I Ching

An Oldest Surviving Book of the World


I Ching, or Yijing, also known in the West as “Book of Changes”, is said to be written more than 5000 years ago in ancient China. It is no doubt one of the oldest surviving books in the world. It is good if you at least know what this book is about, as Tao mentioned in Laozi, and other related topics such as the yin and yang energies, are given full treatment in this work.

I Ching, over the last thousands of years, has been used to predict and interpret the future. It is nevertheless more than a book of fortune telling.

We are all curious about what will happen in the future. Student wants to know if she scores well in examination; young girl wants to know whether she would marry a good husband; and businessman wants to know whether his venture would make him money in the end. I Ching provides its readers with indications and insights on what would happen to them.

A Book that Predicts the Future


How is the prediction done?

To facilitate the prediction, Yijing is read in random. This process many involve the use of random numbers, or tossing of three coins or other methods. Through such random events such as the numbers of coins, or faces of the coins, the yin and yang of the situation are determined. The yin is represented by broken lines; and the yang by the continuous line. The yin and yang will add up to a specific hexagram with specific names such as heaven, earth, wind or mountain.

wind of yijing

thunder of yijing

The trigrams on the left are some of the examples. Two trigrams make a hexagram.

Accompanying every hexagram is an analysis of the situation explaining the positions and interaction of the yin and yang energy. This gives you an indication of what would happen, and what can be changed.

This may sound bizarre. But it is exactly the lateral thinking that we are used to today.

A Book of Philosophy

In the book, you will see the order of the universe unfolded. The binary numeral system that the modern computer technology based on, for example, is said to have been inspired by the hexagrams in the book.

Yijing has tremendous influence on the Chinese culture. All disciplines of studies in China refer to the yin-yang principle as portrayed in I Ching in one way or another. Be it astrology, medicine, music or culinary skills. The most notable personalities throughout history in China, from the sages, scientists, top scholars to emperors, almost without fail would make an attempt to understand Yijing. There is a saying in China, “if you do not know Yijing, you cannot be a minister.”

How do yin and yang in I Ching have to do with leadership excellence?

I Ching & Business

Go to the Home Page