Wednesday 11 April 2012

Living: Master So VS Mayans' Doomsday Prediction

Image from Amazon
A few days ago, one of my students presented her findings in the class, and the one she chose to present was this, the Mayan Calendar and of course, the end of the world prophecy. I, of course, do not believe any in the end of the world prophecies simply because there are always one prophecy after another, and they are all not true. Some of you might still remember Y2K, of which some claimed that once the time switched from  23:59 of 1999-12-31 to 00:00 of 2000-01-01, the computers will go crazy, nuclear missiles would launch like crazy and the world would end.

Oh well....
Mayan Calendar
Image from indie country music chart

World-renowned Chinese Feng Shui master Peter So Man-Fung has his views too, but that would be at the very end of the following article. Before you read what he said, you can also read his predictions about Hong Kong, Europe and US to see how much he was right. (This article was posted on the 22nd January 2012).

Riding the Dragon: 2012 predictions from Chinese masters
By: Joyce Woo
Agence France-Presse
4:32 pm | Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
In a picture taken on January 17, feng shui master
and TV personality Peter So poses for a picture
while holding a Chinese feng shui compass in Hong Kong.
China's feng shui masters tackle the big issues with
their predictions for the Year of the Dragon.
HONG KONG—Want to know what’s in store for 2012? Who will win the US election? Will the eurozone implode? China’s feng shui masters tackle the big issues with their predictions for the Year of the Dragon.
As Chinese communities around the world prepare to ring in the new year on Monday, astrologers and geomancers are predicting the dragon will bring natural disasters and financial volatility, especially to crisis-hit Europe.
“The world economy will be unstable in the Year of the Dragon, because the economies in Europe and the US are still suffering from the effects of the recession,” Hong Kong feng shui master Anthony Cheng says.
Celebrity astrologer Peter So says the United States will provide some good news late in the year, but his charts for Europe make grim reading.
“Europe will not recover so soon – it is expected to suffer at least until 2014. But what I can say is this, a recovery for the US economy is possible in 2013,” he says.
If you’re prepared to ride the dragon and invest in 2012, Russia and China could be your best bets. The two emerging markets will be the best performers in a volatile year, says Cheng.
But be prepared for surprises, especially out of China where the Communist Party will hold its 18th Congress to select a new generation of leaders.
“In the second half of the year, a scandalous corruption case will be exposed in China,” warns Cheng, refusing to elaborate about who will be implicated.
“I can also predict that in Hong Kong and in mainland China, a number of high-ranking officials will be forced to step down. Some may be thrown behind bars, or even pass away.”
Many Chinese take such predictions seriously and adjust their lives accordingly. Feng shui, the ancient study of the forces of chi, or life energy, is a daily part of life in the Chinese world.
One of Hong Kong’s largest brokerages, CLSA, releases a Feng Shui Index every year, offering its “tongue-in-cheek” predictions for global markets and world affairs.
Lest anyone take it seriously, CLSA admits that feng shui’s “original purpose was to locate auspicious burial spots, not call the twists and turns of the equity markets or individual sectors.”
But it has a stab anyway, even if some of its predictions are less than audacious. For example, it says the stars point to a “job opening” for Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, the man everyone expects to become China’s next ruler after the 18th Congress in October or November.
As for US politics, the soothsayers are more cautious. When asked who will win the US elections, So refuses to make a prediction without precise information about the dates and times of the candidates’ births.
“Sometimes luck depends on the country itself, rather than an individual president,” he says enigmatically.
“For the US, they are starting to have luck on their side again, so it is going to be a good year no matter who’s elected.”
The five Chinese elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water, and 2012 is tipped to be big on water. This could mean riches and abundance, but it could also spell disaster.
Well-known Hong Kong astrologer Alion Yeo says we should brace for storms and floods. “Expect to see a lot of flooding in areas like Thailand and southeast China,” he says.
So sees similar portents, but with an earthy twist.
“Indonesia, Pakistan, India and places in China like Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou are particularly disaster-prone. They are likely to experience frequent earthquakes,” he says.
While the ancient Chinese were developing their systems of astrology and geomancy, people across the Pacific were finding other ways to predict the future.
The Mayans of modern-day South America purportedly had a calendar that showed the world would come to an end on December 21, 2012.
Like the historians who rubbish such interpretations of Mayan belief, So says there is no need to fear the end is nigh.
Doomsday is just a bunch of make-believe,” he says.

