Reading Tong Sing: The Chinese Book of Wisdom, by Dr. Charles Windridge, with Cheng Kam Fong as Editor Consultant, was stimulating. I freely admit I knew almost nothing about the Chinese culture, but things have changed thanks to this book. Easter philosophy has been one of the topics I never felt called to know more about, despite it has is one of those most widely spread among the public, the new age movement and alternative spirituality in general. Yet, I think we can learn from everything.
Tong Sing includes a good amount of basic information to understand the Chinese way of life, how they understand and see things: history, spirituality, myths, beliefs, medicine, horoscopes, even martial arts and weapons, along with several additional topics. Reasonably, it would be impossible for Dr. Charles Windridge and Cheng Kam Fong to include everything about their culture, yet the book is enough to know the basics and develop specific interests if anything catches our attention.
Despite its structure as an encyclopedia, which could turn off some readers that do not give the book an opportunity, I found myself immersed reading about the history of China, tasseography, the I Ching, Chinese Zodiac, and more topics that I ignored. They all sparked my interest in different grades after their respective introductions in Tong Sing, and I also found out I am interested in tasseography (divination by reading patterns in tea leaves).
I followed the instructions of Dr. Charles Windridge and Cheng Kam Fong in order to know what will happen in my future, and although I didn’t get a reading as long and deep as I expected, composed by only two symbols, it made all the sense in the world. I got the chance to answer an important question, and the message was simple, direct, just like the book.
Both the author and editor did an amazing job in putting so many different topics together in a solid structure, trying to keep a minimum of similarity in those that were nearer to each other in the Tong Sing. They made almost the whole book interesting, although there were chapters and segments that I skipped due to personal interests and the fact that this isn’t meant to be a linear reading, but rather more as a consultation book for specific matters when the need arises.
Also, you not only get the explanations, but also illustration to clarify your ideas and charts and lists that help you practice a bit and get started in horoscopes, symbolism, cooking, just to name a few. I won’t lie and say I don’t find it strange to see several past editions of this book. It makes me think the content has changed a lot after each one, and that there’s a possibility of it to happen once again in the future, but I rather understand that as an opportunity to discover more, learn more and, the most important, practice more.
My only advice would go to the readers: have a notebook when you read. There is a lot of useful information you will want to keep, much more if you happen to be already interested in Chinese culture and spirituality. I will say again that I am far from versed in Asian spirituality, but Tong Sing: The Chinese Book of Wisdom seems to be the perfect starting point for readers like me.
Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Kyle Books; Revised edition (November 6, 2018)
Publication Date: November 6, 2018
About the Author
Dr. Charles Windridge has studied Chinese history and culture over a lifetime. He is the author of a number of science and language books for schools, including The Fountain of Health: An A-Z of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
About the Editor Consultant
Cheng Kam Fong was born in China and spent her childhood years in Guangzhou (Canton), where she developed her deep knowledge of Tong Sing. She has used Tong Sing extensively for over fifty years.
About the Reviewer
Bader Saab is a digital journalist and self-published writer; a solitary, eclectic witch interested in the darker side of magic and divination; a gothic guy who tries to educate whenever he can. He hopes to succeed in one of them sooner than later.