ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (A COMPENDIUM OF IDEAS AND ONE SMALL NOTE): Shèngrén 聖人 saint

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FAR APPROACH

“The saint is evanescent, unpredictable, dynamic, flexible, and ubiquitous. He is forever unchanged and centered in the Dao, but is as elusive as the Dao and emptiness itself. He can die and be reborn. He flies through the air and goes beyond the world. He is master of the elements and space and time, and commands demons and spirits. He hides himself at a distance from the world or lives in the very midst of it, for example in the marketplace.” (Isabelle Robinet). I don’t feel I could say it better I just enjoy typing what I. Robinet wrote.

THE SAINT CAN BE YOUR NEIGHBOR BUT (by the way, it’s totally my idea about ‘neighbor’)

“The saint accommodates himself so well to his environment as to pass unnoticed: ordinary people cannot see him. Alone and unique, “he remains in Unity and knows no dualism” (Huainan zi 7),  yet can be both here and there and multiply himself. His sight and hearing are sharp and penetrating; knowing the secrets of time, he can predict the future. He is “dark and obscure, and as brilliant as the sun and the moon” (Huainan zi 2), and is “a mirror of Heaven and Earth” (Zhuangzi 13). He can make himself invisible because he knows how to recover the subtle, ethereal state. Returning to the Original Pneuma (yuanqi) and the original darkness, he can become no longer perceptible.” (I. Robinet again)

This part ‘multiply himself’ is absolutely amazing, people with bipolar disorder can stay aloof from ‘us’ and rest alone.

IN GENERAL

“For those who reject the devotional and religious aspect of Taoism, the saint plays the same mediating role that a god does in religion. He is the model of perfect and complete humanity and its inspired guide, a cosmic figure who embodies emptiness or the Dao in an abstract, anonymous, yet vivid way. He transcends the opposition of life and death and embraces all immortals and gods.” (I.R.)

Frankly, I don’t see how it can be said about all aspects of Shengren better than it was done by a professional researcher Isabelle Robinet. But somehow I feel that several notes should be added to calm my mind.

ATTACHMENT (1), JAPAN

Some lines from old makimono (containing the hidden code of behavior of a warrior).

04   I haven’t a means of subsistence — following  nature is my means of subsistence.

06   I have  neither  life nor death — life and death are fused with eternity.

08   I haven’t the eyes — flashes of lightning are my eyes.

09   I haven’t the ears — five feelings will compile my hearing.

15   I haven’t any principle — rinkiohen (adaptability to all) is my  principle.

19   I haven’t the castle — fudoshin (calmness of spirit) will become my castle.

20   I  haven’t a sword yet — mushin (spirit in emptiness) is my sword.

I took only 7 lines out of 20 which sound more or less appropriate here, and I am not going to prove by this anything: psychologists call it ‘associative thinking’, I call it ‘associative thinking’ too, and I like it.

ATTACHMENT (2), INDIA, THE YOGA SUTRA BY PATANJALI

3.34 …by intuition, one has access to all knowledge.

3.40 By mastering the upward-moving life-force, one may pass over water, mud, thorns, and the like and remained untouched by them, as well as gain the power of levitation.

3.41 By mastering the balancing life-force, one masters fire, and the body emanates a blazing brilliance.

3.42 By samyama on the relationship between hearing and ether yields the ability to hear all sounds, struck and unstruck.

3.43 By samyama on the relationship between the body and ether, and by fully fusing with the essence of lightness, like that of cotton, one may travel through space.

3.45 By samyama on the elements, in their gross forms, their essences, their subtle forms, their interconnectedness, and their significance grants mastery over them.

3.46 Then, occult powers manifest, like the ability to become as small as an atom, and others; the body attains perfection and transcends all laws of nature.

So, I was deeply wrong when I said nobody can write better than authors of Encyclopedia of Taoism; Yoga Sutra by Patanjali is pretty stylish too.

ON SEX (3) FOR THOSE WHO ARE ON THE SEX WAVE RECENTLY

One should study the technique of ‘shutting the jade stalk’ to control one’s desire and gain the opportunity to become immortal.  Used once [this technique] sharpens the eyes and the ears.  Used twice: the voice improves.  Used thrice: the skin becomes smooth.  Used a fourth time: the spine obtains power.  Used a fifth time: the buttocks gain strength.  Used a sixth time: the urinary ducts flow well.  Used a seventh time: the willpower becomes resolute and strong.  Used an eighth time: satisfaction spreads all over [the body].  Used a ninth time: it leads to heaven’s blossom.  Used a tenth time: you receive spiritual evidence [inside self]. — Extraction from Tian Xia Zhi Tao Tan (天下至道談), ancient erotical text (by the way, translation was mine but invention of the technique of course not, sadly).

IN ADDITION (4) A COUPLE OF WORDS ABOUT INTERVIEW WITH MASTERS OF MARTIAL ARTS, CHINA

“My next visit to Chang, was different. I told him that he was not doing Taiji but rather living Taiji. He answered again in the negative. “No, you are still wrong, I am not living anything, I am Taiji”. He went on, “You are trying to do Taiji, so you will never realize the fighting of Taiji nor the healing of Taiji. You are much stronger than me, and faster, but I seem faster and stronger than you. I am not. I am Taiji.” From then onward, I tried to be Taiji with every waking and sleeping moment being as if I were still doing the form. That was his greatest gift to me. To show me to not do Taiji.” — Extract from Chang Yiu-chun, The Last Interview by Erle Montaigue.

