Why Is The Concept Of Balance So Important In Chinese Metaphysics?

Posted On Last updated Apr 7, 2021 | Published on Apr 2, 2021

Hello! Did anybody miss me?

I think this is the longest I’ve ‘disappeared’ for. It’s been almost two months since my previous blog post. Part of the reason why I’ve not been blogging as much as the volume of consultations I’m receiving did not actually go down after the Chinese New Year peak period.

I am still rather overwhelmed.

BaZi consultations have gone down a little but it is still higher on average compared to last year. Feng shui audits and other services like date and name selection have gone up as things are returning back to normal. People are planning for wedding banquets, houses are also being completed, and I guess people were also making babies in 2020.

I’m working a lot harder this year due to the increase in volume but it also means I’m a lot stricter with some of the rules I’ve drawn out. What this means is that I’ve been rejecting a lot more cases and voiding a lot more Q&As. Q&As are not crash courses for Chinese metaphysics or for you to spam questions for the sake of it, mind you. I’m actually quite tempted to raise my fees to manage the volume, but I don’t wish to price the people who really want to get something out of the reading, especially the younger folks.

I’m honestly at the point where finding something to write about can be a bit of a struggle. I’ve already penned down what I feel most passionate about and what I feel is most important for laypeople to know. These articles I’ve written in the past few years laid the foundation for my career as a practitioner and a lot of them are deemed “Must Reads” before anyone wants to come for a consultation.

The Source Of Inspiration Recently

The sources of my inspiration for my blog posts usually stem from some event or strong emotional trigger. My best posts are usually written when I’m in such a state and I guess this is the default for any form of creative output.

A really interesting case fell on my lap recently and it’s yet another one that ended up not just on local but on foreign media as well. If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, please refer to the news article here: https://www.straitstimes.com/business/companies-markets/luxury-cars-of-envy-director-in-alleged-1-billion-fraud-seized-by-police

Before anyone jumps to conclusions, the director mentioned in the news article was not my client. I thank the Heavens that people like him don’t end up engaging me and, quite frankly, I would rather not serve such individuals as well because I don’t think they deserve any help in the form of Chinese metaphysics. I can’t help but still wonder though if things would have been different if these individuals came for a reading and got a heads up or warning beforehand. Would they actually listen, or are they too full of themselves to care? For ease of typing, I will address him as “Nickel Sage” in this post because I thought of Nicholas Cage for some reason.

It’s my personal belief that it takes a high level of affinity to not just get in touch with Chinese metaphysics but to also use them the right way with or without the guidance of a practitioner. I know this makes me sound like I’m putting myself on a pedestal, but the kind of practitioner you end up with can be seen as fated, which is why I really don’t bother with advertising because I know deep down whoever will cross paths with me, will cross paths with me. The ones who can’t think will always end up with practitioners who can only peddle items.

The reason why the above news article struck a chord with me is because I have been cheated before too so things get a little personal for me. I was young, fresh out of university, and the real world made me realize there are narcissistic, malicious, and vile people out there.

For the longest time, I too kept wondering why such people had to exist. I spoke about why such people have to exist in my blog post on Donald Trump and his BaZi. Such people are ‘cosmic fertilizers’ and they represent the filth required in the grand scheme of things to help the universe grow, just like how everything needs some form of nourishment (or fertilizer) to grow.

Charts of people like Nickel Sage are always “imbalanced” to put it in a very technical manner, but what I am trying to explore here is why this imbalance leads to these manifestations.

One Of My Clients Invested In The Said ‘Fund’

The story goes that an old client of mine invested in the nickel trading fund and came to me last December with the intention of screening the Nickel Sage’s BaZi. Suspicions arose although it wasn’t revealed to me from what but I’m guessing it was due to the lavish lifestyle led by him.

For some reason, Nickel Sage gave my client his exact birth time most likely as an act of gaining trust, without knowing what Chinese metaphysics is capable of telling.

You can find snippets of my conversation with my client below:

Old client coming back with his concerns
The Q&A segment after the BaZi report

Nickel Sage’s BaZi chart is definitely considered one of the more interesting ones I’ve seen and would make for an excellent case study, but I won’t make this blog post about that for now. We’ll leave that for another technical post in future.

