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I Ching Paperback – January 10, 1987

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Three thousand years ago, the I Ching was created as a simple oracle, consulted by farmers and kings alike. Now, stripping away more than two millenia of interpretive distortion and dogma superimposed on the text by successive generations of scholars, world-renowned physicist Kerson Huang and his wife Rosemary have succeeded in restoring the book to its original form.

In this important new translation, the Huangs reveal the stark poetry of the authentic I Ching, reconstruct the numerous historical tales that were once an essential element of the text, and present the hexagrams and their judgements clearly and concisely. Most importantly, they allow the ancient classic to serve its intended purpose as a practical handbook for divination.

A professor of particle physics at MIT, Kerson Huang has been consulting the I Ching since his childhood in Canton. He brings to this work both a unique ability to bridge the cultures of East and West, and the fascinating perspective of the scientific mind confronting the great mysteries of the human soul.

"Rosemary and Kerson Huang, poet and physicist-poet, have made a superb translation and appreciation of the bone-old book." -Phillip Morrison, author of Powers of Ten

About the Author

Rosemary Huang has consulted the I Ching regularly and pursued her translation through years of research.


Kerson Huang, Ph.D., grew up in Canton, China and is currently a professor of physics at MIT. He and his wife Rosemary have consulted the I Ching regularly and pursued their translation through years of research.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Printing, First Edition edition (January 10, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0894803190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0894803192
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,278,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of several other books on the I Ching of late and have found that this one is very user friendly. I rather liked the fact that the book goes to an older tradition than the Confucian version with its over burdened moralizing. This is nice and straight forward, unlike the Confucian version translated in to German by the Christian laden Wilhelm and then into English by Baynes.
This I Ching is a delight to use.
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The Problem with the I Ching is that you can't tell which version to buy without reading the actual text from the book, which you can not do over the computer. You actually need to go to a physical store and compare the different translations of the I-Ching and see which version suits you best, BUT THIS VERSION IS THE BEST. Its the one I bought after going to the store and reading and comparing the other versions.
The text is so much more readable and understandable than the other versions of the I-Ching they sell. It at times seems like someone who knows what you are doing is talking to you when you ask a question and then read the text from this book. Its not a jumble of confusion like the other versions. That is what made me buy the book.
Other versions of the I- Ching have lines that can not be understood, and didn't seem to realate to the question i asked. Every line of text in this book is clear to read, understand and I could usually just read the sentences and know how they related to the question I asked. That is not always true with the I ching. When the sentences in the other I-ching books don't make sense you have to figure them out before you can even apply them to your question. That does not happen with this book. It reads like someone is "talking" to you. The sentences just make sense.
Also, there is a very easy to undersand chart in the back of the book on how to form a hexagram some books leave this out or the chart is difficult to understand. In summary this book makes the I- Ching understandable.
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By A Customer on April 26, 1997
Format: Paperback
If you have the patience for the historical data that fills up the front end of this nifty little volume, you'll find possibly the most clear, insightful guide to the I Ching on the market. This translation dumps a huge amount of dogmatic, confucianist baggage that has been tacked on and still clings to most translations and what remains is not only more true to the oracle's roots - it's much easier to understand. I've read many translations, and I've found that sixty percent of what you read in most translations is unnecessary and repetitive and redundant :). This clean, simple text reminds me very much of the work of Stephen Mitchell
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Format: Paperback
This is my favorite English edition of the I Ching. However, I mostly wanted to post this review to partly correct a comment made by another reviewer named "szechuan", who says that the matrix of hexagram numbers in this book is incorrect. This is only true of the first printing; it was corrected for later printings, and even that first printing originally came with an errata sheet that gave a corrected matrix. I guess szechuan bought a used copy that no longer had the errata sheet. The error is actually very simple and easy to correct -- the trigrams across the top of the matrix are in the wrong order. They should be in the same order as the trigrams going down the side.
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Format: Paperback
One can predict the orbit of Moon with great accuracy - that is the realm of physics, and the first author IS a physicist of considerable repute and distinction. But when it comes to predicting the future in a given human situation, one is left with no widely-accepted way, or a theory. Yet, as the authors recoganize, it remains a human need. Whether nature meets this need, or not, cannot be deciphered by majority opinion. One must experiment with a theory, and see if the theory works. It is in that spirit that this "I Ching" comes to us from the Kerson and Rosemary Huang. The authors have done away with the "ten wings" and added a much smaller wing of their own to some extent. The authors provide the minimal, though sufficient, historical background that is necessary, and here very helpful, to understand and use this ancient tool, this ancient Chineese work called "I Ching," of predicting possibilities in a given human situation. Whether this ancient chineese craft works, or not, must be decided by each individual. Carl Jung apparently used "I Ching," along with night dreams and visions of his subjects ("patients"), to gain knowledge of the relevant human factors and possible actions - or inactions - as suggested by the combination of these diverse elements of the subjective life. For a western reader the question remains: are there information-carrying currents in the universe that can affect seemingly random events, and if yes, does "I Ching" act as an antena to these currents? Experiment, and decide. Huangs' have brought a three-thousand old craft to us in a way that, I think, carries certain poetry of its own, and on the way tell us of how nature may know the left from right and what part "I Ching" played in one physics office at Princeton - where Kerson Hunag was a postdoc then, and C. N. Yang a physicist, a few months away from his Nobel Prize with T. D. Lee.
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