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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic document on the I Ching
This book is my first exposure to I Ching divination. Mr. Wilhelm went through a lot of detail except he forgot to mention just how does one use it... but no matter. The information like "9th line in the second place... can be found on the internet). This book is so detailed that it's not something I'd recommend sitting down and reading, you'd get lost (or bored)...
Published on Oct. 29 2002 by N. Mentor

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Showing its age
In the days when the only available English translations of the Changes were Wilhelm/Baynes and Legge, Wilhelm/Baynes was the gold standard.
It remains, however, an English translation of a German translation of an ancient Chinese manuscript. Undoubtedly, Richard Wilhelm, as a Christian missionary in China many decades ago, added a particular color to this book,...
Published on May 18 2000 by porthos


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic document on the I Ching, Oct. 29 2002
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
This book is my first exposure to I Ching divination. Mr. Wilhelm went through a lot of detail except he forgot to mention just how does one use it... but no matter. The information like "9th line in the second place... can be found on the internet). This book is so detailed that it's not something I'd recommend sitting down and reading, you'd get lost (or bored). It's more like an unfinished sculpture that you keep chipping at mentally. Armed with the basics, 3 pennies, and the book, you can start divining immediately. I must say that the book's answers are uncanny. You can ask questions on the past, present and future (even other people...:-)) And somehow the hexagrams line up exactly to answer your question. The language is a bit old-fashioned and it takes some intuition to figure out what the I Ching is telling you based on Wilhem's explanation alone. This translation should be on your shelf as a reference, even you eventually get a simpler breakdown of the I Ching. I recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Showing its age, May 18 2000
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
In the days when the only available English translations of the Changes were Wilhelm/Baynes and Legge, Wilhelm/Baynes was the gold standard.
It remains, however, an English translation of a German translation of an ancient Chinese manuscript. Undoubtedly, Richard Wilhelm, as a Christian missionary in China many decades ago, added a particular color to this book, which may not be wholly appropriate to say the least. This translation is far from being flawless, particularly when compared to some of the better ones which have become available.
The Wilhelm/Baynes translation is still worthy of examination, and many of us have a certain fondness for it, since it was our first, but the serious student should also refer to other sources. Richard John Lynn's and Greg Whincup's translations spring to mind. Even Kwok's edition has something to offer, since it includes an untranslated Chinese text. Even a casual perusal of that text with a Chinese-English dictionary casts doubt on many portions of the Wilhelm/Baynes.
Treasure this work if it has sentimental value for you, but be advised that beneath its tidy appearance is an ideal case study of translation difficulties.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Best, March 15 2002
By 
Steve Austin "jivemutha" (PDX, OR USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
The I Ching is arguably the most important of the ancient Chinese classics--certainly it has become that for us Americans. The Wilhelm/Baynes translation is almost universally accepted to be the most important of the many translations into English. It requires patience and many uses before it begins to move slowly from humorous diversion to friend to spiritual counselor to guru. As noted psychiatrist Carl Jung (an I Ching user) said, it's best not to try to understand how it works--an action that goes nowhere and only causes lost sleep. 'Better just to use it. It has a special benefit for perfectionists--a gospel without the taint of organized religion, the I Ching and everything about it is always pure. There are no scandals, no crusades, no inquisitions. Try to misuse it and you'll get goblydygook instead of a meaningful answer, so it remains pure under any circumstances. This fact can be of great comfort to the spiritual seeker put off by the the problems of organized religion. This has been the most important book in my life for 37 years.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "The clouds pass and the rain does its work..., Jan. 30 2000
By 
Susan Byers (Willits, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
...and all individual beings flow into their forms." The I Ching is a book in that it has pages and printed text, but it is also an actual, living oracle, with its roots in antiquity and fresh leaves emerging every spring. It can tell you how you are doing, where you are headed if you continue in this way, and what you might do to change the course of your destiny if you don't like the results. I have had a deep relationship -- and that is precisely what it becomes -- with this book for almost 30 years, and it has never betrayed me. I have thrown it across the room in anger; I have approached it, trembling, on my knees, with my most profound existential fears and questions; I have wept with relief, or shivered with guilt at its answers and advice. It has seen through my confusion, stroked my forehead, slapped my cheek, poked me in the ribs. It has been kind or cold, bestowed blessings or blame, as was deemed cosmically necessary. It will reward even the casual visitor with wisdom and a way to be happier and more successful in this life.
I have heard many complaints about this particular edition of the I Ching. Apparantly, some people feel that it is "muddy," or encrusted somehow with the translator's limitations. However, I have read or used more than ten other versions, and the Wilhelm/Baynes remains the benchmark for them all. They all rest on a knowledge of the Wilhelm/Baynes version to provide the screen upon which their translation is projected. None are so thorough, and none provide the glorious, exalted poetry of the original. For example, Confucius says of one of the lines in the 13th hexagram, Fellowship with Men:
"Life leads the thoughtful man on a path of many windings. Now the course is checked, now it runs straight again. Here winged thoughts may pour freely forth in words, There the heavy burden of knowledge must be shut away in silence. But when two people are at one in their inmost hearts, They shatter even the strength of iron or of bronze. And when two people are at one in their inmost hearts, Their words are sweet and strong, like the fragrance of orchids."
