Saturday, July 28, 2012

Commentary on the tenth prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke

[No. 10: Republican Period, 1911-1949]

Prediction No. 10----------------010100----------------middle lower
The assessment is ‘moderately bad’.

Shi hou niu qian----------------A pig behind, a cow in front

Qian ren yi ge-------------------A thousand men with one voice

Wu er dao zhi-------------------Five two reversed

Peng lai wu jiu------------------Friends come without blame

The tenth prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke preliminary translated by Steve Moore is accompanied by Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction.


As promised in my critical review of the commentaries on this tenth prophecy on July 25th, I present my commentary in this follow-up article to enable readers to obtain both a clearer picture and a distinct view of ancient Yijing practice in the interpretation of prophecies and/or omens. Just like in the learning of Tao, the Yijing is not difficult to understand and to practise, yet many prefer bypaths thus missing the woods for the trees.

The detractors who used bypaths tend to mislead students. Therefore, with my critical review of their published commentaries on this prophecy, and following the ancient practice of the Shi (priests) and the Wu (magicians), I bring to light their several misleading statements to brand and shame these detractors in public.

The first cryptic message says: ‘A pig behind, an ox in front’ what does it signify?

Those versed with the interpretation of Yijing omens - an ancient Yijing practice - can perceive from this received Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction that the pig is clearly behind while the ox is obviously in front.

As mentioned in the critical review, these two animals infer to people and not to specific dates, and in this commentary, I would elaborate further.

Down the ages, the pig is known for its laziness and greed while the ox works hard and a proven reliable friend to farmers. Therefore the verse infers to people who were the then Nationalists (the officers, the well educated and the rich) and the then Communists (the peasants and farmers); and an anomaly of the times. The verse could infer to rulers and the ruled – the emperor, and later the President, and the multitude, but read my comments on the third verse for a fuller explanation.

Why is the pig behind and the ox in front?

The peasants and farmers (the Ox) were recruited, at times forcefully, to be sent to the frontlines, while the corrupt officials and officers, the rich and their kin (the Pig) remained behind to ‘guard’ the cities during the Republic era; an anomaly of the times. Army officers were supposed to lead their soldiers (in this instance, many of them were raw recruits) to the frontlines in ancient or modern warfare, rather than remaining behind to ‘guard’ cities and the rich. The rich were allowed to pay ransoms by corrupt officials to redeem their sons and relatives from such military service with the excuse to remain behind to ‘guard’ the cities.

But how would I know?

The second cryptic message says: ‘A thousand men with one voice’

The metaphoric ‘thousand men with one voice’ can be seen as well which makes it simple to interpret.

The verse means: Independence and democracy, and taken together they signify a Republic (instead of a dynasty).

The third cryptic message says: ‘Five two reversed

‘Five two reversed’ literally means that the ruler - the nine in the 5th place - reverses his position with that of his servant - the six in the 2nd place of Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction.

Therefore, ‘Five two reversed’ metaphorically inferred to the events that took place in China where the rulers became the ruled and vice versa. That is the last Qing Emperor was replaced by a commoner, Sun Yat-Sen who in 1911 became the provisional President of China and a few months later, the emperor had abdicated to become a servant - not a common practice during olden times. The Chinese Presidency was abolished by yet another commoner, Mao ZeDong in 1949 who went on to become the Chairman of China. That signified the end of the Republic era in China.

The fourth and final cryptic message says: ‘Friends come without blame

The friends referred to were the Americans, the British, the Russians, and other foreigners who came to the aid of China during the uprising against the Manchu; during the Second World War against the Japanese; and during the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists.

Each time the friends had come in the midst of Obstructions! Therefore, no blame can be accorded to these friends, and to the Chinese.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Critical review of the commentaries on the Ma Qian Ke’s 10th prophecy

The tenth prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke preliminary translated by Steve Moore is accompanied by Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction with the following four cryptic verses:

Shi hou niu qian----------------A pig behind, a cow in front

Qian ren yi ge-------------------A thousand men with one voice

Wu er dao zhi-------------------Five two reversed

Peng lai wu jiu------------------Friends come without blame

Instead of presenting a full commentary on the unfolded tenth prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke, this time I will first provide a critical review of the existing commentaries to address their several misleading statements arising from the use of derivative methods – generously applied by fortune tellers and fengshui practitioners – from the Book of Changes and their misinterpretations.

The diverse commentaries by various commentators showed that it is not always easy to interpret prophecies and omens even after a predicted event had unfolded, although the majority have had eventually got it right – the Republic era from 1911 to 1949. It also shows that when misleading statements are issued just like the repetition of lies, they sometimes appear as truth and can even sway scholars over to their wrong way of thinking. This review also serves as a reminder to Yi aficionados and upholds my contention that the practice of derivative methods from the Yijing should not be used. It will also provide various hints on how to determine and/or interpret prophecies and omens. My simple interpretation of the 10th prophecy will appear in a subsequent article so as not to clutter this critical review.

