Imperial Chinese Court Regency

Advocacy via Regency for Constitutional Monarchy in China

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Update from Vault of Heaven (Beijing) – reposted by T.E. Yu – 25th October 2012

The Vault of Heaven, Oct 24 — The Supreme Celestial Patriarch names ten new Grand Celestial Patriarchs, putting stamp on Taoist World religion as future – update from Pater H (Imperial Vault of Heaven) 9th Day of the Month of the Chrysanthemum 4343 H.L. (24th October 2012)

The Grand Celestial waved as he arrived to lead the 丙-day general audience at the Temple of Heaven. (photographs of the ascended ‘Sovereign Soul of Mankind’ are disallowed, the Grand Celestial Patriarch in the picture is seated on the sedan behind the yellow curtain veil.

The Supreme Celestial Patriarch, putting his  on the future of the Taoists Celestial faith, today named ten new Grand Celestial Patriarchs from around the world to join the elite group of prelates who will one day choose his successor. The ten are from the United States, Lebanon, India, Nigeria, Colombia, South Africa, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The ceremony, known as a conbrotory, will be held at an unspecified date, the Grand Celestial said in a routine announcement at his monthly general audience.

Among those named are known as the “Lesser Sovereigns” of the Taoist Faith are Arch Celestial of the 9th Sect, an ethnic-Chinese American who runs the pontifical household, Patriarch Tan B., patriarch of the Celestial Order in Lebanon, and Patriarch B.C. Tho, the Arch Celestial of India. They also include Arch Celestial J.O. Om of Abuja, Nigeria, Arch Celestial S.G. Ru of Bogota, Colombia, and Arch Celestial A.T. Lu of Manila in the Philippines.

All of the ten new Celestial Patriarchs are under 70 years old and thus eligible under Church law to enter a conclave to elect a new Supreme Celestial. The elite group is known as “Celestial Patriarch electors”. After the conbrotory, the number of Celestial Patriarch electors will rise again to 88, the maximum allowed under Taoist Law. The total number of men in the College of Celestial Patriarchs will be 188.

The below paragraph discusses items unmentioned since 1911 . . . as we fear that various esoteric traditions may die out without mention from sheer secrecy, we shall help better preserve by detailing as far as is possible on Inner Temple Guardians and the Grand Celestial Patriarch’s immortal lineage.

Inner Temple Guardians

Inner Temple Guardians are typically retired Grandmasters of various martial art sects of sufficient girth and height (6’6″ minimum height, with the ‘Tibetan Iron Bars’ a well known contribution from Tibetan Bon Sect every generation alongside other typicals from Shaolin, Wudang, Dai (the original Thai) Kickboxers, and other less known and secretive sects such as Serpent, Black Lotus, Fire Sect etc.., who are Regency sought then proposed, and PRC vetted then sanctiomed by the Celestial Order) who have decided to serve at the Celestial Vault are also under the same prohibition and typically wear the veiled and silk clad sedge hat (2nd picture shows veiled Guardians) when travelling outside the temple. Interesting to note in the martial arts and religious world is the revival of the several rare sects from a source which prefered to remain nameless.

Depictions of Inner Ward Guardians (the secret of blue skin was discovered before Buddhism was invented and is achieved by ingestion of ‘Silvery Herbal Infusion/Potions’ of Colloidal Silver which are still used by Guardians today. The herbal components will remain a preserve of the Imperial Palace and Celestial Sanctum.

Grandmasters in Traveling Garb and Veiled Sedge

The Immortality of the Grand Celestial Patriarch

The Speaker for the Supreme Grand Celestial said in a routine announcement :

This will be the five hundredth time since his election in 207 A.D. that The Supreme Grand Celestial, 1881 years of age, has named new Grand Celestial Patriarchs.

The Supreme Celestial is generally believed to be immortal, but the since the fall of the Qing Dynasty and the advent of modern education and technology, the general consensus is that rather than a cinnabar suffused constitution that granted immortality to the Supreme Grand Celestial long 1800 years ago before the Immortal head of the Taoist Church’s death, The Supreme Grand Celestial chooses from among his successors a suitably aged ancient most astrologically appropriate replacement for the era, to transmit wisdom and the Taoist Mandate of the World, and to continue as if the Grand Celestial is truly immortal.

According to fragments of history salvageable from rare texts that survived the Cultural Revolution, and general rumours of Immortality, the Supreme Grand Celestial has disappeared during various falls of various dynasties only to resurface during China’s times of stability again, but most references (in ancient scripts were destroyed and as many Temples demolished) to the Immortal Lord of Mankind based in the Sacred Eternal Gardens of Tiantan (Forbidden Gardens), were removed during the violent and murderous Cultural Revolution along with sparrows which extreme Stalinist Chaiman Mao declared competitive with human beings for food and decreed had to be slaughtered wherever seen. This as we know resulted in proliferation of other vermin which sparrows fed on, and resulted the collapse of harvests and ended in the starvation of the Chinese.

