Sunday, January 24, 2010

Missed out on a tenfold gain

In February 2009, I mentioned that in a time of crisis there are opportunities for those who are ready to grasp them. While investors are often happy with a thirty percent gain on their investments, I often look for a few-fold gain with the help of the Book of Changes. (Refer to Crouching tiger, hidden dragon entry on 15 February 2009)

At the height of the financial crisis and just before the global share markets meltdown last March, I had indicated that an eight to tenfold gain can be made on certain shares investments, if lucky.

After the great wealth destruction in 2008, many institutional funds made back some money in 2009. Battered but good stocks recovered quite a bit from their lows in March.

If you still do not understand how and why the global stock market indices jumped so high from April to December 2009, track back the G20s meetings for that year and the record amount of liquidity (the crispy new US 100 dollar notes also found their way to Asia) pumped into the economies of the US, Europe, and the rich Asian countries.

Black hands and market makers were furiously at work, this time for the common good.

Many were churning stocks to attract investors who held on to or have moved to cash in 2008. Perhaps now you know why the investment banks had made tons of money and are able to pay multibillion dollar bonuses, while most high street or commercial banks made losses.

This brings us to the Malaysian fortune tellers’ predictions for 2009.

Some predicted that the first half of the year was good for the country while others predicted the second half to be better.

The Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange index plunged in March and recovered with huge gains year on year in tandem with global stock markets by end December. The recession of the economy started in the second quarter of 2009 had deepened in the third quarter. Swine flu or H1N1 caused the death of several citizens straddling the two halves of 2009.

It is up to you to determine which group of fortune tellers was accurate in their predictions.

Perhaps regular readers now know with hindsight why I had not sided with any of the fortune tellers for 2009. (Refer to A touch of patience entry on 30 January 2009)

Back to the big one that got away, shall we?

While the prices of the blue chip stocks in the KLSE were recovering in tandem to the global stock markets, some low liners were drifting lower or treading water (stagnant).

In searching for some cheap stocks to buy, I looked at a share warrant lingering at 5 sen for weeks. Its ‘mother’ share was also battered. Trying to be smart, I thought I could buy the warrant either at a lower price or wait until investors start to buy the ‘mother’ share. But the syndicate pushed up the warrant instead of the ‘mother’ at a rapid rate. Once the price doubled, I did not bother to chase. Last week, the price of the warrant touched 50 sen and that represents a tenfold gain from 5.

That was a tenfold gain missed out. We cannot make huge gains every time!

But there is still time since stock markets never die.

If you do not believe me, check how long it took for Richard Wilhelm’s prognostications to unfold.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Shen Gui

The duality of spirits, Shen Gui has been briefly touched upon in the Da Zhuan (the Great Treatise – Chapter 4.2). According to the ancients, Shen (gods) the light spirits are outgoing while Gui (ghosts including demons) the dark spirits are returning.

Shen Gui are also mentioned and carefully differentiated in the Leng Yen Ching (Shurangama Sutra) by the Buddha and in the Secret of the Golden Flower by Lu Dongbin.

The three great sages, Laozi, Confucius and the Buddha, while acknowledging the presence of such spirits, do not delve on them in their respective teachings. Since both the light and the dark spirits remain invisible to most human eyes, it would be a very difficult subject to teach. Except that Yi students and Daoists know the light spirits represent yang while the dark spirits represent yin.

In real life, gods and ghosts seldom manifest for people to see. We may have heard of or read about possessions by ghosts or demons – the dark spirits. Some are related to Karma of previous lives, others because the victims were weak at the time of possession. With the help and power from the divine – the light spirits, possessions can be cured.

In China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and some countries in South East Asia, disciples and devotees often have the opportunity in Daoist temples to consult gods and celestial immortals through mediums and/or the planchette. Even then these Daoist divinities do not manifest for all to see.

According to what I understand, Daoists who have cultivated Tao (and Te) to a high level may be given an opportunity during meditation to see their ancestor master(s) – celestial immortal(s). However it does not mean that any high level cultivator of Tao can see real divinities and/or hear them speak or sing. It depends.

If you are a Daoist, Confucian, or Buddhist cultivator of Tao (and Te) reading this and think that you have reach a high level it pays to study the Shurangama Sutra and/or the Secret of the Golden Flower to clarify and confirm what you hear from or see are real divinities (Shen) and not that of demons (Gui - Mo). Many a Tao cultivator of a high level has been seduced by the dark spirits without realizing it. That is the danger of bypaths which Laozi, Buddha, and Lu Dongbin had warned against.

The cultivation of Te or virtues is easier than that of Tao or essence through meditation. If you just meditate and not cultivate virtues, you may not reach the higher levels. If you just cultivate virtues and do not meditate, you would become a good person but not necessary a cultivator of Tao.

If you cultivate both Tao and Te, by and by over several years or decades, you may attain something of value and receive confirmatory experiences.

These confirmatory experiences include that of hearing gods in the valley. Prior to and after these confirmations, you may experience or see many other signposts of the Way. Except for simple signs - like good health and conduct, no trouble in sleeping, no dreams – most of the important signposts have been documented by the ancients and the Zhen Ren (realized persons) in the classics (include sutras) and Daoist texts.

Signposts of various stages are also highlighted in this blog. Cultivators of Tao may not have seen or are aware about them until they have raised their own spiritual experiences to the required level of cultivation. In the main, how far one can go is up to each cultivator.

Try not to rush your cultivation by inviting or asking spirits (Shen Gui) to teach unless they are your actual ancestor masters. (Take note Tao Bums!)

Do not make the fatal mistake of getting seduced by the dark realms. Even high level cultivators had succumbed to it by not closely following the advice given in the classics and texts.

Remember my earlier blog entry on the elderly venerable Thai Buddhist abbot who forty years ago wrote a book about his meditation experiences of European angels coming up to praise him about his well spoken dharma? If any of his students or student’s students happens to read this entry, ask yourself this question:

Did the Buddha, Laozi, Bodhidharma, Lu Dongbin or any Zhen Ren ever mention such experiences in their classics, texts or teachings?

To the knowledgeable, what is real what is false can be differentiated and determined.