Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another Divination Story IV

Interpretation of the original hexagram:

Li fire drains Xun wood. This indicates that the war exhausts the Lu State. The country has to spend a lot of money on the war. There will also be loss of lives.

The time of the war was probably spring or early summer. In autumn, there is the danger of the war dragging into winter making the offense difficult. In spring, wood is strong and fire is also ready. Metal and earth are quite weak.

Interpretation of the core hexagram:

In the Hu Gua, both trigrams are metal. Metal goes against wood. It indicates that there was resistance from the Yue State. However, since metal is weak and wood is strong, and metal is also controlled by fire, the resistance was quite weak. It fails to defeat the offensive Lu army. The two trigrams Dui and Qian represent young women and old man. These also indicates that the quality of the Yue army was quite poor.

Interpretation of the future hexagram:
In the future hexagram Gu, the Yong Gua is Gen earth. This is controlled by the strong Xun. The outcome is that the Lu army won the war quickly. Since Xun wood is soft, there was not serious damages to the defeated Yue State.

Confucius could have been developing Xiang Shu Yi Xue but he did not disclose his findings prematurely. Although he might have got the result, he still tried to use the line text to interpret his conclusion. Of course his twisted interpretation is not convincing.

In the next posting I am going to use Wen Wang Gua to interpret this divination. Stay tuned.


Another Divination Story III

Some people insist that in divination, there must be a specific question asked. Well, actually, the diviner only needs to be clear about the situation. There is no need of a specified question.

For example, Lu was about to attack Yue. Being a citizen of Lu, Zi Gong was anxious to know the outcome of the war and how it affects his country. This is the situation. He does not need to ask specifically, "Will our country win the war against Yue?"

In fact, some people even say that this question is a "yes" or "no" question and is illegitimate in Yijing Divination. It is also not true. However, the divination may not give you the "yes" or "no" answer. It tells you the whole story.

Now, let us use Plum Blossom Divination technique to see the beauty of the method.

The hexagram was Ding with Line 4 moving to Gu.

The first hexagram is Ding (Li on Xun) that represents the current situation.
The second hexagram is the Core Hexagram that represents the actual happenings.
The third hexagram Gu (Gen on Xun) represents the outcome.

In the first hexagram, the lower trigram has no moving line. It is known as the Body Trigram (Ti Gua 體卦). It will represent the Lu State.

The upper trigram that has a moving line is known as the Application Trigram (Yong Gua 用卦). It represents the war.

Note that we do not use the yong gua to represent the enemy Yue State as most people would. This is because what is in Zi Gong's mind was how the war would affect his mother country. It was not someone who was curious to know who would win the war. In divination, we want to know the fortune or misfortune (Ji Xiong 吉凶) of a situation.

The second hexagram is known as the Mutual Hexagram (Hu Gua 互卦). It is the core of the events. It affects the current situation and brings it to the future outcome. Each trigram of the Hu Gua is considered a Yong Gua. We study its influence on the Ti Gua.

In the third hexagram, the Ti Gua is unchanged. The Yong Gua is changed. It will tell us the outcome of the war.

Stay tuned for the next episode.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Divination Story (Part II)

Confucius was right - Lu conquered Yue without much resistance.

In one book I read, the author said, "Confucius based on the fact that Lu invaded Yue by boat and not on land. His interpretation was really brilliant."

In another book, the author said, "It was the Yue people who lived by the water. Lu people were not strong in battle in water. The army had still to advance by foot. Probably Confucius just wanted to comfort his own people by saying that they would win the battle despite a disadvantageous hexagram. It was the positive thinking of the people that helped Lu to win the war."

There is no record of Confucius using what we know as Wen Wang Gua. This method of divination using the hexagrams without consulting the hexagram and line texts of the Yijing was supposed to be the invention of Jing Fang in the Han Dynasty, many hundred years after Confucius time. It is not impossible that Confucius had already had the idea of using a more mathematical method to do divination. In my next posting, I will talk about this method.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Another Divination Story

When Lu State 魯國 was about to invade Yue State 越國, Zi Gong 子貢, a disciple of Confucius who was good at divination, did a Yijing Divination. He got the hexagram Ding 鼎 with Line 4 moving to hexagram Gu 蠱.

Nine at 4: The feet of the caldron are broken. The food prepared for the duke has spilled over. The scene is messy. Evil.

九四 鼎折足 覆公餗 其形渥 凶

Zi Gong said, “Our army marches to the Yue State. Since the feet are broken, the image is evil.”

Confucius said, “The Yue people live by the water. They travel by boat, not by feet. Therefore, it is fortunate.”

Lu conquered Yue. Confucius was right.

What do you think?

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?


Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Divination Story

During the reign of Tang Tai Zong 唐太宗, there were two famous diviners - Yuan Tian Gang 袁天罡 and Li Chun Feng 李淳風. One day, the emperor strolled along the river side with these two diviners keeping him company. They saw one black horse and one red horse walking slowly towards the river.

The emperor asked, “Which horse do you think will enter the river first?”

Yuan said, “I got the hexagram Li. Since Li is fire, the red horse will enter the river first.”

Li said, “ Using your hexagram Li, I think the black horse will enter the river first.”

The emperor did not understand and asked him why.

“Well,” Li smiled, “We see smoke before we see fire. Smoke is black. Therefore it is the black horse that will enter the river first.”

Li was right. The black horse entered the river first.

Yuan said graciously to Li, “I admire your divination skill. It is definitely superior.”

Li said, “Without the hexagram Li you obtained correctly, I would not have the accurate prediction. Therefore, your skill is superior.”

The emperor said, “You both are superb.”

What do you think?


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Validity of Yin Zhai Feng Shui

Danny Van den Berghe commented on my last posting about the validity of Yin Zhai Feng Shui. His argument makes a lot of sense.

As a matter of fact, I already pointed out that Yin Zhai Feng Shui is only a small part of all the contributions towards a person's well-being. The effect of graves has been exaggerated by Feng Shui masters in the past. It is to such an extent that no Feng Shui master dares say Yin Zhai Feng Shui is nonsense. If he makes that statement, he will have to receive attack from all directions. He will be denounced as a Feng Shui master. He will be thrown out of the Feng Shui world.

I won't say Yin Zhai Feng Shui is nonsense, not because I do not dare but because it is not. However, it is far less poweful than claimed. There are just too many more important factors that can affect a person's well-being.

We can assume that the emperors in the past enjoyed the services of the best Feng Shui masters (who else if not the emperors?).

All the empires in China deteriorated quickly after the first couple of emperors. This is ample proof that the Feng Shui of graves is far less effective than claimed.

Master Jiang Da Hong emphasized on the importance of Yang Zhai:
The house is where we eat and rest - its effect is immediate and noticeable.

He did not denounce Yin Zhai but he did not make wild claims like others.

It is interesting that most Feng Shui masters believe in the power of Yin Zhai Feng Shui without even questioning what they have been taught. Yet the theory and practical results are so shaky and unreliable.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Examining ancient graves

Qing Nang Xu 青囊序 says:

請驗一家*舊日墳 十墳埋下九墳貧
惟有一墳能發福 去水來山盡合情**

Please examine the ancient graves handled by the same Feng Shui school.
Among ten graves, nine yield poverty.
Only one grave generates prosperity.
The incoming mountain and outgoing water are appropriately loving.

* 一家 can mean "one family" or "one school (of thought)".
**合情 can mean "correct according to situation". When it is used in Feng Shui, it means that the yin and yang, mountain and water, are correctly (lovingly) located.

The author of Qing Nang Xu is Ceng Wen Chan 曾文辿, the most important disciple of Yang Yun Song 楊筠松. In these lines there is embedded one secret that most Feng Shui masters overlooked and overlook.

The "one school" does not specify which school. It actually refers to all schools.
If you examine the ancient graves handled by any Feng Shui school, you will find that nine out of ten have poor descendants because the mountain and water are not appropriately located. Only one grave has prosperous descendants because the water and mountain are well matching. Why?

We must not overlook the word "ancient" in the context. We must not forget that the magnetic field of the earth is changing. Even if an ancient grave was handled correctly to have the mountain and water matching in the best way when the person was buried, after a hundred years the change of the earth's magnetism has caused the mountain and water directions to be inappropriate today. It will be fruitless to examine ancient graves to verify the correctness of a Feng Shui formula.

Furthermore, yin zhai 陰宅 feng shui is only one small part of life. It may be the body (體) but the application (用) is yang zhai 陽宅 feng shui.

Using ancient graves or ancient buildings to verify the correctness or incorrectness of a Feng Shui formula is simply an invalid approach. It may actually point to the otherwise.


Saturday, November 3, 2007

When the illiterate says you don't know how to write

It means you are a successful writer.

Losers are forever losers if they say the winners do not deserve to win.

There is a reason behind every success but the losers say it is luck.

Advertisement brings buyers but not repeated buyers.

Don't envy the power of a brand name. It is the guarantee of quality and satisfaction.

When people are jealous of your success, be more successful and let the green-eye monster suffer from stomach ulcer.

By the way, my Qi Men Dun Jia course is due to start in January, 2008. This course will not be repeated. Late comers will only be able to buy the recording ebooks. I hope to see 100 attendees in the online seminars.