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About Zhongyongdaoist

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  1. Thanks Taomeow, I could have hardly said it better myself, and yes it is absolutely a necessary clarification, but one which I did not have time to make today, but I have tried to make clear in my discussions on Western magic, and to a certain extent on Chinese magic. Though the misunderstanding of what "supernatural" originally meant, and the relation between supernatural in that sense and paranormal as a replacement for it, is not going to go away easily, nor is the prejudice agains magic, whether Chinese or Western, going to be easy to over come, but thanks again for your valiant effort to do so. ZYD
  2. I had originally thought of replying to this when it first appeared, but I did not have time to compose a satisfactory post, and now what I see are well meaning oversimplifications of "Religious Daoism", and not much clarity on its relationship to Chinese "Popular Religion", of which it is almost impossible to avoid oversimplifications on anything less than a book length scale. By the way for those interested in a book length scale, the classic text is Taoism and Chinese Religion by Henri Maspero, a book which since I bought it in the early 80s has been a great help, though having been basically written before the Second World War, is definitely not a guide to the developments in the second half of the Twentieth Century. I don't have time today to post at any length, but I believe that a good starting point is a quote from Professor Jerry Alan Johnson's Daoist Internal Alchemy Neigong & Weigong, p. 329, posing the hypothetical question, “If the main purpose of teaching a religious system is to bring people into the faith, why are the teachings of the Daoist Alchemical Texts so obscure, and the true teachings hidden from the public?” His answer is simple and direct, "The answer is simple, true Daoism is a Magical Tradition, and not a Religion." Obviously Professor Johnson has similar misgivings to the use of "religion" in relation to "Religious Daoism" as led me to my own preference as I noted here: Fundamentally the "Daoist Priest" is not a priest in any way that modern usage makes clear. A Daoshi is a "Scholar of the Way" and literally a "master of ceremonies", basically an initiated practitioner of a Magical Tradition that dates back around 2,000 years, and is a synthesis of the original Heavenly Master movement, with the developments of the Shangqing and Linbao schools under the umbrella term Zhengyi Daoism, which he practices both on behalf of the community of which he is part, and for the sake of his own self development, both as a magician and practitioner of internal alchemy. As I further noted, it was to this system that I was introduced when: and part of my intent in starting the thread in my PPD: Ritual Daoism's part in Chinese Magic and Alchemy was to address some of the types of issues that have been raised here, with a more specific intent to focus on Ritual Daoism, than the Popular Religion, but to try to explicate the two, and how they are intertwined, but distinct, and based on some of the previous responses it is important to emphasize that there are clear demarcations between Ritual Daoism and, not merely the Religious, but also the popular magical traditions of China, and specifically that these differences focus on the close integration of Ritual and Alchemical practices in Ritual Daoism as I pointed out above as the "Daoist system of ritual and meditative alchemy", which is a unique system which unifies neigong and weigong, in a profound way that superficial discussion or study of the relevant texts cannot possibly convey. I hope this is helpful. It is all I have to time post right now. Edit: I was rushed enough writing the above, and my browser was asking me to please close it for updates, so I posted the above and proceeded with the updates. I have made one change which was to change "a profound system" to "a unique system" in the last paragraph, because of the use of "profound" again later in the sentence.
  3. The love of the truth is the only sure protection we have on the path.
  4. I was just about to ask you to clarify your principle reason for asking about this system, and whether your concern with systems was principally that of Daoist magic, or other aspects. This answer does seem to indicate an interest in magic and some familiarity with modern Western magic. In this regard you might find my own posts on Dao Bums of interest since I have studied Chinese and Western magic extensively for decades, and they might be useful to you. Here is a search for mentions of magic in posts of mine: ZYD: posts mentioning magic There's about ten pages of posts, but it should give you some interesting food for thought.
