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Find I Ching by Blofeld, John at Biblio. Uncommonly good collectible and rare books from uncommonly good booksellers. I Ching translated by John Blofeld. John Blofeld () was a British writer on Asian religion and philosophy. His version of I Ching, puhblished originally. I Ching the Book of Change: A New Translation of the Ancient Chinese Text with Detailed Instructions for its Practical Use in Divination. John Eaton Calthorpe I.

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This survey is in two parts. In my view, only Wilhelm is actually required. That said, a wise choice of supplementary material can be of immense value during the blfoeld years. The version I started with was by Alfred Douglas, which was useful for learning how to construct a hexagram, and chibg a feel for it before moving on to Wilhelm.

Looking at it from my bloffld perspective, I cannot honestly say there is anything in the book, but remembering it was a start I have been cautious not to write off any book save the thoroughly trashy. On the whole, the standard here is higher, the selection smaller, 27 books being covered.

These are the kind of books that should be being published. The Book of Changes is, as Wilhelm said, ‘a work that represents thousands of years of slow organic growth and that can be assimilated only through prolonged reflection and meditation’.

The fault I detect in many of the new versions is that they hand out an immature view, often a view that hasn’t even been digested at all, simply regurgitated without engaging the brain.

Chiing understanding, even the slightest slip when attempting a paraphrase or commentary can result in a complete misinterpretation becoming vogue, thereby hindering the progress bloffeld all who rely on it. When even familiarity with the Chinese is blofed guarantee of understanding, consider how much more this problem is compounded by authors who have little real interest in the book, who cobble together rehashes at the same time as similar works on runes, tarot, crystals, etc.

Cning survey is a chinh review. It was not my intention to produce a bibliography, so publication details have been omitted, save where this may prove difficult to find out and is worth knowing.

Where I am sure that a book is out-of-print at present and can only be obtained secondhand or via libraries, I have said so. The order is the order in which they came to mind. He was the right man in the right place at the right time; this is not something that can be re-done, no matter how good fresh translations are.

As Carl Jung put it, it is as if this book ‘delivered the last message of the old, dying China to Europe’. The lbofeld of the language used is superb, it rates as a work of literature. Although beginners often feel that Wilhelm is too complicated and seek a simpler version to start with, what I would recommend is that they get Wilhelm as early as they can and just use Book I initially, ignoring Book II The Great Treatise and Book III Commentaries until they blodeld more confident to tackle them all three books are published in one volume.

Bloceld Wilhelm has the necessary depth for a reliable interpretation. While it is true there are a few passages in need of revision, these are far fewer than in any other translation, and in general Wilhelm manages to convey the essential meaning via his summaries of the Neo-Confucian commentary material, which is without equal in any other version.


In using Wilhelm over a long period, hcing one becomes aware of a deeper purpose underlying events, which surpasses simple divination. Bodde discusses a few fine points of the text and confuses Cary F Baynes for a man. I reviewed this book at length in the previous issue [of ‘The Oracle’]. It is an excellent and scholarly work focusing on subtleties and distinctions.

It is a translation of the commentary of the Wei Dynasty philosopher Wang Bi. Essentially for the more experienced practitioner. Again, reviewed last issue. Its best use is as a bridge between an independent dictionary, such as Mathews’, and the text in Chinese.

It makes the task of looking up the Chinese characters far easier for the amateur translator. Glofeld may ask, why bother looking them up if the meanings are already displayed in the book itself? The trouble b,ofeld, it is not as reliable as one might hope, alternative meanings have been left out, sometimes the wrong one chosen.

These oversights are hard to understand given the collective experience of the authors. That said, the book must be praised for putting the possibility of making a personal translation within reach of far more people.

I Ching Online – English Versions of I Ching, The Book of Change

One of the best contemporary attempts to say something original. Richmond concentrates on the internal oracle, what it feels like inside, as opposed to what is going on in the external world. Many times it strikes a chord, often highlighting a concern from an unexpected angle. There is no moral tone to contend with, everything is in terms of subtle drifts of feeling. Out-of-print, though it often turns up secondhand. Published in by Wildwood House, London.

Here Richmond has re-interpreted his own approach, expanded it, and tied it closer to the original Chinese imagery. Richmond has the knack of hitting the nail squarely on the head when the book is used in consultation, his work has a Zen-like simplicity and ‘cutting through’ quality.

