Thursday, December 27, 2007

Divination is not Fortune Telling

Fortune-telling is to predict what exactly will happen at a certain time in a certain space. Divination is to communicate with the Universe of which we are all a part. As a part we can communicate with the whole. Our finger is a part of our body. When it touches a hot surface, a message is sent to the brain and a message is sent back telling certain muscles to contract and withdraw the hand from the hot surface. Of course, this involves a reflex action that does not even go through the brain. This is an example of a part communicating with the whole.

A fortune-teller may tell you that you will have an inappropriate affair with someone and it is very costly. A diviner may tell you that you will face a fatal attraction and only if you can resist the temptation, it is likely you will suffer a lot because of the affair.

Fortune-telling is based on "everything is written on the rocks and cannot be changed".

Divination is to decode the message from the Universe to explain to us the cause and effect, the likelihood of something at present and in the near future. We can change the outcome by appropriate actions although we may not be able to turn everything around.

Thirty-five years ago I did a divination and the Yijing told me to consult a doctor in the SW. It happened that my classmate had a clinic in this direction from my home. He advised me to quit smoking right away or I would be paralyzed in 5 years.

Well, it was like two divinations one following the other. The first divination gave me a direction to consult the doctor. The second diviner was actually the doctor. He explained my problem and the probable outcome. I took the advice and the problem was removed in 15 years after quitting smoking and I am having great health today, 35 years after.


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Use of Divination

Divination is a form of communication. It is communication between Man and Heaven. Through communication, human beings get guidance from above. Therefore, in the old days, divination is a means to get guidance about the fortune, misfortune, success and failure of human endeavours. In Chinese it is known as Ji, Xiong, Cheng, Bai 吉凶成敗.

Divination is not to be used lightly. For example, when the emperor asked his imperial diviners about which horse entered the water first, it was, in a way, an abuse of divination. The diviners could not tell the emperor they could not use divination in such meaningless events. They had to give him an answer but they also knew that they had only 50% chance to be correct because Heavenly would simply not give them guidance.

When Lu State was about to attack Yue State, it involved many lives and the glory or humiliation of a country. It was something that needed guidance. What the diviner Zi Gong wanted to know was the Ji/Xiong and Cheng/Bai of the military action. He did not need to ask whether Lu would win the war and within how many months. He did not even need to ask a question. All he needed was to pass his message to Heaven that he was concerned about the Ji/Xiong and Cheng/Bai of the war.

Although there was a popular guessing game known as She Fu 射覆 played in the old days, it should also be considered an abuse of divination. It is just to satisfy the curiosity of people. If is is used with the purpose of practicing and acquiring technique of divination, it is ok but the accuracy is doubtful.

Today, it is not uncommon to use divination to test the stock market. Let us say, you have studied the market and then decide to invest in a certain stock. Well, you want to have guidance from Heaven whether it will be a profitable investment. Then your divination is simply the Ji/Xiong and Cheng/Bai of your investment in that particular stock. You will use your mind to send this message to Heaven to get an answer. No particular way to ask the question is needed and no time frame needs to be set. The divination should display a picture before you to help you decide whether or not you should go ahead. It may also tell you whether or not there will be quick profit and what to expect. The time frame is taken care of automatically.

Of course, if you have no plans to invest in the stock market but you want to know how the market will behave in the coming year, you can also use divination. As long as you pass your message accurately from your mind to Heaven, you will get the answer. The divination will tell you about the Ji/Xiong and Cheng/Bai if you invest in the market.

What about games like horse racing or other sports? I will talk about this later.


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Questions in Divination

In almost all books published in the West about divination, emphasis is made on how to ask a question. The question must be clear and there must be a time frame.

Well, this is not so in traditional practice.

Divination is not to answer your question. Divination is to present to you the picture about what is bothering you. Therefore, you do not even need to ask a question.

When you go to a traditional diviner, he will ask you, "What do you want to know?"
You only have to say something like:

My wealth luck 求財
My marriage 姻緣
My health 健康
My father's sickness 問父疾
The well-being of my family 家宅
My general well-being 自身

The divination will show you the whole picture including when something will happen.

No wonder someone said, "To write a book is to copy the mistakes in another book and present them in a different way."


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fly over the church

Life is a destined journey?
Happiness is in solving problems?
Or in having problems solved?


Ducks in a half frozen pond
Which are swimming?
Which are standing on floating ice?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Another Divination Story V

While Plum Blossom Divination uses trigrams that build up hexagrams, Wen Wang Gua uses the six yaos that build up the hexagrams. Each line is assigned a stem and branch. One line is assigned the subject with another line the object. Each line will carry certain aspect of life according to the five element interaction. The method is quite complicated but the result is amazingly accurate. Let us see how we can use this method to analyze Zi Gong's divination.

Unfortunately the month and day when Zi Gong did the divination were unknown.
Without the month and day, we lose a lot of details.

Subject Hai water represents Lu.
Object Wei earth represents Yue.

Officer/Ghost holds subject. Indicates that Lu started the war.
Offspring holds object. It indicates that Yue fought back.
Usually we need to compare which is stronger, the subject or the object to see who wins the war.

The lines in between play a very important role in this hexagram.
The moving line You is Wife/Wealth that transfers the energy from Wei earth to Hai water. This can be interpreted as the effort made by Yue was in vain. In fact, it only strengthens the offensive Lu military. How did this happen?

Probably the Lu army was able to capture food and weapons due to the ineffective defense of Yue.

Parents line is missing in this hexagram. It is Mao wood hiding under the first line Chou earth. The parents line represents peace treaty. This is because Parents represents document that controls Offspring and is enforced by Officer/Ghost. The winner of the war Lu urged Yue to accept a treaty to restore peace. When did it happen? Since the hiding spirit controls the flying spirit, it is quick. Probably when the flying spirit is clashed away in the Wei month, the war will end.

If the divination took place in the Mao month, then peace talks would definitely arrive at a settlement. This is because Hai, Mao and Wei form the wood frame confirming the peace between subject and object.

Using the texts of Zhou Yi to interpret the hexagrams can yield different results depending on the intuition and knowledge of the diviner. Using Plum Blossom or Wen Wang Gua, the image is much clearer. However, it takes much time and effort to learn. Unfortunately some people, after reading a few books, think they already know the methods.

I will quote Confucius' words to end this posting:

To learn without thinking leads to confusion.

To think without learning leads to danger.