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CHING(6)                         Games Manual                         CHING(6)

     ching - the book of changes and other cookies

     ching [hexagram]

     The I Ching or Book of Changes is an ancient Chinese oracle that has been
     in use for centuries as a source of wisdom and advice.

     The text of the oracle (as it is sometimes known) consists of sixty-four
     hexagrams, each symbolized by a particular arrangement of six straight
     (---) and broken (- -) lines.  These lines have values ranging from six
     through nine, with the even values indicating the broken lines.

     Each hexagram consists of two major sections.  The Judgement relates
     specifically to the matter at hand (e.g., "It furthers one to have
     somewhere to go.") while the Image describes the general attributes of
     the hexagram and how they apply to one's own life ("Thus the superior man
     makes himself strong and untiring.")

     When any of the lines have the values six or nine, they are moving lines;
     for each there is an appended judgement which becomes significant.
     Furthermore, the moving lines are inherently unstable and change into
     their opposites; a second hexagram (and thus an additional judgement) is

     Normally, one consults the oracle by fixing the desired question firmly
     in mind and then casting a set of changes (lines) using yarrow-stalks or
     tossed coins.  The resulting hexagram will be the answer to the question.

     Using an algorithm suggested by S. C. Johnson, the UNIX oracle simply
     reads a question from the standard input (up to an EOF) and hashes the
     individual characters in combination with the time of day, process id and
     any other magic numbers which happen to be lying around the system.  The
     resulting value is used as the seed of a random number generator which
     drives a simulated coin-toss divination.  The answer is then piped
     through nroff(1) for formatting and will appear on the standard output.

     For those who wish to remain steadfast in the old traditions, the oracle
     will also accept the results of a personal divination using, for example,
     coins.  To do this, cast the change and then type the resulting line
     values as an argument.

     The impatient modern may prefer to settle for Chinese cookies; try

     The great prince issues commands,
     Founds states, vests families with fiefs.
     Inferior people should not be employed.

     It furthers one to see the great man.

     Waiting in the mud
     Brings about the arrival of the enemy.
     If one is not extremely careful,
     Somebody may come up from behind and strike him.

NetBSD 9.99                      May 31, 1993                      NetBSD 9.99