If you came following breadcrumbs after , you were already late to the party. Look, a lot of these Eastern esoteric arts are simple, but extremely demanding. This is why you see them doing Taijiquan in parks at the crack of dawn, not early in the afternoon, lol. Well, if you want to get up early, then you have to go to sleep early. That means disciplining yourself to naturally synchronize your schedule with the Sun.
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I have been blessed with people around me who make my path easier to walk, people who hold me steady when I am in danger of slipping; this book could not have been written without them. To Elias then, without whose support I would never have journeyed so far into the forgotten side of ourselves.
To my students and friends at the Wenwukuan, many of whom train much more fiercely than I ever did; you are, each and every one of you, my brothers and sisters. His clothing and his furniture were therefore accordingly adorned with dragons. It is said that he promptly died of fright. Yamamoto Tsunetomo1 Each of us lives within the confines of our individual reality. This is our choice; we choose to live in such a manner—with the same beliefs of what is real and what is not as those often dictated to us from birth.
Our society certainly exerts its influence on our behavior, limiting us within its predefined systems and within what it perceives as common sense. Few people are above this. We are then exposed to a different reality, a place where our innermost hopes and desires are free to express themselves. You see, we have nothing to lose in this new reality. Protected by our private curtains, free from retribution, we dance out our hopes and aspirations, our innermost fears, within our own minds.
As a species, we have not always been so submissive. Primitive man was free to explore his world without the constraints of a rigorously mechanized society to bind him; he was free to investigate his earth and discern its shape without preconception. The realm of dreams and that of the physical were not so far apart; indeed, the shaman, whose job it was to sojourn into the world of shaman, whose job it was to sojourn into the world of dreams and twilight, was an integral component of society.
One could say that primitive man used his dreams as an extension of his five better-known senses. Even today, however, the dreams that dance in our subconscious mind can take shape in the physical world. Progressing as we do through life, we frequently come to find that the myths and legends of humanity, the stories our grandmothers told us, are indeed true. And then what? What do you do when a myth presents itself to you in the flesh? What do you do when a quaint folk belief, accepted by your ancestors but denied by our modern day, knocks at your door?
Do you run away? Do you have a heart attack and collapse? I myself do not. Never having used drugs and being healthy in all respects, I do not doubt the testimony of my own senses. I do not run away. I do not hide. Nor am I afraid, for fear of ridicule, to share with others the revelations I unearth. Welcome then, once again, to my world. It is a place where there are no limits, where whatever once had shape and form in the history of humanity has found a home.
What exactly is the forgotten side of ourselves? It is that portion of our heritage that is scoffed at as superstition or make-believe today. It is that part of our innermost being that quietly acknowledges aspects of reality we know to be true, yet hesitates to openly acknowledge them for fear of ridicule.
In I saw a documentary on television that changed my life forever. Called Ring of Fire: East of Krakatoa, and produced by the brothers Lorne and Lawrence Blair in , the film described their experiences in the Indonesian archipelago. Central to the documentary was a brief sequence with a shy and somewhat reclusive Chinese-Javanese acupuncturist who performed wonderful things, unbelievable things, for the camera.
Ring of Fire caused thousands to seek out this individual in pursuit of instruction; I was one of the successful ones. In the book The Magus of Java, I described my initial encounter with this master, whose true identity I have hidden behind the pseudonym John Chang though John really is his name, and so is Chang, after a fashion. In my years of study with John Chang, I have experienced pyrogenesis, telekinesis, levitation, telepathy, and things even more exotic.
I have spoken with spirits and can testify to their reality. John Chang is a have been given permission to publish it. John Chang is a direct heir to the lineage of the sixth-century B. His discipline, called the Mo-Pai, was, until now, little known in the West. Central to the discipline is the transformation of sexual energy into pure unadulterated power, a force that the practitioner can use at will. This second book of mine, in many ways part two of The Magus of Java, is not so much about my master, though you will find him weaving himself in and out of these pages.
Rather, this book is about how his teaching opened my mind and senses and enabled me to perceive the forgotten side of ourselves. It is by far a more scholarly—and more practical—book than the first one. This is a study guide written for those who were excited enough by The Magus of Java to pursue further instruction though I am hoping it will stand on its own as a literary effort and for those who, regardless of their familiarity with The Magus of Java, wish to learn more about nei kung.
As I have grown in my knowledge of the Mo-Pai tradition, I have discovered that teachings similar to those of the Mo-Pai once had a home all around the world; I have found evidence of nei kung techniques and references to yin and yang energy in almost every ancient culture examined by modern archaeology. It would seem that these teachings endured in China as fossilized that these teachings endured in China as fossilized versions of what was once universal in distribution.
