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The I Ching, or Book of Changes, a common source for both Confucianist and Taoist philosophy, is one of the first efforts of the human mind to place itself within the universe. It has exerted a living influence in China for 3,000 years, and interest in it has been rapidly spreading in the West.
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The I Ching was originally used for divination, kind of like palm reading or interpreting the stars. It differs from simple prognostication, however, in that it demands us, as diviners, to cultivate an understanding of the world and ourselves. Without this understanding, the text is useless, hence the value of the commentaries, particularly Wilhelm's. This version is not without its biases, of course--it is a European's understanding of the I Ching, through a late-Qing dynasty Confucian perspective, translated into English by a Jungian psychoanalyst. Nonetheless, it succeeds like no other. --Brian Bruya
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