Monday, December 16, 2013

Of students and masters (14)

Over at the Taobums, of which I am no longer a member for about a year now, there are some interesting ongoing discussions on neidan (inner alchemy) and its related meditation.

A proponent - who claims to be a master of a new ‘Daoist’ sect – advocates sitting meditation (Dazou) which leads to enlightenment while his opponent – who claims to be a student of a Wuliupai teacher in China – suggests that according to his teacher the particular meditation would dissipate yang jing (essence) and lead to death.

The proponent provided various quotations from Wang Chongyang (the founder) and some of his seven students of Quanzhen to support his contention that sitting meditation is vital to achieving immortality while the Wuliupai student quoted his teacher’s indications and challenged the real achievements of those who only sit in meditation (Dazou). (Wu-Liu-pai was co-founded by a Quanzhen disciple, Wu Chungxu and a Chan Buddhist, Liu Huayang.)

To add to the confusion, they also mentioned the opposing priority given in the cultivation of human nature (Xing) and fate (Ming) between the so-called Northern and Southern schools of Quanzhen. One school apparently cultivates Xing first while the other school starts with Ming cultivation. Of course they have also read about such priorities from translated texts – whether such priorities actually exist will by and large depend on the integrity of the respective translators and their experiential knowledge of neidan, if any.

As more and more of these translations of texts appear in the bookstores or online in years to come – since Quanzhen has taken in more students from the West over the past decade or so - the unscrupulous would venture to claim that they have learned neidan (inner alchemy) from Quanzhen and thereafter start to teach an academic version of it, if any, to unsuspecting students. If readers want to see a good example of this, read the latest threads under the Daoist discussion section between the proponent and his opponent to discern the fake.

To be fair, meditation is an integral part of neidan. But just any sitting meditation (Dazou) does not lead to enlightenment. Neither would a sitting meditation lead to death. Of course those including masters practising the incorrect type of meditation would not be able to prolong life (Ming) and therefore will die younger than many of their peers and students expect. For fate (Ming) is not that easy to change.

Little do outsiders know that neidan practice is a closely guarded secret in Quanzhen? Therefore its texts do not reveal the entire neidan process. This would accord with ancient established order. While Quanzhen has more than their fair share of Daoist celestial immortals compared to the other mainstream Daoist sects, many of their disciples down its history have also failed to attain immortality. (This upholds the closely guarded secret comment.)

Therefore anyone not from that particular school should not make false claims that they know and are able to teach the neidan practice of Quanzhen. Probably a fair warning is given to the fake and other unscrupulous persons, if they happened to read this article, in case they do not realize that Quanzhen celestial immortals could make it a point to punish and teach them a lesson. And culprits will have no place all under heaven to hide!

Among the ignorant in Taobums, some ‘Chan Buddhists’ do not even know that ‘turning the light around’ is more or less a New Age invention and so is the term, ‘sudden enlightenment’. They tend to think that ‘turning the light around’ is ancient neidan practice which is far from the truth.

Did they not read of the indication by Quanzhen Patriarch Lu Dongbin that the Chan Buddhists’ contemplation does not give rise to the witnessing of eternal signposts of Tao? (It is quite obvious they did not, since they favor the Secret of the Golden Flower translation by Thomas Cleary over that of Richard Wilhelm’s.) Did they not know that there are some eternal signposts of Tao indicated by the Buddha in the Shurangama Sutra? Did they not realize that the Taobums so-claimed expert of ‘turning the light around’ and who has had experienced ‘sudden enlightenment’ has never ever witnessed any eternal signposts of Tao – which upholds the indication by Lu Dongbin in his Secret of the Golden Flower.

So whether or not, these ‘Chan Buddhists’ are following the ancient neidan practice of the Holy Sages, Laozi and the Buddha; or some New Age inventions (which some learned Daoists consider deviant practices or bypaths for want of a better word) is for readers to determine.

When we are serious in purpose, we do not fool around with things profound. Knowing how to translate Quanzhen texts does not make one a neidan expert. The dual cultivation of human nature (Xing) and fate (Ming) is a lengthy and thorough process. And only those who have witnessed the confirmation signs of the Circulation of the Light – major eternal signposts of Tao – show good aptitude according to Lu Dongbin.

Therefore do not make out as if you are an expert or an authority on the profound subject when it is clear to those knowledgeable that you know next to nothing about neidan.

Soon it would be Christmas therefore any Chan Buddhist reading this article should exercise some restraint and not start shooting. You could shoot your foot by accident! At the very least wait for the forthcoming article titled, “Circulation of the Light and Hui Ming Ching”. If after reading it, you still insist that “turning the light around” is what the Buddha taught and what Lu Dongbin has had indicated in the Secret of the Golden Flower, by all means, stand and deliver. Your patience could turn out to be a face saver.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Circulation of the Light and Zah Yung Ching

The Zah Yung Ching or Classic of the Directory for a Day is the simplest and shortest of the translated Daoist texts made available on the Web. It contains only three stages for cultivators to return to Tao. While it is easy and simple to understand, without the necessary accompanying experience, few would actually know what the neidan (inner alchemy) processes - indicated therein - encompass.

The first stage where millions of Tao cultivators down the ages start their neidan practice has been discussed in the article titled ‘The way to prolonging life’ on May 25, 2010. Without proper guidance and/or aptitude many would struggle to accomplish the way to prolong life. If we go by the indication of Zhong Liquan, the second patriarch of Quanzhen and the teacher of Lu Dongbin, that there are three types of Daoist immortals, those having achieved the way to prolong life - in stage one - could be considered human immortals. (Ren Xian)

In the second stage, it is said:

During the twelve [Chinese double] hours of the day let one's thoughts be constantly fixed on absolute Purity. Where one thought (of a contrary kind) does not arise, we have what we call Purity; where nothing (of a contrary kind) enters the Tower of Intelligence (= the mind), we have what we call the Undefiled.

The body is the house of the breath; the mind is the lodging of the spirit. As the thoughts move, the spirit moves; as the spirit moves, the breath is distributed. As the thoughts rest, the spirit rests when the spirit rests, the breath is collected.

The true powers of the five elements unite and form the boat-like cup of jade, (after partaking of which), the body seems to be full of delicious harmony. This spreads like the unguent of the chrismal rite on the head.

Walking, resting, sitting, sleeping, the man feels his body flexible as the wind, and in his belly a sound like that of thunder. His ears hear the songs of the Immortals that need no aid from any instrument; vocal without words, and resounding without the drum.

The spirit and the breath effect a union and the bloom of childhood returns. The man beholds scenes unfolded within him; Spirits of themselves speak to him; he sees the things of vacuity, and finds himself dwelling with the Immortals.

He makes the Great Elixir, and his spirit goes out and in at its pleasure. He has the longevity of heaven and earth, and the brightness of the sun and moon. He has escaped from the toils of life and death.”

[Zah Yung King or Classic of a Directory for a day – translated by James Legge]

Whenever I read the many claims by claimants in Daoist forums on how they have reached very far with the Circulation of the Light, I shake my head from left to right. Whatever they had said about their practice is more often than not incorrect. This includes those who claimed of having ‘sudden enlightenment’ experiences which could be due in part to their wild imagination (probably a better word for delusion).

Nothing wrong with that since many of the so-called masters on the web nowadays also claimed that their methods – passed down from dubious lineages – lead to enlightenment. But from a cursory glance of their list of methods, the neidan practice is upside down.

The great Carl Jung was probably correct when he indicated in the Richard Wilhelm’s translation of the Secret of the Golden Flower, that the practice is not suitable for the West because of their differences in psyche and beliefs with the Chinese and in their culture.

For most ethnic Chinese are brought up and taught by their parents (and in school) that virtues (DE) are of great importance in life. The well educated amongst them would read the four Confucian books and the five Classics as part of culture.

Deep thinkers and Yijing aficionados worth their salt would know that virtues are embedded in the Zhou Book of Changes and the Ten Wings. Yet many aficionados in the West study the Yijing as if the virtues are non-existent, not relevant, or can be ignored – since they say that these virtues belong to the Confucians. Similar arguments are proffered – if at all – by those learning Dao or practising ‘neidan’ in the West. Therefore they can be equally confused as to what constitutes Virtues (DE) in the Dao De Jing (or Tao Te Ching).

Limited by their own bias towards virtues, these Yijing aficionados together with those learning Dao or those practising ‘neidan’ in the West will probably not proceed far in their studies of the respective ancient profound fields.

For the three great ancient sages – Laozi, Confucius, and Buddha – and Mencius had had also taught that virtues are of great importance to life and mankind. (Please read the Tao Te Ching, the four Confucian books, and the Dhammapada for your own benefit and knowledge.)

Similar to the Tao Te Ching and the Yin Fu Ching, the Zah Yung Ching also indicates the importance of purity or goodness. For without virtues how can anyone become pure or good? And do remember that Heaven is on the side of the good.

While millions of Tao scholars down the ages struggle at stage one trying to prolong life, the more proficient top scholars could have squeezed through to this second stage where they try to escape the toils of life and death.

The legendary Zhang Sanfeng in his commentary on the Hundred Character Stele of Lu Dongbin had indicated that he himself had reached this second stage. Zhang Sanfeng said that he was able to hear the Songs of the Immortals and possessed the ability to know the future. At the time of the commentary, he probably had become an Earthly Immortal. (Di Xian)

In case, those who are really practising the Circulation of the Light think that this second stage can be reached easily, think again. They would have to witness several eternal signposts of Tao before they can climb out of the first stage to the second.