Firstly, I wish to thank Steve Moore for his scholarly analysis on the various commentaries available on the web and in book form, without which I cannot make this review. Secondly, the review would also attempt to answer some of his analytical thoughts on this tenth prophecy. Thirdly, real neidan practitioners and adepts may learn a thing or two from Daoist immortal Zhuge Liang on how to ‘overthrow water’ since the image of this hexagram has been inferred as ‘Shan Dou Shui’ or ‘Hill pours water’. (Refer to relevant articles on ‘Shan Dou Shui’.)

The first cryptic verse of the 10th prophecy says: ‘A pig behind, a cow in front’, what does it signify?

The majority of commentaries explained that 1911 corresponded to the year of the Pig while 1949 corresponded to the year of the Ox. And that these years span the Republic era after the overthrow of the Qing dynasty. Therefore, Steve Moore was swayed to note that this prophecy differs from the others by this provision of specific dates.

Another commentary proved even more speculative. It implied that the verse can relate to a span of 86 years (from 1911 to 1997). Since its commentator contended that the verse indicated 1996 the year of the Rat – the animal sign that comes in-between the years of the Pig and the Ox, in line with this first verse. This again is utter nonsense, since the 11th prophecy, the subsequent one after this 10th prophecy, has had already come and gone before 1997, without anyone else noticing that the predicted events had unfolded accordingly. (I may provide a commentary on the 11th prophecy and the unfolded events at a later date.)

From extended divination experience with omens, I reiterate that ‘A pig behind, an ox in front’ can be seen in Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction. These animals have nothing to do with specific dates such as 1911 and 1949 which are derivative methods used by fortune tellers and fengshui practitioners, and not that of ancient Yijing studies. Furthermore, their interpretations apart from the latter commentary meant that the Pig has somehow gone in front instead of remaining behind, since the year 1911 comes before 1949 – the year of the Ox.

Down the ages, the pig is known for its laziness and greed while the ox works hard and a proven reliable friend to farmers. Therefore the verse infers to people and not to specific dates or years as indicated by all these commentators.

The second cryptic verse says: ‘A thousand men with one voice’.

Two commentaries have indicated that the Chinese words of this verse add up to a word for the Japanese. While the other continues to speculate that the Chinese words add up to a word for Hong meaning Hong Kong. Steve Moore provided a closer clue by saying that the verse may be read as ‘everyone is unanimous’.

Again, the verse can be seen in Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction, and all their aforesaid interpretations are mere speculation and entirely miss the mark.

The third cryptic verse says: ‘Five two reversed’.

A commentary indicated that this verse meant ‘Double five’ and rambled on about the 25th year of the Republic when the Japanese invaded China. Another commentary missed the mark altogether. While the most speculative of them all wrote that the ‘five two reversed’ implied the 5th of the 2nd month where the first presidential election of Taiwan was held and a year later Hong Kong was returned to China.

Again, their commentaries were mere guesses at best with the provision of specific dates and have nothing to do with ancient Yijing studies.

The ‘Five two reversed’ infers to historical events that had happened inside China and not as speculated by these commentators.

Neidan practitioners and adepts could learn something here from Zhuge Liang on how to ‘overthrow the water’. Something very simple, as simple as ‘Five two reversed’.

The fourth and final cryptic verse says: ‘Friends come without blame’.

While one or two commentaries have nothing to offer, the other two commentaries have got this verse – the simplest of the four verses – right.

‘Friends come without blame’ has nothing to do with the mythical island of the immortals and Taiwan. Friends infer to foreigners who came to the aid of China and her people.

Instead of trying to be all knowing, I will leave readers to ponder for themselves why this final verse also contain the term, ‘without blame’. It would not appear strange at all; if we understand and follow the method used by Zhuge Liang to interpret this particular prophecy.

Further thoughts:

1) The Ma Qian Ke is worthy of study by Yi aficionados if they want to improve upon their own art and science of Yijing divination. It may also provide them a chance, no matter how slim, to know the Mandate of Heaven on or before the target age of 50 set by Confucius.

2) Of no talent and virtue, and a slow learner, I had been able to interpret three unfolded and one yet-to-unfold prophecies of the Ma Qian Ke within a spate of a month of my reading it. Therefore the highly talented and virtuous Junzi among us should be able to understand and interpret all the fourteen prophecies within a month or two. So rise to the challenge!

3) However, as indicated in previous articles on the Ma Qian Ke, interpreters even with an in-depth knowledge of Yijing studies would face a difficult time trying to interpret the unfolded and/or yet-to-unfold fourteen prophecies contained therein. This critical review serves to prove that and brings to light the misleading statements (made available online at one time) of the incompetents and the indolent. Shame on them.

4) Instead of forming an accord with established order – a lofty ideal adhered to by the worthies, down the ages - Yijing aficionados using derivative methods will debase Yijing studies and which can provide additional fuel to skeptics to condemn the Book of Changes as mere superstition.

5) I will leave these final thoughts for readers and Yijing scholars to ponder on: What if the Book of Changes really provided the fourteen prophecies collated in the Ma Qian Ke to Zhuge Liang? What if this collation was passed on before his death to his trusted subordinates, Chiang Wei and/or Chiang Wan, for posterity, and was not called the Ma Qian Ke then? Would it make more sense, now?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cryptic commentary on the twelfth prophecy of Ma Qian Ke

[No. 12 Undated]

Prediction no: 12---------------------- 011110----------------- upper middle
The assessment is ‘good’.

