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Essentials of the Yi Jing, The

Essentials of the Yi Jing, The
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synoptic commentary

Index , Notes , Bibliography , Appendix , Illustrations
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"...will be tantalized by Chung Wu's annotations. The readers will find that they come away with a better understanding of the oftentimes tenuous connection between the hexagram-and-line texts on the one hand and the Tuan and Xiang commentaries on the other."
--Stephen L. Field in China Review International, Spring 2004

Most complete reference and detailed analysis of the Yi Jing (I Ching)

The Yi Jing (I Ching) is a classic Chinese literary and philosophical work on the relationship of people to one another and to nature. This book goes beyond all previous renderings of the Yi Jing in both scope and methods of presentation. The Yi Jing proper and its ten Wings are all included. This text is well-organized and the methods and procedures used by scholars since ancient times have been reviewed and explained, enabling the reader to distinguish acceptable interpretations from specious ones. Each of the 64 hexagrams ends with a synopsis of the essence of the hexagram or its relation with others. This synoptic commentary on the Yi Jing has not been done before.

"He offers an edition and introduction for serious students of Chinese literature who, nevertheless, do not read Chinese." Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

From an Amazon.com reviewer:

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Introduction to Yi Jing, August 17, 2010 By Spud (Long Island)

I am fluent in Chinese and have read numerous works on Yi Jing (aka the Book of Changes) in both Chinese and English. Among the English Yi Jing literatures that I have come across, I like Dr. Chung Wu's The Essentials of the Yi Jing the most because of its high degree of accuracy in translating classical Chinese. The comprehension of classical Chinese is a much more difficult task than that of modern Chinese. An example, as mentioned in the Introduction section of Wu's book, is the translation of the metaphor "qun long wu shou," which means "a group of dragons without a leader." In Cleary's translation, it becomes "a group of headless dragons," in Wei's, "a drove of dragons devoid of heads," in Legge's, "host of dragons ... were to divest themselves of their heads," and in Wilhelm/Baynes' as well as in Lynn's, "a flight of dragons without heads." Now you get the point, don't you?

Yi Jing is the most influential classic text in Chinese history. It studies the relationship between human beings and nature through symbolism, mathematics and rationalism. It is the window to understanding Chinese culture and Asian civilization. It provides the foundation for the development of Daoist and Confucian philosophies, the lunar calendar, Chinese medicine, martial arts, Feng Shui and metaphysics. At the heart of Yi Jing is a binary problem-solving model composed of 64 hexagrams and principal statements on these hexagrams and their constituent lines. There are also ten chapters of detailed commentary and explanatory notes called the "Ten Wings."

Reading Yi Jing opens up your mind to a different worldview. It is a very rewarding experience.


List of Tables and Figures

Section 1. The Nature of the Yi Jing
a. The Meaning of Yi
b. Gua and Yao
c. The Meanings of Jing and Zhuan
d. The Jing Proper and Its Ten Wings
e. Arrangement of the Textual Material and General Plan of the Wings

Section 2. On the Origin and Lore of the Yi Jing
a. The Origin of the Yi Jing
b. Authorship of the Yi Jing
c. The Three Sages and the Yi Jing
d. The Yi Jing after Confucius

Section 3. The System of the Yi Jing
a. The Binary System and the Yi Jing
b. Symbolism in the Yi Jing
c. The Yi as a Means of Divination
d. Calendrical Terms in the Yi Jing

Section 4. The Investigative Tools of the Yi Jing
a. Complementarity and Antiparallelism
b. Derivation of the Hexagrams

Section 5. On Translating the Yi Jing
a. General Observations on Some Past Translations
b. Some Characteristics of Chinese Grammar
c. Transliteration of Chinese Terms in the Yi Jing

