Monday, November 27, 2006

Zhuangzi, the professional adviser

Some readers may have dealt with professional tax advisers in the course of their work. The larger the business deal, the more senior will be the adviser. Let us say that a very huge sum of money is involved and senior partners of the advisory firm provide their expertise.

After you have briefed the adviser of the proposed transaction and the likely tax consequences, they may ask further questions to understand the transaction and come up with the best scenario to avoid or minimize the incidence of tax. When they have found the best tax plan for the intended transaction, they would be in their elements and can sometimes talk like Zhuangzi of the old:

“On the one hand if you do this, you would be taxed. On the other hand if you do that, you will pay higher taxes. If you do not transact then you will not be taxed but you would not make the gain that you want.”

“However if you do this and not that, do that and not this then you would be able to make the gain that you want and not pay any tax. If you are at your wits end trying to understand what has been said, it is alright. Just follow the tax plan accordingly, and everything will work out fine. You make your money, we get a fee and everyone will be happy (except the taxman) at the end of the day.”

If you do not believe that they talk like the sage, compare it with what Zhuangzi said in Chapter Two of his text:

Everything has its "that," everything has its "this." From the point of view of "that" you cannot see it, but through understanding you can know it. So I say, "that" comes out of "this" and "this" depends on "that" - which is to say that "this" and "that" give birth to each other. But where there is birth there must be death; where there is death there must be birth. Where there is acceptability there must be unacceptability; where there is unacceptability there must be acceptability. Where there is recognition of right there must be recognition of wrong; where there is recognition of wrong there must be recognition of right. Therefore the sage does not proceed in such a way, but illuminates all in the light of Heaven. He too recognizes a "this," but a "this" which is also "that," a "that" which is also "this." His "that" has both a right and a wrong in it; his "this" too has both a right and a wrong in it. So, in fact, does he still have a "this" and "that"? Or does he in fact no longer have a "this" and "that"? A state in which "this" and "that" no longer find their opposites is called the hinge of the Way. When the hinge is fitted into the socket, it can respond endlessly. Its right then is a single endlessness and its wrong too is a single endlessness. So, I say, the best thing to use is clarity.
[Burton Watson –]

Therefore if you ever go to seek advice from the best tax advisers in the country, unless you are a professional accountant and know something about tax, be prepared to meet those who talk like the ancient sage, otherwise you may come out of the meeting blurred and not knowing how to proceed.

Do not worry, the advisers will clarify what you have to do after you have confirmed their appointment and agree to their fees. So would Zhuangzi, for free, if you had clarity and listened carefully to his entire story in Chapter two – Discussion on making all things equal. No, unlike the tax professionals, he is not talking about balancing the books!

This entry is written especially for those who enjoyed watching the British TV comedian, Tommy Cooper in the 1970s who sometimes also talked a bit like the sage of old: ”Just like that! Not like that!”

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A magic spell for the far journey 2

In a previous entry – May 11, 2005 – one had briefly run through this magic spell which according to Lu Dongbin was left behind by Yu Ching, an ancient who lived during the Chun Chiu (Spring & Autumn) era. In his Secret of the Golden Flower, Lu Dongbin probably had explained about the poem, but the version of this part of the tract obtained by Richard Wilhelm seemed corrupted (refer to page 7 of his translation).

Without an accompanying explanation to the poem, neidan students reading it may not understand what Yu Ching wanted to say. Frankly speaking, one had also been confused for a while, but when students have reached a fairly advanced stage, they can be a bit clearer about what the magic spell for the far journey is all about.

Meanwhile for those who follow the Secret of the Golden Flower for their daily neidan practice, one will make an attempt to explain what ‘A magic spell for the far journey’ may actually mean:

Four words crystallize the spirit in the space of energy.

The four words refer to the four verses (which represent two stages in neidan practice) in the poem before reaching the crystallization of the spirit in the space of energy. A neidan practitioner must first learn how to convert Essence to Qi, then Qi to Spirit. The practitioner can see where the space of energy is.
The space of energy is similar to the ‘lighted room’ in Xin Zhai and/or the ‘lodging place’ in the Nei-Yeh.

In the sixth month white snow is suddenly seen to fly.

Greater heat falls in the Chinese sixth month. Can white snow be seen to fly during late summer? Probably not, perhaps the reason why later generations thought this verse depicts a looming disaster since it is not of nature to see flying snow during the sixth month. They may have misunderstood its meaning.

