PureInsight | July 28, 2003
Series note: In ancient times, Chinese people believed that human society and the universe corresponded to one another. Changes in the human world were the result of changes in celestial phenomena, which could bring either good fortune or disasters to human society. One's future was predestined and governed by cosmic laws, be it birth, aging, sickness, or death. As to whether one can escape these cosmic laws or not, readers can draw their own conclusions from reading this ancient story.
[PureInsight.org] Censor Pei Zhou went to Youzhou (now Beijing) on an official assignment and met an elderly military staff officer from Yizhou whose last name was Hu. Hu could not remember his first name when Pei Zhou asked him. When Pei Zhou saw that Hu had a large scar on his neck, he asked Hu what had happened.
Hu said, "I used to be an official in the southwest region of China. Li Qiao was the official who supervised me. He thought I was smart and asked me to organize and preserve his poems. But he also said that although I was very smart, I would have a rough road ahead of me and would be short of money and fame. He said I would encounter a life-threatening disaster at the age of 30, and, if I survived, I wouldn't be offered an official position until the age of 60. Finally, he said that my life would be full of frustrations, and suggested that I should not pursue fame.
Hu continued, "When I was 30, Sun Quan waged war with a northern war lord, and I joined his army. During a battle, my neck was badly cut by an enemy solder. Although it was not broken, I was left for dead and laid amongst the corpses on the battlefield overnight. When I finally regained my health, our forces had lost the war. After that, I decided to follow Li Qiao's suggestion and gave up seeking official positions and fame to find a janitorial job in a temple."
Hu continued, "I finally came to Yanzhou when I was in my 60's as a guest in Governor Guo's home. During that time, a fortune-teller saw me and suggested to the Governor that I was a good candidate for an official position. The fortune teller predicted that I would receive the position before October of that year."
"Governor Guo thought that his shire was remote and unimportant and that he himself did not even have a chance of being promoted. How could he possibly have an opportunity to recommend someone else for an official position to the Emperor? However, not long after this, the Emperor issued a decree which stipulated that every Governor from every Prefecture of the country should recommend a person from their district for an official appointment. Governor Guo went ahead and recommended me by the end of May. In his letter to the Emperor, he said that I was very knowledgeable in the strategies of war."
Finally, Hu told Pei Zhou, "In October, I passed the government's examination system and was accepted for an official position as an assistant military officer in the East Palace. I was in charge of counseling on military issues in Youzhou for many years."
References: The Destiny Records (Ding Ming Lu)
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/7/7/22289.html