I Ching: The Book of Change: A New Translation

I Ching: The Book of Change: A New Translation

by David Hinton

Paperback

$12.72 $13.00 Save 2% Current price is $12.72, Original price is $13. You Save 2%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, August 28

Overview

A master translator’s beautiful and accessible rendering of the seminal Chinese text

In a radically new translation and interpretation of the I Ching, David Hinton strips this ancient Chinese masterwork of the usual apparatus and discovers a deeply poetic and philosophical text. Teasing out an elegant vision of the cosmos as ever-changing yet harmonious, Hinton reveals the seed from which Chinese philosophy, poetry, and painting grew. Although it was and is widely used for divination, the I Ching is also a book of poetic philosophy, deeply valued by artists and intellectuals, and Hinton’s translation restores it to its original lyrical form.

Previous translations have rendered the I Ching as a divination text full of arcane language and extensive commentary. Though informative, these versions rarely hint at the work’s philosophical heart, let alone its literary beauty. Here, Hinton translates only the original stratum of the text, revealing a fully formed work of literature in its own right. The result is full of wild imagery, fables, aphorisms, and stories. Acclaimed for the eloquence of his many translations of ancient Chinese poetry and philosophy, Hinton has reinvented the I Ching as an exciting contemporary text at once primal and postmodern.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780374536428
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date: 05/09/2017
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 799,181
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

David Hinton’s many translations of classical Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling contemporary poems that convey the actual texture and density of the originals. He is also the first translator in more than a century of the four seminal masterworks of Chinese philosophy: Tao Te Ching, Chuang Tzu, Analects, and Mencius. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and has won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award, the PEN Translation Prize, and, most recently, the Thornton Wilder Prize for lifetime achievement from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Read an Excerpt

I Ching

The Book of Change


By David Hinton

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Copyright © 2015 David Hinton
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-4852-8


CHAPTER 1

HEAVEN

All origins penetrating everywhere, heaven is inexhaustible in bringing forth wild bounty.


PRESENTATION

How vast and wondrous the heaven of origins! The ten thousand things all begin from it. It governs the sky — the movement of clouds, the coming of rain. It gives all the various things their distinct forms. How vast its illumination of ends and beginnings!

When the potent places of these six lines are realized in their proper seasons, the seasons mount the six sun-dragons and soar through the sky.

The Way of heaven is all change and transformation at the hinge of things, where the unfurling nature of each thing itself is perfected. It nurtures vast harmony in wholeness, and remains inexhaustible in bringing forth wild bounty. When its dragon-head rears up among the innumerable things, it unites the ten thousand kingdoms in wholeness and peace.


IMAGE

Heaven's movement is steadfast and strong. Using it, the noble-minded fortify themselves without cease.


LINES

1

The dragon rests, hidden underwater, and nothing happens.

2

The dragon appears in open fields. Seek advice from a great sage, and wild bounty will prevail.

3

For the noble-minded, it's heaven and heaven and heaven all day long. And at night, their awe at its transformations is like an affliction. How could they ever go astray?

4

Some may even leap into the abyss, and still not go astray.

5

The dragon soars in open sky. Seek advice from a great sage, and wild bounty will prevail.

6

The dragon grows high and mighty, and so comes to grief.

CHAPTER 2

EARTH

All origins penetrating everywhere, earth is inexhaustible as a mare horse in bringing forth wild bounty. And so it is that when the noble-minded set out in the lead toward a destination, they soon fall into confusion; but when they follow, they reach the bounty of that wondrous host. Finding friends on southwest plains, losing friends in northeast mountains — the noble-minded remain inexhaustible and serene, and so come to good fortune.


PRESENTATION

How perfect and wondrous the earth of origins! The ten thousand things are all born from it. Yielding and devoted as a river, it supports the sky. It carries things along in its generosity, joins them boundlessly in its heart-sight clarity, opens them away all vast radiance in its embrace. And it unites all the various things in wholeness penetrating everywhere.

A mare horse is like the land, for it roams the land boundlessly.

