Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Of students and masters (11)

It could be worthwhile for those who cultivate Tao or practise neidan to spend some time to read the Taobums forum. Especially on threads started by those taught by real masters in China, and where readers may pick up some knowledge on what cultivation or neidan entails. At times, although rare, what is written therein can provide a confirmation of various minor signposts of the Way.

For example, in a recent questions and answers session in Nov / Dec 2010 between Wang LiPing and some students in the West, he was asked what the first signs of success were for an average normal practitioner of his practice. Wang LiPing of Quanzhen is a real neidan teacher recognized by the Chinese government and has gained quite a number of students in China and recently in the West.

According to his official website in English and copied over to the Taobums forum by his students, this was what he said (extracts):

“The first thing following this practice is health improvement. Your energy level increases steadily. This sign is important but is not the most important.

The most important thing is when you transform your XIN LING, when you change your soul, so that you have more wisdom and more faith.....

In a next phase the practice will change your body internals, your organs and internal functions so that your immunity will increase. You'll never get the flu again.

While it is good that a well respected teacher like Wang Liping confirms in public that a neidan practitioner will have his or her immunity increased in the next phase; from experience, it could be circumspect to say that never to get the flu again is conditional upon continual meditation practice.

Of course if neidan practitioners still have 24/7 Qi flows even without continual meditation over a period of time, they can cure the oncoming flu with heat from their palms before the flu gets full blown. Those so interested can refer to my older entries on Thermal healing [in 2005]; and on how the Shi (masters) can help cure Swine Flu or H1N1 posted both in this blog and in the Taobums forum in 2009, to gain a better perspective on the matter.

Even if we managed to get our immunity up in this next phase and not likely to get flu again one way or other, it can be considered only a minor achievement for neidan practitioners since the ancient classics, the great masters and the Zhen Ren did not mention the immunity to Flu in their teachings. But how would I know?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Friends come (Peng Lai) (2)

It is always good to have friends whether we live in the mountains, the valleys, the countryside, towns, or cities. Even if we happen to be hermits, we may need some help from friends now and then.

So would a cultivator of Tao, and sometimes his or her friends could be special in the spiritual sense. These special or true friends may come to help if the need arises.

If we understand certain layers of meaning in Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction, we may know why in the midst of the greatest obstructions, friends come. (Refer to previous entry and study the entire hexagram in detail, if interested)

In case scholars and cultivators think otherwise, take at look at what the Judgment of Hexagram 24 Fu / Return say about friends:

Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way. (Tao)

The questions, we may need to ask are: why do these friends come, and without blame; who are these friends; and what has the occasion anything to do with Tao?

Perhaps cultivators of Tao or neidan practitioners who read this blog may know the real answer. How would I know?


Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Friends come (Peng Lai)

The West has an adage that says, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” The Phrase Thesaurus if you Google for the proverb, indicates that a version, “a sure friend is known when in difficulty” translated from Latin was known by the 3rd BC.

True friends come to help when we are in need, sometimes even without asking.

The ancients also knew about this, if not more, and embedded this adage in the fifth line of Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction in the Book of Changes for posterity:

In the midst of the greatest obstructions, Friends come.

The pinyin for this line reads and I like it when it jumped at me at Yijing Dao before reading the Chinese characters: Da Jian Peng Lai.

No, the great did not see the mythical Peng Lai Island of the celestial immortals (Xian) as I had initially thought. And the Chinese character for the first name of the island differs from that of a friend (Peng). Therefore the W/B translation is correct.

But that is not what this short discussion is about.

This discussion is something about true or special friends that come to help in the midst of the greatest obstructions.

For deep thinkers and cultivators, does this ninth in the fifth place of Jian have anything to do with Tao?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quieten your mind

Those who meditate often find that arising thoughts tend to disrupt their every effort to quickly reach a tranquil and quiet state of mind for meditation. The more they try to stop them, the more, thoughts will arise.

To quieten the mind, so to speak, is a basic and fundamental requisite for a fruitful meditation no matter what level we are at, or try to achieve.

Therefore let us turn to a real master of neidan, Lu Dongbin, a renowned Quanzhen celestial immortal, no less for the relevant advice on how to quieten the mind:

“Only one must not stay sitting rigidly if worldly thoughts come up, but one must examine where the thought is, where it began, and where it fades out.

Nothing is gained by pushing reflection further. One must be content to see where the thought arose, and not seek beyond the point of origin; for to find the heart (consciousness, to get behind consciousness with consciousness), that cannot be done.

Together we want to bring the states of the heart to rest, that is true contemplation. What contradicts it is false contemplation. That leads to no goal.

When the flight of thoughts keeps extending further, one should stop and begin contemplating."

[The Secret of the Golden Flower translated by Wilhelm / Baynes]

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A warm welcome to all readers

Over the past ten years, like many readers I have seen several changes happening on the World Wide Web.

Daoist and I Ching Forums come and go. Websites that used to advertise and sell Daoist or neidan meditations or secrets at USD 30 a pop have probably disappeared. It seems that people who like these topics are becoming wiser and more discerning. It is all for the good.

The reason the blog is titled, ‘A touch of ancients, buddhas, immortals, and the zhouyi’ is because of my limited knowledge and experience. But knowledge and experiences increases as the years past by if we continue to be earnest and sincere in our studies and practice. In that way we gain new insights and wisdom, so to speak.

New readers may ask why do I include buddhas and immortals in the title when most entries deal with the teachings of the ancients and the Zhouyi?

Regular readers over the past five and the half years may know why.

The earlier entries deal with my (again limited) experiences with buddhas, Daoist immortals and deities. Some of my knowledge on Yi divination and on neidan comes, directly or indirectly, from these divinities.

Furthermore, these once wise and learned humans became buddhas and immortals through their diligent study and sincere practice of ancient teachings which (may or may not) include the Zhouyi. From my experience, Buddhas know about the Yi, and Quanzhen celestial immortals know the Yi very well.

With the above explanations, hopefully you understand why buddhas and immortals are included in the title.

The way, the blog entries are written with the many hints and references given is for readers to explore them further, and extend their studies and practices of Tao and/or the Yi, thus hopefully gaining insights through their own experiences.

Even with a real master (including celestial immortals), students have to do that, otherwise how could they ever be learned and wise? If you doubt my words, ask those who learn from real masters of Tao and/or the Yi.

Therefore, even with the many hints and references given, you have to do the proverbial ‘learn how to fish’ by yourself, otherwise you may eventually ‘starve to death’ and dropout of your studies halfway. We do not really want that, do we?


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Remember this well

When people spend ten years or more of their lives studying and practising an art form, for example, martial arts, yoga and/or qigong exercises, they consider themselves masters of that art.

In comparison people who have spent decades in the study and cultivation of Tao and/or reading the Book of Changes still consider themselves, students. Why?

For the subjects of Tao and the Yi are vast and profound.

Grasping a meaning or two from the Confucian books and the ancient classics whether Confucian, Daoist, or Buddhist, does not mean we know much about Tao and the Yi.

We are often humbled by the new meanings that spring up from these books and classics upon further readings even after decades of studies and practice. Such is the case probably with Confucius, one of the ancient sages, who have had read the Yi.

Until we attain spiritual clarity through neidan (inner alchemy), there are still many hidden secrets or truths in these ancient books and classics waiting to be revealed to the right person(s) or the Junzi. (A note to translators of Daoist classics or texts, wisdom or zhi in pinyin is not spiritual clarity. Do not mix up the two different meanings.)

In the ‘Simple notes on Hexagram Fu / Return’ on May 1, 2006, I have written something for neidan practitioners and Yi aficionados.

It matters not if readers understand the significance of the hint or not, but it pays for neidan practitioners who have already progressed to see the various signposts of the Way as indicated in the ancient classics, sutras, and Daoist texts (of Zhong LiQuan, Lu Dongbin and Zhang Boduan in particular) to remember this well:

“Friends come without blame. To and fro goes the Way. On the seventh day comes return."
This is the course of heaven.
[Commentary on the Decision of Hexagram Fu - W/B]

Guess what? I would not be the one to reveal the secret or truth.

All I wish to add for Yi aficionados and neidan practitioners is that the hidden secret or truth could be related to the bottom and the top line(s) of hexagram Fu. But how would I know?


Saturday, October 30, 2010


“If I were possessed of austere knowledge, walking on the Main Path (Tao), I would avoid the by-paths.

The main path is easy to walk on, yet people love the small by-paths.”

[TTC 53 as translated by Lin Yutan]

Return to Tao is what Laozi had advocated in the Tao Te Ching. The road to Tao is broad and easy for travelers to walk on, yet down the millennia many still prefer the narrow and/or winding bypaths. Bypaths are practices that deviate from the Way.

If we return from a short distance, after a deviation from the Way, there is great good fortune. Misfortune will arise if we missed the return. (Refer to Hexagram Fu / Return)

There are more than sufficient warnings given in the teachings of Laozi, the Buddha, and the Zhen Ren (include Zhong LiQuan, Lu Dongbin, and Zhang Boduan) to cultivators of Tao not to stray onto the bypaths, yet many students and ‘masters’ still love doing just that, knowingly or unknowingly.

Take for instance, the practice of ‘Lucid Dreaming’ where a person is conscious of his or her dreaming.

According to a Western student of a Thai Buddhist monk, he has meditated for a year in a Buddhist temple in Thailand and has been able to visit the spirit world at will through his so-called ‘one pointedness’ meditation and ‘Lucid Dreaming’.

Apparently, ‘Lucid Dreaming’ is part of the practice taught by his teacher in the Thai Buddhist temple. (It is also taught by Tibetan Buddhists according to Wikipedia.)