Understanding why and how things happened on an intellectual level isn’t difficult. Most people who have been on my blog long enough know that a person’s character and these life events can be seen from the charts. As I always say, it’s just another BaZi chart waiting to be deciphered, followed by statements of what is likely to unfold. It’s always the “why” that makes things hard to accept. It comes back to the questions of “why do these people need to exist”? These are the questions that urge us to go into the depths of Chinese metaphysics, to make sense of why cosmic garbage exists.

Perhaps to put things another way: Why do people with such charts behave in such a predictable manner? Why do they choose to do what they do and why are the charts able to paint such a precise picture of this?

What Is The Definition Of A Bad BaZi Chart?

As much as I know the act of comparing can cause most people to scoff, it is sometimes through comparing and understanding the dichotomy that exists that we get our insights and appreciate the laws at work. It’s just that whenever it comes to BaZi, we are talking about the lives of others, so it usually gets a bit more sensitive especially if one were to champion ‘social justice’.

It’s safe to say that people who cheat or can only cause harm to their environment and people around them would have your so-called “bad” BaZi charts. In my years of writing, to date, one of my most well-received blog posts is still this:

It was written out of sheer frustration of the entire industry – not just at practitioners but also clients who have made Chinese metaphysics appear as some joke or insult to human intelligence. Read it if you haven’t already and you’ll understand.

As I revisit my older post, I realized I did not address what exactly is the definition of a “bad BaZi chart”? I actually have no straightforward answer to this. The definition of “bad” in the context of the “Good Chart Vs Bad Chart” post is one with a toxic mindset, but that’s really just one way of looking at it.

“Bad” can manifest in many forms:

  • You can be extremely wealthy but you’re in such weak health that you don’t get to enjoy your wealth.
  • You can have a successful business, but you feel burdened by the business and you aren’t actually happy.
  • You have all the money in the world, but what you lack and crave is a good companion to spend the rest of your life with.
  • You’re married to a great person, but both of you are struggling financially and cannot live the lives you want.
  • Or worst, you basically don’t have any of the above.

There is something “bad” in every case above. After we talk about what’s “bad”, we can also go into the severity of it. A few people can be in the same situation, but the degree of severity may vary but let’s not digress.

What I am trying to explore, or get people to think about, is the notion of what “bad” implies. I’ve not come across any book that specially focuses on the topic of auspiciousness and inauspiciousness although the Book of Change (易经) does explore the notion and what it means.

You’ll often hear of the terms 吉吝凶悔 (jí lìn xiōng huǐ) or 元亨利贞 (yuán hēnglì zhēn). The more relevant terms to focus on in the context of this post would be 吉吝凶悔。 吉 means auspicious; 凶 means inauspicious. 吝 and 悔 are in between these two extremes. These four characters, like the 4 seasons, represent the beginning and end of something. Auspiciousness and inauspiciousness is also a process and it is not an arbitrary event that is stuck in time. To explain 吉吝凶悔 in the simplest way possible: One gets what they want (吉), gets complacent (吝), starts to make mistakes and invites trouble, (凶), and finally regrets his/her decisions (悔), paving the path back to auspiciousness (吉)。On and on it goes. When you do a divination using the 64 Hexagrams, it’s basically describing this process of 吉吝凶悔。

These are rather deep topics that I won’t go into detail for now, but if you’re interested, please Google them. I will write about them another time.

Why I Wish To Talk About Balance

You will always, always hear me talk about balance. It’s inseparable from Chinese metaphysics.

It’s a simple notion that most people don’t give any thought to. To me, it’s a pity, because I really feel it is an important step to making better decisions and getting a better life. And as I said time and again, a better life does not simply just mean greater wealth or a higher title especially when other aspects of your life are lacking. We do not just look at one aspect of life and jump to a conclusion of what’s “good” or “bad”.

