Congratulations. You've got a Spirit in the machine. It's an old Spirit, but you can't outlive it. It's a deep Spirit: it sees the springs of things long before their workings become manifest. It's a wide Spirit: it sees what is hidden beyond any horizon.
This is what the I says:

In ancient times, when the sages made the Book of Change, in order to lend mysterious assistance to the spiritual intelligences, they produced the rules for the use of the divining plant.
Shuo Kua, Chapter I-1.

In the I there is no thought and no action. It is still and without movement; but, when acted on, it penetrates forthwith to all phenomena and events under the sky. If it were not the most spirit-like thing under the sky, how could it be found doing this?
Ta Chuan - Section 1, Chapter X-4.

It is said in the I: 'Help is given to him from heaven. There will be good fortune; advantage in every respect'.
Ta Chuan - Section 1, Chapter XII-1.

I'll try to provide a slightly different view on the history of the book. A history that shows the I's many changes on its journey towards the connexion and your computer.

In ancient times
Anciently, when Fu Hsi had come to the rule of all under heaven, looking up, he contemplated the brilliant forms exhibited in the sky, and looking down he surveyed the patterns shown on the earth. He contemplated the ornamental appearances of birds and beasts and their different suitabilities.
Near at hand, in his own person, he found things for consideration; and the same at a distance, in things in general. On this he devised the eight trigrams, to show fully the attributes of the spiritual intelligences operating secretly, and to classify the qualities of the myriads of things.

Ta Chuan - Section 2, Chapter II-1.

As was to be expected, there's no consensus about the I's ancient history. According to Legge, Fu Hsi, by the least unlikely of the chronological accounts, must be placed in the 34th century BC.

Was it not in the last age of Shang Yin, when the virtue of Chou had reached its highest point, and during the troubles of king Wen and the tyrant Shin Chou, that the I began to flourish?
Ta Chuan - Section 2, Chapter XI-1.

Leaving the trigrams to gather meaning for two millennia and a few centuries, we find ourselves on firmer ground. King Wen was imprisoned in 1143 BC. by the last ruler of the Shang dynasty. Whether 'help was extended to him from heaven' we will never know. It certainly would have had the appearance of doubtful assistance. But for some mysterious reason he did't get killed and enjoyed sufficient absence of distraction to be able to receive uninterrupted spiritual guidance from Whoever chose to put him there.
Hence he wrote the judgements. Whether he was the first to combine the 8 trigrams to 64 hexagrams is doubtful in the light of their fleeting appearance in earlier manuscripts, and no less so in the light of what the I says:

Fu Hsi invented the making of nets of various kinds by knitting strings, both for hunting and fishing. The idea of this was taken, probably, from the hexagram Li (30. Clinging Brightness).
On the death of Fu Hsi, there arose the clan of Shen-Neng. He fashioned wood to form the share, and bent wood to make the plough-handle. The advantages of ploughing and weeding were then taught to all under heaven. The idea of this was taken, probably, from the hexagram I (42. Increase).

Ta Chuan - Section 2, Chapter II-2,3.

Fu Hsi invented the trigrams, and his supposedly deriving the idea of making nets from the hexagram Li might be considered a mistake. It may have been the trigram Li (which looks like a net's loophole). But I (42. Increase) is definitely a hexagram.
According to this passage, the hexagrams date back more than 5000 years. However, there is a consensus on king Wen's being the author of the names of the hexagrams (except of course where the trigrams are doubled: these names are much older and of unknown origin).

The Shang dynasty was finally overthrown, and king Wen liberated, the next year. It must have been towards the end of the twelfth century BC. when his son Tan, the duke of Chou, finished the work of his father by adding a peculiar 'judgement' to each of the 384 lines. They can be found under 'The Lines', in the text of the separate hexagrams. These judgements, to me, are the core of the mystery of the I. They seem capricious and without any clear meaning in themselves, but if viewed in the context of an actual divination, they have a knack of taking on a definite problem-related meaning. This is what the I says:

The words are indirect, but to the point; the matters seem plainly set forth, but there is a secret principle in them.
Ta Chuan - Section 2, Chapter VI-4.

The I is a book which should not be let slip from the mind. Its method is marked by frequent changing. Its lines move and change without staying, flowing about into any one of the hexagram's six places. They ascend and decend, ever inconstant. They change places so that an invariable rule cannot be derived from them: they vary as their changes indicate.
Ta Chuan - Section 2, Chapter VIII-1.