Todays’s China is different, far more educated and while appreciative of what the ancients knew, and even as many ancient structures including the power of the Taoist Faith and the Imperial Institution are being worked on towards revival, know that if the legends of the current Supreme Grand Celestial’s Immortality are true, (many more are inclined to believe that the death of each Supreme Celestial is hidden from public to give an impression of Immortality but respectfully refuse to challenge the ‘myth’ – that and the fact that MANY technologies we take for granted would fail as the ‘Legis Celestium’ and modern science clash), the Chinese hardly can expect the permission of the Celestial Order to access the Elixir of Immortality which still sustains the Supreme Grand Celestial Patriarch who will be 1881 years old this year.

A singular anomoly for every Eternal City is quite enough,’ declared the Celestial Speaker referring to the presence of Living Immortals in China. ‘We cannot allow the Holy of Holies to be be exposed to the profane.’, alluding to the possibility of at least 5 Immortals existing in each of China’s Eternal Holy Mountains as of now. He refused to speak any further on the subject when asked, claiming to not want for Taoism to be associated with pseudo-scientiific mysticism and told us to visit the Imperial Alchemist instead for a lecture on Taoist Herbal remedies about to revolutionise the medical and pharmacological sector with organic healing with naturopathic herology instead of synthetic Western medicines in China.

The Grand Celestial Patriarch last disappeared from public view in 1911 and resurfaced in 2009 where the PRC has currently given permission to conduct Imperial Rites in private at invitation for select persons only (From an unamed ICCR source, apparently the Red Army wishes to coordinate and organise the state religion properly – only at a propitious and auspicious time when the general population is ready) as a suitable successor is sought for revive the Dragon Throne by even as the Taoist religion begins a cycle of regeneration. The Grand Celestial Patriarch currently resides in the Celestial Vault and is represented by the PRC’s Holy Administration for the Temple of Heaven, which is preparing the ASEAN territories for the implementation of Greater Imperial China and the 10 day week if the PRC wishes to begin the 100,000 year cycle.

After the conbrotory, the number of Grand Celestial Patriarch electors will rise again to 88, the maximum allowed under Taoist Law. The total number of men in the College of Celestial Patriarchs will be 188.

Many thanks to Lord Mao of Diexi (Chinese: 叠溪; Pinyin: Diéxī), Ngawa Prefecture, Sichuan, China for this article contribution.

ICCR wishes a very Happy Double Ninth Festival to all Chinese.

Lord Mao and Lady Mao (claimants for titular seat at Diexi)

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‘Moon River’ crooner Andy Williams dies at age of 84 – The Irish Times – by BRIAN BOYD – Thursday, September 27, 2012 – reposted by T.E. Yu 16th Octiber 2012

FOR ALL of his relaxed singing style and cardigan-wearing habit, Andy Williams was in his own way a musical rebel.

The singer, who died yesterday of bladder cancer aged 84, was a nightclub crooner made good. He never compromised his approach even when jazz, swing and rock’n’roll became more popular and profitable genres.

While others jumped on the bandwagon or “went with the times”, Williams – who had a pitch-perfect baritone voice – remained “old-fashioned” and in so doing provided a range of timeless classics. His renditions of Moon River (from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s), Solitaire and Can’t Get Used To Losing You remain perennial favourites.

He was one of those artists who could be immediately identified on first listen because of his almost laconic singing style.

“I never tried to sing like anybody else,” he once said. “Fortunately I didn’t sound like anybody else. It just happened. I was very lucky that I had a voice that sounded different to almost anybody else’s and was so recognisable.”

His career received an unlikely boost towards the end of the 1990s when easy listening/lounge music became popular among younger listeners and his versions of Music To Watch Girls By and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You re-entered the singles charts.

Williams began singing at the age of eight in a vocal quartet with his three older brothers before moving to Hollywood as a teenager to work as a back-up singer. He honed his craft in New York nightclubs were he developed his distinctive relaxed, late-night style but it was the burgeoning TV industry that made his career.

In 1954 he became the in-house singer for a new chat show called The Tonight Show (just before Johnny Carson became host) and the exposure led to his first record deal.

Early on in his recording career he was pressurised to sound more like Elvis Presley and he did try to vary the tempo and delivery of his vocal, but it did not work for him so he soon reverted to his smooth baritone delivery.

For most of the 1960s he had his own television show where he would introduce guest stars, participate in gentle comedy sketches and showcase new talent. He was the first man to give The Osmonds their big TV break after a tip-off from his father who had seen them perform.

“When the singer-songwriters came along, that’s when everything changed,” he said, referring to the rise of acts such as The Beatles and Bob Dylan.

He surprised many of his fans by admitting to taking LSD after his first marriage broke down in 1970. It had been recommended to him as an unconventional treatment to deal with his marriage break-up. “It was interesting,” he recalled. “Some of the trips were good, some bad. They guide you through it and suggest colours etc.”

Since the 1990s he ran the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri, performing there up to 12 times a week at times.

Although politically a Republican, he was a close friend of Robert Kennedy and sang The Battle Hymn Of The Republic at his funeral – “the hardest thing I ever had to do”. He was not a fan of President Barack Obama though, once accusing him of “following Marxist theory” and “wanting the country to fail”.

Last year he announced from the stage of his theatre that he had bladder cancer. A host of singing stars have paid tribute to his remarkable singing career.

