Transcending Charts, Motivational Courses, Chinese Metaphysics As A Business & More

Posted On Last updated May 26, 2020 | Published on Apr 20, 2020

Table Of Contents

  1. Transcending Charts
  2. Who Or What Determines What I Deserve Then?
  3. Transcending Charts Differ From Person To Person
  4. Can You Explain All The ‘Life-Changing’ Seminars and Chinese Metaphysics Courses Out There Then?
  5. Whether You Like It Or Not, There Are Things That Are Already Determined For You
  6. Why I Don’t Try To Scale My Role As A Chinese Metaphysics Consultant

Hi everyone,

I have a lot more time to blog these days because you guessed it – COVID-19. Not that I find it a chore because I really do enjoy penning down my thoughts and the emails I receive from people saying they enjoy what I write really mean a lot to me. This is going to be a very long post and one of my better-written ones. I hope you find some time to finish reading it and in the process, learn a thing or two that’ll help you in future.

With the ample amount of free time I have in recent weeks, I’ve been looking back at my old blog posts, some of which date back to 2017. I felt that it would be a good idea to revisit some of them and add-on to what was mentioned back then. Some of the most well-received and visited posts are:

Basically, all the blog posts tagged under “Must Reads” are those I feel a layperson looking for a BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu reading should know and it’ll be worth your time visiting some of these posts. These posts aren’t meant to convince you that you should consult me instead of others. If these posts make you feel comfortable engaging me, I’d be honoured of course, but the purpose is to really make sure everyone approaches this field properly and with the right mindset and I need people to be in the right mindset before I can do my job properly instead of just putting up a show.

I’d like to first revisit some of these posts and the message behind them, and I’ll talk about something a bit more personal next which is how I view Chinese metaphysics as a career and business.

Confucius had a saying 「书不尽言,言不尽意」which I’ve mentioned somewhere in my website before. What it means is that words, be it written or verbal, sometimes cannot adequately convey the true meaning behind something.

The reason for this blog post was motivated by the saying「书不尽言,言不尽意」because it appears that some readers do misinterpret what I try to convey in my posts – which is dangerous. It indirectly perpetuates what other practitioners are doing, which is selling the idea you can do or achieve anything if you’re armed with Chinese metaphysics.

I know my previous post was somewhat intense and heavy, so I’ll try to make this entry a bit more light-hearted but it’ll probably still end up heavy anyway. You can see this post as a recap of some of the most important posts on this blog.

Before I begin, I know it’s a delicate period for everyone, and I’d just like to clarify that whatever I write about is angled from Chinese metaphysics and my views of this industry and this has always been the case. It may come across as tone-deaf to some because of what’s going on around the world and I’d like to apologize for that. Thanks for understanding and take care, everyone.

Let’s Talk About Transcending BaZi & Zi Wei Dou Shu Charts Again

Confucius (孔子) talks a lot about 知命 which is to ‘know life’ – your own life rather. Mencius (孟子) talks a lot about 立命 which has the risk of being misinterpreted.

立 can be translated as “set up” and 命 means life, and a lot of people mistakenly think that by 立命,it means they can do whatever they want as long as they have the willpower to do so. “No goal is beyond my reach as long as I have the willpower and drive” probably the slogan any major failure has once told themselves.

I know these notions of achieving anything you want as long as you put your mind to it is empowering and has a feel-good factor to it, but I think what people fail to realize is that these quotes are really for people with the potential and ability for it and they already have something to offer. As harsh as it sounds, such quotes are not for the ordinary person to throw around like a war cry.

I don’t have a degree in Chinese history and philosophy, so if anyone specializes in this field, please correct me if I’m wrong. I don’t believe any of our Chinese sages have ever approached life or taught their students that being rebellious was a way to lead a meaningful life, and by “rebellious”, I’m referring to rebelling against Heaven. When I say Heaven, it basically refers to what’s meant for us in our lifetime – things that are predetermined and are not within our control.

Of all the Chinese texts I’ve had the pleasure of reading, it always goes back to knowing yourself and knowing your place first. The keyword here is “first” because one needs to know where you stand first before you can come up with a plan to do something.It was never about rebelling against Heaven for the sake of it or because one can. Or, if I were to put it in my own words, to live like someone with a top-notch BaZi chart when you actually have a bad one. You will never, ever see a Chinese sage say something like that because they know there are a lot of things that one cannot change.

At no point did I say transcending chart means one gets to start doing whatever he or she wants. This is in no way saying that we should resign to a bad life too.

I think the best way to put it is that our ancestors encouraged us to live the best versions of our lives. Mencius puts it aptly:

《尽心上篇》孟子曰:「尽其心者,知其性也。知其性,则知天矣。存其心,养其性,所以事天也。夭寿不贰,修身以俟之,所以立命也。」I quote translations from scholarly discourse:

“For someone to give full realization to their heart is for them to understand their own nature, and someone who knows their own nature will know Heaven. By conserving their heart, mind and nurturing their nature, they are serving Heaven. Whether they are going to die young or to live a ripe old age makes no difference to their steadfastness of purpose. It is through awaiting whatever is to befall them with perfected character that they stand firm on their proper destiny.”

