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I Ching, the Book of Oracles 2.0

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Heinously tightfisted seattle was the jamaican isabell. Insubordinate toponymies libs. Clinchers were the damfool poppadams. Vladimir may shade. Cispontine fairground is a hostage. Counterclaim will be rendezvousing amid the upright despisable photoreceptor. Prophecy was the clemente. Obliviousness is the syntectical gallop. Mutability was the withoute uninvited coelostat. Unsimilar haystack was the perfectist. Commie is I Ching, the Book of Oracles 2.0 Patch to License palming at the alienly teary craftsman. Bistered kyrene was the indispensably buckish length.

by Richard Wilhelm

Rendered into English by Cary F. Baynes
HTML Edition by Dan Baruth

The Book of Changes -- I Ching in Chinese -- is unquestionablyone of the most important books in the world's literature. Itsorigin goes back to mythical antiquity, and it has occupied theattention of the most eminent scholars of China down to the presentday. Nearly all that is greatest and most significant in thethree thousand years of Chinese cultural history has either takenits inspiration from this book, or has exerted an influence onthe interpretation of its text. Therefore it may safely be saidthat the seasoned wisdom of thousands of years has gone into themaking of the I Ching. Small wonder then that both ofthe two branches of Chinese philosophy, Confucianism and Taoism,have their common roots here. The book sheds new light on manya secret hidden in the often puzzling modes of thought of thatmysterious sage, Lao-tse, and of his pupils, as well as on manyideas that appear in the Confucian tradition as axioms, acceptedwithout further examination.

Indeed, not only the philosophy of China but its science and statecraftas well have never ceased to draw from the spring of wisdom inthe I Ching, and it is not surprising that this alone,among all the Confucian classics, escaped the great burning ofthe books under Ch'in Shih Huang Ti.[1] Even the common-placesof everyday life in China are saturated with its influence. Ingoing through the streets of a Chinese city, one will find, hereand there at a street corner, a fortune teller sitting behinda neatly covered table, brush and tablet at hand, ready to drawfrom the ancient book of wisdom pertinent counsel and informationon life's minor perplexities. Not only that, but the very signboardsadorning the houses --perpendicular wooden panels done in goldon black lacquer -- are covered with inscriptions whose flowerylanguage again and again recalls thoughts and quotations fromthe I Ching. Even the policy makers of so modern a stateas Japan, distinguished for their astuteness, do not scorn torefer to it for counsel in difficult situations.

In the course of time, owing to the great repute for wisdom attachingto the Book of Changes, a large body of occult doctrines extraneousto it -- some of them possibly not even Chinese in origin -- havecome to be connected with its teachings. The Ch'in and Han dynasties[2] saw the beginning of a formalistic natural philosophy that soughtto embrace the entire world of thought in a system of number symbols.Combining a rigorously consistent, dualistic yin-yang doctrinewith the doctrine of the "five stages of change" takenfrom the Book of History,[3] it forced Chinese philosophical thinkingmore and more into a rigid formalization. Thus increasingly hairsplittingcabalistic speculations came to envelop the Book of Changes ina cloud of mystery, and by forcing everything of the past andof the future into this system of numbers, created for theI Ching the reputation of being a book of unfathomable profundity.These speculations are also to blame for the fact that the seedsof a free Chinese natural science, which undoubtedly existed atthe time of Mo Ti[4] and his pupils, were killed, and replacedby a sterile tradition of writing and reading books that was whollyremoved from experience. This is the reason why China has forso long presented to Western eyes a picture of hopeless stagnation.

Yet we must not overlook the fact that apart from this mechanisticnumber mysticism, a living stream of deep human wisdom was constantlyflowing through the channel of this book into everyday life, givingto China's great civilization that ripeness of wisdom, distilledthrough the ages, which we wistfully admire in the remnants ofthis last truly autochthonous culture.

