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Thank you for making this opportunity available for others to share their experience in the Chinese Internal arts. My name is Eric Wilson . . . I trained and taught Chinese Kung-fu, Tai-chi, and Qigong for more than 24 years. And while I did realize a great manifestation of "internal" power, I also experienced some very strong negative effects. I am sharing my story and these experiences at the links below, and it is my prayer that these will be of help to those who also have had questions about the spiritual source of Chi and "internal" power. Thank you, Eric Wilson and family
I really am exposing my inexperience here, but I'd like to ask the forum for some further information on an area of Taoism that I would like to know more about. I've heard said that in Toaism there are 5 so called "Cardinal Virtues": Righteousness, Wisdom, Benevolence, Propriety, and Fidelity (I've also heard a different account that there are 8 virtues to be reckoned with). In the Tao Te Ching I can find mention of some of these. For instance with verse 38 (the beginning of the second part of the text): 38(Those who) possessed in highest degree the attributes (of the Tao) did not (seek) to show them, and therefore they possessed them (in fullest measure). (Those who) possessed in a lower degree those attributes (sought how) not to lose them, and therefore they did not possess them (in fullest measure). (Those who) possessed in the highest degree those attributes did nothing (with a purpose), and had no need to do anything. (Those who) possessed them in a lower degree were (always) doing, and had need to be so doing. (Those who) possessed the highest benevolence were (always seeking) to carry it out, and had no need to be doing so. (Those who) possessed the highest righteousness were (always seeking) to carry it out, and had need to be so doing. (Those who) possessed the highest (sense of) propriety were (always seeking) to show it, and when men did not respond to it, they bared the arm and marched up to them. Thus it was that when the Tao was lost, its attributes appeared; when its attributes were lost, benevolence appeared; when benevolence was lost, righteousness appeared; and when righteousness was lost, the proprieties appeared. Now propriety is the attenuated form of leal-heartedness and good faith, and is also the commencement of disorder; swift apprehension is (only) a flower of the Tao, and is the beginning of stupidity. Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews what is flimsy; dwells with the fruit and not with the flower. It is thus that he puts away the one and makes choice of the other. http://sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm I can also surmise that the lessons of Fidelity are strewn throughout the text with one particulary powerful example in verse 81 (where in the translation I link 'Fidelity' as a term is interchanged with 'sincerity'): 81Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere. Those who are skilled (in the Tao) do not dispute (about it); the disputatious are not skilled in it. Those who know (the Tao) are not extensively learned; the extensively learned do not know it. The sage does not accumulate (for himself). The more that he expends for others, the more does he possess of his own; the more that he gives to others, the more does he have himself. With all the sharpness of the Way of Heaven, it injures not; with all the doing in the way of the sage he does not strive. http://sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm In my grappling with google, when I search for these terms in relation to Toaism I find various commentaries on the Tao Te Ching, people's personal musings on Taoism in general, but no other (as far as I can see) official canon. So my question is: 'Is there a classic text, or a school of Taoism that includes these things? And where are these virtues are enshrined, apart from in the Tao Te Ching?' It's a topic I'm profoundly interested in so any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.
The Cathars Video, History of the Cathars- http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=180355926583585520# In the year 1140 AD or so, a Christian belief system originated in France and around the Pyrenees mountains that historians now call Catharism, Cathar meaning the Pure or the Perfect. In the next centuries it would spread from this base throughout other areas of Europe. The Cathars called themselves the "Good men" or "Good Christians". Indeed by all accounts their beliefs were much closer to the original Christian teachings than the Catholic Church's are. They practiced laying on of hands, and had an especially deep understanding of the Gospel of John. They also possessed many Scriptures now lost and destroyed by the Catholic Church. They had similar beliefs to and were influenced by the Christian Gnostics, Manicheans, Paulicians, Bogomils, and even Far Eastern religions that came before them. They had a Dualistic belief system, of Good and Evil, God and Satan. They believed the material World was born of Satan, and the Spiritual Heavenly world born of God. Human beings had inside them, a divine spark and soul, belonging to the Spiritual realm. However, Human beings were also trapped in physical bodies in the Physical world. Only through liberation from matter, through giving up attachments to materiality, material desires, and physical urges could liberation be achieved. The Cathars believed those who had not liberated themselves fully of the material world in their lifetime would in fact be Reincarnated. Information on Cathar origins and beliefs- http://www.cathar.info/1204_origins.htm http://www.ancientquest.com/embark/cathars.html http://www.innervision.com/mysteries/cathars.html http://www.mysticmissal.org/cathars.htm http://www.languedoc-france.info/articles/a_cathars.htm Info on Cathar scriptures- http://www.gnosis.org/library/cathtx.htm http://www.gnosis.org/library/Interrogatio_Johannis.html http://www.gnosis.org/library/cathar-two-principles.htm http://www.scribd.com/doc/23335712/Book-of-Two-Principles And- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catharism However, it was only a matter of time before Catharism became popular enough that the Catholic Church would accuse it of Heresy. A vicious persecution began which included many Massacres and much Torture. Here is a letter written to the Church by a Catholic leader in 1209 AD- "—"Kill them all, the Lord will recognise His own." The doors of the church of St Mary Magdalene were broken down and the refugees dragged out and slaughtered. Reportedly, 7,000 people died there. Elsewhere in the town many more thousands were mutilated and killed. Prisoners were blinded, dragged behind horses, and used for target practice. What remained of the city was razed by fire. Arnaud wrote to Pope Innocent III, "Today your Holiness, twenty thousand heretics were put to the sword, regardless of rank, age, or sex."" Sadly, by the late 1200s Catharism was very secret, and had retreated to the Pyrenees. The Catholic Inquisition had grown very powerful. By 1330 all Cathar scriptures had been destroyed and Cathar leaders had been killed.