Questions and Answers
Your questions to and the answers of Yi Jing are like a conversation with your parents, with an older friend whom you like, but whom you also show a lot of respect for. Good friends support us. However, they also have the annoying habit of telling you unpleasant truths and giving you advice which you might not want to hear.
It’s similar with the Yi Jing. It’s like a precise optical instrument that you carefully store and use when you need to know your own position accurately. Think of the sextants of old seafaring. Their serious and concentrated handling could determine the success or failure of a voyage.
Take your time when consulting the Yi Jing. When you face it with a serious and open attitude, then you will also receive serious and open answers in return. While you consult the Yi Jing, it is a good sign when it makes you feel slightly uneasy or even uncomfortable. After all, it is about you. You are exploring your future. Which dynamics will influence your next steps? Where can you act? Where do you simply have to accept the development as it is?
If you use the Yi Jing as an oracle, you will find that it is similar to all other divination techniques. They do not give clear-cut answers and they often remain – at least for the moment – incomprehensible. It is important that they grant you access to your unconscious and to your intuition, and thus set processes in motion that will eventually shed light on the darkness.
The manner in which you ask the Yi Jing a question is a very personal thing. No one can give you any binding rules. From my personal experience, however, there are a few tips that can help you get a more accurate answer from Yi Jing:
- Take your time and think carefully about your question.
- We recommend to ask the Yi Jing at most one, truly important question per day.
- Enter your question into the app, otherwise you might be uncertain about what you actually asked later on.
- Yarrow stalks are particularly well suited for fundamental questions. It is complicated and takes time. For that reason, it will open the deeper layers of your consciousness in a special way.
- Simpler questions can be very well answered with the coin oracle method.
- Questioning with help of the computer is the fastest way. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage. In my opinion, you receive an answer that is as good as the questioning methods with coins or yarrow stalks. The answers offered by the random generator tend to not be as close to home as the ones offered by the other methods.
- The probability of getting certain changing lines during the questioning differs from one method to the other. The Yi Jing Library works precisely with these probabilities which occur when using the coins or sticks methods.
- The Yi Jing reflects the dynamics of a situation. It does not tell you what to do. Ultimately, you will be the one who makes the decision.
- Yes/No questions tend to be difficult to interpret.
- The Yi Jing only expresses itself regarding a state or a situation occasionally. This is most likely to happen when there are no changing lines.
- The essence of the Yi Jing lies in development, hence the name ‘book of changes’. Questions that concern developments are particularly suitable for this book of oracles and wisdom.
- The best way to formulate a question that suits you is to develop it yourself. Questions like: “How is X going to develop…”, “What does the Yi Jing say to …”, “etc. can help in this process.
- Do not ask abstract questions. The more precise and personal a question is, the more accurate the answer will be.
- Ask questions about your own life situation. If you are not the recognized and emotionally involved leader of a collective, you will find it difficult to get an appropriate answer.
- Do not try to force the Yi Jing to an answer. If you do not believe it, you are welcome to read the text of the fourth hexagram.
- Pay attention to the time period which your question refers to. I have often found that the Yi Jing’s answers are more related to the time period in question (e.g. morning, this month, this year) rather than to the topic of the question itself.
Enough advice from other people! The team of the Yi Jing Library wishes you good luck. May you gain extensive and valuable insights with the help of our app. Now ask the Yi Jing a first question.
Author of the App and of the Dynamics commentaries
To this day, we do not know why the I Ching answers your question with the specific hexagram you received. We will probably never know. There are many theories on the connection between the question and its answer in oracles. Experts speak of kairos, the interweaving of threads of fate, of synchronicity, of simultaneous action of forces, of resonances between our unconscious and external situation. All these theories cannot meet scientific criteria, nor can they be backed up by classical logic.
Whether we view I Ching as an oracle or use it as a book of wisdom, there are practical reasons why we should heed its advice. The greatest thinkers in Chinese history have created this opus. They aspired to describe the dynamics of all changes in the cosmos. Their entire experiences of changes in nature, individuals, families, groups, society, politics, economy and war are incorporated. Such a masterpiece deserves the utmost respect.