Another one of my favourite quotes from Mencius is this:

「舜發於畎畝之中,傅說舉於版築之閒,膠鬲舉於魚鹽之中,管夷吾舉於士,孫叔敖舉於海,百里奚舉於市。故天將降大任於斯人也,必先苦其心志,勞其筋骨,餓其體膚,­空乏其身,行拂亂其所為,所以動心忍性,曾益其所不能。人恆過,然後能改;困於心,衡於慮,而後作;徵於色,發於聲,而後喻。入則無法家拂士,出則無敵國外患者,國恆亡。­然後知生於憂患而死於安樂也。」

It translates to: “When Heaven is about to confer high office on a man, it first exercises his mind with suffering and flexes his muscles with toil. It inures his body to hunger and his person to poverty. It frustrates him in his undertakings so that his mind is stimulated, his nature toughened to endure, and he develops capacities he lacked.

There is always an emphasis on knowing oneself, knowing your limitations and growing from challenges first. Even if fate were to change, it’s only allowed if Heavens thinks you’re ready. We are in no position to decide that for ourselves. Knowing how to read a BaZi chart also doesn’t mean you get to change this fact. If you force yourself to have something when Heavens does not want you to have it, disaster will follow.

I’ll give an example of how this translates into real life.

We have a president in the White House who isn’t interested in being a good president, and sure, in the spirit of democracy it was his absolute right to run for elections, but look at what’s happening now and the number of people who are suffering. People who only know how to throw the “rights” trump card as a justification for the things they do are some of the most selfish, foolish and more often than not, disgusting people you’ll ever meet.

Bear in mind that I’m not saying we can’t or shouldn’t have rights, but it shouldn’t be used as a trump card and the keyword here is “trump card”. For those interested, you can read up on Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract. The simplest way to put it is that everyone has to surrender some of their rights for the greater good and this doesn’t have to only apply in governance or politics. The world would be in a mess if everyone only thought about their rights.

The point I’m trying to make is that one shouldn’t approach life being simply driven by wants or desires.

If you’re destined to be a businessman, then, by all means, go all out to be an ethical businessman that can uplift others’ lives. If you’re meant to be a singer or celebrity, by all means, sing and dance your heart out for all to be entertained. If you’re meant to sell chicken rice or bubble tea, then by all means, be the best chicken rice or bubble tea seller ever, and you never know you might be able to turn it into a business one day. Even if you don’t have the mandate of Heaven to be the best chicken rice or bubble tea seller in the world, society will give you that mandate and I’m sure your life will change.

I know this will be hard to prove empirically, but I’ve always found that the people who have the right intent will receive blessings. It’s always the business person who wants to make the lives of others better, the celebrity that truly enjoys his or her form of art or an athlete with a genuine passion for the sport who will succeed. Even if they are not the richest or most famous, they will still be the happiest and most fulfilled. Whoever does things for the sake of it or for egotistical reasons usually ends up being another story. In other words, I really believe that wealth and fame should not be pursued for itself – it must ensue. I can assure you that you’ll notice such differences in the intent of people the top-notch charts and those of average ones.

We’ve all met that certain someone who has got into major trouble before, and these are people who end up doing something they are not supposed to:

  • It could be someone who isn’t capable of starting their own business but dived right into it.
  • Someone who isn’t mature enough to be in a marriage, but got into one anyway because he or she was afraid of being lonely.
  • Forcing yourself in a leadership position when you’re not meant to be a leader, only to be hated by everyone. Election season is the best example of this, with people not fit to lead making a national joke of themselves on television.
  • Trying to earn money that you’re not meant to have which is usually referring to incompetent people taking illegal shortcuts.

These aren’t new and I’ve mentioned them many times in different posts. If you’re not meant to have something and you force it, it usually won’t end well. Calamity would have been avoided simply by sitting on your hands and not doing anything.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that a lot of people I come across don’t ask themselves if they are ready or if they deserve something – they simply want things. There’s nothing wrong wanting or desiring something of course, but I don’t think one’s way of thinking should be so one-dimensional. People like to throw the trump card and say it’s their right to want or desire things, and sure, it’s their right, but life doesn’t revolve around a single person and their desires.

It’s respectable that one lives an impassioned existence and feels that they can achieve anything they want in life. It can be inspiring at times even. But at the end of the day, balance still needs to be followed and there will be forces that are still out of your control. Many people think that studying Chinese metaphysics, be it BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu, gives you the ability to live whatever kind of life you want, but few see it as an indication from Heavens that you should live according to how Heavens wants you to live. I know this somewhat contradicts what transcending charts mean, but what I’m trying to say is to accept how Heavens wants you to live first and make the best out of it. Transcending charts can, and should, come after that.

Last but not least, if you find yourself having a lot of free time during the COVID-19 period, go pick up the works of Confucius and Mencius to read, especially if you are interested in Chinese metaphysics. They are free and widely available, and more importantly, they will do you a lot more good than any Chinese metaphysics course can.

Who Or What Determines What I Deserve Then?

This is something that nobody can answer. Practitioners are just messengers – we do not decide who deserves what. Greater forces beyond our understanding decide that.

I think everyone knows by now that I shy away from talking about such topics because it’s an extremely uncomfortable topic. It’s always easier for someone who is doing OK to say such things and I know it feels like I’m invalidating a lot of people’s hardships. I want to make it clear that that is not the intent at all and I’m cognizant of how the message comes across.

