The I Ching offers a way to see into difficult situations, particularly those emotionally charged ones where rational knowledge fails us yet we are called upon to decide and act. It gives voice to a spirit concerned with how we can best live as individuals in contact with both inner and outer worlds.
The I Ching is able to do this because it is what the ancient world called an oracle. It is a particular kind of imaginative space set off for a dialogue with the gods or sprits, the create basis of experience now called unconscious. An oracle translates a problem or question brought to it into an image language like that of dreams. It changes the way you experience the situation in order to connect you with the inner forces that we shaping it. The oracle’s images dissolve what is blocking the connection, making the spirits available.
The procedure is made for situations when you feel gripped by something behind the ordinary events of life. The I Ching portrays various sorts of crossroads. Its symbols make up a dictionary of the forces that move and change us. Working with these images dissolves your view of your situation and reforms your awareness in terms of these forces. The goal of this process is an intuitive clarity traditionally called shen ming or light of gods. It is a bright spirit that is creative, clear-seeing and connected.
The I Ching易經 or I 易was the fundamental text of traditional Chinese culture. It is a divinatory system with 3,000-year-old roots in the traditions of magic, shamanism and spiritual transformation. Nearly all that was significant in traditional China-philosophy, science, politics and popular culture-was founded on interpretations and adaptations of the I易. The core of the book is the book is the oldest and most complex divinatory system to survive into modern time. This divinatory core is a set of 64 six-line figures or kua卦, usually called hexagrams, and a way to consult them. The figures represent all the possible combinations of six opened or supple --and whole or strong--lines. Each figure has a name and a group of short phrases associated with it. These combinations of texts and figures act like a mirrors for the unconscious forces shaping any given moment, problem or situation .in traditional terms, the book provides symbols which comprehend the light of the gods, the unconscious forces that are creating what you experience. In itself still and unmoving, when stimulated by consultation the book produces an echo which can reach the depth, grasp the seeds, and penetrate the wills of all the beings under heaven.
The act of consultation is based upon chance, traditionally the random division of a set of 50 yarrow stalks繇筮 or throwing and counting three coins six times. This chance event empowers a spirit beyond conscious control. It gives the forces behind your situation the chance to speak by singling out one or more of the book's symbols. Through this procedure, what you see as a problem to be mastered becomes a sign or symbolic occurrence that links you with another world. Like a shaman's drum and dance, these symbols can speak to you on many levels, beginning a creative process which, in traditional terms, completes the ceaseless activity of heaven. This is religion at its fundamental level. It reflects a sense of spirit that unites the great and the small, a sprit that moves in each individual.
These oracular texts only come to life in the context of particular situation. They refer to unique events that evade scientific laws and rules. Your question, your life, your problem provide the necessary situation and through your particular experience, you ask the spirit for an image to guide you.