When you receive an answer from the I Ching, two closely related processes begin. The first one is more literary/craft oriented. You read the received texts and try to understand what the words, images and metaphors in the answer tell you. What does it mean to “cross the great water”? What does “possession in great measure” mean? What kind of situation arises when you “treading upon the tail of the tiger”? These are high level analyses of a philosophical text. The appropriate techniques must first be acquired.
The second process leans towards mental/psychological. When you perceive the received texts with an open mind, your semi-conscious and subconscious mind open up. Intuitive images and memories from your life emerge. Forgotten emotions begin to speak. Expectations, feelings of happiness, even fear or constriction could appear and build up in you. You must endure this. It is best to ‘roll’ with the question and its answer in your heart for 24 hours or longer. The meaning of the answer will become more and more clear to you.
There is a constant back and forth of both processes. The longer and deeper the process continues, the clearer the answer becomes. The knowledge of the images in the text and the experience in using the I Ching increase along the process. At the same time, the answer’s personal meaning clarifies. Thus, your knowledge of both your situation and yourself as a person grows.
How you handle I Ching’s answers is even more personal than the style in which you ask the questions. There are no general, binding rules. From my experience, I can give you a few tips and some advice:
- The answers of the I Ching are not orders or mandatory instructions unless you wish to interpret them that way.
- The I Ching describes the dynamics of change in the scope of your inquiry. With its help, you can draw conclusions regarding your own behavior.
- I myself feel that the answers are more like a piece of advice from an entity that supports me and one that I respect greatly. To me, the answer of the I Ching is like a weather forecast. Ultimately, whether I take some sunglasses or an umbrella is up to me.
- So: Take the answers of the I Ching seriously.
- Take your time.
- Read the original text or the translations in the I Ching Library first and let the words flow through you. Where do you feel relief? Where does it hurt?
- Endure the tension.
- You can also read and compare the translations of the same passage by other authors.
- Use the arrows on the right to open the interpretations. How do different authors interpret this sign or this particular comment?
- Go back and forth. Look at the question and the answer again. Read the translations and the comments again. Go back to the question and the answer, and so on.
- Check your question, too! What did you actually ask? What did you really want to know?
- Compare selected translations and commentaries (the so-called Ten Wings of the I Ching) to grasp subtleties. The I Ching library has a special function for this.
- With the same function, you can also select the remarks of different authors to find out what they think about the answer.
- The changing lines are an important detail in the answer hexagram. They are marked in yellow. When Yang (whole line) turns to Yin (broken line) and vice versa, a second sign appears. We call it the tendency hexagram, because it shows in which direction the dynamics develop and what their result could be.
- In the tendency hexagram, we concentrate on the commentaries on the Judgement and the Image.
- Follow the stations on the yellow navigation bar. Look at the different views on the structure of the hexagrams too.
- Read the commentary on the dynamics of the hexagram and the trigrams. It offers a modern, systems-oriented view of I Ching’s dynamics.
- Thus, form your own interpretation. In the end, only your own interpretation matters.
- Answers without transformation lines may indicate that the question is about aspects of your personality and character. Such aspects only change slowly.
- The answers of the I Ching mostly refer to your subjective situation. ‘Object level’ answers, i.e. statements about facts and historical events that go beyond your situation, are rare.
- When you get stuck somewhere, tap the red dots. A help text and further explanations will appear.
- Check whether the answer of the I Ching was more related to the topic of your question or to the time period it was important in.
- Refer to the question and answer again later. New connections or correlations will become clear to you.
- You can ask the I Ching the same or a similar question again, but only if the dynamics of the previous question have really been exhausted.
- The dynamics in a question are only completely exhausted when the question no longer seems comprehensible to you.
Now dive into the answer to your question. Hopefully will the I Ching Library be able to help you understand and interpret it. If you have any ideas on how we can further support and simplify your understanding process, please let us know (please refer to Menu, Contact).