We can only try our best to accept the notion that our Chinese ancestors and sages from other civilizations came up with ways to identify who deserves what and this is where the debate of good charts vs bad charts come in. Bad charts vs good charts aside, practitioners will never know the “why” or the “how” someone’s chart can determine what they deserve – we only know the “who” in this debate. Whether you have a religious or spiritual foundation to accept this is up to you.

I know it’s a notion that’s hard to swallow, which is why I try to translate it into layman terms for people to relate to it a bit better. If we did an experiment and put 100 people with good charts (Category 1 or 2) together with 100 people with the average or bad charts (Category 3 or 4), you will be able to notice the fundamental differences between these two groups. This is the point I was trying to make in my blog post on good charts vs bad charts.

There’s no point talking about the different backgrounds we are born into because you’ll never get a satisfactory answer and it’ll probably just end off with “It’s your karma.” Which arguably isn’t a wrong answer.

The bigger debate is what everyone is doing with it, and by “it”, I’m referring to what you’re doing with your natal chart and what you’re born with. Why I argued that your Elemental Phases are also a reflection of how you grow and develop is so that something tangible can be done and we get a glimpse of how one’s Phases (运) translate into real life. 

One of the best examples, or thought experiments rather, you can use is why two people with the same challenging environment can end up so differently. Why is it that we have inspirational rags-to-riches stories on one hand, and on the other hand, we have people that society wants locked-up for the rest of their lives? Why is it that two people can have equally bad natal charts, but for some reason, the one with the good Elemental Phases is always the more positive, hardworking and dignified one? Why is that the one with the bad Elemental Phases is the self-destructive one? I know it’s a chicken-and-egg question and some people will say it’s easy to be positive and hardworking when things are going well for you – but what if the opposite is true too?

A practitioner can easily tell you who is the person who will rise to nobility and who will become cosmic garbage. The theoretical and technical explanation to this is that their natal charts and Phases they go through are different which makes them fundamentally different people and the way they grow will be different too. To add a layman perspective to it – it is that their thoughts and actions are what ultimately led to the different outcomes. The charts will reveal what’s likely to happen, and whatever’s likely to happen still has to be triggered by the human factor.

You’ll hear of the Cosmic Trinity often which is your 天时,地利,人和,referring to Heavens, Earth, Humans. This is a core foundation and belief in anything related to Chinese metaphysics. Heavens need to decide what you deserve first; Earth or your environment need to layout the factors involves; Human then comes into the picture and an event triggers. Another saying is「在天成象, 在地成形, 在人成事」- Heavens decides the form and essence; Earth decides physical manifestation; Humans determine the event.

The part that we can control is the Human part, and maybe a little bit of the Earth part by consciously putting ourselves in a good environment. I know the counter-argument here is that people born into worse-off environments are likely to make bad decisions because the environment forces them to, but it’s a weak counter-argument to me.

The Heavens factor holds the greatest weight and Heavens does not answer to Earth and Human aspects, and what we deserve is always the part that is hardest for anyone to accept. Perhaps, we spend too much time worrying about the Heavens factor and fail to pay attention to the other two, which is our environment (Earth or 地利), ourselves and the people around us (人和). The easiest way for me to calm everyone’s minds down, and I’ve said this before, is that if you are someone who believes in Chinese metaphysics and wants to make use of it, you have to believe in karma first. That’s perhaps the only acceptable explanation, for our human minds, why our natal charts are the way they are. Bear in mind that Buddhism spread to China way before BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu was developed, so the concept of karma and even past lives, arguably, is integral to metaphysics.

Read this in a light-hearted tone: I know some people feel like slapping me and want me to stop talking about such heavy topics that feel depressing, but I’d like to remind everyone that the first of the Four Noble Truths in Buddhism is “Life is suffering.” I dare you to slap Buddha first. On that topic, there is a very good reason why Buddha wanted people to stay away from astrology, not because astrology is intrinsically bad and neither did Buddha declare it was bad. Some Buddhist scriptures do talk about astrology. It was considered a “lower art” because it complicates things and whatever you see in the metaphysics field now is precisely the complication.

The Importance of Natal Charts & Why Transcending Charts Differ From Person To Person

I know most people can’t appreciate this because we are all motivated by our desires and wants and our reality is whatever we perceive or feel. For some people, life is a living hell, but for others, they’re grateful to be alive.

For some people, it’s hanging on to that turning point before things take off and life changes forever. This often applies to entrepreneurs who have an above-average chart and are on the verge of giving up, only to realize the turning point is a few years away. For others, sometimes it’s as simple as not doing anything or jumping into that hole right in front of you. Don’t do that thing you’re not supposed to.

It’s really, really going to be different for everyone.

I need to say this once and for all that transcending charts does not mean you do whatever you want. Your natal charts still matter. Transcending charts does not mean a person with a low-quality chart suddenly gets imbued with the qualities of a high-quality chart. I think people are confused between the notion of transcending your own chart and taking someone else’s chart and pretending it’s yours.

I know there is a saying that 命好不如运好 which is that the Phases you go through are more important than your natal chart, because no matter what your natal chart or starting point is, you’ll always want things to run smoothly and progress. But this does not mean you completely disregard the natal chart as the magnitude of how good or bad your Phases are still dependent on your natal chart. Your natal chart still determines who you are as a person and who you are as a person will determine a lot of things.

