Feb 10, 2010

Book Review: I Ching, A New Interpretation for Modern Times, review

I Ching: A New Interpretation for Modern Times I Ching: A New Interpretation for Modern Times by Sam Reifler

I'm not superstitious, but using the I Ching as a form of divination or fortune telling can be just plain fun. It's general enough so that you can interpret the results in different ways. And it's often uncannily accurate!

In the I Ching, there are 64 hexagrams made of six lines each. Each hexagram represents a human situation, and all 64 together are said to "encompass the whole of human experience." You ask a question of the I Ching and throw coins to determine which hexagram will answer your question.

From Goodreads: What is the I Ching?
For centuries the Chinese have consulted the I Ching both as an oracle and as a means of self-understanding. The moral and psychological depth of its wisdom has been celebrated by its scholars, psychologists, poets, and scientists.
In this clear, immensely readable interpretation, Sam Reifler eliminates the obscure and dated references of previous translations to provide an accurate and accessible version of the ancient Chinese classic for the contemporary seeker. With easy-to-follow instructions for using both the yarrow stick and the coin toss method, this new interpretation of the I Ching reveals the hidden forces at work in our relationships, our careers, and our emotional lives - and suggests new directions and choices for the future.
For everyone who seeks to better understand themselves and the world around them, this new translation of the I Ching is... "practical and remarkably effective...."

My personal experience using the I Ching: This week I was expecting to have eye surgery in a few days and wanted to see what the I Ching would say about my situation, which I was a little nervous about.

I pulled out my copy of the book, threw three coins six times and formed the hexagram 5 - Zhuy, translated as "Waiting."

Oracle: Great success. Auspicious
If you keep to your course,
You may cross the great water.
So everything was going to be okay - auspicious.

But wait! Hexagram 5 had a moving line, according to how I threw the coins! Line 6 changed Hexagram 5 into Hexagram 9! Here's what line 6 said:

Waiting no longer,
Three rescuers arrive at the cave.
Auspicious if you treat your rescuers well.

Here's what line 6 of the new Hexagram 9 changed to -Zhiao-Khuh or "Minor Restraint".

Rain has fallen; Progress is delayed
The next day I got a call saying my eye surgery was postponed as my eye doc was in the hospital. Not too serious, but a minor restraint. What could I do but gloat about my rescue/respite, and hope my doc would be okay.

Did the I Ching foretell this change of events?
They say not to use the oracle as a parlor game even though some people do, or used to. It could get confusing, especially if you ask more serious questions than mine.

Well, that Q & A was a bit of fun!

Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge, China Challenge
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2 comments:

  1. I was into the I Ching in college. It's interesting to see it surface again, when I'm in a similar reflective place in my life...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Melissa: I've had my book for so long, it's dog eared. Maybe it's popularity will come back!

    ReplyDelete

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