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About Zhongyongdaoist

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  1. Confucianism for beginners (and dummies too)

    I'm sorry to be so long in posting, but last week was unexpectedly busy and while I have some lovely notes about why the Tang dynasty was so important to Confucian Revival of the Song dynasty and they are almost ready to be posted, they need a little more work to be up to my standards and I hope to by able to post them in two days. I also have to be honest and say that I had to talk myself out of covering a lot of fascinating, to me at least, information about the early Han dynasty consolidation of Imperial Power under a Confucian/Legalist system, and the banishment of Daoism as a political alternative. Maybe I can do that somewhere down the road. ZYD
  2. Confucianism for beginners (and dummies too)

    Wang Fengyi comments on his books that the viewpoints differ because of their emphasis either on original mind (Mencius) or acquired mind (Xunzi). The original mind preserves the spontaneous ethical purity, while the acquired mind easily accumulates selfish traits. Surely, the former points to ethical ideals and what people can hope to aspire for in their self-cultivation, and the latter teaches discerning eye for statesmen. I don't want to get to distracted by this, but rather to continue to develop an introduction for beginner's. I don't want to get into any discussion of Wang Fengyi and his opinions, though the fundamental observation is good, but if Xunzi concentrated on acquired mind, it was because as a thoroughgoing materialist, that is all he believed existed, and the notion of original mind would have just been a fantasy to him. These matters can be discussed later, and I welcome them at that time, as it is writing this is taking up a lot of time and I want to get back to dealing with beginner's topics. ZYD
  3. Confucianism for beginners (and dummies too)

    You're certainly welcome, I try to shed a little light on things when I can, and sometimes I even succeed. I will do my best to follow through, and help explicate the Mystery of Confucius as best as I can. In order to understand more of the Mystery of Confucius you need to become familiar with two people, who are the most important exponents and developers of Confucian thought in the Waring States period, they are: Our Hero: Mèng Kē, Mengzi, Mencius and our Villain: Xun Kuang, Xunzi Now in one sense I am being as unfair to Xunzi, as I have been to the Analects, but the reason for characterizing him as a villain comes from this oversimplification about his and Mencius view on Human Nature. For Mencius Human Nature was fundamentally good, and the purpose of Confucian teaching was to help people fully realize that fundamental goodness, however for Xunzi human nature was bad, and the purpose of Confucian teaching was to train them to overcome that bad nature and become good. So that Mencius was all about Confucianism as Self Realization and Xunzi was all about Confucianism as Animal Training. It is helpful to an understanding of Xunzi, when you realize that his most influential student, Hanfei, one of the most famous advocates of Chinese "Legalist" thought, and as such, a resolute enemy of Confucianism. In the History of Confucianism in China it is important to realize that Xunzi, with Hanfei in the background dominated Confucian thought by sometime around 200 BCE, and was pretty much the basis of the State Confucianism of China from the Han Dynasty until the development of what is usually called Neo-Confucianism in the Tang Dynasty. One important aspect of which was the replacement of Xunzi as the great Confucian interpreter with Mencius. Which is why we have three Chinese Philosophers whose names have been Latinized with the "us" suffix, Confucius, Laocius (AKA, Laozi), and Mencius, because these were the philosophers that the Jesuit Missionaries read after their arrival in China around 1600, Xunzi had dropped into almost complete, and in my opinion well deserved, obscurity. More on this as I have time. ZYD
  4. Confucianism for beginners (and dummies too)

    Starting to study Confucius by reading the Analects only leads to what I have humorously called: The Mystery of Confucius Which is, why would the author of such a boring and pedantic work as the Analects inspire his last patron, Duke Ai of Yu to do this: Yep, this is it guys and gals: ain't it Grand? What kind of person must Confucius have been to inspire such an action on the part of a Spring and Autumn period Feudal Lord? A useful place to start to answer that question might be in this text: 儒行 - Ru Xing The purported record of a session in which Confucius expounds on "The Nature of the Scholar" to Duke Ai. It is important enough to be part of the Liji, the Book of Rites along with two other texts the 中庸 - Zhong Yong (Does that title sound at all familiar? ZYD) and 大學 - Da Xue Which are much better Places to go to get some insight into Confucianism. It is also a good idea to study the concept of Ren, 仁, meaning, usually reduced to "humaneness", and in particular this etymology of it: For now with these little hints, I leave the reader to contemplate: The Mystery of Confucius While I try to find time to write more. ZYD
  5. Confucianism for beginners (and dummies too)

    A good place to start is: The Ruist Association of America Ruist and Ruism, from the Chinese 儒, rú, for Scholar and especially Confucian, are the "in" academic names for Confucians and Confucianism these days. I don't have much time now, but I will post more as I can. ZYD Edit: added parentheses to get "in".
  6. Mysticism

