Today, let's talk about whether fortune-telling can really change your destiny. I often come across this statement: fortune-telling can only predict whether something will happen or not, but what's meant to happen will always happen, and it's unavoidable. Someone once explained it to me using the analogy of predicting rain. Even if you know it will rain, you can't change anything because the rain won't stop just because you predicted it. So, when people talk about changing their destiny, it's actually just about bringing an umbrella with you. Yes, that's right. I told my friend that having this realisation is great because it shows that he had verified many bazi and realised that even if they are accurate, they often don't change much. However, I continued by saying that he still doesn't understand what destiny truly means. Destiny cannot be changed. The argument about "when it rains, nobody can stop it" sounds reasonable, but he is only talking about a part of destiny. Let me explain this further.
There's a very famous book in Chinese metaphysics called "Sanmingtonghui," (The Compendium of Three Destinies) which is considered a classical text on Bazi reading. Surprisingly, even English-speaking Chinese people are familiar with this book. You can find partial translations of it online, although most of them are incomplete. However, it's encouraging to see many people eager to learn about Bazi and seeking knowledge in this field.
This book is one of the catalogues included in the "Siku Quanshu" (The Complete Library in Four Sections, which is a comprehensive collection of Chinese literature) and can be considered an encyclopedia that integrates various fortune-telling techniques from different eras. It was compiled during the Qing Dynasty by Emperor Qianlong. It holds a very high reputation. Even in modern times, many accomplished practitioners have read this book, and some teachers even use it as a textbook because of its credibility, being compiled for the emperor. I believe that with this introduction, many readers might already be tempted to search for this book online. But hold on, don't rush to search for it just yet. I haven't finished writing. Despite being a comprehensive book on Chinese Metaphysics compiled for the emperor, the actual content is a mess. It contains more falsehoods than truths, and it's nearly impossible for beginners to discern the authenticity of the content. Let me make it clear: "Absolutely impossible." Even experienced BaZi practitioners who have studied for decades can't distinguish the true from the false. So, don't assume that just because a book was compiled for the emperor, it must be genuine and reliable.
There has been a popular saying in folklore that goes, "Kangxi believes in Bazi, Qianlong loves divination, and Yongzheng read Bazi." These three emperors were grandfather and father-son relationships, and there are records of Yongzheng's involvement in Bazi analysis, which I may share with you at another time. From this, we can infer that Qianlong, to some extent, had knowledge of Chinese Metaphysics. The officials, ministers, and scholars who assisted in compiling the book were unlikely to present false information to deceive the emperor. After all, which official would dare risk committing the crime of deceiving the emperor? They could lose their heads in an instant. So, this aspect alone convinced many people of the book's credibility. However, I must point out that even though the emperor understood Bazi, he wasn't an expert in it. At least Qianlong's level wasn't on par with Yongzheng's, so it's normal for Qianlong to miss certain details. (To be honest, even Yongzheng might not have been able to spot the flaws in Sanmingtonghui.) If I have the opportunity, I will explain the issues within its content.
Now, what does this highly regarded yet full of falsehoods ancient book have to do with changing one's destiny? Actually, I just wanted to use the title of this book to provide an explanation. The book is called "Sanmingtonghui." What does "Sanming" (Three Destiny) mean? What are those "three"? I have asked many practitioners, and hardly anyone could provide an answer. So, does the book "Sanmingtonghui" discuss the meaning of "Sanming"? Actually, it does. Unfortunately, many who claim to have read the book are unaware of this fact. So, what are all these "Masters" in the industry doing? In fact, there are quite a few books on Chinese Metaphysics with "Sanming" in their titles, including the well-known "Ziping method" with the "Ziping Sanming Tongbian", and "Sanming Xiaoxi Fu." There are still 3-4 other books titled "Sanming" that haven't been mentioned yet. From this, we can understand that "Sanming - The Three Destiny" was something the ancients paid great attention to when it came to destiny reading. So, when the book, "Sanmingtonghui", refers to "Sanming," what does it mean? "Sanming" refers to heavenly stems, earthly branches, and nayin. By the word itself, it seems simple—just these three things. But in reality, it's not just these three. That's why I say that only those who can understand it will recognize the fallacies within the book. Those who cannot understand it believe simply because it is an officially recognized book by the emperor, choosing to believe for the sake of believing. This behaviour is terrifying. I often see many Feng Shui groups on Facebook discussing ancient Feng Shui books, not realising that many of these ancient texts are full of errors. Let's not talk about Feng shui for now.
