I Ching

Sep 2010
2,106
United Kingdom
Oh Lordie....I used to do "I Ching". :p Until that is I came to my senses and realized that I was engaging in fortune telling.

I even bought a full box-set, complete with the sticks, incense, hexagram book with the meanings etc. I learned how to do the process off-by-heart. You know, shuffling the sticks, taking one away and repeating etc.

God only knows why I got involved with divination. :sad: I even used to do I Ching readings for my friends and other members of my family, thus implicating them in my mumbo-jumbo nonsense.

I now - thankfully - place my trust in God, rather than in hexagrams!
 
Last edited:
Jun 2006
4,326
California
I have always considered I Ching to be fortune telling similar to Tarot Cards. What view does the Faith have about this?

I Ching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Well there are some references to divination such as:

199. In your last question, concerning cases when those needed for consultation are not available and a person is uncertain on the course to be followed in an important matter, you ask whether it is permissible for him to resort to the practice of "istikharihn[1] using the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. The Guardian has stated that in such cases what is necessary and essential is for the person to turn his heart wholly to God and to beseech aid from the Source of Grace and inspiration and nothing else. If it is possible to postpone the decision it would be preferable and more proper to do so, until the means for consultation are made available.

[1 This is a process of divination, such as is done through bibliomancy, when a Holy Book is opened at random and guidance is sought for one's problem by reading passages of the Book on the opened page.]

(Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 104)

There is also a prohibition on the divination of arrows in the Quran:

"...and [prohibited is] that you seek decision through divining arrows." found in Surat Al-Ma'idah 5:3

Now I know this may seem a "stretch" but as I-ching involves throwing yarrow sticks and coins so maybe they could be related...?
 
Sep 2010
1,758
Louisiana
Baha'i view on I CHING, please

I have a Baha'i telling me that doing I Ching fortunes is just fine with the Faith. I think I Ching is not valid.

Someone please provide help on this............
 
Feb 2020
1
Austin
I have been using it for a long time. Only as a program on a computer. The answer to my question is very accurate.The program is here:
I Ching
 
Jul 2017
359
Kettering, Ohio USA
I have been using it for a long time. Only as a program on a computer. The answer to my question is very accurate.The program is here:
I Ching
I'm certainly not going to order this program, I don't trust fortune telling. Also I think that one doesn't need to know the future, one should just live one's life.
 
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Nov 2015
166
Canada
Bold opinion perhaps, but I believe that it's not actually intended for fortune telling moreso as, if say one believed it's writer Fuxi to be a Manifestation or prophet of some sort, that perhaps it was meant for the purpose of learning and keeping people spiritually aware. You ask a question, and are given a response that undoubtedly will cause much deep thinking. The fact that it can be used for fortune telling it moreso shows the kind of things people are interested in asking, rather than the books intended purpose.
 
Jan 2020
14
Middle United States
Active divination of all forms is really considered superstition in our Faith. Scientifically, the idea that random cards or sticks may be indicative of some fate or future and reveal some truth is merely wishful thinking even though sometimes we want to believe such things. Often simple coincidences lead to confirmation biases of such beliefs. The idea even that some fortune tellers or psychics may have the ability to read our future is similarly and generally non-sense. There may be a very small number of psychics with some abilities, including using such devices, but they are using abilities not intended for this world or even often disturbed. At best, they are often just good psycho-therapists good at reading people or telling people what they want to hear.
There are rare times when a person may legitimately have a "true" dream/vision or voice giving some indication or premonition about something in the future. But these are rare and should not be encouraged or "developed" and happen naturally without such prompting or efforts.
A good write-up with quotes on this may be found at: Tempering with Psychic Forces
See, also, Lights of Guidance/Psychic Phenomena - Bahaiworks, a library of works about the Bahá’í Faith Items 1735, 1737, 1739-1753.

"
In the second place he would advise you to consider the voice you heard a phenomenon which might be your subconscious mind, might be some psychic influence, but whatever it was you should not let it disturb you and certainly not place much importance on it. No one knows what the future holds for him, or to what degree he is spoiling it or creating it; therefore the thing to do is one's daily best and let the future take care of itself. It would be very unwise for you to let this experience of a voice—the origin and purpose of which you have no way of knowing—influence you in any way or to set any store on its observations."
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated April 9, 1948, to an individual believer: Spiritualism, Reincarnation and Related Subjects)
 
Nov 2015
166
Canada
I would go as far as to say divination, fortune telling, whatever you may call it, is not just superstition but in say, the Torah, is it not outright forbidden? I cannot say in Baha'i writings it is outright forbidden but I personally view divination as something we are not meant to touch. Leave it to the pros, ya know? This is also why personally I see the I Ching as not actually being meant for divination so much as used by people for the purpose of divination, as some people have also done to the Bible for example. I recognize this is probably an outlying opinion not accepted by most for the I Ching has been used for divination. I myself have used the I Ching many times and have never once used it for divining.
 
Jun 2014
1,122
Wisconsin
Bold opinion perhaps, but I believe that it's not actually intended for fortune telling moreso as, if say one believed it's writer Fuxi to be a Manifestation or prophet of some sort, that perhaps it was meant for the purpose of learning and keeping people spiritually aware. You ask a question, and are given a response that undoubtedly will cause much deep thinking. The fact that it can be used for fortune telling it moreso shows the kind of things people are interested in asking, rather than the books intended purpose.
I agree with you. I think a lot of the old methods of fortune telling were meant as aids not to specifically tell the future, but rather to look inwardly and examine oneself.

It reminds me a bit of the science fiction show Babylon Five, where there are two opposing species trying to guide the rest of the species. One is inward-focused, asking other species "who are you?" while the other is outward-focused asking instead "what do you want?"

I think I Ching, Tarot Cards, and similar ideas started as an attempt to answer the question "who are you?" but evolved over time into their more modern forms, where people instead are looking for the answer of what they want.

I cannot say in Baha'i writings it is outright forbidden but I personally view divination as something we are not meant to touch.
I've seen a quote from Shoghi Effendi telling us that the power to look into the future is actually real, and not technically a superstition, but that ability to do so is a function of the soul intended for use in the past life. He compares this to how our eyes technically work while inside our mother's wombs, but we're not going to receive any meaningful information from using them before birth. :p Likewise while (apparently) it is possible to divine the future, we're not going to be able to really use that ability in a useful way until our deaths.
 
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