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We welcome your feedback on this labor of love.
I (Rod) have always been fascinated by the I Ching; and when I met Amy in the 1970’s we both became aficionados of the oracle. The first reading Amy did was on a recently former boss who was still causing her aggravation. The I Ching counseled her to wait it out [Hexagram 5].
Amy is not naturally a “waiting” kind of person but she was willing to follow the advice, having already done everything she could think of doing, to no avail, so…she waited and the situation resolved itself without any need for action on her part.
The point being that The I Ching can suggest solutions we may not have thought of.
From then on we called the I Ching “Auntie”, who we pictured sitting in a chair by the window knitting an endless quilt of intricate patterns and always ready to give a word of advice; just enough to set us on the right track.
As we collected our notes on these “conversations” with Auntie we became familiar with the 64 hexagrams (answers) and their lines of advice, which, because of their antiquity can be confusing.
“The goose lands on a tree branch.” WTF? What does that mean? It means a temporary landing place; as geese with webbed feet don’t perch comfortably on tree branches.
Well, our record of readings and how the situation turned out, as well as understanding a bit about the life they lived 5000 years ago, helped us clarify these apparently obscure sayings and we gradually saw that we had the makings of a book before us; very much a “Westerner’s” interpretation of this ancient manuscript.
Humble beginnings — An Idiot’s Guide to the iChing
In the latter half of the 1980’s we settled in Bisbee, Arizona and with the help of our first computer, (early iMac, in blue) organized these readings into “An Idiot’s Guide to the I Ching” (Amy considered herself to be the original ‘idiot’).
We got the pages printed at a local printer and bound the books ourselves, with the help of our friends. We wanted a “Real Book” rather than a manuscript.
We are giving away copies of our original version: “An Idiot’s Guide to the I Ching” as per our contract with Harper, we cannot sell it. Many copies have been sent to the prison libraries as those guys have plenty of time to play with the I Ching and we feel there are very many prisoners who are smart and shouldn’t be in prison anyway (you know who you are…’victimless crimes’).
Come by and pick one up (if you are ever in this strange locale of Truth or Consequences) or we’ll mail you a copy for $7.95 to cover shipping and handling.
As well as selling our book through distributors and bookstores we sent copies to all the agents (thank you Raines and Raines, our agent, for believing in us) and major publishers, expecting nothing really.
From the mailroom at Harper SanFrancisco, our book made its way all the way up to the editorial offices and the editors started using it in meetings to make decisions. What great luck and good fortune.
They insisted that we change the title as the sales people thought that “idiot” wasn’t going to sell (we were about 10 years ahead of our time, as now the word “idiot” is popular and so are a lot of idiots).
We got the new title from Martin Scorsese’s movie “Taxi Driver” in which the Jodie Foster character, a 12-year-old hooker, is called “Easy” and the title just fell into place.
The I Ching Made Easy is still in print (since publication in 1994) and is available in soft cover and downloadable on Kindle. Click on the book cover to see it on Amazon.
So the thing to remember is that a reading will evoke the resonance of a deeper truth. Don’t be in a rush and use the response as a stimulus to a conversation with yourself.
We are multifaceted. We have many goals, many purposes and many desires – conflicting, hidden or confused. “Auntie” may be pointing us to something overlooked, obscured or forgotten. And that thing may be what it is all about. Take your time, take a look, and feel it out; use a light touch. Be willing to be pleasantly surprised to discover something new.
Luck and love always.
Rod and Amy