    Helpful Demon, I am glad that you have come to at least part of the realization that you have. From the time you started posting here I realized that you were a serious case of Demonic Obsession, but not Possession. I followed your posts, copied them for documentation and wondered what to do. Confronting you on them would lead to nothing of value, and create a lot of defensiveness, which would have only made matters worse. I have been very busy so I just been byding my time until now. I am still not sure how to proceed in your case, but in your final judgment about mysticism you have gone to far and I hope that you can come to a more balanced appreciation of its value. In all of these matters you must always ask questions and the most important person to ask is yourself, to ask yourself what you believe and why you believe it. Good luck in the rest of your journey. ZYD
  7. Retro Tech

    This: Reminded me of this: Skates like this: Which were adjustable and designed to be attached to shoes, were common enough, but used more by girls than boys. I remember as a boy having friends take skates like the above apart and nail the two parts to a wooden board, to create the first skate boards. ZYD
  8. Retro Tech

    Not quit as dramatic as the above, but this was one of my childhood science nerd "toys": As you can see even today these things fascinate science nerds. His description of the relationship between the DC, or direct current input, and the AC, alternating current, output is a little off, while he is correct to say that a transformer needs to have AC current in order to work the coil actually creates AC from the DC because the DC is interrupted, it starts and stops, that is the point of the gap on the outside which used to interrupt the DC input. The reason for this is because electromagnetic induction only occurs when there is motion, either the receiving wires have to move, or as in this case the magnetic field has to move. In this case the magnetic field moves by expanding and contracting around the coil, this is why the DC current has to be stopped and started, when it on, the magnetic field expands, when it is turned off the field collapses. When the field expands it induces a current that travels through the wires in one direction, when it collapses a current is induced that moves in the other direction, this is why it is called AC, or alternating current because it moves first one way through the circuit then the other. The direct current as you can imagine only goes one way. AC current is like a sine wave, which since it moves up and down creates an automatic contraction and expansion of the magnetic field, which is necessary for the magnetic induction of an electric current to occur. I hope that is clear enough explanation, but I don't have time for more. ZYD Edit: correction to spelling.
  9. Retro Tech

    As a person who has been basically a Science/Magic nerd since my childhood in the fifties, I have followed this thread with some amusement, as well as some serious interest. I have done a little digging and may contribute to it in what I hope will be interesting and stimulating ways. ZYD
  10. While the above is certainly interesting and suggestive, it leaves out the Lime Jello and brainwaves question (yes its real, do a search), which torpedoed arguments for consciousness based on brain wave activity starting in Seventies. Something more is needed and i would suggest that the idea of the physical body should be viewed as a "section" of a hyper dimensional body that results from a symmetry break from four dimensional SpaceTime, a unifies entity, to three/one dimensional Space/Time. Combining these two complementary ideas helps to "flesh" out a model of "soul" in a useful way. By the way the idea of a fourth dimension has a longer history than you might think as I pointed out here: Though my thinking in terms of higher dimensionality arose more in the context of modeling "The One" as the "The Unity of a Whole", part of the problem set by Plato's Parmenides. I had closed the topic from which the above quote has been taken, so it cannot be linked directly, but must be reached by the link in "I pointed out here:" above. Henry More was one of a group of Seventeenth Century Philosopher/Theologians known as the Cambridge Platonist school. Reading about them in the early Eighties was actually very useful to me in understanding the wider influence of Platonism. ZYD
  11. Archons and egregores

    Sorry I don't understand the difference. If a thought form which is just an accumulation of chi and shen, is given life vitality it can develop intelligence like an egregore, no? You mention the necessity of a collective but a well trained magus can do what many occultists of weaker discipline attempt to do. I'm sorry, I made the mistake of thinking that you came up with the ideas on thought form and egregores on your own, when in point of fact you are only repeating Chaos Magic dogmas. I should have followed up the reference to servitor in your original post, which I recognized as a specifically Chaos Magic technical term, before posting my own. In Chaos Magic thought forms and egregores are linked in this way: However, you did not mention the complete sequence, only the idea that a thought form might spontaneously "evolve" into something "intelligent" enough to pass the Turing test. A notion which, as far as I can tell, is introduced by Madame Alexandra David-Neel in one of her books in an anecdote about a Tulpa that took on a life of its own and went seriously amuk. I read Madame David Neel's Magic and Mystery in Tibet when I was thirteen or so, but I can't remember whether I read the anecdote in it, though I do recall later references to the story, but I cannot place them exactly now. The idea is followed up by Franz Bardon in his Initiation into Hermetics, a book which I read and studied with considerable attention in the late Sixties, reading it cover to cover three times. I started practice Bardon's system while working intently with practices derived from the Golden Dawn. To make a long story short the Golden Dawn method's proved more effective, and I stopped Bardon's training. I will grant your point that the Chaos Magical view that a thought form that influenced a number of people would meet the minimum definition of an egregore even in the sense in which I use it, but as far as I am concerned suffers from the same conceptual limitations as all Chaos Magic does due to its underlying ontological commitments. Beyond that I don't consider this thread to be a place to enter into further discussion about egregores, especially since this only comes to the fore in a discussion of one of the possible meanings of egregore, and we are not even sure if that is what the OP means by the term, so without some feedback from the OP about what sense of egregore is at issue, I don't see much point in posting more on the matter at this time. ZYD
  12. Archons and egregores

