PureInsight | August 18, 2003
[PureInsight.org] A gentleman with the surname of Zhang was one of personal advisors of Wu Zhongyi, the governor of Heyang. Many of his colleagues were famous figures Among them there was a Taoist named Yin Jiuxia from Qingcheng Mountain. Yin had the supernormal ability of divination. When Wu Zhongyi asked Yin to predict his life span and his career development, Yin replied, "Mr. Situ [Wu's formal job title], you are already the governor of a province. What you desire is no more than an upgrade of power and authority, as well as an advancement to nobility! As long as you conduct yourself with compassion, virtue, righteousnesss, and humanity, you will have more wealth and honor than you desire."
Next, Wu Zhongyi asked Yin to predict each of his personal advisors' futures. Yin said, "Among them, one will certainly become the prime minister." At that time, Wu thought highly of an advsior with the surname of Pei; therefore, he immediately thought of Pei when he heard Yin's prediction. Wu asked, "Is it Pei that will become the prime minister?" Yin answered, "Judging by the current situation, it might appear that things should go as you expect. However, that is not what I see." At that time, Xiahou, a low-ranking official under Wu, was in charge of unpromising assignments such as post stops, and was infamous for his unattractive look, so Wu asked teasingly, "If not Pei, who would that be? Xiahou?" Yin replied, "Correct!" Wu clapped his hands and laughed. He said, "Master, are you sure of your divination?" Yin said, "I am a hermit. I have already chosen the righteous path of cultivation, and I am no longer interested in fame and wealth. What I just told you was nothing more than the truth." Wu said, "In that case, things are indeed beyond my speculation. Who will be the second most achieved man among them?" Yin said, "Although Zhang is not a government official now, but your personal advisor, he will eventually become a government official and attain glory and power."
As soon as Yin Jiuxia left Wu Zhongyi's home, he went to see Zhang immediately. Yin said to Zhang calmly, "Mr. Zhang, your countenance shows that you are an excellent person for cultivation. If you choose to enslave yourself in the government, you will enjoy a secular life that will last for merely twenty or thirty years. If you could abandon this secular world, and cultivate the Tao with me, I am confident that you will become an immortal within twenty years, and ascend to heaven. I did not come to stay among the government officials out of attachments to this secular world that I am unable to remove; rather I made this trip to seek a candidate to be a Taoist immortal. I have met many people in this trip, but none of them had such a close predestined relationship with the Tao as you do!" Mr. Zhang took Yin's words as those of a conjurer, so he just nodded out of politeness. Yin Jiuxia had no choice but to bid Zhang farewell. He left Heyang but he returned almost immediately to pay a second trip to Mr. Zhang. His second visit was a sincere and affectionate gesture to Zhang, but Zhang still didn't change his mind. Yin felt truly sorry for Zhang. He left a couple of pills and one book of sand-colored paper to Zhang. As Yin bid farewell to Zhang, he explained, "These pills will get rid of all illnesses. The book of sand-colored paper lists all of the promotions and transfers in your political career. Each time you get a promotion or a transfer, you may open this book privately and see the records in this book. When you finish reading this book, think over what I offered today."
Later, Xiahou indeed became very prominent and powerful in the government, and ended up becoming the Prime Minister. Zhang became a government official as Yin had predicted, working under the Royal Cabinet of Legislation. He wore dark red and purple royal court robes, and made several inspection tours to many provinces. [Note: In the Tang Dynasty, the color of a government official's robe indicated his job level and status.] Yin's predictions from the book of sand-colored paper had come true one after another. In the 36th year of Zhang's career, he became the Vice Minister of Finance Ministry. At this time, there was virtually no other record left in the book. Despite his highly successful and accomplished career, Zhang had become an old man with missing teeth and gray hair. Zhang often told his relatives and friends about the time when Yin Jiuxia tried to talk to him into cultivating in the Tao. After Zhang recalled Yin's youthful countenance at the time and compared himself now with Yin, he regretted his choice because it was beyond comparison!
Translated from http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/7/27/22667.html