Sunday, January 06, 2008

Arrogant dragon has cause to repent

Often when people have met some success in their endeavors in business, stock trading or even war, they tend to think they can be the next Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Sunzi of their respective country. They presumed that making money in businesses or investments will always remain easy without taking into account of time cycles – changes.

Only the more experienced and the wise would understand and can handle unexpected changes in cyclical up-markets or downturns, since they would not be unduly confident about the markets (and war zones), notwithstanding the wildly conflicting scenarios painted by those with vested interests – politicians and rulers, analysts and experts. The more experienced and the wise would always put their heads down and continue to slog through the good and bad times. Most have seen it before.

Perhaps without the necessary experience and wisdom, Yi students when they are ready can often learn the age old wisdoms contained in the Zhou Book of Changes, many of which remain applicable not only till today but for centuries (dare I say thousands of years) to come. On the assumption that the Master referred to in the Wen Yen (Seventh Wing) of the Zhouyi was Confucius, his comments made 2,500 years ago still carry relevance to the troubles of mankind because human nature has not changed. Take for example his relevant comments on the top line of Qian / The Creative Heaven.

Nine at the top means:

Arrogant dragon will have cause to repent.

The Master said: He who is noble and has no corresponding position, he who stands high and has no following, he who has able people under him who do not have his support, that man will have cause for regret at every turn.

Arrogance means that one knows how to press forward but not how to draw back, that one knows existence but not annihilation, knows something about winning but nothing about losing.

It is only the holy man who understands how to press forward and how to draw back, who knows existence and annihilation as well, without losing his true nature. The holy man alone can do this.

[W/B Book III]

If you ever find yourself facing such cyclical changes, do not presume you know how markets or situations in war zones will swing. No one knows except the divinities (ShenXian and the Yi). Man can plan but Heaven ‘ordains’.

Instead of being modest about their various successes, many of the ‘arrogant dragons’ presumed that they have become ‘masters of the universe’ have fallen by the wayside. (Think of rulers, failed high flyers and business tycoons of your country down the ages.) No wonder, the ancient holy sages devoted a Hexagram in the Yi to the virtue of Q’ian / Modesty and various other hexagrams to help guide the Chinese through the millennia.

But still, many of the ‘dragons’ presumed that they know more about changes and Tao than the ancient Book of Changes. After all to many, it is just a book of oracles, and not that of wisdom? If only they truly know. Then perhaps they may not become an arrogant dragon and has cause to repent.

1 comment:

ballantrae-reprint said...

Another good read - thanks. If you feel like writing more about Heaven "ordaining", I would be interested. I read somewhere - in a biography of Confucius perhaps - that life is not logical; it is invisible laws in operation that make life on earth what it is. It seems to me that this is true and important to remember.
John Ballantrae