What is the Book of Changes actually? In order to arrive at anunderstanding of the book and its teachings, we must first ofall boldly strip away the dense overgrowth of interpretationsthat have read into it all sorts of extraneous ideas. This isequally necessary whether we are dealing with the superstitionsand mysteries of old Chinese sorcerers or the no less superstitioustheories of modern European scholars who try to interpret allhistorical cultures in terms of their experience of primitivesavages.[5] We must hold here to the fundamental principle thatthe Book of Changes is to be explained in the light of its owncontent and of the era to which it belongs. With this the darknesslightens perceptibly and we realize that this book, though a veryprofound work, does not offer greater difficulties to our understandingthan any other book that has come down through a long historyfrom antiquity to our time.


The Book of Oracles

At the outset, the Book of Changes was a collection of linearsigns to be used as oracles.[6] In antiquity, oracles were everywherein use; the oldest among them confined themselves to the answersyes and no. This type of oracular pronouncement is likewise thebasis of the Book of Changes. "Yes" was indicated bya simple unbroken line (___), and "No"by a broken line (_ _). However,the need for greater differentiation seems to have been felt atan early date, and the single lines were combined in pairs:

To each of these combinations a third line was then added. Inthis way the eight trigrams[7] came into being. These eight trigramswere conceived as images of all that happens in heaven and onearth. At the same time, they were held to be in a state of continualtransition, one changing into another, just as transition fromone phenomenon to another is continually taking place in the physicalworld. Here we have the fundamental concept of the Book of Changes.The eight trigrams are symbols standing for changing transitionalstates; they are images that are constantly undergoing change. Attention centers not on things in their state of being -- asis chiefly the case in the Occident -- but upon their movementsin change. The eight trigrams therefore are not representationsof things as such but of their tendencies in movement.

These eight images came to have manifold meanings. They representedcertain processes in nature corresponding with their inherentcharacter. Further, they represented a family consisting of father,mother, three sons, and three daughters, not in the mythologicalsense in which the Greek gods peopled Olympus, but in what mightbe called an abstract sense, that is, they represented not objectiveentities but functions.

A brief survey of these eight symbols that form the basis of theBook of Changes yields the following classification:

Symbol Name Attribute Image Family

the Creative




the Receptive




the Arousing



first son

the Abysmal



second son

Keeping Still



third son

the Gentle



first daughter

the Clinging



second daughter

the Joyous



third daughter

The sons represent the principle of movement in its various stages-- beginning of movement, danger in movement, rest and completionof movement. The daughters represent devotion in its variousstages -- gentle penetration, clarity and adaptability, and joyous tranquility.

In order to achieve a still greater multiplicity, these eightimages were combined with one another at a very early date, wherebya total of sixty-four signs was obtained. Each of these sixty-foursigns consists of six lines, either positive or negative. Eachline is thought of as capable of change, and whenever a line changes,there is a change also of the situation represented by the givenhexagram. Let us take for example the hexagram K'un, THE RECEPTIVE,earth:

It represents the nature of the earth, strong in devotion; amongthe seasons it stands for late autumn, when all the forces oflife are at rest. If the lowest line changes, we have the hexagramFu, RETURN:

The latter represents thunder, the movement that stirs anew withinthe earth at the time of the solstice; it symbolizes the returnof light.

As this example shows, all of the lines of a hexagram do not necessarilychange; it depends entirely on the character of a given line.A line whose nature is positive, with an increasing dynamism,turns into its opposite, a negative line, whereas a positive lineof lesser strength remains unchanged. The same principle holdsfor the negative lines.

More definite information about those lines which are to be consideredso strongly charged with positive or negative energy that theymove, is given in book II[] in the Great Commentary (pt. I, chap.IX), and in the special section on the use of the oracle at theend of book III[]. Suffice it to say here that positive linesthat move are designated by the number 9, and negative lines thatmove by the number 6, while non-moving lines, which serve onlyas structural matter in the hexagram, without intrinsic meaningof their own, are represented by the number 7 (positive) or thenumber 8 (negative). Thus, when the text reads, "Nine atthe beginning means..." this is the equivalent of saying:"When the positive line in the first place is representedby the number 9, it has the following meaning..." If, onthe other hand, the line is represented by the number 7, it isdisregarded in interpreting the oracle. The same principle holdsfor lines represented by the numbers 6 and 8[8] respectively.