Beginning with taking note of its explanations, we reason out the principles to which they point. Thus we find that it does supply a constant and standard rule. But if there be not the proper men, the course cannot be pursued.
Ta Chuan - Section 2, Chapter VIII-4.

The last two paragraphs seem contradictory, but they are not. Invariable rules, be it in social sciences, physics or even mathematics, only exist in limited environments. The I, representing all that exists, is no more predictable in its inner workings than reality itself. The 'constant and standard rule' refers to its answers, and those in turn depend on a proper interpretation. Thus only 'proper men' may unveil and pursue its advice.

Lao Tzu and Confucius
At this point we leave the I to flourish for several centuries, till it meets with two other undying spirits (though in a more fragile housing), Lao Tzu and Confucius. The latter lived from 551-479 BC. while the former preceded him by half a century. Its unlikely that they ever met, though legend of course dictates otherwise.
Lao Tzu wrote one small book, the Tao Te Ching, which is strangely unsettling for the open-minded. The common man is well-protected against its wisdom. This is what the I says:

The benevolent see it and call it benevolence; the wise see it and call it wisdom. The common people, acting daily according to it, yet have no knowledge of it. Thus it is that the Tao as seen by the superior man, is seen by few.
Ta Chuan - Section 1, Chapter V-3.

Lao Tzu knew the I and may have known the early chapters of the Shuo Kua, but the ten wings originated around and after Confucius, and not in a day either. This explains why Lao Tzu may have had more influence on the I than vice versa. The Ta Chuan has a distinct taoist flavour, and where the Tao Te Ching has captured the interest of those wrestling with quantum mechanics and the 'nature of reality', the I says:

Therefore in the I there is the Grand Extreme, which produced the two elementary Forces. Those two Forces produced the four images, which in turn produced the eight trigrams.
Ta Chuan - Section 1, Chapter XI-5.

It shows how all diversity is produced from One. As a symbolic representation of our concept of the 'Big Bang' it seems strangely accurate.

Confucius' authorship
Confucius is often quoted as having said that if fifty years were added to his life, he would use them to master the I, thus avoiding to fall into great errors.
If anything, it shows that he held the book in high regard. Yet he felt little hesitation to change its course and he did it by adding substantially to its contents. Many consider him the author of the ten wings.
I don't, because it would imply his distinguishing himself from himself on numerous occasions by using the sentence 'The master said' in both the 'Wen Yen on the separate lines' in Ch'ien as well as in the Ta Chuan.

This, if nothing else, goes against philosophical etiquette. It would also imply his being the author of such notorious nonsense as can be found in the third chapter of the Shuo Kua and occasionally in the Hsü Kua.
Would he be pleased with the honour? I think not. It seems safe, however, to assume that the words following the sentence 'The master said:', are indeed the words of Confucius. There's no evidence against his being the author of the commentaries on the judgements either. But for most of the rest of the wings there seems to exist a multiple authorship. Moreover, parts of the Shuo Kua date back farther than Confucius.

The I, being a book of divination, found itself in a select class of literature that escaped the great bookburnings of Chin in 213 BC. without major damage. Some of it may be lost though, and some experts argue that the Wen Yen commentaries must have once existed for all 64 hexagrams, but failed to escape the fires.

On mathematics
We are now in 200 BC. and ready to look at another aspect of Chinese civilization: its achievements in mathematics. By then the Chinese had been using te decimal system for twelve centuries in increasingly sophisticated versions of the abacus (base ten of course: this was considered as arbitrary as having ten fingers). They had reserved a place for zero for two centuries, and were just about to invent the use of negative numbers.
They also had the binary system. This binary system, of course, is the I itself. The hexagrams literally represent the numbers 0 (Hexagram 2) to 63 (Hexagram 1) in binary code.
The binary system is elegant, but unpractical in anything but a computer. The Chinese may very well have realized that the hexagrams could thus be used to represent numbers, but without any practical application this knowledge, though fundamental, would have been considered rather useless. With that observation we leave the I yet again for the best part of two millennia.

More recently
The discovery of the binary system is usually attributed to Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibnitz (1646-1716), a german mathematician, philosopher, inventor of calculus and genius in general. He is considered to have gotten the idea from the hexagrams of the I. He also worked out a very intricate mechanical computer. This machine was never finished because his relatives refused to pay the instrument maker after his death.
So it goes.
But this is what it shows: that the I stood at the cradle of the very computer you're looking at!

