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The Taoist Body

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Excellent book that shifts the reader from a distant perspective to a more intimate closeness to the least well known of the world's great religions and a traditional culture that is slowly fading away from its country of birth...oh wait! Maybe still resilient in the hearts of true traditionalists, in the temples, in the villages and the sacred mountains.




A couple of excerpts from this book:


"The calendar also takes into account the movement of the stars, the Five Planets and the Twenty-eight Palaces (hsiu). Some stellar conjunctions are considered lucky, others unlucky. A whole series of interdicts has been developed according to an elaborate system of correspondence: on such and such a day, one should neither have one's hair cut nor make any business deals; on another day, field work is forbidden and moving furniture in the house is ill-advised. These interdictions remain especially important for the big events of life: marriage, funerals, voyages." (Everyday Religion, The Calendar, p. 24)


"At the birth of the universe there was a diversification of ch'i-energies (the more subtle ones rising to form Heaven, the heavier ones making up the Earth), but this composite whole was not immutable; it was, an is, constantly changing. The whole cosmic body turns and changes, conforming to the process of the Tao. The third law of Chinese physics (which one could also call the first law of its metaphysics) states that every body that goes through a prolonged and repeated cyclical action is transmuted and purified. This is true even of the most humble and inert organisms and objects; trees, stones, and long-lived animals like the tortoise or the stork can become spontaneously spiritual by the simple action of the cycle of the seasons and the years. All creatures of exceptionally advanced age can manifest their power and thus influence their environment. For this reason people worship sacred trees whose vital forces have been deified. Tied round with strips of red cloth, an incense burner at its base, such a tree becomes the protecting spirit of a village or a region." (Divinity, Spiritual Power, p. 41).

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