Friday, April 29, 2011
The Size of Zheng He ship compared to Christopher Columbus
Well, if one day the world can unite and start space explorations, would’nt that be nice? It would stop over profiteering lately of claims of food shortages due to overpopulation of Man. Anyway, to continue from where I last stop…..
It is another one of those fresh spring mornings where you wake up and feel good, ready to take on the world which is what Grasshopper felt while having breakfast with his Master. They were on the second floor of the teahouse overlooking the big open Town square where hawkers were shouting out their wares and customers alike were bargaining loud over the colourful and assorted wares. Grasshopper has never seen this colourful scene even in the town where he occasionally visits on errands in the North which the folks were already tilling hard in the fields when the sun just starts to slumber out. There were smells of different exotic foods cooking in the air too, making one feel stimulated by the aroma together with the colourful sight. As such, Grasshopper felt he has the courage to ask his master of a perplexing matter.
Grasshopper: ‘Master, lately I am confused by the different opinions of the various masters who had met up with you.’
Master: ‘What about?’
Grasshopper: ‘The approaches they use for destiny and feng shui are all different from what you taught me and you seem to have agreed with them.’
Master: ‘You mean what I have taught you contradict with my actions….’
Grasshopper: ‘No, no, I dare not think of that.’
Master: ‘Okay, I know that you are confused by the different schools of thought on our arts.’
Grasshopper: ‘Yes master, especially the guy who uses just the hexagrams and had confused me with his jargons and had made me sleepless trying to figure out on what he was telling you.’
Master: ‘Mmm, have you not heard of the six blind men who came onto an elephant and each had felt the different part of the elephant and proclaiming each other correct in trying to describe the elephant as a snake, a pillar, a wall and so forth.’
Grasshopper: ‘Yes master but I don’t see what it has to do with this matter.’
Master: ‘Boy, boy, it is the same as with the different theories that you have come across here. Every one of us including myself at the moment only has a limited vision though not blind of which is somewhat of the elephant, the mysterious Xuan Kong.’
Grasshopper: ‘But master, in this case, knowing just a part of the elephant likewise will not suffice…’
Master: ‘As you can see, to one who can see the elephant, the blind men are each correct in their interpretations such as us. Therefore, do as what I have done, agreed with every one of them and learn something from them instead of arguing whose school is more superior.’
Grasshopper thinking to himself: ‘Ah, Master is wise, no wonder he always insists on meeting each of them individually instead. While they were busy denouncing the other schools of thoughts, they always give theirs away in trying to explain to Master and hoping to gain his support as Master is believed to have some relationship with the Imperial court who is compiling a great book of all the Arts.’ (From wikipedia: Yongle Emperor commissioned his Grand Secretary, Xie Jin, to write a compilation of every subject and every known book of the Chinese. The massive project's goal was to preserve Chinese culture and literature in writing. The initial copy took 17 months to transcribe and another copy was transcribed in 1557. The book, named the Yongle Encyclopedia, is still considered one of the most marvelous human achievements in history, despite it being gradually lost by time.)
Master: ‘Boy, I am not as mean as what you have made of my actions.’
Grasshopper thinking: ‘Oops! I forgot Master is not called the Divination God 神算among the masters for nothing.’
Grasshopper: ‘No Master, I was thinking that then I must learn to be more appropriate in my actions as what the Yi Jing have always stressed as humility leads to superiority.’
Master: ‘It is best that it be the way, boy. Anyway, the people have the wrong concept of the word 神算 which means it is divined by the mysterious and not that I am God.…’
Grasshopper by now even more astonished that his thoughts was well read by his master.
Master: ‘It is also another Elephant however this time to our great Emperor Zhu Di (Yongle) and the Admiral himself who really puts their efforts into feeling the whole elephant instead of the parts. That reminds me that I have to inform the Admiral household that I am staying in this Inn. Boy reminds me when we have finished our breakfast to task the Innkeeper with this errand.’
To be continued......