ICCR Notes :

A ingenuous (or disingenuous rather?), but significant posting who’s meaning will not be lost to the well studied. Persimmons for Starlight as the Imperium revives . . .

American Trivia for our Chinese readers  : Lawson Stone’s “I’m Your Huckleberry”:

” ‘Huckleberry’ was commonly used in the 1800’s in conjunction with “persimmon” as a small unit of measure. ‘I’m a huckleberry over your persimmon’ meant: ‘I’m just a bit better than you.’ As a result, ‘huckleberry’ came to denote idiomatically two things. First, it denoted a small unit of measure, a ‘tad,’ as it were, and a person who was a huckleberry could be a small, unimportant person–usually expressed ironically in mock self-depreciation.

The second and more common usage came to mean, in the words of the ‘Dictionary of American Slang: Second Supplemented Edition’ (Crowell, 1975): ‘A man; specif., the exact kind of man needed for a particular purpose.’ 1936: ‘Well, I’m your huckleberry, Mr. Haney.’ Tully, ‘Bruiser,’ 37…

…’The Historical Dictionary of American Slang’ which is a multivolume work, has about a third of a column of citations documenting this meaning all through the latter 19th century.

So ‘I’m your huckleberry’ means ‘I’m just the man you’re looking for!’ ”

In the context of the lyrics of “Moon River,” the phrase “my hucklerry friend” seems consistent with the latter idiomatic meaning of “huckleberry” above, but with the addition of the word “friend.”

Source(s):

http://www.home.earthlink.net/~knuthco1/…

Cambodian former King Norodom Sihanouk dies in Beijing – 10-15-2012 07:22 BJT – reposted by T.E. Yu 16th October 2012

Former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk has died at the age of 89 in China’s capital city of Beijing, where he was being treated for illnesses.

HRH Norodom Sihanouk

Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister announced that the former King died at 2:00 a.m. Monday of natural causes and hailed him as a great king that all respected and loved. He said that King Norodom Sihamoni will fly to Beijing Monday morning to receive Norodom Sihanouk’s body and take it to Cambodia for a traditional funeral.

Sihanouk suffered from various seious ailments and had been treated by doctors in Beijing for years. Sihanouk was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until 2004. He was the effective ruler of Cambodia from 1953 until 1970. Since his second abdication in 2004, he has been known as The King-Father of Cambodia, a position in which he retains many of his former responsibilities as constitutional monarch. Sihanouk has always maintained good relations with China. In 1965, he visited and met Chinese leader Mao Zedong. And during his exile later, he stayed and lived in China and received official treatment.

Oct. 15, 2012. (Xinhua)

ICCR Notes :

On behalf of Greater Imperial China, the temporary court of H.I.M. Ying III, Lord Protector, Council of Regency, and contemporary Mandarins associated with ICCR and ICCR associated Celestials convey their deepest condolences to the Cambodian Throne and Cambodian Peoples.

Some Chinese Posters – reposted by M.Murong – 9th October 2012

People close to the land . . .

Real Organic non-GMO produce might be China’s no.1. export . . .

Real labour, not pen pushers and paper shufflers . . .

Real goods unlike unbacked fiat . . .

Then back to the gardens, for some tea and incense to prepare for a new day . . .

Socialism (unlike extreme Marxism) trumps uncontrolled and unethical Western Capitalism . . . China the nation of REAL and organic people!

A Utopian vision arises that the East may well lead humanity in humane and exemplary manner to the West’s corrupt ways and political failures, nepotism and lack of political power distribution. Laws will be updated, and the Politburo will be focused on the people’s well being instead of political power. Long live Fatherland China! Long live the Imperium.

 

 

Updates on the Diaoyu Oceanic District – reposted by M.Murong – 8th October 2012

Potsdam Declaration: Diaoyu islands belong to China – 09-18-2012 13:43 BJT

Japan’s so-called purchasing of Diaoyu islands severely violated history and international law. After World War Two, the Potsdam Declaration or the Proclamation Defining Terms for Japanese Surrender clarified Japan’s sovereignty.

The Potsdam Declaration was issued on July 26th 1945 in the name of the governments of the United States, the Republic of China, and the United Kingdom. It determines that the terms of the Cairo Declaration shall be carried out and Japanese sovereignty shall be limited to the islands of Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, Shikoku and such minor islands.

The U.S., Britain, and China issue the Potsdam Declaration defining terms for Japanese surrender. The Diaoyu Islands cannot be owned, sold or leased by any Japanese person or the Japanese Government.

And China’s northeast regions, Taiwan Island, Penghu Islands and its surrounding islands should return to China after being occupied by Japan for over 50 years. And Japan accepted the terms unconditionally.

Matthias Simmich, deputy director of Schloss Cecilienhof Museum, said, ” The Potsdam Declaration says particularly that territories of China which were occupied by Japan before World War Two must return to China.”

PRC Chinese Submarines from the Imperium in revival . . .

Some Photos of Daily Life in China – reposted by T.E. Yu – 1st October 2012

Typical Elite Confucian School Assembly with some parents and minor aristocracy in traditional Hanfu in attendance.

Confucian Acolytes at the 2012 Taoist Conclave

Dotting the 3rd Eye.

