Before delving into BaZi reading, we must first examine the Daoist view of Man about the world and the universe. According to the Daoist viewpoint, man, heaven, and earth are inseparable. Everything is linked and joined. While large outside forces influence Man’s inner workings, we must remember that they see Man as a part of the whole, not as something separate. While each of us is unique, we are all a part of the world and the universe, making us insignificant in some ways. However, the sum of all parts equals the total. This point of view is not unique to Daoism but is found in many spiritual traditions. Understanding Man or oneself in totality is the foundation for Daoist practice. Man can genuinely be happy if he “understands his uniqueness and insignificance simultaneously, and can align himself between heaven and earth.
Man is holding the heavens while standing on the Earth in this image. This image is ancient and comes from the myth of the universe’s creation, which involves the mythical being Pan Gu, who was born in an egg and pushed and separated it into heaven and Earth. Heaven is pure spirit (yang), while Earth is pure essence (yin), and man is a combination of both energies (yin and yang). This image explains the fundamentals of the Daoist view of Man about everything!
Yin and yang are central concepts in Daoism, and we will discuss them in greater depth in later sections. We can consider yang to be the most expansive and volatile, something we cannot comprehend, and yin to be the most concrete and material, something that is real. With this image of Man between heaven and earth, we can consider the role of Ba Zi in understanding human nature. To do so and to better understand where Ba Zi fits into Chinese metaphysics, we must first look at what is known as the three lucks (San Cai).
We can now get into the specifics of the three lucks.
- Heaven Luck
We are bestowed with divine favor. We have no idea how or why, but it is in our nature. It will have both positive and negative aspects. It includes everything from outward tendencies to deep unconscious behavior. Some people have an easy life, while others struggle and have a difficult time. It’s not right. This is the heavenly mandate, Ba Zi. There isn’t much we can do about it, but we must understand it so that we can live better lives.
- Man Luck
Man luck is something we can do for ourselves, a personal practice. The image depicts how important it is for Man to be in balance with himself, the earth, the heavens, and finally with himself and heaven and earth. In other words, to respond correctly to any situation’s physical, energetic, and mental aspects, Man must be aligned between heaven and earth.
- Earth Luck
Feng Shui is the third luck and is concerned with how our surroundings and environment affect us. It is about how we organize our surroundings to align with our Heaven and Man’s luck, making them optimal. While Heaven luck is given to us and, as previously stated, there is not much we can do about it, Earth luck is something we can significantly influence. This means that the study of Ba Zi, combined with Feng Shui, provides us with everything we need to situate ourselves in time and space. Some people’s actions will occasionally be highly dependent.
We can think of the three lucks as a road trip, with Heaven luck as the vehicle you use (car, bicycle) on your journey. The road represents Earth luck (highway or dirt road), and the driver, us, represents Man luck. So, depending on the vehicle and the driver, we have various options for getting around. It is critical to understand that if the driver is a Way practitioner, he should learn everything about driving (the car, the road) to make the road trip as enjoyable as possible.
This is a brief but essential introduction to the Daoist image of Man. To comprehend Ba Zi, we must first understand how everything in Daoist practice and its tools is interconnected. Suppose one wishes to delve deeply into the understanding of the human mind. In that case, it is critical to recognize that such research will yield little if one is unwilling, to begin with, oneself before attempting to understand others. This is why Ba Zi is such an effective tool. We can use it on ourselves to better understand ourselves and also ourselves about others.