Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Problem is: We don't know we don't know

I once went for horse back riding in Toronto with a bunch of friends in a warm spring morning back in early 90's. When the owner of the stable asked me, guess this was his job to be sure of our safety, “Have you had horse back riding before?” I honestly told him that, “Yes, I did. I have the experience of jumping a few hurdles too.” With my limited English, I certainly won’t know this is called Equestrian. In fact, I did try it when I was in the Beijing Institute of Sports when it was mid 80's. Of course, that was only for fun. I didn’t really properly trained. The stable owner heard me and he said, “Yes, I heard that before.” I was a kind of puzzling, what did he mean. So, it ends up I have the most embarrassing horse back riding experience.

I started taking in students of Chinese metaphysics since 2004, class teaching, individual private lecturing, and sometime internet course. Be it out of curiosity, or more for knowing the students so that I can adjust the pace, I always ask if they have any background in Chinese metaphysics. I always received feedback like “I have the experience of jumping a few hurdles”. There we go. When I asked them some very basic question, for instance like what does a Trine really mean. Not to my surprising, none of them can utter a proper answer. I then always tell them my favorite learning process. In fact, this process is not my invention, I just pick up this learning process from others.

When we were in senior high, we had learned Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, etc., and we thought we knew everything about the world. Once we were in the university, not to mention there are plenty of unknown in academic curriculums, we may not even know the meaning of life, the social conduct as an individual. So, we puzzled caused we found out that we don’t know we don’t know. In fact, this is good because we now know we don’t know. So, we learn.

After extremely hard learning, days and nights, think your brains out, then we have the ability to figure the ins and outs. Aha, we now know we know. When it becomes our daily practice, we can easily give a thesis on whatever the question is. Without our conscience and awareness, we are now don’t know we know.

Nobody can give you all the answers enabling you even to the stage of you know you know. If we don’t take it in as if it is part of us, I don’t think we can advance to the stage of you know you know. The way I see the job I take is not to teach, but to help the student to think. Giving out answer is not difficult at all, just yes and no, but guiding the thinking process is.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Completing the Setting of WWG

After we apply the Adoption of Earthly Branches and Relatives into a specific hexagram, there are few things we need to check in order to complete the Setting.
1. We will be using “、” to represent Shao-Yang (少陽) and “、、” to represents Shao-Yin (少陰), both of which are not subjected to change. We will also be using “○” to represent Lao-Yang (老陽) and “✕” to represent Lao-Yin (老陰), both of which are subjected to change.
2. Is there any Relative missing? In order to properly decipher WWG, we need to have all the Relatives: the Parent (父母), Sibling (兄弟), Child (子孫), Asset (妻財), and Officer (官鬼). If there is any Relative missing, we need to look it up from the Originating Hexagram of the Chamber (本宮卦, or Ben-Gong Gua).
3. If any of the lines in a hexagram becomes an Active Line (動爻, or Dong-yao), we need to figure out what is the Adoption of Earthly Branches as well as the Relatives of the Changed Line (變爻, or Bian-yao) and recorded it alongside the Active Line.
4. We need to record the date of casting and figure out the Six Celestial Figures (六獸, Liu-shou), namely in sequence, Azure Dragon (青龍, Qing-long), Vermilion Bird (朱雀, Zhu-que), Curved Array (勾陳, Gou-chen), Flying Serpent (螣蛇, Teng-she), White Tiger (白虎, Bai-hu), and Murky Warrior (玄武, Xuan-wu).
Using Zhun-to-Sui (屯之隨) as an example, whereas Water-Thunder Zhun (水雷屯) is the Original Hexagram and River-Thunder Sui (澤雷隨) is the Changed Hexagram. The fourth line of Zhun is changed from a Broken Line (陰爻) into a Solid Line (陽爻). Assuming the date of casting is the day of Wu-shen (戊申).

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Building Boxes

Through the previous blogs which I have revealed the secret of WWG, we now know the Eight Chamber theory, the Adoption of Earthly Branches, the Six Relatives. We can in fact put these together.

Let’s take the hexagram Sui 隨 as an example.

Sui literally means to follow. In ancient Chinese, when a couple went out of their house, the husband will take the lead and the wife will follow.

The outer trigram of Sui is a Dui 兌 ☱ and the lower trigram of Sui is a Zhen 震 ☳. According to the introduction of Congenital Ba-gua in “Shuo-gua”, Dui is referred as River 澤 and Zhen as Thunder 雷, Sui is therefore referred as River-Thunder Sui 澤雷隨.

