I have just picked up an old book of mine" i ching" by Raymond Van Over on the ancient chinese book of devination and it incudes the translation by Legge. I found it realy helpful and i am about to read it again.I was interested what was the opinion of modern philosophy on these ancient Sages views on life, through the i ching.
First I'll admit I have 12 different interpretations of the I Ching, and that I've been reading it for 35 years. I don't think the book is properly described by saying it is a book of divination, even if that is how most use it. Let me use an analogy to explain.
Say you took an encyclopedia of management and divided it into 64 sections. The encyclopedia is a distillation of the world's finest experts on management, and so is packed with insight and wisdom. That means each of the 64 sections will contain a portion of all that is understood about managing some situation. Now, if I were a teacher, I might tell you to read that encyclopedia from beginning to end; but if I were a Chinese philosopher I might instead tell you to throw coins to decide what part you read first, second, and so on.
The I Ching is a management encyclopedia too . . . how to manage change in terms of polarity
. That one reads some section or another is decided by a throw of the coins shouldn't give over-emphasis to divination because that fails to acknowledge the incredible amount of practical information derived from the Chinese obsession with polarity (and its meaning to real life situations), not to mention the brilliant contributions of Confucius and earlier thinkers to the I Ching.
IMHO, the I Ching is one of the greatest works of philosophy of mankind whose genius has been obscured (and reputation tainted in the West) by the fact that one reads it via divination and that some use it like fortune tellers. If one wishes to understand how polar dynamics affect change and our response to change, the I Ching is the best teacher I know of.
There is a Princeton Press publication called "A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy" by Wing-Tsit Chan (who when he wrote it it was a professor at Dartmouth . . . it's available through Amazon used, tho not so cheap at $20). He does a great job of detailing the history of Chinese interest in polarity (known as "yin yang philosophy"), the forces behind them, and how they affect on our perception and decisions.