August 12, 2011 at 3:15 am #37682
The scholar James Miller makes some interesting observations on Shang Ching Dao The Way of Highest Clarity sect of early Daoists:
Yet Highest Clarity Daoists were not principally interested in the preservation of corpses (like the Egyptians) but rather the transformation of bodies into a form suitable for life in paradise. In this regard their ideas bear something of a resemblance to the orthodox Christian belief in the resurrection of the body. But unlike the Christian saints who did all they could on earth to fit their bodies for a resurrected, post-mortem life that would take place after the final judgement, Highest Clarity Daoists saw the afterlife as a worst-case scenario. Better still was to avoid death itself by ascending to a higher paradise, conceived not as a realm for the grateful dead but for the deserving living. Heaven, the celestial web of cosmic powers shifting in an eternal cycle of light and dark, day and night, yang and yin, was the place for the living, not the dead. This book thus investigates Highest Clarity Daoist theology as a unique and original set of religious ideas about life and death that will be of profound interest to any student of comparative religion and theology.
The Way of Highest Clarity Nature, Vision and Revelation in Medieval China by James Miller, P.2August 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm #37683
Can you share the entire world in that book: the gods, levels, rules, regulations, relationships?
baguaAugust 17, 2011 at 4:25 am #37685
I haven’t finished reading it yet.August 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm #37687
First of all, if you are asking me to explain to you exactly everything in the book, you should read it yourself. It is a scholars interpretation of a tradition that has merged into other traditions after many centuries of practice, particularly inner alchemy in its use of meditative “actualization”, and overt though also coded ingestion of natural energies such as the sun and moon. You might have a different take on it than I do according to your background.
The next important point behind your question is that in my opinion, the particular gods and celestial bureaucracy are not that important unless you happen to have a direct interaction with one of them. I don’t know if a particular one exists unless I were to have a direct interaction with it
Most Deities are religious interpretations of natural forces that can be directly interacted with through the inner alchemical transformations of jing, qi and shen. A good example of this are the three pure ones of Heaven, Earth and the ONE (Tai-I, the neutral source of the primordial chaos (hundun), which gives birth to the form and formless frequencies of vibration). And yes, I know they are real because I can directly interact with them through meditative alchemy.
Its your choice whether you accept any of this or not, and whatever you choose is fine with me.August 17, 2011 at 10:13 pm #37689
Thanks for your insights.
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