|The Complete Idiot's Guide to I-Ching
Contents at a Glance
Part 1: Introducing the I Ching and Ancient China
Part 2: The Historical and Mythical Origins of the Yijing
Part 3: Learning to Use the Yijing
Part 4: The 64 Hexagrams: A New Interpretation for the Twenty-first Century
Part 5: Understanding the Principles of the Chinese Cosmos
Part 6: Modern Science to the Ancient Oracle
Part 7: Understanding and Applying the Ancient Tradition of Feng Shui
Reviewer: Scott Ransom from Portland, OR, USA
This book is definitely a worthwhile edition of the I Ching for anyone interested in the subject matter. Over the years I have collected numerous versions of the I Ching, and this one is probably the most readable of the lot of them.
The background history of the I Ching is well researched and presented, and the chapters relating it to Chaos Theory, the Holographic Paradigm, and others are extremely interesting and valuable reading.
The heart of the book is, of course, the presentations of the hexagrams. While not as "in-depth" as some of my other translations/interpretations, this isn't necessarily a bad thing - many of those other books give you enough information to thoroughly overwhelm you. The interpretations here are written in modern English, and are very understandable. What makes them truly useful, however, is the way the author relates the meanings of the hexagrams to the history of the political situations occuring when the book was put together in its "modern" form (during the time of King Wen and the Duke of Zhou). This makes the hexagrams MUCH easier to relate to your own personal situations - let's face it, most of the traditional interpretations leave this background out, and instead just present phrases for the hexagrams and individual lines which can be extraordinarily puzzling and apparently unrelated to the question at hand. By relating each hexagram to the actual historical happening that inspired the traditional interpretations, the hexagrams are put into a much clearer (and more easily applicable) light.
Some of the versions of the I Ching I have which are written in "modern English" just give the authors own personal take on the hexagrams - while sometimes useful, these "translations" are usually somewhat suspect because they often leave the original texts of the hexagrams and lines out. But that is not the case here! The traditional texts are included, and then presented with additional explanatory text by the author. So, you get the best of both worlds. Sometimes the authors own interpretations aren't quite applicable to your question, but the traditional text is, and sometimes it's the other way around. This edition of the I Ching give you both!
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. If this is your first exposure to the I Ching, it will serve as an excellent introduction, and certainly one you will use for years to come (even if you purchase several other different translations, as I have). If you are like me, someone who has studied the I Ching for years, you will immediately appreciate the clarity and depth the author presents.
Don't be fooled by the title. You do not need to be a "complete idiot" to get great value from this book!
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