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Neidan ( all experiences and opinions wanted)

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@Wu Ming Jen

I already thumbed but wanted to say thanks anyway to someone who provides info gained "from walking the path" instead of "talking the path".

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5 hours ago, freeform said:

 

Could you share your view on this? Is it because Nei Dan came later?

Yes, that would be one comprehensive reason as to why neidan is only a small part of Taoism. Except the neidaneers are not buying that. For a child with a hammer everything is a nail, for a neidaneer everything is neidan. Why is that?

 

Because westerners are materialists. Materialists can only comprehend materialism. And neidan, which they perceive to be a materialistic, godless energetic exercise, is the only part of Taoism they can accept. Because the rest of Taoism is obviously religious, and materialists will have none of that. They will either ignore the rest of Taoism, or will try and reduce it to materialism, i. e neidan.

 

Billions of lay Chinese who worshiped Taoist gods never ever heard of neidan, millions of Taoists priests who officiated in Taoists temples may have heard of neidan never practicing it. Because the Chinese have their gods, while neidaneers have nothing.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

Yes, that would be one comprehensive reason as to why neidan is only a small part of Taoism. Except the neidaneers are not buying that. For a child with a hammer everything is a nail, for a neidaneer everything is neidan. Why is that?

 

Because westerners are materialists. Materialists can only comprehend materialism. And neidan, which they perceive to be a materialistic, godless energetic exercise, is the only part of Taoism they can accept. Because the rest of Taoism is obviously religious, and materialists will have none of that. They will either ignore the rest of Taoism, or will try and reduce it to materialism, i. e neidan.

 

Billions of lay Chinese who worshiped Taoist gods never ever heard of neidan, millions of Taoists priests who officiated in Taoists temples may have heard of neidan never practicing it. Because the Chinese have their gods, while neidaneers have nothing.

 

 

 

Inner cultivation is indeed rare among the Chinese and yet to those lucky enough to have access to a teacher and a path it is the heart and soul of Daoism. The religious rituals are also important and valuable but nothing is more important than personal, inner transformation. It's quite similar in Buddhism. The majority of lay people have no access to methods of transformation and can only access through religious ritual and prayer, and that is fine for them. True understanding, for the practitioner, can only come through practice, not intellectual understanding or prayer. My teacher, and his before, discourage study and reading. They felt that any time spent studying was wasted time that could have been devoted to practice. You're welcome to your perspective, but it is just that, your perspective. Mine is different and equally valid. Inner cultivation has nothing to do with materialism when practiced properly.

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6 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

 

 

Because westerners are materialists. Materialists can only comprehend materialism. And neidan, which they perceive to be a materialistic, godless energetic exercise, is the only part of Taoism they can accept.

 

This is not accurate, I, a westerner,  can comprehend more than the material , everyone can ,and I don't accept the Neidan either. I think I can prove that Neidan is a Chinese practice primarily, and the purpose is to prolong life, which is a materialist goal. Care to challenge that? 

Edited by Stosh
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1 hour ago, Stosh said:

I, a westerner,  can comprehend more than the material , everyone can

Good for you Stosh! But what do you mean "everyone can"? There are such people as materialists and atheists you know. They can not and will not.

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7 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

Good for you Stosh! But what do you mean "everyone can"? There are such people as materialists and atheists you know. They can not and will not.

I am saying I believe everyone to already be aware that they are living thinking feeling creations in association with a physical parameter. 

Atheists I believe, are those who are not ascribing this spirit to a deity. 

Materialism , is the belief that all the world that exists as only physical parameters. ( So there are no true materialists, its just a handy term akin to atheism )

The Chinese like material wealth as much as anyone , it appears,, but this is not the materialism we are talking about , right?

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So we need to hang out with gods? that's cool, there is plenty of them then https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ennead

I think western people don't like gods because of christian backgrounds, they talk about a god and a god-man but there is no substance 99% of the times.

 

Edited by King Jade
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6 minutes ago, Stosh said:

( So there are no true materialists, its just a handy term akin to atheism )

I disagree, because i saw plenty of folk who expressly believe themselves to be just mortal flesh, but that's all right i was just clarifying your point of view.

