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About I Ching Oracle Test and Trainer

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Is the I Ching accurate?

Regular users of the I Ching are often struck by the uncanny accuracy of the readings that the oracle provides, and the seemingly direct relevance of the hexagrams that are cast. Skeptics, on the other hand, argue that the apparent accuracy is simply due to the mind's tendency to find personal meaning in haphazard and ambiguous information. According to skeptics, the hexagrams that are cast are entirely random and do not relate specifically to the questions posed.

The I Ching Oracle Test and Trainer provides a simple and interesting way to investigate these two possibilities. It can be used to deepen your understanding of the I Ching through private study, or in more formal research investigations, for example school, college, or undergraduate projects. You do not need permission to use this test for research purposes but, if you carry out a formal research study, we would be very interested in reading your results, so do please email us a copy of your final report.

Note that all processing on this test is carried out client-side (on your own computer) and NONE of the information obtained is sent to our servers, nor stored by us.

How does the test work?

The test asks you to think of TWO DIFFERENT QUESTIONS and to cast a hidden I Ching reading for each of these. Try to make both questions meaningful but as distinct from each other as possible, ideally addressing two different areas of inquiry.

After the two readings have been cast, you can view each of them separately. These two readings are randomly designated A and B. Thus Reading A could have been cast for either your first or second question, as could Reading B. Your task is to study the two readings carefully and then decide which reading corresponds to which question. If you are able to choose correctly significantly more than 50% of the time, this could be used as evidence to support the validity of the I Ching Oracle.

To examine the accuracy of the choices statistically, you should carry out at least 20 trials (on yourself, or another person, or a group of people), recording the total number of times when correct and incorrect choices were made. You can then input your results into our Hit-Miss Statistical Calculator.

How to use I Ching Oracle Test and Trainer

Although this test can be used by anyone, it is best if you are already familiar with the I Ching, and also with using the online Advanced I Ching Oracle.

First decide on your two questions (which should be as dissimilar as possible). It is best to type them into the boxes (they are NOT recorded by us). Also select the Area of Inquiry for each question (which, ideally, should be different).

Using the I Ching Test and Trainer (1)

You can also select the method used to cast the hexagrams (which simulate the traditional Coin or Yarrow Stalk procedures). If carrying out formal research you should select the SAME method for each question. This is because the probabilities of obtaining particular readings are not identical for the two methods. It might therefore be possible to guess from the reading shown which of the two methods was used to cast it (and hence which question it relates to). If you are not carrying out formal research, you may select a different method for each question.

When you feel ready, concentrate fully on one of the questions and then click GO to cast the hexagrams. You will receive a confirmation that the reading has been cast but you will NOT be shown it at this stage.

Next, concentrate on the other question, and then click GO.

Note that it does not matter in which order you cast the two readings.

When both readings have been cast you will then be able to view each of them in turn (randomly designated A and B).

Using the I Ching Test and Trainer (2)

You should click the buttons to view and study the two readings. Note that you can also view the nuclear hexagrams for each reading.

When you have viewed both readings (you can toggle back and forth between them) you will be able to choose which reading you believe corresponds to which question. To do this, click the "Choose This" button that you think relates to the question for the reading that is currently displayed.

Using the I Ching Test and Trainer (3)

You will then be shown whether you have chosen the correct question for this reading. Note that you only need to choose the question for ONE of the readings because your choice automatically assigns the other question to the alternate reading.

Whether or not you were correct in your choice, the correct question for the displayed reading will be shown in green, and the other question will be shown in red. If you wish, you can continue to view both readings. As you toggle between the two readings, the correct question for the displayed reading will be shown in green.

Using the I Ching Test and Trainer (4)

I Ching Training

As well as using this online application as a way of testing the accuracy of the I Ching, you can also use it to develop your understanding and appreciation of the I Ching Oracle, and to develop further your ability to interpret the readings given.

In particular, whenever you choose the WRONG readings for your two questions, you should aim to study more deeply the readings that actually corresponded to each question. In this way, you may become more sensitive to subtleties of expression and meaning that you were not initially aware of. You will also hopefully develop a deeper insight into the 'personality' of the I Ching, and the ways in which the advice given can sometimes surprise you.

Good luck with your experiments and training!

© Michael Daniels, 2012


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