Proficient top scholars of Tao who have entered the Mysterious Gates and having seen the delights of Heaven similar to Guang Zhengzi - the ancient Daoist Celestial Immortal and teacher of the Yellow Emperor – may sooner or later reach this second stage.

How far these top scholars can proceed in the second stage will by and large depend on their own self cultivation and on Heaven (and therefore Fate / Destiny).

For this is the stage where top scholars have to use their deep knowledge of the Book of Changes and especially that of Heaven (Qian / Time) and of Earth (Kun / Space) to witness Change (which encompass all types of change). This is where the alchemical mixing and melting (involving Kan and Li) and transformation happen. As spiritual clarity (Shen Ming) reaches its height.

At this second stage, the more important eternal signposts of Tao – Songs of the Immortals that need no aid from any instrument; vocal without words, and resounding without the drum; and various others* – can be witnessed.

But how would I know that?

*Specifics have since been deleted on Nov 18, 2013 to conform to the ancient established order.

Monday, October 14, 2013

That great light from Heaven (3)

Generations of Chinese sages, the wise, and the learned have had studied the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) - down the few millennia of its existence - because the ancient classic is profound and contains much wisdom on human nature and fate, and on the cosmos. Their experiential and wise commentary - collectively known as the Ten Wings - on the Zhou Book of Changes (Zhouyi) also provide a historical guidance as to what local and/or global phenomena can happen on Earth that would affect peoples of the world.

Going by the several global omens published over the years in this blog before their actual unfolding, regular readers could find cause to agree to the foregoing paragraph. In the event that some remain skeptical, perhaps this third article on that great light from Heaven can move them a wee bit closer to accepting the profundity of the Book of Changes.

In the Book of Changes it is said that Heaven (Qian) send down the Light to Earth (Kun) to help Man (Ren) via the nine in the fourth place of Hexagram 12 Pi / Stagnation.

As indicated in previous articles on the topic, this phenomenon has occurred and has escaped the notice of the current crop of Yijing experts and scholars in the world. Nothing to be ashamed about since this particular phenomenon could probably be way over their heads even if they happen to be eminent ancient Chinese philosophy scholars because of their beliefs and interpretation-skill limitations on omens and on phenomena.

If we have read the Book of Changes, the Tao Te Ching, and the Analects of Confucius or any combination of them for decades and still doubt that Heaven has a moral will including that of sending down the great light to help people on Earth in times of dire need, we can be considered having read ‘dead books’. It would also show that we do not quite understand Man’s relationship with Heaven and Earth.

Several hundreds of millions of people have suffered tremendous hardship since the 2008 Global Financial and Credit Crises caused by encouraged human avarice, incompetent regulators, corruption of power, and which include those suffering under the hands of inhumane and unjust rulers. Many have lost their jobs – their usual means of livelihood -, lost their houses, life savings, and share investments because of these man-made crises.

Those who had died of hunger or extreme cold, or had committed suicide because of the crises are beyond rescue. But those who have withstood the shocks and hardships could still find hope.

In such dark and difficult times, Heaven has sent down the great light to Earth in 2011 to help the peoples of the world. The Book of Changes told this student about this happy global omen in early 2011. This particular omen was later confirmed by another divine source. (See later)

In this article, the question to address is who did Heaven send to help the peoples of the world?

The ideal divinity or great light from Heaven would be Guan Yin since the multitude is suffering severe financial hardship and extreme stress. Since Guan Yin or Avalokitesvara (in Sanskrit) is known to Daoist devotees as the Goddess of Mercy. Her devotees believe that in times of extreme distress their prayers to Guan Yin will more often than not be answered. And thereafter they will feel peace in their heart / mind (Xin).

To the Buddhists, Avalokitesvara has reached the ranks of Bodhisattvas - a level below that of Buddhas. Therefore a Bodhisattva can only be considered the rank of a minister and not that of a ruler.

Now deep thinkers, Yijing experts and scholars would know that in Yi studies, the line in the fourth place represents that of a minister, and since the Bodhisattva is a rank or a level below Buddha - the ruler represented by the line in the fifth place – Guan Yin Bodhisattva can represent that great light from Heaven sent down to Earth to help the peoples.

And Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, would be the ideal candidate from Heaven for helping people in extreme distress, is it not? The received happy global omen from the Book of Changes was confirmed months later by the accurate Guan Yin Oracle.

Therefore the great light sent down by Heaven in 2011 is none other than Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, or Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva.

Before non believers and skeptics bray in disbelief, read the various recent articles on “An accurate Guan Yin Oracle” and examine if what are stated therein make sense and relate to this great light from Heaven.

Writing those articles and elaborating on what Guan Yin had indicated in her accurate oracle could be one way to assist the gods to help the people. (Refer to the Great Treatise for further information)


Sunday, September 08, 2013

Circulation of the Light and Tao Te Ching (3) – Use this light

Scholars, sinologists, and translators who can read classical Chinese often try to figure out the meanings of what Laozi had wanted to say in the Tao Te Ching. It is good of the able – if they are so capable - to also translate this ancient Chinese classic into other languages for others to enjoy and read.

Since the Tao Te Ching is acknowledged as profound, what with generations of eminent Chinese philosophers and scholars trying their utmost to decipher it and yet few translations – if any – would catch the entire gist of what the great ancient sage Laozi had actually taught.

Therefore now and then one has to put in some extra effort to make a simple and succinct translation of a particular chapter which could have much relevance to the Circulation of the Light practice. Whether or not readers can discern the subtlety in such a translation would depend on their own levels of cultivation. Since probably only the top scholars of Tao – those who have had already immersed themselves in the practice - could possess the clarity to get to the true meanings of what Laozi had had said.

Take for example Chapter 52 of the Tao Te Ching of which a simple translation is provided:

Chapter 52

All under heaven have a beginning that has a mother.

Knowing this mother, the child is known.

Return to guard this mother, immerse self no danger.

Close the mouth; block the openings, no self-exhaustion at the end.

Open the mouth, numerous affairs, end result: no salvation.

See small for clarity, guard weak for strength.

Use this light. Return leads to enlightenment.

This would avoid self calamity. And the correct practice for the eternal.

[Translated by Allan Lian]

The specific term of ‘All under heaven’ (Tian Xia) invariably used by both Laozi and Confucius in their respective teachings is maintained. Since ‘All under heaven’ can mean a state, China, the world, Earth, and/or the universe(s). This particular term also has much relevance to Yijing scholars and diviners especially where local and/or global omens have been received.

In writing this particular chapter, Laozi had had provided several hints and guidance to scholars on how to proceed further with the Circulation of the Light practice. That is why his Tao is very easy to know and very easy to learn for scholars worth their salt or for the Worthies.

And penetrating (tong) this chapter 52 and/or the ancient classics could be something like this:

The Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes wanting to be very thorough investigated things back to their beginning or origin. The Great Learning – in line with what these ancients taught - teach students the various steps on how to investigate things back to their beginning.

Adhering to this type of investigation and according to Laozi, to know the mother is to know the child and therefore the beginning of all under heaven - Verses 1 and 2.

The remaining six verses of Chapter 52 provide hints and guidance on what to avoid and what to do to know this mother. And the correct practice for the eternal is by taking the stated right actions.

Closing the mouth and blocking the openings would provide a good start to learn how to breathe like an infant again. In the return to guard this mother, there is no danger in immersing self as an infant. (Refer to the July 2013 article on the Circulation of the Light and Chapter 55 for additional information.)

Open the mouth and by revealing too much would bring about numerous unnecessary worldly entanglements which result in no salvation - also refer to the third line of Hexagram 1 Qian and the commentary on it to understand the implications.

Seeing the small aid clarity in case they are missed, guard the weak to progressively strengthen it.

If the youthful American student of a Quanzhen temple in China still reads my blog while in Tokyo, this chapter substantiates my hint of what to do with the Light as a parting gift to him in TaoBums, a few years ago.

Because once a scholar of Tao possesses the ability to see the Light, he or she has to learn how to use it. As indicated before in a previous article, the experiential ability to see the light while elementary is fundamental to the entire Circulation of the Light practice.

To use this light is another step towards the Return which leads to enlightenment - Verse 7 - and to avoid self calamity. While the Buddha had had taught his disciples to investigate the light – as recorded in the Shurangama Sutra, Laozi had several decades earlier already revealed one step further on what to do with it; that is to use this light.

By also teaching how to investigate things back to their beginning, the three great ancient sages – Laozi, Confucius and the Buddha - are in accord with the established order of the Holy Sages.

If scholars of Tao - whether they are taught by real or fake masters, or are self-taught - still have not achieved the abilities to see and to use this light after several years or decades of practice, it could be time to stop. Failing which they could fall into delusions and/or use bypaths in futility to achieve the Way.

The hints on what to do with this light provided by both Laozi and the Buddha are true. However, only the top scholars of Tao who have had witnessed the eternal signposts of the Way will be able to substantiate the truth.

Therefore use this light!

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Sunday, August 04, 2013

Circulation of the Light and Tao Te Ching (2A) – Mysterious Gate(s)

Tao Te Ching Chapter One

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao,

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

Nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth;

Named is the mother of myriad things.

Without desire observe the mysterious,

With desire contemplate the manifestations.

These two things are similar,

Only differing names for the profound.

Obscure and profound; (there will be) numerous mysterious gates.

[Translated by Allan Lian]

Without direct experience and spiritual clarity, scholars would have their work cut out to relate to the eternal Tao told by the three great ancient sages, Laozi, Confucius, and the Buddha; let alone by the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes.