 Two next extracts are from: Wudang: The Original T’ai Chi by Dong Kit-yung, translated by David Chow, London University Hong Kong. (A word From Erle Montaigue: “Liang Shih-kan at the time of this interview was the second in command for the original Wudang system of “T’ai chi”.)

“One short set of movements is learned every two years until the whole twelve sets of movements are learned. This takes the child into early adulthood, and it is here that we begin the inner training. The inner training begins with simple breathing ways and then we teach them to lower the breath. No, not just the external physical breath, I mean the inner breath. But here again I am finding it quite impossible to explain something that is just learned through experience. I can tell you something now and you will feel something immediately and you will say to yourself, “Ah yes, this is what he means”. But this is wrong as you will only have the first physical experience of Ch’i Kung and this is not what you are looking for. You see, it will take you another twenty years or more before you will know what I am talking about so you will write in your newspaper that you have experienced Ch’i Kung but this will not be true and after that twenty years you might want to explain it to someone and you will also have the same problem. So it is not good to try and explain Ch’i kung to anyone who has not yet been learning it for many years.”

Well, sometimes old masters are too long or too cryptic, but they are always so right in the main things they wanted to say and reading them and watching them is kind of a great relief after long days.

“There are sometimes very special people, who with only a small amount of the correct teaching will be able to know how to teach themselves. Some people are able to learn through the inner mind even though it has not yet been opened. These people are known to us as ‘large people’ (rough translation, there is no real translation to this word), they are able to take in information from the without in order to teach the within. Most of these people will never know that they have this ability, only that they are able to understand their own inner martial arts better than anyone else and sometimes there comes to them in dreams or just ideas, methods that have taken hundreds of years to perfect. This leads us to believe that these people are able to communicate with the outer world and the spirits of this world.”— Close to our topic today: Shèngrén 聖人 saint, sage. Almost.

Well, you can say now it looks like a compendium of outtakes from a private archive. Yes, it is exactly the compendium of outtakes from my private archive.

AND ONE LAST THING. Sometimes people ask me why I do not draw Sri Yantra pictures on a regular basis,  every month, every week; I could sell them $5 a piece like another Christmas card yet! — Twenty years are passed already. Maybe, I am not Sri Yantra Master alive anymore. I am Sri Yantra 😉

ALIVE & STILL.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF TAOISM (THE END OF VOL. 1): Liùzì jué 六字訣 “instructions on the six sounds”

Liùzì jué  六字訣  “instructions on the six sounds”

Catherine Despeux, the entry’s author tells us exactly what sounds they are. “This breathing technique, also known as “method of the six breaths” (liùqì fă 六氣法), consists of inhaling through the nose and exhaling in six ways through the mouth. The corresponding sounds are designated by six characters (hence the name of the method, literally meaning “instructions on the six characters”). They are xū 噓, hē 呵 (or xu 呴, nowadays also pronounced gou), hū 呼, si 呬 (nowadays also pronounced xì), chuī 吹, and xī 嘻”.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Some advices on medical application of ‘six sounds theory’ we can extract from the same article: “The six breath are related to the five viscera (wŭzàng 五臟) and to a sixth organ which, according to different sources, is either the “triple burner” (sānjiāo 三焦) or the gallbladder. Essentially they have a therapeutic or prophylactic action upon the viscera and their corresponding symptoms according  to the principles of Chinese medicine. Chuī 吹 heals ailments resulting from cold and wind, hū 呼 ailments resulting from the heat, xī 嘻 ailments resulting from the wind and heat, hē 呵 relaxes the qi, xū 噓 clears away stagnation, and si (xì) 呬 dispels heat”. — C.D.

How often people should practice six sounds exercise? My first guess is you can practice it anytime you think you need it and how often you want it, but it does not look professional. So, different sources can give us different numbers, 81 times after midnight, 72 times at cockcrow, 64 times at dawn, etc. And sometimes people used to consider the gymnastic movements and body directions too.

The information about six sounds was very interesting in medical aspect in this entry but there is a couple of things nice to add. I mean martial arts and erotical guides.

Martial Art (One Example)

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My favorite example is a short episode from the movie The Sword Identity (2011) with a master Yu Chenhui in the lost field. It takes 51 second, or exactly 38 second when master does absolutely stunning martial training form. We can hear 18 sounds, the first five will be repeated to the end in different order. As far as I can write it down right, they are Hu, Uh, Xu, He, and Ha-ah. Every two-seconds sounds help master to train self right. Probably, there are six sounds instead of five but they are not the same we have seen in medical usage above. However, using sounds in martial art forms is an important fact to me and I would like to see more information in the encyclopedia.

Sex Guides in Ancient China

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Once again, only one example from my favorite text Tiān Xià Zhì Dào Tán (天下至道談)

五音:一曰喉息。二曰喘息、三曰累哀、四曰吙。五曰齧。審察五音,以知其心。

Wŭ yīn: yī yuē hóu xī.  Èr yuē chuăn xī, sān yuē lèi ài, sì yuē huō.  Wŭ yuē niè.  Shĕn chá wŭ yīn, yĭ zhī qí xīn.  “The five sounds: the first is ‘sighing’.  The second is ‘short breathing’.  The third is ‘implicating sadness’.  The fourth is ‘panting’.  The fifth is ‘nibbling’. Pay attention to the five sounds to know her affections.” So sounds rule everywhere:)))

The word 訣  (jué) from the title has a meaning ‘secret’ also. How about 6 (or 5) secret sounds in martial art or in love making? Frankly, I wanted to join martial art example and traditional medicine and erotic guide long ago. Probably, it is on a whim mostly.