14 minutes ago, Stosh said:

The Chinese like material wealth as much as anyone ,

depends what you mean by like, but yes we talk about religion which opposite of materialism

1 hour ago, Stosh said:

Neidan is a Chinese practice primarily, and the purpose is to prolong life, which is a materialist goal

no. according to the chinese, the purpose is to become a god.

 

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I think it is largely a question of world-view.  The cultures from which Daoism and Buddhism emerged readily accepted that the world was inhabited by not only animals and humans but also various kinds of spiritual entity.  Gods, demi-gods, demons (good and bad), spirits of all kinds.  We on the other hand from our Enlightenment influenced Judeo- Christian background doubt the existence of anything that is not empirically demonstrated.  So, unless we are still mono-theists believing in a transcendent single deity - we tend to dismiss anything else as either complete fiction or perhaps some kind of psychological 'effect' or archetype.  This leads to the aberrations of secular Buddhism and a kind of rationalist reading of Daoism.  If we back project to Lao Tse for instance, we want him to think like us - in fact we twist the text to make him think like us - because of course, thinking like us is the only sensible thing!

 

When I say 'we' - I do not include myself :)

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2 hours ago, Taoist Texts said:

I disagree, because i saw plenty of folk who expressly believe themselves to be just mortal flesh, but that's all right i was just clarifying your point of view.

depends what you mean by like, but yes we talk about religion which opposite of materialism

no. according to the chinese, the purpose is to become a god.

 

If I accept religion as representing the opposite of materialism,the cookies crumble this way.. 
1) Most americans believe in some deity and most Chinese are atheist,  so the average westerner is more spiritual than  an easterner.
2) If the goal of the practice of Neidan is to become a god,then Neidan is not palatable to westerners out of a desire to have an atheist spiritual practice. 
3) Since I do not believe you or any body else is going to live past their death , Neidan only presents a possibility of prolonging life. 
This fear of death Christians wish to conquer as well, by imagining up a spirit -body, so it is the Eastern materialistic ideas which might make Neidan palatable to some westerners. 

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2 hours ago, Apech said:

I think it is largely a question of world-view.  The cultures from which Daoism and Buddhism emerged readily accepted that the world was inhabited by not only animals and humans but also various kinds of spiritual entity.  Gods, demi-gods, demons (good and bad), spirits of all kinds.  We on the other hand from our Enlightenment influenced Judeo- Christian background doubt the existence of anything that is not empirically demonstrated.  So, unless we are still mono-theists believing in a transcendent single deity - we tend to dismiss anything else as either complete fiction or perhaps some kind of psychological 'effect' or archetype.  This leads to the aberrations of secular Buddhism and a kind of rationalist reading of Daoism.  If we back project to Lao Tse for instance, we want him to think like us - in fact we twist the text to make him think like us - because of course, thinking like us is the only sensible thing!

 

When I say 'we' - I do not include myself :)

Key word being  -Emerged. That means the faiths no longer match those of the generative culture. It is a huge mistake to forget this in a headlong effort to lump cultures and faiths. One must NOT read into the emergent faiths, the paradigms of the older parent culture. They must be considered on their own , and if similarities exist , that is fine. Moreover , one must understand that these emergent faiths are formulated in a backdrop still dominated by the earlier, which at a later date may re-absorb its offspring under the weight of numeric superiority. (The same thing can be seen in genetic mutations, where the prevalent population generates a mutation only to have merged back into the parent population despite its advantages. ) ( and yes -thinking like us is the only sensible thing ,since they weren't idiots either - they had a modern brain , lived with modern motivations , health concerns and so forth - so they should not be considered alien to reason as its known now) 

In fact , if their thinking was alien , then it would be entirely useless to study their worldviews .. they just wouldn't apply to us! all practitioners would be fooling themselves and discovering false conclusions in the light of canon they could not comprehend,and all translators would be engaged in a wild goose chase yielding books on unusable data. ;)

The only Rosetta stone one can Hope to find regarding the texts is the one based on our commonality within human experience, just as it is the only way people can understand the ideas and motivations of other individuals in our personal lives. 

Edited by Stosh

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@ Stosh

 

The practice and theory of Neidan has several stages. At the lowest stage it is indeed only about prolonging life, but at the more advanced stages it is about transcending the physical world by building up a spiritual body within oneself that is able to survive the death of the physical body. The latter goal could be described as "becoming a God".

