Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aimless Reading: The I's, Part 2.1 (The I Ching)


I Ching
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
I Ching
Tr. Blofeld


Look, another copy of the I Ching! Haven't read this one, either. It belongs to Lori, so you'll have to ask her if she's read it.

It seems a bit less academic than the one I own, and its subtitle suggests it has a slightly different purpose: "A New Translation of the Ancient Chinese Text with Detailed Instructions for Its Practical Use in Divination." As far as I know, Lori has never used this book for purposes of divination, unless she did so before she met me.

I have a friend who graduated from SUNY Buffalo and headed out immediately to a tenure track position at a major research university elsewhere. After a few years, before tenure, she and her husband used the I Ching to divine the fact that they were supposed to live in Buffalo. They quit their jobs, packed up their things and moved back here. Sadly, they split up. Both still live in Buffalo, however, so I guess the I Ching got it right.

from I Ching

The Book of Change is more concerned with ways of attaining inner satisfaction and harmony with our surroundings than with helping us a long the road to material success, especially if that success is likely to cause difficulties to others or adversely affect our character or peace of mind. Questions as to how to live in harmony with conditions over which we can exercise only limited control will bring forth more helpful guidance than questions aimed at discovering means of gaining materially. This does not mean that ALL questions concerning commerce and financial matters should be avoided, for obviously these may profoundly affect our true welfare and that of our dependents; but betting, gambling on the stock exchange and all means of self-enrichment involving no service to others are too foreign to the spirit of the I Ching to form suitable subjects for our questions. Reputable Chinese scholars very rarely consent to put enquiries of this kind, but the ordinary street-corner fortune-tellers seldom share their scruples...

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