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The Other Art of War

Sunday, August 12, 2007
By: Joey Yap

Most Asians are familiar with the name Sun Tzu and his famous treatise, The Art of War. Sun Tzu is also a familiar name in the Western world today, with The Art of War having gained great popularity amongst the corporate circles in the late 80s and early 90s. Many Western military academies also teach The Art of War as part of their syllabus. But very few people know about the 'Other' Art of War that comes from Chinese Metaphysics. It is called Qi Men Dun Jia or loosely translated to Mystical Doors Escaping Technique.

Qi Men Dun Jia (or Qi Men, the common abbreviated name used by students of Chinese Metaphysics) is a Chinese Metaphysical study but was largely utilised in ancient China for warfare. Many famous military strategists in Chinese history, like Zhuge Liang of the Three Kingdoms Era and Liu Bo Wen of the Ming Dynasty, used Qi Men in their quest to achieve military supremacy for their emperors. Qi Men Dun Jia has been around for the last 3000 years and a technique for calculating time and space. It is used to pinpoint exact and precise moments in time, in which to undertake a specific action. Hence, its popularity in military strategy and military campaigns in ancient China.

Now, if you are a Feng Shui enthusiast, you may have heard of Qi Men. You may even have heard that it has certain 'occult' elements to it, or that it is so powerful that it can enable a person to escape fate and destiny. Some books and Chinese Metaphysics teachers go so far as to claim that Qi Men can change matters of life and death. Some people even say that Qi Men is not a 'legit' field of Chinese Metaphysics because it can be used for illegal acts such as killing someone and getting away with it.

In short, Qi Men has a lot of baggage, mystique and an almost magical aura about it. And that's always a little dangerous in my view because then it's easy for people to be taken in by false claims on what Qi Men can do or to be apprehensive about learning Qi Men (because of the so-called occult or non-legit baggage). So I'm going to share with you some straight facts about Qi Men in this week's article so that you can better understand what this 'Mystical Doors Escaping Technique' is all about. But first, some background.

You say Oracle, I say Kray Computer

2000 years ago, only shamans and oracles could forecast things like rain and snow and tsunami. Well today, we use computers to do that. Computer modelling, using data that is collected, helps us engage in metrological forecasting and of course, predict all kinds of movement in the Earth. If you think about it, the computers and devices that measure waves, cloud movement, sonic activity and tectonic plate movements are essentially tracking energy patterns and movement. Even the outcome of human activities today is being modelled and computed to predict outcomes - financial markets use sophisticated mathematical models to project stock movements or determine market fluctuations.

In the old days in ancient China, Imperial Astrologers didn't have Kray Computers or an Imperial Tech Geek working for them to come up with formulas to computer outcomes. Probably they didn't need it since they had the three Oracle Methods: Tai Yi Shen Shu, Liu Ren Shen Ke and Qi Men Dun Jia, which were used to forecast or predict outcomes in relation to aspects of time and space.

Tai Yi was used to divine the big events that happen with countries, such as earthquake, big hurricanes, massacres and natural disasters. With modern technology, this method of course has become less relevant. Liu Ren was mostly used for divining the outcomes of daily personal events - due to the pace of life in the 21st century where people are often making decisions every ten seconds, Liu Ren's usage is mainly limited to important major decisions. Qi Men was generally used for military activities, and largely used to determine not just the right time to act (attack the enemy) but what to do (attack where) and when to undertake that action (when to attack). It remains highly relevant today and in the course of this article, I'll explain to you how it's used in the modern context.

All three of these techniques are not that much different from all the computerised modelling that takes place today. It's just that what is computed is not seen as synonymous. Personally I think it's a case of 'I say potato, you say potato'. Techniques like Qi Men compute energy patterns and movements - in that respect, financial market modelling or metrological weather prediction is no different. It is about computing patterns and movements. Whilst financial market models use numbers - Qi Men uses Metaphysical Energies.

What ties Qi Men to Chinese Metaphysics and which makes it 'legitimate' is that it shares the same base as all the other aspects of Chinese Metaphysics. Qi Men is also rooted in the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches - the 'Jia' in Qi Men Dun Jia is actually a reference to the first of the Heavenly Branches, Jia. The He Tu, Lou Shu, 9 Palaces, the 9 Stars, The Constellations, the 8 Directions, the principle of the 5 Elements, and of course, Yin and Yang all also form the basic principles of Qi Men. It is a slightly more expansive system because it actually combines both the energy computation that we associate with Feng Shui, with the astronomical calculations associated with BaZi, or Zi Wei.

Chinese Cosmic Chess

The name 'Qi Men Dun Jia' can be dissected into the following: 'Qi' does not refer to the energy Qi but rather, refers to the mysterious, the strange, the unusual. It is similar to 'Xuan' in Xuan Kong. It is a reference to the universal rules of the cosmos.

'Men' in direct translation is door or gate. Its actual meaning relates to a location or a direction. The core of Qi Men Dun Jia is finding the right location or direction in which to commence an action or begin to do something. 'Dun' means to hide or escape or to keep hidden. 'Jia' is a reference to the first of the ten Heavenly Stems. 'Jia' here is a coded reference to the leader or the General (if applied in the battlefield).

When put together, Qi Men Dun Jia, in literal translation is Mysterious Doors Hiding the Jia. It's a bit of a mouthful and rather complicated sounding, which is why I prefer to call it Mysterious Doors Escaping Techniques.

In many respects, Qi Men is like chess. In chess, the goal is to always protect the King but also to advance the King. Hence you have the rook, the bishop and the queen, which are often used in combination to protect the King and also, advance your pieces. In Qi Men, depending on what you want to achieve, you essentially either want to hide the Jia or find the Jia, in the Qi Men chart.

Qi Men Dun Jia itself has four different schools. These are all simply different approaches to Qi Men, similar to San Yuan or San He in Feng Shui. Qin-Dun (Astrological Qi Men) focuses mainly on the cosmological aspect of Qi Men and uses the Constellations and Astronomy mostly. San Yuan Qi-Men (Three Cycle Qi Men) is the most commonly taught form of Qi Men and is used in tandem with Feng Shui and Date Selection. Fa Qi Men is somewhat unconventional in its use and is mainly associated with Daoist spiritual masters. Finally there is Flying Palace Small Qi Men, or Fei Gong Xiao Qi Men, a modified stripped down version of Qi Men that is popular in Taiwan.

Qi Men can be used to analyse and compute outcomes at many levels ranging from yearly forecasts to hour based forecasts. Most Qi Men practitioners either will use what is known as the Leaning Palace Method or the Flying Palace Method, to engage in analysis of the Qi Men chart. There are up to 1080 Qi Men charts, all which can be used to compute outcomes and pinpoint moments in time, for specific actions and activities, with a specific outcome.

In my future articles, I'll share with you some of the modern uses of Qi Men and also show you why it's 'scarier side' is really not all that scary.

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