Sunday, April 26, 2009

Notes on Hexagram 57.2 Xun – Priests and magicians are used in great number

Many Yi aficionados would agree that some prognostications can be interpreted literally. And that is when we understand most from the oracle. The deeper and more experienced diviners would say it depends on the question and the answer, and our own levels of understanding, but this may not tell us much if the Yi never spoke.

On the assumption the Yi actually spoke on this occasion and the question is for an annual hexagram, what can the deeper and more experienced interpreters make out of this prognostication?

The Judgment:

The Gentle. Success through what is small. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. It furthers one to see the great man.

Nine in the second place means:

Penetration under the bed. Priests and magicians are used in great number. Good fortune.

Wilhelm provided a good explanation to the line in Book I of his translation where it was mentioned that the task of priests (Shi) is to trace the intangible influences that slink into dark corners that affect people by suggestion. And thereafter the magicians (Wu) would remove the influences. When such elusive influences are brought to light and branded, they lose their power over people.

Of course the ancient way of interpretation could be different. Shi would mean ancient masters of the Way. And Wu would mean diviners who used tortoises and/or yarrow stalks for divination.

The Yi could be telling the diviner, he is on the right track to become a master of the way and diviner using the yarrow for divination. And he is to bring into the light and brand those intangible influences that had slinked into dark corners. (That is because of humanity and justice.) Furthermore he could influence the Shi and the Wu and use them in great number when the time is right, to assist the gods.

Some Yi aficionados may think the interpretation incorrect but I have not revealed much yet. It may help their understanding of the interpretation if they read up on Wilhelm’s translation on Hexagram 57.2 including that of Book III to prepare for a deeper interpretation later, if heaven finally allows the omen to be published.

Meanwhile Laozi may have something to say about it in his Tao Te Ching chapter 47.1:

‘Without going out through the doors, one can know what is happening in the world; without looking out of one’s windows, one sees the Tao of Heaven.’
[Lin Yutan]

The great sage was talking about the Wu and the Shi respectively, in case readers do not know. The Wu and recently the Shi have been paying much attention to what has been published in this blog! Figure that out for yourself.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Ancient masters of Tao

In the Tao Te Ching, Laozi said,

‘Ancient masters (shi) of Tao possess a subtle and profound penetrating clarity of its mysteries; their depth beyond men’s knowledge.’
[TTC 15. 1 - AL]

Nowadays, there are many who claim that they are masters of Tao. Since Tao is so vast and minute, many seemed to know or grasp it but few really do. When these ‘masters’ and scholars of Tao are not even aware of or cannot see the many signposts of the Way indicated in the Zhouyi by the holy sages and about five centuries later in the Tao Te Ching by Laozi; how much can they know?

The Way cannot be read and understood through the intellect. Only by continual cultivation and the right practice can one get near it. Only when one is on the correct path and possess sufficient penetrating clarity and virtue, can the various indicated signposts be seen, felt, or heard. Even then one cannot be considered a master of the Way.

In case some readers would like to disagree, think about how the masters, experts, scholars, and aficionados down the ages were or are still figuring out the mysteries and profoundness of the Zhouyi. While at it, have they considered the depth of the holy sages who were accredited to have collectively brought about this ancient Book of Changes for posterity?

Going by his descriptions in the Tao Te Ching, Laozi truly understood the ways of ancient masters of Tao.

With the available ancient Chinese books and classics translated into various languages, can we not also learn to understand them too?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

When students are ready

There is a saying that when a student is ready, a teacher will appear. Many relate it to modern day commercial relationships (paying students), but not so in this blog.

Whatever shared here on Tao and/or the Zhouyi is for free. Whatever discussed and the pointing to; is for fellow students to follow up, learn, and to improve themselves.

If they are enthusiastic in learning the profound subjects, they can become earnest; if they are earnest to investigate, they can become sincere when they acquire deep knowledge of these subjects or doctrine. With sincerity, the way of heaven, they can develop and heighten their spiritual awareness. With a heightened spiritual awareness, they may get to know what divinities do and can even assist them. (Refer to the Great Learning and the Great Treatise.)

If students possess talent they need to cultivate virtues. Those without talent may still obtain something if they have virtues.

However with no talent and virtue, it would be difficult for those who want to study and comprehend profound subjects like the Tao and/or the Zhouyi. Many down the ages have tried and failed.

