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The Complete I Ching: The Definitive Translation by the Taoist Master Alfred Huang Paperback – April 15, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“A careful comparison of Huang’s translation with the Wilhelm, Legge, and Blofeld versions reveals its superiority in nearly every respect.”

“What is constant through this translation is both a sense of tradition and an appreciation of modernity. . . . [It is] a more useful I Ching than older, more self-conscious translations.”
(The Book Reader)

“This translation, from a Taoist Master, is the most extensive treatment of the subject I have ever encountered. . . . the quality of the work is so exceptional that it is hard to find fault with it. . . . if you wish to learn this system, this book will be an indispensable aid to your education. There is such a wealth of information contained in this book (each page contains the hexagram being discussed and the ideograph of the name, so there is no confusion) that it is hard to overstate the usefulness of this work. . . . This it is of use and benefit for both the novice and the more experienced user.”
(Mike Gleason, Witchgrove, March 2007)

"Huang succeeds, also, in producing a work that keeps opening up new vistas of understanding and inviting the reader to explore the many layers of discovery offered by the mathematical, visual and literary dimensions of the classic."
(Reg Little, New Dawn

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Chinese --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; Now in Paperback edition (April 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892811455
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892811458
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As an I-Ching author myself (Oracle of Changes I-Ching 1997), I have an exhaustive library of I-Ching books. Alfred Huang's is the latest addition to my collection, and by far the best. In fact, I believe it is the best I-Ching ever compiled.
It is translated from the original Chinese, but is much easier to understand than Wilhelm-Baynes and the other literal translations. The writing is poetic and conveys a personal warmth that makes the whole work engaging and easy to use. I particularly enjoyed the fact that Master Huang uses the ancient style of ideographs and proceeds to explicate the literal meaning of the graphical elements contained within each character.
This makes it possible even for a Westerner to see how the original Chinese character meant what it did, and how that relates to the text of the hexagram as a whole. This is only one outstanding feature that makes this version a must-have for anyone interested in an authentic I Ching experience.
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Format: Hardcover
I have had this book for two and a half years, and it was the first version of the I Ching I ever read. I am writing this review now, after reviewing and comparing quite a few other versions, to tell every person who loves the I Ching to get Master Alfred Huang's, which is by far the best of all, and to all newcomers to the I Ching to save money by buying this version, which is all they'll ever need.
To quote Master Huang, "Many Westerners know the I Ching, but they do not know the Tao of I". I means change; this book is about Changes, a master template to understand change and our place in it. There is no other I Ching I've read which so clearly expounds the Tao of I, the central yet difficult to discern theme of the I Ching. Many versions are limited to defining the meaning of each Hexagram in isolation, or dwell at length on the Yao (Line) texts, neglecting a thorough treatment of the situation expounded by the complete hexagram. Master Huang's Complete I Ching presents the text as a coherent, interrelated whole. The names of the hexagrams are carefully chosen to reflect this connection. The moving lines present the hexagram that will appear after the line changes from yin to yang or viceversa, making it easy to see what the progression of the situation will be. The text presents lots of additional reference information for each hexagram, useful for intermediate to advanced students. The Author also presents fascinating interpretations of the hexagrams based on references to the historical period when the I Ching is said to have been written. All this, compounded with a lucid, terse prose, make this book fascinating and easy to read (so you can keep going back to it time and again).
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Format: Hardcover
ALL of the English translations available have failed to achieve the open-endedness of this work. In the beginning of one's study of I Ching, one does not notice so much that the translation is actually muddying the waters. After many many years and digesting many situations, one comes to feel by intuition that the translations, especially Wilhelm, go completely off track at many points. For one thing, it is difficult to live in a world as delineated into "Superior Men" and "Inferior Men" as the Wilhelm translation has it. The terms are so absolute that thinking of one's fellows in them can actually CAUSE errors in action or perception when one is using the book as an oracle. Master Huang uses much less severe terms, which do not carry the harshness of many translations. He himself commented that his own experience with English translations used for oracles could depress him so badly he didn't want to try again! I agree completely from my own experience. This is just something one has to experience through many years to appreciate. The translation is EVERYTHING.
Master Huang's is the cleanest, clearest, least "contaminated" version available I think. "Neutral" might be a way to state this.
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Format: Hardcover
Because of his thorough understanding of the principles behind the words of the text of the I Ching, Master Huang makes the process of getting acquainted with the theory of changes a delight. Throughout the book, one is absorbed by the continuity, the pragmatic inner logic that binds the 64 hexagrams (or gua) into a flowing sequence. Master Huang's selection of names for the gua reflects his thoughtful insight into the way they follow each other. The Wilhelm-Baynes translation had made me think that the I Ching was the most abstruse and complicated oracle ever written, but thanks to Master Huang's work, the I Ching is now part of my daily life. To all newcomers to the I Ching I humbly recommend you read this book from beginning to end, one hexagram (or gua) every day, and then you will never get tired of going back to it. Many thanks are due to Master Huang for giving us a complete, definitive translation of the Book of Changes in these times of great change. His love of the text shines through in every word, and it makes the reader love the Book, too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a student of the I Ching for 5 years now, and in that time I've seen good translations and bad translations. This is, without a doubt, the best I've found yet, and I doubt I'll ever find one better than this.

For starters, Master Huang is very knowledgable. In addition to in-depth translations of each hexagram (gua) text, he includes translations of the hexagram (gua) names, the pictagrams used to describe them, as well as the translations of the hexagram names used in the Wilhelm and Blofeld translations. He gives in-depth information on each hexagram and their lines (yao), and true translations of their texts -- not just interpretations, as appear in many "translations".

Also included are Confuscious' commentaries, "The Ten Wings". Well, 8 of the 10 Wings are included -- I don't know why the other 2 were left out.

In a nutshell, Master Huang gives you all the information you could ask for on each of the hexagrams. Not only do you learn the message behind each hexagram and its lines, you also learn what the name means, what the pictagram represents, and how the lines define the message of the hexagram. He is also very respectful of the I Ching, and advises (very wisely I think) that those new to it only consult it for advice, and not for "What will happen if..." situations. Personally, I only use the I Ching for advice in difficult situations, though on rare occasions in the past have I asked for information concerning the outcome of a possible action.

I have only 1 misgiving, and it is that in addition to the yarrow stalk and coin toss methods, Master Huang provides an additional, alternate way to cast the I Ching so that only one line can possibly be in a state of change.
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