This depth is not so apparent when the comments are read in isolation. It is typewritten, privately printed on comb-bound A4 sheets, probably in no more than a thousand copies, if that.

It has disappeared without trace, I have never seen it in a bookshop. This is a great shame as it is a masterly achievement.

A self-developmental approach, commenting on quotes from the Wilhelm edition. Her description of the way ego undermines personality is well-stated. It is particularly helpful for maintaining detachment when other people show their inferior natures. Anthony is of most use in relationships. I found this work of great use for many years.

I find Blofeld too sparse to consult, though he does offer useful notes that are sometimes invaluable. He does not include the Great Treatise, and only points out the ruling lines in the appendix.

His introductory chapters are well-written and absorbing. Blofeld’s criticism of Wilhelm for including ‘meaningless phrases’ is not entirely justified, and many of his improvements miss the point. However, his speaking out certainly inspired a more critical attitude. Henry Wei’s translation was in part urged by Blofeld’s comments, and Wei in turn criticises both Wilhelm and Blofeld.

The process of translation is one of continual refinement. Blofeld’s contribution has played a part.

I Ching by Blofeld, John

This translation is by a scholar whose first language is Chjng. His expression of English, unfortunately, is a little dry. This makes it less attractive to beginners, though for the more experienced blofedl this book provides an extremely useful comparison text. The Great Treatise is not included, but there is a lengthy introduction. Published by Newcastle Publishing Co, California, First published inthis was the only English translation widely available until Wilhelm-Baynes appeared in Legge had no real interest in the spirit of the book, simply regarding it as fodder for translation.


He neither consulted it nor explained how others might. Nevertheless, Legge remains useful for making comparisons. Ch’u Chai and Winberg Chai brought out a version in including a long introduction by themselves. Raymond Van Over reorganised the material in to make it easier to use. Dover Books continue to publish Legge in a facsimile of the second edition. Based on the blofedl of contemporary commentators Gao Heng and Li Hansan, as well as Whincup’s own understanding, rather than traditional commentaries that have been shown to be flawed.

There are interesting variant readings. His chihg in particular blofels of great value as he shows the Chinese characters he is referring to. The Great Treatise is not translated. Whincup also includes a more sensible version of the yarrow stalk manipulation [ PDF ], and a theory that the sequence represents a nobleman’s rise to power from obscurity.

Disappointing; they feel rushed as a job lot. They seemed exciting when they first came out, as the first three are translations of commentaries by Ch’ing, Ming, and Sung dynasty scholars respectively. Reading them, however, these translations are curiously opaque.

A great pity, especially as the Taoist work is an alchemical text and the Buddhist work is by a follower of the Pure Land school, both highly significant outlooks. This is marginally better, but still contains misreadings. Cleary, though eminently qualified, doesn’t seem to give enough time to his work; they come off a conveyor belt.

He has over thirty translations of Oriental texts to his name, the majority of them produced over the past decade — a period of time Richard Wilhelm devoted to just one.

Paul Sneddon is disenchanted with the ‘obscure symbolism’ of the Chinese text and dismisses it as ancient irrelevance. This couldn’t be more misguided.


There is less than a paragraph on self-development. A purely divinatory approach. Da Liu makes his own translation, blofwld has a few interesting ways of looking, such as ‘Wind under the bed’ for the second line of hexagram 57, and ‘The Exile’ as the title of hexagram He adds his own commentary based on experience of prediction.

Of some interest as few books deal with this aspect, but Da Liu’s comments do not have much depth, unlike the book by Jou, Tsung Hwa. A book called ‘Heavenly Pennies’ by Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec covers the same thing, as well as the five coin version forming 32 pentagrams. This latter book reproduces the original Chinese fortune-telling tables.

The comments on the hexagrams are written as specific down-to-earth examples from life. Even if what he says is not directly relevant to one’s own situation, he writes in such a way as one can see how he is looking at it, and so draw a guideline. These comments have the touch of a master. Jou includes the Chinese. In his translation he does not depart greatly from Wilhelm, though I am sure he is quite capable of making a few improvements.

The introduction includes a version of the yarrow stalk ritual I have seen nowhere else, and a description of the Plum Blossom method. Also a treatment of the phases of the moon in terms of yin and yang.