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The Complete I Ching: The Definitive Translation by the Taoist Master Alfred Huang

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“What is constant through this translation is both a sense of tradition and an appreciation of modernity. . . . [It is] a more useful I Ching than older, more self-conscious translations.”
—The Book Reader

“A careful comparison of Huang’s translation with the Wilhelm, Legge, and Blofeld versions reveals its superiority in nearly every respect.”
—Intuition

For more than three thousand years the I Ching has been the most important book of ...

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Overview

“What is constant through this translation is both a sense of tradition and an appreciation of modernity. . . . [It is] a more useful I Ching than older, more self-conscious translations.”
—The Book Reader

“A careful comparison of Huang’s translation with the Wilhelm, Legge, and Blofeld versions reveals its superiority in nearly every respect.”
—Intuition

For more than three thousand years the I Ching has been the most important book of divination in the world. Revered by the Chinese as the Classic of Classics and consulted as a source of ancient wisdom, it has been embraced by the West in the last fifty years but has always been translated by Westerners who brought their own cultural biases to the work, distorting or misunderstanding its true meaning.

In The Complete I Ching Master Alfred Huang has restored the true essence of the I Ching by emphasizing the unity of Heaven and humanity and the Tao of Change, and, even more important, by including translations of the Ten Wings, the commentaries by Confucius, that are essential to the I Ching’s insights. Previous English translations have either given these commentaries a minor place in the book or have left them out altogether. But the Chinese say that the I Ching needs the Ten Wings to fly. Restored to their central place in the book by Master Huang, the I Ching at last flies in English.

Other features of this translation are a new emphasis on the intricate web of interrelations among the names and sequence of the sixty-four hexagrams, the preservation of the original poetic style, the introduction of several new methods of divination, and special information on the historical events out of which the I Ching was born.

A third-generation master of Wu style Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and Oriental meditation, MASTER ALFRED HUANG is a professor of Taoist philosophy who studied the I Ching with some of China’s greatest minds—only to be imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and sentenced to death. For thirteen years in prison Master Huang meditated on the I Ching and found the strength to survive. Released in 1979 weighing only eighty pounds, he emigrated to the United States. Master Huang is the founder of New Harmony, a nonprofit organization devoted to teaching self-healing, and is the author of The Numerology of the I Ching and Complete Tai-Chi. He lives on the island of Maui.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892811458
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 4/30/2004
  • Edition description: Subsequent
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.07 (w) x 9.07 (h) x 1.49 (d)

Meet the Author

A third-generation master of Wu style Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and Oriental meditation, Master Alfred Huang is a professor of Taoist philosophy who studied the I Ching with some of China’s greatest minds—only to be imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution in 1966 and sentenced to death. For 13 years in prison Master Huang meditated on the I Ching and found the strength to survive. Released in 1979 weighing only 80 pounds, he emigrated to the United States. Master Huang is the founder of New Harmony, a nonprofit organization devoted to teaching self-healing, and is the author of The Numerology of the I Ching and Complete Tai-Chi. He lives on the island of Maui.

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Read an Excerpt

Wu Wang—Without Falsehood

Qian—Heaven Zhen—Thunder

Name and Structure

Wu Wang literally means not untruthful. Wilhelm translates Wu Wang as Innocence (the Unexpected) and Blofeld as Integrity, the Unexpected. In this book I adopt the term Without Falsehood. In Chinese, Wu means not, and Wang is untruthful, dishonest, or insincere. Thus, Wu Wang means truthful, honest, and sincere, without any fabrication. It was considered to be the natural state of the individual.

Sequence of the Gua: When the turning point returns, there will be no untruthfulness and insincerity taking place. Thus, after Turning Back, Without Falsehood follows.

Wu Wang is an abstract term, very difficult to express with ideographs. There are, however, two ideographs for the name of the gua. The first resembles a person bending his back carrying a heavy load. This image, suggesting having no breath, is used to express "no." The upper part consists of three strokes representing a heavy load; the lower part is the ideograph for a person, ren. The person is winded and eventually will run out of breath.

The second ideograph consists of two parts. The upper part, wang, provides the sound as well as the significance. Wang means "to walk away." The ancients drew an ideograph of a person at the top. Underneath is a vertical stroke connected to a horizontal stroke, symbolizing the act of walking away. Beneath this image is an ideograph of a woman. The ideograph for woman is similar to the ideograph for person, except that there is a curved line in the middle representing the breasts of a woman. These two images together express that the woman is walking away. A woman walking away was an ancient symbol of falseness.

In The Biography of Prince Chun Shen, the famous historian Si-ma Qian of the Western Han dynasty (206 B.C. to 24 A.D.) referred to Wu Wang as "not anticipated" instead of "not false." In ancient times the words anticipated and unfaithful shared the same sound but were written differently. This change bears a philosophical meaning: truthfulness is the Tao of Heaven. As a human being, one does the best one can. As for good fortune or bad fortune, blessing or calamity, events had to take their own course. One should not live in anticipation. This is the meaning of Wu Wang.

Wu Wang comes from Retreat (33). When the solid line at the top of Retreat "retreats" to the bottom, Retreat alternates to Without Falsehood (25). Thus Confucius’s Commentary on the Decision says, "the firm comes from the outer [gua] and becomes the host of the inner [gua]." When the solid line at the second place of Contention (6) interchanges with the yielding line at the bottom, Contention alternates to Without Falsehood. The yang element at the second place and the yin element at the bottom of Contention are not correct. After they change places, both of them are correct. This change is reasonable and equitable—truthful.

