Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another signpost of the Way?

Elementary, my dear Watson. Science will always catch up with nature and heaven. In a couple of centuries from now, scientists could invent a thing that flies through space, take photos in heaven and send back the pictures to earth. They could name it, ‘The Hubble Space Telescope’ or something like that!
Obviously that would be very exciting for people on earth then. While this new invention will be great and good for humanity, little would the inventor(s) know that the ancient Chinese have already seen such stars and galaxies during their travels in heaven? To be able to travel such distance – light years away – these ancients meditate and cultivate. Yes, Dr Watson, the ancients can really see those so called Galaxy Building Blocks -11 billion light-years away - which at times look like starbursts or clouds formations.

How I would know, you say, my good man. Well, I would not be Sherlock Holmes if I just rely on theories and beliefs. It is said that Laozi, Lieh Tzu and Zhuangzi had written about this meditation practice but not many readers down the two or three millennia understood what these ancients wrote. To rely on theoreticians and pedant translators will not allow students to see heaven.
It has been rather fortunate that I had in hand a translated treatise of the ‘Secret of the Golden Flower’ written by a Daoist heavenly immortal known by the name of Lu Dongbin. And I have put his teachings into practice. From a mere three years of earnest dual cultivation, I have been able to see these ‘Galaxy Building Blocks’. This I understand is one of the signposts of the Way or Tao. Since the signpost can be sighted within such a short span of practice, I called this minor achievement, elementary!

Well, I could go on and on….. Dr Watson! Zzzzzz Dr Watson! Zzzzz, snore……

The above photos by Hubble Space Telescope were included in a newspaper article titled ‘Looking back 11 billion light-years’ appeared in the New Sunday Times on September 8, 1996.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Super bull has started

Investors in the KLSE will probably feel elated after the big rally across the Board spilled over the shortened three days trading after the Chinese New Year public holidays. On Wednesday – the first day of trade – many low liners rallied. As expected, retailers jumped on the band wagon chasing these shares higher. The value traded exceeded RM 4 billion for the day. The shares of stockbrokers were in great demand on Thursday because of their re-rating, what with the triple or fourfold increase in daily values of trade over that of 2006 (think commissions). Each stockbroker has announced very good profits for 2006 and many gave staff six months’ bonuses. Little wonder, many of their share prices tripled or went up fourfold from their lows in 2006.

If investors had bought or held on to these shares last year and sold them on Thursday – after the Chinese New Year holidays – they would have received a windfall in their red packets within the fifteen days of CNY. This would clarify why one had in two earlier entries indicated – expect a big ‘angpow’ after CNY and not before – and surely the Chinese understands that red packets are usually given during the fifteen days of the Spring Festival. Those who had sold shares or did not buy any before CNY will certainly rue their decisions.

Therefore it is nonsense to say that one was not clear enough when writing the previous two entries. Just because there are some who had chosen to follow some chartists and Fengshui masters who expected a correction before CNY has nothing to do with my Yi charts and oracles. I am neither a fortune teller nor a Fengshui master. One cannot see beyond what the Yi tells me. Therefore stop passing the buck for your own indecisions or missteps.

1993 was a bull run in Asia including Malaysia. My Yi hexagram table and charts were drawn up then and fine-tuned in 1996 – a smaller bull run. It appears that this week’s performance of some shares had flown much higher than expected from indications of the divined hexagrams. Slight overruns are expected but not huge increases. (See entries on ‘Do not chase after the horse’.) One had already re-rated the 64 hexagrams investment chart in my mind. Coupled with a comment from a heavenly immortal, a fortnight ago, it looks like 2007 would be a super bull for the KLSE.

Technical analysis or charting can be thrown out of the window if the super bull happens. Buy into stocks that have good fundamentals and investors would be safe from the expected huge volatility in share prices. (The reason investors have to do their homework.) Share prices that jumped up too fast will also come down much when profit taking sets in, as witnessed on Thursday and Friday. Some shares prices have already fallen 20% within a day or two from their year highs reached on Thursday morning.

