The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author Quoted 
Title QuotedI ching : or book of changes / the Richard Wilhelm transl. ; rendered into English by Cary F. Baynes ; foreword by C.G. Jung
Date (Year/Month/Day)1959/05/05
Imprint[New York] : Pantheon Books. [1950]
QuotationThe other thing that has kept me waiting is the need for time to digest the superb letter of Pasternak. Things have been in a rush here since Easter, and I have hardly had time to settle down to it until now. It is a tremendously important document, as I need not tell you. One of the things that please me most about it is that it confirms an intuition of my own. You compare him to Donne: I saw a very interesting analogy with an ancient Chinese book which P. probably does not know at all. It is the Book of Oracles called the I Ching. This consists of a series of symbolic configurations of events, or "changes" which one arrives at by drawing lots or tossing coins; but that is not the important thing. What is fascinating is the fact that each change is exactly that sort of fluid "style of movement" "¦ "arrangement of groups" "¦ which constitutes Pasternak's inclinations. Jung has written a fascinating preface to the I Ching, bringing in his archetypes. The I Ching had a tremendous influence on both Confucius and Lao Tzu, and what amazes me is that it is exactly the Pasternak approach.
JournalThe Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1985, p. 389
Link to Merton's Copy