Writers Alan Baker and Will Buckingham have both been prompted to write by the ancient Chinese text the I Ching, also known as The Book of Changes.
Will, began by explaining the mathematically-derived structure of the I Ching: how the 64 hexagrams are formed by either Yang (solid) or Yin (broken) lines stacked in sixes, to represent all the possible combinations. Each of these hexagrams is a statement that can be used for the purposes of divination, or taken and applied as a philosophical perspective.
Alan highlighted - and it really struck me - how contemporary the concepts of I Ching are. He described it as similar to, and even influential on New Age spiritualism; as well as a key influence on the development of the binary system.
Both Will and Alan, read some of their own work directly inspired by their reading of the I Ching. Although both started from the same place there were remarkable differences between Alan's 256-word prose poems and Will's short stories. However both had similar elements, being in their own ways random, circular and cryptic.
Listening to Will and Alan's account of the I Ching, I couldn’t distinguish whether what I was hearing was a mass of convoluted nonsense, or a universal truth delivered with subtle poignancy. Sitting here reflecting, twenty wiki tabs deep, with tired eyes and a head full of whirling thoughts; I’m still not sure. In can at least conclude that the I Ching is a marvellous and seemingly inexhaustible source of food for thought.