The I Ching (pronounced yee jing)
known as the Book of Changes, the
I Ching is the first and most important book
of the ancient Chinese texts called the Five Classics. It has had a significant philosophical
influence outside of China, particularly in Japan and Korea, but also on Western art
since the end of the Second World War.
Originating early in the Chou dynasty
(about 1122-256 B.C.), the I Ching, in its most
primitive, was used to divine or predict the future. Containing figures made up of
broken and unbroken lines, these were later combined to form symbolic figures called
trigrams. Over time, evolved, each representing certain qualities and concepts.
Eventually, the trigrams were combined to form 64 six-line figures called hexagrams.
Interpretations, called judgments, explained the general significance
of every hexagram in an associated
text. Each line, beginning from the bottom, was given a meaning to guide one's actions.
Someone who wishes to consult
the I Ching follows a specific process which involves dividing
or coins to select a hexagram. These are used to form a hexagram which is then interpreted by referring
to a related subtext.
By the 500's B.C., the I Ching had also
developed into a book of philosophy with Confucius teaching it
a book of moral wisdom. The Ten Wings were written by his followers to comment on the I Ching.
Click hexagram numbers to see associated lycon. .
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