Temple Grotto Entrance

Xi-anCityWall

Young commoners relaxing in a public venue on a typical day.

Some Articles on Entertainment – posted by T.E. Yu – 1st October 2012

The Incredible Story Of China’s Sexual Revolution (transcript has been edited lightly by Business Insider for clarity) Adam Taylor Aug. 31, 2012, 3:08 PM | 19,946 | 34

China’s sexual revolution is underway, but it’s a complicated, and sometimes contradictory affair. A new book by American journalist Richard Burger — of the popular Peking Duck blog — seeks to address those changes by studying China’s sexual history over the past 5,000 years.

Every year, thousands of Chinese women pay for an operation to restore their hymens shortly before their wedding so that husbands can see blood on the sheets on their honeymoon night. Brides-to-be who cannot afford the 4,400 yuan operation (about $700) can walk into one of China’s 200,000 sex shops or go online to buy a cheap artificial hymen that seeps artificial blood when punctured. Although the percentage of Chinese women who engage in premarital sex has skyrocketed in urban areas from 15 percent in 1990 to more than 50 percent in 2010, conservative attitudes toward sex, even in big cities like Shanghai, remain largely intact. To most Chinese people, virginity matters, and husbands look forward to their wedding night when they can deflower their young virgin brides. For some husbands, the absence of blood on the sheets can be grounds for divorce.

Burger, a former writer for both the Baltimore Sun and the Global Times was one of the first people to start blogging about China in 2002. He told us he was approached by Earnshaw Books to write a book about the changing face of sex in China. While the book was based on exhaustive research — Burger says he personally went through thousands of articles and dissertations — it’s not just a piece of academia. The point of the book is to bring China’s sexual revolution to a mainstream audience. We’ve read an advanced proof of the book and have to say its a great read. Burger was kind enough to give us a short interview about the book.

Interview follows :

Behind the Red DoorBI: What was the most surprising find of your research for the book?

RB: I think that the material on both prostitution and homosexuality totally blew me away. In the Tang Dynasty, more than a thousand years ago, for example, prostitutes were registered with the state and they were licensed so they could pay taxes. The broadmindedness throughout ancient society to sex astonished me, that prostitution was completely integrated into society.

The same goes with with homosexuality. This might have been the biggest surprise; ever since recorded history, there are records of men having intimate relationships with other men in China. They weren’t homosexuals per se, these were married heterosexual men with families. But to go out with younger men was seen as a sign of their status and privilege . It wasn’t that they were homosexuals; it was something that they did for their own entertainment and amusement. So that was something I really had no idea about — how much homosexuality permeated the culture.

BI: How did Chinese society go from such openness a thousand years ago to the incredibly restrictive sexual culture of the mid-20th century?

RB: You can trace the evolution of sexual attitudes, but there is no single clear trajectory from open to closed and now back to kind of open again. Within different dynasties, China became very conservative with the influence of neo-Confucianists, especially during the Qing dynasty — the last dynasty — when prostitution and homosexuality was outlawed. A whole new consciousness came into China as it met the west via the Opium Wars and Western ideals for example. The notion of homosexuality being a sin or extramarital affairs being a sin began to take hold unlike the early Han Aidi (27 BC – 1 BC) who had a love affair with the official Dong Xian (23 BC – 1 BC), though probably most instances were well kept secrets or openly done depending on what current trends were. The country became obsessed with nationalism. Sexual openness and women’s rights became a low priority.

China’s shift to conservatism really reached its peak during the Qing dynasty, before that it had gone back and forth. Some members were very liberal, but others were reactionary. They even had some of China’s great works of erotic literature destroyed. What happened next was the nationalists and then Mao took over. For a brief while, around the time of the May 4th movement in 1912, it looked like China was about to liberalize, but it never really happened. The country became obsessed with nationalism. Sexual openness and women’s rights became a low priority.

The tragedy was really under Mao. While things had been getting dark in China regarding homosexuality, under Mao it went absolutely black. He considered any discussion of sex outside of the home to be a form of Western spiritual pollution and he insisted on total faithfulness, and monogamy.

All of the brothels were methodically closed, and the prostitutes were reintegrated into society doing other work. This was a very, very dramatic shift. People began to wear that gender neutral Maoist clothing. This really culminated during the cultural revolution when the slightest reference to sex was seen as spiritual pollution, as a sign that you were a class enemy. [Sexuality] was extremely controlled and girls wore their hair short, they became androgynous, and the difference between the genders sort of merged. It was a very strange time and this continued throughout the reign of Mao Zedong and until the late 1970s.

BI: Is a comparison to the 1960s sexual revolution in Western Europe and America appropriate?

RB: That comparison must be made very, very cautiously. The 1960s revolutions were all about personal freedom, doing your own thing, being able to stand up to authority and criticize it, and being defiant — and sexuality was a part of that. You began to have nudity on Broadway shows, and pornography became a big part of society as it became legalized.

In China, on the other hand, this revolution was far more controlled by the government. You could only go so far. It started with prostitution seeping in as Westerners began to come into China during the late 1970s. Finally, the government let that [control over prostitution] go completely and prostitution blossomed again. Bit by bit the Chinese became more sexually liberated, but with a much longer, slower process. As an example, homosexuality was only dropped from the list of crimes in 1997 and was only taken off the list of mental illnesses in 2001.

