THEORY: History, Terms, Objectives

This I Ching Study Guide is intended for your self-study. If I were to sum up in a single sentence what my intention is, perhaps I could phrase it as follows:

I would like to teach you how to use the I Ching, so that you can independently and confidently utilize this wonderful tool to gain clearer understanding of the messages from your Self, allowing your worldly Ego to guide your life towards happiness.

This objective is quite comprehensive – and may not be easy to grasp. What do I mean by the term messages from the Self? What does worldly Ego imply? How does all this relate to happiness? And why are those texts from the classic Book of Changes, the I Ching so challenging to decipher in the first place?

To address these questions, I have written a few introductory articles that provide historical information, clarify terms, and reveal my personal objectives:

  • The first article, From Oracle Bones to the I Ching, discusses the origins of the I Ching and questions the authority of the wording in the Textus receptus, the traditionally handed-down text material.
  • In the second article, Oracle System or Cosmology?, I clarify the concept of cosmology, examine whether the I Ching can be considered a cosmology, and analyze the nature of the I Ching as an oracle.
  • The third article, Divination and Synchronicity, explores the source of the I Ching’s answers. I examine interconnectedness between the question posed and the seemingly random response of the I Ching, and discuss the rationale behind consulting an oracle.
  • In the fourth article, Incomprehensible Answers of the Textus Receptus, I delve into the perplexing nature of the Book of Changes, i.e. the classical handed down interpretive texts. Why do the texts often hinder understanding rather than facilitate it?
  • In the fifth article, An Alternative Interpretation of the I Ching, I present the aspects that are personally important to me and form the foundation of my alternative interpretive approach: my conception of humanity, my methodology, and my objectives.

Of course, feel free to skip this theoretical part and proceed directly to practice. Just follow… your inner voice!