Includes bibliographical references and index.
The Original Contents of the Zhou yi gailun (Introduction to the Book of Changes) -- Preface -- Extensive Explanations of the Zhou yi -- The “Great Commentaries on the Zhou yi” -- Imagery of the Changes -- Hexagram Changes -- Divination by Milfoil Stalks -- Divinatory Cases in the Zuo zhuan and the Guo yu -- Are the Prognostcations Determined Only by the Changing Line(s)? -- A Brief Introduction to the Studies of the Changes in the Past Dynasties (I) -- A Brief Introduction to the Studies of the Changes in the Past Dynasties (II) -- Part II -- Some Prefaces and Speeches Related to the Scholarship on the Changes -- A Preface to the Najia shifa纳甲筮法 (Three-Coin Method of Divination) -- A Postscript to the Najia shifa (Three-Coin Method of Divination) -- Opening Speech at the International Conference on Confucianism and Changes Studies -- Preface to Mr. Liu Junzhu’s Yi jing and Contemporary Life -- Characteristics of the Yi Studies in the 20th Century: A Preface to the Collected Quintessential Articles of the Yi Studies of the Past Century and Decade (1900-2009) -- Endnotes
The I Ching (a. k. a. Yi jing, the Book of Changes, Zhou Changes) is one of the oldest texts in world history, and it is often considered the “first in the Confucian classics.” To this date, it continues to be an important source of understanding traditional Chinese thought and society. To help readers fully appreciate this archaic classical work, the author of this book comprehensively considers the explanations of the characters of zhou and yi from all traditional perspectives, and then introduces the relationship between Confucius (551-479 BCE) and the later Yi zhuan (Commentaries on the Changes), which elevated the Zhou yi from a divination manual to a classic of wisdom literature.
The connections between the sixty-four hexagrams introduced in the book can help define the import of the different hexagrams. As the foundation of the Zhou yi, the traditional study of images and numbers plays a major role in the book. The Zhou yi originally was a divination manual, and this book also offers the author’s special perspectives on this topic. The first part of this book also sketches a scholarly outline of the history of Changes scholarship and further explores image-numerological approaches to the Zhou yi employed by Zhou yi experts of past dynasties.
The second part of this book is made up of some of the author’s prefaces and speeches, which exhibit his views on the relationship between the Yi jing and Chinese oracular culture, on the influence of the Zhou Changes upon Confucianism and contemporary life, and on the latest archeological discoveries concerning Changes scholarship.
The Chinese version of this book was published in 1985, which immediately aroused attention from both researchers and amateurs, and continues to be a best seller even now. To date, its Chinese version has become essential reading for both researchers and amateurs and has been reprinted over ten times; its circulation has amounted to over 100,000 copies sold in China.