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The Ten Thousand Things: A story of the lived experience of the I Ching

Paperback, 227 pages, A5 format. Published by G.P. Martin. Released August 2010.
ISBN 978 0 9804045 3 1

$AU19.95 + postage (Australia). Purchase using Paypal: click "Add to cart" button below.

Purchasers outside Australia can purchase through Lulu.


In a few words.....

In Glenn’s first novel, a man becomes the leader of an organisation just as it faces a crisis. He leads its recovery and expansion, but then trouble comes again as he becomes a target for unethical and destructive forces in the organisation. This is also a story, as the subtitle tells us, “of the lived experience of the I Ching”.

The author talks about the book.....

The Ten Thousand Things is my first novel. That is to say, I wrote it as a story. It is based on real life, a period of about six years when I was the leader of an organisation. This episode was a significant experience for me, and it taught me a great deal. Over the subsequent years, a number of friends suggested that I write about this episode, but the thought of trying to present it as formal history, with the focus on correctness in the detail of facts, did not interest me.

Then the idea came to write it "as a story": a suggestion from one of my sons. It was an "Aha!" moment for me. Suddenly the lights went on, and writing about the episode became something both possible and worthwhile. At the same time, I had been thinking that I was ready to talk about the I Ching. I had been using it for over thirty years as a helpful guide to action and a spiritual perspective on life. I decided I would write the story as a practiioner of the I Ching, which was indeed a true reflection of how I operated at the time.

Part of what I wanted to present in the book was how a person learns to be a capable manager and a good leader. I believe I did acquire those skills and qualities, through experience that was tough at times, and even though the end was destructive. In the midst of it all, the I Ching called me to be my best self. It helped me to understand the larger meaning of what was happening, to work ethically and to find the joy that lies at the heart of all things. Hence the sub-title of the book: “A story of the lived experience of the I Ching”.

The “ten thousand things” is a reference to the first verse of the Tao Te Ching, which sees our material existence (the ten thousand things) as proceeding out of the invisible world of spirit.

Reviews and reactions

Andrew O'Keeffe (author of The Boss and Hardwired Humans)

Glenn Martin's book The Ten Thousand Things is a novel about leadership set in a not-for-profit community organisation. One suspects the story is based on true events. In search of his life’s meaning, the main character moves from the city to a regional town. He becomes the head of a community organisation. But after turning the organisation into a thriving service he finds himself under attack from unethical forces with the organisation. How does he respond? Read the rest of the review....

Bob Selden (author of What to do when you become the boss)

As the author, Glenn Martin says in the introduction, “. . . it is a book about the lessons we find in living”.  Martin’s story is based on his experiences during a particularly emotional part of his life.  It follows three themes; the fictional story, the “I Ching” revelations and as a result, Martin’s thoughts on ethics and human values. Read the rest of the review.....

Dr Klaas Woldring (Southern Cross University (retired))

Glenn Martin has written an interesting and unusual book. For those not familiar with the I Ching, they should perhaps start at the back of the book for explanatory notes. However, it is not essential to know all about it as the book is an account of the author's personal journey and his explanations of how consulting the I Ching, at various critical periods in his life, has assisted him. Read the rest of the review.....

Mike Toten (writer for Workplace Info)

A new book by a leading business ethics and HR writer/consultant provides some valuable insights into how unethical behaviour by senior managers can emerge within an organisation, how it influences the actions of others, and what options a line manager may have to combat it. Read the rest of the review.....


Alastair Rylatt (author of Winning the Knowledge Game)

"The Ten Thousand Things is a delightful and insightful journey of personal exploration and reflection. A compelling journey into one's quest for inner peace and mastery in life. Glenn Martin has inspired me."

Tania de Jong AM Executive Producer, Creative Innovation 2010 Founder of Creative Universe, Music Theatre Australia, Pot-Pourri, Creativity Australia and The Song Room:

"Nearly finished your book on way back from spiritual retreat in Vietnam. Love it! Congrats Txx p.s. It inspires me to go throw my coins again."

And others.....

"I have read it and enjoyed it. Certainly a different approach and a lovely insight into your life and decision-making."

"It has a strong, pleasant after-taste. It lingers."

"It kept me awake at night for hours, wanting to read a bit more to see what happens..."

"Glenn writes beautifully."

Related articles

Some people have asked me "How do you go about using the I Ching?", so I have prepared a brief paper to describe the fundamentals. See Approaching the I Ching.

I presented a paper on "Leadership, ethics and the workplace: an approach from the book of changes" to a conference on wisdom in management during 2010. The paper is available here: Book of Changes.

Article written for NSW Writers' Centre magazine, Newswrite on writing "creative non-fiction".