Sunday, February 17, 2008

A word of encouragement

Fellow students who read my articles on Tao and the Zhouyi should not feel discouraged if the discussed topics appear too deep at times. The articles are meant for sharing insights and experiences with like minded fellows. It is difficult to strike a fair balance since readers would differ in experiences. At the time of reading, some could be more enlightened than what you can understand or know while those more accomplished in the particular subjects may say ‘tell me something new’. But you can take note of what is written for your future reference. There may come a time when you realized what is written is true and really works.

Obviously those more accomplished and experienced would understand why certain ‘secrets’ have to be held back. However sufficient hints are usually given, either in a particular post or in others. It is just a matter of reading and discerning what had been actually indicated. To arrive at a deeper understanding of the specific topics discussed, - for example why certain hexagrams constitute omens or depict timing, or are used in neidan practices - readers will have to read further references (ancient or otherwise) provided. In this way, by examining ancient thoughts and investigating into relative unknowns, fellow Yi aficionados and Tao travelers can learn more. Just like any student, what we learn belong to ourselves. And the hard earned knowledge and experiences remain with us for a length of time.

While some of the articles have spawned discussions in Yi, Daoist, and Confucian forums where due credit is given, I have come across blogs and stock market articles written in a national newspaper that emulate my prescience and insights. One even copied and pasted a picture to his blog recently to discuss ancient thoughts on cultivation. Unashamedly the blogger used my insights on the topic with no credit given.

It is easy to copy my ideas and insights, but without the necessary knowledge and experience – the held back ‘secrets’ - behind the in-depth matters discussed, how much can these intellectual thieves know? Perhaps it explains why the ancients speak in metaphors and held back some secrets from undeserving students. Their teachings were meant only for the right persons.

While the few, the Xiao Ren, come to read with the intention to engage in thievery, most readers possess integrity.

One particular reader has learned something about Yi consultations from the blog. I am glad to inform Yi aficionados that with only a short six months of consultation experience, the Yi gave the blogger accurate prognostications on various stocks quoted on the KLSE and what could happen in the country. He uses the coin method for the divinations. After speaking to him, I can understand why he had not followed the Yi’s guidance accordingly.

When students are able to get the Yi to speak, we still need to know how to interpret the prognostications accurately, which will take time and much experience. But inaccurate interpretations can also teach something as long as we continue to learn from our mistakes.

If in his old age Confucius still required more time to study the Book of Changes to avoid great faults, is it not correct to say that Yi students need a prolonged time to learn the profound Yi? While many students have already spent thirty, forty, or even fifty years studying the Zhouyi, how many can really say that we know much about Heaven and Earth – the two primary hexagrams, out of the total sixty four?

These are some of the reasons why we continue to learn and discuss the Yi, why fellow students come to read the blog, and at times, why those in search of excellence do need a word of encouragement.


blur said...

sifu allan,
i hv been following ur blog for some time now. very interesting. i currently study western astrology, and use star positions to predict favorable time & vice versa for important events. been happy with the results so far. that's really basics! i dont know chinese, which is why i find it difficult to undertand ur english translation at most times. any recommendations for how i can start, english literature of course:)

Allan said...

Hi blur!

Your various comments will be addressed in a forthcoming entry, since a number of Diaspora Chinese could be in the same boat as you. I hope you do not mind.