Ancient Oracle For Modern Times with Paul O'Brien

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You may know that the I Ching, or Book of Changes is one of the world's oldest texts, written four to five thousand years ago and used by emperors and sages of advanced civilizations. What you may not know is that this ancient divination system uses an intricate, numerically based concept of changing dual states that assisted in the development of binary mathematics in the 18th century and the first digital computers in the 1940s. This unique relationship between the I Ching and modern technology is one reason Paul O'Brien decided to produce a CD-ROM version of the I Ching, which he named The Oracle of Changes. O'Brien calls the I Ching "a catalyst for getting in touch with your intuitive abilities that promotes meditation and, compared to other forms of divination, doesn't involve a middleman." Listen to the ancient wisdom of the I Ching (a system Confucius reportedly wished he could have devoted a lifetime studying) in this fascinating interview. (hosted by Michael Toms)


O'Brien is the founder and chief executive officer of Visionary Networks.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • How to access timeless wisdom using new technology
  • Merging the scientific and spiritual, the technological and mystical
  • Comments on the life and times of the late philosopher, Alan Watts
  • How the I Ching works
  • What led O'Brien to transfer the I Ching to a CD-ROM, and why it works
  • The difference between using yarrow sticks and coins when working with the I Ching
  • How the concept of time is treated differently by Eastern and Western philosophy
  • What hyper-text means, and how it is incorporated into the I Ching
  • What makes the I Ching different from other forms of divination
  • How to use the I Ching as an intuitive, decision-making aid
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 7/25/1997       Program Number: 2650