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(Book of Changes), ancient Chinese literary classic, originally used in the process of divination and later incorporated into the Confucian canon (the Five Books). The oldest section of the / Ching consists of 64 graphic figures (hexagrams), with an aphorism attached to each and explaining its significance. This section appears to date back to the eighth or seventh century B.C. In the fourth and third centuries B.C., a number of interpretations of the hexagrams and aphorisms were written, known as the Ten Wings. These laid the basis for a specific trend in ancient Chinese thought that proceeded from the conception of changeability of all reality and the cyclical transformation of various phenomena into others as the result of the interrelation of yin and yang, the forces of darkness and light. According to this view, the hexagrams were symbols that illustrated the universal revolution of the cosmos and also provided norms of behavior for people. Within this framework, various natural philosophical conceptions were elaborated that later played a significant role in the emergence of neo-Confucianism. A large number of Chinese and Japanese philosophical works of medieval and modern times have also sought to interpret the I Ching.
REFERENCESShutskii, Iu. K. Kitaiskaia klassicheskaia ‘Kniga peremen\ Moscow, 1960.
Wilhelm, R.I. ging: Das Buch der Wandlungen, vols. 1–2. Jena, 1924. (Translated from Chinese into German and illustrated.)