I’ll sometimes meet extremely obnoxious clients who like to flaunt their wealth or titles as a trophy as though that’s all there is to life. Some of them even have the audacity to talk down to me like I am some lesser-being (oh the nerve!). Let me be clear: I am the last person on earth who cares about your wealth and title by virtue of me being a practitioner. If I feel money and high title are the be all and end all of a good life, then I do not deserve to be a practitioner.

These obnoxious clients are often the ones who are lonely, have multiple divorces, and have such bad relations with others that everyone around them won’t hesitate to stab their backs when the chance arises. Trust me, you wouldn’t want their lives. Some of the wealthiest clients I’ve met have some of the crappiest charts I’ve seen and it’s an extremely interesting notion, won’t you say? Does it not make you want to question or explore what the definition of a good life is?

There’s no Chinese classic that explicitly says that a balanced life is a good life, although it can be implied. Self-help books didn’t exactly exist in the past as I reckon our ancestors had more faith in humanity than I do. Let’s assume that balance really is indeed a prerequisite to a good life, then we must naturally assume that balance encompasses everything. Intuitively, that makes sense. Let’s give a few examples:

  • Person A is so obsessed with career and money that their whole lives just become about that. Their healths are going downhill, their wives left them, and no one at work likes them. Their lives aren’t actually theirs.
  • Person B is so obsessed with love that they cease to function or are incapable of having a direction in life without being in a relationship. Everything they do is to make sure they fill the void within them. Work, having a passion, are all under the guise of wanting to impress the opposite gender.
  • Person C is so full of him/herself that nothing gets to them and their misplaced sense of grandiose makes them enemies everywhere. Annoying person, I know.
  • Person D is someone who doesn’t value his or her own importance and constantly lets his/her family and/or spouse abuse him/her. They don’t move on no matter how much you tell them to. Also an annoying person, but for a different reason.

You might find yourself thinking that “It doesn’t need to be this way.” And it’s true – it doesn’t. But not many people are aware of these imbalances, let alone be willing to do something about it. It’s funny because sometimes, we are the ones who are more peeved by the imbalances of their lives than they are.

From a strictly theoretical perspective: It’s not wrong to say that severely imbalanced BaZi charts are the ones that are deemed more challenging. When a bad phase or year hits them, it is by virtue of their very imbalanced natal chart that the events manifest a lot more differently compared to someone with a more balanced chart. You’ll realize that the way people with severely imbalanced charts think tends to lean towards the extreme, or too polarizing, and it is their way of being causes events to manifest in a more severe form. Being too full of yourself invites trouble, but valuing yourself too little also does.

It’s really hard for me to define for everyone what a balanced life or state is because it can be applied to everything and the permutations are endless. What I can define for sure though, is that imbalance, when left unaddressed or taken to the extreme, will become detrimental to someone’s well-being. The heartening thing to know is that setbacks make people realize where these imbalances lie and they move on to address them. As they grow and learn the lessons, they find balance not just from different aspects of their lives but within themselves as well.

What does it actually mean whenever I say you move into a better 10-year phase? It simply means your chart is becoming more balanced. When your chart is balanced, it also means you are a more balanced individual. You might suddenly become aware that you’re not as good as you think and that you need to respect why the world has to work in a certain way, or you might suddenly realize your own worth and start protecting yourself.

The proliferation of Chinese metaphysics in a watered-down, superficial form has churned out generations of people who are no longer interested in critical thinking or exploring these topics deeper. Chinese metaphysics is marketed by most practitioners as a tool for one to look inwards, but the truth is this doesn’t actually happen. People are taught a linear equation and assume that the application of these linear equations will resolve their life’s problems. There is nothing linear about life. Hobbyists jump into BaZi without thinking about the underlying principles and apply them blindly or superficially. Hobbyists are taught to resolve their problems using Chinese metaphysics by pouncing on them as opposed to taking a step back and examining which aspects of our lives are causing an imbalance.

Most people view Chinese metaphysics as a tool for them to get whatever they want. They don’t actually see it as a tool to guide them towards balance – to make up for what’s lacking or tone down on what’s being overdone. Chinese metaphysics is not about ‘life hacks’. Life is not that simple for you to hack it this way.