So it has been a very slow process,and what didn’t come with the sexual revolution in China were those demands for personal freedom and liberty that were won in the 1960s, when co-ed dorms opened and people felt fine standing up to authority . There has been no concurrent political revolution in China.

BI: Is technology playing a role?

RB: It has been astonishing. Nothing has affected the sexual revolution like the internet. You can pretty much trace  when the sexual revolution gained speed and traction back to when the internet started to become popular.

Muzi Mei
The most prominent example of this was in 2003 when a young female blogger in Guangzhou named Muzi Mei opened a sex blog and she described in excruciating detail positions that she enjoyed and named names. In one of her very first posts she named a well known rock musician and described how they made love.

Her whole point was that sex could be enjoyed strictly for the sake of sex — with no strings attached — and that it was fine to have multiple partners. This brought a new discourse into China and created, I think, a shift in the mentality of many, many women who looked at Muzi Mei as a role model. And suddenly, many women started their own versions of sex blogs — they didn’t go as far as Muzi Mei, whose site was shut down after just a few months — but women suddenly began to really get the notion that their sex life was theirs to do as they chose and I think the effects of this have not diminished.

The party itself has a long history of corrupt officials abusing women and abusing their power. One of the most interesting cases that I read about in China was in 2009, when a hostess in a karaoke bar was molested by a party official and she stabbed him to death with a fruit knife. Now normally in a case like this, she would have just been locked up and never heard of again, but the story leaked onto the internet and it became a sensation.

This wouldn’t have happened without the internet.

[The story] really ripped through the country and she became a folk hero. The people were outraged. This became a major, major news story and she was freed — she was let off the hook. This wouldn’t have happened without the internet.

Very shortly afterwards, an official from Beijing was in Shenyang and he molested a 12-year-old girl in a bathroom. When the parents approached him he screamed at them, “You have no idea who I am and the kind of power I have, do you dare to call my behavior into question?”

He didn’t know there was a surveillance camera taping the whole thing so the whole encounter — again, [the story spread] like lightning across the internet and he was removed from the party. They couldn’t prove that he had molested the girl, but he lost all of his power. This couldn’t have happened 10 or 20 years ago and it has changed the way people behave. They’re on their guard, and it has brought a new sense of power to the Chinese netizens who realize they can make a real difference by pulling together and closing rank.

Is China’s sexual revolution part of an inevitable progress towards more sexual openness, or could it be dialed back?

China keeps trying to control things. Just last year they took off two-thirds of their primetime shows from television including dating shows, shows that were considered racy, and replaced them with news shows. There was popular dating site that went too far talking about premarital sex, so they brought in this dowdy cadre from another city to run the show to make sure it didn’t cross boundaries.

That’s the thing with China’s sexual revolution; there will always be set boundaries where it’s understood you don’t cross, you don’t cross that red line. If you do, the government will intervene. But having gone this far, I don’t think there is any turning back. The people of China have tasted sexual freedom, and they have only wanted more and more. And despite the back and forth with the government, the trend definitely seems to be in the direction of increased sexual freedom.

Top 10 nude models in China By Zhang Junmian (China.org.cn)
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90782/7964617.html

ICCR Notes :

Do not mistake this ‘Chinese sexual revolution’ phenomenon as an ‘all class encompassing’ effect. For certain the lower classes will again as in the past have access to their entertainments as laws accomodate and protect their simpler/coarser tastes, BUT, the apex classes will as centuries past, will continue to accept no less than the ‘best’ (i.e. Yunfei Trained Women, virginity valued, ‘child bride reservation’ – concerned apex class parents from ‘best’ families etc. begin to normalize), where apex men will not ‘share’ women or tolerate multiple partner escorts (like some of the ‘low class minded’ noveau riche or untitled wealthy do).

The apex classers instead will opt for formal mistresses which will be watched by society in general (and reported for infidelity), or preferably 2nd, 3rd or more wives from equally good families if possible. While nothing will change for the apex classers, the sexual revolution is indeed a boon in sociallly relaxed feel to foreign visitors, and sex positivity (and general better mood in China’s once spartan and almost grim sexual scene in the Commie and post-Commie pre-millenial era) that is anathema to the concept of the apex group which will become increasingly traditional as China re-culturizes along with the Imperial revival as envisioned by ICCR.

The Dukang gene: a gift from China’s father of wine – Staff Reporter – 2011-07-14

We’ll have some more then: A study says 70% of Han Chinese possess the Dukang gene that helps break down alcohol. (Photo/CFP)

About 70% of Han Chinese people possess the Dukang gene which can process alcohol and break down toxins, according to a report from the center of Anthropological Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. The results were published in the latest issue of the UK’s Human Genetics Annual

Report. Li Hui, head of the key laboratory of major education department at Fudan, said the gene is a mutation which can break down toxins produced by food which has been stored too long and become rotten and moldy.

