- Series: Princeton University Press (Book 19)
- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (May 15, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0691001715
- ISBN-13: 978-0691001715
- Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Understanding the I Ching Paperback – May 15, 1995
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Top customer reviews
Its real meaning is lost to the ages, and it probably will be impossible to divine its intended purpose and meaning.
Fortunately, ironically, the most cogent explanation of the I Ching comes from this father and son team, Richard and Hellmut Wilhelm.
This collection of lectures consists of the combination of two separate books, Change: Eight Lectures on the I Ching by Hellmut Wilhelm and The Constancy of Change, by Richard Wilhelm. Both titles are contained in this one book.
Hellmut’s lectures consist primarily on how the hexagrams should be interpreted, interspersed with a discussion of their philosophical foundations. Hellmut’s lectures contain extensive quotations from commentaries found in Richard’s original translation. Richard’s lectures contain mostly philosophical ruminations concerning the issues and inspirations of the I Ching. Richard’s lectures assume familiarity with the meaning and function of the hexagrams, and therefore may be too advanced for the general reader.
Hellmut’s lectures, on the other hand, are probably the best introduction for the reader to whom the I Ching is a complete mystery, which probably includes 99.9% of all of us. Together, these two sets of lectures, and this book, is the first stop for anyone interested in the I Ching.
The first of the Richard Wilhelm lectures, "Opposition and Fellowship" cries for an update to show how the values of the I Ching might be used to address and resolve the issues facing the world at the present time.
What did disappoint and sadden me were the number of negative reviews of this extraordinary book. What were these people smoking?
Did they not read the complete title? The subtitle of the book, "The Wilhelm Lectures on the Book of Changes" makes it clear that it was never intended to be I Ching 101. Too difficult to understand? Given the complexity of the subject matter, it is hard to imagine a set of lectures that could be as simple and clear as these are. And here's another thing: Neither this book of lectures, nor the I Ching itself, were ever intended to be read just once. The effort to understand what both are saying is a lifetime pursuit, through which significant understanding will come only as a result of great effort made over a long period of time. In other words, if you don't understand something, just put it aside for a while and try again later. After all, the I Ching is a highly spiritual document that, by its very nature, will always contain elements of mystery that may or may not be revealed to each individual who encounters it.
This book basically goes in detail about everything expressed in the original work - detail that doesn't seem to be needed, at least for me. Like it says on the back cover, this book is pretty much essays on the I Ching that help explain its origins, eastern philosophy, and some concepts pertaining to the hexagrams.
Instead of buying this book, I recommend just reading the original Wilhelm/Baynes work and soaking up as much information as possible. Furthermore, it would help to get another I Ching just to get another interpretation and hence, another point-of-view.
For a guide to which I Ching book you should get, consider these I Ching book reviewers:
Most recent customer reviews
no table of trigrams. info about SOME hexagrams but never anything practical.Read more