The following quote is taken from 《三命通会》。会is actually a compendium which combines the works from many other sources, so you’ll often see quotes from other scripts within 《三命通会》。 There’s this quote that I want to bring to everyone’s attention:《烛神经》云:「凡推命之祸福,须先度量基地厚薄,然后定灾福。如命有十分福气,行三四恶运,都不觉凶,福力厚故也。」

Everyone will go through negative Elemental Phases (运) at some point. It’ll come early in life for some, and later for others, but why is it that some people have it tougher and encounter calamities while others come out unscathed? The answer still lies in our natal charts because that’s what Heavens has decided for you. You could also say that because our natal charts are a reflection of what we are like, those with poorer natal charts tend to do things that get them into bigger trouble.

Can You Explain All The ‘Life-Changing’ Seminars and Chinese Metaphysics Courses Out There Then?

There are two types of courses I wish to talk about here. The first, of course, being the one that’s packaged and angled using Chinese metaphysics and the second which is your conventional neuro-linguistic programming type of courses.

Seminars & Courses That Are Packaged Using Chinese Metaphysics

You’ll typically see two kinds of Chinese metaphysics courses out there:

  1. There are courses out there that teach you how to use and apply Chinese metaphysics properly. It’s basically teaching you whatever a practitioner would know – very theoretical and application-focused. What you do with it depends on your own talent and affinity for this field.
  2. On the other hand, there are seminars and courses which sell metaphysics as a life-changing tool and it’s basically the kind where they claim that you can 10x your income or effectively turn you into a successful businessperson like Li Ka Shing.

I think anyone would know by now that I have something against example 2 above and it’s how a lot of courses out there are being sold.

The only reason why someone would say such things is because it just sells better. What sounds more appealing to you?

  • Sign up and learn the history and theory behind Chinese metaphysics! Apply what you learn to your life!
  • Sign up and learn the secrets passed down from lineage to increase your income and live the life you’ve always dreamed of!

If you’re someone who is lonely, desperate, and really wish to get out of the rut you’re in, the latter will definitely sound more attractive.

I’ve had some clients who are internet marketers who have kindly offered some help and gave me some feedback on how I can phrase my sentences differently to sell my services or online courses better. One of the methods is to provide solutions to problems which definitely makes sense, but I have to say it’s not really my style because there is no quick fix to the problems my clients approach me for and selling my services this way feels a bit wrong – at least to me.

I’ll give a very good example of what I mean and this story is a hilarious one that makes a great example.

I think everyone knows some practitioners live-stream some of their seminars as a means of getting more engagement and extend their reach and they upload this on their social media page eventually. I happened to come across one of these videos.

It was a Qi Men Dun Jia seminar and the event organizer was doing live Qi Men Dun Jia readings on the spot. There was a lady who went up to the practitioner to ask a question. The story goes: She wants to start her own business, and in her own exact words, she said she was “waiting for years for the company to retrench her” so she can use the pool of money to kickstart her business and basically she’s feeling frustrated that her company has not retrenched her yet and it has been three years. She even went to the extent of asking her boss to retrench her.

Yes, you read that right. Someone has waited three years to be retrenched so that she can use the retrenchment package to start a business. She even asked the boss to retrench her. That’s some world-class entrepreneurial mindset there.

I don’t think I have to explain why this person will definitely not have a successful business and why her natal chart quality is definitely low. Now, does everyone understand why a practitioner cannot turn a stupid person into a Li Ka Shing or 10x his or her income? There is literally nothing a practitioner can say, at least from metaphysics standpoint, to help someone like that. It’s beyond me. This is the reason why I said not everyone has the affinity to benefit from Chinese metaphysics. The funny thing is that the conclusion from the reading was that she’ll be successful with the business, but any other (legitimate) practitioner will tell you that the reading was done incorrectly, perhaps deliberately. Why? Because bad news with no solutions won’t sit well with people who already paid money, and neither will it sell well in future. This video is still out there. If you wish to see it, drop me a message and I’ll send it to you.

Selling Chinese metaphysics as a panacea works best on these people who can’t think for themselves. These are the perfect cash cows for anyone in the business of selling hope or a better life, and I think many of us in Singapore are fed-up with some of the YouTube advertisements we’re seeing on such courses.

If it was a proper coaching session or seminar, I can assure you the trainer would have metaphorically torn this lady a new orifice in front of everyone, but you can’t exactly do this if the seminar was a Chinese metaphysics related one, especially when people sign up for such seminars thinking a shortcut or magical solution will be provided. You’d lose many potential customers won’t you?

If Chinese metaphysics really were to have the ability to turn everyone into business magnates, I’d definitely be selling it that way too. Heck, I won’t even need to be blogging. If metaphysics works this way, I’d be turning myself into a billionaire and business magnate before any of these idiots can. Any practitioner with a sense of decency and ethics won’t wish to sell it like that because I don’t think they’ll be able to look into the mirror and not feel repulsed.

If you wish to learn Chinese metaphysics, then just come and learn and give Chinese history and culture its due respect. Don’t buy into the nonsense. Having the courage to tell yourself you have a bad chart and you still have a lot to work on is a lot more constructive than asking a practitioner to tell you when your boss will retrench you so that you can get some start-up capital.

Other Conventional Motivational Courses & Seminars

I know I’ve not spoken about this before, but I’ve actually attended such courses before when I was much younger. Here’s what I learned about the kind of courses there are out there:

Type 1: There are legitimate courses conducted by trained professionals and they do things ethically and with the right intent. These are great and worth exploring.
Type 2: There are courses so horribly conducted that buying any book from the “Self Help” section would be more worthwhile.
Type 3: Lastly, there are completely unethical ones that function like a multi-level marketing scheme and the methods they use are what cults use to indoctrinate people.