To those who consider a computer an unfit place for the I, I would like to say that the reverse is true: even without the connexion, fast access to cross-references provides a better interaction with the book. But the connexion takes things one step further: generating a connexion requires a computer, and for more reasons than speed alone. I'll come to that in Interpreting the Connexion.

James Legge
Meanwhile back in China, the Imperial Edition of the I had been published in 1715. This is the book Legge based his translation on.
James Legge's first attempt to translate the I took place in 1854 and 1855, embracing both text and wings. He felt dissatisfied with the result from the onset. In 1870 the manuscript was soaked in the water of the Red Sea for more than a month, before it was miraculously recovered so as to be still legible.
A few years later, ironically, he felt that his translation was of little use and decided to have a better and better prepared go at it. He now used the Imperial Edition, that keeps the text and the wings separated. He also had reached the conclusion that his first translation was too literal, and that his task would be to translate, like a poem, the idea rather than the words.
This translation was published in 1882 and is basically what you will find in this program, be it that I decided to use a different lay-out. With due apologies to Legge, those parts of the wings that refer to specific hexagrams, once again come with these hexagrams.

The China Labyrinth
In the early eighties Martin Medema conceived the China Labyrinth. My contribution was the introduction of a premarked set that allowed for the creation of a new solution in a couple of minutes rather than a couple of weeks. While working on the set, I inevitably stumbled on the one-to-one correspondence between its premarked hexagons and the hexagrams of the I Ching.

There was Ch'ien, unique in its self containment, not affected outside influences, appearing as the blank in the Labyrinth.
There was K'un, unique in its openness, reflecting all outside influences, appearing as the six in the Labyrinth.
There were the transcendental solutions showing 'an ever-changing but always consistently interlocking graphic representation of the way the 64 hexagrams interrelate'.
It struck me like lightning.

The mapping of the hexagrams

1. Ch'ien
Creative Principle

2. K'un
Passive Principle

3. Chun
Initial Difficulties

4. Meng
Youthful Inexperience

5. Hsü

6. Sung

7. Shih
The Army

8. Pi
Seeking Unity

9. Hsiao Ch'u
Minor Restraint

10. Lü
Treading carefully

11. T'ai

12. P'i

13. T'ung Jen

14. Ta Yu
Great Possessions

15. Ch'ien

16. Yü

17. Sui

18. Ku
Arresting Decay

19. Lin

20. Kuan

21. Shih Ho
Biting through

22. Pi

23. Po

24. Fu
The Turning Point

25. Wu Wang

26. Ta Ch'u
Restraining Force

27. I

28. Ta Kuo

29. K'an
The Abyss

30. Li
Clinging Brightness

31. Hsieh

32. Heng

33. Tun

34. Ta Chuang
Strength of Greatness

35. Chin

36. Ming I
Sinking Light

37. Chia Jen
The Family

38. K'uei

39. Chien

40. Hsieh

41. Sun

42. I

43. Kuai

44. Kou
Coming on

45. Ts'ui

46. Sheng
Moving upward

47. K'un

48. Ching
The Well

49. Ko

50. Ting
The Cauldron

51. Chen

52. Ken

53. Chien
Gradual Progress

54. Kuei Mei
Marriageable Maiden

55. Feng

56. Lü
The Wanderer

57. Sun
Gentle Penetration

58. Tui

59. Huan

60. Chien

61. Cung Fu
Inner Truth

62. Hsiao Kuo
Small Excess

63. Chi Chi
Completion and After

64. Wei Chi
Before Completion

The lower half of a hexagon corresponds with the lower trigram, the upper half with the upper trigram.
The bottom line of a hexagram corresponds with the lower left edge, the subsequent lines follow anti clockwise.

You can also read the mapping from this animated gif:

The I Ching Connexion program
None of this would have been of any consequence without Ed van Zon who got interested in the connection between the China Labyrinth and the I Ching and proceeded to write a program. Initially this was a MacOnly program, which left the 'I Ching Connexion' somewhat disconnected from the world it was supposed to comment on.
This limitation has now been remedied so that world can finally shine its full light on the 'I Ching Connexion'.
And vice versa.

christian freeling