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I Ching (Yijing): The Book of Changes

Understanding I Ching and Yijing

The I Ching, also known as the Book of Changes, is an ancient Chinese divination text and one of the oldest of the Chinese classics. The terms "I Ching" and "Yijing" represent two different transliterations of this classic text, corresponding to two systems of Romanization for Chinese characters.

The I Ching is the older, Wade-Giles romanization of the title. In this system, the title is spelled as "I Ching," where "I" means "change" and "Ching" means "classic" or "book." This version has been familiar to many Western readers and was widely used in English-language publications, especially prior to the 1980s.

The Yijing is the modern, Pinyin romanization of the title. Adopted as the standard system for romanizing Chinese characters since the 1980s, "Yijing" uses "Yi" to represent "change" and "Jing" for "classic" or "book." This rendition has become more prevalent in recent publications and is used in contemporary discussions of the text.

Origins and Philosophy of the I Ching (Yijing)

With origins dating back more than 3,000 years, the I Ching has served as a tool for divination, as well as philosophical, moral, and cultural guidance. Rooted in Taoist philosophy, it is founded on the principle that change is the universe's only constant. The text guides adherents in understanding and living in harmony with the natural laws of transformation.

At the heart of the I Ching are 64 hexagrams, each comprising six lines that may be broken (Yin) or unbroken (Yang). These hexagrams convey the fundamental principles of reality, symbolizing a dynamic interplay of opposites and illustrating the ever-present potential for change.

Aspects of I Ching and Yijing

For a deeper exploration consider the following aspects of I Ching:

Further Reading