"Sanming" refers to Tian (heaven), Ren (human), and Di (earth). When we do fortune-telling, a significant part of it involves calculating a person's Tianming 天命 (heavenly destiny), Renming 人命 (human destiny), and Diming 地命 (earthly destiny). (Note that I say a significant part, not all of it. The foundation of fortune-telling lies in the three destinies of heaven, earth, and human, but often many people only come into contact with the calculation from one of the "ming-destiny".)
Tianming refers to all uncontrollable factors, such as rainy days—inevitably, it will rain; this is an uncontrollable aspect of Tianming. Your biological parents are also part of Tianming, which are beyond your control. It is certain that you will eventually face death; no one can deny this fact. These are all part of the uncontrollable Tianming.
Diming involves the elements that enter your life and influence your destiny. For example, the schools you attended in junior, senior school, and university, the mates you sat beside, the partners you had relationships with—these aspects may seem appointed, but in reality, you have control over which school to study in or whether to be friends with the student sitting next to you.
Renming refers to a person's character, reactions, tendencies, and preferences. These collectively can be loosely termed as "personality." Personality leads to behavioural outcomes. For example, because I don't like to argue, I avoid debating with my boss. Due to the absence of arguments, my boss likes me, which leads to special opportunities. With these opportunities, I then become... This is what "Sanming" encompasses.
Therefore, the statement "When it's destined to rain, no one can stop it" reflects a lack of understanding of "Sanming, the Three Destiny." While the factors of heaven may be uncontrollable, can we say the same about the factors of earth and human? For instance, we will all eventually die, and it may seem like there is no choice in the matter. However, don't forget that we can choose when and how we die. (maybe this statement could have surprised you, but that is how we manipulate our fate, tested and proven). Imagine if you knew you would die from a heart attack; wouldn't you try to find solutions to address the problem? I believe many people wouldn't seek solutions, which is why there are so many fatalistic people having love and hate feeling about fortune-telling. When it comes to fortune-telling, they hope to receive positive predictions but fear the negative ones. In fact, whether it's good or bad, the expected outcome of fortune-telling isn't the main focus. This is a significant difference between our approach and others. We don't take the predicted outcome seriously; instead, we focus on changing the predicted outcome. That is the true essence of fortune-telling.
In regards to the topic of "Sanming," even though it seems to be explained by the three words "heaven, human, and earth," the true understanding of "Sanming" goes beyond what this article can cover. If you have the opportunity, I recommend reading more of my articles to gradually gain a deeper understanding. This article simply provides a brief explanation of a common misconception about fortune-telling. (Anyway, even factors like who our parents are, which are part of the uncontrollable Tianming, can actually be influenced and controlled. This topic is more extensive, but having a basic understanding is sufficient for now.)
Lastly, let me remind the reader, This sentence → "When it's destined to rain, no matter how well you've predicted it, it's useless, because it still rains in the end" is a highly fatalistic viewpoint. I don't believe that fate is that bleak because the facts tell me fate doesn't work that way. Fortune-telling is done to seek good fortune and avoid misfortune, not to surrender to destiny. Of course, achieving the ability to not bow down to fate requires certain steps. It's definitely not as simple as what those "self-help" type Masters claim, where a bunch of inspiring words can change everything. Changing one's destiny is not easy, but there are certainly some techniques that can definitely effectively lead to it.
(In the very end, let's ponder why things need to wait until it's raining to take action. If one can predict, shouldn't they have already foreseen the rain and prepared Plan B? Being responsible for predictions but not for problem-solving clearly raises doubts about the "expertise" of many CM Masters...)