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10
11
The Tao Of I-Ching
Introduction 



iof letting someone else decide your life. You alone must live your life. 
magination; that is, if you always expect someone else to tell you what 
Consider the following: the four great men of the I Ching are Fu Hsi, 
is right and how to do things. The person who has some insight and 
originator; King Wen, who interpreted the hexagrams, the Duke of 
is willing to take personal initiative can use the I Ching to make work its 

more effective and enjoy life more fully.
Chou, who wrote on the lines; and Confucius, who reviewed the whole. 

This book is a concrete example of what I mean by an open-minded One can spend years studying the lore of these men yet learn nothing. It 

is far better to use only the first, Fu Hsi, as your inspiration. Remember 
approach to change. I have written it for a person with a western back- 

ground. My student Louis and I evolved a simple approach to translating that he had no one to teach him and no one to tell him what to do, 

the I Ching from a western perspective. After Sunday Tai Chi class, we therefore, he found his answers by taking life itself as his teacher. 

would meet at a diner and I would describe the work for the week. When studing these teachers, follow the spirit of their teaching, but 

always remember to accommodate the message to your personal 
Louis would take notes and my handwritten English translations. The 

following week he would produce a typewritten text for editing. His circumstance. _

questions and suggestions told me exactly what needed to be explained An example of following the Spirit of the I Ching can be found in 

more fully for a western mind.
the interpretation of the seasons. Athough the study of the times and 


Because of his help, I was able to proceed with this book rapidly
the season are deeply related to the I Ching in traditional Chinese

while continuing a great many other activities. Louis is a good example culture, it is too complex and specialized to describe fully here. Instead 

of a student's progress. As the work progressed, he not only helped me I use the open-minded spirit of "change" and give the basics for the 

student to use. January has definite meanings in the I Ching cycles, 
find the right words, but took up his own studies. Although he had lived 

in a rural and scenic area all of his life, he began to appreciate the natural since it is mid-winter, but if you live in Australia, you had better not 

beauty of his surroundings that he had always taken for granted. He study January if you want to learn about winter. You must take the 

used nature to define the meanings of the energies described in the initiative to turn things completely around and study July instead.

Likewise, when we read the inspiring translations of the I Ching's
I Ching and to make his understanding direct rather than a matter of 
Consider 
memorized words. When he took up divination he asked "How can I be scholars, it is important to consider their original meaning. 

sure I am learning to do this well?" He decided to study developing "It is time to cross the great river." Try to the following translation:

news events and then compare what actually happened with the explicit feel the meaning and spirit of this advice. Cross the Great River? Get

on a ferry boat? Get your feet wet? Look at the water and be inspired? 
"judgments" he divinated. Finally, he worked at seeing some of the 

things in his everyday life in terms of Yin and Yang and the I Ching. I Remember, when these words were written the world was a primitive

believe that Louis presently knows a little bit about the I Ching. It is and unsettled and often dangerous place.
The simple act of fording a

wide river by boat could end in disaster if one was careless or unskilled.
only the beginning, but it is something real, and it is becoming part of 
Thus, the real meaning becomes, "the times are good for undertaking
his skills as a person.
"
Would he know as much if he had studied as a scholar for twenty difficult things.
" " 
years, but could only quote hundreds of different fine points of Again, consider the terse comment:
There are no fish in the bag. 

Ask yourself what would Confucius say if he lived today. He'd probably
interpretation? If he had troubles in everyday life would this knowledge 
" There is no money in the checking account! "
be any use to him? If he had good fortune, could he use his knowledge pen something like this: 

to make the most of it for himself and others? The answer is simply, Do this with everything you meet, and you will be a true student of 

never.
the I Ching by learning to understand yourself and others. The material 

I have put together for you covers a wide field of study. Sometimes I
On the basis of the foregoing, I warn you against the specialized 
have found it preferable not to explain everything fully, in order to show 
scholarly approach. It is valuable, but too limited for a person to live 

with. To depend upon another person's interpretations is an example
basic principles and give enough guidance for you to do your own work.



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