For without talent and virtue, as indicated by Tze-Kung in the Analects, students, ‘experts’, and ‘masters’ can only absorb the smaller and not the greater principles of profound subjects or doctrines. [19. 22 Legge] Sooner or later you may realized the truth in this statement, if you look around long enough in the web or in what was written by so called masters.

While I am honored by several requests over more than a decade, including a recent request, to teach the Zhouyi and/or neidan (inner alchemy); compared to the ancients, one knows almost next to nothing.

If truths are written in the form of cryptic messages in their ancient classics meant only for those who possess talent and virtue, how dare I reveal these Yi and neidan secrets to others? Even the Zhen Ren or realized persons do not disclose them directly, speaking only in metaphors, similar to those of Daoist heavenly immortals and Buddhas who come back to teach their students from time to time.

If students already possess talent and virtue, what can I teach? If students do not possess either/or it is best to learn from the ancients including the holy sages. They still are the greatest teachers on Tao and the Zhouyi that ever walked on earth. They and their respective teachings are the ones, I often point to.

Therefore when students are ready and having attained some clarity, they can absorb the greater principles of Tao and the Zhouyi from the ancients and some from the Zhen Ren (realized persons). They are the teachers including Daoist heavenly immortals and Buddhas who will appear, and not me.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

‘Green shoots’ or ‘Head fake’?

Global economists and investment strategists are currently having a field day calling the shots.

The optimists amongst them are saying there are some signs the winter ice is finally thawing and ‘green shoots’ slowly emerge from the ground this spring. While the pessimists among the lot are predicting that the economy still has a way to fall and global stock markets which had rebounded since the lows in March is actually a bear rally, a feint by Mr. Market and therefore a ‘Head Fake’.

The only difficulty is who are we the small fry going to follow? The ‘green shoots’ or the ‘head fake’ callers?

The US Federal Reserve Chairman, who probably still relies on computer programs, counts amongst those who predicted ‘green shoots’ while George Soros called the current US stock market rebound, a bear rally. Based on the annual Yi chart, both can be right or wrong; depending on the time span of each prediction. Only time will tell.

The best bet for those who are holding only cash or cash equivalent could still be ‘to sit on our hands’.

Let the Bulls and the Bears battle it out. Otherwise small fry may easily get swallowed up by the hungry great white sharks (market makers and movers) in search for food in the stormy waters, since a lot of ‘big fish’ are slowly dying out or have died after the recent financial tsunami.

Marc Faber recently predicted the S&P index will retrace by a maximum of 10% before the real rally starts. He appears to have a sixth sense like George Soros. But this time, Mr. Faber could be in for a surprise. Why?

If my annual hexagram and the Yi chart for 2009 are correct, there would be a further round of great destruction of wealth in the global stock markets.

The Chinese who have visited their ancestors’ graves this Qing Ming to pay their respects and to lament about past stock market losses should take the opportunity to sell into this rally and raise cash levels. (Your ancestors may have helped. But their powers, if any, could be rather limited.)

Be careful, there are many big fences up ahead. (Think of those fences in the Grand National in the UK, where great jumpers have had come to grief.)

Don’t say, I have not told you that.

Monday, April 06, 2009

How Confucius became learned

In a past entry, one had suggested that both the great sages, Laozi and Confucius had learned from their ancients. While Laozi could have studied the ways of Fu Xi, Huangdi and Jiang Ziya; Confucius could have studied the ways of Yao, Shun, King Wen and Duke Tan of Zhou.

This particular passage from the Analects informs that Confucius was self taught and also confirmed he became learned by studying the ways of King Wen and his son, King Wu. It also serves by inference to confirm that the great sage had studied the Zhouyi.

Kung-sun Chao of Wei asked Tsze-Kung, saying,
‘From whom did Chung-ni get his learning?’

Tsze-Kung replied,

‘The doctrines of Wen and Wu have not yet fallen to the ground. They are to be found among men. Men of talents and virtue remember the greater principles of them, and others, not possessing such talents and virtue, remember the smaller.

Thus, all possess the doctrines of Wen and Wu. Where could our Master go that he should not have an opportunity of learning them?

And yet what necessity was there for his having a regular master?’

[19. 22 Legge]

Since most of us are not geniuses, is it not time to study the ancient books and classics of the three doctrines – Daoist, Confucian, and Buddhist – if we want to become learned of the particular doctrine?