    egregore is essentially an evolved "psi ball" isn't ? Just make an energy ball, give it a lot more power. Put some intention into moulding it to be permanent, take another shape, etc. Give it more prana, its intelligent enough to be a minion ("servitor") and eventually a full fledged "egregore" (meaning it can pass the Turing Test :D) Chi is normally seen as a kinetic or life-vitality field. But it can also be viewed as a psychological field, especially within the context of internal alchemy and refining shen. You're confusing an egregore with a simple thought form. An egregore does require more than one entity and is more like a system of linked beings, some egregores emerge and evolve spontaneously, but magicians can learn to create and control them. This is where the characterization of it as a "group mind" comes in, but it is not just a "group mind" of people, but can include other classes of beings, such as spirits of various ranks, That is why a single magician performing a ritual can "create" an egregore, assuming at least that the spirits who are supposed to show up, do in point of fact show up. I don't have time to say more now. ZYD
  13. Archons and egregores

    Thank you for your kind words above, I do the best I can with a lifetime of research, study and practice, and to know that it is appreciated is a comfort in my old age. Just to add a bit on egregores, the Wikipedia article is, as it often is, a good place to start, among other things it brings out the two primary meanings of egregore, the more historical one as "watcher" and the contemporary occultist meaning as a "group mind", quite nicely. I suspect that the OP in pairing Archon and Egregore within the context of the Matrix intends the more historical meaning of a watcher and not the occultist meaning of a "group mind". As I am not much interesting in spiritual Peeping Toms, I cannot provide much insight into that. On the other hand I have studied the use of egregores in magic since my late teens, and could say quite a bit. I will start by saying, to quote the Wikipedia article, as "a kind of group mind that is created when people consciously come together for a common purpose" is kind of a laughable oversimplification and misleading in its fundamental presuppositions. I learned very early that even a single magician practicing a simple ritual could create an egregore, and what was necessary to do it as I mention here: Son of the Gods, who was mentioned in the OP, has an only slightly better understanding than that expressed in the Wikipedia article. As for a little serious reading on Archons, here is a good academic paper, which I will link under the humorous name that I stored it on my own computer: How 'bout them Archons I hope that this is useful, more later as time allows. ZYD
  14. Archons and egregores

    Your questions are interesting, but the answers are complex. First of all there are two attitudes toward Archons, the one which the movie The Matrix populized and is characteristic of Gnosticism and Bhuddism, in which Archons or beings who serve the same purpose as Archons, but under a different name, are agents of "evil", who keep human beings imprisoned in a world of sense which is deceptive and detrimental, and the other which is characteristic of Platonism and Daoism in which the world, however much it may be a place of trouble and sorrow, is also a necessary part of a longer journey which leads people out of this world and into a better one. As such, Archons are at worst a necessary evil which leads to an ultimate good, and could actually be viewed as good spirits, because necessary for the creation and maintenance of the earthly part of the journey. Archons in the second sense are much less well known in modern times because of the historical development of the last few hundred years, though they played important parts in the Cosmology and spiritual practice of such late Platonists (usually called Neoplatonists) as Iamblichus and Proclus. All of this is very complex and I could write about it in considerable detail, but I don't see much point in writing more unless there is some active interest in this thread. Egregores are a complex matter also, and the same goes for them in terms of me writing more about them. I am also very busy which is why I did not see this thread until the other day, and this could limit my ability to do much more here. ZYD
  15. Who or what is answering?

    Thanks, I'll check it out. You're certainly welcome. Here is another reference: Taishang dongxuan lingbao toujian fuwen yaojue The article begins on the page to the far right of the PDF reader, Page (140 of 325). From: The Taoist Canon – A Historical Companion To The Daozang vol. 1 If anyone is seriously interested, the three volumes of this work can be downloaded from Archive.org. I hope that all of this is helpful. ZYD