Jan 072011

“We human beings are only a part of something very much larger…We must use whatever methods we can to understand the movement of the universe around us and time our actions so that we are not fighting the currents, but moving with them.
-Memoirs of the Geisha”

Dark Path by Scott Clout

Infinite possibilities lie before us. But not all of these options are beneficial to our lives. Life, as you and I know, is about making choices. It is about creating your future, through your actions and choices, with the help of the 6 steps.

Yet to create this future, you have to leave your comfort zone and venture forth into the great unknown. To reach your goals, you have to go through the darkness of uncertainty. Even with the best-laid plans, you are bound to stumble over unseen obstacles. You are bound to let unforeseen developments catch you off guard. Today I tell you that this need not be the case. With the 7th step, you will gain greater clarity about the opportunities and pitfalls that lie along your chosen path. If you so choose, you can reduce uncertainty in your life and light your way to your future.

Is Ignorance Bliss?

What would you do if you knew it was going to rain from the weather forecast? You would carry an umbrella or adjust your plans to deal with the rain right? What would people who lived near tsunami-prone areas do if they knew in advance that a tsunami was coming? They would probably scramble to safety with their loved ones.

There is nothing special about such events. We have developed the technology necessary to foresee these events in advance. By looking at the warning signs that precede events, we can tell what is likely to follow. From this knowledge, we can adjust our actions according to circumstances. My question is this. If you were in the shoes of the villagers, would you rather know or not know in advance that a tsunami was coming? Would you rather heed the warnings early or ignore them and react later when the waves hit land?

Stromboli Volcano by Wikipedia

The Nature of Signs and Events

Events do not happen in a vacuum or out of nowhere. Before an event happens, there are signs that precede it. For example, before a volcano erupts, there would be unrest deep inside the volcano itself. One of the signs of this unrest would be gas emissions from the volcano. Alternatively, a guy, who has ulterior motives towards a girl, would manifest those thoughts in his mind. Then, from his body language, words and actions with her, his motives become plain.

The problem with signs is that we may not always be aware of them. Or if we were aware of the signs, it may be too late to do anything about it. After all, how can we tell a volcano is about to erupt unless we can see the gas emissions or get warnings from research centres? How can we read a person’s intentions unless we are face to face or have contact of sorts? Yet even if we are not aware of the signs, events will still happen. And some of these events can have a direct impact on our lives and plans. The major events will not wait meekly for us to prepare. They will ram us over like a runaway semi whether we are ready or not.

Common Ways of Dealing with the Unknown

The question is what can we do? How can we prepare for something that we cannot foresee? We could try to prepare for as many possibilities as possible. But he who tries to defend everything defends nothing. We could go forth into the unknown and hope for the best. But can we really bear every single setback we face? Is advancing boldly forth always the best course of action? In truth, that is not the case. There are times when we should wait or retreat to avoid costly losses. Actually, the answer to the problem is really so simple that it is absurd. If we knew what is likely to happen, won’t that solve all our problems? If we knew what is likely to happen, won’t we know how to prepare and where to defend? And this knowing is not just empty talk. It is possible to know with the 7th step.

I-Ching Coins by Wikipedia

The 7th Step of the Vizier: Divination

What is divination? For me, divination is being aware of the flow of events and its impact on our actions and choices and vice versa. There are many forms of divination around today. One of the most popular forms is Tarot Cards. I personally use I-Ching divination. What is startling is that a book that is thousands of years old is still relevant today. To illustrate my point, let me tell you a story that happened this morning.

Divination in Action

Vizier’s Note: A person’s privacy is of the utmost importance to me. As such, I have obtained my friend’s permission to share this story. For the purpose of privacy, I have changed all their names.

Julia was thinking of going to an event tomorrow before she left town. But she could not find anyone to join her. So, she decided to search online for like-minded people. By posting her invite on some forum, she managed to get a response from two complete strangers, David and Peter. Now meeting an online person in real life can be tricky if you are a girl. This is especially so if the person is a complete stranger. So Julia sent me an email and asked me to do a divination this morning. She wanted to know which guy was safe to go with her to the event.

Now I knew nothing about a David or a Peter. Heck, I did not even know she was attending the event tomorrow because we are not even on the same continent. In any case, I did the divination. From my readings, I discerned that David had ulterior motives. Peter, on the other hand, was a safer bet for her. As such, I advised Julia to go out with Peter instead of David. After that, I got back to writing the article that you are now reading.

