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Complete I Ching [Hardcover]

Alfred Huang
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Dec 31 1990
The first translation to honor the authentic Chinese spirit of the Book of Change For more than 3000 years the I Ching has been the most important book of divination in the world. Yet it has always been translated by Westerners who brought their own cultural biases to the work. Now, for the first time, an eminent Chinese scholar has translated the original ideograms of the I Ching into English. Imprisoned and sentenced to death during the Cultural Revolution in 1966, Master Alfred Huang studied the I Ching in secret with some of China's greatest minds. Released in 1979, he emigrated to the United States, where he discovered that no I Ching existed in English that truly understood the Chinese mind. This book is the product of his desire to right that situation.

To the Chinese, the I Ching is nothing without the Confucian commentaries known as the Ten Wings. Previous editions have given them only a minor place in the book, or have left them out altogether. In this new translation, they are restored to their central importance by Master Huang.

This book also emphasizes the intricate connections between the 64 possible hexagrams, and introduces several new methods for doing readings.

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Huang's definitive translation provides Western audiences with deeper insight into the I Ching. . . . Any reader interested in Eastern philosophy definitely will appreciate this book. -- New Age Retailer, Mar/Apr 99

The publisher's decision to call this 'the definitive translation' might at first seem presumptuous, given the fact that generations of readers have come to venerate the Wilhelm, Legge, and Blofeld versions. However, a careful comparison of Huang's translation with these prior classics reveals it superiority in nearly every respect. Readers interested in acquainting themselves with the I Ching for the first time need to look no further; those who have formed a deep personal attachment to a previous translation owe it to themselves to explore this one as well. -- Intuition, Dec 1998

What is constant through the translation is both a sense of tradition and an appreciation of modernity. . . . Throughout is a philosophical calmness, a sense of the intellectual mingling with the spirit of things. Most importantly, Huang makes this a useful Ching, more useful for the current temperament than older, more self conscious translations. -- The Book Reader, Spring/Summer 1999

About the Author

A professor of Taoist philosophy and former Dean of Students at Shanghai University, Master Alfred Huang is a third-generation master of Tai Chi, Chi Kung, and Oriental meditation, wtih over 50 years of experince. He is the founder of New Harmony, a non-profit organization devoted to teaching self-healing, and is the author of Complete Tai Chi. He lives on the island of Maui.