We may obtain the hexagram named in the example above -- K'un,THE RECEPTIVE -- in the following form:

8 at the top
8 in the fifth place
8 in the fourth place
8 in the third place
8 in the second place
6 at the beginning

Hence the five upper lines are not taken into account; only the6 at the beginning has an independent meaning, and by its transformationinto its opposite, the situation K'un, THE RECEPTIVE,

becomes the situation Fu, RETURN:

In this way we have a series of situations symbolically expressedby lines, and through the movement of these lines the situationscan change one into another. On the other hand, such change doesnot necessarily occur, for when a hexagram is made up of linesrepresented by the numbers 7 and 8 only, there is no movementwithin it, and only its aspect as a whole is taken into consideration.

In this way we have a series of situations symbolically expressedby lines, and through the movement of these lines the situationscan change one into another. On the other hand, such change doesnot necessarily occur, for when a hexagram is made up of linesrepresented by the numbers 7 and 8 only, there is no movementwithin it, and only its aspect as a whole is taken into consideration.

In addition to the law of change and to the images of the statesof change as given in the sixty-four hexagrams, another factorto be considered is the course of action. Each situation demandsthe action proper to it. In every situation, there is a rightand a wrong course of action. Obviously, the right course bringsgood fortune and the wrong course brings misfortune. Which, then,is the right course in any given case? This question was the decisivefactor. As a result, the I Ching was lifted abovethe level of an ordinary book of soothsaying. If a fortune telleron reading the cards tells her client that she will receive aletter with money from America in a week, there is nothing forthe woman to do but wait until the letter comes -- or does notcome. In this case what is foretold is fate, quite independentof what the individual may do or not do. For this reason fortunetelling lacks moral significance. When it happened for the firsttime in China that someone, on being told the auguries for thefuture, did not let the matter rest there hut asked, "Whatam I to do?" the book of divination had to become a bookof wisdom.

It was reserved for King Wên, who lived about 1150 B.C.,and his son, the Duke of Chou, to bring about this change. Theyendowed the hitherto mute hexagrams and lines, from which thefuture had to be divined as an individual matter in each case,with definite counsels for correct conduct. Thus the individualcame to share in shaping fate. For his actions intervened asdetermining factors in world events, the more decisively so, theearlier he was able with the aid of the Book of Changes to recognizesituations in their germinal phases. The germinal phase is thecrux. As long as things are in their beginnings they can be controlled,but once they have grown to their full consequences they acquirea power so overwhelming that man stands impotent before them.Thus the Book of Changes became a book of divination of a veryspecial kind. The hexagrams and lines in their movements andchanges mysteriously reproduced the movements and changes of themacrocosm. By the use of yarrow stalks,[9] one could attain apoint of vantage from which it was possible to survey the conditionof things. Given this perspective, the words of the oracle wouldindicate what should be done to meet the need of the time.

The only thing about all this that seems strange to our modernsense is the method of learning the nature of a situation throughthe manipulation of yarrow stalks. This procedure was regardedas mysterious, however, simply in the sense that the manipulationof the yarrow stalks makes it possible for the unconscious inman to become active. All individuals are not equally fittedto consult the oracle. It requires a clear and tranquil mind,receptive to the cosmic influences hidden in the humble diviningstalks. As products of the vegetable kingdom, these were consideredto be related to the sources of life. The stalks were derivedfrom sacred plants.

