Hard Truths That Usually Aren’t Discussed In Chinese Metaphysics But Should

Posted On Last updated Jun 4, 2020 | Published on Nov 23, 2019

I think it’s one of those times where I need to put up a post to bring everyone back down to earth and share some very honest thoughts about this field I’m in, the complications it comes with and also how as a layman should be approaching Chinese metaphysics.

Chinese New Year comes early in 2020, and I’m seeing a spike of new clients who are eager to have their charts/fortunes read but, as usual, are not approaching this field with the right mindset. Time and again, I have to remind people that Chinese metaphysics cannot be seen as a mere tool to get your desires fulfilled. Yes, it is a “tool” which you can wield but just because you have some brief knowledge of metaphysics and access to a practitioner does not mean it’s happily ever after.

I’ve always taken the approach of self-empowerment and awareness when it comes to Chinese metaphysics because that is the most practical and relevant way anyone can apply this knowledge. Even though I’m a practitioner, it doesn’t mean my life is perfect and I have magical powers to let everything in my life go well. I too, need to work hard, watch over my health and deal with the challenges of the world in the most constructive way possible.

There’s a Chinese saying 「命中有时终须有,命中无时莫强求。」It means whatever is destined for you will eventually come, and whatever isn’t shouldn’t be forced.

As much as I advocate transcending charts and encourage people not to be bound by what their chart says, I don’t wish to overdo this, because I advocate balance as well and balance, as a theory, is inherent to this field. I’ve said this before, but the information you get from Chinese metaphysics can be extremely demoralizing and disappointing because more often than not, getting your chart read is a realization that “you are not good enough” or Heavens do not feel that you deserve something. It is a very cruel notion, but it’s important to accept that this belief is very much part of Chinese metaphysics. It’s something anyone should think about if they wish to get involved in this field. No practitioner likes telling someone “your chart’s not good enough to have this”, but any legitimate practitioner also knows this is the harsh reality.

I honestly have no idea why so many of the incumbent practitioners like to spin positivity into metaphysics to the point that it becomes misleading and delusional. It definitely sells better, but refusing to address some of these uncomfortable topics does end up causing more harm than good.

I wish to state categorically that It is not in our position as practitioners to determine what people deserve or don’t deserve – we do not have that kind of moral right or authority and the laws of Chinese metaphysics are not written by us. We are mere observers trying to convey what our ancestors have passed down. I guess what I wish to say is that there will come a point in a practitioner’s journey where they realize if a chart is not meant for something, it simply isn’t.

Everybody wants to be rich and comfortable; everybody wants to have a blissful marriage. But some of us go through our entire lives not being able to enjoy these.

Perhaps the ability to transcend one’s chart is already written in the chart itself and there are cases transcending charts just isn’t possible, but if that is so, does that not scare everyone into wanting to do something about it even more?

Before I proceed, and I’ve always made it a point to clarify this, whatever I say here are always targeted at the special select group of people who either toxic or are imbued with the special talent of constantly messing up their lives. It is never to invalidate other people’s suffering and I am referring to people who suffer from chronic/terminal/mental illnesses or disabilities. There are several topics and challenges in human life that cannot be adequately address through Chinese metaphysics. I wish those things did not exist and I do not have an answer to why they have to exist.

Your chart is a reflection of your karma, and you cannot blame anyone for it.

I really do not like saying such things and bringing in the concept of karma always feels very defeatist as though we have to surrender to it. And secondly, as I’ve always said, I am no one to be talking about such topics.

The reason why I keep advocating transcending charts through self-awareness and cultivation is because, as weird as it sounds, sometimes it’s the struggle that gives life meaning. There is a deep sense of satisfaction that comes from growth that you cannot find from simply getting whatever you wish for. Philosophers from the past have long debated about what is the purpose of suffering and what to do with it.

If we take on a defeatist attitude and blame everything on karma and refuse to do something about it, then, of course, one’s life would be nothing more than endless suffering. You won’t need your soul to end up in hell to experience what hell is like – your life will be hell on earth.

Everyone knows by now how much I dislike dealing with Category 4 people because of how toxic and draining they can be. They feed on other people’s negativity and the only way they can feel better about themselves is when they see other people suffering too. You will only find Category 4 people hanging around with other Category 4 people – it’s natural law and you can observe this in nature and other organisms as well. To you find flora and fauna growing in a swamp? You don’t. You only find putrid water and things that thrive in filth, unfavourable conditions. I know most people are unable to fathom the notion of being able to tell someone’s character just from their birthday and time, but again, I want people to know that metaphysics is still relevant and you really can tell a lot of things.