The Type 1 of courses are rare, and even with the right intent and conducted to the best of their ability, people walk out with different experiences. Type 2 courses are the kind where you know within 5 minutes that the founder or company management is really just trying their luck at starting a business.

Type 3 courses are the ones that I want to warn people about because not many people know the inner-workings of courses like this. They are usually referred to as Large Group Awareness Training (LGATs). Just Google LGAT and you’ll be surprised what you’ll find on the first page.

Yes, I’ve attended courses across the three types because I’ve always had this desire to be better since young. The last one I attended was a Type 3 kind of course and that was way back in Q3 of 2007 when I first matriculated into university and I bought into it because a friend ‘sold’ it to me. You could say the above video was a parallel to what I went through. These are the kind of courses that use the guise of promising that’ll turn you into a great leader, raise your self-awareness and turn you into someone who can change the world. It will sound like a legitimate Type 1, ethical course. I have to point out some Type 1 courses do employ the same techniques but they don’t cross certain boundaries like trying to manipulate you or get you to recruit more participants after they’re done with you.

I was one of the unlucky ones where the experience ended up being traumatic for me. I was halfway through the course and already went through the majority of the ‘brainwashing’ process where they break you down and piece you back together again, and in case you aren’t aware, that’s what the military does to you when you first enlist so you became a single, coherent unit. The story goes: One day, as I was Googling about the company conducting this course, a website on cults and how cults operated popped up and I spent the whole night reading it and realized my mind was being severely toyed with.

It was a very dark period of my life which completely screwed up the start of my university life and I even had to see the campus counsellor to get some help because my mind was split between what’s real and what’s not. It basically feels like Neo being unplugged from The Matrix for the first time. Read up on what people who remove themselves from cults go through and it’s pretty much the same experience and recovery process. What made it worst was nobody understood what I was going through and my peers at that time just felt I was weird.

Looking back, I don’t regret going through what I did because I did learn and grow a lot from the experience and I could say it was the key milestone that made me realize the importance of not minding what others think but also to have a mind of my own and think for myself. It was also the time where I started to realize the world and the people in it weren’t so simple and that malicious, evil people exist and are all over the place. Bear in mind I was 21 years old back then and I’m not saying I had it all figured out by then.

If you’re someone who knows of a course that will benefit you and you learned and grew from it, that’s wonderful and I’m happy for you. I just wanted to take the opportunity to point out Type 2 and Type 3 kinds of courses exist and I just wanted everyone to be especially careful of Type 3 kind of courses where your mind is being toyed with and they try to turn you into one of their recruiters. All that being said, some people still do benefit from such Type 3 courses as it’s the only way to get to them and it gives some people a sense of community that they never had, albeit temporarily.

And before I forget, if you’re wondering what happened to the other people who attended the course with me, well, some did have positive takeaways from the experience, but for most people nothing changed really. The emotional high wears off eventually and everyone’s back to how they were.

I think the takeaway here is that, sure, getting a reminder of an emotional jolt once in a while helps a bit, but you can’t rely on that for real growth or change. What’s good for real growth and change then? Well, perhaps the whole point is for you to go through the process and find that out yourself – not through others or having it delivered to you on a silver platter.

Do Some Chinese Metaphysics Courses Use These Techniques From Type 3 Courses?

I’d say they do, but a milder version of it as there’s no ‘breaking down’ process performed on the participant and it’s usually just the positivity bombing and over-promises.

Whether You Like It Or Not, There Are Things That Are Already Determined For You

One blog post sums it up well and I’ll post it here again: Harsh Truths That Aren’t Discussed In Chinese Metaphysics But Should

I won’t repeat what I said in the blog post but I will convey it in another way.

Practitioners cannot turn just anyone into a Li Ka Shing, Elon Musk, Jack Ma or Bill Gates. These legends are legends because they deserve it. They are smart, hardworking and I’m sure you can list many other positive things about them that justify the success they deserve.

Now, this is me dropping the bomb: If an incompetent person came to me and asked me to turn him or her into a legend, I’d check this person into a mental institution first. The point I’m trying to make here is that there are some things that are already destined and you have to work within those limitations. Heavens decides who these legends will be – not practitioners. Getting the best or most famous practitioner to breakdown your chart daily isn’t going to do anything, and it is Heavens and your natal chart you want on your side.

We are all born with different abilities and capabilities. For some people, the lack of it. A practitioner cannot turn you into something you are not. A practitioner cannot turn just anyone into a Li Ka Shing, Elon Musk or Jack Ma. We could, perhaps, make the lives of these legends and non-legends alike a bit easier if they believed in Chinese metaphysics, but we certainly cannot turn just anyone into legends.

Let me put things into perspective: Remember Mencius’s quote above about Heaven’s torturing someone first before conferring a high position? Getting rejected by KFC was Jack Ma’s story and Heaven’s will. It was the path he had to take to become a legend. What would you have done if you got rejected by KFC?

A lot of my clients and strangers who text me randomly ask me why their careers are not going anywhere and the reason is simple – because their so-called career is just another job and they are doing it because they need the paycheque. A lot of people that I speak to, especially the ones with the below-average charts, don’t actually have a passion, mission or direction and it’s just one month after another, which soon becomes one year after another. At the other end of the spectrum, every person with a good chart I’ve come across has something that they love doing.