The Tao Te Ching tells of the wonders, mystery, obscurity, and profoundness of Tao; and how to return.

The guidance provided by Laozi in Chapter one - which leads to seeing the mysterious gates - deals with the elementary level and lays the foundation on which top scholars build upon.

Since several renowned Zhen Ren (realized persons) of the past in their writings had concentrated on providing vital information on more advance experiential levels of the Circulation of the Light practice. Except for the substantive citations of ancient classics and texts, much of the revelation provided for the last five verses have probably not appeared in any writings or online discussions before.

And it is for discerning readers to decide if the Tao about to be told is really the eternal Tao or not:

Theories still abound as to what the mysterious is, how it can be seen, and why it can only be observed without desire. The diligent practice of the Circulation of the Light would provide the answers to all these questions. Why?

Because when the mind is empty and the heart still during its meditation; there is no desire (or intent). Whatever phenomena that appear or disappear come naturally. Nothing can hasten the progress.

The only requirement is that the top scholar has the ability to see the Light. Since this experiential ability while elementary is fundamental to the entire Circulation of the Light practice. As the Light circulates together with the Qi (breath) by and by the mysterious would appear for observation.

Therefore without desire observe the mysterious.

When the mysterious manifests for observation, the top scholar needs to determine by contemplating whether or not they are real, lest it leads to delusion.

Delusion constitutes a major hindrance and a constant danger to those who cultivate Tao. So much so that Laozi, the Buddha, and Lu Dongbin had issued warnings on delusions in their respective writings or teachings. Only the delusional or the misled would cling to a ‘phenomenon’ such as sudden enlightenment.

To avoid delusions, it would be advisable for top scholars to crosscheck experiences and various manifestations with the Book of Changes, Tao Te Ching, Shurangama Sutra (Lengyan Ching), the Secret of the Golden Flower, and the texts written by renowned Zhen Ren who became celestial immortals (or Buddhas).

Therefore with desire contemplate the manifestations.

Whether or not scholars know it, the mysterious and the manifestations are similar.

In the Heart Sutra, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva or Guan Yin propounds the by now famous statement that ‘Form is emptiness and emptiness is form’. While this profound statement relates to a more advance experiential level, it provides a good relevant example.

Yin Yang quite often sounds mysterious to many but not to the esoteric, Form and Emptiness is easier to understand, while the Dark and the Light – the eternal duality of nature - is the easiest to know. Therefore the words of Laozi are very easy to understand and very easy to put into practice. Why?

Because Daoist scholars are steep in the knowledge of Yin Yang, while Buddhist scholars contemplate on Form and Emptiness and can talk about the subject for days on end. Yijing and Confucian scholars deal with the Dark and the Light each time they read the Book of Changes or divine. And many scholars are knowledgeable about Change.

Yet if subjected to the real test, most of these scholars - except for the top few - would be hard put to observe these particular phenomena and their changes.

Profundity arises where Change reverts with ease and within an instant.

Therefore they are only differing names for the profound.

After the observation of the mysterious and the contemplation of manifestations, which form part and parcel of the magical far journey, mysterious gates would appear during the Circulation of the Light meditation.

The mysterious gate is subtle, obscure and has no fixed location, and can be easily missed. Just as sudden as it appears, it would soon disappear. Is this age old phenomenon not other than profound?

Scholars and translators often say that there is just one mysterious gate, while the first class scholars of Tao have had sighted more.

Therefore obscure and profound, there will be numerous mysterious gates.

In conclusion, when scholars of Tao can empty their minds and still their hearts with the Circulation of the Light, they are practising the Return. Having attained the ability to see the Light during its meditation, sooner or later the mysterious will manifest for observation and for contemplation. Much later, obscure and profound mysterious gates will appear. (Numeric and time frames are not given to avoid plagiarism.)

Since Laozi had not written on entering the mysterious gate(s) and Zhuangzi did not elaborate on how Guang Zhenzi can enter the gates with ease. And with the Buddha only providing subtle hints to his disciples in the Shurangama Sutra which would eventually enable the entry to these mysterious gates. In accord with established order of the ancients, there will be no revelation on how to make that particular entrance.

So there you go! Penetrating (Tong) the last five verses of Chapter One and ancient classics could be something like this.

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Circulation of the Light and Tao Te Ching (2) – Mysterious Gate(s) – (A)

Of the tens of millions down the ages who have had read the Tao Te Ching or have heard of Tao, it could be fair to say that less than half would aspire to be scholars by trying to cultivate the Way. Of those who cultivate Tao, both the philosophical and mediocre scholars - those who tend to waver in their beliefs – would form the majority of these aspirants and who would either make little headway in the cultivation and/or drop out halfway.

This leaves the minority to persevere through thick and thin in the lengthy and demanding process to become top scholars of Tao. And of these first class scholars who travel on the magical far journey, only a relative few - the Zhen Ren or realized persons - could attain or have attained Tao to become Celestial Immortals or Buddhas.

Anyone who has had read Chapter One of the Tao Te Ching would be equally mystified on the one hand and on the other hand seemed to be able to grasp something of what Laozi had wanted to say. The first four verses of the chapter probably count among the most discussed online topics on Tao. What with the more than a hundred translations of Chapter One made available on the World Wide Web. So what is one more?

Tao Te Ching Chapter One

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao,

The name that can be named is not the eternal name.

Nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth;

Named is the mother of myriad things.

Without desire observe the mysterious,

With desire contemplate the manifestations.

These two things are similar,

Only differing names for the profound.

Obscure and profound; (there will be) numerous mysterious gates.

[Translated by Allan Lian]

Since most readers of the ancient classic have already formed their own opinions on the first four verses, and to avoid endless contention, it would be better to discuss in brief the remaining five verses which deal with direct experiences obtainable through the diligent practice of the Circulation of the Light.

Many theories have also been propounded for these remaining five verses of Chapter One and especially on the Mysterious Gate(s).

Therefore what is to be discussed would differ much from those who had used their intellect – whether or not they are scholars, translators, Sinologists, or the deluded – to explain these particular verses.

In my translation of Chapter One, Wu - the pinyin for the Chinese – that appear in the fifth verse has been translated as ‘Without’. And You – the pinyin for another Chinese word - that appear in the sixth verse has been translated as ‘With’. Wu and You happen to be direct opposites; and have different connotations depending on the context and the chapters of the Tao Te Ching in which they are written or used.

For example, the whiz-kid Wang Bi of the late Han had had aptly determined that Wu means Non Being while You means Being in the context and particular chapter where they both have appeared; but these meanings do not apply to Chapter One. (Theorists and ardent followers of Wang Bi could do well to take note of this, lest they implicitly use these meanings in Chapter One and try to mislead others.)

To understand the Tao Te Ching is difficult, to penetrate (tong) this ancient classic would be nigh impossible without spiritual clarity (Shen Ming) and direct experiences.

To be continued.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Circulation of the Light and Tao Te Ching

Tao is so vast and yet can also be so minute that it is beyond the intellect. However, since Tao is easy to know, readers of the Tao Te Ching down the ages – probably numbering in the tens of millions by now – could have had learned something from this ancient classic.

Per the Records of the Han Grand Historian, the Tao Te Ching is said to be written by Laozi more than 2,500 years ago upon the request of Yinxi, a Western frontier guard.

And according to Daoist celestial immortal Lu Dongbin, it was this Guan Yinxi who first revealed the ancient Circulation of the Light. There are no reasons whatsoever to doubt this claim, since those who have really practised the Circulation of the Light and have progressed far would be able to witness the numerous signposts including the eternal ones embedded in the Tao Te Ching. The practice also raises spiritual clarity (Shen Ming) and therefore makes it much easier to penetrate (tong) this Classic.

Take for example Chapter 55 of the Tao Te Ching:

Chapter 55 of the Tao Te Ching:

He who possesses virtue in abundance may be compared to an infant. Poisonous insects will not sting him. Fierce beasts will not seize him. Birds of prey will not strike him. His bones are weak, his sinews tender, but his grasp is firm.

He does not yet know the union of male and female, but his organ is aroused, this means that his essence is at its height.

He may cry all day without becoming hoarse, this means that his (natural) harmony is perfect. To know harmony means to be in accord with the eternal. To be in accord with the eternal means to be enlightened.

To force the growth of life means ill omen. For the mind to employ the vital force without restraint means violence.

After all things reach their prime, they begin to grow old, which means being contrary to Tao. Whatever is contrary to Tao will soon perish.
[Translated by Professor Wing – Tsit Chan]

This introductory article would help explain Chapter 55 of the Tao Te Ching and is written especially for current or intended students of neidan (inner alchemy) for them to learn something more about the Circulation of the Light. If read together with my various other related articles on the Circulation of the Light and on neidan, it could also assist students to discern real (neidan and/or Tao) masters from the fake.

While Laozi had neither elaborated on how a student can become good (virtuous) – as compared to the comprehensive teachings of the other two great ancient sages, Confucius and the Buddha - nor revealed - in line with established order of the ancients - how to circulate the Light; the Tao Te Ching contains many hints, indications, and signposts for achievers.

The particular chapter under discussion provides several such indications and hints to first class scholars of Tao on what to do and what to avoid. Yet few will penetrate (tong) it.

What will be discussed would invariably differ from the thoughts of translators and sinologists. Since the discussion is on the Circulation of the Light and the ancient Way. Not theories or New Age whatnots. Here goes.

1st paragraph of TTC 55

To cultivate virtues (Te) to become good or pure again is a preliminary requisite step for the Return (to Heaven / Tao / Origin). According to Mencius - human nature is good. And – according to Laozi, Confucius, and the Buddha - Heaven is on the side of the good.

