(99) Eastern understanding of universe (2)
By Janet Shin
In my previous column, we reviewed how differences in understanding the universe between Eastern and Western cultures affect the way people view their fate ― saju.
The column concludes that a self-oriented approach rules the Western attitude, which also tends to think of the universe as a separate individual entity.
On the other hand, the Eastern view is more relationship-oriented and believes the universe is filled with energy. That energy and the way it reacts, flows within a person is what saju reads.
This week, we will review yet another viewpoint of saju, and how this mindset leads people to decide whether their lives have been happy or unhappy, successful or unsuccessful.
Western people view everything from the inside, whereas Asian people view it from a distance. The former puts more weight on the individual being while the latter puts more on the natural order of things and logic. Consideration for others has traditionally been a virtue in Asian society while self confidence has been more valued in Western society. Modesty and obedience are expected in the East while smarts and capability are more valued in the West.
For example, analyzing reality programs such as American Idol or America’s Next Top Model, one can see how each contender is evaluated and confidence rewarded and assured. Though this causes conflict among the contestants, it does not matter once a winner is decided. They do not criticize in the end, although the winner may slander the others.
If the East takes more into account how people follow natural order, the West focuses more on how people overcome those natural orders. So when people overcome nature in a conflict, it is praised rather than criticized.
Now, let’s apply this in terms of the five-star circulation and the influence of each star in our lives.
If we view each star in terms of the day master, it is the day master that generates the expression star, but also restricts the money star. The day master is itself generated by the knowledge star and can be restricted by the career star.
The stars that give the day master strength are the knowledge and friend stars. The other three exhaust the day master.
The day master drains its energy for the expression star, and also uses energy to make money, but its activity is controlled by the career star.
So if a person is born in the month of the expression, money or career stars, it can be deducted that the day master was born weak.
When a saju master delivers this fact, Asians usually accept it at once, including how the rest of their elements are balanced in their lives. But often Westerners are disappointed and worried, even after an explanation of the elemental relationships.
Between the knowledge and expression stars, Westerners are also more relieved when they are told they are talented. The knowledge star is characterized by making a person thoughtful, but this seems like less-welcomed information.
Asian saju masters usually start analyzing one’s life by reading their family background first. But this is often of less interest to Western people, and instead their eyes lighten up when their present lives are read.
Among the four pillars, the year pillar represents situation before a person’s birth, the month pillar indicates their parents’ or sibling’s lives or past, while the day pillar stands for their present lives. The time pillar stands for the future.
Going into more specifics, telling Westerners about any past misfortunes will unlikely affect them. In other words, whether their parents were rich or not does not seriously impact their lives. But when Asians are told about their past misfortunes and how it affects their current lives, they are deeply convinced.
In order for saju to reach a global audience, saju masters need to understand which conditions people want to hear and learn how to help them choose the right path for a better future.
The writer is the president of the Heavenly Garden, a saju research center in Korea, and the author of “Learning Four Pillars.” For more, visit her website at www.fourpillarskorea.com