He goes on to describe the differences between the spiritual and the physical worlds and the realms where the demons, ghosts, humans, gods, and the Buddhas are in.

For those interested, he has started a thread in the Tao Bums fielding questions on the spirit world and his experiences. Readers would be okay if they do not venture into the spirit world like him, since his teacher or the temple can possibly handle the consequential attacks by ghosts and demons. (No, it is not Halloween!)

The subject on ‘Lucid Dreams’ is also available in the Wikipedia. Readers can Google for it if they wish. While it is interesting to know that the phrase was coined in the West more than a century ago, and why, the author (s) of the Wiki article try to mislead readers that ‘Lucid Dreaming’ is very old by linking it up with Zhuangzi’s dream of a butterfly, and embedding a picture, displaying a non being floating out of the head of a being (‘the son of Buddha’), found in the Secret of the Golden Flower as translated by Richard Wilhelm / Cary Baynes.

Apparently some modern writers have had indicated that lucid dreaming is a gateway to spiritual enlightenment. Not only is this claim misleading, it is far from the truth.

Spiritual masters go into the spirit world for specific purposes, but it has nothing to do with neidan or the return to Tao. Since the Buddha and Lu Dongbin specifically warned cultivators of Tao against any dealings with the dark realms of the spirit world, but what do I know?

No wonder, a renowned late Abbot of a Thai Buddhist temple had written in his book on meditation, published a few decades ago, that he had visitations from angels from Germany and other parts of Europe who came to praise his well spoken Dharma. According to the book, he has many followers in Thailand and various parts of South East Asia.

To me, it is clearer now why he had seen such phenomena while fellow travelers, including the great masters and the Zhen Ren who have walked on the Way before us, did not.

Perhaps readers and cultivators understand a bit better what a bypath can lead to?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Free lunch for Malaysian retirees

Regular Malaysian readers probably have been waiting for a ‘free lunch’ from this blog for quite some time since the free lunch on shares investment given to readers living in Europe and the US. It is difficult to provide a free lunch on the stock market since our government has been shoring up the KLSE index instead of allowing it to ‘freefall’ like other countries. Let us then talk about something else.

If you are about to retire or have just reached the retirement age, think twice before taking the entire sum out of the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) unless you really need to use the money. Comparatively, the EPF is safer than banks. And the last paid dividend by the EPF doubled the annual rate for fixed deposits payable by banks.

Malaysian retirees who have taken their entire lifetime savings out from the EPF upon reaching the age of 55 would find it difficult in the current investment environment to park this large sum of money, relatively speaking, risk free and get the same or better returns than what the EPF pays.

Furthermore, the Malaysian government two years’ guarantee of monies held with banks and other financial institutions, if not extended, will be over by the end of 2010. The guaranteed amount will then revert to RM 60,000.

For those who had withdrawn the entire retirement sum and still have money left, unless you think that the banks are safe it is a better and a risk free bet to place the funds in special bonds issued by Bank Negara, the country’s central bank. Since the global financial crisis to date Bank Negara has issued two special bonds with a coupon rate of 5% (doubled the then annual FD rate) for retirees and/or the public.

As the lender of the last resort to banks in Malaysia, and guaranteed by the government like in all other countries, where is the risk in parking your money with Bank Negara? You are also allowed to take out the entire or smaller sum(s) from the amount invested in the bond after the conditional holding period (of three months in the case of the recent bond for retirees).

If you have missed out on the two bonds, wait for another opportunity. These special issues are, in a way, subsidies for the Malaysian retirees and the public, and subscribing for them also helps Malaysia – since at the time the foreign bond holders were taking their monies out of the country.

If finance is not your forte or if you are not savvy enough in foreign currency exchange, do not be enticed by the banks and use the retirement sum to dabble in foreign currencies or the so called carry trades, you can lose your shirt and your well earned retirement especially amid the current global currency war – where the US and the Euro zone want to lower their respective currency values to make their goods cheaper for foreign buyers.

When hedge funds or large investment funds can lose billions in foreign currency trades even before this currency war, chances are slim that you can make good gains from such investment.

Those borrowing the Japanese Yen for carry trades would be hammered when the currency last week reached its highest value in 15 years against the USD. Besides that have you considered the hidden cost of the exchange rates quoted by banks when you convert the Ringgit into foreign currency deposits and back again on maturity?

Since the banks and the industrial titans in the US and Europe are flush with trillions of cash with the recent quantitative easing (QE) by their governments, some monies have found their way to Asia including Malaysia to seek for higher returns in relative safety.

For example a 3% coupon rate payable for a Bank Negara Ringgit bond provides a better return than holding a US Treasury Bond paying half a percent or less, especially since the investors know that the US dollar will lose its value with more QE planned by their government authorities.

That is why the Malaysian Ringgit has appreciated against the USD, the Euro, and Pound Sterling, over the past few months. And some Asian countries like Thailand are already trying to slow the inflow of this hot money into their economies. These particular Asian countries have learned the lessons of the 1997/ 98 financial crisis well.

Meanwhile park your Ringgit in relative safety or in good low risk investments, as discussed above, until opportunity strikes again. And do your homework before you invest, please.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What is not Neidan?

Over the years, I have written quite a bit on neidan (inner alchemy) with numerous quotations cited from the right books, Daoist texts, and ancient classics with the hope that readers can learn something for themselves in the event they intend to practise or are already into the practice.

It seems that fellow travelers are far and few in between. Most others tend to think as they are told by their teachers that they can reach enlightenment by doing this or that. Sadly these students will be really disappointed at the end of the day, when they realize that they had been misled.

So what is considered not neidan?

All forms of martial arts whether they are of Chinese and Indian origin are not neidan. (Japanese and Korean martial arts are already included.) Some masters may argue that their martial arts for example Taijiquan and Neigong deal with internal breath (qi) control and therefore it is related to neidan. But that is far from the truth if we know what neidan practice involves.

All forms of Yoga including the so-called Daoist yoga are not neidan. Remember that yoga is Hindu? What has yoga got to do with Daoist neidan? If Daoist yoga is neidan, Zhang Boduan and Liu I Ming of Quanzhen would not have warned against it in their respective writings.

All forms of qigong exercises are not neidan. Here I find many masters making claims on the web including Daoist forums that their exercises will lead to enlightenment. Sadly these are ridiculous and false claims but many of their students do not think so. While qigong exercises can improve the health and increase the qi levels of students, neidan practice can do more than that.

Most forms of meditation are not neidan even if they happen to deal with breath control.

If the breath is not circulated, it is not neidan. If the breath is circulated but no light is seen within it is not neidan meditation. If the breath and the light circulate together but then the practitioner feels kundalini arising, that is not neidan. Kundalini, as the well read know, is a Hindu practice.

Chan and Zen Buddhists, going by the Youtube postings of a well respected master in the West teaching meditation, are not practising neidan. They just meditate. Some love to play mind games. Probably such games are good for the mind. No wonder the Chan Buddhists of old love to read Zhuangzi.

However, Zhuangzi did not practise neidan in case readers did not discern. How could he when he rejected the Ways of Earth and Man and only concentrated on the Way of Heaven?

But this has nothing to do with Bodhidharma, the first patriarch of Chan Buddhism. His teachings are fine and they involve the cultivation of nature and fate which is no different from neidan as taught in the Book of Changes (Yijing). The Buddha taught the cultivation in the Buddhist sutras, the same as what is written in the Tao Te Ching by Laozi. But then you may disagree.

No wonder, I have not seen you walking along the Way!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Incorrect meditation practice (s)

The Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing / the Yi) can be considered the oldest ancient classic of China. Most sage kings, ancient sages, the wise and the learned down the few thousand years of its history have read and studied this classic. This classic can also be considered as profound as Tao. Therefore not many down the ages can really comprehend much of what is written in it.

Some called it a Book of Wisdom while others called it a Book of Oracles. They are equally correct since the ancient classic can be used for both purposes, and more. If we look into Chinese history, how much more one can get out of the ancient classic depends on the particular student or master.

Both the Daoists and the Confucians have learned much from it as did Laozi and Confucius. Compared to the two ancient sages, the Zhen Ren (realized persons) were more specific in their written texts by referring to various hexagrams or trigrams for proper neidan (inner alchemy) practice. Yet the ignorant and those Chinese illiterate in classical Chinese (and therefore could not read the Yi) chose to practise waidan (outer alchemy) or dissed the Book of Changes as superstition.

Many of those so-called masters who came out from China or who had studied there for awhile and who are not versed with the Yi have been teaching in the US, ‘neidan’ or various forms of qigong exercises with promises of ‘enlightenment’. If Tao or enlightenment is so easily attained, heaven would be by now filled with Daoist celestial immortals and Buddhas. Yet do you know of any human immortals – the first stage of immortality according to Zhong Liquan?

In case you are learning or practising meditation whether self taught or taught by those so-called masters, whether simple or advance, whether Daoist, Buddhist, or Hindu, take heed of what I have mentioned in past entries about fast heartbeats during meditation. If your heart beats very fast, you should stop the meditation immediately, since the method or pose used could be incorrect. Or you could be ill.

If you doubt this warning, take a look at what the ancient Book of Changes by way of Hexagram Gen has to say about it:

Nine in the third place means:

Keeping his hips still.
Making his sacrum stiff.
Dangerous. The heart suffocates.

This refers to enforced quiet. The restless heart is to be subdued by forcible means. But fire when it is smothered changes into acrid smoke that suffocates as it spreads.

