January 29, 2005 at 8:30 am #2592
Hi, this is Harry, new to the board and curious about one subject:
about One/white cloud, the Taoist master Master Chia learned from, it is said that he died at the age of 96 possibly due to food poisoning of the liver.
And Mr. Winn writes about one female Taoist he met and who hurt her hip (if I remember correctly) which made her stay at some place…
from all that one reads about the power of QiGong curing even AIDS & Cancer I wonder why liver poisoning was not “possible” to be cured by someone with years of experience in ChiKung…?
About the same question I ask myself regarding that hip…?
Please do not get the above as criticism or something. This is pure and honest curiosity and wish to understand.
enjoy your day
HarryJanuary 30, 2005 at 1:53 pm #2593
We are an immortal spirit having a human experience. There is a time for sickness, for healing, for birth and for death.
MattJanuary 31, 2005 at 12:31 pm #2595
thankx for the welcome. Although I get what you say I still wonder: Chi Kung is said to heal even severe diseases and that by practicing to a high level that one leaves being influenced by the worldly 5 elements… so nothing should have happened to them…?
HarryJanuary 31, 2005 at 7:43 pm #2597
> I still wonder: Chi Kung is said to heal even severe diseases and that by practicing to a high level… so nothing should have happened to them…? >
The sort of level that you are talking about is extremely rare or non-existent. In any case, it is way off the dial from what might be considered normal progress and reasonable expectations.
More reasonable expectations are:
– beginners: as likely to hurt themselves as anything else, lucky to sort things out to a healthy go.
– later on: better health compared to where they started!! (Not necesarily compared to anyone else.)February 1, 2005 at 2:40 pm #2599
These are all reasonable questions, and all reasonable answers posted.
The assumption underlying the question is that immortality – or chi kung methods to cultivate it – removes you from the world. This is an error; it deepens your relationship with the world.
Nature is immortal in the sense it is enduring as Earth, and a human immortal is surrendering to that larger collective experience of Nature, including its ongoing cycles. You are expanding your chi field to identify with the larger chi field. But the ability to internalize that suficiently to live hundreds of years is rare indeed.
So more accurate to say its about accelerating the completion of one’s human destiny with the world. So you could complete that at an early age or at an old age. And then its choice as to whether there is enough soul challenge – and the paricular cultivation skills – to keep you motivated to stay in the physical plane, or to continue your journey in other aspects of nature, which includes the formless heavens.
Human, Earth, and heaven destiny are all aspects of Nature,all subsets of Tao. Immortality is the concept that the exploration of all these is possible with a continuous thread of individual consciousness. Its not about surviving physically forever.
michaelFebruary 1, 2005 at 3:34 pm #2601
Its really nice to have you dropping by the board.
KeithFebruary 1, 2005 at 4:44 pm #2603
Your point on what it means to be immortal by taoist standards is well taken, but I dont think it addresses the question.
I dont think his assumption was that chi kung removes you from the world at all. I think his assumption and yours is that taoist practices put one in tune with the forces of nature both within and outside our bodies, and give the practitioner a certain ability to manipulate those forces.
More to the point is when you say that, once an adept has reached a certain level of attainment, the CHOICE is whether or not . . . to stay on the physical plane (my emphasis added). This implies that the adept can in fact manipulate his physical health to such a degree as to, say, survive liver poisoning or fix a broken hip. But that implication leads to increasingly silly positions, like White Cloud CHOSE to die of liver poisoning or, alternatively, that he wasnt really very good at this taoism stuff.
The more interesting question to me is whether one can reach the level of immortality you imagine (i.e. leaving the world at will) and still have trouble with arthritis. I suspect the answer is yes but I recognize it muddles the whole rubric on which the theory of taoist immortality is based.
Oh, I meant it by the way, its nice to have you dipping into the forum.February 1, 2005 at 5:20 pm #2605
Here are my thoughts, and I would happily be disabused of them!
It seems to suggest that we all have imperfections, even those who have immortality of a certain type. Complete perfection would allow complete immortality of all types (esp. ability to materialize in physical form at will). But, some glitch of imperfection leads to physical death (e.g. Buddha dying from bad food). We all have glitches – none of us can do everything with equal ease.
However, if the personal/local shen of the person are integrated in regards to many jing disturbances (but not that type of poisoning), then there is some degree of low level immortality after that physical death. If the self is integrated with non-local shen (e.g. sun, moon, earth, stars) then there is a higher level immortality – an integrated spirit with more choice of what it can experience.
ChrisFebruary 1, 2005 at 5:54 pm #2607
I just reread all of these posts and realized no one was all that positive about taoism and health. Heres my view.
Taoist systems of diet, exercise, and meditative practices and general right living are all designed to keep you physically healthy to a ripe old age. And I think, within reason, they do. But of course they cant stop a truck. And if you get hit by a truck youre best bet is to find a western hospital.
More to your question, I also dont think these practices can stop poison or miraculously re-set bones like some Hollywood special effect. What they do is basically make the organism stronger, healthier and more able to withstand things (e.g., fight off weak poison, heal quicker from a bone break, etc.), but of course genes, environmental factors and access to quality medical care will also play a significant role.
If your goal is to drink poison and live, Id try the Christian Fundamentalists. But if your goal is lasting physical and energetic strength, taoism is a pretty good path.
