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The Bookblog / 25 February 2022

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All in the toss of a Coin
A new edition of Ancient Wisdom

Sometimes when you face a difficult decision, you know the answer is out there... but somehow you can’t see it.

How do I get to that outcome I desire? ... How can I help my friend? ... What would happen if I quit my job? ... How might I improve my relationships?

The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is an extraordinary way to reveal your answer to any one of your big questions. It’s a 3,000 year old ancient Chinese text based on a true and timeless principle: that everything is connected, and every change flows from those connections.

Some see the I Ching as a way to interpret those changes to see into the future (a mystical text). Some see the I Ching as a way to focus and reveal what you already know (a psychological text). In any case, the Book of Changes has been an insightful guide to decision-making for millions of people for thousands of years. Yes, it’s mystical. Yes, it’s old. But what if it could actually help you?

There are many clunky versions hanging around in dusty corners of the Internet, but there is only one really good English translation. And it’s this one: the Richard Wilhelm / Cary F. Baynes edition.

I have been fascinated by my own physical copy of that book for years, but it’s a big awkward brick of a thing, and not something you tend to have around when you want to use it. But alternatives are simply not as good. They don’t seem to work like the Wilhelm version. Sometimes an I Ching reading seems to present you with abstract nonsense. Other times... it seems to know what’s really going on.

So here it is, the best possible version of a weird, wonderful and curiously practical ancient text, brought up-to-date, including a simple guide on how to use it:

The Bookwise I Ching

Whatever the question, the answer is out there.

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