By Julia Ching

During this publication, Julia Ching bargains a survey of over 4,000 years of chinese language civilization via an exam of the connection among kingship and mysticism. She investigates the sage-king fable and perfect, arguing that associations of kingship have been certain up with cultivation of trance states and communique with spirits. over the years, the sage-king fantasy grew to become a version for the particular ruler. As a paradigm, it was once additionally appropriated by way of deepest people who strove for knowledge with no turning into kings. because the Confucian culture interacted with the Taoist and the Buddhist, the spiritual personality of non secular and mystical cultivation turned extra suggested. however the sage-king notion persevered, selling expectancies of benevolent despotism instead of democratization in chinese language civilization.

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Extra resources for Mysticism and Kingship in China: The Heart of Chinese Wisdom

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18:1a. The English translation is my own. 16 Mysticism and kingship Chinese wu* were so like those of Siberian and Tungus shamans that it is convenient... '35 We may define a shaman simply as a gifted, charismatic, religious figure, and an inspired healer, who has the power to control spirits, and even to call them down and have them speak through him or her. Such a person has usually undergone an initial, traumatic experience, called shamanic illness, which is interpreted as possession. Apparently, the involvement with spirits might begin with involuntary possession, but leads to the more voluntary kind, with the shaman taking more active control and even commanding the spirits to follow his or her commands.

And it is often used in association with the word chu. When used particularly to refer to the wu*, his or her special skills include praying in rain dances, communicating with the spiritual world, perhaps also predicting good or evil fortune, healing sicknesses and interpreting dreams. The Japanese scholar Kaizuka Shigeki has said that the word wu* refers to a mediator between the human world and the divine, while the word chu refers to the mouthpiece of God who transmits his messages to human beings, an expert in ritual incantations.

Wang C h ' u n g , Lun-heng 15:9b. 20 Mysticism and kingship Traditionally, it has been understood as an indication of Confucius5 approval of self-transcendence in nature and in music. There were also other 'shamanic dances'. Such were used to expel evil or demonic influences, which could cause serious diseases. Shamans were medicine men and women, with knowledge of drugs and herbs. 45 They were called upon to summon the spirit back, in the case of some seriously ill person, and even in the case of the dead.

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