Among the world’s different ethnic groups there exist a large number of highly differing mutant enzyme genes which fall into seven categories. The strongest gene with the detoxification function is the seventh type, which is possessed by 70% of Han Chinese. Looking from both historical and geographical perspectives, Li concluded that the Dukang gene was an important factor in Han expansion in China’s Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties (around 2000-250 BCE), when Chinese people made rapid development in agriculture, producing vast quantities of food leading to techniques of storing and winemaking. During that time the consumption of alcohol had become a widespread activity and Du Kang, for whom the gene has been named, is renowned as the father of winemaking and was well-known in the Xia dynasty for his drinking prowess.

Li pointed out that in the early days of winemaking, the process was not refined and many toxins were included in wine. Some died of poisoning as a result, yet many continued to drink, effectively culling entire populations of people who lacked the genetics to tolerate toxic alcohol. The remaining population had bodies better able to break down such toxins to survive and pass on their genes. The result was Dukang’s Genes, or North East Asian Alcohol Resistant Genes.

In China, alcoholic drinks are sometimes associated with some negative events and words such as “excessive drinking” and “harmful to the health” when mentioning it. The rise in prices of Moutai and Wuliangye every time, as well as the incidents of adulterated liquor, will stir up public resistance and resentment. Without ancient intellectuals’ drinking games and discussions about national affairs during drinking, how the liquor culture can attach to the modern way of life to possess a unique China-style culture, which is really unavoidable

“For example, the innovation in the customs of liquor and the refining in liquor ceremony may form a cultural aspiration that is distinctive and close to the emotional needs of the public, which is a recurrence of the spiritual attribute of liquor consumption,” said Wang Yancai, president of the China Alcoholic Drinks Association.

Chinese Wine Country List :

Northwest (Xinjiang, Ningxia, and Gansu)

Pro: Summers tend to be hot and dry, so the grapes have higher sugar content and fewer problems with disease than in coastal regions, though they sometimes lack acidity.

Con: Winters are extremely cold, thus even burying the vines may not stop a relatively high percentage of them from being destroyed.

Northeast (Jilin)

Pro: Most grape varieties here are local (species: vitis amurensis) and resistant to the cold, even more so than the North American varietals.

Con: Growing seasons are too short and winters too cold to support vitis vinifera grapes, such as Merlot or Riesling.

North (Shanxi , Huailai and Changli in northeast Hebei)

Pro: Summers are dry and winters are warmer than in Xinjiang, thus while the vines have to be buried here, they are much more likely to survive.

Con: This area sees much more rain in some years than in others, thus disease can be a problem.

North (Beijing-Tianjin corridor)

Pro: This area is close to major markets.

Con: The soil and climate in these relatively flat areas is not good enough for growing quality grapes.

East coast (Shandong)

Pro: The relatively long wine-making tradition here means a greater supply of experienced employees. And unlike in the north, burying vines is not necessary in winter.

Con: Unlike in Mediterranean climates, which tend to experience separate hot and humid periods, this area gets them simultaneously, which means a lot of pesticides are needed to deal with the ensuing diseases.

Henan (Yellow River Valley)

Pro: Like Shandong, winters are warmer and burying the vines is not necessary.

Con: Summers are too hot and humid, and the issue of disease is greater here than in any other major grape-growing region of China.

Southwest (Yunnan)

Pro: The growing season is quite long, so much so that there is potential for two harvests.

Con: Harvest overlaps the rainy season. This could be solved by delaying the growing season – such as by pruning later – and thus utilizing the dry sunny weather that follows the rainy season.

Note: There are also other provinces with small plantings, ranging from Shaanxi and Szechuan with vitis vinifera grapes to Guangxi and Hunan with local grapes.

Some Architecture and Religion – reposted by T.E. Yu – 1st October 2012

Ancient villages in China in danger of losing their souls (People’s Daily Online) 08:10, September 25, 2012

Taierzhuang Fortified Village

China is carrying out protection on its intangible cultural heritages in recent years. As an important part of traditional cultural resources, ancient villages are attracting wide attention. However, in the course of the integration of urban and rural areas, ancient villages are being impacted by urban culture, external culture and mainstream culture and their integrity and cultural elements are facing unprecedented challenges.

According to surveys and records by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China, the Chinese Folk Literature and Art Society and the Rural Architecture Research Office under the School of Architecture at Tsinghua University, China had about 5,000 ancient villages reflecting its farming culture, including villages of folk houses, folk cultures and intangible cultural heritages in 2005. By June 2012, the number had decreased to less than 3,000.

Currently, China’s protection of ancient villages tends to emphasize tangible cultural heritages including the appearance, scenic spots and architecture. However, we should realize that an ancient village is an integrated entity with its external appearance, internal core and soul. Every ancient village is an inseparable combination of tangible and intangible cultural heritages depending on each other. If we protect only the material part and ignore the spiritual one, then we are just protecting specimens without souls and lives. We must fully realize the value of intangible cultural heritages of ancient villages.

Ancient villages present intangible cultural heritages in an integrated, systematic, comprehensive, practical, ecological and vivid manner. Feng Jicai, director of the Committee of Experts for Protecting Intangible Cultural Heritages, said, “The deepest root of the Chinese nation is in the villages and the brightness, diversity, originality and creativity of the Chinese culture are also there.”

