CHAPTAR 1
Genesis of the Changes

We often cannot say exactly when, where, or how ancient texts were born. Some of the reasons are obvious. The further away in time, the more likely a work’s origins will be obscure: memories fade, original materials disappear, alternative versions surface. Often, not least in the case of many of the world’s most sacred texts, diverse materials have accumulated over long periods, edited by different hands under different historical conditions. This is true, to a greater or lesser degree, of the Hebrew Bible (known, with some rearrangement of material, as the Old Testament), the Qur’an, the Hindu Vedas, and the early recorded pronouncements of Siddhartha, the historic Buddha. It is also true of the Zhou Changes, which, when sanctioned as a foundational text by the Chinese state in 136 BCE, became the Classic of Changes, or Yijing.


Myths and Histories

According to a prominent Chinese legend, a great culture hero named Fuxi invented a set of eight three-line

-19-

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The I Ching: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Lives of Great Religious Books ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Illustrations ix
  • The Hexagrams xi
  • Chronology of Chinese Dynasties xvii
  • Preliminary Remarks and Acknowledgments xix
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - The Domestic Evolution of the Yijing 15
  • Chaptar 1 - Genesis of the Changes 19
  • Chapter 2 - The Making of a Classic 48
  • Chapter 3 - Interpreting the Changes 75
  • Part Two - The Transnational Travels of the Yijing 125
  • Chapter 4 - The Changes in East Asia 129
  • Chapter 5 - The Westward Travels of the Changes 170
  • Concluding Remarks 211
  • Notes 225
  • Bibliography 251
  • Index 265
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