Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Yi on President Bush

Over the past year, the Book of Changes has indicated several happenings to Professor Sam Crane on the US state of affairs, economy and the US Presidency. Each prognostication is entered in his Blog, ‘The Useless Tree’ under the Fridays I Ching. And one had on occasions interpreted some of them in my blog where Yi’s answers seemed more interesting and enlightening by connecting the lines.

As events unfold according to the Yi’s prognostications, things had become clearer. The issues on Iraq, New Orleans, the appointments of two US Supreme Court judges, Mr. Brown of FEMA, are water under the bridge so to speak, which leave some issues on the US Administration and the fate of the US Presidency (read Libby, Cheney, and Mr. Bush) still hanging in the air. Since the Court hearing of Libby and the possible ‘involvement’ of Cheney will be held in 2007, perhaps it may be appropriate to look at the position of President Bush.

Except for the September 11, 2001 despicable bombings of the Twin Towers by terrorists which took thousands of innocent lives, US citizens have lived relatively quiet and peaceful lives under the rule of President Bush. The US led invasion of Afghanistan under the auspices of the UN as a fight against terrorism that is to defeat the Taliban and hunt for Osama Bin Laden were widely accepted because such actions were humane and just. But the US and UK bilateral invasion of Iraq, much protested against by the world, was not.

President Bush’s often touted ‘fight against terrorism’ and ‘right of self defense’ will perhaps soon fall flat with the various actions he had taken in the US and in the world, if he does not soften his stance and become more humane and righteous.

The whole world and the UN have been condemning the atrocious and belligerent actions of Israel who attacks her neighbors with impunity, destroying thousands of homes, killing hundreds of innocents and terrorizing hundreds of thousands more. Yet the US President still insists that Israel has a right to self defense and is fighting terrorism.

No one ever deny Israel or any other nation for the matter, the right to self defense but is it humane and/or just to punish and terrorize innocents of another state who has the same wish like anyone in the world to live out their lives in peace? (Think Hegemony.)

Did Mr. Bush also accede to the instructions given by the Israeli High Command to its air force and one quotes from a newspaper: “Destroy ten buildings in Lebanon for every rocket, Hezbollah sends to Israel”?

What started the escalation? Oh, just two captured Israel soldiers. The world shall pay for all this indignation (think humanitarian aid, costs of rebuilding, security buffer of UN forces, innocent lives taken on both sides, etc) because Hezbollah captured two soldiers in the conflict. No? Just wait and see. The Israeli Defense Minister has already warned the world on CNN about attacking his people, the sons of Israel. Great announcement, Israel can now expect more fire power and funds flow from the US to fight as proxy against evil that exist in the Middle East. A defiant Israel has also announced yesterday that she will not agree to an immediate ceasefire called by the UN. With staunch US backing, Israel fears no one. (Think of doting parent and a prodigal child. The parent spares no expense even if it means more borrowings to oil the Great War machine.)

The world would probably agree that evil has nothing to do with religions. Ill-willed people, no matter what race or religion, who harm or injure innocents with intent, are evil.

The most atrocious and evil rulers in ancient China and before the Han, were Chou Hsin of Shang and the first emperor of Chin. These two rulers had harmed many innocents. Chou Hsin liked to torture and killed his ministers and people for kicks. The Chin emperor levied heavy taxes and conscripted a million people to extend and complete the Great Wall of China. Many of whom died from exhaustion, starvation and ill treatment. Scholars today still insist that the Chin Emperor united China, as if the Hsia, the Shang, and the Zhou never existed.

Now, what has these ramblings got to do with the Yi on President Bush? If we connect the lines with what the Yi has told Sam Crane about the US and President Bush, while thin, there could be some connections. If we recall, there were a Hexagram 36 Ming Yi / Darkening of the Light in relation to the proposed appointment of a female judge (Think cronyism); and Hexagram 3 Tun / Difficulty at the Beginning – President Bush’s annual hexagram for 2006?