Therefore be careful, one had seen enough people losing money in bull runs especially those who tend to chase speculative stocks and lose their cool. Never gamble under a hot temper. In the heat of the moment, many a punter had lost a fortune.

When a divined hexagram indicates the price of a share to increase only by a third, but it more than doubled, the investment chart is not wrong – the chart has to be re-rated upwards (changing with the times). Since a Quanzhen heavenly immortal has also indirectly chipped in, investors can look forward to a Super Bull run in the KLSE this year.

How much you win and how much you lose is based entirely on your own decision and temperament. There is no spoon feeding in this blog and if you cannot win money in a super bull run, put it down to bad luck or fate. Never try to pin the blame on me again. I reiterate that I am not responsible for anyone's fate or fortune.

Unhappy investors and/or readers can always look elsewhere or ask for KLSE tips from the ShenXian (Daoist deities and immortals). One is just as happy writing for many other readers who find something worth their while reading this blog.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Confucian and/or Daoist magic

With Spring in the air, it is time for some Confucian and/or Daoist magic, the magic of transformation. How can we do this? Simple and easy, just follow through with what the ancients suggested. Cultivate the cardinal virtues and students of the Yi and Tao can manifest goodness and kindness before returning to the original virtue. People may tell you differently but the heavenly Daoist immortals and Buddhas will agree to what is posted, so will the Yi (refer to the Qian / The Creative hexagram).

Many down the ages often ignored these virtues, while Laozi, Confucius and Buddha discerned and taught them to their students. These great sages also wrote these virtues into their treatises to be passed down to posterity. Just because the multitude are ignorant does not mean we have to be the same. Perhaps fellow travelers and Yi students can make the cultivation of these four cardinal virtues as their Chinese New Year resolution. One year from now, those who earnestly cultivate may find that their close friends and relatives may wonder how their transformation was managed. A suggested answer can be, ‘Now that is Confucian and/or Daoist magic!’

The one posted on the left is Confucian while the one on the right is Daoist. But both comprised the same meanings, it is just a matter of semantics. Buddha in the Dhammapada teaches the eight fold path - right thoughts, right actions…… They all lead to the same transformation of your character. If you can change your character (for the better) you have begun to learn how to master your fate.

Ladies may find that they do better at changing fate than men because of their maternal instincts and their higher tolerance of the faults of humans. If only they want to cultivate – after all the cardinal virtues are for the common good and part of human nature - since cultivation is not meant just for men, in this time and age. If the ladies do not want to learn the Confucian ethics, they can always learn the Daoists’?
For those who cannot read Mandarin – the pinyin for the Confucian ethics is Ren, Yi, Tao and Te. The pinyin for the Daoist ethics is Ren, Yi, Li and Zhi.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Billions of years in space

Heaven existed for billions of years. Is Tao considerable older? Have a look at this picture taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1996 titled True Colours of the Galaxies. If fellow travellers are unable to see any, do not worry, you may still see them someday. Like Tao and Heaven, these stars have been in space for billions of years, what is another year? 2007.

With these bright colours of galaxies, I wish all readers a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Did the Yi speak? (3)

In the comments section of the ‘Did the Yi speak? (2)’ entry, Regresso made some relevant comments on whether the Yi will speak at different levels to commoners and nobles. And whether there can be an easier way to study the Yi and the necessity to cultivate virtues. My draft reply was half complete, when one felt the urge to consult the Yi on two shares investment which could not wait since there is an ongoing broad based rally in the KLSE, started late Tuesday after the expected dips.

Since there were two separate questions, one had to decide which to ask first. (I usually consult on two investments in a day.) While one was separating the bunch of yarrow stalks and during the counting off of four stalks, at times my mind drifted off to how best to reply Regresso’s comment.

If you ever wanted to know whether the Yi had picked up on those wanderings, or did the Yi want to have a final say on the matter, please read on.