And to practise the backward flow meditation for the Circulation of the Light is to learn how to breathe like an infant again. While the infant is kept safe by the parents from poisonous insects, fierce beasts, and birds of prey, Heaven protects the right person for Tao.

TTC 55 - 2nd paragraph

One of the earliest signs of the Circulation of the Light – and according to Laozi - is that when the infant’s essence is at its height, his organ is aroused. An additional sign would be that upon the union of male and female, the organ would still remain erect and stiff for several more minutes after ejaculation. (Therefore the Circulation of the Light is not recommended for young male adults since they would most likely not be able to control lust. Lust is a vice which youth has to guard against.)

TTC 55 - 3rd paragraph

When emotions have subsided, there is equilibrium. When emotions stir, but are acted upon in due degree, there is perfect harmony. To achieve equilibrium and harmony is the universal path. The achievements accord with the eternal. To accord with the eternal means to be enlightened.

TTC 55 - 4th paragraph

The Circulation of the Light and Qi (breath) are both natural. Employing forceful means for the progress towards longevity and/or using intent to direct the breath (Qi) without restraint bring on ill effects.

TTC 55 – 5th paragraph

When people hear of Tao and yet not put it into practice, except to grow old and wait for death is contrary to Tao.

While growing old and perish form a part of nature, an infant’s breathing is also natural. If those who hear of Tao cultivate virtues (Te) to become good and learn to breathe like an infant again, they can take an additional step to reverse the breath for the backward flow to circulate the Light and the Qi (Breath). By doing so, the mind would be empty and the heart still.

Then it is probable to reach the final stage of the Return where without a body, there is no death. (Celestial immortality or Buddha-hood)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

That great light from Heaven (2)

With our recent discussions on the Circulation of the Light, some Yijing aficionados may feel neglected since they think that the particular topic has no relevance with the studies of the Book of Changes.

Let me assure all readers that the Light has everything to do with the ancient Book of Changes; Heaven, Man, and Earth.

Similar to an omen, this Light is a phenomenon. And it could be too deep and profound for deep thinkers, Yijing experts and scholars alike; since even the acknowledged whiz kid Wang Bi may not quite know what the Light is or can represent.

For the Book of Changes, the Tao Te Ching (Daoist), the Shurangama Sutra (Buddhist), and the Hindu Sutras teach about this Light. And Lu Dongbin, a Daoist celestial immortal, had had explained in his Secret of the Golden Flower what this Light is all about.

The holy sages who wrote the Book of Changes however go even much deeper into it with an indication that Heaven (Qian) can send down the Light to Earth (Kun) to help Man (Ren) via the line in the fourth place of Hexagram 12 Pi / Stagnation.

And Heaven has done exactly that in 2011 by sending down the Great Light to help the people. (Refer to the article on “The returning great light” on February 4, 2011 if interested.)

The particular prognostication is a happy global omen which is still unfolding in the world today.

In the Commentary on the Decision (the 1st and 2nd Wings) of Hexagram 42 Yi / Increase, Confucius commented:

Decreasing what is above and increasing what is below; then the joy of the people is boundless.

What is above places itself under what is below: This is the way of the great light. And it furthers one to undertake something: Central, correct, and blessed.
” [W/B]

With his commentary, it shows that Confucius knew about the great light. So did Zhuge Liang or Kongming if you understand well his twelfth prophecy in the Ma Qian Ke.

Similar to the ominous global omen which started to unfold in September 2008 before our very eyes when Heaven and Earth closed with no Tao on Earth, this happy global omen of Heaven sending down the great light would also remain unrecognized – probably for centuries more to come - if left untold.

And if the current crop of Yijing experts and scholars in the world do not quite understand the phenomena of global omens and the Light, who would the multitude turn to for the answers?

Therefore in the first article on “That great light from Heaven” dated February 16, 2012, I have asked the esoteric and the deep thinkers to come up with reasons as to why the great light was sent, what or whom does it represent, how this light can help the people, and who these people are?

Apparently the questions remain too deep and profound for these particular readers since there was no response at all; even though I have had indicated that a complete set of answers can be found in the Wilhelm translation.

There is still some time for those who want to do the homework and come forth with their thoughts on the phenomenon of Heaven sending down the great light. It is not really that difficult if you put your heart into it.

If deep thinkers, expert Yijing aficionados and Sinologists reading the article on “The returning great light” on February 4, 2011 have done their proper homework, they would have known who the Great Light from Heaven is. That would be a good start.

To be continued.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Circulation of the Light and Zhuangzi

Several Daoist texts discuss the ancient practice of the Circulation of the Light and/or its confirmation signs. However, not many readers including translators of these ancient Chinese texts and scholars of Ancient Chinese Philosophy happened or would tend to see it that way. In line with the Tao Te Ching these readers are not alone; because since ancient times - upon hearing of Tao - only the first class scholars have had actually put it into practice.

Now as to whether or not Zhuangzi - a follower of Laozi according to the Grand Historian, Sima Qian - was a first class scholar of Tao, he for certain knew something about the Circulation of the Light.

Since in the chapter on Xin Zhai or ‘Fasting of the Mind’, he had had described the early stages of its practice including that of seeing the light:

Look at that aperture (left in the wall);--the empty apartment is filled with light through it.”

In addition to Xin Zhai, there is an excerpt from the texts of Zhuangzi on a purported discussion between Huangdi (the legendary Yellow Emperor) and his teacher, Guang Chenzi - one of the earliest Daoist celestial immortals – which also relates to the Circulation of the Light.

I have broken up the excerpt into smaller paragraphs with key phrases highlighted (in italics or bold) - for readers - to make it easier to understand and simpler to follow:-

“Guang Chenzi hastily rose, and said, 'A good question! Come and I will tell you the perfect Tao. Its essence is (surrounded with) the deepest obscurity; its highest reach is in darkness and silence. There is nothing to be seen; nothing to be heard. When it holds the spirit in its arms in stillness, then the bodily form of itself will become correct.

You must be still; you must be pure; not subjecting your body to toil, not agitating your vital force;--then you may live for long.

When your eyes see nothing, your ears hear nothing, and your mind knows nothing, your spirit will keep your body, and the body will live long.

Watch over what is within you, shut up the avenues that connect you with what is external;--much knowledge is pernicious. I (will) proceed with you to the summit of the Grand Brilliance, where we come to the source of the bright and expanding (element); I will enter with you the gate of the Deepest Obscurity, where we come to the source of the dark and repressing (element).

There heaven and earth have their controllers; there the Yin and Yang have their Repositories. Watch over and keep your body, and all things will of themselves give it vigour. I maintain the (original) unity (of these elements), and dwell in the harmony of them. In this way I have cultivated myself for one thousand and two hundred years, and my bodily form has undergone no decay.'

Huangdi twice bowed low with his head to the ground, and said, 'In Guang Chenzi we have an example of what is called Heaven'. The other said, 'Come, and I will tell you:--(The perfect Tao) is something inexhaustible, and yet men all think it has an end; it is something unfathomable, and yet men all think its extreme limit can be reached. He who attains to my Tao, if he be in a high position, will be one of the August ones, and in a low position, will be a king.

He who fails in attaining it, in his highest attainment will see the light, but will descend and be of the Earth. At present all things are produced from the Earth and return to the Earth.

Therefore I will leave you, and enter the gate of the Unending, to enjoy myself in the fields of the Illimitable. I will blend my light with that of the sun and moon, and will endure while heaven and earth endure.

If men agree with my views, I will be unconscious of it; if they keep far apart from them, I will be unconscious of it; they may all die, and I will abide alone!'”
[Book XI - Zai Yu or ‘Let it Be’- Legge]

If those practising neidan (inner alchemy) can only see the light; they would progress no further in the attainment of Tao.

They would need to witness the interchanging of the Dark and the Light; Yin Yang; Forms and Emptiness before they can enter the Mysterious Gate(s).

However, aspiring first class scholars – the right persons for Tao – who have had correctly practised the Circulation of the Light over the years would be able to see the manifestations of what Guang Chenzi had had described – most of which have already been embedded in the Tao Te Ching for more than 2,500 years.

This includes seeing splendid Heaven, another eternal signpost of the Way.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Focus on the breath (updated)

Focus on the breath is vital to those who practise breath control meditation.

Therefore I have had blogged an article on it back in 2006. Since the term, “focus on the breath” is nowadays gaining popularity in Daoist forums and we are continuing the discussion on the Circulation of the Light; I hereby provide an updated version of the article for your reading pleasure.

About ten years ago in a Tao forum, one had advised a fellow traveler to ‘focus on the breath’ while practicing meditation. She was an earnest student of Tao and meditation, reading books on and studying various methods of meditation akin to the Circulation of the Light.

She would travel from the US to India every year to see her guru, a renowned teacher according to her, to improve her meditation and practice. And she would post the various methods of meditation on the forum board for sharing with fellow travelers. She understood Daoist meditations more than most but her practice was not improving. Only when she had indicated that she was not able to concentrate properly while in meditation because of thoughts rushing in, did I recommend her to focus on the breath.

Thereafter, one was shouted down by several members since she was acknowledged as the most knowledgeable person in Daoist meditation on that forum. According to her admirers and followers, how could I know that she does not know about it already? Yes, how would I know?

A few years later, Daoists and Buddhists in the forums started to – and still do - bandy around the term, ‘focus on the breath’ without realizing what it has to do with the backward flow meditation. Apparently some of them have come across this term in one of the books written by an elderly Chan Buddhist master – recently deceased - based in China.