Two Sides Of The Same Coin: Bad Is Good; Good Is Bad

The thing about Chinese metaphysics is that its concepts and philosophies cannot be understood like it’s straight-line or a black-and-white issue.

I’ve said this before time and again. Reality exists as a duality. That is Yin and Yang and this is what our ancestors believed. But this duality is also constantly interacting with each other. As Yin or Yang strengthen, the extremes of Yin and Yang also lead to the birth of the other. It’s just like how the sun has to set once it’s reached the highest point in the sky and coldness starts to set in. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

From a BaZi perspective: Our chart reflects these laws, and the changes in Yin and Yang and the chart’s balance is best shown through the different 10-year phases (大运) we go through. The 10-year phases basically show us how our natal charts change because 10-year phases are derived from the natal chart. Bad phases will always precede good ones and good phases will always precede bad ones. You have to go through a bad phase before a good one comes, there is no escaping this, but it is also because you did go through a bad phase that you deserve a good one that’s coming. With that in mind, are the bad phases really that bad then? Because it is a prerequisite for a good phase. The above is the reason why we always hear people say that they would not have been successful if not for the tough time they’ve gone through. That is nature’s law playing out right there.

People often see things in a very dichotomized matter. Good is good, and will always remain good; bad will always remain bad. But is it really?

  • An influencer’s millions of followers may be the reason for his or her success, but it is also a public relations time-bomb waiting to happen.
  • A person striking the lottery may suddenly be financially well off, but will suddenly realize that he or she may not have as many friends and they think.
  • Students may graduate with perfect grades from school, only to realize he or she can’t deal with failure or rejection well and the real world turns hostile on a person who can only fall back on their perfect grades.
  • Nickel Sage may have found a really good way of making money, but it is also because of it that he’s probably going to end up in jail.

There is a polar opposite to anything and everything. The passage of time alters the state of things. That’s just life. It’s not about wanting to be optimistic or pessimistic for the sake of it. One’s success can eventually lead to their failure; one’s failure can eventually lead to their success. These laws are written in your BaZi chart and these are the stories that your 10-year phases paint. Such concepts usually make rationalists or intellectuals roll their eyes a little until life hits them so hard with something that they realize what the Chinese sages passed down makes sense.

I’ve not met many people in my life that choose to view life in a non-dichotomized way. We pursue our desires blindly without reminding ourselves that everything has a polar opposite and consequence. The person who got a promotion is suddenly regretting it; the married person is suddenly missing singlehood; the wealthy person is halfway to the grave.

Personally, I try to view life in a non-dichotomized way. I try my best not to let positive things get to my head, and similarly, I try not to let negative things get to me as well. I treat my life as a never-ending act of balancing different things. Nothing is unimportant, but nothing is also so important to the extent that I get obsessed and lose myself for it.

In case it needs explicit mentioning, me not taking up certain cases and forgoing that extra bit of money earned is also a way for me to achieve my own form of balance because the last thing I want is for toxic imbeciles to take away the joy of what I’m doing. I really rather earn less, but always have the right clients to serve.

Dichotomy & Imbalance In Real Life

I’m at the age where I’m starting to see the lives of my peers go in directions completely unexpected. Their stories put things into perspective.

It’s extremely heartening to see that a lot of my peers who did not do well in school doing extremely well now. The country’s education system did not suit them and the future seemed bleak, but these are the people who were given the perfect opportunity to forge their own path and they are leading the most envious lives now. They have a job they love and a beautiful family. Was not doing well in school a “good” thing for them? Paradoxically, I’m pretty sure not doing well in school was the best thing that happened to this group of people because it set up the right opportunities and environment for them to do things differently.

On the flip-side, some of the people I know who did perfectly in school are leading the most miserable lives now. The irony. These are the people whom everyone thought were destined to do well, but these are also the ones who suddenly find themselves suffering from depression, with an abusive spouse, and stuck in a job they do not enjoy. When I say “stuck”, they are really indeed stuck because they have no choice but to rely on a company for survival. My friends who did not do well in school all came out with hard skills that they can monetize anytime, anywhere and they are actually more financially secure. The academically brilliant ones are surprisingly those who won’t survive if left to their own.