It is never about ‘luck’. Most people fail to realize that a lot of the tough times (not all) they go through are brought on by themselves and I really do not understand why it’s so hard to understand that. Are we all that prideful and arrogant to not look inwards first?

Category 4 people don’t seem to get it, so let me spell it out for you:

  • If you’re not in a job that you like or paying you well, then perhaps ask yourself if you deserve a high paying job in the first place. When was the last time you even picked up a book or newspaper and got curious about the world around you? The world will change without you – it’s up to you to adapt to it and have something to offer. You being left behind is your own fault. If you are someone deserving of what you think you are deserving of, then nothing will stand in your way.
  • If your marriage fails, stop blaming your partner. You are the one who picked this partner for Heavens knows what reason. If you got into a relationship or marriage because it’s just something society wants you to do, or because you’re afraid to be lonely and you need someone to make you feel whole, then, of course, it’s quite likely it will fail. If the relationship failing is not your fault and your conscience is clear, you will have no problem moving on and finding someone better – and you should. No one is asking you to cling on to that unhappy and toxic relationship. You’re just too afraid to let go and be faced with being alone or unloved again. You do not know how to be happy on your own.
  • If you want your children to grow up to be capable and filial, then please just look at yourself first. It is your genes, your karma and you’re the parent. Going to a practitioner to choose a c-section date does not guarantee you a good child. Genuine practitioners give you a shot at it, but at the end of the day, the laws that govern metaphysics will prevail. If Heavens feel that you do not deserve a good child, you will not get a good child.
  • Lastly, there are your serial criminals and people just out to wreak havoc in society. Sometimes they even mask themselves as a white-knight when all they are doing is causing more trouble.

Bad charts exist and we need to accept that. As for why they have to exist – it’s not something I can or have the right to answer.

There are some things that are out of your control, but again, you cannot blame anyone for it.

I’m referring to the majority of able-bodied and able-minded people who, quite frankly, have no excuse.

Perhaps I’ve not said this enough, or it may be that I didn’t make it clear enough. If you do not believe in karma, be it past life or present life, then don’t touch metaphysics at all and go live a free-spirited life. Don’t touch metaphysics and then pretend that karma doesn’t exist. I know it seems unfair that some of us have it tough and some of us have it easy, but again, that’s life. People with good lives probably did something in their past lives to deserve it. Not all of us are born into good families and had the same opportunities, tough, but we need to stop blaming the world and society for it.

The fact that Chinese metaphysics or any form of astrology can tell so many things just based on someone’s birthday and time is reason enough to believe karma exists because there is a cycle and set of laws that we are all bound to. Chinese metaphysics is nothing but a study of cause-and-effect and you will always be part of the cause-and-effect chain.

If you have a bad chart, learn to deal with it for your own sake as well as everyone else’s, if not, life will make sure it keeps throwing you lessons till your ego breaks down enough to start learning. People can understand if you are a teenager or young adult who still has some past issues to resolve – it takes time to heal. But there comes a point where you need to get your act together, see yourself as the root cause of the issues and actually grow from the setbacks instead of sinking deeper.

Stop romanticizing Chinese metaphysics.

Romanticizing Chinese metaphysics isn’t helping anyone, and we have the media and culture of superstition to blame for it. The things that you read on the internet and in the forums in an attempt to analyze your own chart and shortcut your way to success are all meaningless unless you’re able to appreciate our ancestors’ intent in developing this field in the first place.

The same goes for courses conducted by any practitioner – mine included. Just because you attend a few courses doesn’t mean your life is going to be on an uptrend and it does not give you an edge. A superficial understanding of metaphysics from a few courses isn’t going to do anything for you. Even if you do find a practitioner who is willing to teach you everything, it doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to apply the knowledge effectively, especially if your intent is wrong. But trust me, you will not find a practitioner who will teach you everything, because we will know if you are meant for this field, and if you are, you won’t even need anyone to teach you.

If you are not ready to look in the mirror and take a hard look at yourself, then don’t touch metaphysics. It doesn’t matter how fascinated or interested you are with it. The knowledge and effective application of this field of knowledge will always be locked away from people who don’t deserve it.

