Chapter 6 – The pain of metaphysics
Professor Zhou referred to Zhou BingYan, who teaches at the Capital’s University and was quite famous in the national and even international academic circles. Few people know that his hometown was in a third-tier city in the north, a small village that belonged to the East City.
Professor Zhou was born in the Ten Miles Village and lived through the country’s turmoil in the 1960s and 1970s. His parents, who taught in the village and were both very educated, were persecuted to death during the turmoil.
After the death of his parents, Zhou BingYan, who had no one to turn to, went north to the capital and joined his relatives there.
Later, when the turmoil ended, he became a lecturer at Capital’s University. After many years of experience, he was awarded the title of professor for his academic achievements, and had since remained in the capital and never returned to his hometown.
As the idiom goes, the fallen leaves would all return to their roots. When Zhou BingYan, who was over 60 years old and retired, recalling his youth days, he couldn’t help but felt emotional. This had given him the idea of returning to his hometown for a visit.
After returning to Ten Miles Village, Zhou BingYan realised that the appearance of the village had changed a lot compared to twenty years ago. Although it was not financially rich, it was a peaceful and happy place to live in.
What was more important was the village consisted of mountains and rivers which made the scenery very beautiful and relaxing. This made Zhou BingYan, who had been living in the big city for many years, instantly fall in low with it and was even more excited about the decision to stay in the village for his retirement!
Having made up his mind, the first thing Zhou BingYan did was to build a monument for the grave of his parents, who had been hastily buried back then. Therefore, it was only after New Year’s Eve and he was eager to gather some of the village elders up to the mountains to choose a plot of land.
Grandma and Aunt Meng were both very emotional when they chatted about Professor Zhou’s return to his hometown.
“When Professor Zhou returns to the village for retirement, Zhou Wang family’s life will be better from now on.”
“Isn’t it? It’s the family’s second uncle who has returned right? I heard that when Professor Zhou came back, he brought a big colour TV, a washing machine, and a refrigerator for Zhou Wang’s family! I guess the red packet wasn’t too little either, but Zhou Wang’s family is so tight-lipped and won’t talk about it.”
Xia Shao on the other side listened to the conversation between the two of them, but there was a strange look in her eyes, and even slightly sighed.
It was because Grandma and Aunt Meng didn’t know that, according to the circumstances of the previous life, this Professor Zhou, who had returned home for retirement in the village, had passed away a year later.
The incident started when Professor Zhou’s son in the capital suddenly died in a car accident. In his grief, Professor Zhou rushed back to the capital by car, but no one expected him to meet an accident on the way too.
This sudden back luck caused the villagers to grieve, but it was far from over.
Afterward, there was also a series of incidents in Uncle Zhou Wang’s family, with inexplicable disasters and illnesses.
The villagers began to whisper and gossiped that something went wrong with his family’s ancestral tomb. There was something wrong with the land chosen by Professor Zhou when he first built the tomb.
Later on, Uncle Zhou Wang asked someone else to move the ancestral tomb to another place, and only then did his family’s disasters and illnesses slowly diminish.
As a result, the story of *Feng Shui of the ancestral graves became more widespread in the village.
(T/N: 风水 fēng shuǐ known as Chinese geomancy. One of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics.)
This incident was a mystery that Xia Shao heard of during her childhood but was long forgotten.
When she thought about it later, Xia Shao couldn’t help but laughed, thinking that the Feng Shui talk was all nonsense! It was obvious that the elderly of the village were just superstitious.
It wasn’t until Xia Shao went to university that, as she studied architecture, there was an optional course on <<Feng Shui Theory>> in the school’s elective course!
This struck Xia Shao as a bit of a rarity, not understanding why the university would offer such a course, so she enrolled in the elective. After getting in contact with it, Xia Shao then realised that her previous thoughts were too arbitrary and ignorant of metaphysics.
During the Tang Dynasty, Feng Shui master Li ChunFeng and the master of physiognomy Yuan TianGang wrote the book <<Tui Bei Tu>> which entire book predicted the prosperity, governance, and chaos of the future generation and even made predictions about important events in the late Tang Dynasty as well as later dynasties.