All tender assent, yielding and devoted as a river, earth is inexhaustible in bringing forth wild bounty. And so it is that when the noble-minded set out in the lead toward a destination, they soon fall into confusion and lose the Way. But when they follow, yielding and devoted as a river, they master constancy. Finding friends on southwest plains, they move with kindred spirits. Losing friends in northeast mountains, they know blessings whole and through to completion. Inexhaustible and serene in their good fortune, they live boundless as the land.


IMAGE

The land's power: that is Earth. Using it, the noble-minded carry things along with earth's generosity, its heart-sight clarity.


LINES

1

When there's frost underfoot, how perfectly ice will soon form!

2

In its own place vast, earth never struggles, and yet there is no bounty it does not bring forth.

3

Harbor beauty within, and you'll be inexhaustible indeed. If perhaps you undertake an emperor's business, don't scramble for quick results and there will be wholeness.

4

Wrap it all up together in a sack and hide yourself away. Though you'll earn no praise, how could you ever go astray?

5

Wear robes of yellow, color of the earth, and you dwell at the very origins of good fortune.

6

Dragons battle in the countryside, their blood black and yellow, colors of heaven and earth.

CHAPTER 3

BIRTH-THROE

All origins penetrating everywhere, birth-throe is inexhaustible in bringing forth wild bounty. Still, nothing happening: that is where you set forth. Trusting sage-advisors brings forth wild bounty.


PRESENTATION

Birth-throe is tender assent just beginning to mingle with everything steely as a mountain in cloud. That means birth will be long, hard work.

In a moment of such danger, whatever stirs must be vast and inexhaustible in penetrating everywhere. When thunder and rain stir, for instance, they incite all fruition and abundance.

Heaven, that birth-chamber of things — it's everywhere dark chaos and confusion. There's no repose, even in trusting sage-advisors.


IMAGE

Cloud and thunder: that is Birth-Throe. Using it, the noble-minded weave order from the loom of origins.


LINES

1

Struggle without progress. Dwelling in the inexhaustible brings forth wild bounty, and trusting sage-advisors too brings forth wild bounty.

2

Birth-throe: What is it like? It's like an impasse, like teams of horses pulling against each other. The man proposing marriage is hardly a tyrant, but the young girl is inexhaustible in refusing. Only after ten years does she agree to marry.

3

Hunting deer through deep forests without a guide, even the noble-minded are soon lost. Set out like that and your journey will be difficult indeed.

4

It's like teams of horses pulling against each other, like searching for a young girl to marry. Setting out brings good fortune, for there's wild bounty in whatever you do.

5

Birth-throe is fertile richness. If you're inexhaustible in small things, good fortune will prevail. If you're inexhaustible in great things, calamity can't be far away.

6

It's like teams of horses pulling against each other, like tears of blood flowing and flowing.

CHAPTER 4

INCEPTION-THICKET

It's all inception-thicket penetrating everywhere. I don't seek out inception in its thicket of youth; inception seeks me out in its thicket of youth. If people inquire once with shaman-flower sticks, I answer. If they inquire again, it's deep confusion; and of deep confusion, I say nothing. There, the inception-thicket is inexhaustible in bringing forth wild bounty.


PRESENTATION

Inception is the dangerous thicket beneath mountains, and to stop in that dangerous thicket is also inception.

It's all inception-thicket penetrating everywhere. Use it and you move ahead, penetrating everywhere, centered always in your proper season.

I don't seek out inception in its thicket of youth; inception seeks me out in its thicket of youth. This is to share the same intention.

If people inquire once with shaman-flower sticks, I answer. This is to be centered as a steely mountain in cloud. If they inquire again, it's deep confusion; and of deep confusion, I say nothing. This deep confusion is the inception-thicket. And using this inception-thicket to foster the hinge of things: that is the mastery of a great sage.


IMAGE

A spring welling up beneath mountains: that is Inception-Thicket. Using it, the noble-minded ponder every consequence of their actions; and so, they foster heart-sight clarity.


