Monday, August 20, 2012

Hexagram 2 Kun / The Receptive, Earth

Hoarfrost underfoot in autumn
What could be the ultimatum?
Solid ice is not far off
Foreboding ills and not a line at which to scoff!

Straight, square, great
Without purpose, mysterious gates
A touch of Heaven in Earth
Cultivating human nature and fate; being gives birth

Hidden lines, abilities remain concealed
If working for a king, fame should not appeal
Completing works like mother
But venture no farther

A tied-up sack
Due to the rulers’ or adepts’ own lack
Heaven and Earth close
Consequently no Tao all under Heaven and the able hide to be unexposed

A yellow lower garment brings supreme good fortune
Beauty within which expresses itself is opportune
If from the depths of Kun emerges the Light
The Golden Flower can be within sight

Dragons fight in the meadow
Their blood is black and yellow
Not knowing the origins of the Creative and the Receptive
A mare futilely attempts to overturn Qian and Kun in perspective

Lasting perseverance furthers
To prevent any foreseeable murders
Without Yijing guidance, if the Junzi try to lead they will go astray
For yielding, devotion, central, firmness, and sincerity constitute the earthly Way

Allan Lian

Monday, August 13, 2012

Feedback on readership

Firstly, a warm welcome to all readers with thanks for your continued support.

Since changing the statistics counter to Google, I can provide a better feedback on the readership of the blog.

People from the United States of America form the largest group of readers; probably because they tend to read more than others, which is a good thing. While most of the blogged articles can be considered technical, the Americans also have diverse interests and therefore their continued support of the blog is much appreciated.

Malaysian readers form the second largest group of readers; probably they want to support a fellow Malaysian, and to know the timing on the local share market. The younger readers tend to read the articles on the best teams of Counter Strike 1.6 in Malaysia. Something for the young and old!

The third largest group of readers comes from the United Kingdom; probably because they tend to read up on technical aspects on the Book of Changes and want to know something more about immortals and the Chinese ancients.

Next in line are the Australians, the Canadians followed by Singaporeans, Europeans, Indonesians, Indians, and many other citizens of the world.

Lately the Chinese from mainland China are making a comeback to read the blog; probably attracted by the articles on the Ma Qian Ke ascribed to Zhuge Liang, and also not to miss out on the recent talk on Omens!

But surprisingly for the past one month or so, many Russians are coming to read the articles on neidan and Tao cultivation, with some requiring Google English-to-Russian translations. They form the third largest group of readers for the month, after those from the US and Malaysia respectively, outnumbering British readers.

Since May 2012, Singaporeans have been thoroughly enjoying themselves reading up on the articles on ‘An accurate Guan Yin Oracle’ while some readers are probably making money in their Singapore Stock Exchange – the best market performer in Asia since May according to online global business media. Singaporean devotees who regularly pray in Guan Yin temples in their country can learn something on interpretation of the oracle (qin) from these articles.

The perennial favorite article in the blog is ‘Thoughts on Hexagram 62 Xiao Guo / Preponderance of the Small’ written on August 17, 2005. The few days spent on writing it - because of sensitivities involved - did not go wasted. The popularity could be because of my differing view with that of Stephen Karcher – an American author of several books on the I Ching – and his ‘student’ on the hexagram. Readers can also learn something about omens from the article, if interested.

The second most read article is ‘Hua Hu Ching’ written on April 27, 2005. A fictitious book claimed to be written by Laozi and which contained several disputable facts. The dark side is usually alluring, therefore its popularity!

Fast gaining popularity is the article, ‘Basic breath control’, dated April 3, 2006. The health conscious and those intending to take up neidan practice could find it useful.

Two of the most popular articles based on recent month page-views are ‘An accurate Guan Yin Oracle (2)’ dated May 7, 2012 and ‘The concept of duality’ dated December 11, 2007.