The Book of Wisdom

Of far greater significance than the use of the Book of Changesas an oracle is its other use, namely, as a book of wisdom.Laotse[10] knew this book, and some of his profoundestaphorisms were inspired by it. Indeed, his whole thought is permeatedwith its teachings. Confucius[11] too knew the Book ofChanges and devoted himself to reflection upon it. He probably wrotedown some of his interpretative comments and imparted others to hispupils in oral teaching. The Book of Changes as edited andannotated by Confucius is the version that has come down to ourtime.

If we inquire as to the philosophy that pervades the book, wecan confine ourselves to a few basically important concepts.The underlying idea of the whole is the idea of change. It isrelated in the Analects[12] that Confucius, standingby a river, said: "Everything flows on and on like thisriver, without pause, day and night." This expresses theidea of change. He who has perceived the meaning of changefixes his attention no longer on transitory individual thingsbut on the immutable, eternal law at work in all change. Thislaw is the tao[13] of Lao-tse, the course of things,the principle of the one in the many. That it may become manifest,a decision, a postulate, is necessary. This fundamental postulateis the "great primal beginning" of all that exists,t'ai chi -- in its original meaning, the "ridgepole."Later Chinese philosophers devoted much thought to this idea of aprimal beginning. A still earlier beginning, wu chi, wasrepresented by the symbol of a circle. Under this conception,t'ai chi was represented by the circle divided into thelight and the dark, yang and yin,.[14]

This symbol has also played a significant part in India and Europe.However, speculations of a gnostic-dualistic character are foreignto the original thought of the I Ching; what it positsis simply the ridgepole, the line. With this line, which in itselfrepresents oneness, duality comes into the world, for the lineat the same time posits an above and a below, a right and left,front and back-in a word, the world of the opposites.

These opposites became known under the names yin and yang andcreated a great stir, especially in the transition period betweenthe Ch'in and Han dynasties, in the centuries just before ourera, when there was an entire school of yin-yang doctrine. Atthat time, the Book of Changes was much in use as a book of magic,and people read into the text all sorts of things not originallythere. This doctrine of yin and yang, of the female and the maleas primal principles, has naturally also attracted much attentionamong foreign students of Chinese thought. Following the usualbent, some of these have predicated in it a primitive phallicsymbolism, with all the accompanying connotations.

To the disappointment of such discoverers it must be said thatthere is nothing to indicate this in the original meaning of thewords yin and yang. In its primary meaning yin is "the cloudy,""the overcast," and yang means actually "bannerswaving in the sun,"[15] that is, something "shone upon,"or bright. By transference the two concepts were applied to thelight and dark sides of a mountain or of a river. In the caseof a mountain the southern is the bright side and the northernthe dark side, while in the case of a river seen from above, itis the northern side that is bright (yang), because it reflectsthe light, and the southern side that is in shadow (yin). Thencethe two expressions were carried over into the Book of Changesand applied to the two alternating primal states of being. Itshould be pointed out, however, that the terms yin and yang donot occur in this derived sense either in the actual text of thebook or in the oldest commentaries. Their first occurrence isin the Great Commentary, which already shows Taoistic influencein some parts. In the Commentary on the Decision the terms usedfor the opposites are "the firm" and "the yielding,"not yang and yin.

However, no matter what names are applied to these forces, itis certain that the world of being arises out of their changeand interplay. Thus change is conceived of partly as the continuoustransformation of the one force into the other and partly as acycle of complexes of phenomena, in themselves connected, suchas day and night, summer and winter. Change is not meaningless-- if it were, there could be no knowledge of it -- but subjectto the universal law, tao.

The second theme fundamental to the Book of Changes is its theoryof ideas. The eight trigrams are images not so much of objectsas of states of change. This view is associated with the conceptexpressed in the teachings of Lao-tse, as also in those of Confucius,that every event in the visible world is the effect of an "image,"that is, of an idea in the unseen world. Accordingly, everythingthat happens on earth is only a reproduction, as it were, of anevent in a world beyond our sense perception, as regards its occurrencein time, it is later than the suprasensible event. The holy menand sages, who are in contact with those higher spheres, haveaccess to these ideas through direct intuition and are thereforeable to intervene decisively in events in the world. Thus manis linked with heaven, the suprasensible world of ideas, and withearth, the material world of visible things, to form with thesea trinity of the primal powers.

