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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-G044-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 16, 2024, from

Article Summary

The Yijing (Book of Changes) or Zhouyi (Changes of the Zhou) was originally a divination manual, which later gradually acquired the status of a book of wisdom. It consists of sixty-four hexagrams (gua) and related texts. By the time the Yijing became a coherent text in the ninth century bc, hexagram divination had changed from a means of consulting and influencing gods and spirits to a method of penetrating moments of the cosmic order to learn the shape and flow of the dao and determine one’s own place in it. By doing so, one avoids wrong decisions, failure and misfortune and achieves their contrary. Tradition has it that the Yijing can only be successfully approached through humility, honesty and an open mind. Through interaction with it, one gains ever increasing self-knowledge and sensitivity to one’s relations to others and to one’s situation in life. ‘Good fortune’, ‘happiness’ and ‘success’ are but by-products of such self-knowledge and sensitivity.

Citing this article:
Lynn, Richard John. Yijing, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-G044-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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