(Minghui.org) Throughout the 5,000 years of Chinese history, there has been a tradition of mind and body improvement. Also known as cultivation practice, it guides one to constantly improve oneself toward Buddhahood or the Tao.
It is generally believed that the Chinese are descendants of the Yan Emperor and the Yellow Emperor who lived in the Yellow River region about 4,700 years ago. Since the Yellow emperor, there have been numerous legends about the divine’s words and deeds. Cultivators in every dynasty, be they of the Buddha school or the Tao school, were respected by everyone, from the emperor to ordinary citizens. Specifically those with wisdom and high morals, and even emperors, would press their hands together to show respect when seeing them.
Shi Ji (Historical Record), one of the most respected Chinese history books, described the Yellow Emperor’s completion of cultivation and elevation through a dragon in the chapters of “Fengchan Shu” and “Xiaowu Benji.”
The legend continued in later dynasties. The story of Baxian Guohai (Eight Immortals Crossing the Sea) was known generation after generation. Other renowned Taoists include Zhang Daoling (Han Dynasty), Wang Chongyang (Song Dynasty), and Zhang Sanfeng (Song Dynasty to Ming Dynasty). Similarly, Buddhism also left many legends such as some monks in Jiuhua Mountain whose flesh bodies remained intact many years after death. In addition, many well respected monks left behind sarira upon nirvana.
The thousands-year-long cultivation tradition is also reflected in advanced Chinese medicine of ancient times. The meridian system, for example, was already documented in Huangdi Neijing (Inner Cannon of the Yellow Emperor) over 2,000 years ago, although scientists did not confirm its existence with instruments until decades ago. Li Shizhen, a renowned physician in Ming Dynasty, once explained this in Qijing Bamai Kao (A Textual Research on the Eight Meridians of the Odd Meridian), “To look at one’s internal organs and meridian systems directly, only cultivators who have such supernormal abilities could achieve that.” In other words, cultivators may see meridian systems with their third eye while entering tranquility during meditation.
Great Scientists as Theists
The divine connection has not been totally lost in modern days. The United Nations once conducted research on the greatest 300 scientists in the past 300 years. The results are a little surprising, as 90% of them were theists.
The list includes many of the greatest scientists such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, Alfred Nobel, Wright Brothers, Wernher von Braun (known as “Father of Rocket Science”), Max Planck (originator of quantum theory), Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre (entomologist), Ivan Pavlov, and many others.
This might be an interesting phenomenon: what makes these well established scientists turn to religion? It might, in fact, be their dedication to pursuing the truth that allowed them to realize the limitations of science.
Take Isaac Newton as an example. He was a great scientist who established classical mechanics by proposing gravitation. But he could not explain how it works across a long distance across space. “The cause of gravity is what I do not pretend to know,” he wrote.
Furthermore, compared to other planets, the distance between the earth and the sun is well arranged so that the earth receives appropriate light and heat, which cannot be just an accident. “The exact perfection of the clockwork universe demonstrated the existence of the hand of God,” Newton wrote, “By existing always and everywhere, He constitutes duration and space.”
Edmund Halley was an astronomer and a friend of Newton. Newton once created a model of the solar system. With a pull of the handle, all planets immediately started to move in their own orbits. Once when coming for a visit, Halley saw the model and studied it for a long time. He then asked who made it.
Newton replied that the model did not come from an invention and that someone happened to put all these components together. Halley did not believe it, saying that whoever made the model must be a genius. Newton said that although the model was intricate, it was almost nothing compared to the real solar system. If the model had come from someone’s design and hands, wouldn’t the real solar system, something way more sophisticated, have been created by the all mighty God? Halley agreed and started to believe in the existence of God.
During an interview, Einstein said that current science could only prove something’s existence, but not that thing’s nonexistence. For example, science cannot demonstrate the divine’s existence because of the limitations of science. But that does not necessarily mean that the divine does not exist. That is, people’s five senses have restrictions and cannot show the existence of the divine or disprove its existence.
For those who did not believe in the divine since their five senses did not indicate so, Einstein explained that the five senses (eyesight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell) have limitations. In fact, sound waves need to be within 20 and 20,000 Hz to be audible. It is a similar situation with eyesight, as one can only see objects under visible light – which only represents a very narrow range of the electromagnetic wave spectrum.
Einstein also added that if there is something in the future that represents advanced science, it might be the Buddha Fa, something that is perfect.