In the first oracle, the answer came in the form of Hexagram 24 Fu / Return with the first two lines moving changing it to Hexagram 7 Shi / The Army.

The judgment in Fu says:
Return. Success. Going in and coming in without error. Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go.

The first line means:
Return from a short distance. No need for remorse. Great good fortune.

Slight digressions from the good cannot be avoided, but one must turn back in time, before going too far. This is especially important in the development of character; every faintly evil thought must be put aside immediately, before it takes root in the mind. Then there is no cause for remorse, and all goes well.

The second line means:
Quiet return. Good fortune.

Return always calls for a decision and is an act of self-mastery. It is made easier if a man is in good company. If he can bring himself to put aside pride and follow the example of good men, good fortune results.

The judgment in Shi says:
The Army. The army needs perseverance and a strong man. Good fortune without blame.

If you take a moment to reflect on what the Yi wanted to say on the matter raised by Regresso – ignore my two investment questions, one knows what the Yi wanted to tell me – perhaps you can understand why it is an important message to Yi aficionados. The commentary offered in the Wilhelm translation is a summary of what has been said and thought in connection with the hexagrams and the lines in the course of many centuries by China’s most distinguished philosophers [W/B 255]. And therefore should be read for a better understanding of what the Yi wanted to say.

For the easy reference of some readers, one will paraphrase what the Yi said.
To and fro goes the Way (Tao). Slight digressions from the good are human. But one must turn back in time, before going too far. This is important in the development of character. The Junzi is someone who shows greatness of character (thus of noble character). However not all nobles – illustrious by rank, title or birth – or sons of nobles is considered a Junzi. It depends on a person’s intent and actions. (See Analects and the entry on ‘Three types of man’) The way to possess great character for anyone is to cultivate virtues and self. It is made easier if a man is in good company (friends). If we can put aside pride and follow the example of ancient sages and the wise, good fortune results. Of course we will need discipline (like in the army) to make a return to the light and the Way.

While casting the second oracle, one felt an awareness that something will happen. It became more acute just before one divided the bunch of yarrow into two for the last or top line. Obtaining a dark or light line really depends on the division. The division of the forty nine stalks should be as natural as possible. It does not matter which divided half contains more stalks.

The second oracle came in the form of Hexagram 27 Yi / The Corners of the Mouth with the first and fourth lines moving changing it to Hexagram 35 Jin / Progress.

The judgment in Yi says:
The Corners of the Mouth. Perseverance brings good fortune. Pay heed to the providing of nourishment and to what a man seeks to fill his own mouth with.

Mencius says about this:
If we wish to know whether anyone is superior or not, we need only observe what part of his being he regards as especially important. The body has superior and inferior, important and unimportant parts. We must not injure important parts for the sake of the unimportant, nor must we injure the superior parts for the sake of the inferior. He who cultivates the inferior parts of his nature is an inferior man. He who cultivates the superior parts of his nature is a superior man.

The first line means:
You let your magic tortoise go, and look at me with the corners of your mouth drooping. Misfortune.

The magic tortoise is a creature possessed of such supernatural powers that it lives on air and needs no earthly nourishment. The image means that a man fitted by nature and position to live freely and independently renounces this self-reliance and instead looks with envy and discontent at others who are outwardly in better circumstances. But such base envy only arouses derision and contempt in those others. This has bad results. (Perhaps the Yi whacked me on the head? If true, probably the Yi may have misunderstood British humor or my sense of humor.)

The fourth line means:
Turning to the summit for provision of nourishment brings good fortune. Spying about with sharp eyes like a tiger with insatiable craving. No blame.

In contrast to the six in the second place, which refers to a man bent exclusively on his own advantage, this line refers to one occupying a high position and striving to let his light shine forth. To do this he needs helpers, because he cannot attain his lofty aim alone. With the greed of a hungry tiger he is on the lookout for the right people. Since he is not working for himself but for the good of all, there is no wrong in such zeal.

The judgment in Jin says:
Progress. The powerful prince is honored with horses in large numbers. In a single day he is granted audience three times.

