For centuries Western scientists and philosophers have been studying an ancient book called the Book of Changes or the I Ching that forms part of the Five Classics (Wujing) of Confucianism.
According to the mythology of creation stories, the 1st Emperor of China, Fuxi Tai Hao (The Great Bright One) discovered these trigrams on the back of a tortoise.
Each trigram corresponds to the 8 directions and has a name, a root meaning, and a symbolic meaning. The hexagrams are formed by joining in pairs, one above the other, which are the eight basic trigrams (bagua).
It is believed he thus Fuxi Hao contributed to the development of the Chinese writing system.
Carl Jung, the famous psychologist, himself consulted the oracle. He wrote in the forward to Richard Wilhelm’s translation: “How this book manages to give us such inspired answers?
” A certain curious principle that I have termed synchronicity, a concept that formulates a point of view diametrically opposed to that of causality. Since the latter is a merely statistical truth and not absolute, it is a sort of working hypothesis of how events evolve one out of another, whereas synchronicity takes the coincidence of events in space and time as meaning something more than mere chance.”
The uniqueness of the Yijing consists of 64 symbolic hexagrams, (the square root of 8.)
When the oracle is consulted, a humble attitude as if asking one’s mother and father for guidance is said to yield the best results and contains clues to questions applicable to daily life.
In practice, one “creates” a hexagram by casting lots in one of several ways.
The hexagram is built up from the bottom, line by line, by successive lots.
.Solid lines represent yang (the male cosmic principle), while broken lines represent yin (the female cosmic principle). These two principles explain all beings and all changes through their ceaseless interactions.
Individual lines of a hexagram have been compared to single notes of music.
Though each note has tone its own tone, its truest significance depends on its place in a musical score.
The same principle applies to individual lines of a hexagram.
The I Ching text first explains each line separately, then gives an overall interpretation of the unit.
The text is often expressed in symbolic images with, with thought-provoking language. It can be concluded that mind and matter aren’t separate. Nor are the inner and outer worlds. Synchronicity is the principle that psychic events and those happening outside man have an identical appearance and appear as “coincidence”
Taoism also believes in the principle that the body is a small universe.
Esoteric thought states the principle of “As above so below.”
Therefore according to Carl Jung, one may use the ancient method of consulting the oracle to cure neurosis.
The first choice when consulting the I Ching would naturally be Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the main text as it is believed by scholars to be the closest to the original.