The structure of the gua is Heaven above, Thunder below. The inner gua is Thunder, symbolizing motion; the outer gua is Heaven, indicating strength. The solid line at the fifth place is firm, central, and correct and corresponds to the yielding line at the second place, which is also central and correct. These two conditions provide a very auspicious picture of strength with motion—a state totally free from untruthfulness, dishonesty, and insincerity. For this reason, this gua possesses the four supreme virtues—yuan, heng, li, and zhen, the virtues of Heaven. The ancient sages considered thunder to be the sound of Heaven. The thunder rolling under Heaven proclaimed these virtues to myriad beings. Those who preserved and nurtured these virtues were naturally aligned with the will of Heaven and would be powerful and endowed with the potential to be successful. Thus Confucius’s Commentary on the Decision says, "Movement with strength; the firm is at the central place and has a correspondent. Great prosperity and smoothness through its correctness. This is the will of Heaven."

Decision

Without Falsehood.
Sublimely prosperous and smooth.
Favorable to be steadfast and upright.
If one’s intention is not truthful,
There is trouble.
Unfavorable to have somewhere to go.

Commentary on the Decision

Without Falsehood.
The firm comes from the outer And becomes the host of the inner.

Movement with strength;
The firm is at the central place and has a respondent.
Great prosperity and smoothness through its correctness.
This is the will of Heaven.

If one’s intention is not truthful,
One will fall into errors.
It is unfavorable for one To have somewhere to go.
When truthfulness is gone,
Where can one go?
When the will of Heaven will not protect,
How can anything be done?

Commentary on the Symbol

Under Heaven, Thunder rolls.
An image of all things accompanied by truthfulness.
In correspondence with this,
The ancient king enriches his virtue in harmony with the time And nurtures myriad beings.

Yao Text

1. Initial Nine
Without falsehood. Going forward: good fortune.

Going forward with no falsehood.
His will will be fulfilled
.

2. Second Six
Not counting on the harvest while plowing,
Nor on the results while tilling.
Then, favorable to have somewhere to go.

Not counting on the harvest while plowing.
One does not aim for wealth
.

3. Third Six
A catastrophe of no falsehood,
As if a tethered cow is carried off by a passerby.
Passerby’s gain,
Villager’s loss.

The passerby gets the cow.
It is a loss to the villagers.

4. Fourth Nine
Appropriate to be steadfast and upright.
No fault.

Appropriate to be steadfast and upright.
No fault.
He is able to firmly hold fast his nature.

5. Fifth Nine
An illness for no falsehood.
No medicine.
A joyful occasion.

Medicine for no falsehood.
One should not try.

6. Top Nine
Without falsehood.
Take action; there is trouble.
Nothing is favorable.

Action without falsehood.
Misfortune is due to its dead end.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Preface Ten Contributions of This Translation About the Translation How to Use This Book Introduction Flying with the I Ching

The Upper Canon

1. Qian • Initiating
2. Kun • Responding
3. Zhun • Beginning
4. Meng • Childhood
5. Xü • Needing
6. Song • Contention
7. Shi • Multitude
8. Bi • Union
9. Xiao Xü • Little Accumulation
10. Lü • Fulfillment
11. Tai • Advance
12. Pi • Hindrance
13. Tong Ren • Seeking Harmony
14. Da You • Great Harvest
15. Qian • Humbleness
16. Yü • Delight
17. Sui • Following
18. Gu • Remedying
19. Lin • Approaching
20. Guan • Watching
21. Shi He • Eradicating
22. Bi • Adorning
23. Bo • Falling Away
24. Fu • Turning Back
25. Wu Wang • Without Falsehood
26. Da Xü • Great Accumulation
27. Yi • Nourishing
28. Da Guo • Great Exceeding
29. Kan • Darkness
30. Li • Brightness

The Lower Canon

31. Xian • Mutual Influence
32. Heng • Long Lasting
33. Dun • Retreat
34. Da Zhuang • Great Strength
35. Jing • Proceeding Forward
36. Ming Yi • Brilliance Injured
37. Jia Ren • Household
38. Kui • Diversity
39. Jian • Hardship
40. Jie • Relief
41. Sun • Decreasing
42. Yi • Increasing
43. Guai • Eliminating
44. Gou • Encountering
45. Cui • Bringing Together
46. Sheng • Growing Upward
47. Kun • Exhausting
48. Jing • Replenishing
49. Ge • Abolishing the Old
50. Ding • Establishing the New
51. Zhen • Taking Action
52. Gen • Keeping Still
53. Jian • Developing Gradually
54. Gui Mei • Marrying Maiden
55. Feng • Abundance
56. Lü • Traveling
57. Xun • Proceeding Humbly
58. Dui • Joyful
59. Huan • Dispersing
60. Jie • Restricting
61. Zhong Fu • Innermost Sincerity
62. Xiao Guo • Little Exceeding
63. Ji Ji • Already Fulfilled
64. Wei Ji • Not Yet Fulfilled

A Brief History of the Zhou Dynasty Glossary Index

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