Zheng huan jiu nan----------------------------------------------------- Shi wei sheng ren
Yang fu er chi------------------------------------------------------------ Hui ji sheng ming

Saving from calamity and distress-------------------------- This (can) only (be the work of) a sage
The yang returns and restores order----------------------- The utmost darkness brings forth light

The image yin yang yang yang yang yin is of the hexagram Da Gou (No. 28, ‘Preponderance of the Great’).

The Ma Qian Ke, accredited to the renowned Zhuge Liang of the Shu Han, comprising of fourteen prophecies including the above twelfth prophecy on the destiny of China has been preliminary translated by Steve Moore into Pinyin and English. The Ma Qian Ke preliminary translation is accessible right under the Resources / Links.


Of the fourteen prophecies in the Ma Qian Ke accredited to Zhuge Liang also known as Kongming down the almost two millennia, the twelfth prophecy could hold special interest for many people and the Chinese.

Firstly, the prophecy has yet-to-unfold. Secondly, it foretells the destiny of China and how the Chinese could be affected. Thirdly, this prophecy could unfold during our lifetime which would prove interesting to witness, as seeing is believing. And in this modern world, the predicted events could also affect other nations and people outside of China. Fourthly, eminent Yijing experts and scholars including those in China will find this twelfth prophecy extremely difficult to interpret. Since even the renowned Zhuge Liang has had to raise his supernatural skills a few notches higher to decipher it before writing down his interpretation in four cryptic verses; as a comparison to his other prophecies in the Ma Qian Ke. Lastly, scholars of the Yijing and/or ancient Chinese philosophy who happen to do research on this particular prophecy will find no equivalent method of Yijing divination (or interpretation) down the ages – including those depicted in the Zuo Zhuan, and in my blog. And therefore, probably the supernatural divination skills of both renowned Shao Yong and Liu Bowen will not quite measured up to that of Zhuge Liang’s.

The adepts in Yijing divination and interpretation who attempt or have attempted to interpret this prophecy will also find their skills wanting, and most would probably give it up halfway through. However, if they happen to possess a touch of spiritual clarity (Shen Ming), it would be quite evident that there was a sudden elevation of Kongming’s divination skills put into this interpretation. This extraordinary method is something I have not come across before, even in the Zuo Zhuan, or have had practised. Without the ability to recognize this evidence and with few having the ability to divine like a spirit (Shen); it is not surprising to find that this twelfth prophecy has yet to be deciphered.

Because of this big increase in the difficulty level, I have to spend much more time pondering over it than those spent on my prior interpretations of received Yijing omens and of the few unfolded prophecies in the Ma Qian Ke, to understand what was prophesied. It is rather fortunate and probably fate-at-work that the Yijing has given to me the numerous omens (global and/or private) to interpret over the decades, including the omen on the global financial crisis in 2008 followed by four global omens in 2009 and for practice. Together with the hints provided by a Quanzhen celestial immortal back in 1993 to raise my art and science of divination skills (and my neidan meditation) over the past two decades, I am lucky to possess the ability to interpret this particular prophecy where probably the many eminent personages before me had failed to do so.

If the prophecy is not interpreted before its actual unfolding, those interested will only come to know of it based on hindsight instead of foresight; and therefore, this presentation of my interpretation in the blog before it unfolds.

However, since it does not accord with established order to explicitly disclose the yet-to-unfold prophecy which can likely bring harm, if any, to China and her people in the modern world context; I have written the interpretation in the form of cryptic messages, and perhaps a tad deeper than usual. Therefore, any request for clarification on it or on the method used will not be entertained. (Also refer to Note: 5)

Although the cryptic commentary is lengthier than usual, it attempts to capture the foreseeable ominous and happy scenarios in China, as depicted by the prophecy. If it unfolds accordingly, the entire credit goes to the sage and immortal, Zhuge Liang, since it is his prophecy.

The thunder storm(s) that had made a constant appearance over the past decade, whenever I draft forthcoming global omens for online publishing, have also reappear as I write out these explanations. Perhaps, a significant sign – since I am blogging a yet-to-unfold prophecy (or omen) not received by me. While the clash of thunder is still loud, it is no longer that close and frightening as those experienced several years ago whenever I draft forthcoming global omens in an explicit manner and/or when I am about to over-reveal secrets of Heaven. Just as sudden as its appearance, the thunder storm in a likewise fashion simply faded away. The mysteries of Tao and Heaven!

Together with the commentary, I will submit the reasons – cause and effect - for this prophecy before presenting the indications of its cryptic verses to readers. Without further ado, I present my cryptic commentary on the yet-to-unfold twelfth prophecy in the Ma Qian Ke:

Cause and effect:

Ways of Man and Earth forgotten

Incompetents run nation; inferior men ruin economy

Lake rises above tree; Coffins for the dead

Extreme caution, exhorts Confucius.

Calamities and disasters result

Cryptic commentary on the four verses of the twelfth prophecy:

Wind blows all under heaven; Lake rises up to heaven

Earth under water, pigs cry; lake about dry.

