TI Ching, Book of Changes, is an attempt by Chinese philosophers to explain the mysteries and secrets of the universe and understand the role of man and the forces of nature. It is sometimes known and used as a book of divination. The function and use of the I Ching is based on the concept of a universal cosmic law that can be described by the Kua (trigrams) and the Hsio (lines). Fu Hsi (2852-2738 BC), the legendary ruler of China and King Wen (1184-1135 BC), the founder of the Chou Dynasty, was credited as the creator of this work. In the final representation, the Eight Trigrams are represented as groups of six lines to give sixty-four hexagrams and interpretations. The bases for fascination of the I Ching can be attributed to the roots of Chinese culture. This point of view has been described succinctly by the noted sinologist, Joseph Needham:
"The key word in Chinese Thought is Order and above all Pattern...Things behave in particular ways not necessary because of prior action or impulsion of other things, but because their positions in the ever-moving cyclical universe was such that they were endowed with intrinsic natures which made their behavior inevitable for them .."
This desire for order and patterns is repeated in the use of the I Chin. The Kua and the Hsio reflects the order of the universe. In application, the patterns of nature is mirrored by the position of a line in the hexagram. The position determines its pathway or direction; its intrinsic nature (property), broken or unbroken, is thus automatically defined. Once the position is known, then the line's relationship to other sections of the Kua can also be obtained. For example, three parallel lines represents Heaven, Father ( three Yang lines), three broken lines represents the Earth, Mother (three Yin lines). When the two sets of lines are brought together, it forms one hexagram that means Standstill or Stagnation.
The I Ching are generally used as follows:.
1. First, a question is formulated and directed to an the Oracle for an answer. The Oracle is generally some form of random number (1-64) generator that assumes that all events are related - synchronicity
2.On the basis of the resulting series of numbers, the I Ching is consulted. Each number relating to the position of a kua (six lines, divided or undivided, changing or unchanging)
3.The meaning of the generated series is interpreted for insight into the hidden assumptions, decisions, and beliefs that gave rise to the question.
From the interpretations of the I Ching, come such concepts as Wu Chi, Tai Chi, Yin and Yang as well as various relationships between different aspects of nature.