By coincidence, Ming Yi depicts the evil actions of Chou Hsin against his ministers and the people and what they have to do to avoid harm. Chou Hsin was finally ousted by a Da Ren – Wu, the son of King Wen of Zhou. In my interpretation of Tun, President Bush could face unemployment in 2006 if he is not careful and does not change his course of actions. As one has explained before, a Da Ren (Great Man) can turn into a Xiao Ren (Mean Man) depending on his actions and real intentions.

It is difficult for Man to change fate, unless one changes his or her character for the better. But from his past and current actions both in the US and the world stage, President Bush, the most powerful man on Earth is fast becoming the most hated – if not in the world, at least in the Middle East.

The whole world including the UN still waits for US President Bush to decide on a Middle East ceasefire, or not.

The question now, amid the continued destruction of Lebanon, more bombings and killings of innocents (acceptable collateral damage?) by Israel with US supplied planes, missiles, bombs and arms; is who exacerbates terrorism and who is the real evil?

Is it Hezbollah, President Bush and/or his cronies in Israel?

The top line of Ming Yi says of Chou Hsin: Not light but darkness. First he climbed up to heaven, then he plunged into the depths of the earth. Connecting the lines, we can relate to Tun, the hexagram that occasionally depicts unemployment.

A bit far fetched? Maybe, but lets wait for the unfolding of events according to President Bush’s annual hexagram Tun for 2006, if any.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Learn some Khek

Ancient Chinese civilization evolved for thousands of years in the Northern parts of China along the Huang Ho (Yellow River) that runs from the Western inland region to the sea in the East. Sometime later, the Northern Chinese, perhaps to escape from wars, floods and droughts; or for economic reasons, migrated down South to the Yangtze River basin.

Of the thousand of dialects now spoken in China, perhaps during ancient times, Khek was the main spoken dialect in the North. Later, because of frequent wars and persecution, these Northern people were pushed further south to lands (now known as Guangdong and Fujian) occupied by the Minyueh where they were welcomed as guests by the natives. That was how the Khek speaking people from the North was called Hakka. (‘Hak’ means ‘Guest’. ‘Ka’ means ‘Home’. Hakka can be translated as ‘House Guest’ or ‘Guest of the Home’.)

On the assumption that the simple analysis is correct, then the Ancients would have thought and wrote the ancient texts Books and Classics, in Khek. That probably explains why one could understand what Laozi said in the Chinese Tao Te Ching in a relatively shorter time than reading the English translations of the TTC since one, more often than not, speaks and thinks in Khek! (Nah probably was lucky – so do not forget to read my attempts to translate certain chapters of the TTC with a pinch of salt.)

Carl Jung had mentioned that Western students may have a slight disadvantage in the study of Chinese metaphysics and ancient works compared to a Chinese because of his way of thinking and culture. Perhaps, if Western scholars remain adamant and want to persevere to provide the general public with a better than extant translation of ancient Chinese texts, books and classics, do not just stop after learning Classical Chinese, go learn some Khek.

It may help, or it may not. How would I know?

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Trials and tribulations

Having left Lu because the duke had offended him by carousing with pretty dancers and neglected his duties as ruler of state, Confucius wandered with his pupils throughout China. In Uei, he was slandered; passing Kuang he was detained for five days because of a mistaken identity and threatened. From Tsao, Confucius went to Sung. There a minister of Sung wanted to kill him. Thereupon Confucius withdrew and went to Cheng, where he was separated from his followers and lost his way like a stray dog. He then proceeded to Chen and stayed there for three years. During that time Chen was attacked by Tsin, then by Chu and also by Wu. On his return to Lu, he was detained in Pu and his followers had to fight their way out. He was only allowed free passage after making a promise, but promptly broke it by proceeding to Uei. Tzu-kung asked whether it was right to break his word, and Confucius replied, “I gave it under pressure: the gods will not count it.”