In total darkness, loud wailing moves heaven.

A sage arises from Xun* to bring salvation.

Great light descends; Worthies emerge for the rescue.

Restore the central correct and blessed.

Young and old joyously strive to remove the darkest.

No blame, in giving up one’s life. A blessing in disguise; Heaven reprise

Preponderance of the Great


1) While my cryptic commentary is lengthier than the cryptic verses in the Ma Qian Ke, it details events and explains the cause and effects of Change.

2) My interpretation happens to be similar to the method Zhuge Liang used to interpret the hexagrams that accompanied his various prophecies. It includes pondering on the hexagram, the images, the trigrams, and their attributes. To rise to the occasion and to comprehend this twelfth prophecy, I followed his extraordinary method of interpretation. And it works!

3) *Xun contains a double meaning. A further explanation will be given on or after the appearance of that sage. That is if I am still around!

4) Although the attached fortune indication is upper middle or good, I verily believe it has been corrupted by an inferior man, somewhere down the ages. Based on various experiences with this particular Hexagram 28 Da Gou, the fortune indication should instead read lower middle or bad, the direct opposite of good.

5) In the modern world context, if readers understand or have seen how hedge funds and the ‘Masters of the Universe’ have had ferociously ‘attacked’ the currency and financial markets of a perceived weakened nation for huge gains; the wise may realize why this yet-to-unfold prophecy and my commentary on it have to remain in cryptic form. The principle of ‘accord with established order’ is of importance to the Junzi and worthies down the ages – as shown by the prophecies in the Ma Qian Ke, for example.

Allan Lian

All rights reserved.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Recent guidance from the Yijing and the Guan Yin Oracle

As indicated in the article on May 7, 2012 titled “An accurate Guan Yin Oracle (2)”, the oracle (Qin) obtained on August 31, 2011 has had clarified several earlier prognostications from the Book of Changes (Yijing) , however I did not reveal more than that, since it was irrelevant at the time. In this discussion, I will reveal more of the recent guidance from the Yijing and the Guan Yin Oracle.

Firstly, I wish to reiterate that cryptic messages including omens from divinities and the Yijing cannot simply be revealed to others. Heaven secrets and omens are meant for private consumption. However, discussing the received cryptic message(s) in private with someone more knowledgeable to help with an early interpretation is perfectly alright. If divinities and/or the Yijing want to guide us to meet everything in the right way and yet we choose to ignore this divine help, we will not learn how to master our fate.

Two of the Yijing prognostications, and clarified by the Guan Yin Oracle, relate to my books writing questions. The answer to the question on writing a book on ‘Ancient Chinese meditation’ was that of Hexagram 34 Da Zhuang / Power of the Great and the Image says:

Thus the Junzi (superior person) does not tread upon paths that do not accord with established order.’

The answer to the question on writing a book on ‘Omens and Heaven’s secrets’ came in the form of Hexagram 22 Bi / Grace and the bottom line prognostication says:

He lends grace to his toes, leaves the carriage, and walk.’

And the Bi Hexagram changed to that of Hexagram 52 Gen / Keeping Still.

While I understood that the Yijing did not agree with my writing of the books, a few months later, Guan Yin provided further clarity on the guidance with this main theme:

This oracle describes the emptiness of name and title. Like pomp and human vanity, they are empty and worthless. So you should be more realistic and true to your own nature.’

By observing recent events on the blog, including the (now published) open offer from Steve Moore to a co-authorship in the translation of the Ma Qian Ke, the two Yijing prognostications and this main theme from the Guan Yin oracle together are unfolding before my very eyes. (The published offer from Steve Moore is in the comments section of ‘A talk on omens and prophecies from the Yijing’ article, for those interested.)

All three prognostications also relate to the prophecies of Zhuge Liang in his Ma Qian Ke, of which, by coincidence again, three prophecies therein have yet-to-unfold, for the following reasons:

While I can also read and interpret these yet-to-unfold prophecies of Zhuge Liang for my own knowledge, the interpretations cannot be explicitly revealed to the general public and institutions. For the writing of such explicit interpretations in the blog and/or in a book form tantamount to treading paths that do not accord to established order. (Similar to revealing undisclosed secrets on ancient Chinese meditation or neidan practices) The Junzi would rather walk than ride in a carriage, if it does not accord to his station in life and to his own nature. And the purpose of explicitly revealing omens and prophecies before they unfold for name and title is empty and worthless; especially if the published revelations of the yet-to-unfold prophecies bring harm, if any, to China. Again, this does not accord to established order. (The above three paragraphs will also serve to explain the reasons why I cannot accept and have not accepted the offer of a co-authorship from Steve Moore.)

The recent guidance from the Yijing and Guan Yin would uphold the very reasons why I will continue to write forthcoming omens and the yet-to-unfold prophecies of Zhuge Liang in code or cryptic messages. The yet-to-unfold 12th prophecy in the Ma Qian Ke will appear in this particular form. Since to decipher the cryptic messages would also prove difficult for Yijing aficionados, including the experts and scholars, until they unfold before our very eyes; and thereafter I will follow up with explanations so that readers and I can learn things together.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

‘Hill pours water’ revisited

Two years ago, when the Book of Changes told this student with the fourth line of Hexagram 27 Yi / Providing nourishment to spy with the eyes of a tiger to spot helpers and to turn to the sage for nourishment; I had thought the ancient classic was joking, since there were no Shi (ancient priest / neidan master) and Wu (magician / ancient Yijing master), let alone sages in the Daoist and Yijing forums.