Hexagram Yi teaches man how to cultivate. Mencius weighed in with his comments: ‘If one cultivates inferior parts of one’s nature, one becomes an inferior man (Xiao Ren). If one cultivates superior parts of one’s nature, one becomes a superior man (Junzi)’. The Yi then advises us not to envy others. Just cultivate until your light shine forth. (This is also applicable to neidan practitioners.) And you will be in the fourth line to let your light shine forth for the common good. To do this you will need helpers of the right kind. The sharp eyes of a hungry tiger will help to discern who the right people are. The correct way of command (as in the army) and a much easier way is to influence experts and teachers and through them the students and people. Thereby there is progress and the powerful prince is honored with horses in large numbers. In a single day he is granted audience three times. (By coincidence, after Regresso’s initial comment, in a single day, Luis and Regresso together granted me, an audience three times!)

Readers will have to draw their own conclusions on whether the Yi has spoken or not. And if the Yi’s comments were relevant to what was discussed by Luis and Regresso, and to all Yi aficionados on the cultivation of virtues to return to Tao.

In case, just like the Yi you had missed my sense of humor, comments made in jest are usually accompanied by exclamation marks. The Yi’s sense of humor is in full display since one was given private tuition on two lines changes consecutively within a day! (Remember my joke on Professor Sam Crane getting his? Probably the Yi whacked my head for that remark!)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Did the Yi speak? (2)

Book II of the Richard Wilhelm’s translation contains the technical aspects of Yi studies. Since it discussed the Ten Wings, Cosmos, Fate, Yin Yang and Tao amongst other technical knowledge, one only began to study Book II ‘The Material’ after a decade or more of studying the Yi. Of course one could be a slow learner, but I wholeheartedly agree with Steve Marshall who has advised Yi students in his Yijing Dao site that they should only read Book II after ten years of studies. Students who are not similarly prepared and had jumped into these technical aspects early may get ‘drown’ in the deep end of the pool.

The deep thoughts and commentary of the wise and the ancients including Confucius, made up the Ten Wings. If we study the material too early, we could be deluged with too much information. If we do not study their thoughts and commentary, we may not be able to deepen our studies. Therefore it would be wise to take things one step at a time, progress at a leisure pace, since the Yi and Tao are there forever waiting for the right persons.

‘If you love self knowledge and/or wisdom, the Yi is the right book. To one person its spirit appears as clear as day; to another, shadowy as twilight; to a third, dark as night.’ [Carl Jung] According to Richard Wilhelm, if you want to speak to the Book of Changes, you need to be fit to consult the oracle. 'It requires a clear and tranquil mind, receptive to the cosmic influences hidden in the humble divining stalks', he added.
[W/B translation]

To those who disagree with these two renowned Western fellows of the Yi and to those who believe that the Book of Changes speaks to anyone who questions and/or cast the tools – yarrow, coins, or whatever – perhaps the following paragraph can throw some light to the understanding of the two respected gentlemen, ancients, and the wise down the ages.

The transformation of things and the fitting together of them depend upon the changes. Stimulation of them and setting them in motion depend upon continuity. The spirituality and clarity depend upon the right man. Silent fulfillment, confidence that needs no words, depend upon virtuous conduct.
[Da Zhuan / The Great Treatise. Pg 324 W/B]

If we seek an oracle from the Book of Changes, it will depend upon the prognostications and expected changes. The diviner stimulates the changes via casting and sets them in motion by acting on the oracles. This ensures continuity. The higher spiritual levels and the understanding of deeper meanings – omens and/or heaven’s secrets - depend upon the right person. (Also refer to the Chung Yung – Doctrine of the Mean and the Hui Ming Ching.) (Did you notice the subtle difference between oracles from the Yi and those of the Meihua Yi Shu?)

Only those who cultivate proper conduct and virtues would achieve clarity, and sincerity in the Yi. Therefore the silent fulfillment, confidence that needs no words – cheerfully waiting for the expected outcome.