A few hours later, she messaged me on MSN. She said that she had just chatted online for the first time with David and that our suspicions were right. It seems that David was looking for friends with benefits online. In his first sentence to her, he said the usual pleasantries. Hi, how are you I am so and so etc. But in his second sentence, before Julia could say anything, he revealed his intentions outright. She did not even have a chance to probe or prompt him to confirm our suspicions. She also shared that she got along better online with Peter as expected. Even though we have been divining for years, it still amazes us to see how spot on we can be about things we could not possibly know. At this stage, I want to stress the following points about divination:

-Divination is not a self-fulfilling prophecy
-Divination is not something you can cleverly deduce through logic alone
-It is perfectly possible to know the unknown across time and space with divination
-Divination is a tool we can use to make better choices in life

“Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.
–Sun Tzu”

If Julia goes out with David, it would be a messy affair for her to fend off his unwanted advances. Some people just cannot take no for an answer. But with Peter, I am sure she can handle herself without any problems. By divining the outcome of events before they happen, we can make better choices in our lives.

Update 08/01/11: For those of you who are curious, the event with Peter went well. He was a gentleman, good company and Julia enjoyed herself. This is as we foresaw.

The Need for Divination

Now you and I can afford to make small mistakes and absorb the losses. But what will you do if it is a life and death situation? What will you do if the mistake is too costly for you? What will you do if the stakes are too high? What will you do if the fate of your loved ones hangs in the balance? Is it better to prepare for a terrorist attack after they hijacked the plane, or to avoid that flight altogether? Is it better to have a business partner swindle us of all our hard-earned money or to avoid the venture altogether? When we make costly mistakes, the common refrain is, “If only I knew, I would have done things differently.” The lucky ones get to lament in such a fashion. The unlucky ones are no longer around and the family they leave behind have to make this lament.

On the other side of the coin, would it not be better to work on a venture that you know will be fruitful? Would it not be better to begin a relationship where you know the both of you will get along? Can you see the benefits of foreknowledge? Can you imagine a life with less uncertainty? The future is not set in stone. Your actions and choices shape your future. If you knew the options and outcomes beforehand, would you be able to make better choices? Knowing should always happen before, not after an event if you hope to make a difference.

Parting Thoughts on Divination

Before I end off, I want to say that divination while potent is not a miracle tool. It is a tool and a tool needs a skilled user to unleash its potential. By itself, divination is useless. For us to benefit from divination, we have to use it in tandem with the 6 steps of shaping the future. Any one of these steps is useless alone. But when you combine all 7 steps, you will gain greater control over your life and future. What I have covered thus far, is only the tip of the iceberg. In my future articles, I will discuss the uses and limitations of divination.

Light in the Dark by Scott Clout

Taking Action

With divination, I know what to do and what not to do. I know when to act, when I should wait and when I should retreat. I also know how to do what I have to do. When you act in harmony with the times and circumstances, you are likelier to attain the success you want. By doing so, your loved ones will benefit as well. Since change is the only constant in life, by living in harmony with change, you will be better able to shape your future. If you are interested in applying divination to some problem or unknown you have, please feel free to contact me to discuss the matter further. Otherwise, thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy article.

What are your thoughts about divination? Did you find this article useful? Do share your thoughts and comments below. :)

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  17 Responses to “The 7th Step of the Vizier”

  1. Hi Irving,
    Wonderful article! I never really gave much thought to divination before. Facinating! I think sometimes we want a certain outcome so bad that we deny any true forethought.

    I really like what you said about living in harmony with change. Thanks for making me think Irving!

