The Yi or Classic of Changes is a purportedly early text (it is traditionally attributed to the founder of the Jou Dynasty), but one which is first firmly attested only in the 04th century Dzwo Jwan. In that gap lies the problem. The question of how old the Yi is, and at what point the Confucian school made contact with it, is a vexed one. The unambiguous mention of the Yi in the Analects is at LY *13:22 (of c0317, almost exactly the date of the first archaeological evidence of personal divination as such). This is roughly contemporary with the Dzwo Jwan references, and thus adds exactly nothing chronological to our previous knowledge.
Much more troublesome are the two possible references to the Yi text in LY 7 (c0450). We have not transferred our notes to the two relevant passages to this page, but will instead refer readers to those notes, which are at LY 7:17 and 7:22. The gist of those notes is that Confucius certainly did not know the Yi, nor did he study it as an esoteric wisdom text, but that the compiler of LY 7 (Dzvngdz, who did not know Confucius) may well have been aware of the Yi in its proto-form, a more compact traveler's divination guide.
We may add that the Yi is essentially ignored in both Sywndz and Mencius, and that it made its way into the Confucian canon of recognized authority texts only in Han times. It turns up in pre-Han writings rather in what might be called the paraConfucian texts such as the Dzwo Jwan, which was compiled at the same time as, but apparently as an enterprise separate from, the mainline Analects.
The whole matter of the Yi requires further investigation. Any useful results of that investigation will be reported on this page, as they come to hand.
This Supplement is Copyright © 2001- by E Bruce and A Taeko Brooks
Comments to The Project / Exit to TOA Supplement Page