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CHING(6)										 CHING(6)

       ching, fortune - the book of changes and other cookies

       /usr/games/ching [ hexagram ]


       The  I Ching or Book of Changes is an ancient Chinese oracle that has been in use for cen-
       turies 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  addi-
       tional 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 hexa-
       gram 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 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 fortune.

       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.

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