Thursday, July 31, 2008

Observing trends for good fortune

Observing trends forms part and parcel of prescient in investing. Having foresight would help an investor achieve good fortune.

Whether investors are Yi aficionados or not, but want to know how to achieve good fortune in their investments, read on:

Therefore good fortune and misfortune are the images of gain and loss; remorse and humiliation are the images of sorrow and forethought.

When the trend of an action is in harmony with the laws of the universe, it leads to attainment of the desired goal; this is expressed in the appended phrase “Good fortune.”

If the trend is in opposition to the laws of the universe, it necessarily leads to loss; this is indicated by the judgment “Misfortune.”

There are also trends that do not lead directly to a goal but are rather what might be called deviations in direction.

However, if a trend has been wrong, and we feel sorrow in time, we can avoid misfortune; if we turn back, we can still achieve good fortune. This situation is indicated by the judgment “Remorse.” This judgment, then, contains an exhortation to feel sorrow and turn back.

On the other hand, a given trend may have been right at the start, but one may become indifferent and arrogant, and heedlessly slip from good fortune into misfortune. This is indicated by the judgment “Humiliation.” This judgment, then, contains an admonition to exercise forethought, to check oneself when on the wrong path and turn back to good fortune.

[Part I, Chapter 2 .3 The Great Treatise – W/B]

In these turbulent and uncertain times for investments, many an investor would be lost.

Luckily, Yi aficionados can still turn to the oracle for guidance and take the proper action(s). Good fortune.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Affinity with Heaven

The ancient sages probably knew more about the Way of heaven than most people. And they wrote down the ways of heaven, earth and man in the Book of Changes for posterity.

According to the ancients, the diligent study of the Book of Changes (I Ching / Zhouyi) and sincere practice can bring a student closer to Heaven and Tao.

Apart from the neidan meditation, the holy sages also enciphered the four cardinal virtues - Benevolence (Ren), Justice (Yi), Mores (Li) and Wisdom (Zhi) - into the Book of Changes. Unless the student consider oneself already pure or innocent, cultivating these cardinal virtues is necessary to become a good person.

The cultivation of virtues helps raise our spirituality. Neidan meditation further heightens spirituality through the transformation of essence (jing) into energy (qi) and energy into spirit (shen). Together they constitute the dual cultivation.

When the spirituality is so heightened, the cultivator may experience affinity with heaven and realize why it is on the side of the good. (Refer TTC 79)

Without the virtues, one cannot be the right person. Without the most complete sincerity, one cannot divine like a spirit (shen).

If you happen to have an aversion to reading the four Confucian books where Confucius and Mencius discussed and taught the cardinal virtues in depth, you can study the Book of Changes. If you find the I Ching too profound or deep, try the Tao Te Ching where Laozi briefly touched on these virtues. If you still do not understand them well, try the Dhammapada – the eightfold path. Buddhists versed with the Dhammapada, if required, can fine-tune their understanding of virtues with some of the books or classics mentioned.

When the student is ready, teachers will appear. These teachers include Daoist heavenly immortals and Buddhas that is if you have affinity with heaven.

When there is affinity with Heaven, whether one is Daoist, Confucian or Buddhist, heavenly immortals and Buddhas may teach you something on the Book of Changes if you are humble, earnest and sincere. The divinities may also teach you a bit about Tao and cultivation from time to time.

To the Chinese, there are other ways to obtain affinity with heaven such as becoming a religious Daoist, Buddhist and/or devotees. Daily rituals and prayers to divinities can also bring believers closer to heaven.

If there is affinity, these divine teachers from Heaven may heal disciples and/or devotees of diagnosed terminal illnesses (including cancer). Such miracles, usually unreported or documented, do happen. If there is no affinity, nothing happens.

Therefore if you intend to have Heaven on your side, but do not wish to be religious, try not to forget to cultivate the cardinal virtues taught by the ancients. In case you forget or are not aware of what Mencius has taught, all people are born good.

Nothing wrong with cultivation to return to the original or natural state to receive heaven’s blessings now, is there?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

History repeating itself

In 1998, among other ominous things, the Yi told me that a leader will fall. When the time drew closer, it was a call between the then US President Bill Clinton who was subjected to an impeachment or the then Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim who was in a ‘power struggle’ with the then Prime Minister.

Within the timeframe of the prognostication(s), Anwar was sacked, and Bill Clinton found guilty of transgression(s).

The Yi also pre-warned in a subsequent prognostication, a week after the first, that an ominous event would happen. Days before it happened, I suggested to kin, close friends and colleagues to stock up on fresh and canned food, milk, beverages and necessities – especially for the kids and babies.

The ominous event turned out to be the arrest of Anwar on the night of September 20th 1998.

The following morning, if I remember the event correctly, the Malaysian people were in a state of shock and panic. Within hours, whatever food, milk, beverages and necessities were cleared from the shelves of supermarkets. The empty shelves of supermarkets were shown on TV news.

