Concluding Remarks

Despite the great and often glaring differences separating the Yijing from such religious classics as the Bible, the Talmud, the Qur’an, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Lotus Sutra, it deserves to be considered one of the great works of spiritually inspired world literature. Why? In the first place, the life cycle of the Changes has been surprisingly similar to that of the above-mentioned spiritually inspired books. In each case, for example, written commentaries have amplified, clarified, explained, and modified the meanings of the core text, ironing out inconsistencies and opening up new interpretive possibilities—including, of course, correlative and numerical ones.1 In the process the commentaries have helped to establish these texts as foundational. Moreover, like other classic works, the Changes has enjoyed remarkable longevity—and it is still going strong. It has traveled widely and left enduring versions of itself in many parts of the world. At the same time, however, the reasons for its long life and global appeal have far more to do with its challenging content and multifarious applications than with any sort of reli-

-211-

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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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