Friday, June 29, 2012

Update on free lunches and other things

The free lunch provided to senior citizens in the US and Europe in late October 2008 with a request to do their homework before buying US and UK blue chips at their historical or new lows probably would have made some money for those who followed through with the suggestion. There was a big rebound in the global stock markets a year later.

The free lunch provided to Malaysian retirees in late October 2010 suggesting that they keep their retirement sum in the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), and to those who have already taken the sum out to buy Government bonds and not to invest in foreign currencies unless they are sophisticated enough could bear fruits this year. Since many are expecting the country’s economy to weaken further and the central bank has already started to reduce the easy credit, made readily available to consumers or households over the past few years.

With the current ongoing outflow of foreign funds from emerging and Asian economies to the US, borrowing the falling US dollar in 2010, for example, to bet on higher rate paying currencies would have burned many an investor. (A lesson perhaps not learnt well from the Asian financial crisis.)

The Book of Changes has had already informed this student about these outflows a few months earlier, the reason for selling down my shares. (Think about timing, and repeatable interpretations of Yi prognostications based on extended experience.)

Those who had already bought the 2009 (3 year) Government bonds for retirees and the general public would have received or about to receive their monies on maturity. Together with those who have kept their monies in the EPF on retirement, they could be akin to fish swimming in liquidity. While Pigs cry, Fish laughs.

These free lunches and the omens are meant for individuals – the general reading public – and are not meant for institutions. If institutions also want freebies, then no one including the individuals will get any.

When I realized that contractors working for US agencies are being paid to monitor the omens on my blog and interpreting them where required; I decided to present omens in cryptic messages from thereon.

Therefore, a different presentation was made on the ‘Pigs cry and Fish laughs’ omen making it extremely difficult for any Yi aficionado to decipher, including those particular gainfully employed contractors who possess some expertise in Yi studies. (I am aware that one uses a particular pseudonym while another probably has since passed on. Yes, I do have some sixth sense and do spend time reading Yi Forums.)

The same can be said for the Great Light from Heaven omen. Even with several hints provided, deep thinkers and Yi scholars – if they were reading it – have yet to decipher or interpreted the omen. (This comment also serves to answer the statement on sincerity made by an anonymous reader in that article.)

If institutions want to know more about forthcoming omens and prognostications in advance:

That can affect the safety of their country and citizens, or

On the timing of expected huge swings in the global financial markets, or

On anything else which matters to them?

They are welcome to contact this author by leaving a short note and an email address. Discussions, if any, will be treated private and confidential.

The good things I have learned from prior years’ observations are these:

1) Omens can be averted not only by the charisma of rulers and/or by experienced diviners. There is an additional method which application has averted the ‘Rockets in the south east region’ omen. I may blog about this method later but no promises. (The lady from Hawaii would probably know something about it. Some readers may have thought at the time that I was being presumptuous when I mentioned to her in the comments column that the US government also reads my blog.)

2) I still have faults in the accuracy in interpreting omens given by the Book of Changes. Lazy me. There was an omen which had indicated a nuclear incident in the North East region – from the direction of Malaysia - several months before its actual occurrence. I thought it would be related to North Korea and the US in the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan, but the omen was actually on the March 2011 nuclear mishap in Japan. (Blogged in 2010 as nuclear or silent weapons will be used.)

3) According to the (missing and recently found) Chapter Yao in the Analects, Confucius told his student, Zigong, the accuracy rate of his divination can be up to 70 percent. Perhaps because of this, Confucius requires more years to study the Book of Changes so that he would be free from great faults.

4) While my Yi divination accuracy has been rated much higher than 70 percent by friends and my late father in the past, as a Yi student, I would probably need more years than the great sage, Confucius has requested for, to perfect it, but verily doubt Heaven would grant me my wish.