Not only was the order of the dynasties completely accurate, but even the major events that occurred in the dynasties were true! Including the TaiPing Heavenly Kingdom, the entry of Qing troops into China, and the Japanese invasion of China, it was amazing that all of it happened!
Since then, Xia Shao had taken some interest in this mysterious and erudite learning of her country.
The so-called metaphysics was an Eastern philosophy studied, interpreted, and extended from <<Lao Zi>>, <<Zhuang Zi>> and <<Zhou Yi>>.
Feng Shui, on the other hand, was a branch of metaphysical science theories.
In the era when the country was in turmoil, and when the Western culture was being introduced with great vigor, the country was paranoid and devalued its own culture. Believing that the West was scientific and its own was superstitious, leading to the decline of Eastern philosophy, which was even misunderstood to this day.
For example, Tarot card divination and Astrology, which rose to prominence among students and offices workers in the later period. Many people believe in these to the death and find them fantastically accurate, while hearing about their physiognomy and trigonometry, they think they were superstitious instead.
In fact, the Tarot card emerged in medieval Europe, where it was equivalent to the Chinese <<Zhou Yi>>, but Zhou Yi was originated in the Shang and Zhou periods, at least a full thousand years before Europe.
Meanwhile, they were still rejecting and criticizing themselves, the West was beginning to include the Chinese *Yi Jing in its study and considered it not only was it scientific but also extensive.
(T/N: 易经 yì jīng which is commonly referred to as The Book of Changes “I Ching” an ancient Chinese divination text.)
In the case of Feng Shui theory, it can be described as geophysics, hydrogeology, cosmological astrology, meteorology, environmental landscape architecture, architecture, ecology as well as human life informatics that was a natural discipline that integrated a variety of disciplines.
Many people didn’t believe it and that was because the metaphysics and theories of Yi Jing were extremely profound and difficult to understand. Also, the lineage was all about heritage, whereas nowadays there were very few people who actually had the inheritance.
In other words, there were very few people who understood it, and most of them were self-taught, half-decent knowledge, commonly known as a charlatan. Many of these people aimed to enrich themselves and it harmed the others, deepening the misunderstanding of many people.
In fact, no one dared to offend a true Feng Shui master in ancient times. For these people could easily kill others with a single move of their fingers, and even plague the future generations with tragic consequences!
Today, this kind of thing was not too mysterious.
On a scientific scale, it was a kind of earth magnetism or energy. In other words, everything was placed in such a way as to alter the magnetic field of some places, so that those people in it would be affected by it. Either for good or bad luck and could even end life without silently!
The Feng Shui of ancestral tombs, in the opinion of Xia Shao today, had some truth to it. The ancient people were concerned with the word “Qi”, which was similar to electromagnetic waves when interpreted in modern science.
Parents and children had the same kind of electromagnetic waves, and all things in the mountains and rivers were born from Qi. However, this Qi was both auspicious and inauspicious and if the deceased was buried in a place where inauspicious Qi gathered, the children would be affected.
Thinking back on all these, Xia Shao once again remembered her elective course. That time she thought to herself that if she had the time to go back to her hometown, she must find the place where Professor Zhou’s family had buried their ancestral grave and take a field trip to see it. Yet, due to various reasons, it didn’t happen.
Xia Shao didn’t expect that being reborn would give her the chance to find out what happened!
Never did she thought that she would be able to see Professor Zhou again!
Recalling back when her grandmother took her to visit Uncle Zhou Wang at his home, she had only met Professor Zhou once, but the elderly man left her with an impression of being kind and knowledgeable.
Right now, all the tragedy had not yet happened to this elderly man.
Xia Shao suddenly felt the desire to meet Professor Zhou. Such a famous scholar, a kind and loving elderly man should not have passed away suddenly after a year.
At this moment, she heard her grandmother said: “Let’s go to Zhou Wang’s house one day and meet Professor Zhou. He is a professor from the Capital’s University, that’s a man of culture, who had seen the world.”
Aunt Meng replied: “That’s true, but we can’t do it today. When I came out, I heard my husband saying that Professor Zhou had just taken some elderly villagers and gone up the mountain.”
Upon hearing this, Xia Shao drank the chicken soup from the bowl with a few gulps and placed the bowl down: “Grandma, I want to go up the mountain.”