Even if we accord a better rendition of what the ancients and wise said, how many Yi aficionados can sincerely follow the changes? ‘Actions speak louder than words’, could be what the Yi looks for in a sincere student. After all, which teacher really likes his students, who came to seek help in the first place, to ignore his teachings and guidance, time and time again?
If you keep teasing and testing the Yi’s patience, you could be lucky to get a whack on the head. Unlucky, if the Yi no longer speaks.

If the Yi does not speak to you, close the Book put it back on the top shelf and put up a sign at the front door, ‘No consultations!’ Do whatever you please for say six months. Reread the Yi after that. When you feel that you are ready, try asking the Yi again. Your fallow mind could be more receptive to what the Yi says if it speaks. And do not forget the follow up actions, this time.

These are the times when my relatives and friends including the Daoist will ask, ‘Why don’t you charge a fee for these deep thoughts?’

Yes, there are people who do that in the web – pay USD 20 before you can open a PDF file to access one of their writings on Tao and/or neidan practice. While I was really needy when they made the well meaning suggestion, who would want to pay to hear a jack of all trades speak? If one can do something for the Yi and Tao, does one really need rewards for such actions?


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bringing back the good times!

From early November 2006 till last Friday, the KLSE composite index has gone up by more than 20 %. The West may consider that a bull run, but not the Asians, since the rally over these three months or so were not broad based. Many low liners and second boarders had hardly moved at all.

Last week, there were some rallies on selective low liners. I had a small punt on two counters and they went up 20% within three days. The sale of the shares on Friday reaped a gain of more than two thousands USD. The profit is more than enough to cover my weekend pocket money, purchases of items and family clothing for the Chinese New Year celebrations! It is timely. Meanwhile, the two finance stocks (stockbrokers) that one bought end November when no one wanted the particular shares, have rallied by more than 50%. While some funds are happy with their 20+% increase in the blue chips, one waits for the expected 80% or more capital gain for one of the two finance stocks.

Good times are when almost anyone in the KL share market can make money – just like in the Bull Run of 1993. Times when a share bought early in the morning can go up by the maximum allowed 30% before the noon close and rise by another 30% by the second session close that is a restricted 70% increase within one day. That would be the start of a Bull Run for everyone not just the big boys – funds and institutions.

Over the past few years, one has indicated to friends and family alike that once the share market is awashed with cash, there will be good times ahead. And most likely the money will come from funds that were invested in weaker South East Asian economies. It seems that have come true and the daily traded values this past couple of weeks were above 3 Billion RM. That is a lot of liquidity, and it is sloshing around in the KLSE. The active market will certainly attract more retailers and thereby the huge American and British funds to come in. Together they have the financial muscle to really move the market and bring back the good times to the KLSE.

Therefore expect a Bull Run after Chinese New Year – the Chinese like to gamble during this festive season - and carefully planned for that big red packet (‘Angpow’ or ‘Hoongpow’) as indicated in an earlier entry. Do not chase shares early next week – they have gone up quite a bit and ripe for profit taking. If you want to buy those, wait for dips. A better bet could be other low liners that are laggards or second boarders. But do some homework. If lucky, the laggards and second board counters can become big winners for investors sometime late February or in March.

While it is logical to believe that continual liquidity will bring up the share market, there could be some revelation of heaven secrets on how the KLSE will perform over the next two months and for the rest of 2007. Therefore stay tuned for more hints.

Meanwhile, good luck to all those readers who invest in Malaysian shares. And let the good times roll!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Did the Yi speak or not?

Yi students, experts, masters, and scholars are aware that whenever we ask the Yi a question, there will always be a hexagram formed from a casting, no matter who divines. Perhaps what is disconcerting is that not many diviners wished to discern if the Yi had answered the question. Similar to answers from divinities obtained through mediums, it is vital that the Yi speaks to a diviner otherwise there is no actual prognostication, no matter who interprets the so called ‘answer’ – since the question was not answered by the Yi.