When the Qi and light circulates during meditation, the practitioner feels warm or hot just like in summer no matter what the season.
With the strong heat and rising steam, the neidan practitioner depending on his or her aptitude may see white snow flying.

At the third watch the sun’s disk sends out blinding rays.

The third watch signifies midnight to the Chinese. Can the sun send out blinding rays during midnight? Of course in nature, it cannot.
However at midnight or in the dark, the sun’s blinding rays can be seen during meditation.

When neidan practitioners progress further, they may reach the following stage:

In the water blows the wind of the Gentle.

The trigram Sun / The Gentle represents wind and wood. Yu Ching seems to know the Book of Changes well.
In the water (Dui) blows the wind (Sun), signifies the Qi moving water up from the kidneys.

Wandering in heaven, one eats the spirit-energy of the Receptive.

This advanced stage is a bit more complicated to explain. By now the Qi has already cleansed the lodging place for the numinous spirit. The spirit has appeared in heaven (Qian / The Creative) and energy has come up from earth (Kun / The Receptive) to meet it.
Energy and spirit then mutually penetrate each other in heaven to form spirit-energy on earth.

And the still deeper secret of the secret: The land that is nowhere, that is the true home…

Since it is the deeper secret of the secret, one will let readers and neidan practitioners figure it out for themselves where the true home is.
After you have found out where the true home is, there is still some ways to go. Otherwise the poem will not be called, "A magic spell for the far journey".

With my attempt to explain this poem written more than 2,500 years ago, regular readers may understand why one often suggests that the various signposts given by ancients or Daoist immortals in their texts and classics can still be seen by neidan practitioners of today. That is magic. But if you wish to take the explanation with a pinch of salt, by all means do so.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Beauty versus virtue

In the State of Uei, Confucius had an occasion to lament: “It is all over! I have not seen one who loves virtue as he loves beauty.”
(Analects 15.12 Legge)

Beauty is pleasing to the eyes and it is human nature to admire beauty. Many a kingdom had fallen since rulers beguiled by beauty and lust neglect their kingly duties performed with virtue (de). Sages like Laozi, Confucius and Mencius had also learned from the ancients who had lived centuries before them. By their discernment and different methods of pointing out the mistakes of past rulers, and how sage kings actually rule, students can learn what is considered virtuous and what is considered proper.

A word to those who try to translate ancient Chinese thoughts and teachings; ensure that you know the reasons why the ancients had made the remarks before you attempt a translation. By belittling renowned Western translators such as James Legge and Richard Wilhelm and say that their translations were wrong, it may reflect that you really know nothing much about ancient studies and the established translations, unless you can come up with something better than what they have translated. This does not mean that we cannot attempt to translate the classical Chinese to clarify and improve upon our own understanding of ancient thoughts. Just be a bit more circumspect.

Accompanying his translation of the quote, Legge had written a brief footnote to inform about the event where it was uttered. While the note did not describe the event in its entirety, the Shiji (Records of the Historian) did:

Nan – tzu (a beauty) was the wife of Duke Ling of Uei. Confucius had been over a month in Uei when Duke Ling drove out in a carriage with his lady (Nan – tzu) escorted by the eunuch Yung Chu and with Confucius an assistant escort. In this fashion they drove openly through the streets. After Confucius made the lament, he left Uei in disgust for Tsao. Duke Ling died later that year.

Confucius’s remarks underlined similar mistakes of Zhou Xin, the last emperor of Shang and that of Emperor You, the last ruler of Western Zhou. But even those who came later (than Duke Ling) never learned – the last Chinese emperor who made a similar mistake lost the rule of the Ming dynasty over China to the Manchu. These rulers beguiled by beauty and lust had forgotten about their kingly duties to rule the people with sincerity and benevolence (virtues - de) and thus lost their right to rule as sons of Heaven.

It may be incorrect to lay the entire blame on the ravishing beauties that caused the downfall of emperors and kings. If these rulers had love virtue more than beauty than they would not had encountered the downfall depicted in the Zhouyi.

Without the necessary cultivation, man could not be a Junzi (superior man) let alone a Da Ren (great man). Being a Xiao Ren (inferior or mean man) which does not require any cultivation of virtues was perhaps the preferred way by many, since it is much easier. Who really wants to lead a disciplined life when temptations abound especially for a king? (Think of the thousands of concubines.)

