15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 1998
The Taoist I Ching, translated by Thomas Cleary, was written by Liu I-Ming in the eighteenth century. It is an application of Taoist energetics to the 64 hexagrams and 384 lines of the I Ching. When used as a tool for self-cultivation, this work can aid the practitioner in an immediate understanding of the requirements that given energy formations place on one's daily life.
If you are a serious student of the I Ching, seeking insight into the subtle operation of yin and yang, this text can aid in your search for understanding by illuminating a pathway through a given situation to balance and harmony. It is less of a divination oracle than many I Ching texts, but is one of the most applicable to engaged daily cultivation.
The Taoist I Ching may seem a little wierd to use at first (it's definately different!) but has proven to be wholly rewarding in my life. Use it in conjunction with another translation - look for the commonality between the two - and gain the understanding that Master Liu encrypted within the pages.
Ancestor Lu, the immortal Lu T'ung Pin, wrote of the I Ching in the ninth century " The shallow may take the I Ching to be a book of divination, but the profound consider it the secret of the celestial mechanism." Liu I-Ming's "Taoist I Ching" is most certainly a rendering of Ancestor Lu's vision. Thomas Cleary's gifted translation of this work must certainly echo his virtue all the way to the Subtle Origin.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 1999
This poetic, enigmatic rendering has the capacity to illuminate the difference between the human mind and the mind of Tao for the reader in situations of daily life, and offers profound Taoist methods for self awareness. I have used this book for five years and feel more than any other, this book has altered my life. For any who wish to use the Book of Changes as a guide for living with the aid of the wisdom of the Tao, I reccomend this translation of the I Ching.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2012
This is an intriguing book. It offers commentaries on the I Ching from the perspective of the Taoist inner teachings (inner alchemy: `Neidan') as practiced in the School of Complete Reality (`Quanzhen' School). The commentaries were written by Liu I-ming in 1796.
When you are familiar with Taoism yet new to the Taoist tradition of inner alchemy it is better to start with a book like`Vitality, energy, spirit', also translated by Thomas Cleary.
When you have become familiar with several writings from the tradition of inner alchemy, this book is a very useful addition. It further develops your understanding, and supposedly also your practice.
Having read it three times in a period of about three years, each time it offers fresh insights and inspiration.
When the meaning of the basic hexagrams, Heaven and Earth (yang and yin), dawns on you and unfolds, realizing they refer to realities that are ultimately sane and helpful, and how their mutual natural-uncontrived interaction is a hard-to-find entrance into an endless practice, which neither ignores difficulties nor unsuspected possibilities, this is graceful and welcome, of course!
Basically, it (like all Taoist practice) is about reversing the direction that human beings generally take in their conscious lives. It maintains that conditioned living is not desirable, not natural, not necessary, and that a more unconditioned way of living is desirable, natural and possible. As it says in a quote: "Using life to the full means to get to the end of conditioned life; achieving one's aim means to achieve the primordial life."
The teaching inherent in this book can be a proper antidote to habitual self-centeredness and can help to access a trans-personal reservoir of untamed energy which brings new unimagined meaning to words like life, aliveness, naturalness and sanity.
It is also considerate about `what when celestial energies have started to be available for the individual?' Because, here it is easy to step into inconspicuous pitfalls, and lose again what has been experienced.
All in all, this is a very intelligent, psychological-subtle presentation of a philosophy and a practice, that have the aim and potential to bring back humans to simple natural living.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2003
There is a marvellous quotation that states " a book is no less scholarly for being readable, nor more informative for being dull." This book provides an excellent example of the above! Doubtless it is an extraordinarily researched and historically accurate translation of this complex and detailed science, but it is hard going, "heavy" and it needs the tenacity and determination of a truly dedicated disciple to even begin to scratch the surface. If you really need an excellent reference book in which to delve for research then perhaps this may well be suitable. If however, you would prefer a no-nonsense, readable, thought-provoking tome, which will not leave you more confused than when you started it - this book is not for you.