Ten years on, in 2008, the Yi did not give any such prior warning of an impending arrest, probably because we know each other better! And the Yi chart readings seem to have improved over the years – at times fine-tuned with Daoist heavenly immortals but mostly through careful observations and records.

During the wake of my recent deceased mother, the first few days of July, I had already indicated to kin that Anwar among others could be arrested. But how would I know?

On July 16, 2008, Anwar Ibrahim, the assumed Opposition leader, was arrested by the police following accusations that he had sex with a male aide. Sodomy is a crime in Malaysia. In 1998, he was arrested both for corruption and for sodomy.

Therefore this is another instance of history repeating itself.

There would be more down the road, but revealing too much of heaven’s secrets will damage this Yi student’s health.


Meanwhile I would be away for a short holiday with my family, next week.

I had not taken them for holidays overseas in May or June after disposing of the stocks, since the Yi had already indicated the impending demise of my frail mother. It would not be filial of me, if I, my wife and children could not return in time for her funeral.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Overwhelmed by mounting problems

As of Friday, the US Fed and the US Treasury seems overwhelmed by the potential collapse of US banks and of the two national mortgage companies caused by the tumble of house prices and the credit crunch. Risks of an impending economic downturn, a devaluing dollar which helped raised global food and oil prices – inflation, and a technical bear market, add to the dilemma of which fires to fight first.

According to Yahoo Finance, the US government shut down a thrifts bank, IndyMac Bank on Friday July 11, 2008 after the mortgage lender succumbed to the pressures of tighter credit, tumbling home prices and rising foreclosures. There was also a run on the bank which prompted the shut down.

This came on the back of concerns (read rumors), Friday, that the two national mortgage companies – Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which lent out or guarantee housing loans of Americans to the tune of US $5.3 trillion could face some trouble in capital adequacy requirements because of huge expected write downs. Stocks of financials swooned on those rumors amid concerns of further bank failures.

Back in Malaysia, it was reported by the New Straits Times that all police leave have been suspended because an opposition party intends to call for another round of protest against the recent petrol (gas) and diesel price hikes by the government. Together with the recent upheaval in Malaysian politics, and the various unsubstantiated accusations of corruption, cover-ups and involvement in a particular murder thrown at top government officials, the ruling party of the country seemed to be overwhelmed by mounting problems within and without.

Meanwhile, if we look at the monthly charts of stock indices of the US (Dow Jones), UK (FT), Hong Kong (Hang Seng), Australia (Ords), Malaysia (KLCI) and Singapore (STI), these stock markets had started their recent plunges in the month of May 2008 – after a meaningful rebound from the tumble of the global stock markets in the first quarter of 2008.

It seems that Mr. Market has regularly tuned in to this blog for the past year or so. With the many right calls on the stock market(s), it looks more like prescient (having foreknowledge or foresight) than coincidences.

If you reread my entry on ‘Raising cash levels’ dated May 13, 2008 and the subsequent entry on the stock market(s), you may understand why prescient is important in preserving capital.

The stocks that I have sold in early May have subsequently fallen by between 41% and 70% before a small rebound over the past few days.

If investors have had held onto stocks since May or earlier, their capital would slowly but surely dwindle by now.

Warren Buffet, the Oracle of Omaha, had mentioned the importance of preservation of capital. Since without capital, investors can do nothing else except twiddle their thumbs, even where a great opportunity for investment arises. His investment company held more than US $40 billion in cash by the end of June, ready for any good investment opportunities.

This highlights the difference between those who have foresight and those who rely on hindsight. Those who can foresee could plan ahead, while those who rely on hindsight would have to constantly fire fight or be overwhelmed by insurmountable problems.

Meanwhile the dangers creep closer as the weeks go by.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Gen and meditation

Many Yi scholars and experts invariably agree that Hexagram 52 Gen / Keeping Still, Mountain describes meditation. Indeed it is. Since meditation is about keeping still.

The Judgment advises the meditator to keep the back still so that he no longer feels his body. He goes into the courtyard and does not see his people.

The Image says: Thus the superior man does not permit his thoughts to go beyond his situation.

The first line advises the meditator to keep the toes still.

Next to keep the calves still.

The third line warns the meditator not to make his sacrum stiff, while keeping his hips still. Otherwise the heart suffocates.

The next step is to keep his trunk still.

Thereafter to keep the jaws still.

The hexagram ends with a noble hearted keeping still.

Those who practise meditation could understand what is said in hexagram Gen better than non meditators. This again provides a good example of the different layers in the Yi; between those who know and those who do not have the requisite experience(s).

To achieve quietness, one should keep the heart still and empty the mind.

By keeping the heart still, it will not run away. By emptying the mind, one allows the sunshine in!

Within the stillness and emptiness, quietness sets in.