    Dandy recently posted..Kiss my muffin top- A study in self-imageMy Profile

    • Hi Dandy,

      I am glad you enjoyed my article. I know what it feels like to what something very badly. But wishing does not make it so. Not only do we have to put in the effort, we also have to have a realistic assessment of the times and circumstances. As long as we never give up, while patiently biding our time if need be, we will achieve our goals.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  2. Irving: Really interesting topic and post. I think that one of the best things we can do is to be grounded in truth and know that we are always making the right decisions and reading the signs in the right way. I know that being able to continually do this is a learning process and I am fascinated by this concept of divination that you shared. Thanks for sharing.
    Sibyl – alternaview recently posted..How to Continually Have The Best Mindset EverydayMy Profile

    • Hi Sibyl,

      I am glad you found divination fascinating. You are perfectly right. We have to be grounded in truth, make the right decisions and read signs the right way. Apart from wisdom that is acquired through hard earned wisdom, the only other way is divination. When we use divination in a pragmatic way, it is easier for us to reach our goals with less uncertainty.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  3. Interesting topic. I can’t say that I’ve ever thought much about divination. I am an information junkie though. I’m not sure if people are happier with more information. But I know I’m happier having more information and more access to information.

    To be really honest and not sure if it’s something that is “for me” but it is something that is interesting and something that I know little about. Thanks sharing this.

    Have a great weekend

    Steve@Lifestyle Design recently posted..Secrets of Effective Email Time ManagementMy Profile

    • Hi Steve,

      The new and the unfamiliar can be daunting and hard for us to warm up to. I remember how freaked out I was years ago when I had my first brush with divination when I had a tarot reading done for me. I literally had goosebumps about how a complete stranger could say things that made sense to me. Nothing I learned in school about science and math could prepare me for this experience. Even though it was alien to me, I realized the value of this foresight and vowed to learn it for myself.

      I recall during my first experience with the Yijing, I had lots of doubt. My logical mind simply could not comprehend how something as “supernatural” as divination could possibly work. It was not an easy journey since I came from a Christian background.

      Fast forward to today, divination is as normal to me as breathing. I am truly glad I persisted because it has expanded my awareness and consciousness. It has enabled me to think out of the box and to gain a deeper view of the world around us. But at heart, I have always been a pragmatist and as I said, divination is a tool, like any other tool, which if used well will further our aims and help those we love. If we learn to blend logic with intuition and divination, we unleash more of our human potential. It is just a matter of trying it out, seeing whether it will work for us and getting used to it.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  4. Hi Irving,
    Thank you for this wonderful and comprehensive article on divination. I use the Tarot and have always found it to be quite accurate. I don’t often divine for myself anymore, just for others. I like the story you shared about your friend Julia with us.
    Angela Artemis recently posted..A Simple Guide for Living In The LightMy Profile

    • Hi Angela,

      I have no doubt that the Tarot, in your hands, is accurate. I firmly believe that it is the skill of the diviner and not just the medium that is important. I am glad that you divine for others, they will benefit much from your wisdom and insights into the challenges they may face.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sandra Lee. Sandra Lee said: RT @AngArtemis: Interesting article on divination:The 7th Step of the Vizier http://j.mp/evIqjX [...]

  6. Irving,

    This is a fascinating article. I appreciate how your approach to life takes into account the inter-relatedness that abounds in the universe. I am really enjoying and learning from your articles.

    I’ve been fortunate to have had several divinations done by great spiritual masters. I also sometimes use the system described in the book: Mo: Tibetan Divination System.

    This is an important consideration you raise about divination: “It is a tool and a tool needs a skilled user to unleash its potential.” I’ve also found that it’s very important to ask the right question!
    Sandra Lee recently posted..Free Yourself with Free WritingMy Profile

    • Hi Sandra,

      I am also learning a lot from you. I am aware that there are Tibetan forms of divination, but I certainly have never heard of the Mo Tibetan Divination System. Thank you so much for bringing it to my attention. As you know by now, my passion is divination and I am always intrigued to know a little more about other such systems. After all the human race has divined for thousands of years and there is so much we can learn from our ancestors who were much more intuitive than we are today. What we know today is built on the foundations that were laid by our ancestors.

      Ahahah…You certainly know your divination. Yes you are right. One of the most important aspects of divination is knowing the right question to ask. I have been saving this point for an article in the future, but it is good that you brought it up. This is definitely one of the things that I struggle with when it comes to analyzing a situation. This is why my resolution for 2011 is “Thinking Ahead.” This is why I am reading up on strategy, playing Go and learning creativity, so that I can improve my foresight and my divination skills.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  7. Hi Irving! To deal with the unknown I like to be fully present in the now welcoming the gifts that life presents to me at every moment. That being said, I also enjoy I-Ching. I grew up with my mother doing I-Ching. She still does it to this day for guidance and I’ve seen some great result. :)
    Thanks for this wonderful post. Loving blessings!
    Andrea DeBell – britetalk recently posted..How to Find your Purpose in LifeMy Profile

    • Hi Andrea,

      I agree with you that we need to be fully present to deal with the unknown. But having guidance from the I-Ching is always useful. It must have been very interesting to grow up with the I-Ching! I am glad your mom still relies on it for guidance. :) I am always amazed by the influence of the I-Ching till this day in different parts of the world.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  8. Wow, what a great article!