LINES

1

Inception-thicket in its first stirrings: Use it to discipline people, and you can bring forth wild bounty. Use it to liberate shackles and fetters, and you can set out through difficult journeys.

2

Embrace the inception-thicket, and good fortune will prevail. Take a wife, and good fortune follows. It is always a child who one day leads the family.

3

Don't use the inception-thicket's first stirrings to choose a woman who only sees men of gold. Don't cling to yourself, for there's wild bounty in having no destination.

4

Inception-thicket in its exhaustion: A difficult journey.

5

Inception-thicket in its youth: Good fortune.

6

Inception-thicket in its violence: Tyranny and intimidation bring forth no bounty. It is guarding against tyranny and intimidation that brings forth wild bounty.

CHAPTER 5

ANTICIPATION

In anticipation, nurture the dedication of a bird sitting on eggs. Inexhaustible and penetrating radiant everywhere, it rains down good fortune. Crossing a great river brings forth wild bounty.


PRESENTATION

Anticipation is waiting, is knowing danger lies ahead. Steadfast and strong as a steely mountain in cloud, you won't get snared in lurking danger. And so, you won't live in exhaustion withering impoverished away.

In anticipation, nurture the dedication of a bird sitting on eggs. Inexhaustible and penetrating radiant everywhere, it rains down good fortune. Dwell where heaven's potent place is your own potent place, and you dwell centered at the hinge of things.

Crossing a great river brings forth wild bounty. Setting out is where great achievement begins.


IMAGE

Clouds rising into the sky before rain: that is Anticipation. Using it, the noble-minded find stillness and joy in simply eating and drinking.


LINES

1

Anticipation among farmland fertility altars: If you rely on moondrift constancy to bring forth great bounty, how could you ever go astray?

2

Anticipation on the river's sandy shores: Even if there is a little small-minded worry and talk, good fortune will endure whole and through to completion.

3

Anticipation mired in mud: You'll be set upon by thieves.

4

Anticipation mired in blood: You must leave home.

5

Anticipation with food and wine: Good fortune will be inexhaustible.

6 Returning home you find guests have arrived, three uninvited guests. Honor them, and good fortune will endure whole and through to completion.

CHAPTER 6

DISCORD

In discord, nurture the dedication of a bird sitting on eggs. Facing constraints, settle in and look upon them with awe, then you'll be centered in good fortune. Force through constraints to the end, and you'll know calamity. Seeking advice from a great sage brings forth wild bounty. Crossing a great river brings forth no bounty.


PRESENTATION

Discord is danger below a steely mountain in cloud. To be steadfast and strong in the face of danger: that is this same discord.

In discord, nurture the dedication of a bird sitting on eggs. Facing constraints, settle in and look upon them with awe, then you'll be centered in good fortune. Facing constraints like this means you arrive steely as a mountain in cloud and settle in at the abiding center of things.

Force through constraints to the end, and you'll know calamity. Forcing through like this means discord cannot come to completion.

Seeking advice from a great sage brings forth wild bounty. Seeking advice like this means you revere life centered at the hinge of things.

Crossing a great river brings forth no bounty. Crossing like this means you fall into an abyss.


IMAGE

Heaven and water seething in opposition: that is Discord. Using it, the noble-minded plan the first steps in their endeavors.


LINES

1

Don't drag your endeavors out on and on. Even if there is a little small-minded worry and talk, good fortune will endure whole and through to completion.

2

If you can't master discord, leave town and go back home. Then the townspeople will be without injury, all three hundred households.

3

Nourished by ancient heart-sight clarity, inexhaustible through affliction: this brings good fortune whole and through to completion. If perhaps you undertake an emperor's business, don't scramble for quick results.

4

If you can't master discord, return to the inevitable unfurling of things in their transformations. There you will be inexhaustible and serene, and so come to good fortune.

5

Discord is the very origin of good fortune.

6

If perhaps a sash of honor is bestowed upon you some morning, it will be stripped away three times before morning ends.

