January 17, 2006 at 10:27 pm #9869
I’ve been wondering if the shen are considered to be real. Are they thought of as being the fundamental indestructable building blocks of our selves, or are they a conceptual tool used to temporarily describe a more fluid reality.
There is a sense that my self isn’t “real” as it is an always changing field created by the interactions of the 5 shen. I am their relationship.
But what about the shen themselves? Are they also relationships, the sum total of interactions between other forces, are are they fixed blocks of unchanging spiritual energy?
Personally, I like to think that everything is always changing, no frozen spiritual forms, but how does this view relate to shen theory?January 18, 2006 at 12:30 pm #9870
Personally, I like to think of the shen as a metaphor, rather than ‘real’ ghostly spirits living inside your organs. A metaphor is much more flexible – sometimes the shen theory reminds me of Jungian psychology and the archetypes that drive us, sometimes I think of the shen as ‘parts’ of my unconcious, at other times I think of the shen as the microcosmic mirror image of the 5 phases (or cycles) in nature.
I generaly think it’s counterproductive to try to mentaly pin-point what exactly the shen ‘are’ (and imho it’s impossible) – it’s far more beneficial to experience them and the roles they play in your body and all around you in nature.January 18, 2006 at 2:38 pm #9872
In reading your comments, its seems you are separating “you” from the five shen, as if they are not inseparable from you, am I correct in this perception?
Are the Five Phases you, or somthing that influences you, that is not you?
baguaJanuary 18, 2006 at 3:28 pm #9874
I generaly consider that whatever influences me *is* me. Philosophically speaking there is no way to prove that anything but me exists outside of me – since whatever I experience is filtered through my own subjective world-view, and there is no way for anyone to experience ‘reality’ otside of their subjective world-view.
I dont think the five shen as seperate from me, but I think of them as aspects of myself that can be neatly seperated into 5 seperate elements (although I dont think of them as seperate – but as phazes of the same flow). I also I sometimes think of them as the five drivers of my subconcious and my emotions… some people’s ‘drivers’ all seem to be driving in different directions, and I reccon Fusion helps to get them going in the same direction.January 18, 2006 at 7:53 pm #9876
I think I’m really trying to understand the taoist view on death. In my understanding the idea is that when we die the aspects of ourselves that we haven’t integrated split up.
What happens to those shen after that? Can they still change? Can they learn? Can they disolve and seperate the way we can? Or are they fixed?January 19, 2006 at 12:03 am #9878
From a daoist point of view, the fragmented shen that have not integrated go back into the pool of collective shen and are then picked up by other beings manifesting into the physical plane in a different configuration, where they will hopefully achieve resolution.January 19, 2006 at 1:30 am #9880
If the five shen are really one shen, how can they be split apart? What does fragmented mean, not harmonous or actually separate shen?
baguaJanuary 19, 2006 at 11:36 am #9882
Since I dont really believe in shen as some seperate ghostly entities I dont currently have an oppinion as to what happens to the shen when we die.January 19, 2006 at 11:55 am #9884
the questions was for singing ocean. I think this area of shen theory is one of the most important, as it gives meaning to the entire purpose of why to practice taoist alchemy and the meaning to each of the advanced alchemical formulas.
baguaJanuary 19, 2006 at 11:49 pm #9886
The cosmology basically says that the source beyond limit (wuji) manifests and the original self divides itself out, and steps down its frequency in order to function in formless and physical planes (wu-shen-qi-jing). The manifestation of the division is into the five streams of consciousness known as the five phases.
The original self divides itself out and the process of alchemy is meant to integrate them back in (jing-qi-shen-wu) because of the separation and unconsciousness in the physical plane that makes people think they are separate from their source. The process of integration is a natural progression as a person assimilates and refines all their experiences of consciousness in their physical lifetime, but alchemy is an acceleration of that process.
In the situation of death of the physical body, from my understanding the term “fragmented Shen” means those aspects of personality (such as the Hun and Po souls, wood and metal elements) that are not able to integrate themselves into the original self during the physical lifetime for various reasons. These unintegrated aspects are still feeling attached to the earthly or heavenly aspects of the physical plane, and end up in the lower astral in a collective pool of (un)consciousness patterns that have not integrated back in to the original self, still containing the incomplete parts from their experience in the physical plane, waiting to be cycled back into the physical plane to be ultimately integrated.
Of course the “fragmented shen” are still part of the original self as everything that exists is.
There is an everpresent inner witness, a “conscious” part, and an unconscious part of our existence. I think this is a big reason why many spiritual paths think they have reached the original self, when they have just cultivated the “conscious” part of their being.
There is always room for interpretation.January 20, 2006 at 9:31 am #9888
the elements of correspondence
are forced structure
designed to establish communication between matter and spirit
once communication is established the process takes over
and letters become language
form chi bodies
connect them to matter
keep them open to spirit (manifested most formless matter)
it takes enourmous faith to operate with matter-spirit without such graded subtle bodies.
elements is conscius workings of such faith
‘from faith to knowledge’
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.