Dear Zhou Gong,
I’m sorry I haven’t written to you for a while. I ‘ve been thinking of you – and meaning to write.
I guess you haven’t noticed my absence, since you’re very busy appearing in half the nations’ dreams. Since Dreaming Zhou Gong means the dreamer will experience something lucky the next day, the other half of the nation probably wished they’d dreamed of you.
Zhou Gong, its been a while since you graced this earth – over 3000 year from all accounts – yet so many people still remember you – or remember your name.
I have so many thing’s I’d like to ask you, if you can hear me from wherever you currently are.
Did you know when you spent so much time establishing codes and regulations for just about everything in governance – from building codes, to town planning, to the function of music in ritual – that your ideas would send shock waves down the timelines, lasting, indeed, to the present day, in China?
Did you know that someone called Kong Que, later to be known as Kong Fuzi, -Master Kong – latinised as Confucius, would spend his life reminding people of your example of ethical conduct, and would have temples built to him and copious books written about his thoughts, also still functioning and relevant to the present day?
Maybe you were just trying to build a brave new world, after the despotic and depraved last king of the Shang dyasty.
Undoubtedly you were attempting to live the concept of Trinity – Heaven, Earth, and Humankind – and following messages from heaven. Zhou Gong, they say it was you who first used the term Mandate of Heaven, when you spoke of how your dead father watched the heavens to determine the time of battle.
King Wu’s military advisors and all the assembled allies ordered a strike, but your father, Zhou Gong, said ‘wait.’ The generals were angry but they followed their King, who was waiting for the alignment of Jupiter in Quail Fire.
How did we all know when to arrive on time? When the geese came flocking together, who was it who made them gather? says an ancient Chinese song. The geese were the stars that your father was following, Zhou Gong.
Did you know that this concept, Mandate of Heaven, would remain so fixed in Chinese thought that even rulers without regal blood would be influenced but its gravity?
Dear Zhou Gong, how could one man have such a lasting influence?
Are you too busy in heaven dropping down to people’s dreams to consider answering my presumptuous questions?
If you are listening, somewhere, Zhou Gong, could you pop down to my dreams also? so i too, can
the featured image is a bronze bell inscription from the Western Zhou dynasty taken from http://www.npm.gov.tw/exh99/bell/2_en.htm
for more astronomical information about the ‘signs of heaven’ during the Zhou dynasty, see David Pankenier‘s work