Norup (Life Beyond Time Management, 1997), writing with his daughter Milbrath, offers an interpretation of the I Ching for middle-aged readers.
The I Ching is an ancient Chinese book of divination that’s long captivated Western thinkers, including pioneering psychologist Carl Jung. Norup has written this modern version specifically with older readers in mind: people who may have trouble finding direction and meaning as they enter the second halves of their lives. By constructing hexagrams based on the outcomes of coin flips and then consulting entries that correspond to those hexagrams, readers may seek the guidance of ancient wisdom. “The I Ching is not a fountain of youth,” writes Norup in his preface, “but I can assure you that it has helped me stay young in spirit.” I Ching practice operates through a combination of concentration and synchronicity to answer specific concerns. Hexagram 23, for example, corresponds with a passage beginning, “Consciously aging requires contemplation and preparation for the future,” as well as a list of questions, such as, “Where can I retreat to wait for a more opportune moment?” There are 64 hexagrams, with some variations, so that readers who consult the I Ching daily, as Norup advises, will make their way through the book in a matter of months. However, the author argues that passages will mean different things depending on the reader’s specific, momentary concerns. For older readers interested in the I Ching or New Age spiritualism in general, Norup’s book is worth investigating. The process of flipping coins and creating hexagrams is more time-consuming than simply consulting a horoscope, but the potential answers are more artfully composed. The sections are long and thoughtful and encourage a deliberative, inward-looking analysis of one’s own situation. Consulting the I Ching has a meditative effect—Norup writes that he does it first thing in the morning—and there are certainly worse ways to spend a few moments than thinking about how one might overcome one’s problems.
A well-written, modern version of an ancient Chinese work.