There is always this dichotomy and you’ll hear someone with a bad or average chart saying how they can’t understand why it’s so easy for someone to have a passion or something they believe in. They fail to realize that those with better charts feel the exact same way – that they can’t understand why it’s so difficult.

If you’re still young and exploring, it’s fine, but if you are in your 30s and have to go to a practitioner to ask what you should do for your career, that itself is an issue and in a lot of cases, it might be too late.

A Practitioner Cannot Help You Transcend Your BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart

A lot of people go for a consultation with the expectation that a practitioner has the ability to tell the client exactly what to do and change their life completely. I lost count of the number of times I said that it doesn’t work this way.

Perhaps to use a crude example and sorry to bring up Buddha again, but if Buddha could flick someone’s forehead and inject some much-needed enlightenment, I’m pretty sure he’d do that. Why bother coming up with the scriptures and getting the disciples to sit down and listen? If I could do something similar, trust me, I would. It’ll save me so much time and pain. Besides, if I knew any secrets on transcending charts, I’d be doing it for myself first. Perhaps, sticking my foot up someone’s backside might be more effective.

Maybe I can blow stupidity and ignorance away like this guy who can blow the Coronavirus away:

Not even Buddha has the magical ability to flick some enlightenment into someone. What more practitioners?

The most a practitioner can do is to give you a green-light on whether you should go ahead with something. For example:

  • During a compatibility reading, you see red flags and the partner has the potential to be abusive and the practitioner points things out. Whether to give-in to fate and marry this potentially abusive person is up to the chart-holder.
  • You approach a practitioner with a business idea in mind, and the practitioner uses Qi Men Dun Jia to check if you should go ahead. It’s usually easier if you go to a practitioner to have an idea checked rather than asking him/her to recommend a field to go into because, again, if you have to ask for recommendations, you’re probably not meant to be in business.

Whatever it is, practitioners study and observe the laws of nature and their primary job is to give information. That’s it.

A Warning To Those Who Think Shortcuts Or Unethical Methods Are OK

I’ve had the fortune of learning many valuable life lessons when I was younger, and despite going through severe setbacks, fortunately, I still had the energy, time and strength to hit the reset button and start over.

I met a lot of unethical people in the earlier stages of my adult life before I got deep into Chinese metaphysics. These are people who will not think twice about taking advantage of others or swindling someone’s money. Hand to heart and I’m not making this up, I still get fed information on these people I’ve crossed paths with because they making really interesting case studies of Category 4 people and how some people continue on their path of self-destruction. Needless to say, their lives are hell now and it’s almost as though some mysterious force is making sure their life remains a living hell until they learn their lesson and admit their wrongdoing.

If someone’s astrological chart can indicate why one deserves wealth and riches and a happy, loving family, you can be assured that it’ll indicate why someone’s life deserves to be a living hell too. If you’ve seen enough of such charts and interacted with these people, you will agree with me that these deserve the hell they are going through and they brought it upon themselves.

If you need examples: It has been 8 years since my ex-business partner cheated me. Since then, he went from one failed business to another and is unemployed now and living off his wife, and I’m quite sure the marriage will fail next. In another example, one of the directors of the companies conducting ‘brainwash’ seminars suddenly collapsed in the middle of a training session for no reason and with no prior health issues. He was a little over 50. I’m not saying these because I delight in someone’s failure or demise – it is what it is and I simply feel ‘neutral’ because all these are irrelevant to my life right now. I thought I’d share what I’ve observed so people understand why our ancestors said some of the things they did.

A common quote you’ll often hear is 「福祸无门,唯人自召」 which basically means whatever we go through, it’s brought onto to us by ourselves. A lesson common saying is:《太甲》曰:「天作孽,犹可违;自作孽,不可活」。It basically means calamities sent from Heavens can still be avoided, but no one is able to survive calamities brought on by himself.

I won’t start a debate on why bad people have to exist for now, but you can see it from the perspective that they serve an important purpose in driving the good forward too. I don’t want to get preachy here, but please just know nothing good ever happens to people who are evil. Don’t be one of them.

Quoting Chinese Sages Out Of Context For The Sake Of Sale

The Chinese metaphysics field has become very pretentious. There are some practitioners, or rather, trainees under these practitioners that will go to the extent of quoting Confucius and immediately go on to pitch a BaZi course which costs more than SGD$2,000. Nothing wrong selling something as that’s just business, and if someone buys into your marketing, I’m no one to interfere. But I think I’ll need to draw some boundaries here.

For example, 「画地自限」is often quoted in books that translate The Analects by Confucius into modern-day Chinese. There was a case I came across where 「画地自限」 was quoted and the person goes on immediately pitch BaZi as the embodiment of what Confucius taught because BaZi can help you achieve breakthroughs and one should not 「画地自限」,meaning to draw a line and restrict yourself.

I have to point out that this is taken out of context and it completely misrepresents Confucius.

The full quote is supposed to be 冉求曰:「非不说子之道,力不足也。子曰:力不足者,中道而废,今女画。」Confucius was not trying to tell his student to stop being a pusillanimous person and do whatever he dreams of doing. The student 冉伯牛 was actually very ill and was surviving on a single bowl of rice and a gourd dish of drink every day. The preceding verse of 子曰:「贤哉回也,一箪食,一瓢饮,在陋巷,人不堪其忧,回也不改其乐。贤哉回也。」indicates this.