If one does not love virtue more than beauty, then one cannot remain entirely blameless.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hexagram 21 Shi He – Yi’s confirmation?

First the various oracles, then a confirmation, I love the way the Zhouyi speaks to Professor Sam Crane, a fellow Yi diviner. His sincerity in studying and teaching the ancient Way may have ‘moved’ Heaven. (His I Ching divinations, interpretations, and thoughts on Confucian and Daoist doctrines can be read at his blog, ‘The Useless Tree’ – link at Recommended Sites.)

To his question, ‘Will President Bush find a compromise on Iraq that will allow him to reverse his declining political fortunes?’ the Yi answered Professor Crane with Hexagram 21 Shi He / Biting Through, unchanging.

After the Yi and the American people have spoken (with their votes on November 7), Nancy Pelosi had also spoken (in a short video taped interview made available by last week). In line with our recent discussions on President Bush’s current precarious position – his Republican Party has lost majority control of both Houses to the Democrats in the recent elections – it appears that the Yi may have given a confirmation on what would happen to the US President.

Before we proceed to interpret the prognostication, we have to keep in mind the purpose of and the personalities involved in the war in Iraq. The justification (s) for the invasion of Iraq given then was to destroy its ‘remaining’ weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to remove Saddam Hussein, a tyrant who had killed tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis. The United Nations and the majority of countries in the world were against the invasion of a sovereign country without sufficient proof of the WMD – none was ever found since it was a slander - but nevertheless the US and Britain invaded the ‘peaceful’ country.

After a quick US led victory with superior weaponry and logistics, the Iraqi people were hardly pacified and protected. In fact the forty four months occupation of Iraq and the war may have cost more innocent lives (and still counting) than those killed by Saddam Hussein during his twenty over years rule. Does the world really need twenty years to look back at the history of this invasion? Who will speak up for humanity, and for the weak?

Let’s see what the Yi wants to say about all this.

The Judgment: Biting Through has success. It is favorable to let justice be administrated.

The Image: Thunder and lightning: The image of Biting Through. Thus the kings of former times made firm the laws through clearly defined penalties.

‘This hexagram represents an open mouth with an obstruction between the teeth. As a result the lips cannot meet. To bring them together one must bite energetically through the obstacle. Since the hexagram is made up of the trigrams for thunder and lightning, it indicates how obstacles are forcibly removed in nature.’ ‘Recourse to law and penalties overcomes the disturbances of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanderers. The theme of this hexagram is a criminal suit.’[W/B]

In a footnote, Richard Wilhelm added: ‘Apart from the meaning of the hexagram as a whole, the single lines are explained, as follows :the persons represented by the first and the top line suffer punishment, the others inflict it.

If we connect the lines of past oracles that the Yi gave to the professor on American leadership issues and the Iraq war including one not discussed here (Hexagram 38 Kui / Opposition with moving lines – the first and the sixth – which changed it to Hexagram 40 Xie / Deliverance), there had been much talk about horses and wagons.

The mare as we know happens to represent Kun / The Receptive Earth, while the dragon represents Qian / The Creative Heaven. One attribute of trigram Kun is masses of people or humanity. Without the horse, the wagon cannot move on its own. Without a horse, a cowboy can do nothing! (Yes, my late father and I loved to watch Westerns during the fifties and sixties – especially those movies which starred Cary Grant, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood.)

In fact, the horse (representing the American people) had run away to the opposition (Democrats) signified by the prognostications in Hexagram 38 Kui / Opposition. (This is read with hindsight. The minority party in Parliament is known as the opposition in Great Britain and the Commonwealth.)

As indicated in the latest unfolding of his annual hexagram, President Bush is without a horse (the people) and going to face ‘bloody tears’ shortly. In Hexagram Shi He, we can connect the following:

Recourse to law and penalties overcomes the disturbances of harmonious social life caused by criminals and slanderers. The theme of this hexagram is a criminal suit. The persons represented by the first and the top line suffer punishment, the others – the majority - inflict it.

The Yi has spoken, the American people have spoken, and Nancy Pelosi representing the majority of Americans and in Congress has also spoken – and one paraphrased what she had said in the short interview: ’Impeachment would be an easy way out for President Bush. It will not be that easy for him!

Professor Crane got it right when he interpreted that Republican heads will roll! Other than the named Cheney and Rumsfeld; perhaps more officials’ heads especially those involved in the falsification of the WMD Report (read ‘criminals and slanderers’) to justify the Iraq war may also roll?