Author of the app and the commentary on dynamics
The app offers a built-in function for questions and promptly delivers the answer and an overview of the explanation. The advantage of assigning each section of a work of Yi Jing to predefined database fields is that one only sees what is necessary in an answer of the Yi Jing app. Furthermore, the app facilitates a comparison between books by different authors. In contrast to printed books, where the search for answers often turns out to be time-consuming, this quick access to the related section(s) improves the user experience significantly.
Our goal is to be able to grant fast and simple access to various sources and to encourage user independence by providing parallel readings of different works.
The base version of the app includes – among others – the following functions:
- Asking a question to the Yi Jing by yarrow stalks, coins or manually
- Calculate the situation hexagram and the tendency hexagram
- Represent the question, the situation and the tendency hexagrams on screen
- Show all information available for these hexagrams from the chosen author(s)
- Compare the translations and interpretations of chosen authors by juxtaposing their texts
- The option to buy additional books in the in-app shop and download them
- Analyze the hexagram’s structure
- Read a completely new commentary on the dynamic development of the answer’s hexagrams and trigrams
- Consult a repository of answers to common questions to the Yi Jing
- Save and export your questions and answers to your private media
- Share your questions and answers with friends (no interpretations included) via e-mail, WhatsApp, Facebook
- Choose font and font size for the representation of text information
- Choose your navigation language
- Consult a Chinese dictionary for all ideograms used in the Yi Jing (Future release)
- Show concordance of all ideograms used (Future release)
The app will run on Android and iOS tablets and smartphones (Google and Apple). In a future version we will try to provide a version for Mac and Windows.
For each author the app delivers the complete transcriptions, translations and interpretations to hexagram 1-64. It does not include the author’s general introductory texts or his considerations on specific aspects of the Yi Jing.
A special register within the app shows a collection of common questions and answers to the Yi Jing (explanations on the use of the Yi Jing, terms, history, special aspects, etc).
The general parts (introduction, history etc.) of the book will only be available in your edition (printed or e-book).
The app’s navigation language can be chosen by the user. At this moment the app offers English, German, and Chinese. Russian, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese will follow.
All editions in the library remain in their original language. Only the navigation is multilingual.
The user pays the edition only once. If he replaces a device, he can restore the library on his new device if he uses his preceding identity.
The work of the author is fully protected. We use all available safeguards offered by iOS and Android to prevent hackers from accessing text elements. If ever a hacker were to break into the app, he would only find the texts of the various books scattered throughout the vast coordination network of the Yi Jing database. It would require an enormous amount of work to reassemble the original text. The editions can only be downloaded to the user’s devices after the payment has been verified. A download always follows the registered user identification. Purchases can be restored but not shared.
The Yi Jing Library works without a connection to the Internet. All of your personal information, such as your name, questions to the Yi Jing, or answers from the Oracle are stored on your own playback device only. No third party has access to it. We recommend that you periodically make a backup copy of your private data (export function).
A connection to the Internet is only established when downloading the I Ching library, new releases of the app or works from the in-app shop.
The Yi Jing Library is based on an SQLite database and uses Qt and Soomla. It currently supports iOS from Apple und Android from Google.
Author of the App and of the Dynamics commentaries: Adrian Stahel, Zurich und Barra de Santo Antônio/Brasil
Team Coordinator: Quoc An Ha, Zurich
Technical Coordinator, IT-Support: Arthur Fritzsche, Zurich
Digitizing Team: Amando Zanetti, An Ha, Caroline Stettler, Liliane Kruesi, Marek Wawrzyniak, Manuela Coldesina, Nicolò Bernardi, Shengrong Zhou, Sonam Dolker Ma, Wing Yan Nham in Switzerland. Ilya Stepanov in Russia.
Programmers Team: Edison LLC, Moscow and Kemerovo/Siberia
User Interface Team: Duotones LLC, Berne, Switzerland
Please rate our app positively in the webshops of Apple and Google. If you see points where we can improve the quality of the app, please contact us first before giving a negative rating. We strive to improve and expand on the Yi Jing Library at any time.
Important improvements implemented following your suggestion will be rewarded with a voucher for downloading an edition from the in-app shop. The voucher is due to the first person who has suggested the improvement.