Path to Enlightenment and Success Gets Resurfaced in The Bit Ching Book of Change

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The ancient Eastern oracle for divine guidance – the venerable “I Ching, or Book of Changes” – gets a radical makeover in a new self-help book from Peripate Press that offers guidance for dealing with today's challenges

co-author, head of The Slocum Group

Russ Slocum

It’s like guidance from a sort of Buddha with brass balls.

With roots going back some 5000 years, “The I Ching: Book of Changes” is on par with the Bible and the Koran – a sacred text among the Chinese, the common root for Taoism and Confucianism, and a valued guide for followers of Buddhism. Of the thousands of translations, interpretations and derivations, the most radical yet might be the Bit Ching Book of Change, a new paperback from Peripate Press.

According to Russell Slocum, the newly “Bit Ching Book of Change” didn’t start out with any intentional ties to the venerable I Ching. ” the 5000-year old text widely considered to be the foundation for all Eastern philosophy.

Co-author Jim Gentile “was building a studio for M. Night Shayamalan around the time that the Sixth Sense was hot,” explains Mr. Slocum. “‘I see dead people’ was the catchphrase of the day. Jim said, ‘You wanna write a book with me? It’s called ‘I See Dumb People, They’re Everywhere.’

“The concept was that life is not as complicated as most people think it is, that most of their problems and obstacles are self-made,” says Mr. Slocum, a marketing professional and long-time friend and business associate of coauthor Mr. Gentile, founder of North Star Construction, Polaris Properties and a number of other enterprises in Eastern Pennsylvania.

“Jim had a pad of phrases representing guiding principles that he uses for dealing with people and challenges, and practically all of the one-liners had an element of humor, irony or jolt to them,” continues Mr. Slocum. “We spent days discussing the principles as he explained each one and related stories about how he applied it. I was familiar with some of the stories, but most of them were new, and almost all of them had a punch line. You don’t often hear anything from Jim that doesn’t end with a laugh.

“Throughout the interviews he would occasionally make references to Eastern philosophy. Until that point I had no idea that he was steeped in a lot of those principles. He gave me a copy of the I Ching to read. As I went through the tapes to organize the concepts into a rough draft, I was surprised to see how much of it closely paralleled the 64 kuas of the I Ching.”

The result is “The Bit Ching Book of Change: Reinterpreting the Ancient Wisdom of The I Ching to Deal with Modern Day Morons & Confusion,” now available online from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a host of other web-based retailers. Gentile and Slocum’s modern guide to defining and achieving one’s own idea of success and happiness doesn’t always tread lightly on the path to enlightenment. There may be a serious message behind most of the chapters, but the authors don’t hold back on humorously skewering the common practices and personality traits that they feel get in the way.

As one reviewer put it, “It’s like guidance from a sort of Buddha with brass balls.”

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