Treatise on the Appended Words, Part I

Treatise on the Appended Words, Part II

Treatise on the Discourses on the Trigrams

The Hexagrams
1. Qian, The Originator
2. Kun, The Bearer
3. Zhun, Distress
4. Meng, Ignorance
5. Xu, Waiting
6. Song, Litigation
7. Shi, The Army
8. Bi, Subservience
9. Xiao Chu, Restraint of the Small
10. Lü, Cautious Treading
11. Tai, Prosperity
12. Pi, Stagnation
13. Tong Ren, Fellowship
14. Da You, Great Wealth
15. Qian, Humility
16. Yü, Merriment
17. Sui, Following
18. Gu, Misdeeds
19. Lin, Condescension
20. Guan, Admiration
21. Shi He, Biting
22. Bi, Adornment
23. Bo, Tearing
24. Fu, Renewal
25. Wu Wang, Freedom from Vainness
26. Da Chu, Restraint of the Great
27. Yi, Nurturing
28. Da Guo, Excess of the Great
29. Kan, Entrapment
30. Li, Allegiance
31. Xian, Affection
32. Heng, Constancy
33. Dun, Retreat
34. Da Zhuang, Great Strength
35. Jin, Advancement
36. Ming Yi, Light Obliterated
37. Jia Ren, The Family
38. Kui, Incongruity
39. Jian, Difficulty
40. Jie, Relief
41. Sun, Loss
42. Yi, Gain
43. Guai, Eradication
44. Gou, Rendezvous
45. Cui, Congregation
46. Sheng, Ascension
47. Kun, Hardship
48. Jing, The Well
49. Ge, Reform
50. Ding, The Cauldron
51. Zhen, Motion
52. Gang, Stoppage
53. Jian, Gradualness
54. Gui Mei, Marrying a Maiden
55. Feng, Abundance
56. Lü, Traveling
57. Sun, Complaisance
58. Dui, Joy
59. Huan, Dispersion
60. Jie, Regulation
61. Zhong Fu, Sincerity
62. Xiao Guo, Excess of the Small
63. Ji Ji, Mission Accomplished
64. Wei Ji, Mission Yet Unaccomplished

Treatise on the Sequence of the Hexagrams

Treatise on the Non-Sequence of the Hexagrams


Table A. Transcription of the names of the hexagrams with the Hanyü Pinyin and the Wade-Giles system
Chart A. The 64 Hexagrams arranged in order of the sequence numbers
Chart B. The 64 Hexagrams arranged in the alphabetical order of their names
Chart C. The principle yao of the sixty-four hexagrams
List of historical personal names cited in this work

List of Tables and Figures

A. Introduction
Table 1. The denary celestial stem and the duodenary terrestrial branch cyclic series for designating calendar years and time of day
Table 2. Successive derivations of the sixty-four hexagrams
Figure 1. Evolution of the hexagrams according to Shao Yong.
Figure 2. The circular arrangement of the 64 hexagrams showing both the binary sequence and complementarity.
Figure 3. Hexagrammatic symbols of the twelve months of the lunar calendar.
Figure 4. Complementarity and antiparallelism of the hexagrams.
Figure 5. Formation of derived trigrams and hexagrams

B. Chapter 1
Table 3. The generative and complete numbers of the five elements and eight trigrams
Figure 6. Formation of a transformed hexagram, zhi gua, in divination
Figure 7. Symbols of the Tai Ji
Figure 8. The River map
Figure 9. The Lo script
Figure 10. The generative cycle (right, solid arrows) and the overcoming cycle (left, broken arrows) of the five elements.
Figure 11. Superimposition of the generative cycle of the five elements on the River map
Figure 12. Superimposition of the overcoming cycle of the five elements on the Lo script
Figure 13. Superimposition of the preheaven diagram of the eight trigrams on the River map as modified

C. Chapter 3
Table 4. Some attributes of the trigrams
Figure 14. Designation of the six yao of a hexagram
Figure 15. Orientation of the eight trigrams based on their intrinsic attributes, also known as the preheaven diagram (of Fu Xi)
Figure 16. Correspondence between the circular arrangement of the hexagrams and the octagonal arrangement of the trigrams
Figure 17. A variation in the arrangement of the preheaven diagram of the eight trigrams in an image of the character zhong
Figure 18. Arrangement of the 64 hexagrams based on the character zhong image
Figure 19. Orientation of the eight trigrams based on their extrinsic attributes, also known as the postheaven diagrams
(of King Wen)
Figure 20. A composite circular diagram showing correspondence of the hexagrams with astronomical, calendrical, duodenary branch cyclic, and musical terms
Figure 21. Formation of the six child trigrams from Qian and Kun

D. Chapter 6
Table 5. Probable role of derivation in the order of hexagrams arranged in the Tenth Wing

CHUNG WU was privately tutored in the classics of Chinese literature and practiced calligraphy as a young student. Throughout his life he has continued reading Chinese literature as a hobby. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Fukien Christian University in 1941 and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan in 1952. In addition to numerous publications in biochemistry, Dr. Wu has published articles on China including in Collier's Encyclopedia.

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