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Alchemy, fangshi, Immortality, integration, Heaven
Chordal
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Post: #1
Alchemy, fangshi, Immortality, integration, Heaven
I was going to try and shift into a different mode of thought here (to speak as someone else), but it doesn't seem like I'm skilled enough to do that yet.

Basically, and I'm not entirely certain this goes in the Magic subforum; Bell and/or Shang has been opening up a little bit (I am still uncertain if they are facets of one another, or the same being [or different incarnations of the same spirit]...as Shang and Bell being wholly different doesn't ring true, here). Concomitantly with this, I realize that my admiration for Japanese writing may come from the fact that Chinese characters used in Japanese writing are familiar and admired to Shang, which would indeed be the case if s/he had been fangshi, or literati, in ancient China. And there is the fact that Bell has been one to point me toward studying Buddhism, and Shang has been one to point me towards Daoism, and there is the time of Flower Garland Buddhism where they coexisted in the same time and place (ancient China).

Along with this, is the concept that Bell...or I, or both of us, now, could be a Spiritual Immortal, which points me back at the Daoism study and towards the neijia (internal) martial arts, which it could be said I participated in when young (Ki Aikido) and which I'm now closer to, in the form of Qi Gong or Tai Ch'i...which I keep wanting to experience, but doubt that I have strong enough of a belief in qi and meridians to fully appreciate it. But when I do get that belief, and do take that step forward, I might be ready enough to become a powerhouse.

Along WITH THIS (why does it all makes sense) comes the desire to take folk remedies and separate out the active components and see if I can make medicines of them, which is something I've recently become interested in, in the vein of Biochemistry...which, in the vein of what I wrote elsewhere, in my case I would like to turn into basically secular high-tech witchcraft, a.k.a. a modern version of External Alchemy. Energy work is Internal Alchemy; if I tried to develop medicines, this would place me as something that would look very much like, well, a modern version of an herbalist, especially if I could understand why and how these things worked. This would be a very good and fulfilling living, EXCEPT that I got thrown off-track after high school, and now would need to go back for a second Bachelor's and at least a Master's after that, to do this. But hey! I got a B.A. in English, too! Literati!

<!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

This is all freaking me out a little tiny bit...?

So all of that is going on. Along with this, I'm dealing with the thought that maybe I actually *should* go through the effort to integrate more fully, because I feel it would give me more peace and unity. The major fear here is of losing that of myself which is this-incarnation, to a mixture of the past flooding back through me. I'm no longer certain that Bell was the one who initiated the merger -- there is the possibility that I did, and that I absorbed him, and have simply been blaming him for it because I couldn't imagine or confront the idea that I had that ability or desire, of my own accord (which seems vastly more likely than him having "made me" want to absorb him). There is also the possibility that he is a past aspect of myself that only arises when he feels he really needs to be here for and with me. Regardless of origin...right now he's part of me. But I have a feeling that maybe what I've seen around his appearance is illusory; that maybe he has been part of me. Maybe he was me from another lifetime. And maybe Shang, instead of being a helper spirit, is also "me" from another lifetime. It's just that instead of past-life recall, I have their actual personalities here with me. (as to what, if anything, that means about my personal power, or the roots of power, I don't know.)

The second major fear of integrating more fully is the fear of becoming earthbound. I have not seen this to be an issue in what study I have done on Immortals, as it seems that Immortals can pass between the planes of Heaven and Earth. Which sounds so beautiful and wonderful. But right now I'm...I know very little about Daoist Heaven or the Celestials...that doesn't mean I don't want to learn, this just means I haven't yet attempted to enter the forest (or climb the mountain, as it were). And I really don't know what the thing is about Daoist Hells...though if my study of other Hells sheds any light, it's probably a popular culture thing more than an important thing which is integral to Daojiao (Daoism).

I also haven't yet attempted to learn Mandarin or Cantonese (even though I want to) because I'm terrified to travel to China. I have heard some bad things about the current political climate, especially where it comes to mental health, which could be a reason I incarnated here instead of there...

Am I sounding crazy? I think I'm sounding a little crazy. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

I did find, today, a book on Dzogchen which I didn't know was on the shelf...I picked it up because I realized Bell would have an interest in it. So that seems to have stirred up this...someone in my psyche told me that what I was looking at with wanting to go into Biochemistry was essentially Alchemy, but I don't know the exact timing of that revelation.