Stop trying to ‘game’ life using Chinese metaphysics and feng shui.

Our charts are interconnected and I’ve spoken about this before in many of my posts:

On Love, Marriage & Spouses Who Bring ‘Good Luck’ – A BaZi & Zi Wei Dou Shu Perspective

Your Astrological Chart (BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu) & House Feng Shui Are Interconnected

Why Your Marriage, Wealth And Success Are Interconnected In BaZi (八字)

I’ve tried countless times to tell people that you need to see everything as interconnected no matter how insignificant they may seem. One seemingly unrelated aspect of your life can have a profound impact on another, and just because you don’t feel it immediately does not mean its impact won’t be there.

If your chart indicates that you are not going to get a good spouse, you will not be able to find one even if there was a practitioner personally screening and filtering everyone for you. If your chart shows that you are a slothful, morally corrupt, incorrigible and self-entitled person, there is no way Chinese metaphysics will be able to help you get a supportive, virtuous partner because you will be the number one thing they will avoid. Life and karma cannot be ‘gamed’ that way. Do I need to constantly inject common sense into delusional people and spell this out every time?

It doesn’t just apply to romantic partners. You cannot ‘game’ any aspect of your life.

If your chart indicates that you will not get a good child, it doesn’t mean that you can change this just because you approached me or another practitioner to get a good c-section date. Something will happen along the way to mess things up for you and I’ve had so many clients who didn’t get the date they want eventually, either because they went to the ‘wrong practitioner’, the doctor wasn’t available, the mother went into labour early, their in-laws interfered or it could be because they simply did not trust me or the process. I also can’t pick an auspicious date for you to send in an application for the 5-figure salary job and suddenly turn you into a high-income earner.

If your foundation isn’t there, it just isn’t and metaphysics can’t do anything about it. This is probably the reason for the saying 「命中有时终须有,命中无时莫强求。」Metaphysics is a study of laws, patterns, and cycles, which is why time and again practitioners can get things right about your life and future. If the cycle that describes your life and chart is of disintegration, rot, or imbalance, there is nothing in the power of the universe that can alter these laws. Withering flowers don’t bloom. If you feel I’m making this up, then perhaps ask yourself why there are the 12 Stages of Life & Death (十二长生) in metaphysics. Why does the strength of a Stem dwindle and perish when it reaches a certain Branch and why are balanced charts considered high-quality ones?

Stop trying to ‘game’ things. If your biggest roadblock to your success – and forgive me for being politically incorrect – is raw intelligence or cognitive ability, wearing a jadeite ring isn’t going to turn you smarter overnight. Self-confidence and faith in yourself will slowly bring you there and you don’t need to buy a $5,000 ring for that. Use that money and buy some books and buy coffee for a mentor you look up to instead.

Again, you cannot ‘game’ life that way and a practitioner is not here to solve your problems. We will do our best to offer a new perspective, but it is not our job to solve your problems. Your foundation and what you do for your own foundation is what matters at the end of the day. 

Stop believing in the advertisements of people saying how a ring turned their lives around. They are but one person who is probably paid to say good things. Think about the hundreds or even thousands who ended up poorer and suffering more.

Has anyone ever stopped to question whether a person with a weak, low-quality chart was ever meant to benefit from metaphysics in the first place? Even if they try to self-study it, they will end up wielding it wrongly and end up in more trouble – I’ve witnessed this countless times. Also, no legit practitioner will want to support or advise someone with a weak, low-quality chart because it is a complete waste of time.

I would choose to work with or even for someone with a Category 1 chart any time and would rather hang myself than to work with someone with a Category 4 chart. If you think that is arrogant or ‘inhumanely practical’, then please remember the legendary figure, Zhu Ge Liang (诸葛亮), from the Three Kingdoms period chose Liu Bei (刘备) who was the weakest at that point over the other two choices for a good reason. You would do the same.

We might not get what we desire at the end of the day – just try anyway.

We all desire the same thing – blissful marriage, wealth, health – you name it.

I can tell you empirically that a lot of people think they are trying but in reality, they are not.

