The I Ching is an ancient Chinese form of divination. Also called The Book of Changes, which already explains the essence of its content.
The I Ching Roots
The I Ching found its roots in the Shang dynasty in 16 -11 BC. It involves cleromancy, which is the casting of lots as in this case, the casting of yarrow stick to fall in a certain readable pattern to be interpreted by the divinator.
During the Shang dynasty the use of turtle shell or ox scapulae was common practice. It was inscribed with a certain question and burnt to a cracking state to produce lines which could be read or interpreted by those who understood the context of the lines and their relation to the sacred texts.
The Shang dynasty was overthrown by the Zhou dynasty around the 11th century BC. They kept the system of divination and replaced the burning of tortoise shell with casting of the yarrow sticks and also the use of coins to obtain the lines for interpretation.
The Hexagrams of The I Ching
The I Ching composes of 64 hexagrams or Gua. The way the sticks fall represents a broken or straight line which, when read then gives us 6 lines forming the hexagram. Patterns thus, are made up of these broken and straight lines. The divinator, or reader, then gives a reading based on the ancient text related specifically to the pattern and related question.
The I Ching and the Tao
The I Ching and the Tao The Ching are close relatives of the same origins. They differ in two main aspects. As a Chinese philosopher so eloquently explained it below.
“The Tao The Ching is the distilled essence of the Chinese philosophy and is therefore explanatory of its translation as The Book of the Way. It is not a sect or cult or religion by any means, but a way.
The I Ching, or The Book of Changes, goes into a divinatory system to explain all the outcomes of The Book of the Way. Its is the oracle for incorporating this essence of the way into our everyday lives.”
Bob Dylan (1965) quite accurately said: “I don’t want to talk about it, but it is the only thing that is amazingly true, period.”
It is indeed a book which defies easy comprehension or explanation in simple terms with its unique and confining scripts.
Breaking open individuals own consciousness and patterns
Perhaps its content is not strictly a book at all, but rather an obscure enigma. It is in essence more complicated than google algorithms to explain as it breaks open the individuals own consciousness and patterns., making the experience utterly personal indeed.
It is designed not for simple, quick solution understanding but rather to make the listener reflect inward to his own consciousness and comprehension of his thoughts and actions. It guides the listener towards understanding his thoughts, actions and ultimately its consequences and offers workable solutions to rectify the outcomes. It is firmly rooted in the philosophies of kindness, love and mutual respect as written from The Book of the Way, the Tao The Ching.
The I Ching a truly divinatory system
By no means does it entertain cerebral superficiality, but rather guides the listener into lateral thinking to its meaning in their specific state of affairs in any given situation. This is what makes the I Ching a truly divinatory system which covers all and any aspects of our human experience.
It creates the opportunity for the listener to “weigh out” his options, removing him instantaneously from his habitual thinking or constrictive thought and action patterns, showing him how difficult issues and obstacles can indeed be transformed into more positive outcomes. It is a noble path aimed at rectifying on a much larger scale, producing a deeply satisfying path for those who are serious to improve their past mistakes and bringing sense to the lessons we are here to receive.
Promoting a “Way” towards a harmonious lifestyle.
It promotes a “Way” towards a harmonious lifestyle. It covers holistic healing, politics, environmental issues, social and ethical issues but also beautifully creates a wonderful platform for reflection into our real life issues.
In the cultivation of the transcripts of the Tao The Ching, we start with small matters inside our current realities and then move towards the bigger scope of things. It does indeed, very quickly, bring the understanding of how it is all interlinked. It creates a ripple effect of universal balance and harmony.
Thank you for reading this very brief introduction of the I Ching. In our next article I will explain why, and how this ancient scriptures still apply to our modern day lives and how it can truly bring forth a path of contentment and balance to its practitioner and student.
In an age of instant gratification, both the Tao The Ching and its close companion, the I Ching, demands its student to work, to stop and think and do the inner work.
At some point every human being is called back to his own essence and soul core. If you have long heard that inner voice calling for better understanding, the I Ching is a beautiful essence to tap back into your own “knowing” and will flood clarity back into your journey.
In a world of technology and easy “just add water” solutions that fills someone’s pockets we have become lost and distracted and fail to hear the voice of our innate wisdom.
We have an intense longing to reunite with our own souls and live a fulfilling, good and honest life. As we embark on this journey of bringing back that inner voice, we will walk through the meanings and lessons in simple terms, until such time as you can confidently incorporate this into your journey.
Please join us, this is free to anyone who is ready and longing to reunited with the essence of their essence.