I'm going to stop now because I don't know why I'm writing this anymore, and it would be of more use to study some in the books I borrowed...
2013-04-29 3:56
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Rain
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Post: #2
Re: Alchemy, fangshi, Immortality, integration, Heaven
Chordal Wrote:(why does it all makes sense)
It's possible you're seeking formal connections that don't actually exist, just to better explain and strengthen your viewpoint. Whether or not you believe in coincidence, one should be careful in drawing ties that are remarkably *convenient*, as that doesn't necessarily make them true. It's perfectly reasonable for you to have an interest in something -- purely as a human -- that just so happened to line up with your other self, much as you most likely have interests that *don't* line up. So be careful, it's easy to get in over your head.


Quote:Along with this, I'm dealing with the thought that maybe I actually *should* go through the effort to integrate more fully, because I feel it would give me more peace and unity...
Again, I parallel some of your situation with mine previous, even though it may or may not be the exact same.

I willingly initiated the integration, but my own other self had long since been weaseling itself into whatever cracks it could find to mar some of my drives, motivations, and behaviors to facilitate the decision.

If your case ends up like mine, you'll lose both of yourselves. Granted, its existence was far more parasitic than symbiotic, but the integration has left me with something that was neither of us. It is certainly peaceful, but that peace was attained at the cost of much of my personal traits; as I have mentioned before elsewhere, I no longer feel nearly as disquieted about my own gender, but that is purely because I no longer quite feel myself a gender at all. It's not impossible that this deadening of self is due to its own traits before the integration (and thus may or may not affect you if you decide to go on with it), but something to mention. I'm not quite capable of feeling regret about my own integration, but if I were to be asked, I would say that one shouldn't merge unless one is absolute certain they wish to do it.

~~~
2013-04-30 14:57
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Chordal
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Post: #3
Re: Alchemy, fangshi, Immortality, integration, Heaven
Hi Rain!

Thanks for the response...it helps. What I've been going through recently is kind of weird...though not unheard of or unpredictable. Basically I find myself today thinking on the subject of living with family while not being certain they would still accept me if they knew I was going though this. Chances are they would (after all, their daughter is still in there somewhere, right? I mean, I'm not entirely someone else...) but I've just been thinking back over the nature of dealings with spirits and how I basically set myself up for this when I assented to the merger, the first time. If you let a spirit in, that agreement may down the line be impossible to undo. When you replied, I remembered the "soul eater" part of this and it got me a bit melancholy, though not through any fault of yours.

I've also been thinking on the possible grandiosity of at least thinking that I have a fangshi hanging around or that I could be a spiritual immortal. I recently purchased a book called Buddhism and Taoism: Face to Face which has an entire chapter devoted to responses to sorcery in medieval China (I've only just started reading it). One of the few things I've held onto from having read Psychic Self-Defense by Dion Fortune is this idea that mental instabilities in this life can stem from having been highly magically developed in a past life, leading to having an "engine too powerful for one's frame;" that is, a psyche too powerful for one's brain/body.

I'm not really essentially *trying* to get into magic (Fortune recommends that mentally unstable people not tinker with magic), it just seems that I'm already in it and can't avoid it. I mean, tinkering with the structure of the soul and having relationships with incorporeal spirits might qualify as "sorcery"? And it might also qualify as pseudo-immortality by my being the heir of a process meant to lengthen the life of one's spirit/soul. Of course, this assumes that a spirit or soul has a life expectancy, which might be inferred if certain of us can actually reduce the number of souls in existence.

I'm also dealing with the problem of realizing that the desire to consume/incorporate another's spirit has a drive to it that is not unlike libido, and that I generally only desire to do this with people who already mesh in some way with me. I mean, it's a really intimate thing, and I've realized it isn't a familial-intimate type thing. For me it's like a really intense desire to have the other person, you know? I recall having a conversation with someone on Livejournal about this some years back and he was all like "ha ha ha let's both try to eat each other" and I'm like, dude, no. I don't want your freakin' crazy spirit incorporated with mine; I don't even know you. <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue --> The problem that this brings up is that it would seem that those who I have strong direct attachment to are the ones I risk wanting to consume. It also seems that to a degree, this has replaced my normal sex drive...though I don't know if that's entirely because of medication, or not.

Rain Wrote:
Chordal Wrote:(why does it all makes sense)