It seems that few would question whether the Yi has spoken or not - based on a false notion and assumption - that the Yi speaks to any diviner. ‘Not so!’, said the ancients. (There will be another entry on this.)

Divine messages coming through corrupted mediums will equally be unclear or appear diluted and no devotee or disciple can know for sure if the divinities had spoken or not. It is a dilemma not many wished to face in reality. They rather hide behind the pretext that the Yi or divinities have actually spoken, interpret the answer or message and move on with their lives.

Only when things go awry will they stop and think, it could be a bit too late then, and they lay the blame on this or that. One is aware of how mediums can get corrupted, but dare not venture a guess as to how Yi diviners lose the way. Carl Jung had proffered a better understanding in his foreword to Wilhelm’s translation. (See later.)

At times, it can be quite obvious to the discerning that the Yi did not speak at all. If the Yi has actually spoken, the answer can be clear as day …….. (On second thoughts, Yi students should learn how to discern if the Yi had spoken or not.)

If divinations posted by Professor Sam Crane and yours truly are not good enough examples of how the Yi speaks to diviners, we can refer to a Zhouyi divination done more than two millennia ago:

(The leaders of the army of Jin are debating whether to cross the He and engage Chu. Part of the force, under the command of Zhizi has crossed.)

Zhuangzi of Zhi said, "This army is in great peril. The case is that indicated in the change of the diagram Shi into Lin. [On Shi] it is said, ‘A host must be led forth according to the rules of service. If these be not good, there will be evil.’ When the commanders all observe their proper harmony, the rules are good; if they oppose one another, they are not. [The change of the lower trigram of Shi into that of Lin indicates] the separation of the host producing weakness; it is the stopping up of a stream so as to form a marsh. The rules of service are turned into each one’s taking his own way. Hence the words: ‘The rules become not good.’ They are, as it were, dried up. The full stream is dried up; it is stopped and cannot have its course. Consequently evil must ensue. Lin [moreover] is the name for what does not proceed. When a commander does not follow the orders of his leader, what greater want of on-going could there be? And it is the case we now have. If we do meet the enemy, we are sure to be defeated, and the calamity will be owing to Zhizi. Though he should now escape, yet, on his return to Jin, great evil will await him."
Duke Xuan, 12th Year -- 596 B.C. (Legge, p. 312, col. 11 & p. 317, col. 2)

Shi is the Chinese name for Hexagram 7 / The Army and Lin is Hexagram 19 / Approach which meant that the first line in Shi changed. The prognostication is clear as day after the interpretation. Study it well, and you may learn something on how to discern true oracles.

Carl Jung in his foreword (xxxix) noted:
The I Ching does not offer itself with proofs and results; it does not vaunt itself, nor is it easy to approach. Like a part of nature, it waits until it is discovered. It offers neither facts nor power, but for lovers of self-knowledge, of wisdom – if there be such – it seems to be the right book. To one person its spirit appears as clear as day; to another, shadowy as twilight; to a third, dark as night. Let it go forth into the world for the benefit of those who can discern its meaning.

Richard Wilhelm in his introduction (liv) to his translation of the Book of Changes had indicated that: All individuals are not equally fitted to consult the oracle. It requires a clear and tranquil mind, receptive to the cosmic influences hidden in the humble divining stalks. But it seems quite a number of Yi aficionados do not agree to that line of thought. As one understands it, the Yi also spoke to Wilhelm, and he certainly knew his Yi studies.

If the Yi had spoken to you previously, but no longer do so, one is sure you can return to the Light, some day. Hopefully you will not give up as easily as I have seen others. Drop in from time to time and you may get some hints and encouragement from this fellow student of the Yi and the Way.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Brilliant light

Photos of the beautiful sunset in Tanah Lot, Bali Island were taken in December 2006.
Natural shades of the dark and the light – yin yang – are in full display. Perhaps neidan practitioners could have witnessed the same phenomena during meditation?
The imaginative may also see mountains and space crafts up in heaven.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Omens and/or Heaven’s secrets

Continuing from the earlier entry, ‘I Ching, What is happening’, one would like to share with Yi aficionados that deeper answers – omens and/or heaven secrets - from the Book of Changes can be disparate.