But Sam may be a bit soft on the US President. (One could be wrong or just pulling his legs.) According to the Yi, the Democrat leaders may have aggressive plans of action (signified by the thunder and lightning) than merely an impeachment, since the hexagram talks about a criminal suit.

Backed by the American people and the rule of law (see Image), perhaps the majority Democrats may uphold justice for the weak and for humanity. For no one, including a modern day ruler is above the laws of the land and Heaven!

With fair justice duly served on the ‘criminals and slanderers’, the obstruction (s) is thus removed and the lips meet - the main theme of this hexagram Shi He.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The top line of Hexagram 3 Chun

What had prompted Confucius to issue a dire warning 2,500 years ago on the top line of Chun: ”Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this” , we may never know.

Diviners who had previously obtained this line from the Yi may understand its true meaning or perhaps not. I recalled a forum discussion where a fellow diviner sought clarification on the same line. Upon explaining the meaning of the line to him, he told a story on the mistake he had made by following a wrong teacher and the sufferings thereafter. The Yi had given him the prognostication just before he chose to study inner alchemy under a new teacher.

Since the top line of Chun forms part of the prognostication of President Bush’s annual hexagram for 2006, and with three more months to go before the Chinese Year ends, it could be timely to explore this line in a bit more detail. We may be able to find out more about what the Yi wanted to tell us before the Democrats sit with majority control over both US House and Senate.

In the Yi’s oracle given to Professor Sam Crane, there were two line changes, the second and the sixth or top, which changed Chun to Hexagram 61 Zhong Fu / Inner Truth. According to the rules of interpretation, both changing lines need to be considered while the higher line, in this instance the sixth or top line, forms the ruler.

The Judgment of Chun says: Difficulty at the Beginning works supreme success, Furthering through perseverance. Nothing should be undertaken. It furthers one to appoint helpers.

The Image says: Clouds and thunder: Thus the superior man brings order out of confusion.

With a pronouncement of supreme success in the judgment, many a diviner could jump to a conclusion that Chun promises great success. It will, provided there is much perseverance since nothing should be undertaken. It is in reality a time to appoint efficient and effective helpers who can lead out of the chaotic situations depicted by the hexagram. Only when the chaos clears up, can there be supreme success. (Think of the current civil war situation in Iraq.)

A diviner who receives this hexagram from the Yi may tend to think that they are the Junzi (superior man) depicted in the image and is able to bring order out of confusion. Perhaps they should think again when they next receive this hexagram since not everyone except those with good leadership skills and the necessary experience can bring order to chaos. A Junzi is someone sincere who leads with proper conduct and justice. Remember the adage: To rule is to truly serve? (Compare the characteristics of a Junzi with that of President Bush and Donald Rumsfeld.)

Six in the second place means: Difficulties pile up. Horse and wagon part. He is not a robber; he wants to woo when the time comes. The maiden is chaste, she does not pledge herself. Ten years – then she pledges herself.

Difficulties have piled up. (Think of Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, Libby’s case, Corruption cases and others.) The wagon cannot move since there is no horse to pull it. (It depicts a situation of no proper leadership, teamwork and/or coordination.) Someone proffers advice and help but the help is not accepted since it looks inappropriate. (It could either be from the Yi, the Democrats or someone outside the Republican Party.)

Under the circumstances, there is no ten years to wait (Bush has to leave office by 2008). Nothing was done during the ten months from January 2006 until the US elections – there was no appointment of efficient and effective helpers (or capable leaders) to lead the nation and/or the failed projects out of chaos. Because of that, the prognostication moves up to the top line of Chun, the subject of this discussion.

Six at the top means: Horse and wagon part. Bloody tears flow.

The accompanying commentary in Wilhelm’s translation says: The difficulties at the beginning are too great for some persons. They get stuck and never find their way out; they fold their hands and give up their struggle. Such resignation is the saddest of all things. Perhaps from a similar reasoning or from his previous divination experience brought forth the warning from Confucius: “Bloody tears flow: one should not persist in this.”

When there was sufficient time to do something such as a fresh appointment of capable helpers to lead the nation out of chaos and to pacify the people (both in the US and in Iraq), as indicated by the Yi and suggested by a number of his top generals and other well meaning officials, the President ignored them. Surely in a great nation like USA, there would be a wealth of wise and capable leaders to choose from. This shows that President Bush persisted in incorrect action(s) – he still insisted till the last minute before the voting results came in that he will continue to stay the course in Iraq.

