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The Wilhelm/Baynes I Ching

Wilhem/Baynes

The translation for many people, still Amazon’s best-selling version, and guaranteed to be found on the bookshelf of every I Ching enthusiast. This status is not undeserved: this translation is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and scholarship, coupled with a firm belief in the value of the I Ching itself.

The Wilhelm/Baynes has a unique historical position as the source of the I Ching’s popularity in the West. Clarity, along with hundreds of other sites and books and research efforts, probably owes its existence to Wilhelm.

This is also one of the very few complete translations, containing all of the Ten Wings, all with in-depth philosophical commentary. And it’s exceptionally powerfully written – despite being a translation of a translation (Cary Baynes’ rendering into English of Wilhelm’s original German), the Wilhelm/Baynes text is uniquely memorable. If you meet someone who’s committed the full I Ching to memory – this will probably be the one they know.

So this is without question a book you should own and get to know. However… it’s good to remember that this actually isn’t ‘the I Ching’; it’s still only one translation, and there have been many discoveries made since its publication.

More thoughts on Wilhelm/Baynes.

I like

  • the depth and completeness
  • the resonant language

I wish

  • for footnotes giving sources
  • for a word-by-word translation

Recommended for

Everyone – but not as your first or only I Ching book.

Get the book

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