Knowing how to focus on the breath is a primary requirement for the backward flow meditation and the Circulation of the Light.

If you really want to learn the proper way to focus on the breath, let us turn to Lu Yen better known as Lu Dongbin - one of the eight renowned celestial Daoist immortals and a Quanzhen Patriarch to boot - for the answer, shall we?

In sitting down, after lowering the lids, one uses the eyes to establish a plumb-line and then shifts the light downward. But if the transposition downward is not successful, then the heart is directed towards listening to the breathing. One should not be able to hear with the ear the outgoing and in taking of the breath. What one hears is that it has no tone. As soon as it has tone, the breathing is rough and superficial, and does not penetrate into the open. Then the heart must be made quite light and insignificant. The more it is released, the less it becomes; the less it is, the quieter. All at once it becomes so quiet that it stops. Then the true breathing is manifested and the form of the heart comes to consciousness.”

The Buddha said: ‘When you fix your heart on one point, then nothing is impossible for you.’ The heart easily runs away, so it is necessary to concentrate it by means of breath-energy. Breath-energy easily becomes rough; therefore it has to be refined by the heart. When that is done, can it then happen that it is not fixed?

While sitting, one must therefore always keep the heart quiet and the energy concentrated. How can the heart be made quiet? By the breath. Only the heart must be conscious of the flowing in and out of the breath; it must not be heard with the ears. If it is not heard, then the breathing is light; if light, it is pure. If it can be heard, then the breath-energy is rough; if rough, then it is troubled; if troubled, then indolence and lethargy develop and one wants to sleep. That is self-evident.
[The Secret of the Golden Flower – W/B]

If we focus on the breath during meditation, thoughts do not flood in. Neither will we fall asleep since we concentrate on the breath and are aware of where it is going. In neidan practice, focusing on the breath is elementary but important. Learn it well to go further.

Have fun in focusing on the breath. When fire fills your belly, and thunder roars upon breathing in, while immortals sing, perhaps you may know by then if what Daoist celestial immortal Lu and the Buddha have already indicated is true.

But then again, like what those Tao forum members and Zhuangzi had asked, ‘How would I know?’

Monday, May 06, 2013

Circulation of the Light and I Ching (2)

The ancient Circulation of the Light – as taught in the Secret of the Golden Flower - and its relationship with the Book of Changes (I Ching / Yijing) can be explained in brief thus:

The work on the circulation of the light depends entirely on the backward-flowing movement, so that the thoughts are gathered together. The heavenly heart lies between sun and moon.

Master Lu-tsu said, since when has the expression ‘circulation of the light’ been revealed? It was revealed by the ‘True Man of the Beginning of Form’ (Guan Yinshi). When the light is made to move in a circle, all the energies of heaven and earth, of the light and the dark, are crystallized.” [The Secret of the Golden Flower of Lu Dongbin as translated by Wilhelm / Baynes]

The Judgment in Hexagram Fu / Return contains the term, “To and fro goes the Way (Tao)” while the first verse of Chapter 40 in the Tao Te Ching says: “Return is the movement of the Way”.

The following paragraphs explain the terms: the backward flow movement and the Circulation of the Light. And what are depicted in the accompanying picture - [the picture is scanned from the book, “Tai Chi Chuan and I Ching – Second Edition – by Da Liu, 1981 R&KP].

The picture tells the profound story of how the Light circulates together with the Qi where from the bottom they progress up the back of the body to the top of the head before their descent down the front making a full circle or an orbit.

For Hexagram #24 Fu / Return represents the start of the waxing of the moon reaching Full Moon at Hexagram #1 Qian / The Creative Heaven while Hexagram #44 Gou / Coming to Meet represents the first waning phase of the moon and ends with the New Moon at Hexagram #2 Kun / The Receptive Earth. And the Circulation continues to complete a full circle or an orbit.

Therefore the Circulation of the Light crystallizes all the energies of heaven and earth and of the light and the dark – represented respectively by Qian and Kun and the lines of the twelve sovereign hexagrams.

This is the correct way to practise neidan (inner alchemy) meditation – the Circulation of the Light - for the return to Tao. For neidan practitioners would then be practising the Way of Heaven that of the Light and the Dark - as indicated in the ancient method of the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes.

While it is profound, ancient neidan meditation follows that of nature (ziran) and can - more often than not – be supported by science. For once an orbit has been duly completed - similar to the eight planets orbiting our Sun - the Light together with the Qi continues its natural circulation course over the duration of the meditation.

Those already with good aptitude – having receiving confirmatory sign(s) according to Lu Dongbin in his Secret of the Golden Flower – in the Circulation of the Light would have to acquire the profound ability to ignite the fire in the furnace to cook the medicine - represented by Kan (Moon) and Li (Sun) - in the cauldron (as depicted in the centre of the body in the picture). This ability to ignite the fire in the furnace is another major eternal signpost of the Way that would appear naturally (ziran).

All rights reserved.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Emulating ancient Zhou (and Zhuge Liang) (2)

The time was on the morrow, when the king [King Wu] went round his six hosts in state, and made a clear declaration to all his officers. He said, 'Oh I my valiant men of the west, from Heaven are the illustrious courses of duty, of which the (several) requirements are quite plain. And now Shang, the king of Shang, treats with contemptuous slight the five regular (virtues), and abandons himself to wild idleness and irreverence. He has cut himself off from Heaven, and brought enmity between himself and the people.

He cut through the leg-bones of those who were wading, in the morning; he cut out the heart of the worthy man. By the use of his power, killing, and murdering, he has poisoned and sickened all within the four seas. His honours and confidence are given to the villainous and bad.

He has driven from him his instructors and guardians. He has thrown to the winds the statutes and penal laws. He has imprisoned and enslaved the upright officer.

He neglects the sacrifices to heaven and earth. He has discontinued the offerings in the ancestral temple. He makes contrivances of wonderful device and extraordinary cunning to please his wife.

--God will no longer indulge him, but with a curse is sending down on him this ruin. Do ye with untiring zeal support me, the One man, reverently to execute the punishment appointed by Heaven. The ancients have said, "He who soothes us is our sovereign; he who oppresses us is our enemy."

This solitary fellow Shâu, having exercised great tyranny, is your perpetual enemy. (It is said again), "In planting (a man's) virtue, strive to make it great; in putting away (a man's) wickedness, strive to do it from the roots."

Here I, the little child, by the powerful help of you, all my officers, will utterly exterminate your enemy. Do you, all my officers, march forward with determined boldness to sustain your prince. Where there is much merit, there shall be large reward; where you do not so advance, there shall be conspicuous disgrace.

'Oh! (the virtue of) my deceased father Wan was like the shining of the sun and moon. His brightness extended over the four quarters of the land, and shone signally in the western region. Hence it is that our Kâu has received (the allegiance of) many states. If I subdue Shâu, it will not be from my prowess but from the faultless (virtue of) my deceased father Wan.

If Shâu subdue me, it will not be from any fault of my deceased father Wan, but because I, the little child, am not good.'

[ - The Great Declaration (3) Part V The Books of Zhou – Book of History (Shujing)]

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Circulation of the Light and I Ching

The above picture (page 102) is taken from the book, “Tai Chi Chuan and I Ching – Second Edition – by Da Liu, 1981 R&KP". Da Liu, a grandmaster of Tai Chi Chuan, had taught this ever popular Chinese martial art - suitable for both the young and the old - in the US for more than twenty years.

While no accompanying explanations or credits to the picture were given in the book, Da Liu had elaborated on how the movements of Tai Chi Chuan - as founded by Zhang SanFeng - relate to the various hexagrams of the Book of Changes, and to the Circulation of the Light meditation which is represented by the waxing and waning of the Moon hexagrams. (The particular picture has also been published on a neidan blog years ago with no explanation.)

People say that a picture paints a thousand words. But unless they are very familiar with the Book of Changes and/or neidan (inner alchemy) meditation, not many viewers of this fascinating picture – including me at the time of this book purchase in the 1980s - could understand the profound story it wanted to tell.

Those who know what the picture wants to tell are welcome to post their commentary to help readers obtain a better understanding of the mystery.

Meanwhile others have to wait for me to gather my thoughts – contemplation – for the follow up article.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Emulating ancient Zhou (and Zhuge Liang)

____ ____
_________ Kan
____ ____
____ ____ Gen
____ ____

#39 Jian / Obstruction

The southwest furthers.

The northeast does not further.

Hill pours water (Shan Dou Shui)

In the midst of greatest obstructions, friends come.

Pig behind, Ox in front

Previous intimidated multitude arose with one voice

Five one reverse

Falsely jailed minister and patriots march into palace

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Poker fish and Fish in the tank (2)

________ Qian
________ Xun
____ ____

44 Gou

The previous article provided a summary of reasons why poker has enjoyed resurgence and a huge following by youths over the past decade and how they are seduced into playing it.

To recap the poker slang, Fish are players who do not play well in poker and Tank is when a player takes time to think whether or not to fold, call, or to re-raise a bet. Tank also takes on the usual meaning of an aquarium to some poker players.

No matter what poker literature you read, an element of luck plays a part in your very success of winning at the gaming tables; since no one can predict with certainty which five - 3 + 1 + 1 - community cards would respectively fall at the flop, turn, and the river in “Texas Hold’em”. That is why young amateurs - if they are so destined - playing against professionals to boot have had the good fortune to win several major championships including the World “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker tournament (s). The only difference is that in the long run, professionals with much better playing skills would have a higher probability to beat the odds and luck to win in cash games against poker fish.