  5. One of the things that you can do on the Dao Bums is save search results by copying the address out of the space that has the IP address of the page you on. I did a search for Tin Yat as a topic and came up with the following: Search "Tin Yat" on Dao Bums There are a lot of good posts here which should give some idea of what is going on with Yin Tat Taoism. The most important one is probably this one: Yin Tat Taoism by Yin Tat Taoist There are also a few on Mak Tin Si. In a funny example of self-reference, the first thread listed in the search is this one. To give some credit where credit is due, it was our former staff member Kar3n who found out that you could save searches like this, and it is a real useful technique for data mining on Dao Bums. Edit: Corrected link to Yin Tat Taoism
  6. I went to the site tinyatdragon.com and it confirmed what I thought, that it is: There was a great deal of activity related to his teacher, Mak Tin Si, and Chi in Nature, when I started on Dao Bums nine years ago. So searching under Mak Tin Si, and Chi in Nature would be the way to research this. I also seem to remember that this fellow, who seems to be in charge of teaching magic now, posted in the past year or so on Dao Bums to invite people to learn Daoist magic with him. I don't think he got much of a response, as really not many here are interested in Daoist magic to begin with, though there are a small number of Dao Bums that are. As a forum, the Dao Bums has no opinion about this group, we only post the opinions and experiences of our members about it. Our members opinions have varied, but if you follow the link in the post of mine that I quoted, you can get an overview, and more of our members may weigh in here about them. I did some research on their site when I first joined here, and as far as I can tell they do not represent a lineal descent from a specific school, but that the founders do represent some authentic aspects of Chinese magical tradition, and that they believe they were authorized in visions by the highest level of the Daoist Pantheon to teach. I would suggest a lot of "due diligence" in regard to any association with them, but that is my personal opinion as a person with a good familiarity with Daoist Ritual and magic, and should not be confused with any official position of the Dao Bums, even though I am a moderator here. As I have said the Dao Bums does not have an official position on this school. I hope other members who remember past interactions with this group will join in with the discussion. ZYD
  7. When I said: I meant it. When I said: I meant it. And while you were composing a another long post which I will have to ignore for now, and reply to at some future time, I wrote this in my PPD: Which unfortunately non Dao Bums cannot access, and now I need to get on to the other things which have little to do with posting here, I have put off doing in order to make the responses that I have in this thread. I am not kidding about being busy, nor is it some kind of excuse for not posting more on these matters, about which I could say a great deal, and have done so all over the Dao Bums for what is inching up on nine years now. and when I said this: I meant it also. ZYD
  8. I was a teenager in the sixties, but a "child of the sixties", no, most of the sixties swirled around me with little effect, a lot of it, I rejected as silly, and, in many ways what is usually remembered as the sixties was the last half of the sixties, not the first half, and I was already a very well defined person by the time the big changes were happening. All that the "occult revival" of the sixties did was allow me to be more open about my interests. I could point out to people Aleister Crowley's picture in the crowd of "friends" on the Sgt. Pepper's album cover because I had started reading him four years earlier, in the summer of '63, probably before any of the Beatles had. It's interesting that you knew Edward Peach, he was very approachable, and invited people to contact him. I spoke with him on the phone around 1980, when I was passing through San Francisco. His assistant answered the phone and put him right on, no questions asked, we had a nice talk, but I never went further than that. As far as I'm concerned words are symbols too, that they are aural ones rather than visual ones, makes little difference if you train in certain ways, but in general, most people will respond stronger to visual symbols than verbal ones because most people are "visual". If you realize, as I did early on, that the internal processing of words is linked with deep rooted images, which is how "words make sense to you", then you can use those words to stimulate strong reactions. I think that part of Peach's teaching was in some ways a reaction against the "affirmation" type teachings of Science of Mind, and his teaching was a little more in line with magic and its training methods, as they existed in the middle of the Twentieth Century, and thus in a sense, expanded the practice of magic as a creative and practical endeavor. It could even be argued that he is the "creator" of Creative Visualization as a part of magic, something for which I don't think he gets enough credit. In the rest of your post, you raise some interesting points, but I have already put more time into these responses than I should have, and I need to get back to my own projects. I hope that we will have time to discuss these things more another time. ZYD
