Monday, March 26, 2007

When the Yi speaks

Yi aficionados down the ages have always found the Book of Changes profound not only because of its images and wisdoms; they also stand in awe of Yi’s accurate prognostications, when the Yi happens to speak. If ancient sage kings and rulers can rely on the prognostications to help decide on important matters of state, only the ignorant and the arrogant would seek to denigrate the profundity of the Yi and its workings.

Ignorance arises from the lack of divination experiences and arrogance comes from self belief that their knowledge about the Yi is far superior to ancient sages and the wise. Just like what Confucius had indicated in the Analects, only the stupidest (the ignorant) and the wisest (the arrogant) cannot change, since they no longer have a need to learn. Yet the sage King Wen and his son, King Wu still had to learn from Jiang Taigong and the ancients.

Little wonder why the Yi tends to speak to those who are sincere and earnest. What is the point of speaking to the insincere and the frivolous? They usually do not listen nor act on Yi’s guidance. Therefore, according to the Doctrine of the Mean, only Yi diviners with the most entire sincerity can foreknow omens, and secrets of Heaven. After all, heaven is on the side of the good.

If you count among those who can foreknow omens and secrets of heaven (which includes Daoist devotees and disciples in the East) from the Yi (and/or divinities), do not be carried away with how you disseminate the privileged information.

Not all are entitled to listen in on omens and Heaven’s secrets before they unfold. You have to discern who is entitled if you need to share it with someone. If you have to pass on the message to others, reveal only relevant information, while the rest should remain as secrets, even if friends and kin pester you for more. Without circumspection, you could be ridiculed by skeptics or at times warned by Heaven.

For example, while drafting the entry on ‘Confirmation of 2007 Yi chart’ an unexpected thunderstorm brewed. Thunderbolts approach nearer to my house each passing moment as one wrote about the intention of the Daoist heavenly immortal to send his senior disciples overseas and the reasons why. When the thunderclap was at its loudest, one decided to change the exact locations (from places to compass directions) and omit the works his disciples will have to perform in each destination. Only then did the thunder and lightning move away and just as quickly subsided as the storm began. When a good friend wanted to know more upon reading the entry – nothing was divulged.

If Yi aficionados think one is deluded or merely superstitious, think of Guan Lo’s experience with the Daoist deities during the Three Kingdoms era who specifically warned him not to reveal too much about the workings of Heaven.

Without real teachers, Yi diviners have to learn to be circumspect even if we intend to share our experiences with fellows of the Way. To take notice of warnings from nature, heaven and Tao is a method to deepen our self studies of the Yi and the Way. There is no real need to believe me, just look into what the ancients and the wise indicated:

Looking upward, we contemplate with its help the signs in the heavens; looking down, we examine the lines of earth. Thus we come to know the circumstances of the dark and the light.

Since in this way man comes to resemble heaven and earth, he is not in conflict with them. His wisdom embraces all things, and his Tao brings order into the whole world; therefore he does not err. He is active everywhere but he does not let himself be carried away. He rejoices in heaven and has knowledge of fate; therefore he is free of care. He is content with his circumstances and genuine in his kindness, therefore he can practice love (Ren).
[4. 2&3 Da Zhuan – W/B]

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