Near-Death Experience During Tangshan Earthquake
Despite numerous political campaigns including the Cultural Revolution, interest in supernormal abilities and qigong surged in China in the 1970s. Dazhong Yixue (Popular Medicine) published an article in its fifth issue in 1993 about the Tangshan Earthquake (magnitude 7.5) in 1976. In particular, it focused on the near-death experiences of survivors based on a survey conducted by medical workers in 1987. With about 100 participants, it was one of the largest surveys of its kind in the world.
More than half of the survivors did not feel afraid when struck by the earthquake. Instead, they felt peaceful and relieved. There was no panic, and their minds were clear. In addition, things that happened previously in their lives quickly came to their minds, one scene after another, like a movie. Most of the scenes were happy moments, such as memories of childhood, wedding scenes, achievements at work, or the joy of receiving awards.
Interestingly, nearly half of the people felt that their soul had gone out of their body. Some claimed they felt as if they were floating up in the air or at the ceiling watching their body below. “It was as if my body was split into two, one lying in bed like a shell, and the other floating up high – even lighter than the air. It was very comfortable,” one of them recalled. Some even saw their family members who had passed away.
About 60% of the interviewees who had near-death experiences said they had changes in their personalities after the earthquake. They said their tempers became milder and they became nicer. Most remembered the experience very well even after 10 or 20 years. This report showed that a person’s soul does exist. That is, the physical body serves as the soul’s carrier, and it is abandoned upon death.
More and more scientific discoveries have challenged atheism and evolution. In 2006, over 500 scientists signed a joint statement publicly questioning evolution theory. Many findings have supported the existence of reincarnation, which is consistent with the Chinese belief of “good is rewarded with good and evil meets evil.”
The Discovery Channel broadcast an episode in 2011 with the title of “Life After Death,” focusing on reincarnation. Similarly, Newsweek published a cover story in October 2012 titled “Proof of Heaven: A Doctor’s Experience With the Afterlife.” Much evidence has proven that near-death experiences are real.
Qigong Study Initially Allowed by Chinese Authorities
Some open-minded Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials were also supportive of qigong study and supernatural capabilities in the beginning. Under the direction of renowned scientist Qian Xuesen (Hsue-Shen Tsien), who was known as the “Father of Chinese Rocketry,” the Aerospace Medical Engineering Institute (Laboratory 507) conducted significant research on human science. Qian himself also gave over 100 seminars and speeches at the institute. Many experiments proved that some children had supernormal abilities, such as recognizing Chinese characters with the ears. Even top scientists and Chinese leaders participated in the study of qigong and supernormal abilities. Had this not been real, it would not have been allowed in communist China.
Qian once wrote to the CCP Central Committee that supernormal abilities did exist. His prestige even affected top CCP leaders. For the first human supernormal abilities forum at Shanghai in February 1980, then Secretary-General of the CCP Central Secretariat Hu Yaobang wrote a few words which were then sealed in a container. He then asked his secretary to bring the sealed container to the forum. Several people with supernormal abilities were able to say accurately what Hu wrote without opening the container. Shortly after that, Hu issued a policy on qigong to the Central Propaganda Department, saying, “No advocating, no arguing, and no criticizing.” He also allowed small-scale studies of qigong.
The Root of Culture
China has a long civilization inspired by the divine. For example, people believed in doing things based on our conscience, and “Good is rewarded with good, and evil meets evil.” There was a belief that we are being watched by the divine. Similarly, doing good or bad will also affect the next life cycle in reincarnation.
After the CCP took power in 1949, however, it started indoctrinating the nation with hatred, brutality, and lies. As a result, many people have deviated from their conscience and the divine. They even resort to all means for their own interests at the expense of others. Adulterated and fake products have flooded the markets, such as cigarettes, wine, vaccines, diplomas, rice, foods, baby formula, and many more. All these stem from the fact that many people have lost the restraints of morality and law, thinking that no one will know if they do bad things, and that they will not bear any consequences for doing so. The law has failed to govern people’s hearts.
Astrophysicists have discovered that our immense universe and many other galaxies have been going through a reorganization. Many galaxies have been experiencing explosion and rebirth. Many galaxies bigger than our milky way have disappeared instantly. Our Milky Way is just a speck of dust in the immense universe, much less we human beings on the earth. This may be the reason that our ancestors have always revered the mysterious forces in the universe.
At this critical moment, if we can view the universe’s reorganization through the lens of traditional Chinese culture, we may be able to understand many hard to answer questions and see hope for the future.
Traditional Chinese culture believes in the harmony of heaven, earth, and mankind. When people followed the CCP’s direction and act recklessly, they are hurting others and leading themselves to a risky future. When disasters hit the world, and when new astronomical events are unfolding, they usually serve as a hint for us to retrace our origin and conscience. By rejecting the CCP and embracing kindness, we and our future generations will be blessed.
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