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The Original I Ching


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Table of Contents

Understanding the Context of the Book of Changes
About the Translation
How to Use the Book of Changes

The Original I Ching

  • 1 The Creative
    2 Earth, The Receptive
    3 Sprouting
    4 New Grass
    5 Waiting
    6 Strife
    7 With a Multitude of Followers
    8 Closeness with Others
    9 The Smaller Herd
    10 Stepping
    11 Peace
    12 Obstruction (Stagnation)
    13 Friendship
    14 Great Possession
    15 Modesty
    16 Excess
    17 Following
    18 Branching Out
    19 The Forest
    20 Gazing (Contemplation)
    21 Taking a Bite
    22 Elegance
    23 Peeling
    24 Returning
    25 Not False
    26 Great Nurturing
    27 Jaws
    28 Great Surpassing
    29 The Abyss
    30 The Net
    31 Reciprocity, Respect
    32 Duration
    33 Retreat
    34 Great Strength
    35 Advancing
    36 Wounded Light
    37 Family
    38 Double Vision
    39 Impeded
    40 Released (Untied)
    41 Decrease
    42 Increase
    43 Resolute
    44 The Royal Bride
    45 Gathered Together
    46 Pushing Upwards
    47 Exhaustion
    48 The Well
    49 Molting (Shedding)
    50 The Cauldron
    51 Thunder
    52 Stillness
    53 Gradual Progress
    54 Coming Home
    55 Abundance
    56 The Wanderer
    57 Calculation, Choosing
    58 Joy
    59 Dispersion (Spreading Waters)
    60 Limitation
    61 Sincere to the Core
    62 Minor Surplus
    63 After the Crossing
    64 Not Yet Across

The Zhou Text
Further Reading
How to Consult the Changes: Reference Summary

About the Author

Margaret J. Pearson, Ph.D., studied Chinese literature with Hellmut Wilhelm, and history with Jack Dull and Chan Hok-la. She has taught Chinese history and thought, for over thirty years, at Skidmore College, the New School for Social Research, Pace University, State University of New York (Albany) and Marymount Manhattan College. She has been elected to life membership at Clare Hall, Cambridge University and to membership in the Early China Seminar at Columbia University.


"Pearson's mission was to restore the text to its original form. Simultaneously, she kept an eye on the clarity of the text, concerned that it be comprehensible to non-scholars. Whether customers use the book for consultation, meditation, or scholarly research, having this ancient text restored to its original form is something very valuable indeed." -New Age Retailer
"Her interpretation and translation is unique, not only in the sense that she has made a meaningful separation of the original text from the commentaries ... but also in the sense that she approaches the text with an ungendered and holistic perspective." -Xinzhong Yao, Director, King's China Institute, King's College London
"A delightful and scholarly translation of what may be the oldest self help book ... Pithy, wise, and ever sensitive to context, the Book of Changes, in Pearson's translation, provides a new lens through which we can see the freshness of old things." -Terri Apter, Newnham College, Cambridge University; author of The Sister Knot
"The Book of Changes has been translated into English a number of times, but Margaret Pearson's new translation stands out for its fidelity to the oldest and deepest layer of the text, cutting through centuries of later commentary. Her lucid explanations of the hexagram texts will be of great service to those who seek to use this ancient compendium of wisdom as a guide to introspection and self-cultivation in our own time." -John S. Major, independent scholar, former professor of East Asian history at Dartmouth College, and translator of The Huainanzi
"Tuttle's The Original I Ching: An Authentic Translation of the Book of Changes is a new translation by Skidmore College scholar Margaret J. Pearson based on new archaeological and textual evidence from the original Zhou text. Pearson's work helps identify the role of women in early Chinese history." -Publishers Weekly
"Margaret Pearson's I CHING is an important book, not only because it is the first interpretation, ever, by a woman in a wholly male-dominated field, but because of its freshness and directness. While being rooted in the most recent scholarly discoveries and research, it achieves the nearly impossible, simply by being real, relevant, and readable. Obscurity, pomposity and ponderousness are thrown out of the window. A delight." -Richard Burns, poet
"[Margaret] uses her background knowledge of ancient Chinese life and thought to provide a context that makes things more accessible. [...] Margaret writes in a plain, direct style that encourages you simply to contemplate the natural imagery-the scenery of the trigrams (had you thought of 26 as 'the skies that lie among mountain peaks'?) and also the imagery of the original." -OnlineClarity.com

"Pearson's comments have a welcome directness to them. This would be an excellent edition to use as an introduction to the Yijing in a Chinese literature or history class." -Taijiquan Journal

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