The I Ching is the most sophisticated, as well as the oldest, system of divination wisdom. Otherwise known by the name Book of Changes, it is an ancient Chinese text that has seen prominence in the Far East for centuries. Based on hexagrams, 64 six line symbols to be exact, this powerful tool can help a person navigate life with an understanding of the unconscious forces that shape the situations that arise and keep us connected with life’s creative processes. The I Ching is said to bring out a helping spirit, the shen, that guides us each.
I Ching is read as a microcosm, as part of the universe, that has symbolic and complex meanings, that uses cleromancy like the casting of lots that produces random numbers. There are then 64 main situation types that can be looked up in the book. This can help you be clear on life and enhance intuition. As a tool, divination can open up the psyche to guidance and a higher inspiration as it teaches you to trust your inner self and knowledge.
I Ching and Jung
Carl Jung was the founder of analytical psychology and used the oracle in sessions with clients for therapy. He introduced the I Ching to the English speaking nations in the early 50s and had been practicing with the oracle for over 30 years when he had the chance to meet the translator of the book. As the two shared, the psychological understanding between the east and west was built. The men’s shares use of the healing power brought them together.
Jung did an impressive and important amount of work focused on the analysis of the human psyche. He separated the psyche from the mind as we hold as a concept. Jung believed that the psyche and physical matter is connected, hypothesizing that the inner and outer worlds are not only connected, but mirror each other.
The psychic events inside the world and those outside of it are not coincidental, but have an acausal source beyond cause and effect. Thusly, the I Ching does not bother to describe change because it participates in it, being part of the process. Jung did experiments, consulting the oracle, as a cure for neurosis in patients. He believed that trying to be normal violated the inner nature of those he treated. As part of this, he encouraged individuals to pay attention to dreams and synchronicities throughout the day. He further viewed the I Ching as a way to cultivate these synchronicities.
Symbolic Representation of the Psyche
We can still thank Jung for his tremendous influence on modern psychology with concepts about introversion and extroversion, dream analysis, archetypes, the collective unconscious and so much more. He created the standard model of the psyche that many still use today. Jung believed that though whole, many people have lost touch with important parts of the self. Listening to dreams and ideas that come through imagination, we can work to reintegrate ourselves. This is the goal of life.
While Jung’s model of the psyche has four elements, the hexagrams of the I Ching have six. These range between the first, the lower earthly area and the sixth, the upper heavenly area.
Enhancing Life with I Ching
The I Ching helps you to find your own answers through empowerment. It serves only as a conduit to the subconscious so the higher self can reveal the necessary answers to whatever question you may have in life. It further helps you to observe the patterns that are common in life so that you can better know yourself. The Book of Changes will reveal your subconscious mind and the expectation of outcome. The I Ching serves as a mechanical link between the waking consciousness and the subconscious spiritual self. This is a multi-layered system.
Overall, the I Ching seems to be a form of advanced psychology that reflects the deepest self truth. This unites ancient wisdom with the psychology of the western world. This connection brings about a capacity to enjoy life, yet meet future needs. Jung referred to this healing as “the healing of souls”. The I Ching can do the same for you.