(In case Yi students misunderstand the meaning of ‘Furthering through perseverance’ in the judgment, the phrase means to persevere in a right or virtuous course of action which gladdens the hearts of the people.)

Now that the horse and wagon has parted – the team (Bush’s officials) is going or gone – the partisan control of both the House and the Senate by the Republicans has gone – he is isolated. Therefore the Difficulty in the Beginning has not been overcome. The only thing left is to wait for bloody tears to flow.

From divination experience where blood is indicated in a prognostication, it literally means blood with much pain and torment. To escape the current situation depicted by the top line, there need to be change. The best option for anyone facing this situation is to leave or move on. (Think of leaving office or leaving an incompetent teacher, which gives rise to the alternate meaning of 'Unemployment' for this hexagram.)

Then the person may escape to Inner Truth or Sincerity (Hexagram 61 Zhong Fu) in this prognostication to avoid further suffering and bloodshed. (Our fellow Yi diviner had left his teacher and on the path of recovery when he sought the meaning to the top line of Chun.)

Whether President Bush would resign his office to escape further pain and torment and bloody tears remains to be seen. But he is isolated and has lost the Way. The sad thing is that he need not have come to face this dire situation but he persisted and chose to ignore the advice of the many good and sincere (depicted in the second line) who had clamored for change. In fact there was a much earlier warning from the Yi given to Professor Sam Crane on the leadership issues of President Bush and his officials.

In September 2005, the Yi prognostications were given in Hexagram 3 Chun which changed to Hexagram 7 Shih / The Army. One had then taken the fifth line that changed to represent the US President. Yi’s warning then (as posted in the Sept 23 2005 entry) was milder:

“An individual is in a position in which he cannot so express his good intentions that they will actually take shape and be understood. Other people interpose and distort everything he does.” And Yi’s advice to the US President, “He should then be cautious and proceed step by step. He must not try to force the consummation of a great undertaking, because success is possible only when general confidence already prevails.” [W/B]

Since September 2005, because he chose to ignore good advice and take appropriate corrective measures to win back the hearts of the people, and not force the consummation of a great undertaking such as the Iraqi war, the fifth line has moved up a notch to the top line of Chun.

The advice given by ancients to rulers of states had always been to serve the people with sincerity, benevolence and justice. Do the rulers nowadays really understand what humanity is? If they do, perhaps the Yi may not have to tell President Bush, the ruler of a great nation: ‘Horse and wagon part. Bloody tears flow.’

What can anyone do now except wait for the finale of the unfolding of the Oracle in time and space. That would be a full manifestation of fate, the fate of the most powerful man on Earth. How can man ever win Heaven?

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Yi is right yet again

In late August, one had asked the Yi about the intended investment in two public companies quoted in the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. The timing was ripe to buy since the shares had fallen heavily after their rise in July and according to the Yi monthly charts, share prices will go up in October.

The Yi replied with hexagram 54 Gui Mei / The Marrying Maiden for one of them and with hexagram 51 Zhen / The Arousing [Shock / Thunder] for the other. Upon posting the entries on the prognostications together with the interpretations, one proceeded to purchase shares in both companies, overweighing on shares of the particular (Zhen) company. Since it is not known which shares would move up first and to spread risks, one also bought back some GT shares and other low liners in September and early October. As explained to my son who recently asked why I did not placed all my money in the (Zhen) company, as an investor, it will prove wiser to own a basket of shares, rather than put all the money on one particular share counter.

In the expected October rally, the price of the (Gui Mei) shares hardly moved up, while the price of the (Zhen) shares flared up and momentarily breached my set target on October 30th. The (Zhen) shares were promptly sold. Both oracles unfolded according to what the Yi had indicated. The rest of the share investments were sold last week, since one expects change (a downward move) during the month of November. The GT shares had risen by 67 % from its lows in September. Friends and relatives who had followed the timing of the purchases and sales also made good money. If they have sold all their shares too, the only things to do now is patiently wait for the expected change or go away for a long deserved holiday.

