3 years ago a student of mine, Sri Mulyadi, gave me a book - The Alchemist. She told me to read it as it would shed some light on my personal journey in Metaphysics. Somehow, over the last 3 years I’ve never touched that book. Not because I didn’t value her gift, but somehow I just didn’t have the time and …you know … I never really saw the need to read a ’spiritual’ book. Not that I don’t believe in Spirituality, it’s just that I’ve always felt that I wasn’t that spiritual and hence, never saw the need to read such a book. To be fair …I did have it as an item on my ‘to-do list’ …but at the very bottom. Haha … perhaps the time wasn’t right for me then.
I moved to my new home last year and that book was packed into one of my 30 odd boxes of old books and is, I think, permanently lost. Until my recent lightning trip to Hong Kong (you know, one of those fly in, stay 2 nights and fly off type) I saw that book at the KLIA bookstore. Somehow this time I said to myself, I owe it to my student as I promised her I’d read this book. So I bought the book. (yah the free one - I’ve lost. Now I have to fork out $$ to buy a new one …must be karma). Ok …maybe this new cover was nicer. I have a weakness for beautiful book covers. I dunno why.
I must say - The Alchemist - is truly an enlightening story. I know now why I had to wait 3 years before I could read this book. I wasn’t ready then. Because had I read this earlier it would not have been relevant to my journey. There were many parts of the story that I could relate to. In my own journey in life, my never-ending quest for knowledge, my tribulations, falls, pain and successes. It’s a simple book with a simple idea but I find it very fascinating. And I could see it’s relevance from the Chinese Metaphysics perspective.
Just before I go to bed tonight … I wish to highlight a small segment from the book where there’s this seer who is a specialist in casting twigs to forecast the future. (Just like how we practitioners use the coins to cast the Yi Jing (I-Ching) hexagrams for the same purpose). The conversation between the camel driver and this seer relates a lot on how Metaphysics - especially sciences like Yi Jing (i-Ching) or BaZi Astrology works.
Here’s the except:
“I want to know about the future because I’m a man.” the camel driver had said to the seer, “And men always live their lives based on the future.” The seer was a specialist in the casting of twigs; he threw on the ground, and made interpretations based on how they fell. That day, he didn’t make a cast. He wrapped the twigs in a piece of cloth and put them back in his bag.
” I make my living forecasting the future for people,” he said. “I know the science of the twigs, and I know how to use them to penetrate to the place where all is written. There, I can read the past, discover what has already been forgotten, and understand the omens that are here in the present.
When people consult me, it’s not that I’m reading the future, I am guessing at the future. The future belongs to God, and it is only he who reveals it, under extraordinary circumstances. How do I guess at the future? Based on the omens of the present.
The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better…
The camel driver had asked what the circumstances were under which God would allow him to see the future. “Only when he, himself reveals it … it is for only one reason: it’s a future that was written so as to be altered.”.
Here’s how I reflected on this short story…. This segment reflects that we are all govern by a Higher Power (God) or some would say the Universe, The Heavens or the Source and that there are techniques to access what is planned ahead (like the twigs - in Chinese Metaphysics we use Yi Jing Divination or in Astrology, we use BaZi or Zi Wei)… we can study the patterns and ‘penetrate the place where all is written’.
Though we may ‘guesstimate’ the most probable future from our readings…but the real future hasn’t really happened yet. We have the element of ‘free will’. We can still make conscious choices. Hence, if we truly want to ALTER the future, the secret is in what we do (or don’t do) in the present. And the future can be altered (despite whatever is written in your BaZi or in your YiJing Hexagram), because it’s meant to be altered as permitted by the Universe.
How do we know that it’s meant for us to know and for us to alter the future? Simple - when there is a need or urge inside us to know or discover ourselves, and when we seek answers and where answers are given. We know that we can change the future when we make an effort to learn what we are capable of achieving, improve ourselves and decide to live life to the full.
Is the future fated? Perhaps only some bits. But if you are successful in discovering your future (through careful study of Metaphysics), this means, it’s meant for YOU to alter the outcome. Otherwise, where it is not permitted by the Universe (or God), you will NOT be able to see your future anyway. The fact that we’ve got an affinity (or good karma) with this science of BaZi or Yi Jing means we are meant to learn the ways to change things for the better. The role WE play in our own future is huge.
So let’s study our own BaZi charts once again!. Perhaps we’d find more clues to access our future and make it brighter!! Remember - to make tomorrow a better day, the secret is in the present .
ps: Get a copy of The Alchemist.