The Yi can give omens and heaven secrets directly or indirectly to a sincere diviner entitled to receive such answers. It depends on the circumstances and the aptitude of a diviner. If the sincere diviner has not reached the stage of awareness to receive direct omens, the secrets can be given in addition to answers to any question. Omens can also arise in the form of specific hexagrams, for example Hexagram 62 Xiao Guo / Preponderance of the Small where the flying bird brings the message. That is why earnest diviners need to ponder and discern answers from the Yi.

In my case, the initial omens – the first gulf war in 1990/91 - were given to questions on investments. Other omens came through similar ways until one was ready to receive them directly. Since these unlucky omens – the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the Kobe Earthquake, and the collapse of Barings for example – on unfolding adversely affected world financial markets and any shares or foreign currency trader, one likens the Yi to a father who forewarns and protects his children from calamities that lie ahead – a similar view was shared in the I Ching Community, a few years ago. Depending on circumstances, there were also happy omens given.

If a stranger asked how did I foreknow the unfolded event? One will say, ‘Just lucky, I guess’.

However for Yi aficionados, one would suggest that you read the ancient Chinese books and classics, and put the wisdoms contained therein into practice, have faith in the Yi guidance, cultivate virtues and proper conduct.

It sounds rather easy or trite but it is not. Just like those depicted in the Zhuangzi and the Hsin Hsin Ming, people down the ages like to have choices – they chose this or chose that – and in the end there will be no completion or perfection, if you like.

Only an earnest and sincere student may understand what the ancients taught. The ancients lifted up a corner of the mat and the rest will be up to students of the Yi and Tao. (Think Yen Hui) They had already indicated how to reach the state of mind to receive omens and/or heaven secrets from the Yi. Yes, the ancients really knew and had told us how to! Here is one of their ‘pointing to the moon’:

“It is characteristic of the most entire sincerity to be able to foreknow. When a nation or family is about to flourish, there are sure to be happy omens; and when it is about to perish, there are sure to be unlucky omens. Such events are seen in the milfoil and tortoise , and affect the movements of the four limbs. When calamity or happiness is about to come, the good shall certainly to be foreknown by him, and the evil also. Therefore the individual possessed of the most complete sincerity is like a spirit.”
[Chung Yung – Doctrine of the Mean – 24 Legge]

For more than two thousand years, this ancient thought has laid there in full view for all to see. Yet many students choose obscure ways to study the Yi and at times like to think that they knew more than the wise and the ancients. If only they return to the Light and learn how to become a Junzi.

With such foreknowledge, the ancients need not step out of the door to know what was happening to the world and in heaven. (TTC 47) Just like when an ancient Daoist through neidan practice can emit his spirit (Shen), what are time and space and what is fate? Perhaps then, Heaven and Earth will be pleased enough to form a ter - union with man. Neither would Heaven withhold any secrets.

Therefore such Yi prognostications can be and have been compared with predictions from Daoist deities, immortals and other divinities, since the answers came from the same source – heaven.

The Yi has spoken to sincere diviners using coins for divinations – a good example is Professor Sam Crane. (Another is an American woman, but she no longer posts her answers from the Yi.) If you have not noticed, the Yi has recently given Sam private tuition on two line changes! (Two consecutive prognostications with dual line changes so far.)

Whether an utmost sincere diviner can use coins and/or other divination tools, instead of the milfoil and tortoise to obtain omens, is another thing altogether. How would we students know, unless a real Yi master comes out from hiding to share his or her experience?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Notes for fellow travelers

Quiet the mind, still the heart. Focus on the breath, examine the light. Use the backward flow to return to the source. At times it is cool, other times, warm. Nothing to moderate or massage, just circulate Qi and the Light.

