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I Ching: The Book of Change Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 2006


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I Ching: The Book of Change + The I Ching, or,  Book of Changes (Bollingen Series XIX) + The I Ching or Book of Changes: A Guide to Life's Turning Points
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Shambhala (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590304039
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590304037
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,028,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

The I Ching (Book of Change) is considered the oldest of the Chinese classics, and has throughout Chinese history commanded unsurpassed prestige and popularity. Containing several layers of text and given numerous levels of interpretation, the I Ching has been venerated for more than three thousand years as an oracle of fortune, a guide to success, and a source of wisdom. The underlying theme of the text is change, and how this fundamental force influences all aspects of life?from business and politics to personal relationships.
In this translation, previously published as The Tao of Organization, the root text is supported by commentary by Cheng Yi. A distinguished scholar and teacher of the eleventh century, Cheng Yi is regarded as one of the greatest sociological thinkers of Song dynasty China. He conveys a fundamentally forward-thinking attitude in his treatment of the text, based on the belief that since change is an inexorable law of the universe encompassing everything in the world, great and small, it is better to overtake change than be overtaken by it. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
This was a enjoyable book to read fun and easy to understand with imformation that was helpful.
Fidelia Grayson
While I don't know what "point" it missed, I do agree that this really isn't the book for a first time approach to the I Ching.
kelsie
The Hardcover edition is fairly handy, while the pocket edition is good for keeping with oneself and when traveling.
Brother Hamza Philip

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By kelsie VINE VOICE on August 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
A previous reviewer mentioned the fact that Cleary's translation seems to "miss the point." While I don't know what "point" it missed, I do agree that this really isn't the book for a first time approach to the I Ching. Western readers unfamiliar with the tenets of Eastern philosophy or the use of hexagrams will find this edition of the Book of Change particularly unhelpful.

For a seasoned user of the I Ching this is likely an excellent way to keep the book on one's person at all times--if that's you, this book cannot come more highly recommended. However, for the first time user, the book is vague and almost impenetrable. The instructions for consulting the Book of Change Cleary includes are interesting, but again, of little import to a person unfamiliar with the whole concept the book is founded upon.

Overall, however, Cleary seems to demonstrate his prowess at translating Eastern works (if not necessarily explaining them fully), and this work is akin to his groundbreaking translation of the Koran (Qur'an): clear and concise in language.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric John on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably my least favorite translation of the I Ching (I have about three others). It is such a dry and literal translation it is almost unusable.

Example:"Predominance of the great is when the great or almighty predominate.The ridgepole bending symbolizes weakness at the basis and in outgrowths."

The only reason I keep it is because it is, indeed portable. However, I find myself using it more as a guide for the hexagram numbers, (which I have come to know fairly well) NOT the readings themselves.

For what its worth, I have personally found Brian Walker Browne's translation/interpretation to be by far the wisest and most readable version of the I Ching. I never leave home without it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By gnostix1 on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As others here note, this is a handy reference for the experienced user. Beginners would do better with Hilary Barrett, or perhaps R. L Wing or Carol Anthony (among others).

Shambhala shows a publication date of 1992; I suspect this is a much earlier work by Cleary, who's reputation rests on clear and accurate translation rather than poetic indulgence. The text here -- the source of which is never stated -- is rather clunky and obtuse, recounting the Confucian epigrammatic description, judgment, and image for each of the 64 hexagrams along with commentaries on the changing lines. Those generally familiar with the I Ching will soon be at home with this bare-bones political manual stripped of Victorian-era sentimentality (via to Legge and Wilhelm) and pop-psychological/new age fluffiness (thanks to latter-day Jungians), and might gain some useful insights. New users will be less than edified by commentaries such as "If you fasten something with the hide of a yellow ox, nothing can unloosen it."

The introductory text, though insightful, seems to be written for academics; the book ends with a "List of Hexagrams with their Primal Correlates and Structural Complements." What this means and why the reader should care is not explained.

In sum: It is indeed a handy pocket guide for those who (like me) cogitate on hexagrams and do an occasional cast throughout the day, and like to have a concise source-book on hand. Beginners would do well to build their libraries on more accessible texts before acquiring this one.
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By Egghead-8 on June 27, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It could have been better if I were smarter but I found it difficult to grasp. Imagine a thousand words thrown at you in succession. One day I'll pick it up again and see where i'm at but this was not one of my favorites.

E-8
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Shambhala Pocket Classics capture the essence of this version of the I Ching. I have a few other Shambhala Classics and am impressed with their ability to focus on the important ideas. I have the Wilhelm/Baynes edition of the I Ching which is great of deep study and research. But this little book is great for a quick look up of the meanings. The book fits easily in the palm of your hand. Is it available for the Kindle, or a smart phone?
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By BKwriter on September 16, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Tough, tough going on this one. Requires a lot of patience and decoding to make it make any sense to the modern world. Under that, though, it's clearly brilliant, as it describes the whole gamut of possible situations in a society. Book is quite small and the paper is cheap-ish.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael R. MCFARLANE on February 26, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very intersting view of past and present Chinese beliefs. This book gives you the gist of what this belief is about. The I Ching also shows you how to do your own predicting. Very interesting and quite fun.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By MissBert on September 30, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great little book, very portable, for doing I-Ching readings on the run. The only flaw is that it does not explain to you how to generate the hexagrams so you need to know that already.
I carry mine in a small drawstring bag with 3 Chinese coins.
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