The notion of this being the `original' I Ching, carefully translated by obvious experts in this field appeals to me immensely, since I like the concept of being able to go directly to the source of information rather than through many different layers of interpretation by a variety of people and in the end being distorted (a bit like `Chinese Whispers'!).
`The Original I Ching Oracle' was inspired by Carl Gustav Jung's insights into the psyche and has been researched for more than 60 years through the Eranos Foundation of Switzerland. This stunning new work presents the oracular core of the `I Ching' as a psychological tool. The Eranos Foundation began in 1933 in Switzerland and is an East/West research centre.
The book itself is as comprehensive as I thought it would be and actually covered a lot more about the I Ching than I thought it would. For example, I found out how to use coins to use this oracle which is handy in that most cultures have access to coins. The book also covers the use of the traditional yarrow-stalk method of using the I Ching oracle.
Part One includes an introduction to the oracle, consultation procedure and language used in the oracle, as well as myth and history and correlative thinking. An extensive note listing and index to Part One is included. It is important to read about the proper consultation procedure if you want to get full benefit from using this ancient oracle.
Part Two gives a listing of each of the 64 hexagrams followed by extensive exploration of each of them. I like the way the original text is in red with additional interpretative material printed in black, leaving you to explore the symbolic meaning for yourself, if you choose to.
Part Three, Concordance, lists all the occurrences of each term appearing in the texts of the Yi Jing (I Ching). What a mammoth task! I certainly don't envy the authors this mammoth task, particularly since they have done a spectacular job in putting it all together in a coherent way. When you stop to think about the complexity of the information found in these texts, you will know what I mean.
In summary, I would highly recommend `The Original I Ching Oracle' for the reader who has an interest in the occult, synchronicity, eastern mysticism or the person looking for THE book on the I Ching. It is comprehensive, educational and practical, allowing the everyday person the opportunity to consult an oracle that was originally brought to the West through Jesuit missionaries in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the overall scheme of things, a few hundred years isn't a long time to wait for a book of this quality!
I recieved this volume as a gift celebrating my graduation from the university, from my father-in-law, who taught me the basics of eastern thought, but is too impatient to understand the depth of the archetypal language found in this volume. However, It would be safe to say that anyone reading and writing at a master's degree level should be comfortable with the subjective associations required by the text. As an architecture student, much of my education was relatively subjective, so the underlying catalysts in the text were simple to activate. However, I would not suggest the book to those looking for a more rigid system of divination such as the tarot, or for those who do not have suffcient experience in archetypal langauge and cultures.