When Confucius was living between Chen and Tsai, the men of Chu sent him an invitation. The ministers of the former two states then sent men to surround Confucius so that he could not leave. His supplies ran out, his followers were too weak to move, but Confucius went on teaching and singing, accompanying himself on the lute. He sent Tzu-kung to Chu. King Chao of Chu dispatched troops to his rescue and he was finally able to get away.

After fourteen years of wanderings, he was finally invited back to Lu. [Shiji – Records of the Historian]

If every bones and sinews have been stretched to the limits over a long period of time, then perhaps one may understand the Test of the Way (Tao). The trials and tribulations, sent down by Heaven, are there to test one’s cultivation and will. Those who pass the test will survive and rebound with greater successes. And those who fail, breakdown and fade into oblivion. From reading the full story of his wanderings, The Master, Confucius had shown his inner strengths and cultivation, and had passed the test of Tao with flying colors.

Since the Asian financial crisis in 1997, many dragons have fallen by the wayside, broken or had given up hope. A decade has gone by ever so quickly. The dragon that followed the Yi did not escape the crisis because it was not learned enough. Abyss upon abyss, the Yi had repeatedly warned three times.

The magnitudes of the fall in share valuations, never seen before, was much worse than those referenced during the Great Depression of 1929. While the special dragon was stubborn and refused to accept that what the Tao gives, Tao can always take back.

Both dragons had fallen into hard times that stretched every bones and sinews in their bodies to breaking points. If a dragon has fallen from the heavens and need to survive in a puddle, it has to withstand the mockery of fishes, shrimps and crabs. (Read clients, some friends and relatives.)

Just like those ‘out of favor’ Court officials in ancient times, the fallen dragons had to relearn what money, friendship and relations really meant. A time to heavily rely on their inner fortitude and cultivation not unlike what the ancients did to overcome times of adversity. Those who cared much about their face or lacked cultivation had succumbed to the doom and gloom.

After a decade of such adversity, one of the two dragons has managed to push its head above the puddle, and currently surveys its surroundings. If fortunate, the dragon may once again appear in the field. Thereafter it would head for the Heavens, knowing for sure; the other dragon will also fly in the Heavens. As foretold years ago by their respective teachers, both dragons shall soar to greater heights than that of 1993.

Meanwhile, the hidden dragons wait cheerfully for their time to act.

Perhaps I Ching aficionados, Buddhists, Confucians, and Daoists can learn something from these insights about what to truly expect from the Zhouyi and the Tao.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Notes on Hexagram 11 Tai / Peace

‘Tian Xia Tai Ping’ which means ‘Peace under Heaven’ or ‘Peace on Earth’ has been the common wish of rulers and the people down the ages. Who does not want to live their lives in peace?

When Heaven comes down to support Earth, which signifies peace, all living things bloom and prosper. Tai is the first month (February – March) of spring and where the Chinese celebrate their New Year or the beginning of the Spring Festival.

The Judgment: Peace. The small departs, the great approaches. Good fortune. Success.

When the ‘Xiao Ren’ departs and the ‘Da Ren’ approaches, there will be peace and blessings among all living things. There is an end to all feuds; which results in good fortune and success. The rumor and war mongers, the evil, and those who profit from feuds or war shied away perhaps out of guilt or shame* when the good and virtuous once again come into prominence. While there is no specific hexagram on war, the Book of Changes gives advice that states prepare for such an eventuality during peacetime by practicing chariots, training the Army and on how to handle Conflicts. Therein lay some wisdoms of the Yi.

Following the sequence of the sovereign hexagrams, Tai comes after Hexagram 19 Lin. In Hexagram Tai, the light has moved up pushed out and replaced the dark line in the third place. This light line together with two lower light lines forms the trigram, Heaven. Only three upper dark lines which represent the trigram, Earth, remain.

The third light line of Tai is subject to change since it now has to lead the lower light lines up another notch in the next sequence. Three more steps before the light reaches Qian, The Creative / Heaven.

In neidan practice, hexagram Tai stands midway between the shoulder blades and the kidneys. With the backward flow, the Qi and the light have moved up from the kidneys area. The flow upwards had been smooth and easy, and there is no blockage. Good fortune and success, says the Yi.

