A Funny Thing Happened on my Way to Zi Wei Dou Shu 1

by Dr YM Cheng, PhD

What follows is a rather personal and esoteric account because I believe that people are drawn to Zi Wei Dou Shu (Purple Star Astrology) for very different reasons. Hence I can only offer my own story here which may not be applicable to everyone.

Firstly, Zi Wei Dou Shu (ZWDS) would be boring for me if it is not placed within a meaningful context. By that I mean ZWDS is only a jigsaw piece in the puzzle of life! Some people may be amazed by the accuracy of ZWDS’s predictive power. But to that, I would reply, “So what? What’s the big deal if someone can predict correctly that I will make money in 2008, or my wife will have an affair in 2009?” It does not necessarily follow that if one particular prediction comes true then the others will also be fulfilled. That’s not logical, especially if we are talking about different predictions with regard to entirely different issues.

ZWDS only becomes interesting if, and only if, it points to something else, namely, a larger pattern. Let me put this in another way. There’s an old movie called “Alfie” in which Michael Caine starred. (I’m not referring to its remake where Jude Law plays Alfie.) Michael Caine played a womanising young man who didn’t care very much about life or anyone else. All he seemed to be interested was to have his more than fair share of hedonistic and carnal pleasures. But by the end of the movie, after he had satisfied himself to no end, he felt empty and meaningless. He then asked himself the simple but yet profound question, “What’s it all about?” We could elaborate by adding, “Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we fit in the cosmos? Where are we going? What is life? Why there is life in the first place?”

ZWDS only becomes really interesting when it fits in as a piece in the puzzle of life, that is to say, when it offers clues to the meaning of life or to the nature of the reality of life. I have come to this conclusion after a number of years in my search for the other jigsaw pieces. However, before I spell out the relevance of ZWDS in the puzzle of life, let me offer you readers a sample of other pieces which are equally fascinating.

It has once been said by a philosopher that an unexamined life is not worth living. And if we are to face facts, the truth of the matter is that most people don’t really examine their own lives. Why? Not because they are unintelligent or lack the mental capability, but because if they really scrutinize their lives, they may find their suspicion confirmed. That deep down inside their lives there is no centre; their ground of being is shaky and without form or substance. This realization will lead to existential angst and will be unbearable, and therefore it’s best not to venture too deep. Let’s then just coast along with a herd mentality and amuse ourselves with conspicuous consumption and the latest offerings of technology.

However, let’s not go down that road. Instead, let’s take an alternate path and see what an examined life can bring. Before taking the first step on this path we need to face 3 facts.


With the above in mind, let’s look at some of the jigsaw pieces of life mentioned earlier.

The first piece comes from the Dogon tribe of West Africa and their connection to the Sirius constellation. This was first brought to popular attention by Robert Temple in his book, The Sirius Mystery. In it he relates the story of how two anthropologists, Marcel Griaule and Germaine Dieterlan, managed to extract the most secret knowledge of the Dogon after living among them for years. Griaule became the first outsider to gain their trust and confidence, and consequently, the first to access their inner most secrets regarding their origin and their rituals.

Some of their startling revelations include that they were visited by beings from the Sirius system in the long distant past, and that there was another star (the Digitaria star of the Dogon, called “Sirius B” by Temple) orbiting Sirius A every fifty years. Griaule and Dieterlan published their article, “Un Systeme Soudanais de Sirius” in 1950. However, they appeared to have missed the incredible significance of the Dogon’s claims. They merely remarked in a footnote: “The question has not been solved, nor even asked, of how men with no instruments at their disposal could know the movement and certain characteristics of stars which are scarcely visible.” The point is that the Digitaria or Sirius B is not scarcely visible but completely invisible and was only discovered through the use of a telescope in the last century. And how did they know the orbital period was 50 years? This orbital period was later confirmed by astronomers as correct.

When Robert Temple first had The Sirius Mystery published in 1976, he asserted that the Dogon also revealed the existence of a third star, Sirius C, in the system. But at that time astronomy was unable to confirm its existence, hence rendering the claim and the whole account as unreliable. Twenty years later, in 1995, astronomers Daniel Benest and J. L. Duvent published their finding of a small red dwarf star (Sirius C) in the Sirius constellation in the journal, Astronomy and Astrophysics.

Until now no one has been able to explain how the Dogon were able to obtain such detailed knowledge without the aid of any advanced telescopes. Perhaps the simplest explanation is to accept their claim at face value, that is, indeed earth had been visited by space beings or aliens thousands of years ago and had imparted the knowledge to them!

The second jigsaw piece comes from the Bible Code. This is a really amazing piece; its academic credibility is impeccable and its implications should shatter the Fundamentalist Christians’ understanding of God. It’s another case, as with that of the Dogon, of transpiring of knowledge from the annals of academia to the popular press. It has been known for centuries that there exists a secret code in the bible, especially in the first five books of the Old Testament. When the biographer of Isaac Newton, John Maynard Keynes, the great economist, went through the long forgotten handwritten papers of Isaac Newton, he discovered not notes of scientific inquiry but piles upon piles of paper devoted to unlocking the purported code in the bible! Lots of Jewish biblical scholars have gone down the same road but ended up with little fruit to show as well. It is only until the advent of computers that more headway is evident.

The greatest breakthrough was made by Dr Eliyahu Rips and his colleagues who experimented with equidistant letter sequencing using the first five books of the bible. Their results were published in 1994 in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal, Statistical Science. Within the Code, they were able to locate the all the 32 names of Hebrew sages who lived after the bible was written. Not only that, they also located the dates of their birth and death all in the vicinity of their names. To have their names and dates encoded together is highly significant; that this can only happen by chance in the odds of 1 in 10 million! Rips and his colleagues tried to perform the same experiment with 3 non-Biblical texts but were unable to produce similar results.

Part 2 of the article.

(Article kind courtesy of Dr YM Cheng, PhD)

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