Some people find parts of the direct translations too wierd: "Penetration under the bed. Priests and magicians are used in great number." "The flying bird leaves him." "There is a large fruit still uneaten." But these poetic images have always had a striking impact on my subconscious, helping me to fathom the deeper meanings of the hexagrams and individual lines, and giving me a much richer depth of understanding. I find the use of many other translations valuable, and always appreciate the different highlights and perspective, but I used the Wilhelm/Baynes edition exclusively for many years and still consider it my primary resource. It is the one book -- of any kind -- that I would take with me to the proverbial desert island, if I could only take one. Don't hesitate to buy this book; you will never regret it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful translation., Nov. 30 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is a Chinese book of wisdom which can be used (supposedly) to divine what one's actions SHOULD be in a given situation, by ascertaining the seeds of future events. In their view (and that of all major faiths) the "play" of life - action, motion, speech, externality - is played out on a backdrop of the unchanging, the stable, or the divine. This core or foundation behind what we normally think of as our existence is, in fact, the Real. The other is transitory, ("maya"), always moving, changing (decay, growth, fruition, success, failure, etc.) To be "successful" it must be rooted in and grounded in the unchanging. It must also be virtuous and wise. The authors of this book supposedly fasted and prayed and purified their natures until they could discern the patterns of this movement on top of Reality. By taking action early (holding back, moving forward, etc.) one can shape the seeds of these changes, work with "maya", and basically perform right action. The book can be used as a tool for prophecy, but is also useful just to read for the wisdom contained therein.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The 2nd Ed. I have had from 1970 is a roadmap of my life, Nov. 24 1998
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
I got this book in 1970 as a young from a dear friend that graduated Haight Ashbury. I started using it as a lark, and marked my address in the back cover. In the next 27 years it has been with me everywhere I went. It took me ten yrs to memorize every hexagram, line, every commentary. The addresses in the back cover spread to the filler pages and the inside of the front cover. The cover disintegrated within 15 years, the binding came apart in the next five years, first being held together by a couple of threads, and then as a well piled and ordered collection in a couple of pieces. I can't say that I babied the book, but It went everywhere with me. It was my "religious book" in my "personal area" in Basic Training, It spent many shifts in a huge pocket in my canvas coat in a sawmill during a cold winter in Montana in 74. The cover was rent with cigarette burns and unidentifiable markings of all types. I have many missing pages, although until the last few years, any missing in section 1 could be found in section 3, and visa versa. Although I am a Lutheran by birth, I have used the I Ching as a roadmap for my life. If my old disintegrating 2nd Ed, could talk, it would tell you a very amazing story, a hundred times longer than it's 800 some pages. I don't know if the word "hippy" applies to me, except prefaced by "old" and used by people to describe me when I'm not around. I never gave it much though. As the 3rd edition is being shipped, I am preparing a shrine for the old one. If there is ever a Hippy Museum, I'll donate my old copy. At 45, I don't think the new one will suffer the same beating. " Life leads the thoughtful man on a road of many windings.."
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than a divination tool; A Key to understanding the Self, Oct. 26 1998
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
Those approaching the "I Ching" for the first time are generally looking for that tool of divination that will fortell the future. Sorry to say, the "I Ching" is not for them. It is for the student of the self seeking to find a key to self-understanding, and a knowledge that things "change." The "I Ching" is, after all, the "Book of Changes." This particular volume is the definitive translation and commentary on the hexagrams, and the serious student will learn more about him/herself than about an uncertain and changing future. Because, you see, the future is not fixed. The individual controls his/her own destiny. For the newcomer to Eastern philosophy, or the initiate to the mysteries, Baynes masterful and insightful translations and commentaries (along with some delightful comments by Carl Jung), make this edition of the "I Ching" an invaluable addition to the shelf of any person seeking spiritual enlightenment, as well as a greater understanding of the "self" within us all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be in every thinking persons collection, July 30 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
This book or a variation of this book is a must have book. I have I ching translated by Frank J. MacHovec,B.A.,M.A. and along with MY other favorite books "As a Man Thinketh" and Tibetan Yoga and secret doctrines plus the Bible also a good reading and knowledge gathering book and another book about the senses are books that everyone should at least take a quick look through. I find that many books take from these books. I Ching is one of the foundation books that must be read for a person to understand life and its changes. This book is reinforcement for our day to day changes and the way we see the changes in others.EX. Optimal Influence. Your position is less than you wish despite your abilities. Your enthusiasm exceeds the needs of your present position. Do not be impatient and force your hand. It won't work. In time opportunity will come. Use your enthusiasm now to further develop your strengths and abilities, thus preparing yourself for a better futur! e. Having books like this is like having a wise person for a friend. There is really no arguement what is in this one of the oldest books is so honest and real that you cant help but think of this book as a friend. You will find comfort in this book. Just open it to any page and get the knowledge that awaits. Depending on your experiences you will know much of what is written or it may be new to you but its a book you will keep going back to for reinforcement and direction for yourself or your friends. It is really worth a look. ENJOY
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5.0 out of 5 stars The best translation to a Western language ever produced., March 29 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
What we have here is probably the oldest written work in continuous use in the history of the human race--something on the order of 3000 to 5000 years! Confucius spent a major portion of his life studying and annotating it (unfortunately, much of his work has been lost), and it has been a source of advice and guidance to sages and rulers in the Orient throughout that time.

