Learning to live with nature, the ancient Chinese studied and observed how animals and birds behave. Having thoroughly understood the animals and birds’ instinctive natures, the ancients referred to as the holy sages embedded these studies into the Book of Changes. That is probably why students in their course of study of the Yi come across celestial dragons, horses and oxen, wild goose and cranes, tortoises and fishes, tigers and panther, goats and sheep, boars and pigs, hawk and pheasants, small birds and cock, fox and the hamster. A rich and symbolic imagery bounded with a station in life of the times since except for the celestial dragon, the rest still exists till today.
About two thousand years later, the Chinese devise the twelve animal signs to represent each year of birth or horoscope for the multitude. This derivation method of prediction of the future proved highly popular among the people since it is much easily understood and accessible to all walks of life compared to that of the Yi. Many people around the world today can tell you that 2009 is the Year of the Ox!
But only the real masters can probably tell you accurately what is going to happen this year even though most expect things to be really dire. What with the rapid slump in demand and with it dwindling sales/exports and plunging of profits experienced worldwide.
Lemmings have followed or are still following their kind to jump off cliffs; bulls and bears badly burnt by the past six months precipitous plunges and rises have resorted to call each other or themselves chicken; ostriches having had their heads stuck in the sand while eagerly splashing out their remaining precious savings and/or available credit during the recent festive seasons. The rabbits which have scampered into their burrows at the first signs of danger in 2008 and remained there can be considered wise; so are the hidden dragons (or masters) since it is not the right time to act. Remember, no Tao on earth?
The many who had consistently called bottoms during 2008, the Year of the Rat became scapegoats, sacrificial lambs, or roasted pig! Some have lost their fortune(s) or a large slice of it; others, their pledged homes or worst still, their lives.
At the start of 2009, the wiser fund managers have decided to call themselves chicken and stayed well away from the markets.
If you have decided to retire or go into semi retirement from the stock market like the main characters in the award winning Chinese film titled ‘Crouching tiger, hidden dragon’ but instead remained in hiding, you could be fine. If you are enticed by innocent looking ‘brats’ or sweet words to change your very intention, you could find yourself embroiled in the existing chaos in the world wherever you are.
The timing of investment needs to be perfect. But I have not seen anything yet.
Since September 2007, the Yi indicated chaos and unemployment is still ongoing, and the expected implosion of the mountain, a month later, has yet to touch rock bottom.
My worse case scenario projection of USD 900 billion write downs by global banks, which doubled the existing forecasts prevailing then, has since been exceeded in real terms. It is rather academic now. Let others – Goldman Sachs and/or the IMF with their huge army of highly paid experts – do their work. I still only have the power of one! Some institutions are currently indicating two or three trillion USD write downs in total.
One way to crouch like a tiger or remain hidden like a dragon is to ‘sit on your hands’. Then you will have ‘no itchy fingers’ to dial your stock broker or key in a buy order online. I have been sitting on my hands since last May, if some readers want to know.
However do not mind me if bulls and bears are looking for small gains or pocket money from the global battered stocks, but be ready to scamper like a rabbit or you could be badly burned. While a 30 or more percentage gain from stock investments will make most cheerful for awhile, it is not what I am looking for.
If the ancients are right, a lifetime crisis proffers a lifetime opportunity. And one is still looking for an eight to tenfold gain.
2008 has come and gone, could it be in 2009 or 2010? Perhaps only those students or experts who know much about timing in their Yi studies could probably answer that. A hint! The late renowned sinologist, Mr. Richard Wilhelm knew it too.
Meanwhile, the Yi has given my annual hexagram for 2009. While it is a good hexagram for stock investments, the Book of Changes has also reminded me to crouch or remain hidden until the timing is dead right again and therefore the title for this entry. Otherwise fellow Yi students and the good people may instead rely on the prevalent derivative methods of predictions such as animal signs for their future.