The I Ching, The Most Modern Ancient Wisdom Classic

April 29, 2012 | By | Reply More

Reg Little
New Dawn

In a changing and unpredictable world, no classical text is more rewarding, or more challenging, than the ancient Chinese I Ching or Book of Changes. This classic presents itself as a book of divination and invites dismissal on such grounds amongst educated Western circles, including even the great British sinologist and advocate of Chinese science and technology Joseph Needham. It is, however, the most modern of practical handbooks, being a remarkably wise and profound guide to that nagging imperative of contemporary personal and political life – self-organisation.

This truth only grows as political authority shifts from West to East, as economic productivity travels from America to China, as industrial technology grows robustly throughout Asia and shrivels in the developed economies and as health and well-being wisdom is found more surely in Asian therapeutic traditions than in contemporary share market driven medical innovations.

Indeed, the I Ching is not only the source of a profound personal, social and political wisdom but also of a scientific genius that is holistic and organic and that led the world for several millennia until the rise of Anglo-American power over the past two hundred years. Moreover, this scientific culture promises much for the future of a troubled global community. It contrasts with the culture that has turned contemporary life into one large uncontrolled and poorly understood scientific experiment, where the casino of the marketplace has ceased to respect the ecologies of life.

Central elements of the text of the I Ching are attributed to men (King Wen and his sons King Wu and the Duke of Zhou) who were responsible for overthrowing the powerful tyrant who ruled a declining and corrupt Shang Dynasty, as the prelude to founding the Zhou Dynasty around 1045 BCE. As such, much of its wisdom can be read as a political text, informed by profound and holistic wisdom. This wisdom is shaped by a keen sense of the social morality needed to win widespread popular support, the human understanding needed to avoid the perils of carelessness and hubris and the acute insight into the dynamics of life and nature essential to prosper in this world.

There is no more seminal influence in Chinese culture than the I Ching, with its history of over three thousand years and its roots in the wisdom that guided the founding of China’s longest and most culturally productive dynasty. Contrary to modern fashion, the authority of the I Ching tends to increase with the age and experience of the reader or interpreter. Japanese who lived during the Tokugawa Shogunate counseled against serious study before the age of fifty. At the same time, one of the most renown Chinese commentaries on the I Ching was completed by a scholar who died at the age of twenty three in 249.

Despite the fact that the 17th and 18th century German philosopher Gottfried Leibnitz had been shocked to discover that his binary arithmetic was matched by an arrangement of the I Ching’s hexagrams, the West’s greatest authority on Chinese science and technology – the 20th century Joseph Needham – dismissed it as of little worth. Now, it has been shown by later scholars to have a mathematical structure similar to that of DNA, discovered in the West more than three thousand years later. In this, it is the world’s first, and possibly still only, serious guide to self-organisation at personal, social and political levels.

Moreover, another scholar suggests that it may reveal an understanding of still poorly understood fundamentals that inform a wide variety of physical change, in both living and non-living structures. This all reflects the almost unbelievable Chinese genius for observing the minutiae of nature, a quality that long informed the world’s most innovative and productive scientific and technological civilisation.

In many ways, the I Ching is an enigma. Apart from qualities noted above, it offers a unified understanding of what are often seen as China’s two main contending spiritual traditions – Confucianism and Daoism – and some even see in it the source of both these traditions of thought. Moreover, while the I Ching has always served as a book of divination, this article will treat it essentially as a book of moral, political and scientific wisdom.

(It should be noted that I Ching is more accurately written as Yi Jing, as laid down in the transliteration system prescribed by the Chinese Government, but is presented here as I Ching in order to avoid confusion in referring to several book titles, which use a dated system of transliteration that is often preferred in the United States.)

Read Full Article

Tags: , , ,

Category: Consciousness, Culture, History, Ideas, Philosophy, Self, Transformation

Leave a Reply

Must Watch Videos

Happy Ending? Or Happy Now

Happy Ending? Or Happy Now













Zen Gardener, Guest
Waking Times

No matter where I turn the awakening is screaming out at me. Every event and announcement of intention by the dark side, no matter how destructive and disturbing, is only precipitating more conscious awareness and very present, personal involvement by humanity. It’s a thrilling … More

August 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?

Could This be the First News Channel Run by Teens?













Heather Callaghan, Contributor
Waking Times

Politics affects everyone, so everyone deserves a voice; especially the youth…

It seems like everywhere I go online, I am met with the diligence of Andrew Demeter. I wrote about his award-winning mini-documentary “We The People, Genetically Modified.” Expertly produced, it encompassed a … More

August 12, 2014 | By | Reply More
How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System

How to Create a Self-Sustainable Food System













Dr. Mercola
Waking Times

Industrial chemical-based agriculture, which produces the vast majority of US food crops, is actually destroying the soil that makes the growing of food possible in the first place.

This is not true in other countries. Worldwide, 70 percent of the food is grown in backyards or … More

August 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
How To Exit The Reincarnation System

How To Exit The Reincarnation System













Gregg Prescott, M.S., In5D Guest
Waking Times

We have all heard about the tunnel of light that our soul follows upon leaving the physical body, but what is the true meaning of the life review?  Why does a life review almost always involve having us continuously looping back into this … More

August 8, 2014 | By | 42 Replies More
Elon Musk Reveals Open Source Design for 14,000 Mile-an-Hour Vacuum Tube Railroad

Elon Musk Reveals Open Source Design for 14,000 Mile-an-Hour Vacuum Tube Railroad













Christina Sarich, Staff Writer
Waking Times

No, you didn’t read that wrong. Paypal co-creator and Tesla Motors Wunderkind thinks that California just wasted $63 billion on a mass transit rail that only goes 164 miles an hour when a 14,000-mile-an-hour pneumatic railroad could be built for 1/10th that amount … More

August 8, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More

Activism Works

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry

As Keystone XL Dominoes Fall, Time to Arrest Tar Sands Industry













, EcoWatch
Waking Times

We’ve got this.

Thanks to the courageous and indefatigable efforts of pipeline fighters everywhere, the tide has finally turned on Keystone XL. As it becomes increasingly clear that Keystone XL’s northern leg is not going through, it is time to set our sights … More

August 4, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Seizing Control of Our Destinies

Seizing Control of Our Destinies













Julian Rose, Contributor
Waking Times

In 1381, at a time of great repression for the British agricultural work force, an extraordinary people’s revolutionary named Wat Tyler sprang to his feet and announced, “England should be a nation of self governing communities,” to which he added, “ No lord shall exercise … More

July 28, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project

Triumph For Citizens in Florida As Hughes Oil Company Drops Fracking Project













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

On Friday morning, Dan A. Hughes Oil Company and the Collier Resources Company agreed to terminate their lease agreement, with the exception of the Collier Hogan 20-3H well, next to the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary in Naples, Florida.

Hughes Oil dropped its plans to drill … More

July 14, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site

A Forgotten Community in New Orleans: Life on a Superfund Site













Julie Dermansky, DeSmogBlog
Waking Times

Shannon Rainey lives in a house that was built on top of a Superfund site in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans.

“I bought my house when I was 25, and thirty years later, I still can’t get out,” she told DeSmogBlog.

Rainey’s … More

June 23, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy

Wave of GMO Labeling Victories Emboldens Movement to Take Back Food Democracy













Michele Simon, EcoWatch
Waking Times

The East Coast has been getting most of the attention lately on the state by state effort to label genetically-engineered food. Vermont recently passed a bill and New York State’s bill is now moving. But let’s not forget about the western states, which are also … More

June 11, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More