The people of USA have spoken and voted the Democrats into power in both the House (Congress) and the Senate. If President Bush of the Republican Party has taken remedial actions earlier as indicated by the Yi to Professor Sam Crane, the President would not have to face such a situation. Perhaps he chose to believe in what Pat Robertson had predicted in January, and I qoute “that 2006 is a good year for Bush and the Republicans in Congress. And (wait for it) bad for most everyone else! This according to Mr. Robertson was revealed to him in his conversation with God.”

Notwithstanding what Mr. Robertson had indicated with his ‘powerful’ message (which was backed by God), one chose to rely on what the Yi told Professor Crane about President Bush’s year in 2006.

The gist of my interpretation on Hexagram 3 Tun / Difficulty in the Beginning (the annual hexagram for President Bush) was that the President will face a difficult year and if he does not correct the perceived wrongs early, he could face unemployment in 2006. Whether the expression of a lame duck President fits the bill of unemployment, one cannot be sure since there are still three more months to go before the Chinese Year ends in February 2007. But the Yi has been correct so far on the fate of President Bush and his officials, therefore one believes the Yi oracles given to Professor Crane in the past will unfold according to my various earlier interpretations.

Meanwhile one is glad to say that the Yi is right, yet again.

Related entries:

Updates - Oct 22; Hexagram 51 Zhen - Sept 3; Hexagram 54 Gui Mei - Aug 27; ‘Do not chase after the horse’ – various entries on GT shares; ‘Will 2006 be a good or bad year for President Bush’ – Jan 6.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Yi has already spoken

In the early part of 2006 when asked, the Yi told Professor Sam Crane a few things about President Bush, D Cheney and Hillary Clinton. As indicated in previous entries, some of these things have come to past and some waiting to happen. Only time will tell. (No, we do not need twenty years to look back at history or Iraq!)

The question by Sam Crane for Hillary Clinton in February 2006 was what she should do in her political future. The answer from the Yi was Hexagram 6 Conflict which changed to Hexagram 28 Preponderance of the Great. One posted a comment at the Useless Tree blog after pondering on Yi’s answer. The comment then was as follows:

“Perhaps the Yi is simply advising her to be sincere and not be cunning. A war won by cunning will result in the outcome depicted by the top line of Hexagram 6.
She has to drop her current line of attack on the Iraqi war (Conflict), perhaps the wrong strategy.
My further advice to her is to learn more from her husband, former President Clinton about sincerity and benevolence. Clinton can be considered a lucky president who brought back prosperity to the US.”

Whether she did read the blog and followed the advice given by both Sam Crane and me, one does not know. But from the online news report over the past several months, she hardly mentioned about the war in Iraq. Perhaps she found it wise to do so. Since the many that spoke thereafter against the ongoing conflict in Iraq were castigated as siding with terrorists and their loyalty to their country questioned!

After all school children are not supposed to question their principal’s pet project even if it has fared badly and wasted much resources? That probably would happen in Asia, but having studied in England for a few years, Western students seemed much bolder than Asians. And in any democracy, surely there is some freedom of speech?

The Yi has also told Professor Crane about what could befall D Cheney if he does not do the honorable thing. Mr. Cheney has been given more time to reconsider since the Libby case will only be heard early 2007.

For President Bush, perhaps fate has a hand in it. Whoever proposed and/or selected the date for this November 7 US election would probably know nothing about the timing in Yi studies. The irony is that the selected date falls on the first line of Hexagram 2 Kun / The Receptive which says: When there is hoarfrost underfoot, solid ice is not far off.

When signs of decay appear, we need to heed the warnings and take steps to check it vigorously otherwise the rot can bring the house down. If we try to remedy things at the last minute it will be too late to do anything worthwhile.

Coupled with Yi’s answer to Professor Sam in January on President Bush’s Annual Hexagram for 2006 which came with the warning in Hexagram 3 Chun / Difficulty in the Beginning, the President did not heed the signs of decay nor check them in time. He had ten months to. Obviously facing the dilemma of whether to withdraw or proceed as indicated in the first line of Kun, now boils down to fate.

Probably it explains the incoherent things both the US President and his Vice President were doing as indicated by this article in the Nation by David Corn titled “Do Bush and Cheney want to lose?”
[http: //

By going against the people’s wishes and not caring about the common good, perhaps they have much to lose since both appeared as if they have lost the way. And unlucky for both, the people has recourse since the US is a democracy and all the signs indicate that they are going to vote today for change.