Whether or not you believe in coincidence, one should be careful in drawing ties that are remarkably *convenient*, as that doesn't necessarily make them true. It's perfectly reasonable for you to have an interest in something -- purely as a human -- that just so happened to line up with your other self, much as you most likely have interests that *don't* line up.
Thanks for this...it is really odd though, that a couple of the interests I have actually line up with what my family has done in the past (pharmacology, jewelry). I am not entirely sure what to make of this...especially since I've basically decided that my own blood-family branch likely ends with me. I've toyed with the idea of traits being passed down through generations before (I have a memory, false or not, of my grandmother thinking I was her husband reincarnated), but at this point I'm not certain I should let it matter. So inheriting a tendency to want to develop medications from a spiritual ancestor, would seem not outside the bounds of believability, in my case.

It is likely, however, that what I'm dealing with as regards career path will lead to a different outcome, especially as I'm pretty securely making jewelry at this point, and because there is the tech field which is historically new, but which I can work within and also use as an augment/enhancement to the jewelry. The path of developing medicines is a new thing, though I can see that there will be a need for it.

Rain Wrote:
Chordal Wrote:Along with this, I'm dealing with the thought that maybe I actually *should* go through the effort to integrate more fully, because I feel it would give me more peace and unity...
If your case ends up like mine, you'll lose both of yourselves [...] I'm not quite capable of feeling regret about my own integration, but if I were to be asked, I would say that one shouldn't merge unless one is absolute certain they wish to do it.
Especially, in my case, as I'm only now beginning to get back to the place I was at before any of this started...(I've recently had an interest in refreshing my Spanish language and math skills, though that seems to be connected with a different identity.) Thing is that I know that reaching certain breaking points in one's evolution can change the makeup and process of the mind, though with me this happened most apparently when I had to go on medication that made it more difficult to be verbally creative. I wouldn't say I'm terribly looking forward to having this upended again, but if it would solve the problems of being more than one person in one body, I'd suppose it's something to look into, at least.
2013-05-01 22:47
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Post: #4
Re: Alchemy, fangshi, Immortality, integration, Heaven
Chordal Wrote:Of course, this assumes that a spirit or soul has a life expectancy, which might be inferred if certain of us can actually reduce the number of souls in existence.
Questionable. "Life expectancy" implies foreknowledge of the average span of existence a soul maintains. I do not think that their consumption or integration is a wholly regular or common process and should be seen as outliers in a grand scheme of which I do not think either of us know enough about to make any such inferences on. Should you happen to have knowledge on this subject that I do not, feel free to correct me.

Quote:I'm also dealing with the problem of realizing that the desire to consume/incorporate another's spirit has a drive to it that is not unlike libido, and that I generally only desire to do this with people who already mesh in some way with me.
Quote:The problem that this brings up is that it would seem that those who I have strong direct attachment to are the ones I risk wanting to consume.
Similar problem, different reasons. As it is, the situation in which I would have the greatest window of opportunity would be with those that I am close to. Physical contact is near fully necessary for me except in rare situations, and I do not believe initiating such with a stranger would be well-received or appropriate.

Quote:I mean, it's a really intimate thing, and I've realized it isn't a familial-intimate type thing. For me it's like a really intense desire to have the other person, you know?
We differ. I desire consumption, not ownership. Preservation of the target's identity is seen as a failure. In fact, if I were to choose between someone close to me and someone not, methods aside and assuming similar taste, I would have to choose the one not if only to avoid harming one close to me.

Quote:it is really odd though, that a couple of the interests I have actually line up with what my family has done in the past (pharmacology, jewelry). I am not entirely sure what to make of this...especially since I've basically decided that my own blood-family branch likely ends with me.
I am uncertain as to why it interests you so, or why it remains that something must be made of it. Whether one has inherited the traits from an ancestor, from a past life, or even from a far more mundane source, understanding this source does little but abate curiosity on the subject and holds little of pragmatic value. If one has a taste for music, it matters not whether it be from nature, nurture, or supernatural means -- they will still hold a taste for music, verifiable information of arguably greater, more immediate importance.

Quote:I wouldn't say I'm terribly looking forward to having this upended again, but if it would solve the problems of being more than one person in one body, I'd suppose it's something to look into, at least.
For what it's worth, I miss my selves, even with all of the "problems" that it brought with it.