5) Therefore from now on I would have to be extra careful, diligent, and observant each time the Book of Changes gives me an omen or a prognostication to raise the accuracy rate perhaps a step closer to perfection.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

First impressions on the Ma Qian Ke (by Zhuge Liang)

Today I have briefly read the Ma Qian Ke comprising of fourteen (14) separate prophecies or omens attributed to Zhuge Liang, a renowned Shu Han strategist of the Three Kingdoms era, and commented on by a Buddhist priest named Shou Yuan of White Crane Mountain. And preliminary translated and commented by Steve Moore with technical assistance from Steve Marshall. (Also see other credits given in the translation)

This preliminary translation (in PDF format) is made available to readers at the following web address on the Yijing Dao website:

It is the first time I have been able to read this text and the accompanying commentaries in its entirety, with thanks to Steve Moore.

Notwithstanding my brief comments on the Ma Qian Ke or ‘quick prophecies’ by Zhuge Liang aka Kongming as a whole, readers should take into account the various research done by Steve Moore on the authenticity and reliability of this text, especially as to the originality of attached hexagrams and fortune indications to the cryptic verses.

These are my first impressions (which may be refined with further research into the respective hexagrams concerned):

1) Apart from the first omen on Zhuge Liang himself and the Wei Dynasty, apparently each omen refers to a dynasty or a specific era in China.

2) The cryptic verses are similar to those given by Daoist celestial immortals.

3) Those familiar with interpretations of accurate prognostications or Yi omens could know the authenticity of the respective hexagram accompanying each prophecy.

4) I have done a quick check on the first and the 12th prophecies after reading the entire text and found the accompanying hexagrams genuine, since they do bear some relationship with the respective cryptic verses therein.

5) While whether it was Zhuge Liang himself or not who attached the accompanying hexagrams is debatable, whoever has had added them in, certainly possessed the know how to interpret omens. (Also see No: 4 above)

6) This lends additional support to my observations that the correct interpretation of Yi prognostications and omens are repeatable by the very experienced, even though they are from different ‘worlds’ or eras.

7) The accompanying fortune indications are similar to those on Guan Yin Oracles, some or all of which could be later additions. Steve Moore could perhaps do some research into the advent of fortune indications to ascertain the timeline of their addition, if any.

8) While some of the fortune indications look suspect to those familiar with good, average, and bad hexagrams having acquired such experience through extended Yi divination over the decades, one can still learn something from them.

9) Though I know from such extended divination experience which are the best (shang shang), the average (zhong zhong), and the worst (xia xia) hexagrams in Yi prognostications, the subtle and slight variations (shang zhong, zhong xia, for example) presented are not much different from my table self-made on July 9th, 1993 on good, average, and bad hexagrams for investments. This table comprising of the 64 hexagrams in the Book of Changes also contains slight variations in the expected returns on investments for each particular good, average, or bad hexagram.

10) On double checking with this table, the fortune indications on the 9th and the 12th omens appear corrupted. The other twelve fortune indications are appropriate.

11) In my books, the 9th omen, Hexagram 35 Jin / Progress fortune indicated as zhong shang (above average) should rank zhong xia (below average) or lower. And the 12th omen, Hexagram 28 Da Guo / Preponderance of the Great favorably fortune indicated as shang zhong (good) should be ranked xia zhong (bad) instead. Of course my divination experiences would differ from the personage who added in these two fortune indicators. Therefore readers should take in my comments in this particular paragraph with a bit of salt.

12) Hexagram 12 Pi / Stagnation (the 5th omen) is indeed an omen in my books. That was how I knew, again through extended divination experience and observations, about the expected exodus of foreign funds from Asia before it happened. (In early May I have already blogged about my sell down of shares to a very manageable level.)

13) A final comment. If Yi aficionados think that trigrams would indicate good, average, or bad fortune, they could be using incorrect ideas for the interpretation of Yi prognostications. But how would I know?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

“Your Tao is different from mine!”

“Your Tao is different from mine!” exclaimed the German (?) out of exasperation over the inability by his fellows ‘Zhuangzists’ (a term coined by them) and him in Tao Speaks to effectively counter my substantiated assertions that their icon, Zhuangzi, had indeed defamed the Confucian paragons of virtue – Yao and Shun, King Ji (father of King Wen), King Wu, and Zhougong (the Duke of Zhou) in one of his texts, Tao Kih or The robber Kih.