    Maybe I find it so exciting partly because I am nuts about divination. But I’m sure it’s also because this is so informative and you make so many good points.

    I especially like that you say “I want to say that divination while potent is not a miracle tool. It is a tool and a tool needs a skilled user to unleash its potential”. So true. And like any organic tool that’s so dependent on free-flow and being with it in the moment, it’s hard to measure when it’s mastered. The good news for me is it’s so fun practicing. Fun and useful at the same time. And it seems the more we pay attention, the more the signs show up. Funny how that works. ;-)

    Thanks for a super post.
    Patti Foy recently posted..Dare to Bop Fear in the NO’s and Enjoy the Euphoria of YESMy Profile

    • Hi Patti,

      It is always nice to find another divination nut. ;)

      I have always been fascinated about how people can know things and read the signs. I mean just by reading palms or faces or birth charts from astrology and you can see the entire life and character of the person mapped out before. That is just amazing. But my fascination in divination is that it is simple and useful in making important decisions.

      I agree. Divination is a lifelong learning process. I too have learned to be more sensitive to the signs around me ever since I learned to divine. Things I never noticed before are now pretty glaring to me. One thing I do know for certain, it is like you say, divination is fun to practice. And more than that, it can help others as well.

      Thank you for your comments! :)

  9. This was a very interesting post.

    You write:

    “-It is perfectly possible to know the unknown across time and space with divination”

    My only concern would be that… if at one time your divination is inaccurate, you could be judging others falsely, which to me, is a disservice.

    • Hi Bamboo Forest,

      Fair point. It is true that I am only human and am therefore prone to error.

      Having said that I need to clarify what exactly it is that I can know. Firstly, I am not a clairvoyant. I cannot perceive images of likely events. It is also beyond my ability to predict exactly what will happen down to the tinniest detail. This means I cannot know what a person will say. But it is possible to deduce how they will act and behave based on the signs. While there are too many permutations and combinations to have pinpoint accuracy, it is within my ability to differentiate danger and pitfalls from good fortune. It is within my ability to narrow down the possible outcomes to find out which is most likely to happen and this is something I have been doing for years. We are not trying to predict a fixed outcome here but rather to shape events, which are already in motion, according to our wishes. The stage at which an event is at determines how much influence we can have on it.

      As I pointed out in my story, it is possible to know the vibe of a person or a situation based on the signs. It is possible to know whether a course of action will be smooth or if it will meet with lots of difficulties. Now as I have shared, divination is a tool amongst tools. This means the 7th step cannot be used on its own. To be fully effective, it has to be used in tandem with the other 6 steps. Intuition must be blended with logic. When you combine all these pieces, it is possible to narrow down the outcomes to a few likely alternatives. If there is sufficient information, it is even possible to know which is the likeliest outcome. But any good strategist will always have a few likely outcomes and plans for each to tackle a given situation.

      Throughout the process, I need to work closely with the person I am helping to gain an accurate an understanding of the situation. They know the situation best and I have to use what information they can provide to give a proper context for my divination. From there we can discuss the possible plans to deal with the likely outcome as it unfolds. This is why mutual trust and open communication is so important. We have to be a united team. This provides the basis for a successful outcome.

      If I am uncertain of what exactly a danger might be, I will freely admit so, but I can still point out what to look out for and how best to handle the danger. If I cannot prevent it, I can at least make sure there is enough time to manage the danger. Finally, I will always check the final plan and its underlying plans against the 6 steps to see if it makes logical sense. Only when it does will we go ahead with it.

      Having said all that, divination is not something that everyone can accept. But for those who are opened to its possibilities, it can provide deeper insight into any situation. At the end of the day, each of us must find what works best and stick to it. Such is the diversity of life.

      Thank you for raising this important point! :)

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