From the Table of Eight Chamber, we know that Sui is the Returning Spirit of the Zhen Chamber 震宮歸魂卦. From the Table of Adoption of Earthly Branches, we have Zi 子 for the initial line 初爻, Yin 寅 for the second line 二爻, Chen 辰 for the third line 三爻, Hai 亥 for the fourth line 四爻, You 酉 for the fifth line 五爻, and Wei 未 for the uppermost line 上爻.

Since Sui is a member of the Zhen Chamber, it has the same Wu-xing property as Zhen, i.e. Wood. Hence, we have the Six Relatives relationship as shown.

We were talking about Six Relatives, but in fact, we know there are only 5. Is there any relative missing in the hexagram? What if there is any relative missing? What else still missing here for deciphering?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Six Relatives

Not just in WWG, “六親” (Liu-qin, literally the 6 Relatives) are commonly used in most Chinese metaphysics to describe the relationships among Wu-xing. However, it is better known as the 6 Relationships. With Vitalizing (“生”) and De-vitalizing (“剋”) natures among Wu-xing (“五行”), we have relationships like Water vitalizes Wood, Wood vitalizes Fire, Fire vitalizes Earth, Earth vitalizes Metal, and Metal in turn vitalizes Water. The relationships of which form a close loop. Similarly, we have Water de-vitalizes Fire, Fire devitalizes Metal, etc. Again, a close loop. The following diagram shows these relationships with which solid lines as Vitalizing and broken lines as De-vitalizing.

Well, but how does it related to Relatives?

For instance, Water vitalizes Wood, then Water can be regarded as Parent to Wood (Self, and Sibling). Similarly Wood vitalizes Fire, then Fire can be regarded as Child to Wood. Now that we have Self, “兄弟” Xiong-di or Sibling (S), “父母” Fu-mu or Parent (P), and “子孫” Zi-sun or Child (C), what about the other two Relatives?

The other two are not quite easily understood as Relatives. They would be better known as Relationships. They are “妻財” Qi-cai or Asset (A) and “官鬼” Guan-gui or Officer (O).
In ancient male-dominating society, wife is considered as the Asset of husband and husband owns and takes full command of all the valuables within his premises including wife, servants, husbandry and poultry. Therefore, Asset is also a relationship with reference to the Self, or so to speak, Self or Sibling devitalizes Asset. Officer can be interpreted as government or police officer whose job is to maintain social order. The Officer would have restricting effect on how we behave in the community and hence Officer de-vitalizes Self or Sibling. If we try to put the relationship of P, S, C, A, and O in a chart, we will have similar chart as that of the Wu-xing.

Since Self and Sibling are Children of Parent, some people refer the 6 Relationships as “五鄉” Wu-xiang, literally means 5 Villages or better 5 Domains.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Three Yearly Evil Spirits for the Year

I was distracted by a recent Feng-shui job in Braemar Hill Mansions, picking birthday for twin boys in Hong Kong, and a nomenclature job for a new born baby in Taiwan which of course I picked the date together with my Tudi, Anna. Sorry that I really can’t putting on a blog every day. Second thought, a blog a day in Chinese metaphysics actually is quite heavy for me. Anyway, will try to put up as many as I could.

Every turn of the year, we are curious to know what is good or bad for us in the coming year. Most people will just look into the Yearly Flying Stars to determine especially which directions would bring them fortune of career, money, health, and sometimes even just to look for way to improve people relationship. Most of them will look up through the Flying Star Chart for next year. But, let’s first look at where the Tai-sui (太歲, or Governing Emperor of the Year) is.

For the year of 2009, it is a Ji-Chou 己丑 in terms of Sexagenary Cycle, so the Tai-sui is located at the direction of Chou. Hence, the Three Yearly Evil Spirits (or 三煞 “San-Sha”) are located at the directions of 寅 Yin, 卯 Mao, and 辰 Chen. You may want to ask, what is San-Sha and how to determine the San-Sha?

San-Sha in fact is a combination of 劫煞 “Jie-Sha”, 災煞 “Zai-Sha”, and 歲煞 “Sui-Sha”. Since they always show up in either the direction of East, South, West, or North every year, so people used to call them “San-Sha” rather than call their individual names. The directions of San-Sha is determined by the Year Branch. For the year of Chou, it’s part of the Trine of Metal 三合金局 (“Si-You-Chou” 巳酉丑). Metal is for the West, so the San-Sha has to be in the East which is represented by 寅 Yin, 卯 Mao, 辰 Chen.

