I -Ching, the ancient science of lines and coins still faces unacceptance and is called an art
Everything that happens in a given situation at a given time is related to and participates with everything else. As Carl Jung put it, “Every process is partially or totally interfered with by chance, so much so that under natural circumstances a course of events absolutely conforming to specific laws is almost an exception.”
The I Ching, or Book of Changes, is the world’s oldest known book and earliest intuitive decision-making system of any complexity. Written, compiled and edited by Confucius from ancient Chinese tests, scrolls and manuscripts predating him by a thousand years, it was meant as a manual for lower level clerks in the Chinese government services, to prepare them for promotions and higher levels of responsibilities. The basic reality of this ancient Chinese knowledge is that everything changes; what may be relevant to your space and time will not be so may be a month or so down the line; things will have changed and new facts will be relevant.
“I-Ching – the Book of Changes is quite in keeping with the philosophy of French philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, palaeontologist and geologist who earned the disfavour of the Church for his beliefs in Darwinian evolution, – man whose philosophy and beliefs I greatly admire and have always believed in. He believed that everything in the universe was flux (change) and moving to a completion point that he called the omega point. Once it touched the omega point it changed once again to a simple form and continued the process of evolution. The intellectual community has forgotten him today,” said Dan Driscoll, the man who has sought answers from divination and its means, during a chat session at Gitanjali Art Gallery in Panjim. Instead of drawing a parallel between other forms of mystic reading and I-Ching, Dan co-related the basic principal of this ‘wisdom’ with that of a great twentieth century philosopher.
There has been a lot of study and discussion that has happened over the years about Theory of Synchronicity that derives or is the basis of I Ching.
Meena Shah, a practicing tarot reader from Mumbai said that the ‘science’ was very difficult to learn and practice. “I tried learning, but it’s not so easy. And it’s a ‘science’.”
Mathematician Larry Schoenholtz points out that there are several scientific theories that seem to validate the synchronicity theory. In his book, New Directions in the I Ching, he has said, “Since I have mentioned the connection of synchronicity with the better-known theories of mainstream physics, I shall mention other parallels as well. The phenomenon of radioactive decay has been particularly baffling from the causal viewpoint. The spontaneous disintegration of certain atoms through radioactive emission is an event for which modern physics cannot provide an answer.” This coming from a mathematician surely establishes I Ching as a science.
Radhika Bose, however, is not convinced. “Tarot, crystal gazing, I Ching are all divination techniques that have more to do with intuition and less to do with science,” said this MSc student.
Dan admitted that he and his wife consulted the I-Ching quite often till the 1980s and that it was a primary guiding force for most of their lives’ problems. “And by then the I-Ching was telling me that I had referred to it once too often and that I did not need it any more.”
The discussion really doesn’t have any end as one will always find people who trust the divination techniques and people who don’t. However, since a philosopher takes credit for compiling it and a new age mathematician assertively authorises it as a science, one is compelled to think of I Ching as an ancient science.