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     CHING(6)                                                 CHING(6)

          ching - the book of changes

          /usr/games/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

          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 fur-
          thers 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 sec-
          ond hexagram (and thus an additional judgement) is formed.

          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 combina-
          tion 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 gen-
          erator which drives a simulated coin-toss divination.  The
          answer is then piped through nroff for formatting and will
          appear on the standard output.

          For those who wish to remain steadfast in the old tradi-
          tions, 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 argu-

     CHING(6)                                                 CHING(6)

          The impatient modern may prefer to settle for Chinese cook-
          ies; try fortune(1).

          It furthers one to see the great man.

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

          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.