Therefore, in exercises in meditation and concentration, one ought not to try to force results. Rather, calmness must develop naturally out of a state of inner composure. If one tries to induce calmness by means of artificial rigidity, meditation will lead to very unwholesome results.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Note on year 2012

Fear is a human and an animal emotion. Fear of the unknown can make people jumpy and nervous, if not driving them crazy. Not only do unscrupulous leaders and New Agers know that, they capitalize on this very emotion, fear, to sell their ideas in speeches, books, and films filled with Doomsday theories.

One of these Doomsday or end-of-the-world theories that have garnered much worldwide attention recently is the so-called 2012 phenomenon. Many people across the world especially after watching the movie titled, ‘2012’ have been moved to believe that such global catastrophes can really happen. They tend to say that the ancient Mayans and the I Ching cannot be wrong in predicting the end of the world.

Yes, the ancient Mayans may not be wrong, but did they write of such an event?

Yes, the I Ching cannot be wrong, but who was the person who consulted or interpreted the oracles?

No, they do not want to know that or get right down to the facts; they just want to believe, even if directed to look up this so-called Doomsday theory in the Wikipedia. I therefore append an excerpt taken from the Wikipedia to put things in perspective:

“The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012, which is said to be the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae related to this date have been proposed.

A New Age interpretation of this transition posits that during this time Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe.”

When there is much hype given to an uncertain or unlikely event in the global news media or publications, people become fixated with it. For instance, the ‘expected’ Y2K problem with computers, where global titans paid hundreds of millions of US dollars to the experts and advisers in 1999 for trying to resolve it before all their computers freeze up and malfunction at the turn of the next century. Contrary to common belief, nothing happened as the clock struck one second past midnight taking the world into year 2000.

In the previous entry on this 2012 phenomenon, I had asked if the world could end so easily. Maybe it could, maybe not. Whichever way it will turn out, the ancients have left behind these verses in the Da Zhuan (Great Treatise) for Yi aficionados to ponder how the end of the world will arise:

“The Creative and the Receptive are the real secret of the Changes. Inasmuch as the Creative and the Receptive present themselves as complete, the changes between them are also posited. If the Creative and the Receptive were destroyed, there would be nothing by which the changes could be perceived. If there were no more changes to be seen, the effects of the Creative and the Receptive would also gradually cease.” [W/B]

Perhaps readers may understand why I had asked that question, or perhaps not?

There is no reason for me to debunk the Doomsday theory or support it. Let it be since people can believe what they want to believe. There are surely better things to do in life.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

No more bets, please!

Whether you are swimming in liquidity or holding onto your stocks and/or realty investments, nothing much can be done over the weekend when financial markets close.

You can no longer scramble to place more chips onto your favorite number(s) in roulette when the casino croupier calls out, ‘No more bets, please!’ Neither can you withdraw your bets fast enough, if rules allowed, before the spinning ball drops.

You have made a bet and place your fate on Lady Luck. Life and fortune are often like that, unless you possess foreknowledge of time and space to master your fate.

But such foreknowledge is difficult to come by even if Yi aficionados have studied and consulted the Book of Changes for many a decade. Just be earnest and sincere in your Yi studies and consultations and continue to persevere. Your time may come with the ability to divine like a spirit.

Meanwhile forewarnings have been given to regular readers, to prepare in advance, in previous entries. Nothing else to do except, wait.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Understand what you read

In any studies, the student would be provided a suggested book list to read either by teachers, schools, or peers. Even if students happen to read the same book or classic, we may each come away with a complete different understanding especially on profound subjects like the Tao and the Zhouyi, as is often seen in the World Wide Web.

Some differences in understanding these two ancient Chinese studies have been covered in previous entries. It seems pointless to go through them again which is in line with Heaven and Earth, and the sage.

While the Yi can be treated like a parent, whether we use the ancient classic as a Book of Oracles and/or a Book of Wisdom, we could have completely ignored its guidance(s) if we do not understand what we read. Unable to understand what we read, we may bend with the wind instead of getting the clouds and the wind to follow us.

If we understand what we read, it is easy to discern spurious claims of which there are many. And we would not sway whichever way the wind blows since our knowledge or roots have deepened.

In line with the times, and as a continuation of the previous entry on ‘Fei Ren in the seventh month’, I append some of the in-depth thoughts of the ancients taken from the Ten Wings for aficionados who have a minimum of ten years of Yi studies under their belt, since the commentary deal with Tao and the Cosmos:


Standstill. Evil people do not further.
The perseverance of the superior man.
The great departs; the small approaches.

Commentary on the Judgment:

Thus heaven and earth do not unite, and all beings fail to achieve union.

Upper and lower do not unite, and in the world, states go down to ruin.

The shadowy is within, the light without; weakness is within, firmness without; the inferior is within, the superior without. The way of the inferior is waxing; the way of the superior is waning.

Confucius says about the (fifth) line (of Standstill):

Danger arises when a man feels secure in his position. Destruction threatens when a man seeks to preserve his worldly estate. Confusion develops when a man has put everything in order. Therefore the superior man does not forget danger in his security, nor ruin when he is well established, nor confusion when his affairs are in order. In this way he gains personal safety and is able to protect the empire.
[W/B Books I & III]

There are several layers of thoughts depicted here, some over our heads as usual.

Test your Yi knowledge on these ancient thoughts and see if you can really understand why so many warnings had been given?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fei Ren in the seventh month

King Wen, the ancient sage king, penned the words, ‘Zhi Fei Ren Bu Li’ (pinyin) as the opening verse for the judgment in hexagram Pi. In the Wilhelm/Baynes translation, it reads as ‘Evil people do not further.’

Fei Ren’ can mean evil people and can also be taken to mean ‘not people’ or ‘non people’. The Chinese call person(s) who commits a dastardly act or acts against humanity - for examples: Hitler, or the Austrian who imprisoned his daughter as a sex slave and their children; ‘Fei Ren’ or even ‘Mo Gui’ (demons).

But since the term can also mean ‘non people’, it can also take the meaning of Ghosts (Gui). Ghosts since they are no longer among the living are certainly ‘not people’.

The seventh month in the Chinese calendar carries a significant meaning to the Chinese in most parts of Asia. This is the month where Daoists and Daoist devotees observe the traditional Hungry Ghosts Festival.

According to Chinese folklore and beliefs, the Hell Gate is opened daily from night to dawn for the entire month to allow ghosts to roam Earth. More can be read at Wikipedia (Google Hungry Ghosts Festival) if you wish.

The seventh month of 2010 started on the 10th of August, and will end on 7th September (the twentieth ninth day of the Chinese month).

As I have indicated before in blog entries, if readers do not believe in these types of phenomena or Daoist beliefs, it is best not to cast any aspersions on it. You may not know what can happen since a popular practice down the ages cannot be treated as mere superstition.

Sages and the wise have briefly explained through the ten wings in the Book of Changes that there are phenomena of light and dark spirits – Shen Gui.

Knowing that the practice exists is good enough for Daoist and Yi students, if they want to learn a thing or two about what can happen in this peculiar month. In case, the not so observant have missed it, dates have been laid out and a hint on timing according to Yi studies has been given.

Some food for thought for Daoist and Yi scholars during this month of the Hungry Ghost Festival, since those who had contributed to the Wikipedia did not know when the tradition has had started. But please do not quote me in the Wiki since I only know a touch of ancients and the Zhouyi.

If you have been observing this peculiar seventh month over the past few decades, you may have noticed that at times, funny things do happen to the Asian financial markets during this particular month.

Fei Ren (the non and/or evil people) may inexplicably decide to play havoc to your life and/or your mountain of treasures. A reason why the judgment says, ‘Evil people do not further’.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not humane?

In Chapter 5 of the Tao Te Ching, Laozi taught that

Heaven and Earth are not humane and treat all things as straw dogs. In line with that the sage is also not humane treating people as straw dogs.

While many scholars try hard to discern what he meant by those words, his following explanation on the reason why escaped most mainly because scholars are not necessarily neidan practitioners:

The space between Heaven and Earth seems to be like a bellows. It is empty and yet inexhaustible. When active it produces more.

No amount of words can fathom it. It is better to keep to the Center.

In a recent thread in Taobums, there was discussion on Water and/or Fire methods taught by three teachers in the West. I wade in to mention that Confucius taught about the importance of Names. Neither Laozi nor the Buddha taught any water and/or fire methods. In the Yi the only method taught is that of Keeping Still.

Kan (water) and Li (fire) are subjects too deep even for neidan masters let alone students unless they have in depth knowledge about Qian and Kun, Kan and Li in the Book of Changes.

My question put to members (and to readers of this blog), since according to Zhong Liquan and Zhang Boduan, there is where the real work (fire) starts, was:

How many experienced neidan practitioners have you come across that know the exact location of the space between Heaven and Earth?

Since there were no answers even from students of the three teachers in the forum, I hope some readers here can answer my question.

If only few know the space between Heaven and Earth and keep quiet, how can scholars ever discern what Laozi meant in this chapter 5?

Exactly what Laozi taught in Chapter 1, that the Tao that can be spoken is not the eternal Tao? Simple and easy that!

If you still do not understand why Heaven and Earth and the sage are not humane and treat myriad things and people as straw dogs respectively, I cannot help you anymore than that.


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Just for the records (2)

In the previous entry of the same title, a fellow member of the dormant I Ching_Yijing forum kindly reminded me that the 2nd line and the 5th lines of Hexagram 57 Xun changed. Thanks.

Upon checking the divination journal, indeed the two lines had changed.

If I have not read the accompanying notes made after the divination and days of pondering, I would probably not have remembered how the timing of the two events – the Iraq war and the end of it - was calculated.

On the following page of the journal, I noticed that the Yi again insisted on this student asking a question. Similar to the above prognostication, it was another heaven’s secret or omen.