Life does get a bit complicated because some of the imbalances are not caused by what’s happening at the present moment, but it also stems from what things were like before. Failing at academics being a blessing and being perfect at academics being a curse is a notion not many people can accept. It’s an unconventional way of viewing the world. Thinking that academics guarantees success is linear thinking; thinking that academics can result in both one’s success and failure is balanced thinking.

Again, like I said, the concept of balance can be applied anywhere and eveywhere.

Let’s come back to what everyone can relate better with, which is our own personal lives.

My friends and clients do end up in abusive marriages. Most of them refuse to remove themselves from the abusive marriage and the reason behind that is often due to personal and/or religious ideals. For these ideals, they are willing to continue to tolerate the abuse in hopes that their spouses will be inspired to change someday. There is nothing wrong with this and it is arguably the “right” thing to do depending on the narrative you take. On the flip side, wanting to leave an abusive spouse and focus on one’s life is also arguably the “right” thing to do.

It begs the question. What is the truly right thing to do here? There is no clear-cut answer and there never will be. We can’t punish someone because he or she wants to be loyal or pious. Neither can we punish someone for wanting to protect themselves and act from self-interest. To most, the middle ground is unacceptable because it implies not having a clear stand, and not having a clear stand sometimes implies weakness in character. But is it really? Who decided that it was so? Few people realize it takes a lot of courage and humility to accept a middle ground.

Instead of asking ourselves what is the “right” thing to do, perhaps we can ask ourselves what is the “balanced” thing to do when we’re put in difficult situations.

Using the example of the abusive husband: Why is it that the Spouse Element is only considered a beneficial element when the Daymaster is strong? Because the Daymaster, representing the chart-holder or female in this case, needs to meet the Spouse Element at an equal level and strength. Neither element overwhelms the other. That’s how a strong, meaningful relationship is formed because opposing elements appearing in a balanced manner will bring out the best in both elements.

Before anyone starts panicking about their lives being imbalanced, please be aware of the state of imbalance is normal and intrinsic. It is everywhere. It’s the severity of the imbalance that gets to us. It will always be part of reality and this is why we have even have the Later Heaven 8 Trigrams (后天八卦) to symbolize this.

People with challenging charts are the people who keep exacerbating the imbalance in their lives, whereas those with better charts or those with positive phases are those who actively seek balance.

Most Common Form Of Imbalances I’ve Seen

Life is always about us versus the world out there. We have no choice but to engage with our environment and the circumstances we’re put into. It’s a balancing out between what we want and what the world is ready to give us. Sometimes, it’s what the world throws at us and how much we’re willing to fight back. It’s through the endless state of attrition between us and the environment that moulds us into what we are.

Imbalances always show up in the person’s attitude, the way they deal with things, and essentially certain kinds of behaviour. This is what gives Chinese metaphysics its ability to assess someone’s character, their disposition, and how things unfold.

I will lay out an extremely simple example. Again, this is nothing new. I’ve spoken about this before but perhaps not from an angle of balance:

Time and again, I hear from clients that they want to be rich, but they have done absolutely nothing to strive for that. These are the people who just drift from job to job and it’s only after a decade that they realize that the real world out there is not what they think it is. They realize they are still struggling. Most of the time, these are the people who just ‘drift’. Life is nothing more than just working for that next paycheque. They do not take risks, they do not upgrade themselves. The imbalance here comes from the lack of engagement in one’s life. The fact that someone started something out of nothing means you could have done it too, but you chose not to and you gave the opportunity to someone else. No doubt, everybody works hard, but some people took that lept of faith to work hard in other areas – just not in someone else’s office.

I’ll give another example that always makes me roll my eyes: Some of my really desperate male clients who are looking for a romantic partner will always be told (by some other practitioner of course) that the year the Spouse Element appears is the year they’ll find their partner. This is most often wrong because it’s not merely about whether the Spouse Element appears. Suppose the Spouse Element appears in a weak Daymaster chart, it doesn’t actually mean someone will appear because a weak Daymaster, despite having Spouse Elements appearing, means you’re not ready to meet it at the same level and ‘acquire’ it. There is an imbalance there. What does this mean in real life? It actually means no sane female wants to be with a male who doesn’t treat his life and career seriously. Why should they?

