In the 11 century B.C, Wen Wang, the king of Zhou (today's Xi'an in northwest China) was put in Shang's royal jail because he was accused of rebelling against the Shang emperor. Worried about the fate of his country and bored with all the time on his hand, he studied I-Ching and extended the interpretation of motion and change to this ancient theory. According to the history wrote by his descendants, he successfully predicted the falling of Shang and the raising of Zhou.  The famous study notes became official interpretation of I-Ching, the great book of change! Many cases, I-Ching is refereed as 'Zhou I' to credit the contribution of the king of Zhou. It views the world in such a dynamic way that in the eyes of time, the world is just an endless cycle. Historians agrees that the interpretation of  I-Ching was written way before Wen Wang. What he did was only to add the foot notes. In the mean time, historians also agrees that the Wen Wang's interpretation was the first successful attempt of making it understandable to regular people.

Also in the Zhou dynasty, a sophisticated lunar calendar based on the 10 celestial stems and 12 earthly branches was well established. By marking the compass with the 10 celestial stems and 12 earthly branches, the space and time met the first time. 

I-Ching was the most popular book among the Zhou dynasty (1100-256 B.C.) scholars. The famous ones included the Lao Tzu, who started the Tao philosophy, and Confucius, who started the first public school that opened to the commoners. This also marked the first schism in I-Ching scholars that was ever recorded.

Back                                  Next