What is I Ching? What does the I Ching include?

    What is I Ching?

    I Ching is a book of wisdom from ancient China. 

    According to scholars' research, it was produced about 5,000 years ago, and some people think it was 7,000 years ago. 

    The age of its writing may be at the end of the Shang Dynasty and the beginning of the Zhou Dynasty. 

    Regarding the content of "I CHING", it is generally believed that it originated from Hetu and Luoshu.


    The most primitive "I CHING" has three kinds, namely "Three YI".

    One is the "Lianshan Yi" of the Shennong Dynasty;

    the second is the "Guizang Yi" of the Yellow Emperor Dynasty;

    and the third is the "Zhou Yi" written by King Wen of Zhou Dynasty when he was imprisoned.

    In the Western Zhou Dynasty, Zhou Gong, the son of King Wen of Zhou, wrote in the "Zhou Li": "Taibu (a state official position) masters the three methods of I CHING, the first is "Lianshan", the second is "Gui Zang", and the third is "Zhou Yi".

    "Lian Shan Yi" starts from the Gen hexagram, which symbolizes "the cloud emerges from the mountain, and it is continuous"; "Guizang Yi" starts from the Kun hexagram, which means that all things are born in the earth.

    "Lianshan Yi" and "Guizang Yi" have been lost, and only "Zhou Yi" has survived to this day. It can be considered that although there are differences in the "Three Yi", their core contents are similar.

    What does the I Ching include?

    I CHING includes two parts, the Classics and the Biography. the Classics is the core of the whole book, the Biography is to explain the Classics. 

    It is generally believed that the Classics  was written by King Wen of Zhou and Zhou Gong, and the Biography was accumulated by later generations and organized by Confucius.

    The Classics(Chinese pronunciation is jing)

    The Classics is divided into upper part and the lower part, the upper part includes thirty hexagrams, the lower part includes thirty-four hexagrams, a total of sixty-four hexagrams. 

    Each hexagram consists of hexagram lines, titles, hexagram words, and Yao words. The sixty-four hexagrams evolved from the overlapping of the gossip "Gan、Kan、Gen Zhen、Xun、Li、Kun、Tui". 

    Each hexagram painting has six lines, and the lines are divided into yin and yang.

    The line of yang is called "nine", and the line of yin is called "six".

    The hexagrams are arranged in six lines from bottom to top, which are called "first, second, third, fourth, fifth, upper" in sequence. 

    There are three hundred and eighty-four lines in the sixty-four hexagrams. 

    The title of each hexagram is related to Gua Ci and Yao Ci. 

    Before the Yao Ci, the Gua Ci play the role of explaining the meaning of the title. 

    Yao Ci is the main part of the content of each hexagram, and its content is arranged in the order of six lines.

    The Biography(Chinese pronunciation is zhuan)

    There are seven types of ten chapters in the "Biography", namely: "Tuan","Xiang", "Wen Yan", "Xi Ci" (upper part and the lower part), "Shuo Gua", "Za Gua" and "Xu Gua".

    The ancients called these ten chapters "Ten Wings", which means: "Biography" is a wing attached to the "Classics", which is used to explain the content of the "Classics".

    "Tuan" is a commentary on the names and Gua Ci of the hexagrams in the I CHING.

    "Xiang" is a commentary on the hexagram names and Yao Ci in the I CHING.

    "Wen Yan" made a further explanation of the two hexagrams of Qian and Kun.

    "Xi Ci" is different from "Tuan" and "Xiang". It is not a one-by-one commentary on hexagrams and Yao Ci, but an overall commentary on "I CHING", which is the philosophical program and must-read of "I CHING" , is the most important and representative text in "Ten Wings". It is also the first comprehensive and systematic explanation of the origin, principle, meaning and divination of the I Ching in ancient times, and expounds many ideas that are not found in the I Ching.

    "Shuo Gua" is a specific description of the eight trigrams, and it is one of the theoretical foundations for the study of divination.

    "Za Gua" arranges the sixty-four hexagrams in opposite or wrong forms into pairs of comprehensive hexagrams and wrong hexagrams, and sees the relationship between hexagrams and hexagrams from the hexagram images.

    "Xu Gua" tells the order of the sixty-four hexagrams.

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