An exchange on a forum where a member had substantiated claims of:
‘Also Mindreader it appears that Menzies has been proved correct the results of
the radio-carbon tests show that :
New Zealand tests back Chinese ancient map claims
A New Zealand university's research has suggested a 243-year-old map indicating a famous Chinese explorer discovered New Zealand, Australia and America before Europeans is probably not a fake.
Waikato Times reported Saturday that Waikato University carbon- dating shows that "there might be something in a theory that the Chinese discovered New Zealand before Europeans."
Before Christmas, the university's carbon-dating unit was asked to analyze a Chinese map allegedly dating back to 1763 and stating that it was a copy of a 1418 map.
If authentic, the 1418 map by Chinese explorer Zheng He, which includes portrayals of America and Australia, was drawn 70 years before Christopher Columbus became the first European to land in America.’
Western histories record that Columbus found the New World in 1492, Portugal's Bartholomeu Diaz discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, and Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set off to circumnavigate the world in 1519.
While some people said Zheng He seemed to have discovered America 70 years before Columbus in 1492 if the controversial map drawn in 1763 by a Chinese cartographer is real.
The map could have an important influence on a re-evaluation of Chinese and Western maritime exploration.
The map was originally unveiled in Beijing on Jan. 16, attracting interest from across the globe. The owner, Liu Gang, a Chinese lawyer and map collector, said at the time that it was an authentic 1763 copy of a 1418 Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) original.
The original map has not been found, but if real, the 1763 copy could be proof that it existed. If so, it would give credence to the theory that Chinese sailors traversed the globe long before their European counterparts.
Deputy Director Fiona Petchey of Waikato University carbon- dating unit, who was entrusted to make tests of the map, said tests showed there was an 80 percent probability that the map's paper dated to either 1640-1690 or 1730-1810.
There was only a 13 percent chance it could date between 1920- 1960.
Liu Gang unveiled the results this week at a press conference in Beijing, according to news report.
He held that appearance of the map, the color of its ink, the age of its paper, the way in which it was painted and the style of calligraphy used by the cartographer verify that the year in which the map was created was the year of 1763 as noted by the cartographer on the map.
"The carbon dating result of Waikato University confirms that the map's paper was most probably produced during the period from 1730-1810 or 1640-1690, which is the right range for the year in which the map was created," said Liu.
Food for thoughts:
So by then, did the early Chinese geomancers know that there is a Southern Hemisphere with a different climate and that the world could be round? When did XKDG with its square and round arrangement came out?
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Well, well in Singapore, we are having Elections again. Hurray, not for the election but for the seven hundred dollars our government is giving out : )
Anyway, this reminds me of the infamous Su Zhou Investment of the Past which have left a bitter taste for both Government and the locals here.
‘Jiangnan or Jiang Nan 江南 is a geographic area in China referring to lands immediately to the south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River, including the southern part of the Yangtze Delta. Several Chinese Dynasties were based in Jiangnan. During the Three Kingdoms period, Jianye (modern-day Nanjing) was the capital of the Kingdom of Wu.
Suzhou and Hangzhou have the most beautiful, charming and elegant lakes and gardens in the area and that led to an old Chinese saying "True paradise is in heaven, Suzhou and Hangzhou are heaven on earth." Even Marco Polo praised Hangzhou as "a heavenly city".’
One breezy morning in spring in the year of 1417 Ding You, the rule of Yongle Emperor of Ming Dynasty, Grasshopper and his master visit a rich merchant’s house to do fengshui while touring in Jiangnan.
Grasshopper thinking to himself: ‘Ah, master did not take his Luo Geng (luo-pan/Chinese compass), he must have drank a lot last night and forgot. Well, it’s a good opportunity for me to show master of my inborn talent.’
As they reached the house, the owner, Master Li and his wife was waiting at the door.
Master Li: ‘Welcome Master Dragonfly to Su Zhou and I am thankful to my cousin, Jasmine for troubling you to take a look at my humble abode.’
Master Dragonfly looking around the frontage of the house reply: ‘Oh not at all, not at all….’
Meanwhile after taking out his Lou Geng, Grasshopper with what he thinks an important air was looking at the surroundings of the Mansion and taking measurement of what he thinks is the orientation.