When lady luck plays a part in winnings and losses at the gaming tables, it is gambling. And gambling is a sin vice or an evil since ancient times.

It is good to see youths optimistic and as long as they do not misplace this optimism by aiming for the wrong things that could lead to a bleak future, they are fine. While poker professionals can be very successful at their profession, not everyone - amateurs and professionals included - can make a good living out of playing poker.

For a very good example, Jerry Yang won the 2007 world poker championship and the whopping prize money of USD 8.25 million that came with it. However, over the next five years he only managed to win a little over USD 150,000 in live tournament earnings – an average annual gross income of USD 30,000 can hardly be called making good money even by Malaysian standards, let alone in the US where the cost of living is much higher. It was also reported in on March 12, 2013 that his awarded 2007 WSOP bracelet and watch are listed among the various jewelry to be auctioned off by the US Internal Revenue Service to repay tax lien of more than USD 570,000.

If a former world poker champion cannot make a good living out of playing the game, how many professionals and amateurs out there can really make it? Probably only the top 5% and the rest could be considered fish by the crème de la crème of the poker profession.

Recently, a young man had requested me to consult the Book of Changes to see if he can make a career out of playing poker. The apt and concise answers given by the ancient classic could even astound the skeptics. Since these prognostications will be clear as day even for beginners of Yijing divination, poker players and other readers – especially with the summary information on the poker scene provided in the previous article and in the preamble of this second article. For the answers given are akin to poker lingo! (Even if this is not Ripley, you better believe these phenomena!)

And the received Yijing prognostications will prove easy to understand and simple to follow by most readers including skeptics of divining with the Book of Changes.

Together with the additional information in this article on the current global poker scene, readers would be able to determine if the Yijing has truly spoken – that is answered the question posed.

This forms part and parcel of the science of Yijing interpretation which can be tested by wherewithal Yi aficionados from different eras and/or from different parts of the world. And is my usual practice - while not as comprehensive - to interpret the oracle for clients (whether fee-paying or not). For diviners, interpreters and their clients need to first and foremost determine if the Yijing has really spoken since if the Yijing did not speak - and therefore without any real guidance given - they will invariably end up in blind alleys.

The oracle:

Hexagram 44 Gou Judgment:

Coming to meet. The maiden is powerful. One should not marry such a maiden.

The inferior thing seems so harmless and inviting that a man delights in it; it looks so small and weak that he imagines he may dally with it and come to no harm.”

“The inferior man rises only because the superior man does not regard him as dangerous and so lends him power. If he were resisted from the first, he could never gain influence.”

Nine in the second place means:

There is a fish in the tank. No blame. Does not further guests.

The inferior element is not overcome by violence but is kept under gentle control. Then nothing evil is to be feared. But care must be taken not to let it come in contact with those further away, because once free it would unfold its evil aspects unchecked.” [W/B]

Nine in the third place means:

There is no skin on the thighs, and walking comes hard. If one is mindful of the danger, no great mistake is made.

There is a temptation to fall in with the evil element offering itself – a very dangerous situation. Fortunately circumstances prevent this; one would like to do it, but cannot. This leads to painful indecision in behavior. But if we gain clear insight into the danger of the situation, we shall at least avoid more serious mistakes.” [W/B]

Nine in the fourth place means:

No fish in the tank. This leads to misfortune.

Further elaboration on the oracle:

People often get taken to gambling because of their first win. They are seduced by the ease and thrill in making some quick money from gambling. And addicted gamblers invariably gamble away their hard earned money or fortune.

At the amateur levels, poker fish abound. But it is incorrect to introduce poker and fish to non gamblers since this would help spread the evil (sin) (vice).

At the mid levels, less poker fish would be found and therefore walking comes hard - and painful - with no skin on the thighs. Expenses including major tournament buy-ins, travel, food and lodgings especially in expensive cities could very well exceed cash earnings and start to deplete savings.

Misfortune arrives when there is no fish in the tank since at the professional level, poker players turn out to be sharks and the best ones could be aggressive Great Whites. And it is rare to see current and former world poker champions win at televised big cash games with minimum buy-ins of USD 100,000.

When even world poker champions cannot make a good living playing at these levels what are the chances of amateurs numbering in the hundreds of thousands hoping to make it and/or to win huge sums of tournament prize money? Their chances would be very slim.

Therefore - in line with the guidance from the Book of Changes - it could be wise of those youths intending to drop out of their studies to complete their degrees and thereafter secure a job with steady income. And not make playing poker a career or a profession.

When they can afford it, they can spend some time and spare money playing in major poker tournaments like what some successful businessmen have done and still do, if they so wish.

For no one can stop a dream of instant wealth and fame. However it is time for Contemplation (Guan) - the resultant Hexagram 20 with the three lines change - to choose the way of life going forward.

Deeper thoughts:

Did the Book of Changes speak?

Is it not profundity and synchronicity that the more than three millennia old Book of Changes has seemingly used current poker lingo to address a poker career question?

Are the pronouncements of the three lines - read together with the commentary (in italics) from the wise down the ages and my further elaboration – not easy to understand and simple to follow?

Is the guidance given not similar to those from a parent?

Do the relevant answers to the young man and in poker lingo to boot not depict the close affinity (yuan fen) between the Book of Changes and him?

These particular phenomena not only vindicate and uphold the ancient thoughts and beliefs embedded in the Ten Wings and those of Yijing aficionados down the ages; their very occurrences in one oracle would have made Richard Wilhelm and Carl Jung extremely happy.

And if your answers to my five questions are all in the affirmative, welcome!

For you are learning something from the writings.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Poker fish and Fish in the Tank

Poker, a game of skill with an element of luck thrown in, and frowned upon by the strait-laced, has enjoyed resurgence and a huge following over the past decade or so. While the older generation across the world still play poker as a pastime, the younger generation in the US and in Europe have been driven to studying the game more seriously with some turning it into a profession mainly attracted by the huge prize money pools winnable at various major annual tournaments held in the West which have made winners of the main events instant USD millionaires.

Because of this instant wealth attraction and the pervasive marketing strategies of poker dotcoms, a number of youths in the Western Hemisphere have been seduced to drop out of their degree courses to spend more time playing “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker either online or in live games. By dropping out, these particular youths would have dashed the hopes of many a parent whose wish that their adult children could obtained a tertiary education and the ability to earn a steady income therefore having a comfortable life going forward.

With the advent of YouTube, and available live and recorded video broadcasts of these major “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker tournaments on the internet, the younger generation in Asia has also been similarly attracted and influenced by the various successes of the twenty-somethings who have had won the annual World Poker Championship held in the US over the past few years and the huge prize money of USD multi millions (pooled by the large field of participants and the USD 10,000 buy-in for the prestigious main event).

The recent 2012 main event tournament was won by a 24 year old American who as the world champion took home the staggering prize money of USD 8,527,982. The past few world champions were even younger when they won this main event of “No Limit Texas Hold’em” poker.

Recorded and repeated scenes of renowned poker professionals flying in private jets and chauffeured in stretched limos to the tournament venues at five stars hotels and their plush settings are constantly flashed to remind viewers of the opulence and high living that can be had by successful players in pre-recorded video broadcasts of major poker tournaments. Which young impressionable teenager or twenty-something would not be enticed by the glamour, prestige and excitement in playing live poker tournaments staged in five stars hotels cum casinos across the world and where champions become instant millionaires with bragging rights to boot?

With the huge popularity and the hundreds of thousands playing tournament and cash poker online 24/7 and the thousands playing in live tournaments and cash games, the professionals have coined certain relatively new poker terms for easy reference among the community.

While players who do not know how to play poker well were a few decades ago known as greenhorns or rabbits, the professionals now called them: Fish. Perhaps a better description since fish is food to both humans and predators as part of nature. And poker professionals are sometimes referred to as sharks (predators).

Tank in poker terms means a player in deep thought taking time to think whether to call or re-raise a big bet by another player on the same table. Sometimes Tank is equated to the usual meaning of aquarium by poker players.

By coincidence, the at least three millennia old classic – the Book of Changes – also contain hexagram lines that pronounce there is “Fish in the Tank” and “No fish in the Tank”!

Does this coincidence mean that the Holy Sages who wrote the Book of Changes also have the prescience on what is to come a few millennia later?

If readers wished to know more about the phenomenon and the profundity of the ancient classic, read the follow up article on both lines which recently appeared as prognostications for a young man considering taking up poker as a career; therefore making them clear as day even to a beginner of Yijing studies.

If your teenage or adult children are also considering dropping out of their degree courses to make playing poker their profession, do not despair; read on and see what the Book of Changes has to say. If applicable, you can also ask your children to read this particular topic which could be of interest to them before they commit to be a poker professional.

More will be revealed and discussed in the next article.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Dissolution of the 12th Malaysian Parliament prediction date (s)

After almost two years of speculating over the dissolution of Parliament and a call for an early general election, the Malaysian public is weary of waiting and has become skeptical of date predictions. Although there is only two months left for an automatic dissolution of Parliament under the Constitution, the Malaysian Prime Minister still has the de facto prerogative to dissolve it earlier and call for a general election.

The predicted dates for the dissolution of Parliament by Mr. Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), the perennial opposition party for the past fifty years or more in Malaysia, are quite close. So are the dates provided in the Malaysian Chronicle on Monday, February 25, 2013, since the dates were proffered by source(s) who had attended the meeting with the Prime Minister the previous Friday, February 22, 2013?