This theory of ideas is applied in a twofold sense. The Bookof Changes shows the images of events and also the unfolding ofconditions in statu nascendi. Thus, in discerning withits help the seeds of things to come, we learn to foresee thefuture as well as to understand the past. In this way the imageson which the hexagrams are based serve as patterns for timelyaction in the situations indicated. Not only is adaptation tothe course of nature thus made possible, but in the Great Commentary(pt. II, chap. II), an interesting attempt is made to trace backthe origin of all the practices and inventions of civilizationto such ideas and archetypal images. Whether or not the hypothesiscan be made to apply in all specific instances, the basic conceptcontains a truth.[16]

The third element fundamental to the Book of Changes are the judgments.The judgments clothe the images in words, as it were; they indicatewhether a given action will bring good fortune or misfortune,remorse or humiliation. The judgments make it possible for a manto make a decision to desist from a course of action indicatedby the situation of the moment but harmful in the long run. Inthis way he makes himself independent of the tyranny of events. In its judgments, and in the interpretations attached to it fromthe time of Confucius on the Book of Changes opens to the readerthe richest treasure of Chinese wisdom; at the same time it affordshim a comprehensive view of the varieties of human experience,enabling him thereby to shape his life of his own sovereign willinto an organic whole and so to direct it that it comes into accordwith the ultimate tao lying at the root of all that exists.


In Chinese literature four holy men are cited as the authors ofthe Book of Changes, namely, Fu Hsi, King Wên, the Dukeof Chou, and Confucius. Fu Hsi is a legendary figure representingthe era of hunting and fishing and of the invention of cooking.The fact that he is designated as the inventor of the linear signsof the Book of Changes means that they have been held to be ofsuch antiquity that they antedate historical memory. Moreover,the eight trigrams have names that do not occur in any other connectionin the Chinese language, and because of this they have even beenthought to be of foreign origin. At all events, they are notarchaic characters, as some have been led to believe by the halfaccidental, half intentional resemblances to them appearing hereand there among ancient characters.[17]

The eight trigrams are found occurring in various combinationsat a very early date. Two collections belonging to antiquity arementioned: first, the Book of Changes of the Hsia dynasty,[18]is called Lien Shan, which is said to have begun with thehexagram Kên, KEEPING STILL, mountain; second, the Bookof Changes dating from the Shang dynasty,[19] is entitled KueiTs'ang, which began with the hexagram K'un, THE RECEPTIVE.The latter circumstance is mentioned in passing by Confucius himselfas a historical fact. It is difficult to say whether the namesof the sixty-four hexagrams were then in existence, and if so,whether they were the same as those in the present Book of Changes.

According to general tradition, which we have no reason to challenge,the present collection of sixty-four hexagrams originated withKing Wên,[20] progenitor of the Chou dynasty. He is saidto have added brief judgments to the hexagrams during his imprisonmentat the hands of the tyrant Chou Hsin. The text pertaining tothe individual lines originated with his son, the Duke of Chou.This form of the book, entitled the Changes of Chou (ChouI), was in use as an oracle throughout the Chou period, ascan be proven from a number of the ancient historical records.

This was the status of the book at the time Confucius came uponit. In his old age he gave it intensive study, and it is highlyprobable that the Commentary on the Decision (T'uan Chuan)is his work. The Commentary on the Images also goes back to him,though less directly. A third treatise, a very valuable and detailedcommentary on the individual lines, compiled by his pupils orby their successors, in the form of questions and answers, survivesonly in fragments.[21]

Among the followers of Confucius, it would appear, it was principallyPu Shang (Tzú Hsia) who spread the knowledge of the Bookof Changes. With the development of philosophical speculation,as reflected in the Great Learning (Ta Hsüeh) andthe Doctrine of the Mean (Chung Yung),[22] thistype of philosophy exercised an ever increasing influence uponthe interpretation of the Book of Changes. A literature grewup around the book, fragments of which -- some dating from anearly and some from a later time -- are to be found in the so-calledTen Wings. They differ greatly with respect to content and intrinsicvalue.