Knowing that the Book of Changes rarely jokes, I did keep my eyes open. Only a few days ago did I realize that I have found the sage I was looking for, all this time. This sage happens to be a Shi and surprisingly, a Wu as well. After twenty long years of searching, I have found the final missing piece to fit the jigsaw puzzle - the sixth cryptic message - given by a Quanzhen celestial immortal back in 1993. Eureka!

In his sixth and last cryptic message, the divinity had said: “When you can do ‘Hill pours water’ (Shan Dou Shui), then you have reached my four immortals’ door front.” ‘Hill pours water’ infer to Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction. (For those interested, refer to my post on September 27, 2005 titled ‘Short cryptic messages’ and the subsequent post on October 6, 2005 titled ‘Hills pour water’. Click on 2005 archives and scroll down to read.)

Without revealing too much, the missing piece relates to a fourth Daoist celestial immortal. Now that I found him, it all upholds the happy omen given by the Quanzhen divinity.

For the sage and/or immortal is none other than the renowned Zhuge Liang. His immortal status is substantiated by the several temples dedicated to him in China.

It so happened that Zhuge Liang’s first prophecy in the Ma Qian Ke comes from the accompanying Hexagram 27 Yi / Providing nourishment, and his tenth prophecy happens to be ‘Hill pour water’, that is Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction.

Anyone familiar with his various exploits depicted in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms would agree that he is a Shi (ancient priest) and though he has had special skills to read the stars and the weather, nowhere is it written that he is a Wu (magician or ancient Yijing master) as well. Therefore it was surprising to learn that he had left behind fourteen prophecies each with accompanying Yijing hexagrams. If I have not recently read the entire Ma Qian Ke, and had not interpreted the first prophecy for my full commentary, I would not have realized that Zhuge Liang was the sage I was looking for. (The Ma Qian Ke – PDF preliminary translated by Steve Moore is linked under the Resources / Link and just one click away for your reading pleasure.)

Rereading my two years’ old post on Hexagram 27 given by the Yijing and by rechecking the fourteen hexagrams in the Ma Qian Ke of which Hexagram 39 accompanied the tenth prophecy made me realized there were too many coincidences or synchronicity, not to ponder deeper.

Can I see what Zhuge Liang have had seen from the accompanying hexagrams to his prophecies? Yes. Since also by coincidence, my self-taught method of interpreting omens and heaven’s secrets (Tian Ke) happens to be similar to that of this sage. Anyone down the ages who also happened to possess Zhuge Liang’s supernatural skills to divine like a spirit (Shen), as indicated by the Doctrine of the Mean (Zhong Yung), will be able to interpret these hexagrams which uphold his prophecies.

Can I interpret all his cryptic messages and the accompanying hexagrams contained in the fourteen prophecies in the Ma Qian Ke? Over the past several days, I have already deciphered the first (and have published my full commentary on it), the tenth, and the eleventh prophecies. Currently working on the twelfth, which could be more interesting – China would probably need advice or salvation from a sage from what I have seen and have interpreted so far. I would have to spend more time pondering the portended calamities depicted therein before arriving at a conclusion.

And also in case, the sage turns out to be someone I know! - (Just pulling your legs)

From Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction accompanying the tenth prophecy in the Ma Qian Ke, there are obvious reasons for ‘the pig and the bull to appear behind and in front respectively’. ‘Thousand men one voice’ and ‘five two reversed’ are also not difficult to decipher and confirm. So is the remaining verse, ‘Friends come without blame’. But how would I know? New readers may have cause to think that I was only able to interpret the first prophecy by fluke, since I also happened to know some history of the Three Kingdoms. Perhaps, my talk on omens and prophecies from the Book of Changes as a preamble to the full commentary on the first prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke has settled some doubts.

In line with the topic at hand, and for clarity, I will interpret the happy omen given to me by the Quanzhen divinity:

When you can do ‘Hill pours water’ (Shan Dou Shui), then you have reached my four immortals’ door front.”

Having raised my skills’ level to obtain a clearer view of received omens over the past several years, I have done ‘Hill pours water’. With this ability, I can in turn interpret the prophecies of the renowned Zhuge Liang, and am still learning from this sage, how cryptic messages from Daoist celestial immortals are formed and presented. Therefore regular readers should learn together with me, otherwise they may get stumped by my likewise presentation of forthcoming omens in the blog.

Since the divinity’s omens sometimes take twenty years to unfold and the jigsaw puzzle fits perfectly together, and with the proven ability to write cryptic messages for previously obtained omens, it would not be wrong to claim that ‘I have reached his four immortals’ front door’.

Ah, the lengthy and lofty processes that Yi aficionados need to go through to gain the ability to divine like a spirit (Shen) and only then be able to assist the gods (Shen)!