CHAPTER 7

ARMIES

When armies are inexhaustible and sage-elders lead them, good fortune prevails and nothing goes astray.


PRESENTATION

Armies are the people in multitudes, are inexhaustible at the hinge of things. A sage-elder who can marshal multitudes at the hinge of things is worthy of being emperor. If he is centered like a steely mountain in cloud, those multitudes are centered and steely. When he leads them through danger, they are yielding and devoted as a river. A sage-elder like this nourishes all beneath heaven, so the people follow. And with such good fortune, how could anything go astray?


IMAGE

Water under the earth, sustaining it: that is Armies. Using them, the noble-minded husband the people and nurture multitudes.


LINES

1

When armies set out, they do so according to laws. Without laws, calamity prevails.

2

At the center of armies, a sage-elder brings forth good fortune and never goes astray. The emperor issues commendations of praise again and again and again.

3

When armies start stacking corpses on war carts, calamity has come.

4

If armies retreat to a safe place, it doesn't mean they've gone astray.

5

If there is game in the fields, hunting brings forth wild bounty and nothing goes astray. But if an elder child leads armies, the younger child stacks corpses on war carts. Calamity like that is inexhaustible indeed.

6

Great rulers inhabit the inevitable unfurling of things. They open kingdoms and nourish families. The small-minded aren't capable of such things.

CHAPTER 8

CONFLUENCE

Confluence means good fortune, means inquiring at the source with shaman-flower sticks, where you live all origins inexhaustible on and on. How could you ever go astray? People from lands in turmoil will come flocking to you, knowing that whoever waits will meet with calamity.


PRESENTATION

Confluence is good fortune. Confluence is support, is following along humbly, yielding and devoted as a river.

Inquiring at the source with shaman-flower sticks, where you live all origins inexhaustible on and on. How could you ever go astray?I In this, you live centered as a steely mountain in cloud.

People from lands in turmoil will come flocking to you, and both lofty and lowly will concur in you.

Whoever waits will meet with calamity, for their Way is soon exhausted and lost.


IMAGE

Water on the earth, flowing always together: that is Confluence. Using it, the first emperors founded the ten thousand kingdoms and made a family of all the lords and princes in those kingdoms.


LINES

1

Begin in confluence, with the dedication of a bird sitting on eggs, and you never go astray. Live as a vessel brimful, with the dedication of a bird sitting on eggs, and you live at ease with good fortune whole and through to completion.

2

Begin in confluence growing from all that lies within you, and good fortune is inexhaustible indeed.

3

Confluence begins with strangers.

4

When everything beyond is where confluence begins, good fortune is inexhaustible indeed.

5

The bright manifestation of confluence is like the emperor's hunt: animals are chased toward him on both sides and behind, while they scatter free in front. When the townspeople need no commands, good fortune prevails.

6

When confluence begins without the Way, calamity prevails.

CHAPTER 9

DELICATE NURTURING

Delicate nurturing penetrates everywhere. Laden clouds bring no rain. They drift away past our fertility altars in the west.


PRESENTATION

Delicate nurturing. When tender assent occupies its potent place, when lofty and lowly concur in it: that is called delicate nurturing.

Steadfast and strong, reverent and inward, centered as a steely mountain in cloud, you realize your ambition, letting it penetrate everywhere.

Laden clouds bring no rain. Set out like this in reverence. They drift away past our fertility altars in the west. It's always true your influence may fail to spread.


IMAGE

Wind spreading above heaven: that is Delicate Nurturing. Using it, the noble-minded refine heart-sight clarity's elegance in the grain of things.


LINES

1

Begin your return in the Way itself, and you never go astray. You'll know good fortune instead.

2

Even if you are herded along through that return, you'll know good fortune.

3

Forcing ahead until they shatter spokes from their cartwheels, husband and wife glare at each other.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from I Ching by David Hinton. Copyright © 2015 David Hinton. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction

I Ching

Notes

How To Consult the I Ching

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews