I-Ching is the secret of all success—financial, political, marital . . . all aspects of life. It reflects the changes that are constantly operating throughout all levels of the universe—the cycles and tides of fortune which we must learn to know and ride if we are to achieve success. It enables us to understand these mysterious rhythms, and to re-align our lives so that we can live more in harmony with the laws of nature. This is the key to success.

I-Ching is divided into two systems of wisdom: Space and Time I-Ching System and Taoist Methodology, or the Tao of Change. The Space and Time I-Ching System enables us to forecast events through the use of the date, time, and Five Elements. Unlike many other methods of forecasting, Space and Time I-Ching System does not simply foretell future events and then leave you to cope with them as best you may; instead it offers sound advice on who (the best person whom) one deals with, what should be done, when (the best time in which) something must be done, where (the direction in which) one should proceed, and how to start and maintain that direction. Taoist Methodology is the study of social philosophy, transactional psychology, and the nature of the universe, as represented by the 64 hexagrams. Each hexagram is composed of six lines, each of which represents a developing stage in individual, group or universal transactions. No questions about the nature of the universe or the life contained within it are left unanswered.

True success cannot be attained if either one of the two systems of wisdom is neglected. I-Ching Strategy, as the combination of wisdoms is frequently called, provides many insights into every human or universal transaction and is therefore vital to a person’s preparation, which determines how one uses one’s judgement. When a person’s judgement fails because his mind is limited by space and time (normally a human being does not know about the opportunities in his future), Space and Time I-Ching System fills the void and can help a person turn unforeseen opportunities to his advantage. According to Taoism the formula for success is:


Success is the sum of preparation and opportunity.

The I-Ching resulted from centuries of research by scholars and sages who sought to integrate the artistic, scientific, and practical elements of life. The foundation of the I-Ching, the Pa-Kua, was laid down by Emperor Fushi. Further expansions and enhancements upon this subject were made by the scholars and sages of the Chou Dynasty, a dynasty famed for its I-Ching research work.

The founder of the Chou Dynasty, King Wu, was himself a Taoist. His father, King Wen, was a famous I-Ching scholar. His prime minister and commander in chief, Chiang Shang (also known as Chiang Tse Ye or Chiang Tai-Kung), was also a famous Taoist who helped King Wu establish the solid foundations of an 800-year empire by utilizing the teachings of Taoism.

Confucius was also an I-Ching scholar; he wrote the commentaries of the I-Ching. At forty-six years of age Confucius prayed earnestly: “If I may have a few more years I will begin the study of the I-Ching when I am fifty, and then I shall make fewer transgressions in the remainder of my life.” Confucius studied the I-Ching until his death at 73 years of age. In the last 23 years of his life, he devoted so much time to the study and interpretation of the I-Ching that the leather bindings of his copy wore out and had to be replaced three times. A significant part of the Book of Change was written by this I-Ching scholar.

The I-Ching has retained its eminent reputation through subsequent centuries. In every age its guidance has been sought by Chinese philosophers, statesmen, warriors and ordinary people when faced with an important decision or major undertaking. The tradition is still maintained today. It is widely studied in modern universities and employed in business negotiations in many parts of Asia.

The I-Ching is reserved for the use of the true cultivator, someone who will refrain from using this wisdom for petty, evil or blind purposes. Those who abuse the wisdom have unfailingly met with disasterous ends. Historical records have proven this to be true.

The Space and Time I-Ching System will not be discussed here because it is a subject too complex to be thoroughly explained except within the space provided by an entire tome.


Taoist Methodology, or the Tao of Change, consists of many sets of guiding principles that help us understand the universal laws from which we cannot escape. Knowledge about these universal laws can help us find the answers to our problems in order to accomplish our “preparation.”

The Tao of Change reveals that nothing stands still. That nothing lasts forever and that for everything there is a proper time. He who does not strive to hasten good fortune prematurely and he who can accept inevitable decline achieves true contentment. Treading the middle path of balanced progress, he avoids all conflicts by aligning himself with steady rhythms of the universe and finally becomes one with Tao, or walks with God.

The Tao of Change is as timeless and limitless as the changes in this universe. Since the universe is in essence a manifestation of change, all that exists must change. If nothing changes, there would be no life; and if there is no life, there would be only emptiness. The universal changes follow many complex sets of rules, yet there is a pattern to these rules. The Tao of Change is about these rules and their patterns. As the pattern of change is repetitious, the Tao of Change will never be obsolete. Timeless and limitless, the teachings of the Tao of Change direct man through the maze of universal changes.

Everything, including success and decline, follows a specific pattern of succession and occupies a specific period in time. Understanding and following this pattern insures true contentment. Doing otherwise—fighting decline or fighting any other changes—will result in abject misery, because the will of the universe cannot be changed. The person who fights the universe always loses. To prevent this needless suffering, the Tao of Change helps people live with the way of the universe, reap many rewards in the process, plan for what is inevitable in order to meet all challenges and adversities with confidence, and become wise masters of their fates.

The ultimate purpose of the Tao of Change is to raise the caliber of human beings so that they may enter the Kingdom of God. By living correctly according to the way of the universe, people will dissolve their past Karma and then lead productive lives. The Tao of Change presents penetrating evaluations of all sides of an issue, which encourages people to sharpen their intellect while solving their problems. The Tao of Change helps people climb the ladder of society, success and evolution so that, in the end, all may enter into the Kingdom of God.

The teachings of the Tao of Change are encoded in hexagrams. To extract the teachings, these hexagrams must be deciphered. But before deciphered messages can be presented to the reader, he or she should achieve an understanding of the Yin and Yang digram, as it forms the content of the hexagrams.

The Yin and Yang digram symbolizes the many aspects of change. The digram represents all the pairs of opposites in the universe, from the most trivial (two faces of a paper) to the most vital (God and Satan). The digram also presents the pairs of opposites as single entities—the two faces of the paper together make one piece of paper. One half without the other results in nothingness. So, according to the Yin and Yang theory, God and Satan are one, and one cannot condemn one without condemning the other.

How is this so?

In older versions of the Bible, the first book of the Old Testament was Job, not Genesis. A story about Job was told in this first book. In a dialogue between God and Satan, God praised Job for his faithfulness and righteousness. Satan challenged God saying that Job’s faith, a result of God’s gifts, would disappear when the gifts disappeared. God allowed Satan to test Job and Job suffered many adversities. Seeing that Job’s faith was unfaltering, Satan challenged God again saying that harm inflicted upon Job’s person would end his faith. God accepted the challenge and permitted Satan to do his work. Still Job was unremitting. In this book God and Satan work together and counsel each other. The trials of Job seem to be caused by Satan, but Satan has God’s permission.

The Yin and Yang digram represents another aspect of change, of interaction such as that between God and Satan. There are two types of interactions, one generating and one degenerating. They are as follows:


1) Yang generates Yang

3) Yin generates Yang

2) Yin generates Yin

4) Yang generates Yin


1) Yang destroys Yang

3) Yin destroys Yang

2) Yin destroys Yin

4) Yang destroys Yin

The generating interaction can be understood in terms of the following example. Rampaging criminals cause people to establish a police force to protect themselves. So Yin (criminals) generates Yang (police force) because the police force would not exist if criminals did not exist. Gradually the police force grows (Yang generates Yang) and soon it becomes burdensome to support. Taxes are raised (Yang generates Yin). Meanwhile, criminal forces also grow to counteract the expanding police (Yin generates Yin). Corruption in the police force results in its participation in crimes (Yang generates Yin).

The degenerating interaction can be understood in terms of the following example. When a police force captures a criminal, a Yang-destroys-Yin interaction is taking place. When the government cuts the force’s funds, a Yang-destroys-Yang interaction is taking place. When its funds are reduced, the force is overcome by criminals, a Yin-destroys-Yang interaction. While criminals kill each other a Yin-destroys-Yin interaction is taking place.

The third aspect of change indicated by the Yin and Yang digram is that Yin in its most acute form becomes Yang and vice versa. This nature is exemplified in a poor person’s rise to wealth (Yin becomes Yang).

The fourth aspect of change is that anything and everything has both Yin and Yang natures. Taoists never encourage celebration because hidden within a happy situation is the seed of sadness. Hidden disasters develop under fortunate circumstances and good fortune develops under disastrous circumstances.

The fifth aspect of change involves a reciprocal Yin and Yang relationship. An example of this would be the mutual attraction of the positive and negative poles of a magnet.

The digram capsulizes the many aspects of change between Yin and Yang forces: how Yin and Yang generate or degenerate each other, how Yin and Yang push against each other, how Yin and Yang fight against each other, how Yin and Yang help each other, how Yin and Yang penetrate each other, how Yin and Yang melt each other, and so on.

When one digram is placed beside others in stacked formation at their highest level of evolution as described in Introduction to Taoism: Philosophy, Religion and Science; III. Yin-Yang Theory, the changes can be endless. There are, however, rules governing change but they will not be discussed here because they can be daunting in an initial immersion in the I-Ching. A complete discussion can be found in The Great Tao.

Recall how the Yin-Yang digram evolved into a hexagram, a six-lined vertically-stacked diagram, back in the Introduction to Yin-Yang Theory. Each hexagram then gives rise to seven more hexagrams, resulting in eight groups of eight hexagrams, or sixty-four hexagrams total. Each hexagram incapsulates a universal law governing a particular aspect of life.

Because a complete discussion of all sixty-four hexagrams is impossible, a complete discussion of one hexagram—Ch’ien, or Heaven—will be provided.



