Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The private affairs of deep meditators

Deep meditators oftentimes go so deep that they have intense psychological experience so powerful that a most convincing explanation (to the meditator) could be the existence of a truer spirituality, truer than the prevailing cultural world, with all its social and political realities, endowed with all its imperfections. Some of these newly informed spiritualists tried to change this cultural world for the better, and oftentimes with disastrous results on themselves through religious persecution or political suppression from the existing orders, either religious or secular. And though most have nothing to do with the authority, it could easily be misunderstood by common folks, leading to possible condemnation or isolation.

Hence, most of these deeper enlightenment has become underground, for good or for bad. Psychologist Carl Jung wouldn't publish his Red Book documenting some of his inner experience from deep meditation. Nor his children dared to publish it! The Red Book was eventually published by Jung's granddaughter, to clear this granda's good name and as a true statement to history, afterall Jung is now a great historical man.

In ancient China, many of these inner experience has been published by the practitioners. Chinese being pragmatic people, they wrote most of these publications as practice oriented. Most of these texts were likely to be the masters' personal notes or notes of their students: so that the master's inner experience could be documented for future learning of his students. Since most readers (now and in ancient China) are not interested in deep meditation, and the subject matter itself could arouse suspicion from the authority, most of these texts have only been narrowly circulated. And because of their inner experience reporting nature, these texts are difficult to comprehend (and usually not at all by non-practitioners, that create more myths and suspicions).

Recently in Mainland China, there has been a liberalization in the publishing industry, and a Taoist publisher with some political influence started publishing some of these ancient texts for the mass market. It is interesting to note that many of the better texts were quickly sold out in Hong Kong's book shops; while most of these texts were not even on shelf at many major book shops in the Mainland. The authority apparently still has a watchful eye, or at least the retailers would have thought so!

Deep meditation is always a private affair, then and now.

Important text of Dragon Gate Neidan in Qing Dynasty

1 comment:

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