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About SirPalomides

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  1. Visualization has been a major part of Daoist magic since, well, forever I guess. Sanskrit and even Buddhist stuff is pretty normal in Daoist practices, especially in the more folksy “heterodox” strands. I don’t believe Maoshan is classified as “red hat” but it seems they are in some respects closer to that spectrum than to Zhengyi, Quanzhen, etc.
  2. Qi Gong and Tibetan Yogas?

    Jade maidens? Or is that more for alchemists?
  3. Not a chapter but he begins with a list of do’s and don’ts for the duration of the training, foods to avoid, optimal times for practice etc. including abstinence from sex. The practice is supposed to extend for a minimum of 21 days and maximum of 50 (I think).
  4. East is East and West is West

    Well they were very civilized, and civilized people are very nasty.
  5. East is East and West is West

    Yeah one of the oldest forms of warfare- still practiced in a few places- is cattle raiding. Cattle raiders are generally attacking, and being attacked by, their neighbors. As a result the casualties tend to be relatively light because no one wants to ignite a blood feud. Though there is always the potential for things to get way out of hand.
  6. Non-random Yijing consultation

    For anyone interested I finally found something from the Plum Blossom method, as explained in Da Liu's book I Ching Numerology and some missing information supplied by Harmen Mesker. I'm not sure if it's quite what Taomeow was taught because it doesn't use yarrow stalks or coins at all. Basically there are two approaches called Earlier Heaven and Later Heaven, and the one I had in mind is the Later Heaven. The hexagram is determined by observing some object and taking note of the hour and direction. The object determines the upper trigram, the direction the lower trigram, and the hour, combined with the numbers of the trigrams, determines the moving line (there is only one moving line in the plum blossom method.)
  7. Teachers and political opinions

    In practical terms what would this look like, and how could I distinguish it from indifference/ apathy? I suspect this kind of detached equanimity is an aspiration whose time has come and gone.I think what Hegel said about stoicism has broad applicability: "…whether on the throne or in chains, in the utter dependence of its individual existence, its aim is to be free, and to maintain that lifeless indifference which steadfastly withdraws from the bustle of existence, alike from being active as passive, into the simple essentiality of thought... As a universal form of the World-Spirit, stoicism could only appear on the scene in a time of universal fear and bondage, but also a time of universal culture which had raised itself to the level of thought." There is of course the question, How can you judge a state of mind you have not experienced yourself? To which I would say, when we are choosing to take this or that path, when we are choosing to follow a teacher apart from other teachers, we necessarily make a judgment that what that path or teacher offers is desirable and valuable. If the goal so unintelligible to us at the start of the path then there is no way for us to reasonably embark on that path- its value is just one bare assertion among so many others. And from the little I know, a state of withdrawal or neutrality, whether attained as a momentary posture or as the result of long meditation, doesn't look like wisdom to me.
  8. Yep. Mostly hideous. This is far from a problem for Hindus only!
  9. Well the purpose of religious art is generally to convey some truth or transcendent ideal, or communicate the presence of the divine. So not being distractingly hideous doesn’t seem like such an unreasonable expectation.
  10. 21 to 50 days seems perfectly feasible for most people, no? Heck I haven’t gotten any in nearly a year 😝 But no, I haven’t tried it out and as a new dad probably won’t have time in the foreseeable future
  11. Teachers and political opinions

    I think there are some issues where taking an attitude of “the truth is somewhere in the middle” is dishonest, irresponsible, cowardly, and beneficial to oppressors. There are some situations where a supposedly niche or extreme position is actually the sanest one to take. I’d rather everyone make their positions clear than affect a vapid impartiality.
  12. I don’t mind the use of automata if they actually look good and not like some shabby theme park attraction. I visited some Hindu temples in Malaysia and the statues there too looked like they had been sculpted and painted with the aesthetic sensibility of a five year old. Obviously Hinduism has produced some amazing art through the ages so I can’t imagine everyone is happy about this state of affairs.
  13. Jason Read’s book Thunder Magic was recently released. Jason Read is trained in the Maoshan school of Daoist magic and those who follow the I Ching and Occult Taoism group on Facebook will have seen his many fascinating posts on various magical practices. This book is quite short but packed with fascinating information and, if you have the time and discipline, a very clear step by step guide to the practice of Daoist thunder magic (雷法). Read asserts that thunder magic has become “rather staid and ineffective ritual curiosities in the hands of the orthodox schools” but has retained its power among Maoshan sorcerers- I wonder if orthodox Daoists would contest this claim. Anyway well worth a look if magic interests you at all.
  14. Teachers and political opinions

    Based on his very public Facebook page ( John Dolic certainly isn’t shy about his views so there’s no need to keep it anonymous. Is it possible to learn valuable things from charlatans and lunatics? Yes... but they definitely wouldn’t be my first choice.