This hexagram is called Ch’ien, meaning heaven. Since all six positions are occupied by Yang signs—recall that Yang symbolizes all that is positive—so many of them (the highest number possible of all the sixty-four hexagrams) project an image of absolute positivity. Nothing can be more positive than God or the domain he rules which is heaven. The attributes of this hexagram are as follows: omnipotence, leadership, bravery, bliss, longevity, benefits, and constancy. This is the image of success.


Line 1, where a Yang sign falls into a Yang position, represents mankind’s raw creativity, ambition, aggressiveness and positiveness. These raw gifts must be refined through education by elders and teachers. At this stage, everyone must be receptive to all forms of education, because everyone is still unrecognized by society. At this stage, a person needs patience, learning, humility and a desire for self-improvement. Everybody’s duty at this stage is to build a broad and tall base of knowledge so that it will lift everyone to the second stage. You cannot automatically upgrade your station in life, because no outside assistance is indicated in the Response Line 4 (Yang sign in Yin position—here is an example of the above described rules in action—explained in The Great Tao). If you do not work hard at accumulating knowledge, you will never improve your station in society, evolution, and so on.

Line 2, where a Yang sign falls into a Yin position (or a valley), represents a critical stage where abnormality, disadvantage and compromise are numerous. These present themselves whenever or wherever a new idea, plan, situation or position falls upon a person. These are unavoidable since a superior will always notice you when you are qualified and will lift you into a higher station in life. In this critical stage, your knowledge will be put to the test. Inadequate learning will force you back to the first stage, whereas adequate knowledge will buoy you to a higher stage. At this critical point you must also continue self-education, in order to make friends with those below you and at the same time please your superiors. Do not let jealousy or dissatisfaction bring about your fall. Do not be afraid of trouble, but use knowledge and wisdom to do everything right. If everything is as it should be, promotion is inevitable, indicated by a helpful Response Line 5.

Line 3, a Yang sign in a Yang position represents success. Success is the sum of past preparation and opportunity. Although you have reached this stage you cannot stop; stopping means the end. Although you have reached the top of your present circle, you must look elsewhere for a foothold to continue your climb. (You have reached the end of the Inner Lines or Inner Trigram.) There are many people below you, but you are alone at the top. Although plagued by many problems, you cannot seek the help of those below you, and there are not many people at your position in life who can help you. This is an awkward stage. To overcome this, share your riches with those below and induce them to work together to help you solve problems. Also you may seek help from outside your organization, i.e. merge your organization with another. Always seek more knowledge, in order to make every move a wise one.

Line 4, a Yang sign in a Yin position, indicates that one is a beginner again, but at a different level. You have expanded your organization (opened a new branch in another city, merged with another organization, etc.) and you must build it into a successful new establishment. You, a Yang sign in a Yin position, must give generously to meet the needs of those around you. This is exemplified by American foreign business dealings and by Japanese business dealings in America. Both supply the other countries’ needs. To understand the needs of others, one must accumulate more knowledge.

Line 5, a Yang sign in a Yang position, represents national and international success, since most of the world’s population is below you (represented by Lines 1 through 4 being under Line 5). But this is also a dangerous stage since everyone below you desires your possessions. To avoid being overthrown, you must retire. The world’s most respected figures are those who retire and allow those below to move up. Continue to accumulate knowledge in order to retire wisely.

Line 6, a Yang sign in a Yin position, represents sharing. A person at this stage in life must share his wisdom and knowledge to help others below him acquire success. One retires to help the people of the world and all the world will return one’s generosity with respect and everlasting fame.

Line by line, seven more topics or images relating to success—such as making new acquaintances who contribute to success, internal divisions, etc.—are patiently explained in The Great Tao in a manner unequaled in completeness by any other work on this subject.

After these eight topics or images are discussed in depth, the first group on success is completed and one moves on to another group of eight images or topics dealing specifically with the subject of risk, its myriad forms, navigating its rough waters, and not drowning in it.

The third group deals with stability—how one stabilizes success, money, power . . . everything.

The fourth group deals with an equally important subject: forces. Many forces—good, evil and everything in between—are exerted upon a person. It is critical for a person to understand them and know when to counteract or submit to a force.

The fifth group deals with freewill, how it functions in strong families or organizations, when and where it can be exerted or muted for thorough success and strength.

The sixth group deals with people in all manner of existence. How talent must managed; the disastrous consequences of incompetence; dealing with residents of foreign lands, leaders, subordinates and equals; and much more.

The seventh group deals with peace, how peace is achieved even when there is a rebellion, what contributes to peace, and other vital information.

The final group deals with relationships—what ruins relationships, what forges true friendships, how leaders forge loyal relationships with their subjects, and much, much more. The secrets that are disclosed are priceless, yet surprisingly easily applicable—hardly anyone could imagine the solutions.

Line by line, all that is in the universe is clearly explained in The Great Tao. With this knowledge, great heights of wealth, glory, fame, and so on can be achieved and have been proven to be achieved by iconic historical figures. There is nothing equal to I-Ching, when it is accurately interpreted and translated, in helping mankind achieve true, everlasting success.

End of this Chapter

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