Yin Yang with extremes reached shall interchange. So will forms and emptiness. Like what Laozi said in Chapter 14, there is nothing to do, except watch the transformations. With continuity, you could reach the Center or Tai Qi as described in his Chapter 6.

When phenomena clear, gates can appear. Depending on aptitudes, travelers may have occasion to approve of Zhuangzi who related the travels of Daoist immortal, Guangchengzi and his student, Huangdi who had curbed evil and furthered good.

If you ever doubt what is seen, take a walk on the wild side and visit the Stars gallery! A visual advantage proffered by science over ancient descriptions.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I Ching, What is happening?

The Book of Changes known to the West as I Ching or Yijing is a revered ancient Chinese Classic. The text handed down to posterity is the Book of Changes of the Zhou Dynasty called the Zhouyi in short. Not many Chinese nowadays can read this classic because it is in classical Chinese. Even if they are able to read the Yi, what is written can prove too profound for their understanding?

Therefore if you ever meet those Chinese educated in the East and tell them that you study the Yijing, they will be impressed. They will be amazed to know that you also read the four Confucian Books and the remaining four ancient Classics. (Ha, probably even the Daoist immortals will be impressed!) This speaks volumes for good translators of the recent past who translated these books and classics into French, German, English, Spanish and various other languages to enable the world to learn about ancient Chinese culture.

Of these four books and five classics, the most difficult to read and understand is the Book of Changes. The Chinese has read and use it for more than three millennia and few down the ages can fully grasp its meaning. Even the great sage Confucius at seventy years of age exclaimed that he needed more years to understand the Yi. Not only is the Yi a book of wisdom, the classic is also used for divination.

How to phrase a question for divination is what we will discuss in this entry.

After having read the classic for some years, we may wish to consult the Oracle either out of curiosity or for guidance on some uncertainty arising from our minds. Once we have decided on what to ask, we will have to phrase and pose a question to the Oracle in our own language – be it Chinese, English, French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and others. If the question is in Chinese, the Yi may understand no matter how it was phrased. However if the question is worded in other languages and is either lengthy or verbose then the Yi may face some trouble in answering it. If you have come across how Daoist heavenly immortals answered (English) questions in broken English you would understand that one is not joking.

Therefore one suggests that questions to the Yi should be unequivocal and brief, the simpler the better.

If clients come to seek our divination services they would have decided what they want to ask the Yi. Each diviner will have to use his or her own moral judgment to accept the types of questions to be asked. Some clients may reveal the reasons why they need an answer, while others could be secretive for various reasons. Therefore Yi diviners need to discuss with and guide clients on how to phrase their questions – the simpler, the better – and obtain the client’s agreement, where applicable, before putting it to the Yi.

Over the decades of consultation for self and others, questions put to the Yi had always been simple and unequivocal – no frills and thrills. After all who are we trying to impress? The Yi had also given simple and direct answers, most of time. Yes, there had been occasions in the past where the Yi did not speak – especially in 1994 / 95. I had to put the Book into ‘cold storage’ and let it gather dust over the months. Apparently, the censure of divinities in 1994 for revealing too much secrets to devotees and disciples during the Asian Bull Run in 1993 and the temporary restrictions on revelations took time to put into place. (The Yi spoke on the matter.) If you had divined during that period, perhaps the Yi may not have spoken to you too.

After that episode, we seemed to understand each other better, consequently whenever the Yi wanted to reveal something of importance, one gets a nagging feeling for days on end. The feeling would not go away, until one sits down, opened the log book and writes down my simplest question : I Ching, What is happening?

With the casting of the yarrow stalks, the Omens will then be foretold. All these omens or heaven’s secrets had unfolded and the last one was on the bombing of trains in Europe and England by Muslim terrorists disguised as tourists. (There were previous entries on this omen.)

It proves that the simplest of questions can still get very accurate answers from the Yi.

The Creative Heaven knows through the easy and The Receptive Earth can do things through the simple. [Dazhuan / The Great Treatise] By asking simple, easy and unequivocal questions, are Yi diviners not learning how to emulate Heaven and Earth?