Monday, February 22, 2010

I Ching for I Pod

After my trip to England last September I decided to buy an IPod mainly so I could carry my huge collection of photos around with me to show people. Only recently did I get around to browsing the App Store and discover the wealth of applications that are out there in Internet cyber space.
One of the first things I searched for was an I Ching app. There are many out there but unfortunately none, as far as I saw, based directly on the Wilhelm-Baynes book. However I found one that comes pretty darn close: the Yi Jing – Book of Changes, by Flat Earth Studio. You can see the Itunes Preview page here. Among the many book translations of the I Ching available in this app is A Guide to the I Ching, for the Wilhelm/Baynes translation by Carol K. Anthony. After the very first reading it becomes apparent that the author knows and understands the Wilhelm/Baynes I Ching very well and the readings are gratefully in harmony with that classic.
The app has many excellent features but rather than go into them here I will simply point you to the preview page which also includes an excellent overview by one of the commentators. However I will say that Flat Earth Studios have not only done a great job with the choice of content and the features but most of all the aesthetics of the app are tastefully done, not gaudy and clunky like many of the apps I looked at. The app cost 3.99$ but is well worth it if you are an I Ching user or would like to be.

I will leave you with an excerpt. I first consulted the I Ching (or Yi Jing, as the app is called) for advice about the best way to proceed on the financial front. Yes, I know what you are thinking: how shallow for a philosophy blogger. But from the Yiddish proverb, Love tastes sweet, but only with bread, we might create another: Philosophy tastes sweet, but only with bread.
Anyhow, to this question I received hexagram 52 ‘Keeping still, Mountain’ changing into 33 ‘Retreat’. In the ‘Changes’ section was this insightful commentary, which made a paricular impression on me:

The presence of desire causes unrest. Desire is a form of fear that we may not achieve our goal. This is ‘to anticipate the harvest while planting.’ We hardly ever desire what we are sure of having, and often desire what we think we cannot have. Thus, desire implies both doubt and envy. In letting go of desire, we bring the heart to rest and attain a higher level of tranquillity.

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond