Sunday, June 21, 2009

Xue Wen and Zhi Shi

There are two terms in Chinese that people usually cannot distinguish. They are:

Xue Wen 學問 - learn and ask
Zhi Shi 知識 - know and understand.

The latter can be translated as knowledge but the former has no English equivalent. This term is also interesting in the order of the two words Xue 學 coming before Wen 問. That is to say, you have to learn before you ask. Isn't it the right order?

A lot of people ask questions before they learn. When they take a course and encounter difficulty in reading the course book, they ask immediately. This is not the right thing to do because they ask without first learning. The term is Xue Wen and not Du Wen 讀問 (read and ask). The reason why you should learn before you ask is because by doing so, you will understand the answer much better. Sometimes, you don't even have to ask because you will find the answer yourself even though it may not be explicitly given in the textbook. This is the way I learn and therefore also the way I teach.

The other term is Zhi Shi (know and understand). Knowledge is not just something you know. It must be something you understand. What you know is just information given to you. From books and the internet, you can get information but not knowledge. Information can be transformed into knowledge through learning and asking. Of course whether this is successful will depend on the information provider and the knowledge acquirer.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Four Pillars 四柱

"Bazi 八字" is the abbriviated term used to mean the more academic term "Si Zhu Tui Ming Shu 四柱推命術". The term "Four Pillars" is the translation of "Si Zhu 四柱" and is, in fact, more picturesque.

Each year, month, day and hour is represented by a binomial of Tian Gan 天干 and Di Zhi 地支 which is to be distinguished as their functions and implications are different. We can say that one is the more visible part while the other is the more important background. Each part can represent a person/people or a situation/event.

The natal chart tells us the spiritual structure of a person, his character and the likely limits of achievement. This is largely influenced by the 10 year Pillar and each 1 year Pillar that comes after the person's birth. This accounts for the new environment and people the person will meet.

It is quite obvious that the character of the person leads to the probable reaction to what he encounters. However, we must not forget that education and experience can change the character of a person. This is why there is a part of life that we can control. In Chinese, there is a saying "人定勝天" (Man can surely win over Heaven). This does not mean that Human force can beat Heavenly force. It tells us that we can change the outcome of a situation brought to us by Heaven through our determination and effort.

Heaven can decide what to give us but cannot determine how we react and thus the outcome.


Sunday, June 7, 2009

What we face and our reaction

The link brings you to an insightful pps file:

The author is Stephen Covey.

No matter whether it is life reading or divination, what is revealed is the 10% - things that are going to happen to you. The outcome depends on the other 90% - how you react to the things happening to you.

If we know the 10% that is beyond our control, we can plan the best reaction to get the most favourable outcome. This is the value of life reading and divination.

If you are the coach of a football team, divination about the game will give you the analysis of what your team is facing. Whether your team will win depends on how your team reacts. If you are just an onlooker, since you do not know how the team reacts, your divination will not tell you the outcome. If Qi Men Dun Jia is used, then it also reveals whether the coach is doing the right thing as well. However, QMDJ is not really divination treated as communication between the diviner and Heaven. It is the analysis of the multi-dimensional field of qi. It may cover much more than 10% as the probable reaction is also revealed in the study.