Master Li: ‘The urgency I have seek your help is that things are not that smooth lately for my household and….’
Master Dragonfly interrupting him: ‘Not to worry, let me go into the house first and see what mischief has the little dragons been up to.’
Master Li telling his head servant: ‘Ask them to prepare some nice foods and bring out the Lushan Yunwu (Cloud Fog) tea for Master and his disciple.’
Master Dragonfly looking pleased: ‘Oh that is a very expensive tea that I have long heard about and do not have the fortune to taste it till now.’
Grasshopper who have been standing by and waiting to inform his master of what he thinks is the frontage of the house as he thinks his master must have by now realised that he did not bring his luo geng and wanting to gain credit.
Grasshopper: ‘Master, I have used my luo geng and taken…’
The Master angrily stopped him: ‘Boy that is very rude of you to speak before you are asked to. Do not do it again while I am chatting with Master Li until I tell you!’
Grasshopper puzzled why his master not anxious to know the facing of the house: ‘Yes, yes master, pardon me Master Li.”
As they approached the inner courtyard of the house, Master Dragonfly pointed to the room on the other left of the Dining area which is in the centre.
Dragonfly: ‘Who are sleeping in this room?’
Master Li: ‘Oh that would be my elder son and his wife who have been childless till now.’
Dragonfly: ‘Mmm, last year was a bad year for him and he must have faced some problems with the local gentry.’
Master Li: ‘You are amazing, Master. Indeed the local magistrate has gone after him for filing in false tax returns on his land yields last year.’
Dragonfly: ‘What about the room to the right?’
Master Li: ‘That is the bedroom of my second son and his wife.’
Dragonfly: ‘Well, this is important as you have to pay more attention to his unhealthy nightly life and ask your wife to spend some time with your daughter-in law…’
Master: ‘Oh Master, you are really divine, he have been drinking and whoring and sometimes do not come home at all since Chinese New Year. It have infuriated his father-in law, an influential man here and probably he is the one who instigated the magistrate to pursue the case of my eldest son this year despite after settling the shortfalls and giving expensive gifts last year. I do not know what else will be happening next if this is allowed to carry on.’
By now, Grasshopper was looking with astonishment at his master as he listened to the conversation.
Dragonfly: ‘Okay, let’s take a break first and chatted over tea before I go further as I am old and probably still tired from the long journey from the North so do pardon me.’
Master Li: ‘Sure, I am feeling hungry and thirsty too as I have been up since Dawn.’
Master Li thinking to himself: ‘Mmm, this is no good if he is tired and missed out anything important later. I must ask him to come another day instead. He should be good as he did not have the bazi charts of my family and knows what is happening.’
When Grasshopper saw the food delicacies and the layout on the dining table, he can’t help and let out a gasp of delight as his stomach rumbled. He had not seen such colourful cakes and biscuits of all shapes and the nice sweet aroma in the early morning hour which stimulates his appetite even more. He was glad that he was allowed by his master to sit together with the family for breakfast. He thought that his master must have been pleased to know that he had bought along his Luo Geng and taken the readings of the frontage of the Mansion.
Master Li:’ By the way, Master Dragonfly, I am going to inform the Innkeeper that all your expenses to be billed to my household so that you can relax and do some sightseeing while doing my house feng shui. After breakfast, perhaps my man could bring you to look around and you can come back again when you have enough rest to recommend the necessary changes on my property.’
Dragonfly: ‘Oh that will be nice as I still do feel tired and my backside is sore from sitting in the carriage during the 18 days journey to Su Zhou here. It is very kind of you but I think I will take a rest at the Inn and therefore there is no need to trouble your people.’
After reaching the Inn, Grasshopper couldn’t wait to ask his master as he couldn’t contain his curiosity.
Grasshopper: ‘Master, I was worried when I noticed that you have not carried your Luo Geng with you on reaching there.’
Master: ‘Aha my boy, be direct with me as you thought that I had drank too much last night.’
Grasshopper: ‘Master, does that means that the Luo Geng is not need actually for doing feng shui.’
Master: ‘Who says?”