You may have heard that it is used in Chinese fortune-telling, and it is--but not in the Occidental sense of that term. Without going into lengthy explanations, let me just say that the Chinese hit on an understanding of--and a way of practically applying--Chaos Theory, thousands of years before Western physicists coined the term. As to whether or not it "works", I can attest that it does. But don't take my word for it--try it yourself!

There are many different translations of this work--so why choose this one? This particular edition is not just a translation, but a transliteration. Richard Wilhelm worked closely with a leading Chinese scholar to make sure that the work would be comprehensible to the Occidental mind. And believe me, the ideas involved do not readily translate into any Western language.

To make sure that these ideas could be truly grasped by Westerners, the editors translated the work from Chinese into German, from German into English, and then translated the work from English back into Chinese, thus ensuring that the ideas survived the transitions intact.

Unless you were raised in the language, customs, and culture of the Orient, this is not just the best edition, it is the ONLY edition. This is indeed one of the greatest works of philosopy and literature ever produced by our species. Needless to say, I highly recommend it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chinese classic in exquisite English, repays infinite study, Oct. 23 2001
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This review is from: The I Ching or Book of Changes (Hardcover)
I have been using this now-classic translation of the Book of Changes as a divinatory tool since 1968. Profoundly, elegantly transmitted from the literary Chinese, through Helmut Wilhelm's Goethe-quoting German, and finally into spiritually delicious English prose by the gifted Carey Baynes. A great pleasure of this volume is that you can sense all three aesthetic layers very clearly. This is the most-used book in my library. I'll admit, it gets a too deep sometimes. I've seen people burn their I Ching's when the truth got a little too intense for them. But if you want a sophisticated, accurate, and reliable divinatory tool that repays infinite sincere study, this is the best book in English. If I had only one book to bring to a desert island, this would be the one.
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The I Ching or Book of Changes
The I Ching or Book of Changes by Hellmut Wilhelm (Hardcover - Oct. 21 1967)
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