If we visit online I Ching forums, we would find students posting prognostications obtained from the Book of Changes for others to interpret. Even if the more experienced has proffered the correct interpretation, the question poser would quite often shortly consult for another oracle since the guidance given was not what he or she would like to hear or wanted. Some would just ignore the guidance altogether.
If Yijing students do not believe in the Book of Changes there is actually no point in consulting the ancient classic for an oracle, just studying the wisdoms contained therein will suffice. Since what is the point of obtaining prognostications and not follow the guidance provided. While I may have written about this over the years, students tend to repeat the same mistakes. Then they lament that the Book of Changes no longer speaks!
Perhaps this short article about a sincere Yijing aficionado who has passed away in 2005 aged 83 can provide those with seriousness of purpose and earnest students a good example to follow.
Nigel Richmond had written two books on the I Ching – ‘Language of the Lines and the I Ching Oracle’, both kindly made available in pdf format at the Yijing Dao website. Similar to some readers and me, he was also into the I Ching during the early 1970s, and in the UK to boot.
The following are excerpts taken from the Yijing Dao website where Steve Marshall wrote about the life and times of Richmond under the title: Nigel Richmond and the I Ching; with detailed information and his two books provided by one of his daughters, Beth Richmond who recalls:
“Around this time everyone was into the I Ching and we all had copies of the Richard Wilhelm translation. But Nige got into it more than anyone. He always used yarrow stalks to consult the I Ching, which he collected from the wild himself. He would have extra sets for people who wanted them, too. He preferred sticks to coins as he said the extra time taken made for a better connection, for more focus. In his later years he kept his sticks by his bed and would 'have a chat' with his morning tea.”
“He didn't light incense, he wasn't that formal about it. I think he consulted about anything and everything. As I recall he used his own book and Wilhelm and Blofeld. He would often say in conversation things like 'the Ching says I should wait' or 'the Ching says it'll work out okay, but of course it won't say when!' or 'well, I thought of that, too, but the Ching says it's not a good idea'. He wouldn't go against it.”
If Nigel Richmond’ sincerity towards the Book of Changes do not touch aficionados, perhaps they may not quite know the roots of Yijing studies.