Monday, November 19, 2007

A Divination Story Part II

I read the story about 40 years ago. At that time I thought, "I am going to learn how to divine. This is fascinating. I will also learn how to be humble, especially when people praise my achievement."

10 years later I read the same story and I thought, "Famous diviners are just human. They are not right all the time."

Another 10 years later, I thought, "Li Chun Feng was really clever (cunning). He made sure that one of them was right and the emperor would be satisfied. He was sure to make it a win-win situation."

Today I have doubts about the story. It could have been made up altogether. The story can be used in different ways to suit different situations. If the intention is good, why bother?



Jeannie said...

This just confirms that as we grow older, we have more experience and become wiser...

But the question remains: how do we know if the intention is good or not?

Joseph Yu said...

Dear Jeannie

Intentions ae not difficult to see. Sometimes even if the intention is bad, we don't have to bother about the truth of a story. Stories can be twisted by the story-teller with a bad intention. This happens everyday.

JY said...

Dear Joseph, Jeannie,

I agree it is irrelevant whether a story was made up or real.
Most of the best stories in the world are partially or even totally made up ones.

What matters is the different perspectives and ideas that can be found hidden within the story.


About the "good intentions"
There is the common saying : "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"
And we can see examples all around.
Just look at some of the biggest problems in the world today, and we find that most of them started with "good intentions"
(but forgot about the long term bad side-effects of these good intentions..)


But I am curious by what method you find it easy to see the "intentions" of others.
I have always found myself most incapable of seeing other people's intentions ( and even more so on the internet).
And when judging a certain perceived intention as "good" or "bad", that will then depend on my own opinions.

Take this old story for example.
We don't know if the story is real or was made up.
What we do know is that somebody must have written it down some day.
Did that writer have a certain intention?
Maybe , maybe not.
Some possibilities are:
1) Maybe it was just somebody who liked to write down funny anecdotes as a hobby.
2) Maybe it was somebody who had the intention to demonstrate the power of divination.
3) Maybe it was somebody who had the intention to show the cunningness of diviners and emperors.
4) Maybe it was somebody who wanted to prove the power of working together.
5) And maybe it was somebody who wanted to show that we can't determine the real intention of a writer or story.
6) more..

Seeing it as a good or bad intention will depend on my own opinions.
If I don't believe in divination, then #3 will look like "good" intention to me.
If I believe in divination, the #3 will look like the twisted interpretation of somebody with "bad" intentions.


Now, getting back to the actual question I wanted to ask.
Don't you think that Feng Shui masters have been (and still are) exagerating about their capacity to read other people's "intentions" ?
( I can understand it: marketing.., etcetera....)
But something makes no sense here.
Historically, plenty of Masters and teachers have been betrayed and suffered with students that openly went against them as soon as they could...
If it were so easy to read people's intentions, then why these "bad" students were ever taken in??
The proof is in the pudding, as the saying goes..
I would like to hear your take on this point...


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Danny

The intention is not in the story itself. It is the story-teller's intention. For example, when I told the story, my intention was to inspire the readers' thinking and I asked for their thoughts.

Feng Shui masters make a lot of claims but not the capacity of reading a person's intention. There was also not a lot of disciples betraying their masters in this field in the old days. It is because people wanted to get the last secret and waited patiently for this day.

Tan Yang Wu might have been the most noticeable traitor of Xuan Kong Fei Xing School. But he was not even a formal disciple of Wu Chang Pai. He only learned from Yang Jiu Ru (a relative of Zhang Zhong Shan).

It is a wide spread story that masters in the old days read the Ba Zi of a student before he was admitted into the school. Well, the Ba Zi does review a lot.

I do not care who learns from me. Even if some of my students leave my school and spread a lot of slander trying to stop people coming to my school, I do not regret having taken them into my school. This is because I know that they are doing me a favor to make my name more popular. They are advertising for me like Pepsi advertising for Coke in the little boy video.

Bad intention brings unexpected results for those whom they want to hurt.


CaitanyaRupa said...

Which brings us back to the Dao.
Whatever you send out comes back to you.

In my life, I have always tried to give each person I meet the benefit of the doubt. This is my gift to them. To allow them to tell their story, their way.

If their intention is negative, it does not change me or my position.
It is their misuse of my gift to them. Their loss not mine.

It is actually a vibration they send out to the universe, and the universe responds to them in same vibration. That is why a cheat will see all others as a cheat.

When you try to cheat me, you only cheat yourself.

"Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."

This story has elicited a lot of responses. By observing them and recognizing the validity of each of them, I have widened my viewpoint and grown a bit more.

I see this as the purpose of this discussion. Others will find a different purpose according to their own needs or intentions.

Intentions are never as shallow as they may appear. They are acutally wrapped in so many contradictions that most of us are never really fully sure of what our own intention actually was. We are surely much less sure of what another person's intentions were.

It is like opening the petals of the Lotus. There are so many layers until the whorl is reached.

The key is to learn to appreciate the scent of the Lotus and not to over analyze the structure of the Lotus itself.

Like understanding the chemical constituents of honey will never reveal the sweet taste of the honey. Sooner or later one has to open the jar and taste.

Sooner or later one has to simply accept that things are the way they are and to dance with the Dao.

That is the circle of life. The child does this spontaneously. Then we grow too mature and forget the steps.

Ultimately when one becomes wise, then one realizes that the dance never stopped. We just got distracted by all the externals.

Bad intentions don't negate the validity of any science or metaphysics.

They are simply like clouds covering the Sun. The Sun is not disturbed by such clouds.

Only those who remain under those clouds may say "The Sun has not come out today."

The Vedas say that the Universe is based on "DESIRE". We often get intentions and desires mixed up.

Wikipedia - "An agent's intention in performing an action is their specific purpose in doing so, the end or goal they aim at, or intend to accomplish."

This shows conscious use of intelligence behind intention.

Desire - deep seated craving or want. Most often found in the deep subconscious levels of the mind. This can include addictions, compulsions, impulses and drives.

So we may think we know the intention of someone on a conscious level, but the desires that brought it into manifestation are not so easy to untangle.

Just some more fuel for the fire of discussion.

Lot's of Loving Qi
Caitanya Rupa