Enjoy your reading.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Hexagram No: 1 Qian / The Creative, Heaven

Dragon has to hide
Since time is not on his side
Ready this worthy will not lag
When it’s time to act

Dragon appearing in the field
While acting with zeal
The Junzi will thrive
Onlookers enlivened with life

Seriousness of purpose even in leisure
People influenced by his nature
Creative during day and concern at night, he paces
Leaving integrity and reliability traces

Wavering in flight
Over the depths; what’s with this light?
Wither a hero or a holy sage
Decision time for the mage

Flying in the heavens
World peace this dragon leavens
Clouds choose to follow him
Onlookers blessed on seeing this celestial limb

Arrogant dragon plunges during flight
For overreaching via the light
Perchance he escapes intact with his life
Humiliation and misfortune filled with strife

Celestial dragons have no head
Cause sages and immortals know which Way to tread
For millennia the divine leaven
While mounting the six steps or dragons to heaven

Allan Lian

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The sage in Hexagram 28 Da Gou / Preponderance of the Great

The twelfth prophecy of the Ma Qian Ke had indicated the appearance of a sage. If Yijing aficionados cannot perceive the sage in Hexagram 28 Dao Gou which accompanied the prophecy, do not get too upset since it could be way over your heads. When even past top eminent scholars of ancient Chinese philosophy – the Chinese mentors of both James Legge and Richard Wilhelm - have had failed to discern the sage in the Hexagram, this phenomenon – like the closure of Heaven and Earth - will certainly prove too deep and profound for many Yijing scholars and experts. Therefore there is no necessity to worry too much about your own capability in the study of the Yijing. Just plod on with sincerity since only the entire sincere can achieve the ability to divine like a spirit (Shen) down the ages. For sincerity is the Way of Heaven.

Also how many would be able to discern the profound knowledge of Laozi, Confucius, and Mencius of the Book of Changes where these ancient sages indicated that there is No Tao all under Heaven whenever heaven and earth close? Few will really comprehend what this phenomenon actually means, even though the modern world has been experiencing the absence of Tao since 15th September 2008 – the collapse of Lehman. This is also way above the heads of Yijing scholars and the experts, and the neidan adepts too. (Refer to various blogged articles on this particular phenomenon over the past three years, if interested.)

Thus far, Zhuge Liang has had seen the sage in Hexagram 28 Da Gou as depicted in the twelfth prophecy of his Ma Qian Ke. My perceiving of this sage is only circumstantial because of my interpretation and commentary of Zhuge Liang’s accredited 12th prophecy, therefore following his guidance.

However, more than two and the half millennia ago, the great ancient sage, Confucius has already known that the Junzi depicted in Hexagram 28 Dao Gou represents a sage? How?

In the Doctrine of the Mean, the Master said: ‘The superior man accords with the course of the Mean. Though he may be all unknown, un-regarded by the world, he feels no regret.It is only the sage who is able for this.’ [Chapter XI paragraph 3 James Legge]

In Book II of his Yijing translation, Richard Wilhelm mentioned that ‘the whole range of ideas contained in the commentary on the Great Images places it on proximity to the Great Learning and hence in very close proximity to Confucius as well.’ How right were his mentor and him when he wrote that down?

Yi aficionados would note that the Great Image in Hexagram 28 Dao Gou as translated by Wilhelm / Baynes while implying the same meaning is worded differently from James Legge’s translations of the Doctrine of the Mean and of the Book of Changes.

In the W/B translation it reads: Thus the superior man, when he stands alone, is unconcerned, and if he has to renounce the world, he is undaunted.

If we compare that to Legge’s translation it reads: The superior man, in accordance to this, stands up alone and has no fear, and keeps retired from the world without regret. [Refer to Xiang Zhuan of Hexagram 28 Da Gou at]

If those interested check the Chinese in both the Doctrine of the Mean and the Great Image, they will find therein the repetition of almost the exact words. This means that Richard Wilhelm and his mentor, Lao Nai-hsuan, were correct with the comment on the close proximity of the Great Images, known as the Third Wing, to Confucius. It also means that Confucius knew about the sage in Hexagram 28 Da Gou / Preponderance of the Great. Although the sage phenomenon escaped the grasps of the personage who embedded the words of Confucius in the Great Image of this Hexagram and also the eminent mentors of both renowned translators. Otherwise we could have learnt more about it from the ancient sage himself. The personage and the eminent mentors of the translators are without blame since this phenomenon also goes beyond their own comprehension.

This is why the self-taught like Confucius before us need talent and virtue to know the Yijing. Since sometimes we may need to provide ‘national service’ for Yijing aficionados across the world!

Hence my detailed cryptic commentary on the yet-to-unfold 12th prophecy in the Ma Qian Ke ascribed to Zhuge Liang would probably unfold exactly as indicated, especially on this verse:
The sage arises from Xun to bring salvation.’


Allan Lian

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