So, was Master So really correct? Looking back from today, what he said on 22nd January was pretty spot on! The US economy is obvious leading Europe in terms of recovery. In the stock market, non-state-owned Hong Kong listed Chinese companies are fuelling scares, audit firms sack their bosses like they don't care not getting paid. Corruption case in the second half of  the year? A number of high-ranking officials will be forced to step down? Very likely.

The last thing that Master So said was Mayans' end of the world prediction is make-believe. I totally agree, because if it is really true, then the Vatican definitely will make an announcement first, not the Mayans.

There are more to hear from Master So, and I will write about it in the future entries.

Learning Pyschology:
The above article is not an easy one with many difficult words, sure enough many learners of English will feel frustrated reading it. However, take it step by step, slowly, try to understand the meaning of every line before you move on, use the vocabulary list I have provided for you to make the process easier. When you can understand, you will have interest to keep going. Don't give up too quickly and don't push yourself too hard. Take your time. This is how I learn.

prophecy -- (n) [C] a statement that says what is going to happen in the future, especially one which is based on what you believe about a particular matter rather than existing facts
missile -- (n)[C] a flying weapon which has its own engine so that it can travel a long distance before exploding at the place that it has been aimed at
renowned -- (adj) famous for something
astrologer -- (n)[C] someone who studies astrology
geomancer -- (n) [C] from Geomancy ( Greek: γεωμαντεία, "earth divination") is a method of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soil, rocks, or sand.
volatility -- (adj) likely to change suddenly and unexpectedly or suddenly become violent or angry
crisis-hit -- (adj) [before noun] experiencing or having experienced a dangerous or difficult situation, especially a difficult financial situation:
recession -- (n)[C or U] a period when the economy of a country is not successful and conditions for business are bad
grim -- (adj) worrying, without hope
emerging market -- (n) [C] are nations with social or business activity in the process of rapid growth and industrialization.
scandalous -- (adj) making people shocked and upset
implicate -- (vb)[T] to show that someone is involved in a crime or partly responsible for something bad that has happened
step down /aside -- [phrasal verb] to leave an important job or position, especially to allow someone else to take your place
prediction -- (n) [C or U] when you say what will happen in the future
ancient -- (adj) of or from a long time ago, having lasted for a very long time
chi -- (n) [U] In traditional Chinese culture, qì (also chi or ch'i) is an active principle forming part of any living thing.
brokerage -- (n)[C] [C] (also brokerage house) an organization that buys and sells currency, shares, etc. For other people or organizations:
lest -- (conjunction) literary in order to prevent any possibility that something will happen
tongue-in-cheek -- (adj) [before noun] describes something that is meant to be understood as a joke, although it might appear to be serious
auspicious -- (adj) formal suggesting a positive and successful future
burial spot /ground-- (n)[C] an area of land where dead bodies are buried, especially a long time ago
twist -- (n) [C] a change in the way in which something happens
stab -- (n)[C] a sudden feeling, especially an unpleasant one such as pain
audacious -- (adj) showing a willingness to take risks or offend people
soothsayer -- (n) [C] old use a person who is believed to have the ability to know and tell what will happen in the future
enigmatically -- (adv) from enigmatic mysterious and impossible to understand completely
brace for  -- from brace yourself for [R] to prepare yourself physically or mentally for something unpleasant
portent -- (vb)  [T] formal to be a sign that something bad is likely to happen in the future
earthy -- (adj) like or relating to earth
Mayan -- (n) [C] people of the Maya. The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period (c. 2000 BC to 250 AD), according to the Mesoamerican chronology, many Maya cities reached their highest state of development during the Classic period (c. 250 to 900 AD), and continued throughout the Post-Classic period until the arrival of the Spanish.
purportedly -- (adv) from purport  [T to infinitive] formal to pretend to be or to do something, especially in a way that is not easy to believe
rubbish -- (vb)  [T] UK informal to criticize
nigh -- (adv)(prep) old-fashioned or literary near
doomsday -- (n)[U] the end of the world, or a time when something very bad will happen
spot on -- [after verb] UK informal exactly right
make-believe -- (n)  [U] disapproving  believing in things that you want to believe because they are easy or exciting, but which are not real

Riding the Dragon: 2012 predictions from Chinese masters @ Inquirer Lifestyle