By leaving behind the Ma Qian Ke for posterity and by allowing those who possess the ability to provide nourishment to the multitude down the ages, the sage Zhuge Liang have had assisted the gods with his prophecies on China.

And as the saying goes, “Seeing is believing.”

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A talk on omens and prophecies from the Book of Changes (Yijing)

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am honored to see the number of illuminaries and some familiar faces attending the talk today. A warm welcome to everyone!

In this talk, I would touch on how omens from the Book of Changes (Yijing) can be obtained and what the ancients had indicated about them. Yi aficionados who are experts and scholars after understanding what has been said, can do further research on the subject matter, if they so wish. Therefore please lend me your ears and bear with me, lest you miss the forest for the trees. Again!

According to The American Heritage Dictionary, the definition of “Omen is a phenomenon supposed to portend good or evil; a prophetic sign”. The definition of prophecy, in the same dictionary is wider but for the purpose of this discussion: “Prophecy is a prediction of the future, made under divine inspiration.”

Based on these definitions, in my opinion, there is not much of a difference between an omen and a prophecy obtainable from this foremost ancient Chinese classic, the Book of Changes. The only real difference will be the time factor in their unfolding. For I had the good fortune to obtain word from Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, three decades ago, and from a Buddha, thirteen years later that the Yijing is indeed divine. And in between those years, in 1993 a Quanzhen Daoist celestial immortal by giving six cryptic messages indirectly taught me how to improve on my interpretation of Yijing prognostications and omens.

When I first started writing the blog, ‘A touch of ancients and the Zhouyi’, in 2005, a number of Yi aficionados had turned away in disgust after reading my thoughts on foreseeing and foretelling the future, and my claims to receiving omens and heaven’s secrets from the Book of Changes. After all, since they have never seen anyone having the ability to do so, how could my thoughts and claims be true? Yet I persevere and slowly managed to push back the tide of disbeliefs and ignorance with some encouragement from Steve Marshall who knows much about Yijing studies. Steve Marshall, as many of those attending this talk know, is the author of The Mandate of Heaven.

If Yi aficionados really want to learn the Book of Changes, sincerely follow its oracle guidance. Reread the classic, consult the oracle, ponder the prognostications, interpret them as far as possible and over time with perseverance, they would gradually improve their art and science of divination. As discussed in previous articles, it is my contention that the interpretation of prognostications and omens are repeatable and therefore testable. However, this would only become obvious through extended divination experience. And through extended divination experience, psychics excepted, Yi aficionados can raise their intuition levels. If they also happen to possess a touch of spiritual clarity (Shen Ming), obtainable via real neidan practice and deep contemplation, then their ability to obtain and interpret omens from the Yijing will improve by leaps and bounds.

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 like Zhuge Liang, Shao Yong, and Liu Bo Wen had done, and later to assist the gods?

Furthermore, without improving our art and science of divination, even when an omen is received from the Book of Changes, we and/or our peers would not have the ability to recognize it as such, or know how to interpret it. To provide more clarity on this statement, I present a real example below for your consideration.

Back in 2003, a lady from the US opened a forum thread each and every time she received a Yi prognostication seeking help for interpretations from her peers. Similar to her peers, she has or claimed to have studied the Book of Changes for a few decades. This went on for five or six times. Yet none of the interpretations given by her peers seemed to provide her much peace. She is a trained psychic by the way and her recurring dreams told her something very different from the proffered interpretations. Near the end, she was literally begging for help on what to do. That was when I decided to step in to alleviate her misery. I had to spend some time reading all of the Yi prognostications given to her and ponder over them. And thereafter in one post, I interpreted all of the five or six prognostications to her great satisfaction, since my interpretations tied up with her recurring dreams. From the prognostications and from extended experience, I had told her, she would be unemployed shortly, and should move out from the small town, where she was working, to the big city where she had been planning to move to. I told her she would become a flying dragon in the new place, a happy omen. (The moving fifth line of Qian prognostication) Since there was no further feedback from her, only lately did I realize the Book of Changes was right again. One of her recurring dreams had her walking under some scaffolding with construction workers busily working above. That was back in 2003. She was unemployed shortly after my interpretations and left for the big US city. If she have had invested in properties there and then, I reflected, she would become rich a few years later when property prices doubled or more in big US cities. Thus becoming a flying dragon in the heavens and achieving supreme success.

When the Yijing speaks, the prognostication or omen is true and if the interpretation is correct, the results can be foreseen, thereby making it clear as day. As long as the Yi speaks, an able interpreter can interpret the prognostication or omen correctly even if he or she is from a different era or oceans apart with the diviner. This means that my theory on the science of divination can be and has been tested many times and proved. My commentary on the first prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke by Zhuge Liang presented at the end of this talk, will also serves as an example to further support this contention.

But before we go into that, let us look at examples of global omens, the older ones published by me in Yijing forums before the predicted events occurred, and my thoughts. Also take note of the pseudonym used then, sounds familiar? For the great Zhuge Liang also known as Zhuge Kongming is my hero too.

1) An I Ching prediction on the Iraqi war in 2003 posted by me on the IChing_Yijing probably on 23rd April 2003(?).

