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Re: RE: AC/HPB/I-Ching == On the I-Ching

Jan 14, 1999 08:43 AM
by Richard Taylor

In a message dated 1/14/99 3:04:31 PM, Dallas wrote:

<<On the I-CHING - the "Book of CHANGES." ... In SD Vol. 1, pp 440-1 HPB gives
the purpose of Confucius's writing on this subject.>>

It is not clear to me, on those pages of the S.D., if HPB means to assert that
Confucious WROTE the I-Ching, or merely commented upon it and used it.  But
present understanding of Chinese history (according to Chinese scholars
themselves) asserts that the I-Ching is one of the most ancient books in the
world, certainly predating Confucius by 1,000 years or more.  There are
records of its use in divination as far back as the Zhou Dynasty (1122 to c
700 BCE) and even there it appears to be an ancient book.  It occurs to me
that Confucius made a version of this book, or a commentary on it, as he has
done for the "Five Classics."

It is also noteworthy that last century, it was generally assumed by scholars
(and HPB?) that Conficius *wrote* the Five Classics, but as our knowledge of
Chinese language and history has grown, it is certain today that these texts
were used before Confucius.  Previous Dynasties make reference to them, and
fragments of these texts have turned up in ancient libraries, graves, etc.
Confucious made *editions* of these texts, and later he became so
overpoweringly famous and authoritative, the legend grew up (even in China)
that he wrote the originals himself.

So the question arises again, was HPB accepting Victorian scholarship when she
seems to indicate that Confucius wrote the I-Ching (or as she spells it, Yi-
Kin)?  Or is it wrong to assert that HPB believed Confucious wrote that book?


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