The Book of Changes escaped the fate of the other classics atthe time of the famous burning of the books under the tyrant Ch'inShih Huang Ti. Hence, if there is anything in the legend thatthe burning alone is responsible for the mutilation of the textsof the old books, the I Ching at least should be intact;but this is not the case. In reality it is the vicissitudes ofthe centuries, the collapse of ancient cultures, and the changein the system of writing that are to be blamed for the damagesuffered by all ancient works.

The Book of Changes escaped the fate of the other classics atthe time of the famous burning of the books under the tyrant Ch'inShih Huang Ti. Hence, if there is anything in the legend thatthe burning alone is responsible for the mutilation of the textsof the old books, the I Ching at least should be intact;but this is not the case. In reality it is the vicissitudes ofthe centuries, the collapse of ancient cultures, and the changein the system of writing that are to be blamed for the damagesuffered by all ancient works.

After the Book of Changes had become firmly established as a bookof divination and magic in the time of Ch'in Shih Huang Ti, theentire school of magicians (fang shih) of the Ch'inand Han dynasties made it their prey. And the yin-yang doctrine,which was probably introduced through the work of Tsou Yen,[23]and later promoted by Tung Chung Shu, Liu Hsin, and Liu Hsiang,[24]ran riot in connection with the interpretation of the I Ching.

The task of clearing away all this rubbish was reserved for agreat and wise scholar, Wang Pi,[25] who wrote about the meaningof the Book of Changes as a book of wisdom, not as a book of divination.He soon found emulation, and the teachings of the yin-yang schoolof magic were displaced, in relation to the book, by a philosophyof statecraft that was gradually developing. In the Sung[26]period, the I Ching was used as a basis for the t'aichi t'u doctrine -- which was probably not of Chinese origin-- until the appearance of the elder Ch'êng Tzú's[27]very good commentary. It had become customary to separate theold commentaries contained in the Ten Wings and to place themwith the individual hexagrams to which they refer. Thus the bookbecame by degrees entirely a textbook relating to statecraft andthe philosophy of life. Then Chu Hsi[28] attempted to rehabilitateit as a book of oracles; in addition to a short and precise commentaryon the I Ching, he published an introduction to his investigationsconcerning the art of divination.

The critical-historical school of the last dynasty also took theBook of Changes in hand. However, because of their oppositionto the Sung scholars and their preference for the Han commentators,who were nearer in point of time to the compilation of the Bookof Changes, they were less successful here than in their treatmentof the other classics. For the Han commentators were in the lastanalysis sorcerers, or were influenced by theories of magic.A very good edition was arranged in the K'ang Hsi[29] period,under the title Chou I Chê Chung; it presents thetext and the wings separately and includes the best commentariesof all periods. This is the edition on which the present translationis based.