It came in the form of Hexagram 2 Kun and the accompanying notes containing the prediction and the subsequent unfolding filled up an entire foolscap page. (I no longer do this since I can log the unfolding in this blog.) This heaven’s secret was published in the I Ching Community in the summer of 2003.

It foretold of groups of Muslim terrorists acting as holiday makers or tourists bombing trains and national libraries in the US and Europe that summer.

During those few months there were substantial US intelligence reports online that terrorists were planning to bomb bridges and trains. Then it suddenly went all quiet.

In the summer of 2004, groups of Muslim terrorists bombed trains in Madrid, Spain.

In the summer of 2005, groups of Muslim terrorists bombed trains in London, England.

Almost three years after the publication of this heaven’s secret, the then US President George Bush inexplicably revealed that a group of Muslim terrorists were arrested days before they could fly to the US to bomb the Library Tower that summer of 2003.

Can events and truths be hidden from the Yi? No.


Thursday, August 05, 2010

Just for the records

An I Ching prediction on the Iraqi war in 2003 posted by me on the IChing_Yijing probably on 23rd April 2003(?) found while cleaning up my hotmail box, for those interested:

In, "chuko_kungming"

Hi to everyone. This is my first post. Just joined the group (23rd

> Now on the Iraqi war and Iching predictions:
> From the hexagram # 57 obtained by me in Feb 2003, the Iching
> indicated that the Iraqi war would start within 5 days of 15th
> March. And the war will be over by end April or first week of May

Just for the record:

US President George Bush declared deadline for Iraq to disarm by 17th
March 2003, and ordered attack on Iraq on 19th March (US time)/20th
March (Asian time).

He declared end of attack and victory over Iraq on 2nd May 2003.



Time flies. This is just for my published records on heaven’s secrets and omens, since I can no longer access my account in that forum which has been rather dormant for years.

No one could have stopped that war, though many world leaders tried before it happened.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

WCG Malaysia CS champions again

The first photo showing the guys holding up the national flag of Malaysia and published by WCG Malaysia is the Sudden Attack team of FMJ. The team formed in 2009 when the quite popular FPS (first person shooter) game developed in South Korea was first introduced in Malaysia and Singapore has won a few nationwide cum Singapore championships. My son, KC better known by his in game nick, nitroN, stands on the left.

But his first love of FPS games remains that of Counter Strike. After winning the WCG Malaysia CS championship in 2008 with Team LZ, he could not form a strong competitive team in 2009 since his teammates have either gone overseas for studies or have decided to play Sudden Attack instead. Four of the guys including him in the SA team of FMJ have won several national CS championships over the years.

Earlier in the year, he was quite happy to inform me that he was able to form a CS team with some of his former teammates. After naming them to me, I mentioned that they are among the best Malaysian CS players. I never asked what the name of his team was until they had reached the finals, since my wife, daughter and I were going to provide support for him, as usual.

They chose the name ‘Old School’ for the team. I guess the names of their more famous teams which they had represented before like Teams FMJ, Hybrid and LZ, and which dominated the Malaysian CS scene for several years have been taken over by other team members.

Unlike what Confucius said, in cyber gaming, it is not the name that counts but the team members!

Their team, Old School, steamrolled or whitewashed the opponents all the way to the final. In the final, they won 2 – 0 in the best of three maps playing against Team LZ, the WCG CS national champions of 2008 and 2009. The former champions, Team LZ only managed to take 2 rounds in the first map and 5 rounds in the second off them. In CS competitions, the first team to reach sixteen (16) rounds wins the map.

The second photo published by shows the WCG Malaysia 2010 CS champions, Team Old School holding up their prizes. KC again stands on the left.

So far in Malaysian CS history, the best performance was by Team FMJ by taking the 5th to 8th placing in the WCG Grand Finals held in Singapore in 2005.

The team was a bit unlucky to have met the eventual grand champion, 3D of USA, in the quarter finals. My family and I were there to support KC playing for Team FMJ then. By comparison, I told KC, the individual skills of this team Old School of 2010 can probably match those of team FMJ of 2005.

But amateurs being amateurs; if the team can go, they may still fail to beat the best professional CS teams of Europe, Asia and the Americas playing in the WCG grand finals to be held in Los Angeles this autumn.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Privy information

Certain people like the heads of states, top religious leaders, Daoist disciples or devotees and Yi students at times have access to privy information provided by other heads of states or the divine including the ancient Book of Changes depending on the circumstances and probably on a need to know basis.

Sometimes the privy information provided is the same but no timing is given, for example:

• The Holy See urges Iran and North Korea to abide by the UN regulations to avoid a nuclear war back in 2007.

• The ancient Chinese classic, the Zhouyi informed this student about the raining of rockets in 2009 and the use of nuclear or silent weapons in 2010.

• China using the correct approach probably deferred the raining of rockets in 2009 and tries hard to defer it yet again this year.

• The US preparing for all eventualities used special radars with the ability to detect rockets or missiles armed with nuclear warheads or fakes to cover the mainland and Hawaii in June 2009 in case North Korea decided to launch them. According to a July 14 news report by of Hawaii, the country has just returned one of these special radars to the island for ‘maintenance’ until fall this year. (See comments in entry on ‘Nuclear or silent weapons’ for more information or link to the news report.)

• On July 17, 2010 former Cuban President Fidel Castro warns of an impending nuclear war at a meeting with more than 100 ambassadors to Cuba if Iran and North Korea are too hard pressed.

Have regular readers notice the similarity of messages passed by China and Cuba and in the entries written in this blog since May 2010?

Like most people in the world, I have no wish for another war to start. But if it happens, it happens.

The multitude can do nothing but watch since the drumbeats, no matter how loud, are in a relative safe distance, except for those countries involved in the war.

Regular readers may have to prepare for such an event. Think of your mountain of treasures and/or of your safety.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Nuclear or silent weapons

It seems that the US has quietly been making preparations for all eventualities.

While hundreds of millions of people on Earth watch the FIFA World Cup finals, four US submarines have moved closer to the Korean peninsular according to online news last week. These submarines which usually carry rockets with nuclear warheads have instead been armed with cruise missiles. A total of four hundred plus cruise missiles which the four subs carry are currently pointed at North Korea and China according to the news report.

A torpedo counts as a silent weapon too, if regular readers missed that.

Since the drumbeats are getting louder and louder, will it rain rockets? Would nuclear or silent weapons be used?

It is too late to ask Paul the mystic octopus, it has retired! (Like others, the bookies had also made offers to buy him for whatever reasons.)

Instead try asking the Yi and/or your favorite Shen Xian (Daoist deity and celestial immortal) for the answers.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

A bit of luck

The semi finals of the FIFA World Cup 2010 have just finished with the final and the third fourth placing to be played over the weekend.

A day before the Spain – Germany semi final match, my son thought Germany was going to win since the team played so well against both England and Argentina in the round of sixteen and the quarter finals respectively. I said, ‘Let’s wait for the psychic octopus’ input before determining which team will win.’

Of course Paul the now famous octopus housed in a German Aquarium predicted Spain to win that match vindicating why it is still the best psychic for predicting FIFA football tournaments – despite the wishy-washy interpretations of its trainer and/or spokesperson in the quarterfinal and semifinal matches played by Germany. However it does not mean you can wager your shirt or house on its predictions. Since it is also known that Paul the psychic octopus has been wrong once so far, way back in 2008 where it predicted Germany to beat Spain in the European championship final - Spain won instead.

If you need a bit of luck too like my son, wait for the psychic octopus to choose whether Germany will take third placing over Uruguay this Saturday. But remember not to put your shirt or your house on the line. A small wager will do, if you really have to punt.

Meanwhile if you have watched all the Holland matches in this World Cup, you may agree with me the team has a bit of luck going their way. My son did not notice that.

In all tournaments at the world stage, the qualified teams are skillful enough to represent their respective countries and would have a chance to win the championship. Holland played ‘total football’ back in the 1970s led by the legendary Johan Cruyff of Ajax Amsterdam FC fame and who had coined that phrase. The Dutch team played real skillful and beautiful football then. But they did not have the luck to win the World Cup final both in 1974 and 1978. Like always, winning a championship requires much skill and a bit of luck, and Holland has both this time round, I had told my son.


In the opening match in the group stage against Denmark, the play opened up when Danish Daniel Agger headed the ball away from the D line only to hit the back of his own team mate to score an own goal much to his amusement. Holland scored a goal to win the game 2 – 0. Holland went on to win the remaining two Group E matches.

After beating Slovakia in the group of sixteen, it met Brazil the favorite to win this World Cup and the team to avoid in the quarter finals. As expected, Brazil opened the score with a beautiful goal from Robinho. When Holland counterattacked with a lob into the D, Felipe Melo of Brazil, under pressure, headed in an own goal making it all square at 1 – 1. Similar to the match with Denmark, Holland scored a goal and a 2 – 1 score line was enough against ten men (Melo was red carded later for a foul) to put it through to the semifinals.

In the semifinal match with Uruguay, Dutch Wesley Sneijder scored with a deflected shot by a Uruguay defender. Holland won the closely fought and exciting match 3 – 2.

With all the luck they are getting in this World Cup, and with a bit more luck in the final, Holland would win it this time round. However, Dutch fans should keep their fingers crossed since I am neither a psychic nor an octopus like Paul!


Self taught cultivators of Tao also need a bit of luck to get the right books and texts for study and confirmation of their correct neidan practice since Bodhidharma had said that only one in a million of the self taught can become Buddhas.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Learning non attachment

It is human nature to attach ourselves to someone (parents / spouse / children / relatives / friends) and/or something (house / pets / car / clubs etc). However attachment to someone or something invariably affects our emotions. And emotions can at times make us lose control of ourselves.