Master: ‘Today was just to show you how to impress people as the Luo Geng is still needed. It is obvious that the way that this mansion is constructed, a feng shui master must have been engaged before and the result must have been unsatisfactory which the reason why we are here is.’
Grasshopper: ‘Did you use the Yi Jing to divine last night as the owner did not give you their birthdates master?”
Master: ‘In a way, yes however I had observed that at the Si hour, the sun was on my right and that the house must have been facing south. What is the ruling star for this year my boy?”
Grasshopper glad to have a chance to show that he had updated himself once the year had changeover:’Oh Master, it is the Wu Qu star (Modern context: Star 6).’
Master:’ Good, shows that at least you are worth to be a student of mine. So where is the Lu Cun star (Star 3)?”
Grasshopper: ‘It is at the South West Sector, Master’
Grasshopper suddenly remembers: ‘Ah Master, the eldest son room door is at the SW sector but waits, you had mentioned problem started last year?”
Master: ‘What about last year then?”
Grasshopper: ‘Oh yes, the eldest son room is at the West sector and the Zuo Fu star(Star 9) star was there last year. That is brilliant, master and they must have been very impressed.’
Master: ‘Yes, my boy unfortunately in the real world, ignorant people like to see stuffs that are like magic to be convinced…..”
To be continued when I am bored again, ; )
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
A businessman was in a great deal of trouble. His business was failing, he had put everything he had into the business, he owed everybody-- it was so bad he was even contemplating suicide. As a last resort he went to a priest and poured out his story of tears and woe.
When he had finished, the priest said, "Here's what I want you to do: Put a beach chair and your Bible in your car and drive down to the beach. Take the beach chair and the Bible to the water's edge, sit down in the beach chair, and put the Bible in your lap. Open the Bible; the wind will rifle the pages, but finally the open Bible will come to rest on a page. Look down at the page and read the first thing you see. That will be your answer that will tell you what to do."
A year later the businessman went back to the priest and brought his wife and children with him. The man was in a new custom-tailored suit, his wife in a mink coat, the children shining. The businessman pulled an envelope stuffed with money out of his pocket, gave it to the priest as a donation in thanks for his advice.
The priest recognized the benefactor, and was curious. "You did as I suggested?" he asked.
"Absolutely," replied the businessman.
"You went to the beach?"
"You sat in a beach chair with the Bible in your lap?"
"You let the pages rifle until they stopped?"
"And what were the first words you saw?"
‘Chapter 11 is a chapter of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which permits reorganization under the bankruptcy laws of the United States. Chapter 11 bankruptcy is available to every business, whether organized as a corporation or sole proprietorship, and to individuals, although it is most prominently used by corporate entities. In contrast, Chapter 7 governs the process of a liquidation bankruptcy, while Chapter 13 provides a reorganization process for the majority of private individuals.’
Now most of you who are on my blog here are probably from the western parts of the World meaning not knowing the Chinese language. Well, do not be worried about learning the Yi Jing as the story above has illustrated (Imaging). It is no hula bula stuff as it is universal(Just that we call it differently), we can look at it this way, Divination is mainly about using your intuition, to tap into your subconscious which knows a lot more than your conscious mind. About intuition, most of us are born with, it just that through the years, our minds gets conditioned by society and its rules which puts limitations on us subconsciously. Ever wonder about the power of advertisement, the word Coke which could means cocaine is now symbolically a soft drink. Ask any uneducated person of any races and they know what you mean when you say: ‘I want a coke.’ I had once ask an eighty plus old Chinese lady where to buy a coke and she looked at me weirdly before pointing to a Seven Eleven Store just next to us.
The Yi Jing comes in two parts, one philosophical (more on self-cultivation), the other which have evolved into Mei Hua Yi Shu (Plum blossom numerology, Liu Yao (six lines of the hexagram), etc (more on Divination). The first part is important as virtue is needed to be able to use the second part efficiently. It is in no way inferior to any other Chinese arts of divination unless you want to be the next Chu Ke Liang (A famous Chinese War strategist in Feudal China)
Okay, that will be about it. Maybe I can think of something to add on when I come back.