Ancient villages are museums of folk cultural ecosystems and a living cultural heritage that is still being passed down. However, many intangible cultural heritages are disappearing in these villages. Taking folk language as an example, in most ancient villages of minorities in remote regions, there was no written language in the past so its collective wisdom was spread through an oral culture. There is no written record of these oral cultures and as society develops, many young people have left their villages and their interests turn to popular culture. As inheritors of these folk cultures pass away successively, these cultures are facing extinction. Currently, epics from many remote regions are not inherited and sung by local youths but by tourism developers. Since these outsiders do not deeply cherish and understand these cultures, it is hard for them to showcase the essence and core of these cultures, leading to “fake cultures” and “fast food cultures” in some areas. Therefore, Feng believes that these folk cultures accumulated in the past hundreds or thousands of years are shaking and collapsing.

People living in the villages are consciously or unconsciously creating cultures that have characteristics of the times, leading to the diversity of local cultures. It is an impetus and source of ceaseless human development. The tangible and intangible cultural heritages of ancient villages both contain abundant and profound historical and cultural information and these diversified village cultures reflect the richness and profundity of Chinese culture. Therefore, we must realize that besides protecting a silk handicraft, a story or an artist, the diversity of human cultures should also be protected in the future. In the long run, it will lay a solid foundation for the scientific, healthy and sustainable development of Chinese culture. (many thanks to Lord Xu’s Clan Association for recommendations for the article)

Ceremony held in Beijing to mark 2563rd birthday of Confucius – Beijing Chapter
(Xinhua)  09:59, September 29, 2012

Acolytes

Commemoration held to mark anniversary of birth of Confucius – Taipei Chapter (Xinhua/Yin Bogu) 10:52, September 28, 2012

A traditional memorial ceremony is held to commemorate the anniversary of the birth of Confucius, the great Chinese philosopher, in Beijing and Taipei, southeast China’s Taiwan, Sept. 28, 2012. More than 500 people visited the ceremony on Friday.  Throughout China, High Priests of Confucian Orders and and Directors of NGOs Make the Annual Pilgrimage of Confucius to the Grand Gōng Què (Cathedral of Abstinence and College of Arch-Deacons) to Congregate for the Taoist Conclave. The Hexa-Decadual ‘Beginning of 60 year Cycle’ version on a grander scale are held in succession, at each of the 5 Eternal Taoist Cities.

The formation of the Holy Taoist See as a sovereign state within the PRC will be discussed at this years conclave of Grand Celestial Patriarchs in the Vault of Heaven.

Basic Terminology for Chinese Religious Architecture (not necessarily complete – will be updated) – Pater H

Buddhist architecture includes :

廟 /庙         miào         shrine
寺廟 /寺庙     sì miào         temple
寺院        miào yuàn        monastery

塔         tǎ         Pagoda; height recommended is in relation to area – 1 acre (5 storey), 3 acre (7 storey), 5 acre (11 storey), 7 acre (13 storey), 9 acre 17 storey
all pagodas above 11 storeys are termed SPIRES. An 81 storey spire is being proposed for the birthplace of Buddhism.
短尖塔        dǐngdiǎntǎ    Stupa or Chorten (there are 8 of these Apice-form buildings, typically to commerorate Buddha or various Buddhas and Bodhisattvas)
遺跡社        yíjīshè        Relinquary ;relinquaries are not absolute necessities or typify monasteries, and house relics typically of a well loved and particularly virtuous abbot and abbess (See note 1)

Taoist architecture includes :

龕 /龛         kān         taoist shrine (these are local fengshui or unique terrain worship areas barely the size of a gazebo, unique terrain can be anything from old trees, large boulders, small distinct ravines etc..)
祠         cí         ancestral hall; these are family run and can be interchangeable with ān
ancestral hall tablets for ancestor worship in confucian fillial piety, or to pray certain ‘demi-gods’, ‘godlings’ like powerful spirits, powerful nature spirits, kings/generals of animal species, etc) or great Sages and Saints like Confucius, & Qu Yuan, etc.
菴         ān         taoist temple hall (housing an typically family based order; this is in a geomantically viable area not large enough for an order but large enough to support a handful of priests)
館/馆         guǎn         taoist temple keep; taoist novitiate (any place where taoist acolytes are initiated);the equivalent of a cathedral; (housing an order; this is only in a geomantically viable area, many congregating priests require ‘energy’ for meditation)
宮闕 /宫阙     gōng què         temple complex with a ‘palace of abstenance ‘;

Interchangable or neutral terms referring to any large unspecified building of worship :

石(顧 /顾)         shí gù         Rockerie (Shelter of Rock/Stone); gù means to look after; take into consideration; to attend to

Featuring One Type of Rock (Larger Variable Rockeries also Possible)