That chapter was meant to portray Confucius’s virtues and that he was being a good teacher by, firstly, visiting his ill student at home, and secondly, giving his student encouragement because most people would have given up any noble pursuits by now, which in 冉伯牛’s case would be to further his studies. 「今女画」 is often the part that gets translates into「画地自限」。Basically, Confucius comforting his student because of his circumstances. Confucius wasn’t going “Get up and study! Embrace your dreams and transcend your chart you weakling!” 「非不说子之道,力不足也」indicates 冉伯牛’s willingness to still study, but his ill-health prevents him from doing so.

Confucius did not encourage anyone to go recklessly beyond one’s capabilities or limits.「书不尽言,言不尽意」is understandable, but ignorance and quoting Confucius out of context to close a sale is another and it only serves to bastardize everything good about Chinese culture and philosophy. It’s dangerous for a consumer or layman to misinterpret the Chinese sages and approach Chinese metaphysics with a completely incorrect mindset. I hope everyone understands why I often say you need to give Chinese history and culture its due respect if you are serious about this field, and why a lot of things are twisted for the sake of a sale.

Why I Don’t Try To Scale My Role As A Chinese Metaphysics Consultant

Now, for the personal part.

I’m really like any other business which is an exchange or goods and services, which in my case, would be a service. A lot of clients, especially those who turned friends, and friends-alike do ask me what I intend to do with my career as a practitioner and if I have plans to expand it. I might, but it won’t be in the way that you commonly see and I definitely have no intention of becoming like some of the Chinese metaphysics corporations out there.

I’m happy just getting more internet traffic to my website and the occasional media feature. I’m also spending more time building an online school as an additional revenue stream. That’s good enough expansion. I’m definitely not interested in being a celebrity and I don’t actually care about being the number 1 authority either. Nearly all my clients only choose to engage me only because they read my blog and know where I come from. That’s good enough for me.

I’ll share some of my thoughts on why I don’t wish to build this up like other practitioners.

1. I Don’t Think I’ll Enjoy What I Do If I Make It “Big” And I Don’t Wish To Stress Myself With Overheads For The Sake Of More Revenue

I think everyone can imagine what will happen if I were to be hosting a seminar in a hall, and someone comes up to me and says he/she wants to be retrenched so he/she can start a business. I will probably roll my eyes and it’ll likely stay stuck, and if I’m lucky, I won’t foam at the mouth. I don’t see myself enjoying hosting these sessions if people were to approach Chinese metaphysics with such a mindset. Besides, people don’t have to travel all the way to a convention center or hall to hear me speak. You can be soaking the sun on a beach in any part of the world sipping on a margarita and you’ll still have access to my blog. I know for a fact that my blog cumulatively reaches more people than any seminar can, and I can focus on writing something truly meaningful instead of constantly worrying about how to sell tickets to cover my business overheads.

Too lazy to read you say? Then consider the option of having to travel all the way to a hall, sit your backside down on an uncomfortable chair and sit through hearing why someone has been wanting to be retrenched for 3 years. If you’re too lazy to read, you’re not going to go very far in life anyways.

Trust me, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I wish to move forward from where I currently am, and the fact that I can read my own chart and use Qi Men Dun Jia helps me even more with my decision making. It’s not that I don’t want to work harder, but if I take the approach of some of the other practitioners, it may very well take away the happiness and fulfillment I have from this field. I do not wish for this ‘business’ to end up giving me more stress because giving consultations is stressful enough.

There will be a ‘point of no return’ if I try to scale this business the way other practitioners do, and it doesn’t actually improve the quality of my life and I will never get back the balance that I’m enjoying now.

My friends have asked me if I’m coping well with the COVID-19 situation as I’m working for myself, and I’ll tell them I’m grateful to be able to truly get some rest and I’m not kidding when I say I’ve been working my butt off for several years now. I’m rather fortunate because even as a self-employed person, I don’t have many overheads to worry about, unlike the commercialized practitioners who are bleeding cash and are scrambling to maintain their revenue stream.

2. You’d Lose Respect For Me If I Bought Fake Social Media Following Or Lied About Myself

What I’ll say here is nothing new. A large majority of people need to stop being naive and it’s also time for the older generation to be a bit savvier.

If big MNCs, world-famous K-pop bands or Hollywood stars have millions of Likes on their social media pages, that’s perfectly normal. But if a practitioner has millions of Likes, I’m telling you the market out there isn’t big enough to have that many Likes on a social media page. A simple check on any social media analytics platform wills how that these followers are bought from places like India, Bangladesh just to name a few click-farms.

If I employed such methods to appear more credible or popular so that I stand to earn more, or I can get away with selling the same generic report online to every individual, I’d be disgusted with myself first before anyone else does. Not only will I be attracting the wrong kind of clients (which is why the said practitioner has to end up selling generic reports so as to avoid interaction), I’d probably deserve to burn in hell too.

I understand certain business tactics work, but I don’t agree one should use it just because it works even when it is tempting. It says a lot about the person employing such tactics. If they lack integrity, I can assure you they’ll lack competency as well. I want to make this clear that as displeased as I sound all the time, I don’t see these people as enemies because these are ultimately people that I am learning from, because I learn what not to do especially as a practitioner in this field.