(* Refer to: 'The Yi on the expulsion of a Quanzhen immortal' entry on June 10 2005, if you have the time. The entry is also on Hexagram Tai.)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Dealing with evil

In the world there are many types of people. The ancients call rulers who are humane and just; good and virtuous. (Think Yao, Shun, Yu and Wen.) And the ancients call those out to cause harm to the masses with ill intent; evil. (Think Chou Hsin.)

While many stories down the ages depict good triumphant over evil, the unscrupulous clamoring for more gains, influence or power still practice evil on their neighbors or fellow human beings. Since those evil find it both profitable and satisfying to hoodwink the gullible public and to bully the weak.

According to the Zhouyi, a good defense against evil is to guard against mistakes. (Refer to the first line of Hexagram 38 Kui / Opposition.)

If we are not greedy or gullible, we will not be easily deceived by evil people – creators of fictitious financial accounts or false markets to mislead the general public; terrorists; nations that harass other nations; strong states that bully weak states with impunity under the guise of benevolence and righteousness. (In the case of strong states bullying other states, do not place too high a hope with the United Nations. Think in terms of Vetoes.)

In times like this, if Man cannot get rid of the evil, we have to wait for Heaven to reduce powerful families or states which it invariably did throughout the ages to give some lasting peace to the world. (Refer to the third and top lines of Hexagram 11 Tai / Peace.) Since Heaven is on the side of the good. (TTC)

Meanwhile the good have to bear with it and let evil people gloat. (Think cycles.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Magic of the Zhouyi and Tao

In the world, there are numerous Yi diviners and Daoists, but how many of them have ever soared in the Heavens, tasted fame and fortune, just like the dragons of old?

The Yi advises the masses to look up to the flying dragon in the Heavens. And wherever the dragon flies, the wind swiftly followed. It was just a matter of time – a day, a week or a few weeks, waiting for the magic of the Zhouyi and Tao to work.

In the Bull Run of 1993, with seed capital of twenty thousand, in less than a year, a flying dragon had churned it into millions. Whatever shares he had bought, in a matter of weeks without any known reasons, they would suddenly fly. Whenever he sold his share investments and went away for a holiday overseas, the market would plunge within a short spate of time. Talk about timing.

When ex-colleagues, friends and relatives, especially his father, started to notice the pattern, they quickly followed the dragon. Later, those who sought regular advice from Daoist gods and immortals through mediums also chose to track this dragon. (That gave him an opportunity to compare notes from the Yi Oracles with those from the ShenXian.)

Whenever he sold, they would do so, and whenever he started to buy, they would follow suit. If he ever sold out the shares to go for a holiday, they would dump their shares with no hesitation or question. Just like the wind, their eyes follow the dragon. He never seemed to put a foot wrong about the timing of the ups and downs of the market.

How did he know the timing of the share market? It was the Yi who told him, whispered those in the know.

The outsiders called him a fortune teller because he seemed to know how the market will perform each time and it never matter a bit to him. No explanations required. He just made his money and go for an overseas trip with his family and/or friends from time to time. In his absence, the market plunges and on his return, he bought back cheapen shares which within weeks would inexplicably rise.

That was how one dragon flew in the Heavens. There were other dragons that flew much higher than him in 1993. Those helped by the ShenXian (Daoist gods and immortals).

There was a special one who started with literally nothing in 1992 and within two years with help from the Xian (Daoist Immortals) managed to make a hundred over million. By the last quarter of 1993, the special dragon with a specific task to help Heaven and Tao held shares worth a few hundred millions and whose holdings were bigger than many a local investment fund.

Both the dragons, one guided by the ancient Yi, the other guided by a host of Xian, flew together in the Heavens that year in 1993, with compliments from the Zhouyi and the Tao.

It is real magic; when one overcomes both time and space to masters one’s fate. In that state, one has the leisure to cheerfully wait for Time to catch up and allow the magic to work.