Let’s not talk about who deserves or who doesn’t and whether we will get it at the end of the day. If there is something you want, please just go ahead and try, and when I say “try”, I really do mean doing something about it in a balanced, wise and practical manner. Don’t charge forward like an idiot without thinking – I’m speaking from experience. Don’t make excuses either. Just because you are tired at the end of the workday doesn’t mean you are trying.

The moment we stop trying, everything loses its meaning.

Having a tough life doesn’t give you the right to take it out on others or the world.

I’m not saying everyone needs to be perfect. I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot of flaws. I can be very impatient and I can be a very harsh person when it comes to certain kinds of people.

I was brought up a Buddhist, and I often to the temple at Waterloo street to pray to the Goddess of Mercy (观音)。I was having a chat with my wife one day and told her I’ve always wondered why that no mattered how much I prayed in the past, I still had to go through so much nonsense. I grew up believing that deities and goddesses suppose to help people, but yet, at that stage in my life, I did not feel like I got any help.

The above is the hate email my own mother sent to me, saying that her life’s purpose is to destroy me and that she should have killed me when I was a baby, and bear in mind she treated me this way since I was 6. She can’t stand the sight of me doing well now.

I’m not trying to make this blog post about me, but if you think you’ve had it tough, I’d urge you to think again. The next time you wish to cry or whine like a petulant child, please remember there are many others out there who have it tougher than you. You can blame others or the universe all you wish, but trust me, at the end of the day, you’re on your own. No one will bother helping you if you have that kind of self-destructive mindset.

You can imagine how difficult it was growing up and what it did to my self-confidence and development. I could have completely gone down the wrong path and I almost did. Should I blame the world or someone for being born with a narcissistic, abusive mother? Would it change anything? There were some really bad things written in my chart and I was dealt a bad hand too, but I do not intend to screw up my own life just because it was fated that I’ll have less-than-ideal parents.

The saying that “everything happens for a reason” is not as cliché as you think. I never understood why I had to suffer so much growing up – but I understand now. There was a time I took it out on the world, although not intentionally. Then there came a time that I acknowledged I had issues and I was not good enough in many ways and I did what I could to turn my suffering into something meaningful. I also hope everyone understands what I share in my blog is not nonsense I conjured up and that it gives some idea of why I feel so strongly about certain things. I’m sharing whatever I’ve experienced throughout my life not just as a layman and normal human being with his own set of struggles, but also as a practitioner.

There is a reason why I said your 10-year Elemental Phases (大运) is not just about your environment, but it can also be about your mindset because the toxic people are the ones that a practitioner will constantly see undergoing negative 10-year phases. It is not about “luck”. It’s about what you’re putting out there in the world.

I am not invalidating anyone’s suffering or struggles, but how we deal with them does matter. I know the pace of life here in Singapore is fast, but it really pays to have some time for yourself, sit down, and just think about things instead of just being a walking ball of anger.

The last thing I want is to mislead people. Whatever I share here in my blog is not perfect. If you are interested in this field, you need to be reading a lot more than just what my blog is providing. What’s written here are just my opinions and perspectives which you don’t have to agree with, but I hope it at least gives you a new perspective and gets you thinking.

I know I keep speaking of transcending charts and doing better than what the chart says, but if I were to give a statistical representation, less than 0.06% (it’s not even a full percentage point) of the people are able to do it. I’ve clocked 1,600+ chart readings now, and only 1 person has baffled me so far and this person is a spiritual person in the social work field. Not that this person is toxic, but something is different and you can feel it.

My definition of a Category 4 person means they are toxic and toxicity can manifest in many forms. Let’s just assume it’s undesirable qualities of a human being and leave it at that.

To date, I have not met a single Category 4 person who has shown me that he or she is otherwise. Not a single Category 4 person has shown me that he or she can be something more. They are exactly the way the books described them to be. They remain toxic, slothful, self-absorbed and will not hesitate to gain at other people’s expense, and yet, they have the audacity to claim the moral high ground and blame everyone else for their miseries.

I’m not saying we should become a society where we don’t practice kindness and compassion, but I’ve always believed there is a right way of executing and exercising kindness and compassion. Books like 《了凡四训》discusses this notion as well. If you help the wrong people or you do it the wrong way, you are harming others. This is also another way of telling the Category 4 people to get your crap together, if not, don’t blame anyone for not wanting to help you, or why you don’t have any benefactors.

Chinese metaphysics is best practiced with some common sense.

– Sean

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Written by Sean Chan

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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