But I liked his honesty in saying that his Tao is different from mine. Ardent followers of Zhuangzi would probably share his sentiments.

There is nothing really wrong in following a follower of Laozi and Huangdi (the Yellow Emperor) to learn about Tao. Most would be more than impressed by the elaborate oratory skills and the fluent expressions of Zhuangzi, an eminent orator during the Warring States era according to Sima Qian, the noted Han Grand Historian. Only Tsou Yen, his peer, who wrote a very long treatise on Yin Yang, could match his oratory skills, according to Sima.

But no one needs oratory skills to cultivate Tao.

From observations over the past decade, people have had hindered their own progress in the learning of Tao, neidan, and/or the Book of Changes, when they adopt the bias and prejudices of Zhuangzi against all things Confucian. While even rulers of the Warring States found the theories of Zhuangzi difficult to put into practice, we find many of his modern followers on the Web trying to do the impossible.

Over the past few years, more and more Westerners who learn Tao have wizened up to the fact that most Daoists cultivate Tao and Te in line in with the Tao Te Ching (and not that of Zhuangzi).

Therefore, if the German ever visit his Daoist friends in the East, it would be unsurprising if his friends in all honesty tell him that, “Your Tao is different from ours!”

This would probably also explain why the Tao Speaks forum has become defunct in recent years.

Monday, June 18, 2012

An accurate omen from a Quanzhen Celestial Immortal

Twenty years ago, in my presence, my learned Daoist friend presented a cryptic message to a mutual friend (B). He said that the message was given by his ancestor master, a Quanzhen Celestial Immortal, to him (B). B proceeded to read the cryptic message on his fortune and exclaimed with prescience:

“If I have that much money to lose, I must be very rich by then.”

Both of them remarked that the Iron Lady mentioned in the message must be very fierce to cause B to lose the huge sum of money. (Names and the actual amounts will remain undisclosed for confidentiality purposes, and to avoid embarrassment, if any. Suffice it to say that the deposit interests on the amount can maintain a wealthy lifestyle for most families.)

According to them, the gist of the omen read as follows:

“When the Iron Lady appears, you will lose X plus millions of ringgit. You will receive good advice from a person with a lot of expertise (Gao Ren) but you would disbelieve him.”

Thinking that the Gao Ren is most likely the Quanzhen Celestial Immortal, B requested the Daoist to seek permission for him to become a disciple of the divinity. Over the spate of a few years, the Daoist tried hard to seek such permission for B but each time the divinity rebuffed the requests with valid reasons. (These reasons will remain secrets between the Daoist and me.)

At the time in question (in1992), Margaret Thatcher was still known as the ‘Iron Lady’ but she was no longer the British Prime Minister; therefore I was also at a loss as to the identity of the Iron Lady.

Over the years there from, I had provided various advices and strategies to B to help him build up his corporate empire. The various projects I happened to agree with or had advised upon made huge profits while those I have had disagreed with, more often than not, lost him tens of millions.

Then one day, B asked for my opinion on one big corporate exercise that would cost him several tens of millions. I had indicated to him that it was too expensive. A few days later, he told me of his decision to proceed with it and requested me to attend the forthcoming numerous meetings and conferences. Half way through the exercise, I dropped out of the scene for personal reasons, since he was already in capable hands with the appointment of various expert advisers.

After the corporate exercise took off, B told me that he had a discussion with a major corporate figure who also told him it was too expensive. The corporate figure mentioned that he would only pay a quarter of what B had to pay for it.

The years passed by and B decided to unwind the entire corporate exercise since it was not as fruitful as he first thought.

When I read the news, I told my learned Daoist friend that true to the Quanzhen Celestial Immortal’s omen, B lost the X plus millions of ringgit just when the Iron Lady appeared. My Daoist friend has long forgotten about the entire episode. (You see what old age does to our memories at times!) But I did not explain to him how the Iron Lady came into the picture.

Neither would I divulge her to readers, lest I get sued for nothing. Scour the newspapers or read the news online and you may get close to her identity.