With the entry, hopefully Yi students and Daoists may learn something about the mysterious workings of Heaven, the Yi and the Tao.

Perhaps readers will also come to understand why some Chinese who knows about these spiritual things, say they only know 1 or 2; while those who know little - knowledge acquired from their favorite books and/or mortals – claim to know much and thereafter discourse about the workings of Heaven, the Yi and the Tao in the forums. (Think TTC 1)

Since one only knows a touch, one continues to learn about the magic; the Magic of the Zhouyi and Tao.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Do not chase after your horse (8)

The case study of this Zhouyi consultation started in early June would come to a close shortly. Since the horse has bolted and is about to disappear from sight.

Therefore a summary of the findings and the events that followed may help increase a Yi student’s knowledge or awareness on what can be known from a divination, how to interpret the prognostication (the answer), and what action to take, if any and how to understand or pinpoint the unfolding of an Oracle.

The GT shares were chosen as an example because another consultation done on the same day for a different share was not exciting enough for a real live case study. The Zhouyi had answered the latter question with Hexagram 8 Bi / Holding Together and a resultant Hexagram 24 / Return. While that particular share's price has also risen, the returns were minimal compared to that of the GT shares.

No matter how rich we or our clients are, capital and resources are always limited; therefore a professional diviner need to exactly know what the Yi says to pick the best investment, on the assumption that there are other alternatives for selection. A wrong advice, move, or action can lead to forgoing a golden opportunity, a lockup of capital, or worst still, a disastrous result.

Therefore diviners need to ponder carefully on the prognostication(s) before giving any advice or to take any action (which includes non action) since an investment can involve a large sum of money (in terms of cash and/or loans).

Readers may recall that the question was put to the I Ching when the world share markets had started to fall heavily because of uncertainties – the magnitude and continuity of the US interest rate hikes, the absence of buyers because of the World Cup soccer and summer holidays, the sell down of Asian equities by foreign funds for anticipated redemptions back home.

As one has mentioned before, in times of uncertainty, it is best to consult the Book of Changes.

To my question of buying back the shares sold in May, the Yi had answered with Hexagram 38 Kui / Opposition, with a moving first line that changed it to Hexagram 64 Wei Ji / Before Completion.

Taking note of the hexagram’s name, um, does not sound too good. The moving first line may confirm it for the less experienced diviners, since the line says: Remorse disappears. If you lose your horse, do not run after it; it will come back of its own accord. When you see evil people, guard yourself against mistakes.

We may think thus: With ‘Opposition’, the name of the Hexagram, the Yi may be opposing the idea to buy back the shares? The moving line has indicated that we may lose our horse, if we do? Hey, there are also evil people around and we have to guard against mistakes. (The key words are highlighted in italics for a further discussion below.)

Instead of pondering deeper, diviners often decide to consult for another share investment or repeat the question to the Yi, perhaps hoping for a better or clearer answer. It usually happens to the not so experienced Yi diviners, sad to say, if we read the forums on a regular basis.

This results in a missed opportunity or a scolding by the Yi. (Think Hexagram 4 Meng / Youthful Folly for repetitions of the question.)

To test readers, one did not lay out the interpretation at the start of the case study and asked what readers would do in my place: to buy back; stay put; or to sell the remaining stockholdings.

To elicit circumspection, one highlighted the involvement of money, similar to those dealing with any form of investments. This would probably put Yi aficionados on notice that advice on investments is on a different plane – because it concerns money, theirs or their clients.

Therefore one suggests not to give advice on investments, if Yi diviners are not up to it, otherwise the investor(s) may get hurt.

The Judgment in Kui says : Opposition. In small matters, good fortune.

In the Judgment, the Yi did not oppose the intended buyback. It merely said that in small matters, there will be good fortune, while the name depicts the theme of the Hexagram. Be a contrarian, perhaps? (The name of the Hexagram gleaned from the cartoon Book of Changes bought for my children.)

