When I first came across the I Ching many years ago, I wanted to know what it was all about ~ the spiritual aspects, the symbolism, Yin and Yang, the reason for the formation of the hexagrams, synchronicity, and the prediction possibilities. I wondered if I could use it in a practical everyday way, both materially and spiritually.
My initial attemps ended in a mass of symbolism, confusion and disappointment. After studying every available English translation of the I Ching, things didn't look much better. I decided, after a lot of backgroumd research, to produce a book of my own. This book included every single diagram from Chinese sources that I could find, a combination of all the best Readings on the hexagrams, the history, theory, and a look at the wide use of the hexagrams. It was to be the definitive version, and it was the size of a breeze block.
I approached all the publishers, and came close to publishing, but it was finally deemed, rightly, too heavy to publish. In that state of completion and confusion I had another psychic experience (and many more as the discussions developed) in a Lucid Dream. This is where I became aware of Wang Pi, the great Chinese philosopher (226 - 249 A.D.), who had some influence on the I Ching.
" Get to know all the hexagrams, comprehend the essence, then you will approach an understanding of fate."
Wang Pi was aware of me (?), and didn't hesitate to tell me that I didn't have a clue ! Fully aware, I was able to ask the many questions I had on the I Ching, and answers to some of the questions I didn't even think of asking. The answers pointed me towards the fact that it was not prediction, or even advice, that the I Ching provided, but an insight into energy. This may seem obvious to some, but it was not something I really understood, or had access to. This energy had movement, autonomy, and 'form and structure', and could be seen symbolically (as hexagram symbols). The hexagram symbols have a life of their own, as I was to discover.
I was actually shown, and later 'invented', the ELEMENTS, as a means of instant and easy access to the hexagrams. (The first sight of an 'instantly' produced hexagram came as a great shock of amazement ! ). The use of the ELEMENTS had the immediate effect of reducing the awkwardness of the the I Ching, and introduced, much to my surprise, another dynamic ~ a free flowing energy that was everywhere, that could be seen, 'captured', and changed !
After these 'discussions' I returned to my original intention of producing a definitive version of the I Ching, only this looked very different ! The "TAO I CHING ~ The Mystic Gateway" suggests that the energy in the hexagrams reflects the energy in your heart.
[ Generally you consult The I Ching for yourself ]. The hexagrams also reveal alternative energies that have profound implications for your awareness and the Human Condition, providing a spiritual direction, and a peculiar 'detached freedom'. The TAO I CHING will tell you what the energy is, how to see it, and how to use it.
The original I Ching is rather slim, and can be 'obtuse', in the style and symbolic language of the Ancient Chinese, notwithstanding the possibility of more than one meaning to a symbol.
A 'simple' basic idea was elevated, through the long course of Chinese history, into a way of life, and a spiritual and practical guide to the use of energy, and possibly the best divination system in the world. What I managed to produce, again to my surprise, was not so much a variation of the I Ching, but a development in the personal use of that energy. With the use of the ELEMENTS that became the TAO I CHING ~ The Mystic Gateway
The rest is history.
A look at the best modern translations of the I Ching will show one consistent problem ~ that of translating visual symbols, with more than one meaning, with simplicity and brevity.
I have been professionally consulting the TAO I CHING for over 25 years now, and recently spent two years on a live national psychic telephone line answering every possible question and providing Readings. No doubt, this takes some psychic ability, but I only ever consulted the TAO I CHING with an open mind, to whatever the answer might be. That 'automatic' quality, perhaps with a confidence or detachment, seems to be the right level to approach the I Ching. You only have to approach it with a calm intent and curiosity.
The hexagram symbols play a great part in the present moment. This strange fact, which forms the basis of the I Ching, cuts through a lot of the speculation on the 'predictive intention' that surrounds the I Ching.