Call it the curse of Chinese Metaphysics. Just as students of Feng Shui are obsessed with ‘The Formula’, so students of BaZi are obsessed with ‘The Technique’. In my recent M2 class, any mention of an advanced approach or technique often makes the students wonder if the reason why they aren’t getting the answers they want to get from the BaZi chart is because they don’t know something.
Are there some special combinations that we don’t know about? Is there some special structure that we haven’t learnt about that therefore impedes our ability to access the hidden secrets of a particular chart.
Personally, I think students think far too much about the building blocks (the Combos, the Harms, the Destructions etc) than they do about the house. There’s to much fixation on technique, and not enough focus on concept.
So what is ‘concept’ in BaZi? It’s in the word of Robin Sharma, a ‘big idea’.
Concept involves thinking about what the purpose of BaZi is supposed to be. It involves thinking about BaZi in the broader context of life, happiness, greatness, achievement, progress and advancement. Concept involves if you like, deriving some form of principle or philosophy or approach about how to do a certain something.It’s a hypothesis. A theory about how to do a certain something, or handle a certain situation.
For example, an important CONCEPT in BaZi is that of connection. BaZi affords us an opportunity to understand how we connect with the people around us. Why person x at this point in time? Why person y 10 years ago, but not now? Why this particular Day Master only. Why in a given year, a certain type of Day Master seems to constantly emerge to offer you assistance, or guidance?
Another important concept that I’ve arrived at in the course of my consulting practice is (I hesitate to say that I originated the thought since original thought isn’t that easy) relates to careers. BaZi cannot tell us if a person should be a doctor, or a scientist or a social worker. People often expect me to be able to pull a profession out of the hat for them. BaZi cannot do that. But BaZi can tell us if a person has the skills and abilities to be a doctor, scientist or social worker and how well they will do in those roles, based on their skills.
The BIG IDEA that BaZi is putting across here is the concept of trying to understand yourself from a SKILLS perspective first, and not a JOB perspective. Figure out what you are good at doing (based on your chart) and then find a job that fits those strengths, which could be any number of possibilities. Or better yet. Find out what you are good at doing, and then invent a profession or job that fits those strengths and abilities.
For many Asians, this is a completely unorthodox, even absurd, way of finding a career. In the old days, you took up a profession or vocation, and then you got good at doing it. The old 10,000 hours that Malcolm Gladwell talks about in ‘Outliers’. And then you just practiced and practiced. And you would eventually acquire a vocation or a skill.
Guess what? Anybody can get good at doing something by just doing it all the time. As with anything in this life, with enough practice, you will get somewhere. Perseverance is 99% of genius after all. But that being said, you’re never gonna be as good at it as someone who not only works hard, but has their BaZi pushing them all the way. And guess what? You might certainly not be happy doing your job, which you’re only good at because you’ve been doing it for so long it’s impossible to be bad at doing it.
What is the path to career excellence? Dedication AND Passion. You’ve got to like doing it, and be good at doing it. And whilst you can get good at a job or skill without liking it, you’d be so much better if you also liked your job at the same time.
The big idea that BaZi promotes is not to look for a JOB. It is to look for a CALLING. A calling that suits your skills, plays to your strengths and doesn’t press your weaknesses too much. Better yet, invent a calling that you can OWN. If Mark McCormack didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have a company called IMG today. And sports stars wouldn’t be flogging watches, and perfume, and cologne and shaving blades, whilst earning a fortune doing so.
Here’s another concept. One of the advanced ideas that you learn (in m3 of the MA syllabus at least) is that all the elements in a BaZi chart have an inter-dependent relationship. So for example, if you have Ding Fire in your chart, then you must have Jia Wood to help that Ding Fire candle keep burning. But you also need a Xin Metal or Geng Metal to chop the Jia Wood to provide the kindling for the Ding Fire. And it goes on.
The inter-dependent nature of all the elements in a chart is played out against the backdrop of the fact that every chart has a magic key element. This is the Useful God or the Regulating Useful God element. It is the element that unlocks the power and potential of the chart. But, the Useful God or Regulating Useful God element has to be a good quality element and have all the elements that the particular Useful God or Regulating Useful God element is inter-dependent upon.
So what’s the big idea?
Turn on one switch, and you light up the whole row.
What BaZi tells us is that there is one key integral action or personal quality that each person NEEDS to possess (or acquire) or regularly make use of, that represents the element that their Useful God or Regulating Useful God is MOST inter-dependent upon. The more you use that quality or do that action, the more you hone, encourage, feed, nurture, grow, forge, shine, water, or focus your Useful God or Regulating Useful God element.
Flip the switch. And watch your ducks line up in a row.
This sounds confusing so here’s an example.
Let’s assume that the Day Master is Jia Wood. Jia Wood as a rule, must be made useful. It must be chopped. And so for all Jia Woods, the presence of Geng Metal in the chart is integral. Now, Geng Metal, as an element, requires Ding Fire (or in the absence of that, Bing) to bring out its true qualities and the Sha that it carries inherent within it. So, the Jia Wood now needs both Ding and Geng. Assuming the chart has both these elements, how then does the person ‘flip the switch’?
Ding is the key here, which represents a Jia Wood person’s Hurting Officer star.
The more Hurting Officer in temperament the person is, meaning, the more opinionated, forceful, outgoing, unorthodox, bold and daring the person is, the more they are doing what is needed to unlock the power of the Geng Metal in their chart, namely, forging the Metal. As the Geng Metal in their chart represents their Seven Killings star, this means that the bolder, more daing, more forceful, more outgoing, more bold thinking the person is, the greater their influence and power, their ability to be decisive is enhanced, their capacity to make big decisions grows, and their ambition, drive and desire to win big, as well as belief in their own invincibility, will become more pronounced. And they will in turn be able to make the decisions, take the jobs, or make the choices that are needed for them to become a ‘useful’ Jia Wood.
So,don’t fixate on the small ideas, the secret techniques, and the combos you don’t know about.
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