The following is the preface of my book I wrote in 1993 and published in China in 2004 by Bluewind Publishing in Beijing. The book, An American Journey through the I Ching and Beyond, can be found online in China at http://www.ecph.com.cn. Beginning today, you can follow the contents and additional commentary about the I Ching I have learned and experienced since writing this book over twenty years ago,
It is not the purpose of this book to detail and outline the numerical meaning of the line generally drawn as a hexagram that are normally associated with the I Ching. Although included simply as a point of reference for the reader, they are not the focus of the story that is to be told. Initially used as a way to predict events, the I Ching soon began to represent much more because people desired to have a sense of predictability in all thing that governed their lives. This book is written out of promote understanding of Chinese history and culture in such a way that opens the I Ching and the beginning of Taoism to the widest possible audience.
To attract the broadest readership in China and the United State and elsewhere, the author decides to take on the role of the storyteller that world have been around 3,000 years ago by becoming the story where appropriate. Often as the shaman or designated person, who was good at telling the story, he conveys the meaning of the oracle in today’s common language or way of speaking. Telling the story that had frequently been illustrated on strips of tortoise shells that would later become the I Ching when all the strips or stories were combined together, he assumes the role of the dragon to find and fulfill his own ultimate destiny.
This explains the book being separated into three sections. Beginning outlines the process used by the author to get in the correct frame of mind for what was to follow. Second would be the Inner Chapters a phrase commonly used by Taoists once the heart of the matter was to begin and third, Keeping to the Lower Clouds representing the dragon’s efforts to keep this upstart at bay and to do his homework before trying to come forward to newer heights…
The I Ching conveying and teaching that even then, through trial and error, the secret of foretelling the future and conveying a message was to become and live the story thereby guiding events to a foreseeable future… Other people could then see themselves as participants and get up and tell their version of events and identify their own inner strength and weakness and what was true and what it meant to them. Thereby beginning to plan their own endeavors and ultimate destiny. Focusing first on the narrative, or telling the story, the people of early China soon began to draw their own illustrations, and give meaning to the world around them. This meaning came together as their attempts to understand the I Ching and more importantly early Taoism began to give them a of where they “fit in” with the scheme of things. Becoming the story meant beginning to live the Tao in their day-day activities which when we find our own identity, could not be truer today.
Dan C DeCarlo