Take for example, the fans supporting their favorite football team in the ongoing World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Whether they watch their team play in the football stadium or live on TV, their hopes and emotions are governed by its performance during and even after football matches. Fans can turn boisterous, rowdy, or angry after each match result. No one can blame them, if no laws have been broken. They are just enjoying living their lives the way they want to.

If we study what the great masters – Laozi, Confucius and Buddha – taught, the heart can be stilled by moderating our own emotions. And emotions can be easily aroused arising from our attachments to kin, friends, and favorites not unlike the football fans if anything good or untoward happened to them.

Therefore non attachment or detachment, the opposite of attachment, is part and parcel of Tao cultivation. Non attachment helps in stilling the heart.

While it is easier for Daoist priests, Buddhist monks, and nuns to learn or practise non attachment since they are supposed to cut off family ties on entering vows of their choice, a lay person cultivating Tao only need to do so at the later stages of neidan practice.

Leaving the family and home behind to progress through the stages of neidan is nothing new to those familiar with Tao studies and the lives of Laozi, Confucius, and the Buddha. More examples can be found if we study the early history of Quanzhen.

If fellow lay travelers of the Way really think about it, learning and practising non attachment at the later stages could be better. At the time, our parents could be long gone with our children fully grown up having their own families and friends; leaving less broken hearts and dependants. And unless you are so inclined, you do not have to be a Daoist priest or a Buddhist monk or nun to learn and practise non attachment.

Meanwhile just watch your emotions and moderate them. It is easier for older folks since we are less hot blooded. This is another reason why you should not practise neidan if you are still young. Try cultivating virtues for a start.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Swimming in liquidity

A US fund manager was asked by CNBC on TV what position he would take amid the recent sovereign debt crisis in Europe. With no hesitation, he replied, ‘Raising cash levels.’ When probed further, he said his fund will raise its cash position to 5% from the normal 3%. Great stuff, that! Read on.

A Japanese fund manager was quoted in Bloomberg recently about the liquidity position taken by the Japanese. He said that major corporations in Japan and Japanese households have raised their cash levels to about 60% by not investing, and by selling stocks and bonds fearing for the worst amid the ongoing European debt crisis. He said they are ‘swimming’ [in liquidity]. In the same article, Bloomberg mentioned that the US banks and corporate titans are collectively holding a few trillion in cash.

Those familiar with financial management or are regular readers of the Financial Times would know that profitability does not equate to liquidity. What is the point of generating paper profits but no cash flow?

As the Book of Changes told me last year about ‘Pigs cry, fish laughs’, it meant something. While the message of ‘Pigs cry’ has been previously discussed in detail, ‘Fish laughs’ was mentioned in passing as those investors who had sold their stocks and holding cash escaping the recent plunges in the global stock markets.

In case Yi students do not know, the Chinese sometimes refer to cash and money as Shui (pinyin for water). We all know for a fact that fishes live and swim in water. The Japanese fund manager brought up a good reference point when he said that those Japanese who hold a high cash level of 60% are swimming, since Shui or water is liquid.

The current situation in the world is this. The pigs mired in debt or highly geared because of greed or reckless spending will cry while the fish swimming in water or cash (Shui) may laugh after cashing out just before their (stocks / property / debt) markets crash, counting themselves among the fortunate and the able.

Whether world renowned economic advisers currently urging further spending by borrowing more or those advising austerity would be proven right depends on what happens to the global economy in the foreseeable future. Each group has a right to voice their opinions or concerns, not unlike the Daoists, Buddhists, and Confucians in forums.

In line with the Yi prognostications, this fry is swimming in more water than those Japanese.


Monday, June 14, 2010

End of the world?

With the year 2012 approaching, many are asking if the Mayans got it right and that the end of the world is nigh. I will write something about it, I had promised.

But it is FIFA World Cup time. Why don’t you watch the soccer games played at the highest possible level of skills and enjoy yourself instead of worrying about what is to come tomorrow, let alone in two and the half years’ time?

Even if a country wants to start a war right now, her generals and soldiers may put it on hold or go AWOL to watch world cup football or their favorite teams play!

Instead of worrying about 2012, it could be more interesting to know what will happen after the World Cup competition end in July 2010.

By the way, is it that easy and simple for the world to end?

To be continued.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Put you on notice

In ancient times, when armies march to war, they do so accompanied by the beating of drums. The drumbeats boost the morale of their own soldiers and if beaten loud enough tend to frighten the opposing army.

In modern times, before armies march to war, drums are no longer used but there is plenty of rhetoric published ‘drumming up’ the support. Some truths, some lies, with vital information hidden from the public view. Experts may call this type of rhetoric, ‘sabre rattling’. Opposing sides will call each other liars. Whatever the other side said would be termed, propaganda.

The war of words and accusations has started and getting louder.

A North Korean deputy ambassador told the UN-sponsored Conference on Disarmament in no uncertain terms:

‘The present situation of the Korean peninsular is so grave that a war may break out any moment.’

A press release by the United Nations yesterday published on Yahoo News online was surprisingly pulled after about half an hour. This press release included the responses by both the South Korean and the US ambassadors to the UN to what the North Korean envoy said in Geneva. Instead of writing out what their Excellencies’ responses were (since they were also not published in other online news media), I will leave it to readers to venture a guess. Hint – look at the second paragraph. Their respective responses could aggravate the already tense situation.

Though few leaders in the world like wars, in this decade we have seen some. And the world has always been told the truth, after the war, if not found out before then!

Meanwhile are you also hearing the ‘drumbeats in the distance’ as events unfold?

P.S. Don’t worry, be happy and enjoy the oncoming FIFA World Cup soccer.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

China seems to know

Whether readers agree or not, there are seers who can often foresee the future through various means. Arguably the most ancient tool currently still in popular usage to foresee the future is via the consultation of the Book of Changes – I Ching / Yijing / Zhouyi.

Since there is one and a quarter billion of Chinese and that the Book of Changes is an ancient Chinese classic, revered and studied, there will be real masters in China like the Wu (magicians) of old who can obtain well informed and accurate answers from the Yijing on major future world events. When Chinese emperors and kings down the few millennia can rely on prognostications from the Zhouyi to foreknow future events, who is to say that the current leaders in Beijing do not use these masters at all?

While Japan and South Korea may also have produced real Yijing masters, there are many historical, cultural, and even Yi text differences to that of China, and I doubt their governments would rely on Yi prognostications to foreknow the future.

If we continue to observe what these three countries (and others including the US) are doing about the sinking of a South Korean warship, it seems that China knows about the happening of a major future event – a Heaven’s secret -, and therefore trying very hard to defer it yet again.

According to an online report today, China is also trying to persuade Iran to follow United Nations’ nuclear guidelines for the latter.

Perhaps readers do not see what I see, neither would the US, Japan, and South Korea. Therefore you are not alone!

When cornered, a tiger in desperation would turn back and maul the hunters. This type of hunt goes against the grain of ancient Tao and the Zhouyi, and the Way of man.

Fortunately it only happens whenever there is no Tao all under Heaven. There will be peace and quiet on Earth once again for the people when Tao returns. How would I know?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The way to prolonging life

The Zah Yung Ching or Classic of the Directory for a Day contains only three stages for cultivators to return to Tao. In the first stage, it is said:

As to what should be done in a day, when the eating and drinking has been arranged, let one sit straight with his mouth shut, and not allow a single thought to arise in his mind. Let him forget everything, and keep his spirit with settled purpose.

Let his lips be glued together, and his teeth be firmly pressed against one another. Let him not look at anything with his eyes, nor listen to a single sound with his ears. Let him with all his mind watch over his inward feelings. Let him draw long breaths, and gradually emit them, without a break, now seeming to breathe, and now not.

In this way any excitement of the mind will naturally disappear, the water from the kidneys will rise up, the saliva will be produced in the mouth, and the real efficaciousness becomes attached to the body.

It is thus that one acquires the way of prolonging life.

[James Legge – sacred texts. Com]

Sounds simple even to James Legge, but many a cultivator of Tao would take several years or decades of dedicated practice to pass through this initial stage, if at all.

This would be the stage where students and ‘masters’ continue to study learn and practice with many failing to acquire or attain the way of prolonging life.

For without the diligent cultivation of essence (nature) and of bodily life (fate), the many who cultivate Tao would invariably be stuck at this level, unless Heaven happens to be on your side, if you have sufficient merits.

The unknown author of this classic, like the Zhen Ren, assumed that those who practise neidan (inner alchemy) know what they have to do. The earnest and sincere would note that the cultivation of virtues is left unsaid like in many Daoist texts on neidan. But then if we read further into these texts, terms like good and purity are written therein. What do those terms mean? Go figure, or ask your teacher for an explanation.

The unknown author just like the Zhen Ren also assumed that readers know how to meditate.

Those who practise neidan meditation can spot the few things left unsaid in this initial stage, thereby not revealing too much on an esoteric practice relating to Heaven and Tao.

That is why the earnest and sincere, even if they are taught by Daoist celestial immortals, require a lot of reading on relevant texts and ancient classics of the three doctrines – Daoist, Buddhist and Confucian - to augment their learning and practice. The learned can then try to steer earnest and sincere students away from bypaths and pitfalls thereby gaining merit.

If perchance or through diligent practice, cultivators get pass this stage, congratulations!

By performing a great service for Tao and/or through your own talent and virtue, you have managed to prolong your life. Not many down the millennia could attain this.

To the observant, an accompanying change to the line of life in the palm provides a confirmation of this achievement.

