommend the following compilation of numerous translations:

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Ahmad Sharabiani
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
Nov 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in age-old advice
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 ma
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 exa ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Erik Graff
Feb 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: C.G. Jung
Shelves: religion
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 ...more
Brian  Fitzgerald
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 b
Alva Ware-Bevacqui
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 alway ...more
Apr 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ho
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Mind blown. The Book of Changes has changed me--significantly and substantially.
Yigal Zur
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
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.
Oct 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It profits the wise man to cross the water,
to be still in winter,
active in summer,
humble in life
and graceful in death
Jon Nakapalau
A beautiful book that teaches us that change can't be will become what it was meant to be without our consideration or approval. ...more
Dec 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Lehcim Nosre-dna
May 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Shelves: ongoing
IT'S ALIVE!!! ...more
William Schram
May 10, 2021 rated it liked it
"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.
Mary-Jean Harris
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 act ...more
Brandon Burrup
Sep 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Feb 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: atheism
Jimmy's I Ching:

One star at the top means
Jimmy fell asleep reading this.
Jun 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Rather like an ancient tarot book, to be read as one casts intentions and questions. Interesting! Finally sat down and learned how to make and read the casts.
Almost a decade ago I wrote a tongue-in-cheek review (with an Oregon Trail punchline) after skimming Thomas Cleary's microscopic Pocket Classics edition, knowing I'd eventually give the I Ching a proper go. And now, after reading John Minford's new 800+ page edition cover-to-cover, I have given the I Ching a proper go!

On John Minford's translation

I catch myself thinking there's a sliding scale between academic credibility and a translator's color and personal touch. And yet, here is John Minford
A translation into a mixture of English and Latin. Some commentaries are translated.

"Horses wheel; They pull at odds. A wife is sought. A Destination Is Auspicious, Hoc bonum. All things Profit, In nullo non convenit.

"On the Image: Both the seeking and the Destination Show clarity, Claritas.

"[Author’s commentary] Yin Line in Yin Place. The bride ‘goes’ with her suitor. All is ‘clear.’ This Line Resonates with Yang in First Place. This is the right moment, advises Magister Liu. True Yang Energy i
Tracy O
Oct 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: use this if you're stuck
Yes, I KNOW. All of the hackles on your back are going up as you read this title. All I can say is that when you read this (and, yep, cast the pennies in this case) you will think this is SO much baloney. But, I really think that the readings are just a way to think about your life using a new window - what's another way to look at my situation? Everytime I think about an issue using this, I have a new insight - it's darn straight-forward. ...more
Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, taoism
de facto translation of the i ching for english-onlys like us americans tend to be. if you are really interested in the i ching, you need to read this book at least once and to keep it as a reference. the readings are incredibly insightful and sound incredibly natural given the two levels of translation (chinese -> german -> english). i often find myself wondering if the obfuscation of the double translation is actually a blessing for such an esoteric and uninterpretable text.
I've read a few other books on the I Ching, but this is the most complete and the most scholarly. It's chock-full of not only philosophy but also practical insight. I've also used it in developing plot in my fiction. (I first discovered the I Ching through The Man in the High Castle.) ...more
Mr. P
Nov 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I've been studying this book since 1973, the same year I went to college. ...more
Feb 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is only alive book I know. I'm reading it constantly or maybe it would be more correct to say am talking with it constantly. ...more
Ivan Possamai
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am studying this book for almost 20 years now...

Probably I will still be studying it when I turn 99 !!!
Hard to categorize.

Alfred Huang is a Taoist master who's definitions of the ancient characters synchronistically became my choice to follow and abide by.

I loved the introduction about his life best.

I have only used this on two important occasions/times in my life thus far for it is a book to be respected, and held sacred, not for everyday use or mundane matters.

Well.. that's my two cents.

Finished it awhile ago but forgot to close it out here.

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