Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our teacher sometimes likes to joke

What else can a Yi student says, when the teacher, the Book of Changes at the start of the Year of the Tiger 2010 tells him to ‘spy about with sharp eyes like a tiger with insatiable craving’? And there would be no blame.

‘For good fortune, one has to turn to the summit and provide nourishment.’

It is not easy, but each person or even country has to create their own luck. Some seemed to be more fortunate than others.

The holy sages through the Yi and the great sages provide nourishment for all down the millennia. Therefore one has to turn to the summit – the sage – to provide spiritual nourishment to the right persons or helpers to achieve one’s lofty aim.

Perhaps continual working on it this year like the years before, one may eventually bite through to gain helpers. Who knows, certainly not this student. Since our teacher sometimes like to joke!

Both the hexagram containing the prognostication and the resultant hexagram have the trigram Zhen – the arousing, Thunder – at the bottom. Going by what you read in this blog over the years, the particular trigram signifies loud thunder and earthquakes. More earthquakes this year like the big one that hit Chile yesterday cannot be discounted.

Forewarnings like Yi omens and preparedness are good things, not bad. Even if the teacher likes to joke!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sincerity toward disintegrating influences is dangerous

‘Hexagram 58 Dui / The Joyous, Lake is one of the eight formed by doubling of a trigram. The trigram Dui denotes the youngest daughter; it is symbolized by the smiling lake, and its attribute is joyousness.

The Judgment:
The Joyous. Success. Perseverance is favorable.

The Image:
Lakes resting one on the other:
The image of the Joyous.
Thus the superior man joins with his friends
For discussion and practice.

A lake evaporates upward and thus gradually dries up; but when two lakes are joined they do not dry up so readily, for one replenishes the other. It is the same in the field of knowledge. Knowledge should be a refreshing and vitalizing force. It becomes so only through stimulating intercourse with congenial friends with whom one holds discussion and practices application of the truths of life. In this way learning becomes many-sided and takes on a cheerful lightness, whereas there is always something ponderous and one-sided about the learning of the self-taught.

Nine in the fifth place means:
Sincerity toward disintegrating influences is dangerous.

Dangerous elements approach even the best of men. If a man permits himself to have anything to do with them, their disintegrating influence acts slowly but surely, and inevitably brings dangers in its train. But if he recognizes the situation and can comprehend the danger, he knows how to protect himself and remains unharmed.’
[Wilhelm / Baynes]

The wisdoms contained in the Book of Changes have provided guidance to Chinese sages, the wise and the learned down the ages. Whether or not fellow Yi students can learn as much boils down to what they read study practice and get influenced by the right or wrong sources.

The ones with entrenched thoughts accumulated through the years of Yi studies – if incorrect or given wrong guidance - may find it nigh impossible to change and can be dangerous! Danger in the sense that they could verily deemed themselves experts or teachers of this profound subject and try to influence Yi students with their (wrong) thoughts. This is not the action of a Junzi.

The teachings of Tao and the Yi are documented and referenced down the ages. No one can fake it. Either they know the studies and practices or don’t.

If we place our trust in those who are out to mislead us into believing what they taught are correct then there could be danger in this. Think also of the many Daoist students in the West who have been taught by charlatans.

If the Yi gives the nine in the fifth place as the prognostication, watch out. Your investments could fail or you could go broke due to disintegrating influences. You would know why later and learn from there!

Because the trigram Dui has its place in the West in the Later Heaven Sequence, some relate it to the Western Queen Mother who lived on Kun Lun Mountain. According to legend, King Mu, the great grandson of King Cheng of Zhou, met Western Queen Mother at Lake Tai, and on Kun Lun Mountain where she treated him to a great feast.

In case readers do not know, the Western Queen Mother is an ancient Daoist divinity who sometimes teaches the right persons to attain celestial immortality. And not what some make her out to be in Western literature.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Explaining the Ancient (Gu Ren)

Those familiar with qin (divination slips) obtainable after offering prayers at temples of Daoist deities and celestial immortals know that the Ancient (Gu Ren), incorporated onto the slip, helps explain the divination.

The ancient named, more often than not, would be someone popular or exemplary in Chinese history and/or folklore. However at times to get an ominous message across, the ancient can be someone quite obscure and only known to those who are well read or knowledgeable of things Chinese.

In line with tradition, one had included an ancient to help explain the Yi prognostication for the last two seasons of 2009 if readers could not decipher the messages of Autumn rain rockets and Winter drum beats in the distance. The ancient coined and proffered was: ‘Guan Lo advises Cao Cao not to move.’

Most Yi aficionados would have heard of Guan Lo, one of the best Yi diviners, par excellence, during the Three Kingdoms era. There was a poem praising Guan Lo which read like this:

Guan Lo was a seer of old,
Stars to him their secrets told.
Mysteries, occult and dim,
Were as daylight unto him.
His so subtle intellect
Could the shade of death detect,
But the secrets of his skill
Died with him, - are secrets still.