  9. Then Richard de Mille is the man you want to read. He actually did review what Castaneda checked out of the UCLA library and what books he read. Here is a short online post about him: Like the above author, I read The Teachings of Don Juan, very early, not later than 1970, and found it fascinating. At the time I had already been reading books yoga, hypnotism, Western Ceremonial magic, Daoism, Tibetan Buddhism, the list goes on, since I was ten or so, and practicing as much as a teenager could of such things in the 60s. For example, I started practicing yoga in the Summer of 1961 watching Richard Hittleman's "Yoga for Health" TV program. No one in my family was into this stuff, but for me it was physics and magic, that's what I wanted to do when I grew up. As for Castaneda I read him through the publishing of Tales of Power, I think it was, where if I recall correctly, he introduced Nagual, but completely broke from any traditional Shamanic model of it, and I think that is also when he talked about meeting Don Juan in Mexico City. Since this was getting far from my original interest in his writings, I stopped at that point, though I also thought that what he was opening up was interesting in its own way, I just preferred approaching it from other directions. I read Richard de Mille's book in the late 70s, and his criticisms of Castaneda rang true, it was disappointing, but at the same time made sense of Castaneda's work up to a point, but not as far as where he went after he stepped off the Shamen's path. After that I had more interesting, and to me relevant things to study. For example around 1976 I discovered what I call Ritual Daoism, the Daoist practices that unify Ritual and Internal Alchemy methods in Michael Saso's Taoism and the Rite of Cosmic Renewal, which opened up a whole new avenue for study and research, though it took some time before I could put it into practice. While I was writing the above, Jessup2 has posted again and though I was about finished with this, I can't help commenting on: I started reading Ophiel in the summer of 1968, what a character! Many "magicians" of my generation learned a lot from him, but are too stuck up to admit it. He was without a doubt the most influential practical occultists/magician of the late 20th Century. I have great sentimental attachment to him, far more than most other modern authors, just because he cared and it showed in his writings. Reading Ophiel was like reading letters from your cranky old uncle about how to practice magic, and some of the ideas in his books are way deeper than he gets credit for, and some of it is, well silly, but all in such a lovable way, that I just had to love him. Well, that is all I have time for now. ZYD
  10. This is in a lot of ways how I think about the matter, though "love" is far too strong a word for me to use. I read enough of the debunking material, but I was also familiar with some of the types of things he was talking about from my own practice, or traditional material that I trusted enough to see that he was moving in interesting directions, but not exactly how I wanted to pursue them. I never practiced anything of his per se, as apparently Taiji Bum has, but I have done similar things drawn from other traditions, which led me to believe that there was merit to some of what he was talking about, which is why I am interested in Jessup2's posts, he seems to have made good use of Castaneda's material. ZYD
  11. Having lived with an electric-like being for years: Is this the one that you refer to here?: I thought that this was a particularly interesting post, and some of your other posts were interesting also, but I have not had time to follow them in detail or reply to them as fully as I think I should. I do hope to in the new year. Castaneda was an interesting character, and sometimes people can make better use of material like he produced then the original author did, so I hope that you will keep posting and continue to avoid becoming mired in controversy, as it seems you're wisely trying to do. I have spent a lifetime studying and practicing weird spooky stuff, and certainly reading Castaneda in the 70s was part of it. As I developed in other areas I moved on from Castaneda, for reasons to complex to recount now. Like you, I have also spent a lot of time with trying to unify these types of studies with science, which is not easy, because you must not only understand science as it is today, but also how it got that way, in other words its history. I hope that we can have a fuller discussion about these things at some future point. ZYD Edit: Added, "wisely", to "as it seems you're trying to do", to get "as it seems you're wisely trying to do", to emphasis that I think it is a good idea to avoid getting mired in controversy.