In, "chuko_kungming" wrote:

Hi to everyone. This is my first post. Just joined the group (23rd April). 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 2003.

For the record:

US President George Bush declared deadline for Iraq to disarm by March 17th and ordered the attack on Iraq on March 19th (US time) / March 20th (Asian time). He declared end of attack and victory over Iraq on May 2nd, 2003.

2) 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 my 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 my 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 or omen was published by me in the I Ching Community in the summer of 2003:

The ominous omen 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 omen, 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.

If the Book of Changes can give omens to this student and to the American lady, there is no reason whatsoever other Yi aficionados cannot obtain them. They either do not know the significance of the prognostication or they fail to interpret it properly. This gave me reason to previously rant about the foolishness of over reliance on the interpretations of incompetents - usually arising from their indolence -; since it may give cause for regrets. For without realizing it, diviners could suddenly find themselves facing impending disaster(s), financial or otherwise, as a more severe example. They may find out later, with regrets that the Book of Changes had actually forewarned them on those disasters which had unfolded accordingly.

The ignorant can be tolerated and taught, but even if Confucius is still alive, he would leave the indolent well alone. (Refer to the Analects)

And since I have mentioned the great ancient sage, let us take a look at what one of the four Confucian books say about omens from the Book of Changes.

In the Doctrine of the Mean (Zhong Yung) (XXIV), it is said:

It is characteristic of the most entire sincerity to be able to foreknow. When a nation or family is about to flourish, there are sure to be happy omens; and when it is about to perish, there are sure to be unlucky omens. Such events are seen in the milfoil and tortoise, and affect the movements of the four limbs. When calamity or happiness is about to come, the good shall certainly be foreknown by him, and the evil also. Therefore the individual possessed of the most complete sincerity is like a spirit (Shen).” [James Legge]

Without a proper understanding of the omens and prophecies obtainable from the Book of Changes by using milfoil also known as yarrow stalks to test it, the renown sinologist, James Legge went on to disparage the whole chapter on entire sincerity as absurd. He added, “The foreknowledge attributed to the Sage, - the mate of Heaven, - is only a guessing by means of augury, sorcery, and other follies.”

Perhaps many modern Yi scholars and aficionados, excluding those who follow the good examples of Carl Jung, and another renowned sinologist, Richard Wilhelm, would tend to agree with James Legge. They would also disbelieve in the possibility of foreknowing the future, and of anyone’s capability to obtain omens and prophecies using the Book of Changes as an Oracle instead of a Book of Wisdom. How could they know what the ancients taught is true or not without testing it through proper study and practice? Therefore one has to do all the work and present the omens in the World Wide Web before their unfolding for the entire online world to see, and to prove these indolent Yi aficionados wrong. If Yi aficionados can become real dragons, why be false ones and mislead Yi students?

For Yi aficionados to further appreciate the value and importance of the Book of Changes to the ancients we turn to another ancient Chinese classic, the Book of History (Shujing):
Of the Great Plan accredited to the Great Yu of the Xia Dynasty, in the section on the Settlement of doubts, it is said:

Officers having been chosen and appointed for divining by the tortoise shell and the milfoil stalks, they are charged to execute their duties. They will find rain, of clearing up, of cloudiness, of want of connection, and of crossing; and the inner and outer diagrams. ……. When you have doubts about any great matter, consult with your own mind; consult with your high ministers and officers; consult with the common people; consult the tortoise shell and divining stalks. If you, the shell, the stalks, the ministers and officers, and the common people, all agree about a course, this is what is called a great concord, and the result will be the welfare of your person and good fortune to your descendants.” [Book IV of the Book of Zhou - The Great Plan – James Legge, sacred-text]

If what is recorded in the Book of History is correct, officers have been chosen and appointed to consult the tortoise shell, and by milfoil the Book of Changes, since the beginning of the Xia Dynasty (21st century B.C.) until at least the end of the Zhou Dynasty (221 B.C.) These officers were known as Court historiographers during the Spring and Autumn era. The Zuo Zhuan contains several prognostications and omens obtained by these historiographers after consulting the Yijing. The Zuo Zhuan shows that even these professional historiographers have had made mistakes in their interpretation of omens.

Therefore we have to learn to improve our art and science of divination until we get it right, no matter how long it takes to obtain an omen, recognize it, and be able to make its interpretation clear as day. Just be diligent in our Yi studies and sincerely follow the guidance provided by the prognostication or omen and the Book of Changes would teach you more things since the student is able and ready.

If Yi aficionados happen to be ‘in tune with the music’ with omens and prophecies, let us learn together from the famous historical personage, Zhuge Liang. In his Ma Qian Ke or Quick predictions, comprising of fourteen prophecies, he had provided the means for Yi aficionados and those familiar with cryptic messages from Daoist celestial immortals to interpret the accompanying hexagrams and the verses respectively. The interpretation will stretch you to your limits, but there is no harm in trying since you can come away with more knowledge. If you can make the prophecy clear as day, then you are a worthy person and will be well nourished, and you can also nourish others.