According to 《協紀辨方》(“The Definition of Spirits”), 劫煞 “Jie-Sha” is considered as the negative “Qi” of Tai-sui and represents slaughter. No renovating nor building of house should be attempted in the direction of Jie-Sha. 災煞 “Zai-sha” is considered as the negative “Qi” of Wu-xing and represents illness and disease. No attempt of renovating nor building house should be carried out in this direction. Finally 歲煞 “Sui-Sha” is the negative “Qi” of the four seasons which is usually referred as 四季, the Four Ji and represents physical damage to children or husbandry. Again, no attempt for renovating nor building of house, immigration, or tunneling.
In terms of the 24 Sittings which normally used in Feng-shui, Yin, Mao, and Chen are interlaced with 甲 Jia and 乙Yi. Therefore, Jia and Yi are also not good for renovating and building of house as well.

Now, let’s us take a look at the Year Flying Star Chart for the Year 2009.

As the Winter Solstice of 2008 approaches, the Yearly Flying Star #9 for the year 2009 will be entering the centre chamber, and as such the Yearly Flying Star #1 which people normally relate to relationship with others will be in the chamber of Qian, and #6 which people normally relate to fortune of career will be in the chamber of Kun, and #8 which people normally relate to fortune of money will be in the chamber of Xun. Last but not the least, the most trouble maker Flying Star #5 which is considered as by most of the people, Flying Star #5 will be in the chamber of Kan.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chinese Vs. English

I was trying to put up a blog a day in Chinese metaphysics. Starting from the very basics which people would normally ignore cause it is too basic. However, most of them just really don't know how important this basics are, not to mention the linkage among different metaphysics through these basics. I do intend to move up the ladder and further introduce the application layer as what most of the networking guru would say.

On the other hand, I still want to keep the very basic Chinese characters for our foreign friends as I strongly believe that without which they will have difficult time to move along. Those Chinese characters are the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches, as well as the 8 trigrams. They are just simply 甲 Jia 乙 Yi 丙 Bing 丁 Ding 戊 Wu 己 Ji 庚 Geng 辛 Xin 壬 Ren 癸 Gui, and 子 Zi 丑 Chou 寅 Yin 卯 Mao 辰 Chen 巳 Si 午 Wu 未 Wei 申 Shen 酉 You 戌 Xu 亥 Hai, 乾 Qian 坤 Kun 艮 Gen 兌 Dui 坎 Kan 離 Li 震 Zhen 巽 Xun. You have to memorize these 30 Chinese characters if you are really intereted into Chinese metaphysics.

Some "masters" use some assuming-easy-to-learn symbols to represent these Chinese characters such as HS1 for 甲 and HS2 for 乙, or EB1 for 子 and EB2 for 丑, etc. But what for? We learned English by learning the 26 letters first before we can go further. It is a pre-requisite. So does these 30 characters in Chinese metaphysics.

I am working on an English version lecture note for my Tudi who is about to learn 奇門遁甲 "Qi Men Dun-Jia", so it would take me a while before I continue this blog. When I come back, I will be talking about how to read the fate for the coming year.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Acquired Ba-gua and the Seasons

Yi-jing is Natural Science, in fact the very basic Natural Science. Like seasons, the Winter, the Summer and all that.

In the same paragraph of “Shuo-gua” (說卦), a commentary of Zhou-yi, explaining the Acquired Ba-gua, it highlights only “Dui” (兌) as for Autumn. We can imagine the rest of them do represent different seasons as well. The question is which is which.

If Dui represents Autumn, then it must be mid-Autumn, or “Qiu-fen” (秋分), or Autumnal Equinox as what the western astronomy calls. As such, “Zhen” (震) would be mid-Spring, or “Chun-fen” (春分), or Vernal Equinox, while “Kan” (坎) and “Li” (離) must be Winter Solstice (冬至 or “Dong-zhi”) and Summer Solstice (夏至 or “Xia-zhi”) respectively.

In 24 Solar Segments, we know that between Winter Solstice and Vernal Equinox, there is “Li-chun” (立春), or Beginning of Spring, in the middle, so the trigram in the Acquired Ba-gua must be “Gen” (艮). Similarly, “Xun” (巽) will be “Li-xia” (立夏) or Beginning of Summer, “Kun” (坤) as “Li-qiu” (立秋) or Beginning of Autumn, and “Qian” (乾) as “Li-dong” (立冬) or Beginning of Winter.

Oh, almost forgot…. Aries is in Dui, Cancer in Li, while Libra in Zhen and Capricorn in Kan.