ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (PRIVATE NOTES): Guĭ 鬼 spirit, demon, ghost

Miura Kunio wrote in the entry: “Traditionally, the Chinese have believed that human life is borne by two “souls,” the hun and the po. In simple terms the hun is the spiritual dimension, and the po the physical. Since both can be reduced to qi (pneuma), however, there is no sense of duality between them. When a person dies, the union of hun and po dissolves, with the hun returning to heaven and the po returning to the earth. Both then change: the hun, having ascended to heaven, is called shen (spirit, or deity) and the po, having descended to the earth, is called gui”.

Of course, in the tenth century and later there were thinkers who will make things more difficult for next generations, writing about spirits and deceases and salvation for the spirits. Maybe this is a case when reading fiction or reference book on martial art it will be enough for us, humble readers to stop and remember  just a couple of terms in general: ‘húnpò’ and ‘guĭshén’, their calligraphy and pronunciation.




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