On several occasions one had indicated that the Yi really talks to Professor Sam Crane. The Yi has spoken on Hillary Clinton, D Cheney and President Bush. The President was given much time to rectify things. Today the US people will speak their minds and tell their President what they really think of him, his cronies, policies, and past misdeeds, if any.

Good Luck Mr. Bush. You may need much more luck than this to change Fate since the Yi has already spoken.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A luck star (Fu Sing)

Some people are born lucky. These lucky ones never have to worry about the next meal or where the money will come from. Success and money seems to follow them.

Then there are those who always seemed to bring luck and opportunities to benefit other fellow human beings. These people could be luck stars (Fu Sing), if those who had benefited take their time to understand what had really happened. During the time of Chinese dynasties, there were quite a number of stories concerning larger luck stars who worked for emperors. These ministers or generals always have the ability to turn danger around and helped save their ruler(s) or country.

This chap seems to be one who creates luck for others. During the early 1950’s Emergency in Malaya, the British herded Chinese families from nearby areas into various designated New Villages. The drastic action taken was to contain the Chinese community from giving food and money to help the Malayan Communists. Food and milk were then rationed to each family in the village. However families with newborn babies get extra daily rations. This chap was born during those troubled times and his parents sometimes used the extra rations to barter for other necessities for the entire family.

When he was 10, during recess, he found a wad of money lying on the floor, picked it up and promptly handed all the notes over to the school headmaster. It was some poor kid’s money to pay for the school fees and the purchase of books at the start of a new term. At 15, whenever he dropped into his friend’s cafĂ©, the quiet place seemed to fill up ever so quickly. After a while, his older friend took notice and even complained of it, because he had to overwork each time the chap walked in for a chat.

When he reached adulthood, wherever he worked, his employers’ businesses seemed to pick up with new jobs created. Whenever he regularly posts at internet forums, membership starts to increase. When his children grew up and began to notice that the empty restaurants the family walked into for food quickly became full after a short while, he told them about the phenomenon. It has happened since childhood till today.

Over the decades, he has helped his parents, relatives and friends create wealth through well timed investments and/or disposals. He had also helped turned around a failing and cash strapped group of companies through well timed deals which increased the owner’s wealth tenfold. The workforce in the hundreds instead of being made redundant if the business had failed had since tripled.

Was he born lucky? No. Is he a luck star (Fu Sing)? You decide. I am only the story teller and the story is also for free.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Songs of the Immortals

In a recent private function, one had a chance to meet and talk to an elder of a Daoist temple who has practiced neidan for several decades. Taking the opportunity to learn from the elderly man who looked healthy and had rosy cheeks, one ventured to ask whether there was anything to hearing Songs of the Immortals. Back came the reply, “Hearing such songs is an imagination. Many things seen or heard during meditation can be due to our own imagination.” When he said that, one stopped listening and nodded my head as he droned on. There was no point in listening to half truths.

While relatively healthy, one has continued to lose weight; the protruding ‘belly’ together with the rosy cheeks has disappeared a few years ago. When a client saw my whiten face, he finally found ‘reasons’ to point out that I was practising the wrong qigong meditation. Yes, perhaps both the client who has no inkling about neidan practice and the Daoist elder know more than me. Whether they were right or wrong in the private conversations, there was no cause to dispute their opinions. Their names including that of the temple and sect have been omitted to avoid embarrassment to anyone.

Of the ancients, only Buddha had made a mention of the Songs of the Immortals [Refer to the Shurangama Sutra (Leng Yen Ching)]. Perhaps Laozi left it to the younger fellows to cover this. Lu Dongbin in his Hundred Character steele, found occasion to say: “Sitting, listen to no string tone.”

A clearer meaning can be derived from the Za Yung Ching or Classic of the Directory for a Day, which some accredited to Tai Shang Lao Jun, the official name of Laozi. It said of the neidan practitioner: ‘His ears hear the songs of the Immortals that need no aid from any instrument; vocal without words, and resounding without the drum.’ At times, even Buddhas may find the songs joyous enough to chime in and sing.

Fellow travelers may need clarity of mind and wide learning to determine if what is seen or heard during meditation is real or imagined. Otherwise we can be led astray during meditation or by many things in life which include opinions from the so called experts. To remain blameless; one often quotes references for the earnest and the sincere, especially for those who are self taught, for their own studies and further learning.

Whether Songs of the Immortals are for real or merely a figment of our imagination is for readers to determine. If you cannot decide and seek my opinion, my answer could either be a yes or no. For how would I know?