On wealth and getting rich: Why is it that the Wealth Element in BaZi is only considered a beneficial element only when your Daymaster, which represents you, is strong? Is that not a reflection of two forces requiring balance? Why is it that the Wealth Element is represented by the element you control (我克为财) – Wood is Metal’s wealth; Metal is Fire’s wealth; Water is Earth’s wealth. Wood is useless unless chopped and carved into something usable. The same can be said for Metal – you need Fire to forge it into something useful. Water cannot be used if you don’t have Earth to hold it. The creation of wealth is symbolic of someone creating something out of their environment. You take something and make it better and you have to meet it with the same amount of force.

You might think you’re some big shot as a management consultant or investment banker, but someone out there is selling pork and vegetables and having a life most can only dream of. It doesn’t matter where you are – it’s really what you doing in your set of current circumstances that defines wealth.

Whatever we read in BaZi, there is a reason and deep meaning behind it. The Chinese sages did not come up with all these theories arbitrarily or just because it is convenient.

Everyone and I really mean everyone, is given a chance to do something and a chance at wealth, but I can assure you that many people don’t do anything about it. The imbalance here is caused by the individual him/herself. Wealth is out there for you to take, but most people are not ready for it and cannot meet the opportunities out there with equal force. The opposite is also true where someone overestimates their abilities and try to overpower or dominate the opportunities out there which sometimes doesn’t even exist. A good spouse is also out there for you to find, but please learn to be responsible for your own life first.

In the case of the Nickel Sage: The imbalance here was caused by him taking what is not supposed to be his. It is a reflection of his overly strong Daymaster with the Wealth Element is being excessively controlled or harmed. There is no doubt about his abilities as a person because surely, only an intelligent person can pull off what he did, but he took from where he shouldn’t have. He was taking without creating anything, and this is a perfect example of 不符合易理 or going against nature’s laws. Alas, nature took everything back.

Some Imbalances Are Harder To Deal With

I’m not saying that everything is now happily ever after now that we have an idea why balance is important. Some of the imbalances in our lives are, at times, extremely hard to deal with or out of our control.

Some might be born with a hereditary disease, others may be born into a less-privileged family. Life seems unfair and I get it. But these are questions that even practitioners cannot answer. The only thing that’s left to do is to play the hand we’re dealt with to the best of our ability.

Certain acts of balancing one’s life require recognizing harsh truths. When I say harsh, I really do mean harsh. Your family may not be the people you can rely on; your spouse doesn’t actually love you; you’re not as good as you think you are. Regardless, we still have to address them because that’s just life.

How Do We Deal With Imbalance?

Embrace it – because you have no choice. You will also need to dig deep to understand where these imbalances come from, and when you do, try to also understand and appreciate why it has to exist. Recognize that there are always two sides to every single thing. Next, take small steps and be patient.

If you can, have fun with it even, because sometimes getting balance back into your life is telling your parents to grow a brain and shut the hell up. It is for me, at least. But of course, it will not feel fun at the start – I can assure you of that. For others. getting balance back into your life might sometimes be dumping your toxic partner and throwing a party afterwards. If you’ve ever had a moment where a decision you made brought you lasting peace of mind and happiness, then you’ll understand what I mean about your life getting back in balance. This, however, takes time.

Sometimes, the solution to finding balance comes from unexpected areas. To give a few examples gathered from my own life experience, most people would never think of their health as being the most critical factor in achieving wealth. Without good health, you will never, ever feel inspired. To me, spending time alone is sometimes more valuable than networking and mindlessly building shallow relationships.

Imbalances can come from everywhere and anywhere. To me, the vicissitudes of life are the universe’s attempts to get everything into a balanced state but the irony is that this balanced state can never be achieved. The paradox behind this irony (is there even such a thing?) is that reality would not even exist without a state of imbalance. Nature’s laws are an infinite loop of an imbalanced state trying to find a balanced state but never will.

