From the archive: I Ching

I got into I Ching when I was 181 and was introduced to it by Aake Y. who was a kind of mentor for me at the time. Unsurprisingly, I got the Richard Wilhelm translation with a foreword by Jung. (I was deeply into Jung at the time.)

I loved I Ching and read it over and over, and also occasionally used it as an oracle – to reflect or give a view on the situation. It was remarkably accurate, and I also found that if I asked it about frivolous things, or asked too much, I would typically get the “Youthful Folly” hexagram (!).

When Aake introduced me to it, he asked I Ching about me in general and got no. 1 Chien / The Creative which changed to 56 Lu / The Wanderer. I remember I liked the first one, but not so much the second. I didn’t really want to be a wanderer metaphorically or geographically. I wanted to settle.

Of course, it turned out to be accurate. I have been a wanderer metaphorically – in terms of my exploration, and geographically. I have lived in several countries.

After talking with Aake, I asked I Ching about myself. This was the first time I used I Ching as an oracle. To my astonishment, I got exactly the same. I got no. 1 changing to no. 56. That’s a one in 4096 probability. Out of 4096 times, it is likely to happen once.

It’s been a long time since I have used it as an oracle. These days, I prefer to use my inner guidance.


(1) I was still living in the basement of my parents’ house for the first year after high school, before moving to Oslo. I got into Taoism before then, through Fritjof Capra’s The Turning Point, and had read several Taoist classics for a couple of years before this. I think I had put off getting into I Ching since I had seen it mainly as an oracle and didn’t know the amazing wisdom in the hexagrams and elaborations.

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