Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Hexagram 4 Meng / Youthful Folly

When a leader of the country falls it brings forth images of the top lines of either Hexagram 36 Ming Yi / Darkening of the Light or Hexagram 1 Qian / The Creative to Yi diviners. The top line of Ming Yi says: “Not light but darkness. First he climbed to heaven, then he plunged into the depths of the earth.” While the top line of Qian says: “Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent.” Then why did the Yi warn about the impending fall of my country’s deputy prime minister back in 1998 with Hexagram 4 Meng?

Firstly some background about the country’s political system. The ruling party is made up of a coalition of parties representing various races and cultures. It has been in existence since the fifties and has been ruling the country till now. The opposition parties are weak. The leader of the ruling party and his deputy are appointed the prime minister and deputy prime minister respectively after the country’s elections. Just like in any other democratic country, the prime minister is entitled to appoint or dismiss his deputy and other ministers.

It was an open secret that the then prime minister was grooming his deputy to take over leadership of the party when he retires. The deputy is charismatic and has quite a lot of followers and supporters, both local and foreign. The relationship started to sour after the Asian Financial Crisis struck in 1997. There were various rumors about the deputy’s misconduct and impropriety in 1998. Things came to a head when the deputy who was also the then Finance Minister insisted that the country borrow from the International Monetary Fund to help tide over the crisis instead of a well thought out strategy by the country’s think tank and the prime minister. At about the same time, Bill Clinton the then US president was under investigation and impeachment on his ‘affair’ with a young intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Under this scenario, to a question on buying shares in the stock market, the Yi had given Hexagram 4 Meng / Youthful Folly with both third and sixth lines changing and a resultant Hexagram 46 Sheng / Pushing Upward.

The commentary to the judgment is apt in this case: “In the time of youth, folly is not an evil. One may succeed in spite of it, provided one finds an experienced teacher and has the right attitude towards him.” “A teacher’s answer to the question of a pupil ought to be clear and definite like that expected from an oracle; thereupon it ought to be accepted as a key for resolution of doubts and a basis for decision.” “Given in addition a perseverance that never slackens until the points are mastered one by one, real success is sure to follow.”
-- Without the modesty and interest of a student and going against a mentor in times of crisis instead of working closely together to solve the problem at hand is definitely not correct.

Sixth in the third place means:
“Take not a maiden who, when she sees a man of bronze, loses possession of herself. Nothing furthers.”
-- Nothing furthers a man seduced by greed and desire. They can only quicken his downfall if he persists.

Nine at the top means:
“In punishing folly it does not further one to commit transgressions. The only thing that furthers is to prevent transgressions.” [W/B]
-- The prime minister did the right thing by having his deputy arrested and investigated by the police for his rumored misconduct and impropriety.

After this oracle from the Yi, based on intuition and experience, one had cautioned a few friends and relatives not to buy any shares in the stock market. The stock market plunged as expected when the government announced capital controls. Then one advised friends, relatives and colleagues to hoard up some canned food, instant noodles and drinks in case of panic caused by the fall of the leader. On the predicted day of his arrest, all food on the shelves in local supermarkets was cleared by the people in the event anything untoward will happen. When the shares plunged again this time, one bought back shares at depressed prices which rebounded shortly thereafter. Just as the Yi had indicated with Hexagram 46 Sheng / Pushing Upward!

The ex-deputy prime minister was later charged with impropriety and found guilty after a lengthy and fair trial in court. He was jailed for a few years. Bill Clinton was impeached but was forgiven (?). Surely “in punishing folly it does not further one to commit transgressions. The only thing that furthers is to prevent transgressions.”

Perhaps we have learned something here today?

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