Readers of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms would certainly know about the exploits of Cao Cao the wily and skilled general whose sons forced the abdication of the last late Han emperor and founded the Wei Dynasty. In the chapter dedicated to Guan Lo and the Book of Changes, is where he advised Cao Cao not to move.

In addition he said, “In the coming spring there will be a conflagration in Hsutu.”

'Having been witness of the verification of Guan Lo’s words, Cao Cao was in no mood to neglect the warning. He stayed on in his palace, but he sent Cao Hung with five legions to assist in the defence of East Chuan, while Hsiahou Tun, with three legions, went to Hsutu to keep careful watch and be ready against any surprises. ……..

In spring, five co conspirators started fires in Hsutu and tried to kill Cao Cao with their small band of men and restore the Han emperor to his rightful place. With the forewarning from Guan Lo, Cao Cao had prepared for it and therefore the ‘surprised’ uprising failed.'

The forewarning by the seer and further actions by the ‘client’ averted the omen.

Do the more experienced Yi diviners see the similarity with the amenable actions of the US, Russia and China during Autumn 2009 which have deferred or may have averted the raining of rockets in the south east region?

One would say the particular omen looks more like deferred instead of averted since some leaders and/or states prefer to stir up trouble again. Read the past week’s political news. People and global investors may suffer as a result.

They shoot horses, don’t they? But troublemakers do not give a damn, since they either have power or powerful backings.

It looks like Heaven is still not below Earth, this Spring.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pigs cry, fish laughs and cranes fly home

In a blog entry on July 17, 2009 titled ‘Completing the four seasons of 2009’ which in brief discussed two prognostications given by the Book of Changes (the Yi / I Ching), the first omen just after Chinese New Year and the second omen in the middle of that year, one mentioned in the form of a qin (divination slip) that after the predicted wind borne diseases in Spring, as well as the air disasters in Summer, it would rain rockets in Autumn, and there will be drum beats in the distance in Winter where ‘Pigs cry, fish laughs and cranes fly home’.

Critics and the less experienced Yi diviners will probably disagree to what one is going to blog while the experienced fellow diviners can take notes for their further research into Yi divination.

It is not easy to interpret omens or heaven’s secrets from the Yi and get the interpretations right. But at times, the Yi helps make the interpretations easier and simpler when the material the diviner needs is written in the text. If not, one has to ponder deeply before we can come up with the correct interpretation thereby making the omen or heaven’s secret clear as day.

Then the aspect of charismatic leaders’ or a capable Yi diviner’s ability to defer or avert the omen has to be taken into account. (This particular aspect has been discussed on a few occasions.)

If we follow the world news closely, Yi diviners will find that the leaders of the US, China, and Russia have had regular communications or held meetings with the countries who could have ‘rain rockets in Autumn within the south east region’. Arbitrary deadlines imposed have come and gone without drastic actions taken by the more powerful nuclear states, which can be a good thing or not; depending on your stand.

Coupled with the fact that this omen of ‘Autumn rain rockets’ was the first or lower moving line of two, it can be or has been deferred, or even averted altogether.

However, the first part of the second omen, ‘Winter drum beats in the distance’ representing the second moving line of the prognostication given via Hexagram 61 Zhong Fu could be heard recently.

Recent reported sea clashes between the Koreas were evidences of that occurrence.

The final part of this second omen reads, ‘Pigs cry, fish laughs and cranes fly home’ has also occurred but it was so subtle that no one seems to notice. Luckily, I caught this on Bloomberg online yesterday:

‘The euro area and the European Central Bank are now dealing with what markets are called the “PIGS” crisis: Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Sometimes Italy is added on the list but its finances seem to be in slightly better shape.

The bond markets have picked on Greece, punishing the country for mining up a budget deficit equal to 12.7 percent of gross domestic product. Now the focus is on other indebted countries in the euro area. Equity and currency markets are jittery as central bankers seek a lasting solution.”

Matthew Lynn, Bloomberg, Feb 10, 2010.

If you are a regular reader, you would discern that prior to the entry in July 2009; one has advised investors to heed the words of the two Da Ren – Warren Buffet and Li Ka-Shing. Both have been advising investors to buy shares with their own money - that is not with credit or on margins.

With the recent falls in the global share markets – some more than 15% from their 2009 highs, those who relied on borrowings to invest would take a bigger hit. No difference with the PIGS which are in a way ‘crying for help or a rescue’.

That explains the Pigs cry.

The fish laughs after taking profits before the global share markets fell in winter and having had swam away before the falls hit.

The cranes have flown home to heaven to report and roost just before the arrival of the New Chinese Year! (Check out this legend about cranes online)

Wish all readers a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year!