A brave reader did put his neck out to agree to my activated buyback but suggested to limit the buyback to a small quantity. (It is okay, while stern, the blogger is not rabid.) This reader is correct but may have some room for improvement.

At the time of our discussion, my limited capital and resources restricted any further purchase of the shares. Yes, a week or so later, one bought back more shares, since in my book Hexagram Kui promises an above average return.

Together with the moving first line, the Yi had indicated that the shares would move up shortly.

The unfolding of the Oracle had turned out that way, when the horse bolted and ran away, this week. If we are certain of a good prognostication, and after having followed the Yi’s guidance, we then sit back and wait cheerfully for the Oracle to unfold – and allow Time to work its way.

What about the evil people?

The GT shares have moved up very fast compared to other stocks in the market. It smacks of manipulation, a reason for the caution not to chase after the horse (that is not to buy back at higher prices – and to let it run away) otherwise we may get caught for being greedy (that is to guard against mistakes). That was why one had to let the horse go and sold the GT shares.

North Korea for belligerently firing the test missiles and by promising to fire more could also be considered evil under the circumstances since such actions will surely affect the financial markets. North Korea knows this. So do the terrorists.

The above summary of events explains the unfolding of the first line of Kui, the prognostication.

For those more discerning and deep thinkers, the prognostication still has not fully run its course. However one will no longer post any prediction on how the GT shares will perform, when and where it will head to next, but will post an update long after the final unfolding of the Oracle to wrap up the case study.

The intended late update will effectively stop those with no scruples from knowing and reaping further benefits on what to do next. (Read Timing.) One will not allow anyone other than those in need to continue to gain an unfair advantage. This time, a client with huge winnings may have saved some money by paying a pittance for my recent efforts, but with no further advice from the Yi, one wonders who would lose out.

It is no longer about the money, but a matter of principle and to avoid being trampled on, one fine day. (Think about the ill treatment of the faithful and wise Chi Jan by Gou Jian of Yue.)

"One is not a ‘ShenXian’, how would I know when to buyback or what other good shares to buy in the market", will form my standard reply if asked, in future. "Go and ask the ShenXian (Daoist gods and immortals), perhaps they may give you a tip. Next!"

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Living Circulation of the Light

An innocent question by the stockbroker’s assistant today triggered a train of thoughts. Why are you selling your shares like there is no tomorrow? She had asked.

Looking for an appropriate answer, one said, “Oh! I am worried about the firing of missiles by North Korea and her belligerent attitude.” She countered, “Yes, but our market remains unaffected and your shares are going up.” I replied, “Yes, but the regional and international markets may not feel the same.” The selling continued.

Not many English educated Diaspora Chinese have heard of or know the Zhouyi well. Skepticism abounds. There is no point to give and explain the main reason behind the selling. After all, is it not wise to buy low and sell high? Once a set target has been reached, it is time to sell (or buy). To hold on hoping for further gains, we may have cause to regret. For greed have no limits.

Back in 1991, after consulting the Yi, one has decided to switch from the US Dollars deposits to invest in Pound Sterling. My personal financial manager in a US Bank had questioned my decision because Pound Sterling was drifting lower and the research analysts have been calling for a sell. One had told her that since the currency was cheap and together with its high deposit rate, it was time to invest for a good return. She advised to put the currency into a short term, one month tenure, because of the risk and was flabbergasted when I said, six. She had asked why, and I had to assure her, not to worry. On top of that, one increased the Pound Sterling deposits with a US Dollar loan. Six months later, on maturity of the deposits and after the repayment of the US Dollar loan, the high returns on investment had surprised her. When she was curious on how I did it, my reply was, “Just lucky.”

Was there ever a need to go into a lengthy explanation to this manager and now the stockbroker assistant on how the profound Yi works?

Probably the last word comes from a Daoist adept, Ziyang Zhenren:

If one cultivates one’s action while mingling with the world and is still in harmony with the light, then the round is round and the angular has angles; then he lives among men, mysterious yet visible, different and yet the same, and none can compass it; then no one notices our secret actions.”