My ambition, then, is that they once again find a home in every country, in every city, in every small village around the globe. I hope to begin with you, the reader; I hope to convince you, through these pages, to undertake a regular meditative discipline, a regimen whose scope you may choose at will and tailor to your own personality and aspirations.
For it is meditation, in the end, that is the key that opens the door to the forgotten side of ourselves. I fear we have become unbearably arrogant, you see. Confident as gods in the technological progress we have made, we scoff at the men and women who were our ancestors.
We marvel at the cave drawings and sculptured bison in the Paleolithic caves of France. In essence, we are patronizing them; we consider ourselves superior.
We deny the full spectrum of what they themselves believed in. We do not seek to understand them, these people who were our forefathers; we do not seek to discover why they made the choices they did, what they had seen, what knowledge they possessed that was different from our own. It is from our own standpoint that we try to reach them, ever judgmental.
We deny their world, and try to refashion and study it based on our own. What nonsense! People are ever practical, especially under conditions where survival is an issue, and life in earlier times was something one had to struggle for on an almost daily basis. Ancient peoples, then, cultivated belief because they saw that there was pragmatic gain in doing so.
For example, probably has a basis somewhere in fact. How many other myths and legends are true, hidden in the leaves, silent and waiting for a dedicated seeker to find? I cannot speak for all of them, though I would like to believe that there are yeti and four-hundred-year-old yogis living in the Himalayan mountains, as I have been told by Tibetan monks.
I personally believe in all manner of spirits, ghosts, and goblins—yes, sometimes it is our nightmares that take shape as well. But meeting such beings is not easy or common; the odds are one in ten thousand or more. Usually, our imagination gets carried away, influenced as it is by cinema and literature, and we believe that something extraordinary is happening when in fact our subconscious mind is tricking us. Ultimately, we believe in the fantastic because we want to believe, because we have a need to believe; the forgotten side of ourselves is ever awake within us, calling to us from fields of dreams.
Because our consumer-oriented society has made life mundane and stripped the magic from our existence, we desperately desire an alternative. Social precepts, for the present, however, dictate that we must ignore these whispers of our past, that we must continue to forget that part of ourselves. In truth, it would be just as easy for an individual to saw off an arm or a leg caught in a trap. This part of ourselves is written into our DNA; we cannot walk away from it. In the end, ignoring our innermost voice leads to desperation, and it is this desperation that proves to be our undoing, for once desperate, we are no longer pragmatic in our pursuits.
Not being practical is dangerous—knowledge accumulated over millennia becomes trivialized and people wind up living in fairy tales. In truth, finding our forgotten side is not easy and often requires the fortitude of a warrior. It can be frightening— compound this natural phobia with the added factor of a multitude of frauds and hucksters preying on the innocent and you will understand that you must tread very, very carefully. In the Orient, where masters secretly coexisted with Western-style development until this past generation, things were much easier to discern: While there were many frauds, true masters were known by reputation and were widely respected.
The regularly accepted practice of challenge-matches saw to this— frauds were afraid to raise their ugly heads for dread of being challenged by a true master. Today, duels being rigorously frowned upon by the legal system, this is no longer the case, and even in the East, prospective students must be ever wary of clever swindlers.
The forgotten side of ourselves is, in short, dangerous turf, and requires a very special type of individual to traverse; this person must be willing first and foremost to face himor herself—and most people shy away from just that. I cannot speak for every myth, for every circumstance that each of us may have encountered; I can only speak for myself. In fact, each of us, in the end, speaks only for ourselves.
This book, then, is my personal journey, my individual sojourn into the forgotten side. Please enjoy it. In some places the text may seem complex and some pieces may seem to hang separately from others, but I encourage you to stick with it—I have two reasons for presenting this book in its chosen format.
The first is that I want to impart to the reader a portrait of what my life I want to impart to the reader a portrait of what my life and training, and those of my students and friends, are like in my native Greece. Of its own nature, painting such a portrait is a complex task. The second is that I am obligated by vows I have given to teach cryptically, and so am laying out pieces of the puzzle as I go along. It is up to the reader to assemble these pieces into the larger picture; I hope each and every one of you is successful.
Finally, I return to the dragon mentioned at the very beginning of this introduction. Desiring something and finding it are two altogether different things, coming to terms with a miracle another matter entirely.
This is where fortitude of spirit exhibits itself. Rather, invite him in for tea. You will never forget the experience, and may be surprised to discover that he will enjoy your company as well. I believe, in the end, that dragons and their like miss us almost as much as we miss them.
Six years, and during that time my life had changed completely.
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The Magus of Java : Teachings of an Authentic Taoist Immortal