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Customer Reviews

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The most difficult task when translating a document from its original source language into another language is to carry across the full *meaning* of the work (as it was intended, not how its interpreted). This is virtually impossible to do without a thorough understanding of both the original language (that which the document is written in), and of the culture that is transmitted via that language. Until now, this has been the same problem that has plagued other English translations of the I Ching.
Previously, these other translations have relied upon a Western perspective and understanding, leaving something important behind... the cultural wisdom behind the I Ching. Even the best translations available prior to that of Master Huang (those by Wilhelm, Legge and Blofeld) have failed to fully relate the cultural wisdom inherent in the I Ching. They've come close, but close isn't close enough. These translations lack the open-endedness of the Chinese I Ching that lead to its multiple interpretations and are inherent in the Chinese writings of antiquity. To gain an understanding from a Chinese perspective requires an understanding that only someone living within the culture and fluent in the language, with many years of practical experience (and training), has to offer. Enter Huang.
To truly experience a culture, and its wisdom, one must experience it first hand. Raised in China and spending a good many years of his life working with the I Ching, Master Huang has gained an understanding of the I Ching that most of us could only hope to experience. He has taken on the monumental task of translating this amazing book into English, with the cultural wisdom, open-endedness and fluidity of the original I Ching, and succeeded.
This is, bar-none, the best English translation of the I Ching published to date, and the only version you'll ever need (unless you enjoy collecting books). I cannot recommend it enough!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars without doubt, the Best! Feb. 1 2001
I have had this book for two and a half years, and it was the first version of the I Ching I ever read. I am writing this review now, after reviewing and comparing quite a few other versions, to tell every person who loves the I Ching to get Master Alfred Huang's, which is by far the best of all, and to all newcomers to the I Ching to save money by buying this version, which is all they'll ever need.
To quote Master Huang, "Many Westerners know the I Ching, but they do not know the Tao of I". I means change; this book is about Changes, a master template to understand change and our place in it. There is no other I Ching I've read which so clearly expounds the Tao of I, the central yet difficult to discern theme of the I Ching. Many versions are limited to defining the meaning of each Hexagram in isolation, or dwell at length on the Yao (Line) texts, neglecting a thorough treatment of the situation expounded by the complete hexagram. Master Huang's Complete I Ching presents the text as a coherent, interrelated whole. The names of the hexagrams are carefully chosen to reflect this connection. The moving lines present the hexagram that will appear after the line changes from yin to yang or viceversa, making it easy to see what the progression of the situation will be. The text presents lots of additional reference information for each hexagram, useful for intermediate to advanced students. The Author also presents fascinating interpretations of the hexagrams based on references to the historical period when the I Ching is said to have been written. All this, compounded with a lucid, terse prose, make this book fascinating and easy to read (so you can keep going back to it time and again).
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great I Ching for your library!!!! Sept. 27 2001
I confess, when I first purchased this book I was a little put off. I was new to the I Ching and I probably had the get answers quick mentality. I almost immediately put this book on the shelf. But I kept coming back to it in order to glean an in depth perspective. As I have grown in my studies of the Ching (only 8 months!!) and as I have applied its wisdom and answers to my current situations - I have realized just what a momumental task that Huang has accomplished. It goes without saying that this will be one of my prized versions. I now use it extensively because it gives accurate answers and provides appropriate background but it still very versatile for any situation. It's is a beautiful book, too. I recommend that you throw the dust jacket away. My binding was weak and may necessitate me purchasing another version, but oh well. I simply love this book. The prose and explanations are relevant and applicable. His value adds such as change patterns, et al are a great addition.
If you are new to the I Ching and getting your feet wet but want books of substance and endurance then The Complete I Ching is an excellent place to start and truthfully it will be the ONLY translation that you will need. I also recommend that you purchase Stephen Karcher's How to Use the I Ching and Sarah Denning's The Everyday I Ching. All three are a tour de force in your understanding and application of the I Ching's wisdom. If you really want your money's worth - get Karcher's I Ching kit since it has his book, yarrow stalks and coins.
If you wish to have one more resource, then I recommend R. L. Wing's I Ching Workbook as a means of understanding and visually seeing the patterns that affect your life.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best translation
As a Chinese and English bilingual, I strongly recommend this translation because I can see why Alfred Huang uses every word. Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2010 by Steve Yellowstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Use the I Ching in the manner it was meant to be used
Expertly translated by Alfred Huang, a third-generation master of Wu style Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung, and Oriental meditation, The Complete I Ching is the ancient Eastern... Read more
Published on June 12 2004 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred Huang's translation of I Ching - Life Transforming!
Alfred Huang's modern American prose and poetry translation of the I Ching is "the best" translation I've read. Read more
Published on July 13 2001 by Dr. Ervin Nieves
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to decipher
While this may be an accurate translation of the I Ching, it doesn't make using the I Ching any easier because it is lacking in clarity and directness. Read more
Published on July 12 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars An Integrated and Thorough Guide to Spiritual Development
This book is not for those who seek a mere (and instant) answer for every divination and then continues with life. This is a handbook for spiritual development. Read more
Published on July 5 2000 by taihiong
5.0 out of 5 stars ... each step in preparation for the next....
The insight of the I Ching has been a companion guide in my life for two decades, my well-read, well-marked, well-worn, well-loved Wilhelm translation and my books of journal... Read more
Published on June 8 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars The best doorway into the Chinese Theory of Changes
Because of his thorough understanding of the principles behind the words of the text of the I Ching, Master Huang makes the process of getting acquainted with the theory of changes... Read more
Published on Nov. 9 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I-Ching book ever compiled
As an I-Ching author myself (Oracle of Changes I-Ching 1997), I have an exhaustive library of I-Ching books. Read more
Published on June 16 1999 by Paul O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars Many thanks to Master Huang.
A superb work. Far superior to the Wilhelm translation. "The Complete I Ching" speaks with great clarity, unity of thought, and authenticity. Read more
Published on Jan. 31 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A Thirty Year User Of I Ching Comments
ALL of the English translations available have failed to achieve the open-endedness of this work. In the beginning of one's study of I Ching, one does not notice so much that the... Read more
Published on Nov. 30 1998
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