 

Now I don't believe immortality as conceived by Neidan to be actually possible, but that is no reason to present Neidan as something else than it is. But I am no specialist on this subject, so maybe I am wrong. In that case please place a link where I can read why Neidan is only about prolonging life.

 

Edited by wandelaar
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7 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

@ Stosh

 

The practice and theory of Neidan has several stages. At the lowest stage it is indeed only about prolonging life, but at the more advanced stages it is about transcending the physical world by building up a spiritual body within oneself that is able to survive the death of the physical body. The latter goal could be described as "becoming a God".

 

Now I don't believe immortality as conceived by Neidan to be actually possible, but that is no reason to present Neidan as something else than it is. But I am no specialist on this subject, so maybe I am wrong. In that case please place a link where I can read why Neidan is only about prolonging life.

If one negates the possibility to becoming a god, then that goal is not one motivating the study. It doesn't need a link. We have here a classical example of cognitive dissonance, on the one hand the person is clearly gone , and yet the practitioner wants to imagine they somehow remain intact , and now have an invisible corporeality. They can maintain this , because the fear of death is so great that it overrides the obstacles. 

Neither you nor I , know any immortals , nor would it be reasonable to presume anyone else does either., so what would make Anyone think that somehow out of the millions of others , you personally will become a God. 

 

Edited by Stosh

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2 minutes ago, Stosh said:

If one negates the possibility to becoming a god, then that goal is not one motivating the study. It doesn't need a link. 

 

And that's why I am not personally motivated to follow the path of Neidan. But what has that to do with the content of Neidan?

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1 minute ago, wandelaar said:

 

And that's why I am not personally motivated to follow the path of Neidan. But what has that to do with the content of Neidan?

Its a set of practices right ? and if you cant do the practice , then its just symbols on paper.

No gods , therefore there is no practice creating gods. 

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1 minute ago, Stosh said:

Its a set of practices right ? and if you cant do the practice , then its just symbols on paper.

No gods , therefore there is no practice creating gods. 

 

I don't understand what it matters whether I consider the practice and theory of Neidan as valuable or not. The world is full of theories and practices that I personally consider highly improbable to succeed (to use a decent expression ;)), but I still try to represent those theories and practices and their goals (whether those goals are realistic or not) as objective as possible. Saying that Neidan is only about prolonging life gives an impression of Neidan that - in my opinion - is incorrect.

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3 minutes ago, wandelaar said:

 

I don't understand what it matters whether I consider the practice and theory of Neidan as valuable or not. The world is full of theories and practices that I personally consider highly improbable to succeed (to use a decent expression ;)), but I still try to represent those theories and practices and their goals (whether those goals are realistic or not) as objective as possible. Saying that Neidan is only about prolonging life gives an impression of Neidan that - in my opinion - is incorrect.

Think on it a while, if one cannot do a procedure, then my instructions don't get you there.

But anyhow,  How Do you , you personally, consider Neidan to be useful to you , personally? 

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1 minute ago, Stosh said:

Think on it a while, if one cannot do a procedure, then my instructions don't get you there.

But anyhow,  How Do you , you personally, consider Neidan to be useful to you , personally? 

 

I don't consider Neidan as useful to me personally. I only made some study of it to know how it looks like, and so as to be able to recognize those parts of Taoism that I can safely ignore.

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1 minute ago, wandelaar said:

 

I don't consider Neidan as useful to me personally. I only made some study of it to know how it looks like, and so as to be able to recognize those parts of Taoism that I can safely ignore.

Fair enough. 

I think, that when does not consider a scenario to be a real thing, and they watch it
from a standpoint of suspended disbelief, they still tend to ascribe no expectation that
it abide by real pysical or consequential laws. Its an incomplete suspension. 

Which is why I put it that way.

Personally,  I ignore anything which requires me to suspend my expectation that it make sense. 

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1 hour ago, Stosh said:

Neidan only presents a possibility of prolonging life. 

If you can prolong life by one week, why not by a zillion years?

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37 minutes ago, Taoist Texts said:

If you can prolong life by one week, why not by a zillion years?

The human body only has programming to cover 70-115 yrs.

 

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7 hours ago, Stosh said:

The human body only has programming to cover 70-115 yrs.

 

right, right

 

9 hours ago, Stosh said:

  Neidan only presents a possibility of prolonging life. 

 

how do you think it does that?

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