The living manner of the circulation of the light has just this meaning: to live mingling with the world and yet in harmony with the light.
[The Secret of the Golden Flower – W/B]

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Do not chase after the horse (7)

With some encouragement from the wild horses and probably from neighbors (read both local and foreign stock analysts), the horse has finally bolted from the stable and galloped away.

Instead of trying to chase after the horse, one could only look on in anticipation, actually hoping that it could fly like a Pegasus. Why? For it to reach the fivefold target of 50, the GT shares have to climb more than 50% of its previous week’s close. And flew, it did.

As indicated by the Zhouyi and therefore expected, the target was breached this time, although more than one month late. One’s prediction was that this target will be reached in May. However, one doubts anyone would mind the slight delay for such an increase in the share price. Least of all, a big client who bought 3 million shares at around 14, all he could afford to, last February. And he had promised an undetermined (probably small) fee for the advice, payable after he has taken his profits.

Both the local and foreign stock analysts have recently written rave reports on the current market value of the company’s land which they estimated to be a few times higher than its book (or carrying) value. Ah, but their findings are old news, since the Book of Changes had already told me about the hidden treasure last year.

With the rave reviews, and the various perceived obstacles gone, one recently predicted with confidence that the target will be breached this time around. Since the fund managers and the investing public have come to know about the treasure of GT.

A point to note, while changing lines of an Oracle are into specifics, what each hexagram indicates is equally if not more important on questions about investments. From my constructed table for investments, Hexagram 38 Kui / Opposition promise an above average Return on Investment (ROI). Perhaps, a higher return than many I Ching aficionados expect just from reading the judgment: Opposition. In small matters, good fortune.

In divinations on investments, experience counts more than theory. After having spent a few decades divining on various investments, perhaps fellow Yi diviners could also developed a keen insight on how each prognostication will unfold and its timing. In my book, an above average ROI promises a return of 40 % to 60 % on the original investment. If in doubt, use a calculator to double check the returns on my recent buyback of the GT shares. Yes, the shares have gone up more than 60% from the price one paid for the repurchase. But the price was higher than 28 when I asked the Zhouyi about the buyback in a falling market.

This ‘live’ case study is nothing extraordinary. A tip of the iceberg, as they say. It was just a matter of doing some homework, divination, correct interpretation, following the Yi’s guidance and to cheerfully wait for the prognostication to unfold.

Perhaps regular readers may now understand why during the 1993 Bull Run, friends of my friends and relatives had called them ‘ShenXian’ (Daoist gods and immortals). With prolific divinations back then, one could determine with precision when the share market will go up, when it will fall, and what shares to buy, or buyback for the best returns – in terms of the number of folds (not percentages). After pondering over the Oracles, one would then share the prognostications with friends and relatives and what each oracle relates to. And if their ‘followers’ ask them how the market will perform and when their ‘predictions’ comes true time and time again, obviously they would be called ‘ShenXian’. Hey, to date, these friends and relatives still call me, Allan.
(Refer to the Flying dragon in the heavens, July 01 2005 entry.)

However do remember this; the real Yi masters (someone like Guan Lu of the Three Kingdoms era) remain hidden.

Meanwhile the skeptics and those expert diviners, who still doubt that the Yi can tell the future, carry on their beliefs and business as usual. Time could pass these doubters by and perhaps so will the Yi. After all, whence the sincerity?


Monday, July 03, 2006

Simple notes on Guai / Breakthrough

Hexagram 43 Guai comprise of five lower light (yang) lines and one dark (yin) line at the top. On a matter of timing, it represents the third month (April – May).

One has skipped two sequential sovereign hexagrams – Tai and Da Zhuang – in the alchemy (neidan) process to discuss Guai in line with an ongoing discussion in the I Ching Community Forum on the second line of the hexagram. This entry allows me to weigh in without the necessity to join the forum and argue point by point with others who may not agree to what one has to say. (Ha, this blog remains handy for such things.)