It is as if the Junzi is mounting up to Heaven on two dragons, however according to the Book of Changes six is required before he or she can go all the way. In line with the three stages discussed in this simple classic, the right person has attained human immortality – refer to the treatise on the three types of immortals by Zhong LiQuan for clarity.

Having acquired the way to prolonging life, do these right persons have sufficient talent and the requisite purity to go through the more difficult second stage?

The same stage where the legendary centenarian Zhang SanFeng had reached, and where celestial immortals come to talk and sing and much more.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Keys to Changes and neidan

"In ancient times the holy sages made the Book of Changes thus:

Their purpose was to follow the order of their nature and fate.

Therefore they determined the tao of Heaven and called it the dark and the light.

They determined the tao of Earth and called it the yielding and firm.

They determined the tao of Man and called it benevolence and righteousness.

Counting that which is going into the past depends on the forward movement. Knowing that which is to come depends on the backward movement.
" [W/B]

The holy sages left behind in the Yijing much important information on the secrets to Tao and the Changes for posterity.

Not many down the ages grasped and understood the secrets. Those who did and went on to cultivate their nature (Xing) and fate (Ming) in line with the secrets left behind in the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) with the successful becoming sages (Sheng Ren), or Zhen Ren (realized persons) and Daoist celestial immortals.

These ancient sages and Zhen Ren wrote down their understanding of Tao and the Yi in their texts and classics to help sincere and earnest students. Yet there remained a gap of about seven centuries (from 300 AD to 1,000 AD) where the ignorant and the gullible concentrated on outer alchemy (Waidan) instead of inner alchemy (Neidan) to cultivate Tao to achieve immortality.

About a millennium ago, Chen Tuan and Chou Dunyi helped correct the thoughts of Daoists and Confucians with the publication of their respective Wujitu (Map of the Infinite) and the Taijitu (Map of the Supreme Ultimate).

In his treatise on the Taijitu, Chou Dunyi had mentioned most of the highlighted keys to Changes and neidan. He also dealt briefly with Qi (breath). If Daoists and Buddhists choose to ignore his contributions because Chou happened to be a Neo Confucian, they may not know that he obtained the Taijitu from a student of Chen Tuan.

While Chou Dunyi may not be as deep as the Zhen Ren, by looking at the Taiji symbol, he certainly knew much about Change. When yin reaches its extreme, it will change to yang. When yang reaches its extreme, it will change to yin. Therefore the Taiji is represented by a circle half filled with yin and a touch of yang, while the other half is filled with yang and a touch of yin.

The explanation is in line with Yi divination whereby a mature yin line changes to yang and a mature yang line changes to yin. The young yin yang lines do not change.

But Changes are deeper than this, so is neidan.

Therefore we need to continue to study and learn, and cultivate our nature and fate. Without being empty and still, how could the esoteric ever hope to return to Destiny and the Infinite? (Refer to the Tao Te Ching chapters 16 and 28)

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Can the mountain withstand the shocks?

Over the past fifteen months, I have only divined thrice. Two were on annual hexagrams and the one in between was an oracle cast because the Yijing had wanted to tell this student something.

The annual hexagram for 2009 in the form of Hexagram Xun / The Gentle, Wind, foretold of wind borne diseases and air disasters, along with the reasons for those events which unfolded accordingly – of the various wind borne diseases recorded in 2009, H1N1 or swine flu turned out to be the biggest killer of people all across the world. The major air disasters that occurred despite safety records vouched by the relevant authorities were mainly caused by faulty equipment. A fellow Malaysian who was afraid to fly home for holidays after reading the Yi predictions asked when the air disasters would end. After summer, I had told her. By coincidence, no major air disasters were reported in the autumn and winter of 2009.

The special or request cast by the Yi brought about Hexagram Zhong Fu / Inner Truth which foretold of Raining rockets; Pigs cry, fish laughs and drum beats in the distance.

Upon reading the Bloomberg opinions column months later, one found that western financial circles use PIGS as an acronym to stand for Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain. These four countries within the Euro region are heavily indebted relative to their countries’ GDP. A day or two after I blogged that the PIGS were indeed crying, Greece denied it was crying for help.

Witness what happened, and happening now. The sovereign debt or credit crisis is not about to go away by itself.

Whether things have been left too late for a rescue of the PIGS is now up to the ‘farmers’ (the euro region and the IMF)! Since the sovereignty ratings of Portugal and Spain were also downgraded together with that of Greece, a week or two ago.

The drumbeats in the distance heard late last year will certainly be heard again. The deferred raining of rockets may occur in 2010. Those in the south east region could be affected. Who knows, a heaven’s secret is never a small event.

It is time to further discuss the third divination.

Regular readers would note that I have already discussed Hexagram Yi / Providing Nourishment a few times already. This is the annual hexagram for the Chinese year.

In the first entry on the hexagram on February 28, 2010, a day after a big earthquake hit Chile, I mentioned in passing that Zhen, the arousing, thunder, in my books and in this blog, represent loud thunder and earthquakes, and therefore not to discount more big earthquakes this year. A few have already occurred since that entry. There would be more big shocks.

Since the image of hexagram Yi is at the foot of the mountain: thunder. I will discuss the significance of the mountain (Gen) and the thunder (Zhen).

The ancients and the ancient I Ching diviners knew that a mountain contain many treasures within and without. Think of minerals, ores, trees, birds and beasts. In line with this, there is a Chinese adage which says something like ‘if we can leave a mountain intact, fear not of no logs to burn.’

In modern times, metaphorically speaking, the mountain is often used to mean a mountain of debt.

Therefore a mountain containing treasures can turn into a mountain of debt if a person is careless and does not take care of his or her own well being or investments. Remember the above Chinese adage?

Try as we may, many did not escape or were able to hide when Tao first disappeared all under heaven on September 15, 2008 – the fall of Lehman, and the arrests of innocents in Malaysia who were later released. (Refer to entries in September 2008) Omens or heaven secrets from the Yi can relate to local and/or global events.

Together with the great destruction of wealth, tens of millions lost their jobs. Under this bleak scenario, a mountain of treasures can quickly turn into a mountain of debt. Not many including the old Da Ren (billionaire philanthropists) have faced this before.

It is good to read that the able Americans and Europeans have been striving to save as much money as possible and pare down debt over the past two years. Minimal debt and savings for a rainy day (or a storm) is the way forward in these difficult times.

However there has been a recent change in the savings habit of the Asians. For the past year or two, they have been busy investing (or speculating) in stocks, bonds and property not only with their own savings but also with margins or debt. If their luck holds everything will be fine, if not, they could be in for a rude shock.

For shock is another attribute of Zhen, thunder. Whenever there is a loud thunder or an earthquake, those nearby could cower from fear.

So what do we have here? At the foot of the mountain: thunder.

How many shocks or earthquakes can a mountain withstand before it finally crumbles? Not too many, going by the record upheaval over the past two years.

When billionaires can lose everything and/or end their lives, can we, the small fry, able to withstand one too many shocks?

A way out is to start saving again and pare down debt like the Americans and the Europeans have been doing recently. Unless you are very sure your government is going to bail you out, and that they still have the money to do so after the rescue of casino banks and the so called quantitative easing! Some countries already need a bail out themselves, as predicted a year or two ago, if readers have not noticed.

In case, readers missed some of the expected major shocks of 2010, as the three Yijing prognostications continue to unfold, the summarized list is as follows:

H1N1 is making a come back.
Raining rockets, watch the south east region.
Pigs cry, fish laughs. (Credit shocks)
Drum beats in the distance.
Big earthquakes, and property crashes.
Nuclear or silent weapons would be used.

For the expected property crashes, refer to the entry on ‘Bumping into walls’. Sometimes external major shocks (like the use of nuclear or silent weapons for example) can crash both local and global property and stock markets.

Yi and Daoist students should take note that the three prognostications seemed to be related and unfolding in overlapping sequences. From my past two decades of experience with omens and Heaven secrets, they have not happened this way. They usually occurred as isolated events, if not averted or deferred.

But we are now still in very troubled times since the absence of Tao all under heaven as from September 2008.

All these are from the Book of Changes and have nothing to do with fortune telling or fengshui.

So take good care of your life, and your mountain of treasures in 2010 like always.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

Hint for a regular reader

Over the past few weeks, I was faced with a dilemma whether to tell a regular reader who lives in an island state of what to do or just leave it to fate. But the person believes in Daoist deities providing protection.

I would have followed my friends’ advice not to say anything, if the reader had not visited my blog this week, I had promised myself. But the person did. The way Tao works is sometimes beyond our understanding.

Maybe I could give a hint to this reader instead of revealing too much of a heaven’s secret. The person concerned would be aware of the indicated timing.

Take note:

“Avoid waiting for the birds, which flew off, to return again in the particular month of 2010, and the month after that.

It could be advisable to stay or visit friends and kin in the mainland for those two months of the year.”


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Providing Nourishment

In the commentary to the Judgment of Hexagram 27 Yi, Wilhelm and his mentor penned this:

In bestowing care and nourishment, it is important that the right people should be taken care of and that we should attend to our own nourishment in the right way. If we wish to know what anyone is like, we have only to observe on whom he bestows his care and what sides of his own nature he cultivates and nourishes. Nature nourishes all creatures. The great man fosters and takes care of the superior men, in order to take care of all men through them. Mencius says about this:

“If we wish to know whether anyone is superior or not, we need only observe what part of his being he regards as especially important. The body has superior and inferior, important and unimportant parts. We must not injure important parts for the sake of the unimportant, nor must we injure the superior parts for the sake of the inferior. He who cultivates the inferior parts of his nature is an inferior man. He who cultivates the superior parts of his nature is a superior man.”

