Hi. I moved this article to my new website. Please read its updated and improved version there. Thank you.
Yi Jing, also known as the Book of Changes, is one of the oldest books and oracles. It has been documented to be at least 3,000 years old. Further dating is difficult because the exact years are not known, but it is believed to be around 5,000 years old. People who are not particularly knowledgeable about or are not that interested in Chinese culture (note that I did not write “Chinese Metaphysics”) find it difficult to understand how it is possible that the Yi Jing’s influence has penetrated so much so in this country.
There are, of course, historical / material reasons for this, such as the burning of almost all books over 2,000 years ago in ancient China, while the Yi Jing was in spared; Confucius, being one of the most influential figures in China’s history, was amazed by the wisdom of the Yi Jing, wrote comments on it and so on, and after a few centuries, during the Han Dynasty, the Yi Jing became a compulsory reading in the examinations of candidates for entry into the imperial court. Thus, the Yi Jing practically became an official part of the state doctrines of the Chinese empire. Multiply this influence with the scale of this empire and the multitude of states that it controlled/influenced and you will begin to understand why the Yi Jing is so omnipresent not only in China.
I am writing this article not to look at the story of the Yi Jing (something that has already been done by a multitude of people who are far more qualified for this than me) but to compare it, in general terms, with Ancient Astrology. Before doing this, you must know that the Yi Jing is written in ancient Chinese /classical Chinese, which is different from modern Chinese. That is, modern Chinese people have to take courses to understand it, as do the modern Greeks, if they want to read Plato, Aristotle, Valens, Ptolemy, etc. in their original form. Also, there is no punctuation in ancient Chinese. Add to this that this is Metaphysics we are talking about, that is, the text is written in a deceptively simple way which contains deliberately encoded information that can not be extracted if the book is read as an ordinary one. All this means is that there are 2 problems in dealing with the Yi Jing (and any other classical texts about Metaphysics):
There are significant differences in the translation of the text itself. The Yi Jing has been translated by over 100 different translators into European languages, and the differences of many passages are startling.
It is one thing to read the text (the more accurate the translation, the easier it is to comprehend it), it is another to interpret it, and it is another thing to Understand it, that is, to understand what is behind the text. In other words, “to comprehend” means to understand the words and sentences themselves, while ” to Understand” means to stand under the meaning, to understand what is behind these words and sentences.
When I read the Yi Jing, I did it from 4 different translators and books that I personally chose after researching the subject. There were differences even in the names of some of the Hexagrams, not to mention the translations themselves, not to mention the given interpretations.
Yet, despite these differences, it became very clear that what the Yi Jing says, in general, is the same as Ancient Astrology and about which I wrote an article about two years ago:
Ancient Astrology and Classical Feng Shui Explaining One of the Fundamental Principles of Objective Reality: the Malefic Planets and Stars Being More Powerful than the Benefic Ones
In other words, there are benefic and malefic Hexagrams, and the malefic ones are many more in number than the benefic ones.
There are special rules according to which the Trigrams making up Hexagrams are interpreted, which lie outside the scope of this article. What you need to know is that of all the 64 Hexagrams, there is only one where all the 6 lines are not only in their appropriate position but they are bonded to a line of the other polarity.
In other words – something which I have written about many times – inequality is the name of the game in this physical world. People are different, with different fates, one is allotted a lot, one is allotted average, one is allotted a little, there are fewer successful people (in any sphere) than failed ones, and so on and so forth.
After all, Indian Astrology / Jyotish shows the same. Of course it shows it, it is about reading the Eternal Laws.
I want to specifically point out that I am far from having “Understood” the Yi Jing in its entirety. This takes a lot of time and even then the human understanding will be incomplete.
The other important thing is that the Yi Jing is mostly known as one of the oldest oracles and used to divine, to understand situations, to predict the future, and so on. The real strength of this incredible book, however, is to explain the Eternal Laws. Many people in this field say that once you Understand these Laws, the practitioner will not need to divine because he/she will know how the situation will develop – which is something that I personally cannot agree with, at least not entirely.
Speaking of the Eternal Laws, no matter how impressive they are, their application will always remain incomplete unless one takes into account the personal fate displayed in one’s natal chart. In other words, there is a branch in Chinese Metaphysics, which uses the branch of Chinese Astrology, the Four Pillars of Destiny, and transforms the Chinese horoscope into Hexagrams that describe the life of man. This branch is known as He Luo Li Shu / HLLS and reveals incredible knowledge that applies only to the native in question. I will write about this Yi Jing Astrology in another article.