PureInsight | July 28, 2003
[Series note: In the ancient times, Chinese people believed that man and nature were closely connected and abnormal celestial phenomena corresponded to changes in the human world, manifesting as good luck or disasters for human beings. One's destiny may be predestined and an invisible hand might be guiding birth, aging, sickness and death.]
[PureInsight.org] Yuan Xiaoshu was born in Chen Shire. He lost his father when he was young and was well known as being devoted to his mother. One time his mother fell ill and was unconscious for many days. In a dream, Xiaoshu met an old man, who said he could heal his mother's illness. Xiaoshu asked the old man his name and where he lived, but the old man wouldn't tell. The old man asked Xiaoshu to meet him at a nearby stone altar. He said he had medicine.
When Xiaoshu woke up, he started searching for the stone altar. Xiaoshu found an abandoned Taoist temple ten miles from his home. There was an old stone altar in the temple. On the altar there was the old man, just as he had dreamt. Xiaoshu was overjoyed, and he respectfully brought the old man home. The old man took out a pill, called Jiuling Dan, from his pocket. He asked Xiaoshu's mom to take the pill with fresh water. The next day Xiaoshu's mother recovered. Xiaoshu was very grateful to the old man. He wanted to show his gratitude by giving the old man money and gifts, but everything was refused.
From that point on, the old man visited Xiaoshu once a month. Nobody knew where the old man lived. Xiaoshu had a feeling that the old man could read people's future, so he wanted to ask him about it. Out of respect, Xiaoshu dared not inquire. One day, the old man came and told Xiaoshu, "I am going to a far away place. We won't see each other again." Then, he took a book out of his robe and gave it to Xiaoshu. The old man said, "Your life span and all your achievements in life are contained in here. Everything has been predestined. If you are anxious for success, your efforts will surely be in vain. You should keep my book safe. Every time you get a big appointment in your life, you can open it and read one page. If you do not follow my instructions, you will have trouble." Xiaoshu got down on his knees to accept the book. Then, the old man departed.
Later on, Xiaoshu contracted a serious illness. He lay in bed dying. When his relatives asked Xiaoshu about arrangements following his death, Xiaoshu said, "I have a book from an immortal and I have not read it yet. Why do you worry about such things?" Ten days later he recovered.
Xiaoshu was appointed an officer in Zhucheng City in the Mizhou region (in Shandong Province). After being transferred five times, Xiaoshu was promoted to Commissioner in Linjin County in Puzhou. Every time Xiaoshu received a new appointment, he would read a page of the book. The time and date was always exactly the same as what the old man had written in the book.
After Xiaoshu's term of duty ran out, he went to live at a country villa. One morning Xiaoshu got up and was just about to comb his hair, when something fell on the mirror in front of him. It looked like a snake, but had four legs. Xiaoshu was so scared, he fell to the ground. He lost his ability to speak and died a few days later.
A month later when Xiaoshu's wife was sorting out his belongings, she found the book. It seemed that half of the pages in the book hadn't yet been opened. She thought, "Sometimes immortals may miscalculate. The book is not finished, but he passed away." She opened the book. In the second half of the book there were only blank pages, with the exception of one page. On that one page was the drawing of a snake twisting on a mirror.
The Destiny Records (Ding Ming Lu)
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/7/9/22326.html