THE ANCIENT TAOIST PRINCIPLE OF RECIPROCITY
IF YOU DO ME A FAVOR, I WILL RETURN A GREATER FAVOR TO YOU BUT IF YOU HURT ME, I WILL NOT OFFER THE OTHER CHEEK. IF YOU INSULT ME, I WILL PUNCH YOU; IF YOU PUNCH ME, I WILL BREAK YOUR ARM; IF YOU BREAK MY ARM, I WILL BREAK YOUR LEG; AND IF YOU BREAK MY LEG, I WILL PUT YOU IN A COFFIN

Ancient Chinese Shamanism To Modern Folk Taoism

Self-Proclaimed High Class "Elite" "Pure" Taoists , who have not get involved, or practice "Folk" Taoism , such as Taoist Sorcery , Taoist Mediums, Taoist Talismans, always love to condemn such practices as Superstitious, Evil Practice and not the "Real" Taoism.

These Self-Proclaimed High Class "Elite" "Pure" Taoists love to comment that Pure Taoism should only recite Taoist Scriptures, when they don't even spend time to research deeper into "Folk" Taoism, or become a Spirit Medium, or learn and perform Taoist Sorcery before commenting.

In actual fact, "Folk" Taoism is the  type of Taoism which folks around the world are interested in. Folks around the world, who are facing problems in their lives, are secretly searching hide and low for a Powerful Taoist Sorcerer to solve their money problems, love problems etc. You might be one of them.

Westerners in Western Countries, only get to read about the Philosophical type of  Taoism and never have a chance to witness the practices of  Folk Taoism.

So... How "Folk" Taoism begin? Is it Part of  Real Taoism?
Let's read further..

Animism and spirit worship were characteristic of the primitive religion of archaic China, and were the cultural foundation from which Daoism developed. At the time, shamans and priests were the major religious specialists, possessing the ability to communicate with spirits, to appeal to them to dispel evil, to explain the turns of fate, and to transmit the instructions of spirits.

In Yin and Shang times, the ideogram for 'shaman' (巫) as inscribed on divinatory implements bore a strong resemblance to the character for 'spirit'. In those times, shamans resorted to a series of songs and dances, spells and talismans to communicate with spirits.

'Invocators' ( 祝 Zhu ) were another type of religious professional, responsible for conducting rituals of offerings and prayer to spirits. Finally, divinatory specialists conducted divination in order to predict fortune and misfortune. Shamans, priests and divines were important figures in society, enjoying relatively high status. Belief in shamans was especially prevalent during the Yin dynasty.

During the Spring and Autumn period (770 - 476 BC), which witnessed the rise of rationalism, the status of shamans gradually declined, although shamanism remained deeply rooted in society. Especially in the Chu State, primitive shamanism did not disappear and continued to flourish among the common people.

Many aspects of ancient shamanism were inherited by Daoism. The Master of Incense ( 司香火者 Sixianghuo Zhe ) in Daoist temples holds the title of "Shrine Priest" ( 廟祝 Miaozhu ), a title inherited from the ancient religion.

Ancient people believed that illness resulted from the victim being possessed by evil demons, and that one needed to resort to the shamans' Magical Skills ( 方術 Fangshu ) of talismans, incantations, and exorcism to dispel illness. Talismanic Water ( 符水 Fushui ), Exorcism ( 驅鬼 Qugui ), and Demon-Expelling Implements ( 斬鬼品 Zhangui Pin ) referred to in later Daoist scriptures reflect the influence of the ancient shamanistic religion.

Early Daoist movements, such as the Five Pecks of Rice ( 五斗米道 Wudou ) and the Supreme Peace Traditions ( 太平道 Taiping Dao ), show an even stronger shamanistic coloration. The Five Pecks of Rice disciples were called 'the Rice Witches' ( 米巫 Miwu ) by some, and Buddhists disparaged the sect by calling it the 'Demonic Skills of the Three Zhangs' ( 三張之鬼法 Sanzhang Zhi Guifa ).

The practises of killing and expelling demons with the aid of charms and incantations, invoking spirits, holding Ritual Offerings ( 濟醮 Jijiao ), and presenting written memorials to spirits with the aid of a medium, can all be said to be inheritances from ancient shamanism ( 巫教 Wu Jiao).
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