Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Magic Invulnerability Is A Scam (刀槍不入)

Some Taoist talismans for achiving invulnerability.
If we observe the history of our civilization closely, the practice of invulnerability only surfaces during unrest times especially during warring periods; now and then as if the history repeats itself. It is normally the case of ambitious leaders exploiting on the naïve folks to go against stronger forces. Having said so, let’s go back in time to old China again…


Folk cults in 1900’s


On entering 1900, those once outlawed folk cults such as ‘kung fu’ (神拳), Yihe Boxing (義和拳), broad sword group (刀會) gradually combined into one group called Yihe Union (義和團). Yihe Union meant that it was a government and folk collaborative body. So it is a ‘legal’ society so to speak.



Behind Chinese political scene in 1900’s


Queen dowager Ci Xi (慈禧太后) wanted to replace Emperor Guang Xu (光緒) with Pu Jun (浦俊), the son of a royalty Zai Yi (載漪) who was more submissive to Ci Xi. However, this plan was strongly opposed by representatives of Western countries (we still didn’t have ambassadors at that time).


These oppositions caused Ci Xi and Zai Yi to be furious. They wanted to make use of Yehe Union’s broad swords and spears to up in arms with the western fire arms.


Folk cult under royal court blessings


Those once outlawed folk groups expended rapidly under the blessing of Qing royal court. Now the Yehe Union is combined with various folk cult groups and their congregation places changed from ‘boxing courts’ (拳場) to ‘altars’ (壇口).


The Yihe Union were once male oriented body, now that it is legalized and has the royal patronage; women started to participate. For example in Tianjin, there is a folk group known as ‘shining red lights’ (紅燈照) is formed by unmarried young ladies. The red light group is lead by the Holy Mother Yellow Lotus (黃蓮圣母).


Members of ‘red lights’ were seen to have worn red dress and red pants, they have double hair knots on their head and most notably they hold red lanterns in their left hands and a red folding fan in their right.


Gradually the ‘blue lights’, ‘green lights’, ‘black light’ female folk groups took place as well. The difference is only at their attires and age groups. For example, the ‘blue lights’ are formed by middle age female.


Psychology for invulnerability magic


In order to resist the invading and suppressive Western arm forces at the time, these folk groups could only fight with broad swords, spears and even ‘small red lanterns’! So it is not difficult to understand the eagerness of being protected by supernatural forces.


Facts about invulnerability


The original practice of invulnerability actually refers to the practice of hard Qigong (硬氣功) exercises namely: the golden bells cover (金鐘罩) and the iron shirt (鐵布衫). While these type of kung fu can withstand the chopping of broad swords, but it can never withstand the slicing of sharp objects. There are many tricks to it, while it is nice as a performing art; invulnerability can never stand the test of actual combat.


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