This video lecture was originally set to be titled “Syncretism in Chinese Occultism,” but we’re going to modify it to “A Thought Tour of the Chinese Occult.” If you’re going to watch this video, then buckle in and settle down, because it’s a long one and I start you off in extremely ambitious territory—the deepest most obscure layer of Eastern esoteric thought.
In our tour of Chinese folk shamanism, we’ll look at two specific practices: the tang ki (spirit-possessed mediums) and dreamwork. Then we’ll review a few more intersecting points of Buddhist and Taoist syncretism, such as the emphasis on meditation and mudras; how Legalist thought has had an impact on the structure and codes of conduct set by orthodox Taoist lineages; and one compelling feature of how Confucianism plays in to the occult: the master-student relationship.
After visiting Confucius, the Buddha, and Lao Tzu, we’ll discuss Chinese folk religions, the very important craft consideration of regional land spirits, what traditional Chinese witchcraft looks like, which will include brief coverage of necromancy and soul dualism (the hun and the po), exorcism, and astral projection in ritual magic.
You are watching Video #5 in a six-part video lecture series.
Taoism is a nature-based religion, philosophy, and tradition of sorcery native to China, formed around 600 B.C. One hundred years later, Buddhism enters China and a modality of it–esoteric Buddhism–is blended in with Taoist magic. This introductory lecture series will cover the ontology, theory, history, and cultural practice of sorcery at the intersection of esoteric Buddhism and Taoism.
Video 1: Introduction to Buddhist-Taoist Esotericism
Video 2: History of Taoism and Buddhism in China
Video 3: Taoist Sorcery and Its Cultural Practice
Video 4: Taoist Metaphysics
Video 5: A Thought Tour of the Chinese Occult
Video 6: Taoist Magic in Contemporary Times
Introduction to Taoist Occultism [full playlist]:
All videos in this series are closed-captioned for the deaf, hard of hearing, or those whose native tongue isn’t English. I’ve also made my best attempt at accommodating for the blind. If there is room for improvement in these regards, I’m open to friendly critique. Thank you!
Demonology (Bell Chimes In #21),
Photo Credits: www.godsoftaiwan.com; news.ebc.net.tw; www.twgreatdaily.com; www.chinatimes.com; 郭冀銘攝; 三重協聖宮-蓮花太子 (Taipei, Taiwan); 林富士 (newtaiwanshaman.blogspot.com)
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