The Judgment:
Breakthrough. One must resolutely make the matter known at the court of the king. It must be announced truthfully. Danger. It is necessary to notify one's own city. It does not further to resort to arms. It furthers one to undertake something.

The Image:
The Lake has risen up to heaven: The image of Breakthrough. Thus the superior man dispenses riches downward and refrains from resting on his virtue.

Before we present technical points for others to consider, we need to be circumspect on our own knowledge about a hexagram or the line meanings before wading into deeper waters and blame it on a wrong translation of a word or omissions of words by renowned translators such as Wilhelm and Baines.

How do we know for sure that the dictionary translation of a word written in Classical Chinese is correct in the first place? Is it really that simple to understand Classical Chinese or to understand the Zhouyi which comprises of 64 hexagrams and 384 lines? Do we realize why a Chinese Professor, the head of Zhouyi and Ancient Studies in Shandong University, China had said that he does not consider himself a student of the Book of Changes? Was it just out of humility?

While it looks enticingly easy and simple, many top scholars down the ages still had to struggle to get to the meaning of a word, a line, or an entire hexagram of the profound Book of Changes, let alone interpreting its 64 hexagrams.

Yet many like to presume that they can handle the daunting task that is to translate the Zhouyi from Classical Chinese. Perhaps the text of the first line of Guai serves as a good reminder to most of these 'experts' : Mighty in the forward-striding toes. When one goes and is not equal to the task, one makes a mistake.

My ensuing take (in italics) on the second line does not differ much from many others who use the W/B translation. It says: A cry of alarm. Arms at evening and at night. Fear nothing.

With the cry of alarm, a truthful announcement and a notification had been made (also see Judgment). Together with arms close at hand and everyone in readiness (or awake); what is there to fear?

In a practical sense, when an alarm has been raised, those meaning to do evil such as thieves and robbers would rather scamper away. The element of surprise and stealth are no longer available to the evil when the intended victims and/or their neighbors had been aroused (from their sleep) by the sound of an alarm. This probably explains why there is no indication of the outcome (good fortune or misfortune). Perhaps a simple understanding of the line and hexagram serves us better than getting a grade ‘A’ in Yi scholarship?

Now into something completely different, that of neidan practice.

The light has slowly mounted up to push out and fills up the void left by the five lower dark lines of Kun. In hexagram Guai, the sole dark line at the top remains a hurdle to be crossed. This is a time when things can still fail. The Light and the Qi may not be able to breakthrough to Heaven and remain stuck at this stage which can result in a painful blockage at the back of the head, just above the nape.

Therefore the Judgment advises furtherance to undertake something – to overcome the last dark line – and to reach Qian (Heaven) represented by six light lines. Guai does not contain the right time or space for a rest.

Of course, it is easier and simpler to understand the imagery, than to achieve an actual breakthrough in neidan practice?

Meanwhile you would make no big mistakes if you remember the title of this blog which depicts my limited knowledge. (With this reminder, perhaps even the Daoist immortals and the adepts may have no cause to laugh at my simple notes on neidan?)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Do not chase after the horse (6)

This week the horse has been quietly grazing in the stable and at times running around playfully in the meadow, perhaps building strength anew. A group of wild horses have been sighted around the meadow but they have yet to come near my horse. With a bit more confidence, they may make an approach next week and then incite the horse to make a run for freedom.

(Translation: It has been rather an unexciting week. The GT shares have been hovering around the closing price of last week. While there were accumulation and its daily trading volume has increased, its price has moved up ever so slightly. The prices of blue chips and other shares have been picking up in anticipation of the expected quarter point increase in the US lending rates by the FOMC. But so far the perk up has not been exciting. Next week could be good, as most obstacles (read uncertainties, World Cup soccer finals, and summer holidays) would have been cleared and investors – fund managers and retailers – may come back in full force to buy shares cheapen by the recent ‘panic’.)

At such times, one waits cheerfully for the expected outcome of the prognostication.