It was not the film titled The Iron Lady as I first thought. By coincidence, the timing of its release in my country appeared simultaneously with the news on the unwinding exercise. Later I realized from experience that cryptic messages from this particular Celestial Immortal are not that easy and simple to decipher.

Lastly take a guess who that person with a lot of expertise (Gao Ren) is? Probably your guess is as good as mine. It does not really matter if we are both wrong. Fate is difficult to change or to master as the learned and the wise can tell you.

B had shown prescience on his forthcoming vast fortune and by now could handle the huge loss. And the rest is history as the saying goes.

If readers are still unclear as to why the omen is accurate, reread the gist of the message:

When the Iron Lady appears, you will lose X plus millions of ringgit. You will receive good advice from a person with a lot of expertise (Gao Ren) but you would disbelieve him.

Probably the accurate omen took twenty years to unfold because in 1992 B was still struggling to find his financial footing and certainly was not that wealthy then to afford that type of loss.

As indicated before, when an omen or oracle is accurate, the correct interpretation of it is of utmost importance.

And I told my learned Daoist friend the other day:

If you keep forgetting these accurate omens which are good for the name of your ancestor master and the Quanzhen temple, one day you may get a knock on the head from the divinity!


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Ancient method of the Holy Sages (2)

Additional notes:

Like Tao and the Book of Changes, the ancient method of the Holy Sages, aka Neidan (inner alchemy) nowadays, is also deep and profound.

Bear in mind that Laozi and the Zhen Ren in their respective writings have made references to the foremost ancient Chinese classic, The Book of Changes.

Knowing something about neidan does not mean that the practice will be correct.

If people think that neidan is only about meditation, then they have missed the mark. (Refer to the poem on what are required.)

As indicated by Laozi in the TTC, those without superior virtue should not start with neidan meditation. Illusions and delusions can arise.

If you really want to practice neidan correctly, study the four Books and the five Classics (which include the Book of Changes) in order to become learned and wise.

While becoming learned and wise, students could come across how to keep the heart still. And here are more reasons to becoming learned and wise:

The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life (Jin Dan – Golden Pill). All changes of spiritual consciousness depend upon the heart. There is a secret charm which, although it works very accurately, is yet so fluid that it needs extreme intelligence and clarity, and the most complete absorption and tranquility. People without this highest degree of intelligence and understanding do not find the way to apply the charm; people without this utmost capacity for absorption and tranquility cannot keep fast hold of it.
[The Secret of the Golden Flower by Lu Dongbin and translated by Wilhelm/ Baynes]

Real teachers if found may not be able to teach the entire practice to students. Students would have to put in their own sincere efforts and there is much to study and learn.

If practitioners after several years or decades of practice still cannot witness or experience any of the various major signposts of the Way, then they are either not practising neidan at all, or doing it wrong; simple as that. This comment equally applies to the indolent directly taught by Daoist Celestial Immortals.

The ancient major signposts are embedded in the Book of Changes (the Zhouyi), the Tao Te Ching, and the various Daoist texts written by the Zhen Ren before or after they became Celestial Immortals. The Shurangama Sutra also contains a few of these signposts.

If you happen to be a disciple of a major Daoist sect, you can present the poem to the elders for further clarification. (This note is especially applicable to readers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.) The elders may either smile or frown after reading it. But do not ask the Celestial immortals to explain. You may get a knock on the head. The punishment is for not doing your homework after so many reminders over the years. Ha!

The temple elders would probably smile when they recognize that their cultivation is based on the same foundation as the ancient method of the Holy Sages.

They would probably frown for not having reached the higher levels of neidan practice also depicted in the poem.

How would I know?

The adepts say that sometimes they feel light (as if floating), the heat during meditation can scorch, some experiences are intense, and some very intense. On what type of experiences, they do not reveal.

Quanzhen Patriarch Lu Dongbin also mentioned in the Secret of the Golden Flower that confirmatory experiences are like drinking water. The one who drinks it would know whether the water is warm or cold.

Perhaps these two previous articles on a simple circle and the concept of duality respectively can further assist readers in understanding the poem: