Monday, August 01, 2005

Fate (命) and Luck (运)

In general, Chinese and Westerners have different ways of viewing LIFE.

It is commonly believed in the West that life is not pre-determined - nothing is sealed
at birth. It is believed that a child will become what we make of him, or what he makes of
himself. It is believed that the factors in development are heredity, education, environment,
diligence, etc. and that even the poorest child can become a President. In short, one
believes that he/she is the master of his/her destiny. Nobody likes the thought that there is
an invisible power up there controlling his/her life. Therefore, discerning fate, or fortune-
reading is not seriously regarded in the West, and sometimes labelled as superstitions.

But, have you ever came across capable friends who cannot make it in life for the lack of
opportunities? Or incompetent scums who seem to have all the luck and right opportunities
and connections and are able to move up the social ladder with no efforts of their own?

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Generally, Chinese believe that FATE or 命 「Mìng 」is real. Everyone of us is born
with different gifts and limitations. And by knowing and understanding our limitations,
we will be able to embark on the path that will lead to success instead of obstacles.

In 命术 「Mìng Shù 」, one's Fate is determined at birth - this is called 先天
「Xiān Tiān 」
. 先天 is impossible to be changed, or difficult to be modified.
This is what one started out with. A person's birth chart is akin to a manual for a
new cellphone which gives you the specifications of the phone, the model, operating
instructions etc. These default specifications are designed by the manufacturer. Our
birthdate and time, our parents, our siblings etc. are examples of such defaults.

What can be changed - but within limits - are our other aspects in life which
are affected by Luck or 运 「Yùn 」. What we have control over,
and achievable with our efforts, is generally called 后天 「Hòu Tiān 」.

The western definition of 'luck' is not different from 'chance'. Luck or chance
is random and is about statistics and probability. Since luck is random, it is unpredictable.

The Chinese's concept of luck is similar to the orbit of planets - cyclical and predictable.
An orbit is not a random movement and passes through space and time in a specific pattern.
That makes it knowable.

And if we know the status of our luck, we can base our actions on how strong
or weak it is at that time. Besides understanding our own strong points and
weaknesses, we also need to realize our potential and limitations underneath
our facades. Only then will we be able to move in the right direction effectively.

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5 Major Arts in Chinese Culture

Over the thousands of years, ancient Chinese has devised, discovered and
documented 5 major arts and philosophies, namely, 山、医、命、相、卜.

山术 「Shān Shù 」- Cultivation of one's area of interest while living in seclusion. The
'areas of interest' include religious cultivation (Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism etc.),
health cultivation (Qigong, Martial Arts etc.), spiritual cultivation, and refining pills for
medicinal purposes and immortality etc.

医术 「Yī Shù 」- Traditional Chinese Medicine such as Acupuncture, herbal remedies etc.

命术 「Mìng Shù 」- Analysing the character traits and potential using one's year, date
and time of birth in order to help one cope better with expected events and its timeline.
This is what Fortune-Telling is about and an art that anyone with interest can master.

相术 「Xiàng Shù 」- Observing the environment, objects, appearance etc, and
deduce events with the knowledge of Yin/Yang, 5 Elements and Gan Zhi.
Examples of this art are 风水 (Feng Shui) and 手相 (Palmistry).

卜术 「Bu Shù 」- Divination of events through omens, signs, oracles etc. It is
based on the belief that revelations are offered to humans by the gods or celestial
beings, to make known things that neither reason nor science can discover.
Examples include 梅花易数 (I-Ching) and 金钱卦 (divination using copper coins).

What I will be sharing with you is
命术 「Mìng Shù 」- the art of foretelling one's life events.

In addition, Chinese believe that success in life is based on these five areas
of influence, in order of importance:

1. 「Mìng 」 命 - fate, which is decided at birth and cannot be changed,
but can be known.

2. 「Yùn 」 运 - luck, which fluctuates with time,but predictable.

3. 「Fēng Shui 」 风水 - environment, which can be manipulated to reach the
higher levels of what our fate and luck allow.

4. 「Dào Dé 」 道德 - virtue and character, which brings us good
karma and good will.

5. 「Dú Shū 」 读书 - education and effort, the footwork. Even with the best luck,
if we sit at home and wait, we will miss out.

《紫微斗数》 「Zi Wēi Dou Shù 」 will give you an insight into your Fate and Luck.

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