[Mencius bk. VI, 1. 14]

In Book VI, Mencius discoursed why human nature is good. For that principle alone he was acknowledged a sage, since he knew human nature, heaven and earth, well.

In Part 1 Verse 14, he discussed more than quoted above. And a correction need to be made to the quote – “He who cultivates the inferior parts of his nature is an inferior man (Xiao Ren). He who cultivates the great parts of his nature is a great man (Da Ren).”

In his discourse, philosopher Kao, a student of Mozi was worsted.

If we think about Xunzi, said to be a follower of Confucius, who holds to the principle that human nature is evil (the direct opposite to that of Mencius) and taking his most prominent student, Li Shi, as an example then perhaps he was right. This student of his was evil. It was Li Shi the prime minister who advocated to the first emperor of Chin, Shih Huangdi, to burn all ancient books except those of Chin and to bury hundreds of dissenting Confucian scholars alive.

If we look at Hexagram Yi, the lower three lines did not turn to the summit for nourishment and therefore face misfortune. (Li Shi was a good example if we know how he died.) While the fourth and fifth lines which turn to the summit have good fortune. The sixth or top line being the sage and the source of nourishment also obtains good fortune.

In line with the advice of Mencius and what Hexagram Yi depicts, perhaps you know what is the right thing to do to provide nourishment in the cultivation of self,and how to obtain good fortune?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Influence (2)

Mencius said,

‘Po-i, that he might avoid Chou, was dwelling on the coast of the northern sea. When he heard the rise of king Wen, he roused himself, and said, “Why should I not go and follow him? I have heard that the chief of the West knows well how to nourish the old.”

Tai-kung, that he might avoid Chou, was dwelling on the coast of the eastern sea. When he heard of the rise of king Wen, he roused himself, and said, “Why should I not go and follow him? I have heard that the chief of the West knows well how to nourish the old.”

Those two old men were the greatest old men of the kingdom. When they came to follow king Wen, it was the fathers of the kingdom coming to follow him. When the fathers of the kingdom joined him, how could the sons go to any other?

Were any of the princes to practise the government of king Wen, within seven years he would be sure to be giving laws to the kingdom.’

[The Works of Mencius Book 4, Part 1. 13 Legge]

To excel in the study of ancient Chinese philosophy we need to keep an open and empty mind to understand the thoughts of exemplary ancients.

If you cannot understand the thoughts of the exemplary ancients, studying the ideas of Chen Tuan and Shao Yong, and to a lesser degree, Wang Bi and Zhu Xi, could be complementary and helpful. Instead I see many fellow Yi and Daoist students examining and quoting thoughts of modern scholars as if these scholars know everything there is to learn about Tao and the Zhouyi.

If we carry a whole baggage of ideas borrowed over from modern scholars, we can certainly miss the woods for the trees.

Who is to say that these modern scholars, unless they are already first class scholars of Tao and the Zhouyi, understand the profound subjects in depth?

Take for instance, how many sinologists would want to settle for the word ‘virtue’ to be that of Te in the Tao Te Ching? Trying to be sophisticated or appear deep, they coin many meanings for Te until students especially those in the West who read or follow them are often confused. This can liken to ‘sincerity in disintegrating influence’. (Also refer to the recent entry, February 22, 2010, on this particular line in the Yi.)

In the first entry on Influence (March 31, 2010), I highlighted in bold the respective and yet similar comments by the two greatest old men of the kingdom at the time. King Wen’s virtue influenced the two old men and through them, influenced the sons of the kingdom.

James Legge probably prompted by his learned Chinese mentors referred to a conversation between king Wen and Tai-kung in the Book of History, whereby Wen indicated that his grandfather was looking for him (Tai-kung / Jiang Jiya / Patriarch Lu Shang) long ago. To my knowledge, Wen’s grandfather was pivotal to the aim of locating and employing the worthy to help expand the influence of the Zhou clan.

But somehow the more important historical values in the comments made by Mencius in passing, seemed to escape the notice of both Legge and his learned mentors.

One explanation could be that they thought the comments were of no significant value; since like me, they harbored no doubts to the authenticity of ancient Chinese classics and books.

The more likely explanation is that the comments present no significant historical values to them at all. Perhaps, a kinder way to say it must have gone above their heads, since they did not connect Mencius’s comments made in passing, to the Tao and the Zhouyi.

The three historical personages, Po-I, Tai-kung, and King Wen, knew Heaven and Earth. They also knew their roots, and the timing to do what is right. The two greatest old men of the kingdom recognized the virtue of King Wen and therefore joined him.

Legge and his mentors referred to King Wen, Prince Chi, and Chou Hsin in the Ming Yi / Darkening of the Light hexagram. Wilhelm and his mentor mentioned six historical personages: Po-I, King Wen, King Wu, Prince Wei Tzu, Prince Chi and Chou Hsin, whom the wise and learned deemed to represent the respective six lines in this Hexagram 36.

Both Legge and Wilhelm together with their respective mentors seemed not to have spotted the insight of the ancient sage, Mencius, given on the subject of Tao and the Zhouyi. There is no evidence to the contrary shown in their respective translation of the Book of Changes, notwithstanding their comments in the Ming Yi hexagram. It does not say they have missed important issues nor their respective translations are not quite up to mark. If you still do not own a Wilhelm / Baynes translation of the Book of Changes, it is high time you bought one.

I had already made a link to Tao and the Zhouyi in the first entry and this second one too.

Perhaps you can broaden your mind and deepen your Daoist and Yi studies by trying to spot the connection to the two profound subjects?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bumping into walls

No, I am not about to discuss the famous ‘Another brick in the wall’ song by Pink Floyd. This entry is on property bubbles in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China. There is also some free lunch provided for pensioners on the safest investment in the world and the timing to invest in it.

If you wanted to know why house prices in Malaysia have suddenly risen in the latter half of 2009 to a spectacular high, check out the latest published Bank Negara report. It could also answer the foremost question on your mind (over the past few years) on how people can still find money to buy houses at new peaks. Simple, they borrow from banks.

According to the BN report, total household debt expanded by 9.4% to RM 516.6 billion or 76.6% of GDP as at end 2009 compared to RM 472.1 billion or 63.9% of GDP the previous year. Almost half of household debts were to fund house acquisitions. The volume of personal financing and outstanding credit card balances also picked up in the second half, expanding at an annual rate of 17.6% to RM 98.8 billion. Personal financing expanded strongly at 22.9% in 2009 to account for 14% of household debt. [Starbiz March 25 2010]

If we analyze the figures provided, at least RM 22 billion was borrowed by households to fund house acquisitions (half of the increase of RM 44 billion debt over 2008). Property players would also have noticed that after a tailing off, there was a sudden surge in demand and consequently house prices in the second half of 2009.

With the prevailing low interest rates scenario and constant prompting by market players, experts, and economists alike, speculators or ‘flippers’ have splashed out on houses with bank borrowings eager for short term profits or a quick kill and await for ‘bigger fools’ to buy from them.

Does this mean that the current upsurge in Malaysian property prices will continue for ever? Yes, if you believe in fairy tales. Or think like those property speculators who got badly burnt in the US, Europe, and Dubai, the past few years.

If we look around the world and into past trends of property cycles which represent change, we may get to know the answer. Otherwise we risk bumping into walls, and get hurt. How badly hurt investors get depends on the amount borrowed and the severity of falls in property prices. The amounts of credit used magnify both the gains and the losses. Since credit is a double edge sword.

Did Mencius not advise the Junzi not to stand near a wall since it can collapse? Knowing how to observe and read signs help. Since no one or any remonstration given can stop someone from bumping into walls if they insist on doing so, I occasionally remind my children with practical examples.

When bankers start questioning the reasonableness of property developers’ pricing of houses and shops, which they did last year in Malaysia, it provides a sign. When banks or Central Banks start raising lending rates, it is another sign. When banks advertise for more fixed deposits offering better rates than competitors but over a longer time span than the popular, it shows that their liquidity is fast dwindling – and that interest rates could further rise.

Banks are smarter than most but not all depositors are equally gullible!

For pensioners waiting for opportunities, wait for deposit interest rates to go very high (beyond the norm of good years or those paid by the pension funds) in your country of abode before tying in your cash in fixed deposits for the long term. Although interest rates can go sky high in the aftermath of the recent global financial crisis, they will fall back again after awhile otherwise economies would be 'strangled to dead'.

When house prices go higher than shops it carries a dire warning sign of over speculation. Can the houses rental match those of shops? One asks.

There are a few other signs that would show the peak of the property cycles in Malaysia, but go ask the same property experts who recently managed to convince you to buy for speculation or for a better word, invest.

According to recent media reports, apparently Li KaShing has had indicated that prices of housing units in Hong Kong have peaked. If it is so, investors or speculators of Hong Kong properties should take the cue from this Da Ren (great man) since realty and investments are his forte.

I particularly like his statements when asked by the media about the HK property market a week or two ago, which goes something like this: ‘Those who tell lies or exaggerate to mislead should be punished.’ ‘Those who bought into properties with their own money following his suggestion last year should have made some gains.’

To rein in speculative activities, China has recently stopped all government institutions including those of states to invest in realty using bank borrowings. The Chinese government realized that these institutions are fast becoming the main culprits in property speculation and for the rapid increase in prices since their borrowings constitute about 70% (?) of total lending for the purchase of realty in China.

When companies in various other industries use their cash and bank borrowings to load onto vacant properties arguably for long term investment, it is also a sign that the property bubble in China will burst soon.