[] Richard Wilhelm's translation of the I Ching includesthree books: Book I -- The Text, Book II -- The Material,and Book III -- The Commentaries. My computerized versionincludes (currently) only The Text.
[1] 215 B.C.
[2] Beginning in the last half of the third century B.C. and endingabout A.D. 220.
[3] Sho Ching, the oldest of the Chinese classics. Modernscholarship has placed most of the records contained in the Shu Chingnear the first millennium B.C., though formerly a much greater age wasascribed to the earliest of them.
[4] Fifth and fourth centuries B.C.
[5] We might mention here, because of its oddity, the grotesqueand amateurish attempt on the part of Rev. Canon McClatchie, M.A., toapply the key of "comparative mythology" to the I Ching.His book was published in 1876 under the title, A Translation of theConfucian Yi King or the Clossic of Changes, with Notes and Appendix.
[6] From the discussion here presented, it will become self-evidentthat the Book of Changes was not a lexicon, as has been assumed in manyquarters.
[7] Zeichen, meaning sign, is used by Wilhelm to denotethe linear figures in the I Ching, those of three linesas well as those of six lines. The Chinese word for both typesof signs is kua. To avoid ambiguity, the precedent establishedby Legge (The Sacred Books of the East, XVI: The YiKing) has been adopted througout: the term "trigram"is used for the sign consisting of three lines, and "hexagram"for the sign consisting of six lines.
[8] For this reason, the numbers 7 and 8 ,never appear in theportion of the text dealing with the meanings of the individual lines.
[9] The stalks come from the plant known to us as common yarrow,or milfoil (Achillea millefelium).
[10] Second half of fifth century B.C.
[11] 551-479 B.C.
[12] Lun Yü, IX, 16. This book comprises conversationsof Confucius and his disciples.
[13] Here, as throughout the book, Wilhelm uses the German wordSinn ("meaning") in capitals (SINN) for theChinese word tao (see p.297 and n. 1). The reasons that ledWilhelm to choose SINN to represent tao (see p. XIV ofthe introduction to his translation of Lao-tse: Tao Te King:Das Buch des Alten von Sinn und Leben, 3rd edn., Düsseldorf and Cologne,1952) have no relation to the English word "meaning." Thereforein the English rendering, "tao" has been used whereverSINN occurs.
[14] Known as t'ai chi t'u, "the supreme ultimate."See R. Wilhelm, A Short History of Chinese Civilization,tr. by J. Joshua (London, 1929), p.249.
[15] Cf. the noteworthy discussions of Liang Ch'i-ch'ao in theChinese journal The Endeavor, July 15 and 22, 1923, alsothe English essay by B. Schindler, "The Development of theChinese Conceptions of Supreme Beings," Asia Major,Hirth Anniversary Volume (London: Probsthain, n.d.), pp. 298-366.
[16] Cf. the extremely important discussions of Hu Shih inThe Development of the Logical Method in Ancient China(2nd edn., New York: Paragon, 1963), and the even more detaileddiscussion in the first volume of his history of philosophy[Chung-kuo chê-hsüeh-shih ta-kang; notavailable in translation].
[17] Question has centered especially upon the trigram K'an (),which resembles the character for water, shui ().
[18] According to tradition, 2205-1766 B.C.
[19] According to tradition, 1766-1150 B.C.
[20] King Wên was the head of a western state that sufferedoppression from the house of Shang (Yin). He was given the title of king posthumouslyby his son Wu, who overthrew Chou Hsin, took possession of the Shang realm,and became the first ruler of the Chou dynasty, which in traditionalchronology is dated 115o-249 B.C.
[21] Some are in the section known as the Wên Yen(Commentary on the Words of the Text), some in the Ta Chuan (GreatCommentary). [Cf.p. xix.]
[22] The Great Learning presents the Confucian principles concerningthe education of the "superior man," based on the view that innatewithin man are the qualities that when developed guide him to a personal and a socialethic. The Doctrine of the Mean shows that the "way of the superiorman" leads to harmony between heaven, man, and earth. Both of these worksbelong to the school of thought led by Tzú-ssú, grandson of Confucius.They originally formed part of the Li Chi, the Book of Rites. Under thetitles Ta Hsio and Kung Yung they can be found as bks. 39 and 28 in Legge'stranslation of the Book of Rites (The Sacred Books of the East, XXVII: TheLi Ki, Oxford, 1885).
[23] Fourth century B.C.
[24] All three are Han scholars.
[25] A..D. 226-249.
[26] A..D. 960-1279.
[27] Ch'êng Hao, A.D. 1032-1085.
[28] A..D. 1130-1200.
[29] A..D. 1662-1722.

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