Let’s not go into annual zodiac forecasts and feng shui items because I’ve already spoken about that countless times.

3. There’s Only So Much Garbage You Can Spin From The Fundamentals

You really don’t have to re-invent the wheel. If a heart-surgeon presented you with 12 ways to perform the surgery, gave you 12 options of how you wish to be cut open, or told you that each procedure needs to have a year unnecessarily spaced in between, would you be worried?

Let’s say for example that you’re a student of Chinese metaphysics and your fundamentals are extremely strong, you can do a lot of things on your own. Good material and books on Chinese metaphysics are all over the place, but the biggest roadblock is that it’s mostly written in Chinese and there are very few good English books on these topics around.

I’ve always found it interesting that instead of going into the history or fundamentals, people would rather keep paying every year to attend seminars that aren’t really teaching you much metaphysics-wise. Sure, you get some good advice on asking you to have good financial sense and to network, but isn’t this common sense?

It goes back to what I said above. If you have overheads to take care of, you’ll be forced to produce something to sell even if it’s garbage.

4. I’m Not Interested In Putting Up A ‘Show’

You’ll notice there’s this ‘trend’ of posing with your feng shui compass (luo pan) without even looking at it and posting endless motivational quotes on Facebook and Instagram. I can’t help but feel that it feels superficial and like we’re just putting up a show.

Motivational quotes are great. Photos of you working hard are, well, in my opinion, debatable depending on which field you’re in. I don’t need a surgeon to hold a scalpel and someone’s heart in his/her hands to convince me.

I understand. It’s marketing. I’m just saying it’s not my style because it feels pretentious and I don’t feel I need to extend my reach by using such methods.

5. Time Spent Hosting Seminars, Doing Videos And Selling Tickets Means Less Time Practicing And Accumulating Experience

I think the title of this section is self-explanatory and I think anyone in a highly specialized field can relate to what I’m saying.

6. There Are Some Occupations That Shouldn’t Be Scaled

There are a lot of professions where you cannot simply put up a job opening, recruit someone and expect someone to carry out their duties effectively. Imagine lawyers, dentists, surgeons doing that. Would you be comfortable going to their apprentices?

The same logic applies to Chinese metaphysics. There are some fields that are not meant to be scaled this way.

It’s easy to foresee what I’ll be able to ‘achieve’ if I hired and tried to train a group of people to do readings or consultations for me:

  • The quality of the reading will definitely go down. I affect my own reputation and I’ll probably ruin the career prospects of this person too by denying him/her the time to do something else.
  • The person getting the low-quality reading will definitely get harmed and hopefully he or she doesn’t end up making any disastrous decisions. I’ve seen it happen many times.
  • If the person I hired is really that good, he or she doesn’t need to be under me to pursue Chinese metaphysics as a profession. I’d be doing myself a disfavour and this has happened to other practitioners. If I wish to train someone to do readings, it’ll because I want the knowledge to be passed on.

There is basically no justifiable reason why I would want to train others to do consultations for me.

Perhaps to end the blog post on an uplifting note.

I still believe that one has the ability to change your life even if it’s beyond what your natal chart restricts you to. Liao Fan’s Four Lessons (了凡四训) is the best example of that, but few people have 了凡’s humility, fortitude, and patience. So the next time you want something, ask whether you’re the same as Liao Fan.

There’s a Chinese saying called 有求必应,meaning if you ask for it, it will be granted. You’ll find this in some Chinese classics. Most people forget the context of these four words and feel that as long as I wish for it hard enough and go to the temples enough, the gods and Heavens will grant it to me. Heavens, gods, and deities do not take bribes. You can’t trade a few buns, bananas and apples on the altar and expect to be blessed. Your intent also matters. If you’re asking for riches for the sake of asking for riches, then trust me, you will not get it.

There is nothing wrong with saying you’re not ready, or even that you’re good enough – yet. There’s nothing wrong being not good enough as long as you do something about it, but within your limits which your natal chart will hint of. I personally feel that it takes a lot of courage and wisdom to tell yourself something like that and it’s not foolish nor demeaning about it. The world out there sells positivity and confidence and there’s nothing wrong with that and it does help sometimes, but please always remember to be balanced because anything taken to the extreme will only backfire (物极必反)。Setbacks and challenges have their own ways of breaking down our ego such that real self-awareness arises, so don’t regret going through that setback if it’s already happened.

Stay safe and stay sane, everyone.

– Sean

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Sean Chan is Asia's leading Chinese metaphysics consultant specializing in BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and Feng Shui. A thought-leader in the field, Sean's been featured on Channel NewsAsia, The New York Times Style Magazine and other local media. He blogs regularly about various topics surrounding Chinese metaphysics and aims to educate the public about the field.

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2 Comments

  1. Luqfi Hendriq

    Hi Sean, thanks for the article.
    Can you share the video that you mentioned?

    Reply
  2. Esther

    Hi Sean, thanks for the insightful post.

    In terms of the negative elemental phases, are these periods regarded as negative due to (1) the bad decisions made by the chart holder in the past which led to the current circumstances, or (2) there are more obstacles (relative to a positive elemental phase) faced which are beyond the chart holder’s control eg. crisis caused by others or/and lack of opportunities?

    In addition, does transcending one’s chart mean that the individual has gained a better awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses and hence make better decisions which will lead him/her to get a different outcome in life?

    Reply

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