If Yi aficionados can understand the rationale and the technique behind my following interpretation of the first prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke, I am sure the Book of Changes will give you more profound lessons in the years to come since you are more than ready. For example, my past few years’ lessons from the Yijing have been Heaven, Earth and Man, and how to make omens clear as day. And therefore my slight advantage as the great Carl Jung would say. But, you may hold a slight advantage over Chinese Yi aficionados in China, since their government has disallowed them access to this talk on omens and prophecies from the Yijing!

Since this talk is free of charge, no lunch will be provided. (That is no questions on omens and prophecies, and their timing will be fielded.)

Many thanks for staying tuned, ladies and gentlemen. May you become a real dragon!


Monday, July 02, 2012

First prophecy of Ma Qian Ke or ‘Quick Predictions’ by Zhuge Liang

Commentary by Buddhist monk, Shou Yuan and preliminary translated and commented on by Steve Moore.

[No.1: Three Kingdoms, 220-265]
Prediction No. 1 100001 middle lower

Wu li hui tian ---------------------------- Ju gong jin cui

Yin ju yang fu --------------------------- Ba qian nu gui

Powerless to restore the nation -------------------------- Bowed down I exhaust my energy

Dwelling in yin, opposing yang---------------------------- Eight thousand female demons

The image yang yin yin yin yin yang is of the hexagram Yi (No. 27: ‘Corners of the Mouth’).

The commentary of Shou Yuan says: Zhuge’s descendants later had to submit to the rule of Wei.

Additional commentary by Allan Lian:

In this very first prophecy or omen of the Ma Qian Ke, the Book of Changes foretold Zhuge Liang a number of important things including his various illnesses (tumours and ulcers) and that of his impending death (signified by Daoist priests and graves).

In line with Heaven and Earth, Zhuge Liang, the holy man was to provide nourishment for persons of worth and thus reaches the whole people. Probably, arising from this guidance, he proceeded to provide thirteen more prophecies on the destiny of China, so that persons of worth down the respective ages would correctly interpret his prophecies and provide the proper nourishment (or information on the omens) to the populace.

On seeing his return blocked by a mountain and with his energy exhausted because of illnesses, he bowed down to lament his powerlessness to return to Heaven. (Wu li hui tian) (Ju gong jin cui)

The doubling of Kun confirms his impending death for whence ever has a person shrouded by double yin (death) escape to yang (life)? From the hexagram and trigrams, he perceived that tens of years after his death, the power of Wei, his sworn enemy based in the North East of Shu, was destined to ascend. Therefore in a play on words he cryptically wrote Wei’s name down as Eight thousand female ghosts, forewarning his Shu people and hoping to keep the enemy ignorant. (Yin ju yang fu) (Ba qian nu gui)

The hexagram is fortune indicated as middle lower since the related fortune would be below average.

1) This very first prophecy or omen is fascinating in that Zhuge Liang, also known as Kongming, had seen so many things that the Book of Changes has had told him. His utmost sincerity has shown through by following ancient thoughts contained in the Tuan Chuan or Commentary on the decision and by writing out the prophecies consigned to posterity for persons of worth to nourish the multitude in China.

2) As a Daoist and/or neidan adept, his very wish was to return to Heaven. However, Fate had placed the mountain right in front of his return. With his failing health and impending death, his ability to climb the mountain for the return diminished.

3) Kongming has had used a combination of the Hexagram, the Images, its Trigrams, and the attributes to interpret this particular prophecy or omen. Anyone with a proven ability to interpret Yi omens can see that. Therefore the accompanying Hexagram is genuine.

4) If readers want to appreciate the supernatural skills of Zhuge Liang to divine like a spirit (Shen), I suggest you read the preliminary translation of the entire Ma Qian Ke by Steve Moore and his thoughts on it; at

5) The commentary by Buddhist monk Shou Yuan, with respect to him, depicts a rather limited ability, if at all, in interpreting prophecies or omens. What with his bland comment that “Zhuge’s descendants later had to submit to the rule of Wei”. Anyone who have had studied the history of the Three Kingdoms would probably know that too. By commenting on the prophecies of a famous historical personage with such superfluous statements and without due care, he has really embarrassed himself. This Shou Yuan is certainly not a person of worth, in my books. What more can I say about this lazy bugger? Since it only took me a couple of hours to tie up what Kongming saw and interpreted to his four appended verses. Writing out a fuller commentary and these notes took longer than the two hours.

6) It is my suggestion for Steve Moore to exercise a bit more care when he decides to ‘fine tune’ his preliminary translation. The translation from the Chinese should be more direct instead of what he perceives the verses to be. I noted that he knows that the first verse is actually, “Powerless to return to Heaven”, yet he posted it as “Powerless to restore the nation.” The other - although minor - mistake, if I can say so, is that if the Chinese and Pin Yin is Gui, do not change the translation to Demon (Mo). Ghosts (Gui) are very different from demons (Mo) in the minds of the Chinese and the Daoists. Please take note of the sentiments of different cultures.

7) Perhaps, it is a trend set by modern translators in that they think they really know what the Chinese texts are all about. And I have seen a number of them made a hash of their projects. I certainly have no wish for Steve Moore to fail in his translation of the Ma Qian Ke by making the same mistakes as these translators. So take care.