The theory behind Chinese metaphysics describes that the state of imbalance is always trying to find itself back into a balanced state. The Later Heaven Trigrams is always trying to get into the state described in the Early Heaven Trigrams. Most people don’t realize that the way the Early Heaven Trigrams become the Later Heaven Trigrams is actually the way the Yin Yang symbol moves.

This process of getting back into a balanced state, albeit governed by seemingly simple laws, gives birth to what feels like a glorious, emergent mess.

The intrinsic state of imbalance is actually not a sad or depressing notion, because it’s sometimes through these imbalances that we find the beauty in life and existence. The four seasons we experience are the perfect example of this because it is actually nature trying to balance itself, and we can all agree that there is something beautiful about each of the seasons.

Whatever troubles we get ourselves into, there will come a point, hopefully, where the environment will attempt to nudge us back in the right direction and bring things back into a state of balance. In other words, life becomes better – and there is something beautiful about that. Perhaps this is why growth, as a human being, feels so rewarding.

Our lives and BaZi charts are a reflection of all these laws and the state of imbalance trying to achieve balance. Your natal chart tells you where these imbalances come from, and your Elemental Phases tell you whether your chart gets to achieve a balanced state or not. This is why every BaZi analysis starts off with finding what the chart needs – the beneficial element or 用神, followed by whether your beneficial element is being strengthened or weakened as you progress through the different Phases. These signs in the chart tell you what you are lacking and what is throwing your life off balance. This is also the reason why every 10-year phase feels so different for every single person because the state of our minds has changed. When our mind changes, our environment will definitely follow suit.

It Can Be Seen In The Charts But Can It Be Changed?

This is the perfect opportunity to bring up one of the topics that has always been a theme of my blog: How do we change the course of our lives, make use of the information we get from Chinese metaphysics, and eventually transcend our charts?

Firstly, I’d like to reassure everyone that if you do encounter a positive 10-year phase at some point, you should be really, really happy. You have no idea how big of a deal that is and what it can do for someone. I’ve experienced it first hand and I’ve witnessed how many of my friends and clients go move into positive phases too. Everything changes.

Where you have your 10-year phases on your side, there is nothing to transcend per se because I know you will eventually do well. The discussion becomes more about how to make things even better.

The topic of transcending charts is always for my darling Category 4 chart-holders who are spirally out of control. It’s actually more valuable for them to read my blog for free than to come to me for a paid reading because I would literally have nothing good to say. A chart reading is not going to change the lives of these people, but understanding the philosophy behind Chinese metaphysics just might.

I’ve written about this topic countless times and I have never once put it in a way that Chinese metaphysics is some secret sauce to achieving one’s desires or changing one’s life. Rather, I write about these things so that it gets people thinking. Whatever I write about really isn’t new – our ancestors have written about it before. I’m merely just putting it in a very layman perspective for English readers around the world.

Now, suppose you are this business person who is being investigated for a $1billion fraud. What do you think you could have done to change the course of your life?

It’s simple: Don’t cheat. Don’t take an action you’re not supposed to and don’t make stupid decisions. Just don’t do things that will make the imbalances worse and don’t go against nature’s laws.

I’ve said this time and again, our so-called “Luck Pillars” or what I prefer to call Elemental Phases are not random, arbitrary events that happen to us. The Chinese word 运 is often misinterpreted as “luck” which I have categorically disagreed with.

Your chart’s Elemental Phases or 运 is nothing more than your thought and growth process. Sure, it is arguably a reflection of your environment too, but I’ll always say that your growth and how you are as a person will determine what kind of environment you’re in.

There is a reason why events manifest or get triggered when you are in a certain period of your life because that’s the point where the imbalances are taken to the extreme and balance is lost. It’s always this one particular year within one particular 10-year phase that crap hits the fan, the fan falls on you, and then the fan even starts to spin.

Let’s take for example that two different people coincidentally are going through the same 10-year phase of 庚子 and the same 2024 Annual Phase (流年运) of 甲辰。 One of them is going to end up in jail and the other is about to reach the golden age for his/her career and finances because for one of them, imbalance has hit its peak and for the other, balance was achieved. These differences come from the natal chart, and the natal chart is akin to the latent energy or events that are just waiting to be triggered. It is a reflection of your own imbalances as a person. This is why people with good charts feel like a holistic person whereas someone with a more challenging chart always feels like they are missing something or overdoing something.

Chinese metaphysics is nothing but a study of cycles and laws. There is a cycle of life-and-death to everything and nothing remains forever. Our charts are a reflection of this cycle. The good charts are the charts that represent growth and life; the bad charts are the ones that represent death, decay and sometimes destruction.

Please Don’t Ever Think It Is Easy

This is also nothing new. I’ve said it before.

You might be someone in a negative 10-year phase right now or you might be someone who has never, and will enver know how a positive 10-year phase feels like. You want things to change. Anyone would. Please be reminded that it’s not going to be a walk in the park.

I know sometimes we make it sound as though changing the course of your life starts with a single decision. In spirit, yes, a single decision changes everything. But I think many people fail to realize the difficult part is knowing and developing into a person who actually knows how to make the right decisions and put in sustained effort afterward.

A lot of my clients will walk away from a consultation with the assumption that they are all ready to change their fates and lives just because someone broke their BaZi chart down. They fail to realize that to get wealthy, you need to spend years honing a set of skills that you can build into a business. To find a good partner, you need to spend years healing from your childhood wounds. To do well in life in general, one really requires some basic form of intelligence and wisdom (which I can assure you a lot of people do not have). If I told you to drop your toxic partner of 4 years and walk away right now or told you to cut ties with your abusive parents, would you? No, because we humans and we have attachments. Sometimes, we still need to go through what we need to go through.

For a lot of people, by the time life disappoints them to the point where they have to turn to Chinese metaphysics – it’s already too late. Don’t believe me? Just look around.

It’s naive to think that you can alter the course of your whole life just because of a sudden epiphany you got from a reading, course, or blog post. It’s also a pity that a lot of us, especially when we’re younger, are not exposed to the wisdom our ancestors tried to pass down.

Life is a never-ending process of unfolding. Every single small step along the way matters. It’s never too late to start. The point is: Start and actually bloody mean it. It’s not going to be easy and you will hit bumps.

Lastly, to end off with some Sean-esque bluntness: If you’re one of those idiots who think you have some secret sauce to wealth and success just because you took some BaZi course out there without giving Chinese philosophy it’s due respect – please don’t fool yourself into thinking you actually know what you’re doing. I’ve yet to see a stupid person with superficial BaZi knowledge become wealthy, be in a blissful marriage, or become successful. I’ve seen too many cases… Too many.

– 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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7 Comments

  1. ys

    Really informative post about imbalances. It seems like there are some experiences that we are expected to go through in order to move to next phases of our lives.

  2. L

    I really appreciate how you articulate yourself and the passion, wisdom and integrity that is revealed within your words. I love to hear about this philosophy and really enjoy your commentary. So thank you, Sean 🙂

  3. Melody

    I hope these posts are as therapeutic for you to write as they are for me to read them. Thank you for your content and your insight.

  4. Sean Chan

    Thank you for the kind words of support, everyone!

  5. Cher

    My husband and I were one of the many investors conned by Nickel Sage – basically the returns were good, and on hindsight, clearly too good to be true.

    Although it was a very expensive lesson on how not to “invest”, but thankfully it is just money which can always be earned again.

    I always feel more centered after reading your blog as it allows me to reflect on how to better myself 🙂

    Thank you once again for your genuine sharing and guidance on the constant flux of life in order to try and achieve the gold standard of equilibrium!

  6. WilliamS

    This post made me think so hard, so long, and so deep within, that I got lost inside myself reflecting about past decisions that got to where I am now, in a balanced perspective 😆

    Haven’t been mentally stimulated like this for a long while now, in this hodgepodge era of fast fashion, bite sized posts, quick fixes & endless stream of cheap entertainment (aka noise).

    Hats off to you Sean, and thank you for penning down your experiences as always!

  7. Wee

    Sean, Thank you for the sincere insights!

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