Hope that helps.February 1, 2005 at 7:50 pm #2609
Thankx for the response… maybe I should read all the messages and find out what they have “against” Taoism… so: all that talking about immortality is nonsense? All those healing stories about cancer vanishing, fiction? You see: I am circling around a little bit: if cancer can be cured, why not liver poisoning?
still not fully satisfied
HarryFebruary 1, 2005 at 10:11 pm #2611
let me share with you some info about another immortal of the lipan apache of sw u.s. and nw mexico. his name is stalking wolf and referred to affectionatelya dn respectfully as grandfather by his students. he ended up settling inthe east and training one tom brown, jr. who now runs the tracker school which teaches wilderness survival, tracking, awareness and the spiritual teachings of grandfather. grandfather had perfect health into his 90’s at which time he chose to move on to other realms, though he still appears here physically when he wants to. according to tom, grandfather could eat poison hemlock and then shit it out undigested. when grandfather was in his 80’s, he could outrun tom in both speed and distance, though tom was only 15, and we’re talking some distance, like ultramarathons. so whatever happened to white cloud, i don’t know. ahving been a student of tom’s, i don’t necessarily believe what he says about grandfather, but i sure do give it some weight based on what i’ve seen adn experienced at his school. and then you have the ren farong types in china who are in their 80’s, in perfect health, and full of pep. the only way to know for sure what is going to happen is to paly out the journey oursleves and see where it takes us. it is about the journey afterall, not the destination. all the fun is in getting there.February 2, 2005 at 9:54 am #2613
I pretty much ascribe to Michael Winn’s view of what “immortality” means (see his post below).
Regarding healing stories, I think ALL spiritual traditions have verifiable stories of miraculous cures. And I think you can also find in the medical literature people who have had spontaneous remissions of cancer, etc. who were NOT spiritual at all (e.g., that guy in the Ukraine who was poisoned with more dioxin than anyone on record and lived).
To me all this implies that there is something going on there besides whether or not one follows a certain spiritual path.
None of us know anything for certain. Nothing is provable. So all I can give is an opinion. If you want my opinion, I believe that, in theory, cancer, liver poisoning and broken backs (see Kumar Frantzis) can all be “cured” through energy work — but you’ve got to be physically and energetically strong to begin with, really, really know what you’re doing, and even then, I think it’s probably much more of an art than a science (e.g., no guarantees).February 3, 2005 at 10:40 am #2615
But that implication leads to increasingly silly positions, like White Cloud CHOSE to die of liver poisoning or, alternatively, that he wasnt really very good at this taoism stuff.
That’s the secret. 😉 There’s more to Taoism then alchemy, sometimes.February 3, 2005 at 1:13 pm #2617
A happy Thank You to all for sharing their thoughts and insights. But there is still a gap being left:
With regard to:
>>What they do is basically make the organism stronger, healthier and more able to withstand things (e.g., fight off weak poison, heal quicker from a bone break, etc.), but of course genes, environmental factors and access to quality medical care will also play a significant role.< < Actually Chi Kung, meditation and other practices like I ching, Feng shui etc. are said to considerably change ones fate, and it is even said that Inner Alchemy is "able" to change one genertic blueprint... I have no prove for this, I just address the subject with what is said by the same guys and girls that seem to still have problems with what they say can be overcome. Further: >>I still wonder: Chi Kung is said to heal even severe diseases and that by practicing to a high level… so nothing should have happened to them…? >
The sort of level that you are talking about is extremely rare or non-existent. In any case, it is way off the dial from what might be considered normal progress and reasonable expectations.< Well. By saying this you would say that White Cloud wasn't very achieved... Further: >The assumption underlying the question is that immortality – or chi kung methods to cultivate it – removes you from the world. This is an error; it deepens your relationship with the world. < I did not assume this. Actually it would be quite the opposite I believe. The thing is that I feel 90 or 100 not to be an age that is that of a person who has practiced longevity exercises. Many people today reach it without having performed anything like this. So there must be a tangible difference between Taoist Alchemists or already Immortals and those "usual" people. In the case of the story about White Cloud I so much wonder as I would feel Kidney essence troubles to be much more severe than liver posoning due to food. If it is said that Chi Kung or Inner alchemy can replenish Kidney essence I wonder why it (if already performed to a high level as I would assume in such a case) was not "able" to protect from food poisoning. It just seems so: well. "natural". I do get the possibility that a "Immortal" can leave the body at will as soon as he has completed his/her destiny, whether at an early or an old age. But the story as it is told does not give the impression that it might have been that way. just some thoughts HarryFebruary 7, 2005 at 8:49 am #2619
This is in a sense restating thoughts already expressed, but I think how long you live and what ails you along the way depend on what part you’re playing in the plot on a local and macro level; greater detachment and compassionate aspiration lead to less chance of being meaninglessly hit by a truck, and greater chance of not dying of dioxin poisoning… Also, conversely, your powerful evil elite buddies may need you around for at least 70 years, because you’re an important key player (the magic of intense greed-need shouldn’t be underestimated…). The idea being that “destiny”(game-like plot) is at a “Shen” level, so to speak, such that it trumps the whole range of spiritual tricks one can learn with certain practices, which are still just great of course, as long as they don’t mess with an important tangent of the greater plotline. No man is an island.
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