~~~
2013-05-03 4:07
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Chordal
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Post: #5
Re: Alchemy, fangshi, Immortality, integration, Heaven
Sooo...

I finally purchased the third book in the triad of books I've wanted, on the Tao. In addition I found a book on Japanese mythology which I got an odd hit out of.

Usually when I'm looking around in bookstores for books which are interesting, I will open to a random page. Sometimes, the information I get from that random page is useful.

I have recently re-entered a state where I'm no longer wanting to learn Spanish (which I trained in for six years and could easily revive if my heart was in it -- I'm to the point where I can automatically translate simple Spanish texts I read into English, even though I'm missing a lot of the vocabulary and can't remember specifically all my verb conjugation tables), but Japanese (in which I trained for two or three quarters). This has gone along with wanting to change my name to an actually uplifting, forward-looking name, which I am open to actually using in my offline life -- after a trial to see if it sticks. The name itself is in the language of my diaspora, which utilizes Chinese characters in its script.

I've told the forum before about Shang and Bell...who are for my present purposes best treated as separate spirits or as separate incarnations. Well, today was fortuitous in learning that bells are likely important in a possible spiritual history involving China, though it's left for me to research and discover what purpose they served. Also, today was fortuitous in both having read the beginning chapters of Tales of the Dancing Dragon -- enough to know that it is said that the ancestors of what we now know as modern Japan were a fangshi (literati/alchemist/spiritual advisor) clan which came from China...and the other thing I learned, on a random page of a different book dealing with a different country, is that Japanese mythology is based on a Taoist worldview. So the worldview I have, taught to me by family and culture, doubtless influenced by a Japanese aesthetic (which I've lived with all my life, and which has caused me not to fear demons as much as those who envision demons as pure Evil, likely inherited from Persian Zoroastrianism) -- is related back to China and specifically to Taoism. Taoism, in turn, springs from indigenous roots which relate back to practices now called "shamanic." I hadn't thought to reach back so far, as the time before the Chinese emigration to the islands which became Japan, in my search for information about these spirits...nor did I ever think that when I was told I might become called to be a shaman, that this was going to be a lifelong-training thing that happened regardless of my receptivity to it, or that the shamanism I might be involved with could be East Asian and not Native American.

So this was amazing, but random page-flips in the bookstore often tell me interesting things which happen to appear strange when put in the context of my life narrative. Well, there's this, and there's the fact that the person I consulted, about being concerned I was crazy for communicating with spirits, encouraged me to embrace and not pathologize, or try and overly rationalize my experiences. Which, speaking on the rationality part...I am now thinking that the "merger" narrative may be confused (as it is an attempt to rationalize my experience). It is possible I took a spirit into my body; it is possible I've taken many spirits into my body, but that doesn't mean they're stuck inside me or that I will forever be them or that I'm earthbound or that I eat souls, etc. Maybe they're off somewhere else within earshot and just come back when I need them, but I'm old enough to handle myself now. Maybe the merger narrative is something I needed, especially as a very young adult, because I needed to feel not-alone. Maybe the darkness and rage I've gone through is just par for the course; or is, in this particular society. Of course, that could also be someone else's darkness and rage for which I'm a conduit, lest I forget my own realizations.

I have a feeling that this study is going to take me down a road where I am going to have to learn about the cultural history of East Asia, to fill in the gaps as to how I got where I am now...materially and spiritually. A daunting undertaking, but workable. I've had a course in World Religions, which acted as a primer to both Buddhism and Taoism, in addition to giving history on the original context of Buddhism in a Hindu matrix. I tried out an Asian Philosophy course, which I eventually left because of the teaching style, but I did learn something there. I have a relatively workable grounding in Buddhism, though I no longer think Buddhism is a good religion for myself in particular. Now I'm learning about Taoism, which means I'll have to learn more about history (like which dynasty followed which) and cultural context, which also means that I'll be learning more about my own biological heritage and possible spiritual heritage. Which is, as I've said, workable. And when I'm ready, maybe I can actually try to get back into neijia, and start with energy work. Energy work that is intended as such, I mean. <!-- sTongue --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- sTongue -->

I also understand that perhaps the state I'm in now is not the state I'll always be in, that other lessons will come to the fore, and that's OK, I think. I just wish I could stick with studying one language or another to the point of actually developing it...

...And I should get back to what I was doing before I started writing this, and clean up my playthings. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->
2013-05-27 6:36
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Chordal
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Post: #6
Re: Alchemy, fangshi, Immortality, integration, Heaven
All right, so I finally have a question I can open up to the rest of you, now. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

As I've said before, I've had some experience with reading about beings like Bell who attach to and integrate with children as a method of "illegal reincarnation," as written by Robert Bruce in Practical Psychic Self-Defense. Bruce is an Australian exorcist; and unless he heard about this from me or someone else somewhere online, this means that somewhere in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, or Oceania, there is probably some record or knowledge of a type of spirit who attaches to and integrates with children as a matter of course.

If I recall correctly, I don't think there was a source given in said book. I also have his Astral Dynamics, but haven't progressed through it fully, as it's basically a training manual for out-of-body-experiences (OOBEs.). (Given PPSD, I'd say that I'd stand a good risk of running across troublesome spirits if I did go through that training.)

I did a rudimentary search on "soul eater" and got the manga. Manga, everywhere. This is not what I'm looking for. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

If anyone here has a greater clue as to what culture or cultures to look within, or knows what names these beings may go by, it would be awesome if you could let me know. If you ask Robert Bruce directly, please don't reveal who asked the question (that is, I don't want him coming after me, and would be thankful if you didn't reveal what you know of my identity).

Thanks!
2014-05-23 0:21
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