Like in October 2005 while discussing Change, I have touched on the US property market, around the time when her housing prices have first started to fall. (No, we did not know back then, until years later when the media reports and statistics came rolling in.) Perhaps it is also coincidental that this entry touches on the property markets of Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China or maybe not.

For who knows change better compared to Yi aficionados who have spent decades of their lives studying and observing it? But how would I know?

Since your guess in change or property cycles, whether or not, luck plays a part, could be as good as mine.

However I blog this entry for a reason and when events unfold accordingly, I may elaborate why.


Friday, April 02, 2010

A scholar of the Book of Changes

One definition of a scholar is that of a learned person (especially in the humanities); someone who by long study has gained mastery in one or more disciplines.

Scholarly method or scholarship -- is the body of principles and practices used by scholars to make their claims about the world as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public.

The reason I Google for a definition of scholar is because many people have claimed or tend to think that they are scholars of the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing / The Yi). The related definition of scholarly method or scholarship is also noteworthy for this entry.

If we consider the number of students in the world who have spent decades in the study of the Book of Changes, there would be many scholars of the Yi.

But are they considered learned? Have they gained mastery of the Yi? We ask.

A scholar of the Book of Changes would make claims about the Yi and/or its related studies as valid and trustworthy as possible, and to make them known to the scholarly public (in line with the definition of scholarship provided at wikipedia).

How many of the so called (or so claimed) I Ching scholars have publicly come out with claims about the Yi and/or its related studies as valid and trustworthy as possible?

Too few, in my books, therefore aspirant scholars should be encouraged and not eagerly condemned especially if they are considered friends , with the arrogant – those too full - left well alone. As taught in the Yi, heaven and humans raise the modest and level the full.

In my books, a scholar of this ancient classic known as the Book of Changes knows ancient Chinese history well, has studied the four Confucian books and the remaining four Chinese classics, is versed with Yi divinatory practices of old, and have published their original thoughts – valid and trustworthy as possible (thereby showing integrity) - either in books, blogs, or websites available for public consumption or for the dispute of their ideas.

Of the renowned Western scholars, James Legge and Richard Wilhelm fall under my category of Yi scholars. They and/or their mentors know the Yi well. Question them on ancient Chinese history or the four Confucian books and the five classics and they could very well have pointed out something that we have missed in our studies. However since they are no longer around, we can only learn from their commentary or well researched footnotes in the translations.

But it does not mean that these renowned scholars have spotted everything related to the Yi studies, which leave a lot of work to do for later scholars. The research into Hexagram 55 Feng / Abundance and an overlooked solar eclipse just before the Zhou invasion of Shang, leading to a book publication of ‘The Mandate of Heaven’ by Steve Marshall provides an example.

Another example could be that of the relationship between Tao and the Yi, which even the Chinese or Taiwanese professors of ancient Chinese philosophy recently try to tie in. That area of study is deep and profound probably beyond many including these professors, since top class Chinese scholars like the mentors of Wilhelm and Legge seemed to have missed them in the Yi. For examples: the space between Heaven and Earth, and the absence of Tao all under heaven – already discussed in this blog since 2008. And I am still waiting for any scholar or the learned including my Quanzhen friend to dispute my claims.

As blogged before, if people want to discuss the eternal Tao, we must first have some experiences of what Laozi, Buddha, the Daoist celestial immortals, and the Zhen Ren have had indicated. Otherwise it is just never ending rhetoric. Does this help to clear up some doubt on what Laozi meant in his Tao Te Ching chapter one?

Notwithstanding what fellow students may like to think, the reading of numerous Yi translations do not make one a scholar, we are just perusing the thoughts of the translators. Neither can a translator of the Yi in any form, whimsical or otherwise, be considered one. If you are only good at reading fortunes or at fengshui, try calling yourself a fortune teller or fengshui master. Like the circumspect fortune tellers and fengshui masters on the web, never claim the title of a scholar of the Book of Changes; unless you know deep in your heart you are versed with the Yi and its ancient usages – divinatory practices and others. Since sincerity is the way of heaven.

At the end of the day, whether or not you can make the ranks of a scholar of the Book of Changes depend on acceptance by your peers.

The difference between reputable Yi scholars and the not so good ones by and large depends on their own studies, research, and talent.

If several of your claims on the Yi or its related studies happen to appear invalid and untrustworthy, consider going back up the mountain where you can enjoy the peace and quiet!

Laying your mind fallow for awhile helps even if you are not a scholar of the Book of Changes. But that is not a claim on related Yi studies, just a mere observation!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Mencius said,

‘Po-i, that he might avoid Chou, was dwelling on the coast of the northern sea. When he heard the rise of king Wen, he roused himself, and said, “Why should I not go and follow him? I have heard that the chief of the West knows well how to nourish the old.”

Tai-kung, that he might avoid Chou, was dwelling on the coast of the eastern sea. When he heard of the rise of king Wen, he roused himself, and said,
“Why should I not go and follow him? I have heard that the chief of the West knows well how to nourish the old.”

Those two old men were the greatest old men of the kingdom. When they came to follow king Wen, it was the fathers of the kingdom coming to follow him. When the fathers of the kingdom joined him, how could the sons go to any other?

Were any of the princes to practise the government of king Wen, within seven years he would be sure to be giving laws to the kingdom.’

[The Works of Mencius Book 4, Part 1. 13 Legge]

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Ancient Tao

The Ancient Tao is something like this:

You cannot see, hear, or grasp it.

By sitting and forgetting, you can feel the heat and see the mystical light.

At higher levels, you can see forms and emptiness interchanging like what Laozi and the Buddha indicated.

Without Te or virtues, you are not the right person.

If pure, still, and empty, you can enter the gates and see galaxies or lands of the thousand Buddhas.

Without going out of the door, you can know what is happening all under heaven and whether there is Tao or not. Without looking out of the window, you can see the Way of heaven.

Once you locate the germinal vesicle, the space between Heaven and Earth, you are on the right path to Tao.

The fire from the germinal vesicle can scorch. If not intense, the fire cannot melt the medicine.

At times, you can hear celestial immortals and Buddhas sing.

Face the eight trigrams and know the ancestor.

Experience Wu Wei, and you will know what you are preparing for.

The Golden Flower shines brilliantly.

You see the original self.

The embryo grows……

Final aim, climb up heaven’s ladder.

Most if not all of the above have been referred to either in the Tao Te Ching, the Zhouyi, the Shurangama, the Zhuangzi (refer Xinzhai and Guangchenzi’s teachings to Huangdi), the Hui Ming Ching, the Hundred Character Stele, the Secret of the Golden Flower, and/or other important Quanzhen texts by Zhong LiQuan and Zhang Boduan.

If we have not experienced some or most of the above possible experiences indicated by the ancients, Daoist celestial immortals, and the Zhen Ren, can we venture to talk about Tao?

Would our discussions constitute the constant or eternal Tao?

As long as the inexperienced or the charlatans do not venture forth to teach Tao, there is goodwill on earth.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Art and Science of Yi divination

According to The American Heritage Dictionaries:

Art is a skill that is attained by study, practice or observation.

And Science is the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena etc. which can be tested.

For more definitions of Art and Science, please check online via

Yi aficionados would be very familiar with the art of divination obtainable through the study of the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing / the Yi), practising divination by consulting the Oracle and observing the results. They will learn to master this art of Yi divination over the years or decades of study eventually to reach the highest stage ever recorded in ancient books – that is divining like a spirit. (Refer the Doctrine of the Mean)

Yi aficionados can also improve their divination skills by testing their ability in the interpretation of prognostications.

When the Yi speaks, the prognostication is true and if its interpretation is correctly done, the results can be foreseen, thereby making it clear as day. As long as the Yi speaks, a good interpreter of the Oracle could interpret the prognostication correctly whether he or she is next to or oceans apart from the diviner. This means that this theory can be ‘scientifically’ tested many times, and proven.

However, sad to say, many have yet to reach that requisite level and I am still on the lookout for some over the past ten years on the World Wide Web. Not surprising since the Yi has only spoken to a remarkable few diviners who blog their prognostications or posted them on I Ching websites, some of whom I have previously named.

If aficionados do not rise to the occasion, how could they know about the science of Yi divination and test their skills and the theory?

There are several instances of interpretation of other diviners’ prognostications in this blog over the past five years – those whom the Yi spoke to. Their prognostications were true and therefore reliable. The interpretations and the predicted outcomes unfolded – many times to a T.

Take for example, the interpretation of a prognostication on a stock investment given by the Book of Changes to a fellow Malaysian by way of Hexagram 29 Kan / The Abysmal. (Refer February 19, 2008 entry, ‘An interpretation of Kan / The Abysmal’ and the result in December 27, 2008 entry, ‘Few can alter Yi prognostications’)

The stock, Transmile, has recently fallen to its lowest price, 32.5 sen, after it became designated a PN 17 stock because its share capital and reserves had fallen below the threshold due to continual huge losses. (Have earnest Yi aficionados taken note of the continuous unfolding and the time?)

In the entries, I had mentioned that from experiences and observations, Kan is a bad hexagram for investments. The same emphasis on good and bad hexagrams was also made on the March 26, 2007 entry on ‘When the Yi speaks’. This theory of good and bad hexagrams have also been tested.

If some so called Yi experts or scholars still insist there are no good and bad hexagrams in divination, let them be. Just like those modern scholars who claim that Confucius has never read the Yi, or those who believe that real Daoist teachings do not touch on good and evil, they do not know what they are missing or learning.
If we do not improve our own art of Yi divination, it could prove difficult to understand the science of Yi divination. Without a sound knowledge of the art and science of divination, how can we ever hope to divine like a spirit and later to assist the gods?