Questions? Call us +44 (0)20 7836 2182

Taoism & I Ching

Taoism Books System of mysticism and philosophy, and the only indigenous religion of China, based on the Tao Teh Ching, a slim work attributed to the legendary mystic, Lao Tzu. Scholars, however, date the work to the fourth century B.C. Tao means "the Way." Within Tao are two complementary principles, the yin (passive/female/earth) and the yang (active/male/heaven). Yin and yang are in constant interaction, ebb and flow, and their balance governs the harmony and well-being of all things. Taoism has had a significant influence on Zen Buddhism meditation practices.
The earliest written description of yin and yang is found in the I Ching, an ancient system of Chinese wisdom, often consulted in oracular divination. The I Ching, or Book of Changes, consists of sixty-four hexagrams of solid and broken lines. A hexagram is determined by the results of tossing three coins three times, or tossing fifty yarrow sticks. Each hexagram has a meaning, which must be interpreted by the inquirer. The inquirer is forced to look within for answers, as the oracle provides no certainties. It reflects a moment in time, and shows probable outcomes if various alternatives are undertaken. The I Ching inspired Lao Tzu, who drew upon it in the writing of the Tao Teh Ching.