The predicted dates (from reliable sources as well) ranged from February 22 to March 7, 2013 in Mr. Lim’s blog while the Malaysian Chronicle’s source indicated the dates to anytime between March the 1st to March 15th.

Unless someone can really read the mind of the Prime Minister, how would we know if the predicted dates are correct or not?

But have no fear, since the Book of Changes is here!

Even before the Prime Minister has had intimated the various dates for the dissolution of parliament to his senior ministers that particular Friday, February 22, 2013, the Book of Changes has already indicated the timing (dates) to this student. Of course, as the position of a Prime Minister carries certain charisma, therefore the dates given in my blog could be out by a day or two.

According to my interpretation of the Book of Changes prognostication and the timing, the Prime Minister will on March 9, 2013, or within a week thereafter, call for the Malaysian Parliament to be dissolved.

Therefore the quoted prediction dates in the other two blogs are quite close.

If Yijing aficionados and skeptics reread my actions and hints provided in the previous article published on February 21, 2013 titled “When the Book of Changes say”, they may discern if I really know the timing or not.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When the Book of Changes say

In November 2012, I had bought in more shares of a company listed on the Bursa (KLSE) and my remisier (commissioned dealer’s representative) asked why I was buying so heavily into the stock and what my expected return was.

The expected return is not much, I had told him then, only around 30% to 50% and the Book of Changes say it is alright to buy into the particular stock. (The returns are based on my table of fortune indications, devised in 1993, for the 64 hexagrams of the Yijing. These fortune indications coincidentally tie up with those indicated in the Ma Qian Ke accredited to Zhuge Liang.)

The stock became the sole counter in my basket (yes, I know it is against the prudent advice of stock investment gurus who advocate a basket of at least five different counters) and it recently went up accordingly. While I held onto most of it hoping for the expected 50% return, I have taken some profits when its price hit a 42% return on my investment.

It is noted that retail investors have been selling down their stockholdings in the Bursa for the past four months aware that the calling of the Malaysian General Elections will cause the KLSE listed stocks to fall notwithstanding the overall performance of global stock markets.

In case the particular stock price could go higher than my expectations, I consulted if I could buy more and this is what the Book of Changes has indicated:

Six at the beginning of Hexagram 39 Jian / Obstruction means:

Going leads to obstruction, coming meets with praise.

Nine in the fifth place means:

In the midst of the greatest obstructions, friends come.

With the two line change, Hexagram 36 Ming Yi / Darkening of the Light become the resultant hexagram.

When the Book of Changes say there is danger up ahead, retreat is the best option.

Since with this oracle the teacher has told me a number of things including the timing on the markets and on the call for General Elections, I have sold most of the particular stock on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 to realize the gains without waiting for the targeted 50% return and is now holding 82% in cash and 18% in stocks waiting for the right moment for action.

Most of the gains (about 40% return on investment) will be withdrawn and to be placed in a time deposit – if readers want to know something about the timing.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

This past Yijing aficionado has sincerity

If we visit online I Ching forums, we would find students posting prognostications obtained from the Book of Changes for others to interpret. Even if the more experienced has proffered the correct interpretation, the question poser would quite often shortly consult for another oracle since the guidance given was not what he or she would like to hear or wanted. Some would just ignore the guidance altogether.

If Yijing students do not believe in the Book of Changes there is actually no point in consulting the ancient classic for an oracle, just studying the wisdoms contained therein will suffice. Since what is the point of obtaining prognostications and not follow the guidance provided. While I may have written about this over the years, students tend to repeat the same mistakes. Then they lament that the Book of Changes no longer speaks!

Perhaps this short article about a sincere Yijing aficionado who has passed away in 2005 aged 83 can provide those with seriousness of purpose and earnest students a good example to follow.
Nigel Richmond had written two books on the I Ching – ‘Language of the Lines and the I Ching Oracle’, both kindly made available in pdf format at the Yijing Dao website. Similar to some readers and me, he was also into the I Ching during the early 1970s, and in the UK to boot.

The following are excerpts taken from the Yijing Dao website where Steve Marshall wrote about the life and times of Richmond under the title: Nigel Richmond and the I Ching; with detailed information and his two books provided by one of his daughters, Beth Richmond who recalls:

Around this time everyone was into the I Ching and we all had copies of the Richard Wilhelm translation. But Nige got into it more than anyone. He always used yarrow stalks to consult the I Ching, which he collected from the wild himself. He would have extra sets for people who wanted them, too. He preferred sticks to coins as he said the extra time taken made for a better connection, for more focus. In his later years he kept his sticks by his bed and would 'have a chat' with his morning tea.”

“He didn't light incense, he wasn't that formal about it. I think he consulted about anything and everything. As I recall he used his own book and Wilhelm and Blofeld. He would often say in conversation things like 'the Ching says I should wait' or 'the Ching says it'll work out okay, but of course it won't say when!' or 'well, I thought of that, too, but the Ching says it's not a good idea'. He wouldn't go against it

If Nigel Richmond’ sincerity towards the Book of Changes do not touch aficionados, perhaps they may not quite know the roots of Yijing studies.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

An accurate Guan Yin Oracle (4)

In the first article on January 21, 2012 I have had mentioned that it was worthwhile for investors to interpret the following prediction in an accurate Guan Yin Oracle although I would not know when its timing will come to an end:

Silkworms and grain will yield only half a crop, but your herds will bring you better profit.

Since many would not have the wherewithal knowledge to decipher its cryptic message, the follow up article titled “An accurate Guan Yin Oracle (2)” on May 7, 2012 provided an interpretation (and elaboration on the particular prediction) in line with my wish to make phenomenon easy to understand and simple to follow by readers or users:

‘It is better to invest in stocks and shares rather than investing in commodities’.

With the interpretation, this second article proved very popular to readers especially among those from Singapore. Its popularity has since surged and has surpassed the previous articles on Hexagram 62 and on the Hua Hu Ching when global stock markets kept on rising in the second half of 2012.

Since stocks and commodities markets also wax and wane, a hint on the timing of their waning according to a prognostication from the Book of Changes was also given in the second article, and duly explained in the third article.

So far the interpreted prediction that ‘It is better to invest in stocks and shares rather than investing in commodities’ still holds true. Since Singaporean and global stocks have performed very well, while commodities prices have either stagnated or dropped, in 2012 up to January 2013. To date, Asian stocks have reached their eighteen months high while US stocks have climbed to their highest in five years according to Bloomberg reports.

Therefore, is it not both fascinating and profound that a single sentence in an accurate Guan Yin Oracle and similar to a line prognostication from the Book of Changes (Yijing / Yi) can tell us so much about what is going to happen in the global financial markets?

Is it not probable through extended divination experiences to determine the timing of future events – the waxing and waning of financial markets in this instance – just by analyzing a prognostication, the accompanying hexagram, and/or the attributes of its trigrams?

Continuing to improve our art of Yijing divination and the science of interpretation can bring aficionados a step closer to divine like a spirit and thereafter to assist the gods.

Readers who believed in the accuracy of a Guan Yin Oracle and in my ability to correctly interpret the prediction and have accordingly invested in stocks and shares in 2012 instead of commodities, would have increased their wealth.

With this sudden increase in wealth, it is suggested that these particular readers make a donation to their favorite charity to benefit the needy and the poor for some merits which is in line with the teachings in the Book of Changes. Those from Singapore should also make a contribution to their favorite temple of Guan Yin to help out with its maintenance for the benefit of her devotees. This would also assist the gods.

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Friday, February 01, 2013

An update of my profile and things

It has been almost eight years since my blogging started and this is the 600th article, and having reached a milestone of sorts, it is time to update my profile and things.

What was stated in the first article dated March 26, 2005 on Heaven and Earth remain my ambition to make seemingly profound things (including phenomena) easy and simple for others to understand and to follow.

If making complicated things easy and simple to understand and to follow has worked in my professional undertakings for over three decades, it could also work in the study of the profound Tao and the Book of Changes. Though it may take longer to do so, not because of insufficient knowledge but because many minds have for too long come under the undue influence of ignorant scholars / translators, fake Tao and Yijing ‘masters’, I would still try.

Readers having the caliber would comprehend the simplicity of my second article dated March 27, 2005 on ‘What do the ancients teach?’ which is reproduced below for your easy reference:

After spending much time on the Ancients’ thoughts, my simple understanding is that the great masters (Laozi, Confucius, Buddha and others) all teach a way to cultivate and return to the Tao. The neo Taoists (including immortals), neo Confucians and neo Buddhists (including Bodhidharma) named this method as the cultivation of both essence and bodily life.

To return to the Tao one therefore has to meditate (essence) and cultivate virtues (bodily life) forming the main part of one’s cultivation.

Lest you forget about the ancient Book of Changes (I Ching or Zhouyi), there are references to the trigrams and hexagrams in inner alchemy texts so it is advisable to study the Zhouyi too. If you do divination it can heighten your spiritual awareness. And if the Zhouyi truly speaks to you, wow!

Writing here may spark intensity to analyze and research the Ancients’ thoughts in a different perspective from what you and I have delved in so far. Learning shall not cease.

Sometimes the truth is in front of you, inside you, or out there.

And most of the six hundred articles in the blog deal specifically with ancient teachings therefore if readers have any questions on these things, they could probably find an answer from one of these articles.

There are many a time when I pulled the legs of readers by quoting Zhuangzi’ ‘How would I know (that)?’ to cast doubts on my real knowledge especially on neidan (inner alchemy) and/or Tao. While the more discerning among the readers would know if I really knew the topic well or not, others would have to do further research instead of relying on my words to understand what were actually discussed.

Instead of remaining a hidden dragon, and pretending not to know – it is much easier than pretending to be a know-it-all - and to substantiate that what is contained in the Secret of the Golden Flower and the Hui Ming Ching as translated by Richard Wilhelm / Baynes is appropriate for learning the backward flow method for the Circulation of the Light, no matter what pedant scholars or other translators say, my up-to-date profile would now read as:

Allan Lian, a Malaysian Chinese, started to read the four Confucian books and five Classics at age 19. The Zhouyi has since 1990 bestowed upon him global omens. In 2003 he published on the Web the first of several global omens before their actual unfolding. Their accuracy has probably caught USA’s attention evidenced by her 2010 preparations to protect Americans.

Self-taught, he cultivates his nature (Xing) and fate (Ming) and practises the backward flow method for the Circulation of the Light. He has shared insights since 1993 with a Quanzhen Longmen VIP. While Allan may have witnessed several eternal Tao signposts and has the spiritual clarity to probably penetrate ancient classics and the Changes, he is still learning. The blog title depicts his finite knowledge.

My self-studying of the ancient four books and five classics have started at the late age of nineteen compared to the renowned Neo Daoists and Neo Confucians who probably have had studied the same received texts from childhood right up to their youth. Except that, I am probably a bit more fortunate than most since the Book of Changes has given me many omens including global ones over the decades.

By studying and cultivating what has been taught by the ancients, and at the mature age of forty, I decided to self practise the ancient meditation taught in the Secret of the Golden Flower by Lu Dongbin (the Daoist text translated by Wilhelm / Baynes). Having attained some success in it, I started to share the insights with my learned Quanzhen friend - an elder who is taught directly by his ancestor master, a Daoist celestial immortal - and have continued to do so over two decades. Over the years, because of his cultivation, dedication, and sacrifices, my friend has been promoted to be a leader in Quanzhen Longmen Pai.

However a word of caution: students should not jump in to learn the backward flow method either from this Daoist text or from real neidan masters in China unless they are already cultivating virtues – also refer to the articles on ‘Right persons for Tao’ and on ‘Of students and masters (12)’. There is actually no need to rush since the eternal signposts of Tao of which some have been blogged over the years will always be there for the right persons. Since the truth is in front of you, inside you, or out there.

Over the years, friends and readers have requested to study under me but since I still have lots to learn and my blogging can benefit more people in the world, I do not take in students. Their questions on neidan, Tao and the Book of Changes would probably be answered by one of the six hundred articles or in future articles, if at all. Please take note of that.

With the explanations in this 600th article, perhaps readers now understand why I seemed to know a touch more on the Book of Changes, neidan, Heaven, and Tao than many. And can be highly critical of those who intend to mislead students in the study and in the practice of these profound subjects.

According to the Book of Changes, a generation has since passed therefore it is time for this dragon to reappear to the multitude once again!

And to follow the guidance of our venerable teacher accordingly is a way for Yijing aficionados to master fate and to change destiny!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Right persons for Tao

Many people who have shown interests in learning the Way invariably ask what Tao can do for them. Yet they often tend to forget to ask themselves what they have done or could do for Heaven and Tao in return for a fair exchange.

From decades old studies and observations and similar to ancient times, Heaven and Tao would just as mysteriously take back what they have granted.

Therefore if we have ever achieved supreme success through the help of Heaven and Tao, we would need to repay the favor via the Way of Man by practising benevolence (Ren) and righteousness (Yi). Failure to do so has brought on untold hardships to arrogant dragons with cause to repent (refer nine at the top of Hexagram Qian) – since in a way, these particular dragons have offended Heaven.

For those who wish to make achievements in attaining immortality as indicated in the Tao Te Ching by Laozi, they first have to become the right persons for Tao. Even if they happened to be disciples of celestial immortals, it does not necessary mean that they are the right persons for Tao since they still need to study and cultivate (siu hang) just like everyone else including the self-taught to become one.

To be a right person for Tao is not difficult. Just do not expect instant gratification, since it will take much time and real efforts to become the right person for Tao – the trails and tribulations of the Buddha before his enlightenment provide a good example.

If earnest students do not study the ancient books and classics and cultivate themselves according to what is taught therein, they would not become cultivated, learned and/or wise. If they are not learned and wise they would be unable to comprehend, let alone penetrate (Tong), the profound Book of Changes and the Tao Te Ching.

Without being cultivated, learned and wise, they will not be the right persons for Tao.

To know more about the qualifications of the right person for Tao, we turn to the definition given by Liu Huayang in his Hui Ming Ching and later to Lu Dongbin in the Secret of the Golden Flower [both texts translated by Wilhelm / Baynes]:

He who lacks the right virtue may well find something in it, but heaven will not grant him his Tao. Why not? The right virtue belongs to the Tao as does one wing of a bird to the other: if one is lacking, the other is of no use. Therefore there is needed loyalty and reverence, humaneness and justice and strict adherence to the five (Buddhist) commandments; then only does one have the prospect of attaining something.”

What Liu Huayang has indicated is that even if the meditation is correct, those without the right virtue(s) will not attain immortality or Buddha hood. While others may have reservations, Daoists in the East would agree that Liu Huayang’s indications (which include the requisite meditation) about the right person for Tao are apt. Since these personal qualities are taught in the Book of Changes and in the Tao Te Ching, in the four Confucian books, and in the Buddhist sutras – the three doctrines.

The Golden Flower is the Elixir of Life (Jindan). All changes of spiritual consciousness depend on the heart (Xin). 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.”

Even if we have the right virtue(s), but are not sufficiently learned and wise – according to Lu Dongbin-, we would not find the way to apply the secret charm since the highest degree of intelligence and understanding is required to practise the backward flow method for the Circulation of the Light. If we cannot empty our mind (Xin) and still our heart (Xin) we would not have the utmost capacity for absorption and tranquility to keep fast hold of the charm.

Therefore without the right virtue(s) and the requisite meditation how could Heaven (Tian) grant Man (Ren) his Tao?

With what had been discussed over the years, regular readers and others should know the numerous benefits of studying the ancient books and classics, and of cultivation. With this definition of right persons for Tao, they would also be able to discern real neidan masters from the fakes.

So there you go. This little, I would know.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Offending Heaven

There are quite a number of translators, sinologists and/or scholars of Ancient Chinese Philosophy who apparently do not quite understand or believe in its concept of a moral Heaven. Similar with some renowned Chinese philosophers of old, there is nothing actually wrong for being skeptical that Heaven can or will act on behalf of the good.

As long as these literati do not disparage the wise and the good in their writings, thesis, or in their translations on ancient Chinese philosophy subjects, they would not have offended against Heaven. Believe it or not, pleading ignorance that it is an offence to denigrate the wise and the good provide no excuse for offending Heaven.

Since whatever the sinologists, scholars and translators have written and/or have translated could sway their readers or students to their way of thought or bias. Even if they have had emulated past or present peers and continue to propagate their disparagements of the wise and of the good, it does not necessarily mean that Heaven will not take action on them. The same is applicable to their readers or followers. Therefore it could be to their benefit to take particular note of that.

Often without doing the necessary homework, miscreants have had casted aspersions on Richard Wilhelm - whom most Yijing aficionados consider good – and his friend, the renowned Carl Jung - whom many in the world still consider wise - for their respective translation of the Secret of the Golden Flower and commentary thereof.

They accuse Wilhelm of not crediting sources for the pictures therein and of translating a grossly corrupted text, while Jung is accused of dissuading Westerners from practising the teachings in this Daoist text.

When the so-called meditation masters in the West who have written several books on neidan or its related meditation do not really know about the backward flow method described in the Daoist text. How could the particular miscreants - which include the renowned sinologist, Joseph Needham, and the prolific translator of Daoist texts, Thomas Cleary, - know that self taught students cannot learn the ancient Circulation of the Light from Wilhelm’s translation?

Could there be a possibility, no matter how remote, that a self-taught right person for Tao has learned the Circulation of the Light via the backward flow meditation indicated in the Wilhelm translation, and has progressed further from there?

Instead of my defending the integrity of Wilhelm and Jung, their ardent followers can do their own homework and do what is best for the duo. They can also examine for themselves if Heaven will take or has taken its usual course of action. (See later)

Quoting Confucius and Laozi respectively for the esoteric and for those who should know better:

He who offends against heaven has none to whom he can pray”.

The Way of Heaven is impartial; it is on the side of the good.

If we know what to look for and investigate into those who had had disparaged ancient sages, the wise and the good in their writings or in published comments, we could find that some of the more renowned literati had been punished. The severity of such punishments depends on the gravity of each offending.

Of course, skeptical readers and the miscreants can totally disregard this, thinking this is just another rambling by a superstitious old Chinaman – since how would he know. But could he really know?

Regular readers of the blog may count themselves fortunate to have witnessed the unfolding of several phenomena – global omens, and live case studies of Yijing prognostications - related to the Book of Changes blogged before their actual occurrences over the past eight years.

Probably for this year’s gift in 2013, they could also witness the moral will of Heaven, an ancient truth. A punishment by Heaven has already occurred last year but I did not discuss it, since it took place before my article on ‘Getting to know Heaven’.

This time, the scene has already been set, let’s just wait for the probable feedbacks, if any, in due time (within months). Then the entire story will be told.

With the live feedbacks, this time round, regular readers can bear witness to the true indication by the three great ancient sages – Laozi, Confucius, and the Buddha – on what Heaven does to protect the good and/or the wise.

Let’s also see if Heaven continues to count Allan Lian amongst the good.