Iching I in chinese means change and Ching means Book. The book of changes was born in the ancient China more than 3000 years ago, as a binary oracle (yang/yin represented as a line/divided line, randomly obtained). Thereafter the tradition began to evolved from the yes/no original duality. First, as a combination of two lines, then three (called trigrams) and finally six lines (called hexagrams). The 64 different hexagrams were the inspiration of poets, musicians, painters and the wisest: king Wen, Lao Tse and Kung Tse. Thanks to their poetry, art, thoughts and magic, the I Ching became a wise sacred book, one of the most luminous gem in the treasure of the universal literature.
Each of the three lines that comprises a trigram can take one of four forms:
A yang, represented as: (a black line).
A yin, represented as: (a black divided line).
A mutant yang, represented as: (a red line).
A mutant yin, represented as: (a red divided line).
The reader may probably be wondering why four different kinds of lines are needed to represent a dual entity. Basically, the reason is that the comprehension of "change" and its life cycle is one of the main concerns in the chinese culture. A mutant line is just a line that potentially can change to become its opposite.
An hexagram can be thought as a combination of two trigrams: the lower and the upper. Each of the eight possible trigrams has associated an image, a quality and a family. Throughout the application the reader will learn more about the properties of all the trigrams.
In the highest abstraction level, an hexagram can be thought itself as a single entity in its own right; from a middle level, it can be thought as the combination of two trigrams; from the lowest, it is a combination of six lines. The six lines comprising the hexagram are ordered from bottom to top, thus the lower line of the hexagram is referred as the first line. The following oracle entities are associated to each hexagram:
The "judgement": It is the main idea that the hexagram encompasses itself.
The "image": It is the visual representation suggested by the spatial relationship between the two comprising trigrams.
The "mutant lines particular judgement": It is the main idea that each mutant line encompasses itself.
The judgement and the image of its mutant hexagram: The mutant hexagram is obtained by taking the opposite sense of the mutant lines present in the former hexagram. The following figure illustrates the idea: the left original hexagram is "Wei Chi / Before Completion" (No. 64), the right mutant one is "P'i / Standstill" (No. 12).
In contrast to our traditions and even to our common sense, hazard is very important to a chinese mind. As Jung suggests, the "ideal form" is the last step of the process by which our minds classify and filter the different identified (and assumed) entities comprising the object of our attention. In contrast to this "ideal form" the "real form" seems to be of much more interest to a chinese sage. For him, the representation of the moment comprises "all", and hence, the act itself by which the oracle is generated is also part of the observed object.
The following is the method suggested by Wilhelm to generate an hexagram:
Let one side of a coin be two units and the other three.
To generate a single line throw the three coins to the air.
Sum their resulted values. Assign the line in the following way:
If the sum is 6 define a mutant yin.
If the sum is 7 define a yang.
If the sum is 8 define a yin.
If the sum is 9 define a mutant yang.
Beginning with the first line (the lowest) repeat 2., and 3. until the whole hexagram is generated.
Study the oracle entities associated with the hexagram.
It is easy to see in the previous method, that the probability to get a fixed line (yin or yang) is 3/4 and a mutant one (yin or yang) is 1/4. No matter what method you use to generate the hexagram you should try to keep this relation, (all the methods used in the I Ching keeps that for you).
Immediately after generating an hexagram, see Hexagram generation Section, your oracle will appear as depicted in the application's screenshot:
Using the "set hexagram widget" your hexagram can be generated in one of the following ways (see How to Obtain the Oracle Section):
In a hexagram generation basis (by random or manual selection). See the figure.
In a trigram by trigram basis (by random or manual selection). See the figure.
Line by line generation acts as the default method of hexagram generation. To generate a random line, simply click on it. To select a specific line, click + hold it, and a selection menu will pop up. Now you will be able to select the specific line you were looking for. See figure.
In my personal experience with the I Ching, I used to write the idea that moves me to read it. After study the oracle, I also used to write the thought its reading suggests me. To support these features the document structure defined for the application comprises: the hexagram, as well as the the associated disquieting idea and the conclusion thought.
Document manipulation, like clear-buffers/open/save, was also added in the standard way. The correspondent functions are accessed from the menu "File" or the standard buttons in the main tool bar.
The application performs I/O operations of files in the .ich format (specifically defined for the application). This format is compatible with the I Ching application of the Sharp Zaurus, see http://iching.sourceforge.net/.
The following is a incomplete list of future features that would be nice to be included:
Richard Wilhelm's hexagram interpretation.
Internet free and random exchange of user thoughts.
Some others, like interactive image and sound environmental generation...
Program copyright 2002 Jean Pierre Charalambos
Server Side and html
stuff: Jose Andres Martinez
Documentation copyright 2002 Jean Pierre Charalambos