  12. First, in the following discussion, even though I am from the U.S., I will use "football" in its international sense, for what is usually called in the U.S., "soccer", rather than its American sense. Plato, writing between 400 and 350 BCE, uses as an analogy a ball made of "twelve pieces of leather", that must have been very much like the modern round football: For him to use it as an explanation like this, means that it must have been a commonplace item, and not some rare object seldom seen, so that such a type of ball would have been common in ancient Greece 150 or so years before the founding of the Han. The Greeks apparently had some games that were more Rugby like, such as episkyros, but may have used a round ball such as Plato describes, as indicated in this picture: However even early Rugby balls were more round shaped than the modern ones. Interestingly, the modern round football is like a regular dodecahedron, whose otherwise flat surfaces have been expanded to form a sphere, as can be seen in the second picture in the OP. In Plato's cosmology the Heaven's are formee from a dodecahedron, but this is not described in much detail. What all this means to the "origin of football" is hard to say, because not enough is known about the early Greek ball games, to say if a specifically football like game was played, but the chances that a more rugby like game was played seem good. ZYD
  13. Thanks Yueya and Apech, I appreciate your both bringing up some of the issues which were at the back of my mind when I was writing my own post, but which I didn't have the time to examine, such as Christian missionary activity and Western technology. I made a special study of the early Jesuit missions to China, and in point of fact even thought about writing a novel about the period, since it was a period with a lot of dramatic potential as well as interesting intellectual aspects that I wished to develop. It should be noted for example that the Jesuit Fathers didn't arrive with any swords either, though the staggering amount of silver that they were able to spread around was the result of Spanish and Portuguese swords and the vast silver production of South America. The Chinese thought that it must be the result of Alchemy, an impression that the Jesuits, the masters of Catholic "skillful means", left in place. They also came with Western technology, which even in the Seventeenth Century was starting to inch ahead of the rest of the world. To return to the Buddhist Daoist Controversies, the issues here are, as I said previously, varied and complex, but the political aspects certainly cannot be ignored, the earliest Buddhist-Daoist debates in China were in the Sixth Century and involved the same type of considerations as moved Constantine to legalize Christianity in the Roman Empire, the choice of a possible state religion, by Emperor Wu of the Northern Zhou, who was the patron of the Xiaodao Lun, translated by Livia Kohn as Laughing at the Dao, the first major anti Daoist polemic. I should note that the early Christians, like the Buddhists, did not use any swords to gain the attention of Constantine, rather they had survived three Centuries of persecution, before rising to the combination of prominence and potential respectability, that lead them to be in consideration as the Roman State religion. A fact often neglected by those who wish to talk about Christianity as being spread by the sword. Whatever happened after Christianity became embroiled with the Politics of the Roman Empire, should not be laid at the feet of Christianity per se, but rather its politicization and corruption by Rome. In any case these political rivalries were carried on for Centuries between Buddhism and Daoism in a way that didn't make either of them look good, and it is perhaps to the credit of the Confucians and particularly to the revival of Mencian Confucianism in the Song Dynasty that we owe the attempt to limit these rivalries with "the Unity of the Three Teachings", a doctrine that would have gained traction only in a Mencian based Confucianism and not one based on Xunzi, as had dominated Chinese politics since the time of Emperor Wu of the Han. Well, so much for another hurried oversimplification, I hope that some of the resources I linked are helpful in understanding the big picture. ZYD
  14. The whole issue is way more complex than can be dealt with in anything but a long series of posts, and since they would be interrupted by polemical posts from one side or another, there is little chance that trying to shed some light on the matter would do anything but start a fire and obscure all the issues in toxic smoke, but, put simply, the introduction of Buddhism into China was a source of enormous cultural disruption in which almost all aspects of traditional Chinese religious and spiritual practice were attacked by a basically foreign system of thought with some similarities to Daoism, which the Chinese did the best that they could do to deal with and accommodate. This was a centuries long process which resulted a peace of sorts, under the notion of "the Unity of the Three Teachings", during this process there were many attempts, some good and some bad, to work toward this "accommodation". Partisans of one or another side may view this accommodation as a betrayal of the "real truth" of their own beliefs, but to my mind a lot of interesting and profound ideas emerged from all of the dubious speculations and bad politics. Personally, after decades of study, thought and practice of Eastern and Western esotericism, I prefer Daoism in almost all of its luxuriant and rich manifestations, but remain deeply sympathetic to aspects of Buddhism, and I see both of these within a Platonic framework, best represented by Plotinus' explication of Plato, and which I find deals with some real problems with Buddhist Ontology and Metaphysics, while laying an excellent philosophical foundation for Daoism, which otherwise hangs precariously from beautiful clouds of the "self so" (Ziran, best English, "self-existent", which is good because it relates it to Western ontology and allows a better starting point for comparison).
  15. Preferably with a good guide and a Wayback machine: Apech, thanks for your clarification and discussion of the Egyptian side of things.