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The future lies in those lines

entertainment Updated: Aug 12, 2008 18:15 IST
Ritu Kapoor

The I Ching, also known in the West as the science of change, originated thousands of years ago. It is, in fact, believed to be the oldest scientific practice in the world.

According to Wikipedia, I Ching is the “Book of Changes” or “Classic of Changes”, one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. The book is a symbol system used to identify order in chance events.

It involves truly fundamental perceptions of reality, distilled into inter-related images of physical and spiritual
reality. Certain images are derived by the method of throwing coins or by selecting cards which relate to wind, water, earth, fire and metal. In earlier days, yarrow sticks were used to derive the answer.


In Chinese, ‘Ching’ means science and ‘I’ means change. Thus, the name may be translated as ‘The science of changes’. By explaining our present situation in terms of the natural laws that have given rise to it, we can know where we are headed to and what the future is likely to be.

The heart of the science is in its images, which are 64 in all. The psychic reader unfolds the meaning with a particular image and this may change into another image in the course of time. Age-old traditions describing the images through the medium of imaginative verse help the intuitive and psychic personality to disclose the underlying themes. Additionally, a great number of philosophers have written commentaries about the images in the I Ching.

How it helps

I Ching images are associated with numbers, which may be derived from certain technical manipulations that enable a skilled psychic reader to use the inside as an oracle. In fact, the science has been used for fortune telling since its earliest days. It incorporated wisdom from what is known as the Tortoise Oracle.

I Ching views the universe as a natural and well-coordinated system in which the process of change never ceases. It presents human nature and destiny as based on principle and order. Thus, I Ching makes it possible for us to orient individual human activities and situations within the larger context of harmonious interactions between people, nature, and the cosmos.