I Ching: The Oracle of the Cosmic Way Paperback – 25 Nov 2002
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The authors do talk of 'the collective ego' and 'the parallel reality', concepts which promise to be interesting but end up being defined through circular meanderings of confused waffle, occasionally 'clarified' by terminology such as 'the group-we' - this apparently to better define the notion of 'collective ego'. I am unconvinced that it does.
The interpretations of the hexagrams are at times useful but so full of 'the inner no' and 'the group-we' that nothing is truly clarified. Unlike the poetic resonance of the Wilhelm, the examples here are either inappropriately concrete or diaphanously vague. I also remain thoroughly unconvinced of the so-called rtcm (reverse three coin method) to clarify meanings, which is no more than simple coin divination - any comparable divination system could be employed, eg pendulum, playing cards or anything else you could think of. Such a system therefore rather depends on the person employing it - there is no particular 'magic' to the 'rtcm'. But more importantly I remain unconvinced that a system such as the I Ching needs any additional coin-tossing.
Ultimately the book lacks clarity, understanding and is in places disturbingly dogmatic. I'm sorry I cannot submit a more positive review, and the book may prove a useful addition to a collection of other interpretations. But on the whole, I do not recommend it.
Carol Anthony's approach brings a new vision not only of the I Ching but of the way we can use this wonderful text, not so much as a fortune telling, future peeking Oracle, but as a powerful tool for personal growth and self transformation. Sure this approach requires a leap of faith and a bit of adjusting to some of the concepts, some that may seem too esoteric in the beginning, but a bit of perseverance and withholding of our beliefs, long enough to deeply consider some of the ideas put forth in this book, will reveal an amazing new vision of the world, and the Universe at large.
For me it has been an invaluable tool, at a personal level but also in my work as a personal coach, often I consult the I Ching in preparation of a session with a client and I have been very surprised at the accuracy and finesse of the answers I have received, often providing me with a greater and more accurate vision and understanding of the problem at hand.
This is not a book for every one perhaps, but it is certainly a book to learn from and has helped me liberate my self from many distorted ideas and beliefs that had kept me disconnected with myself and the greater Whole.
Reading the book I couldn't avoid to perceive a bit of dogmatism. In fact the authors get rid without much explanation (a few paragraphs) of Confuncius' view after surviving more than two thousand years! I think that simply erase it without weighing appropriately and carefully pros and cons of that view is not in I Ching`s spirit. I think that the feudalistic symbolism of Confucius is only an excuse to prompt something in our mind that allows our inner truth to be expressed and not a matter of the war of sexes.
I guess the authors expect that the reader will use rtcm in order to ease that prompting, but I'm not sure of the repeated use of rtcm to clear the answers from the Sage. Because that seems to me as if consulting the I Ching for a particular question we would try with the coins three or more times obtaining as much different hexagrams. I think this situation only would make the interpretation more difficult. In my particular experience, if you look for an answer and the hexagram obtained don't make clear the situation by itself, you've got to try harder with this hexagram. Maybe we can achieve clarity of mind through meditation, but not through futher consultations. That's my opinion, but the danger for me is clear. The book should be a great helper or a wise guide but I think it is not written to create dependency. Besides, this dependency would endanger our clarity of mind so necessary to be in touch with our true self.
On the other side, the images appeared in the book are only used to explain concepts and don't allow other paths to be explored, that is they don't suggest but show. In my opinion, the book (as Carl Jung himself made notice in the English edition to Wilhem's I Ching) should be also an opened way to one's unconscious so, why it would be necessary to reduce to a such minimum extent the rich amount of poetic images appearing all over the book? Aren't they the language through the unconscious is expressed? And besides, is it not a personal language anyway? Why anybody have to show all the way to the end? Is it not personal one? I mean we are looking for guidance in a way that is unique for each of us and not for a book of instructions to achieve something that is unique. That's the impression I've got reading the book.
On the other side, the book is quite good in order to show how we can control our way of thinking (the Sage himself says we are nourished through what we think). And from my experience, I must say that following this form of self-control is truly a challenge (it's always very difficult to get rid of the old ways) but very, very rewarding (as an old chinese saying states, the patiente is a tree with a bitter root but in the end it produces sweet fruits). In this particular area the book is superb.
Finally, I wish the authors open minds for new books to come about I Ching, for I am sure it isn't the last one.
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