聖殿/圣殿         shèng diàn     holy palace

;all of the above’s ‘cathedral’ level buildings and if large enough tend to have :

i) soup kitchens and shelters (indeed soup kitchens can also turn into places of faith)
ii) meditation cells (typically a low pallet without cushions or pillows where lay followers retreat to for days on end) for meditation and fasting on preparation for death undisturbed away from the noise of societry
iii) a collumbarium or ‘pit of acloves’ for ashes to be interred (this is a free service, be very wary the spiritual nature of commercialised versions posing as ‘faithful’)
iv) independent and viable reservoirs of water, at very least a well
v) a martial arts hall (new forms are extremely rare though not impossible, typically Tajiquan or Taichi is taught to acolytes for self defense with Taji Jian, Taiji Sword being learnt by those taking the path of physical and lower placed but equally important Temple Guardians rather than the Celestial Taoist Ecclesiarchy, a few do manage to be both and are highly regarded, though specialisation in either tend to reach the levels of Patriarchy)
vi)  art and relic museum
vii) a rockerie (much like a Scholar’s half Acre Garden but with deep occult and religious symbols instead of Literary symbolism);which are called Shigu in Chinese respectively.
viii) a “spacious” grotto (this is typically embedded with random statuary or sculpture, or murals and relief with occult symbolism related to the faith in question
ix) a “cavernous” ‘underground grotto’ (anything smaller than half an acre should be avoided as potentially cult culture)
iix) a labyrinth in which ‘fell’ spirits of the local geomantic region may comfortably seek refuge at in the day, Buddhism and in general Taosim disallows killing, EVEN of evil beings, because evil is part of good’s evolutionary path and good cannot be seen without the dichotomy of evil’s presence. Such areas are off limits to the living unless somehow ‘related’ with all interopers uninvited spiritual sinners who’s divinity will be forfeit etc..

I have studied many religious texts in religion for years and have decided that China only has 2 faiths, the main being China’s native Taoism and the periphery being out little brother neighbour India’s Buddhism. Confucianism is a notable philosopher that perhaps gained a spiritual exemplar’s place but cannot be considered a faith per se. Buddho-Taoism minor sects of course will not be included due to the contrary and less savoury practices which can and do confuse and even harm practicioners.

Note 1 :

Not all Abbots/Abbesses or High Priests get relinquaries, and in neighbourhoods where cult of personality or just crass plain funding, overshadows Buddhism is likely to form, a wise council of Elder Monks will refuse to set up a relinquary to any abbot as well; abbots’ influences are not always positive, especially in an order that bases the ‘right to abbotship’ to seniority (old age does not mean talent or spirituality) or ability in politics and manipulation of order elders (or heaven forbid, crass wealth and donations) rather than talent or virtue. Any flaws are said to be magnified througout the community and thus a relinquary ends up becoming a symbol of a minor Buddhist sect rather than the original mainstream sect of Theravada Buddhism as opposed to the lax and order-continuity favouring, instead of enlightenment favouring Mahayana.

For a Abbot (actually any leader of any sort as well) to mention ‘relinquary’ or ‘funeral’ and honoring themselves in the same breath with material benefits or memorials results in ‘Religious Suicide’ and instant refusal for consideration for any special interments. In areas where the Buddhist community is poorly networked or self serving and inward looking, there tend to be no Relinquaries for fear of spiritual retaliation by the spirit masses and greater forces in the afterlife (no assent from the living and existing Abbots!), which is the case these days. As per religious exceptionalism, 90% assent is required and those who build temples on wealth to become Abbots and Abbesses are considered ‘tourist project’ cultural tricksters. State level ‘Grand Abbots’ with the support of a majority of all private and public temples for a State relinquary, get a simple aye or nay upon their death.

There is a joke about Buddhism (and indeed all faiths) that goes : ‘What is similar between corruption and religion? . . . The Answer? – Money and Politics. The general advice is to always be wary of worldly religious persons.

Dalai Lama tells his Facebook friends that religion “is no longer adequate” –  by George Dvorsky – 13 Sep 2012   

This past Monday, people who have the Dalai Lama as a Facebook friend found this little gem in their newsfeed.

All the world’s major religions, with their emphasis on love, compassion, patience, tolerance, and forgiveness can and do promote inner values. But the reality of the world today is that grounding ethics in religion is no longer adequate. This is why I am increasingly convinced that the time has come to find a way of thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether.

Dalai Lama tells his Facebook friends that religion “is no longer adequate” The Dalai Lama’s advice sounds startling familiar — one that echos the sentiment put forth by outspoken atheist Sam Harris who argues that science can answer moral questions. The Dalai Lama is no stranger to scientific discourse, and has developed a great fascination with neuroscience in particular. It’s very possible, therefore, that his thinking has aligned with Harris.

In a recent interview with the Globe and Mail, Harris had this to say about science and how it should be used to inform our moral and ethical sensibilities:

The moment we admit that questions of right and wrong, and good and evil, are actually questions about human and animal well-being, we see that science can, in principle, answer such questions. Human experience depends on everything that can influence states of the human brain, ranging from changes in our genome to changes in the global economy. The relevant details of genetics, neurobiology, psychology, sociology, economics etc. are fantastically complicated, but these are domains of facts, and they fall squarely within the purview of science.

We should reserve the notion of “morality” for the ways in which we can affect one another’s experience for better or worse. Some people use the term “morality” differently, of course, but I think we have a scientific responsibility to focus the conversation so as to make it most useful. We define terms like “medicine,” “causation,” “law” and “theory” very much to the detriment of homeopathy, astrology, voodoo, Christian Science and other branches of human ignorance, and there is no question that we enjoy the same freedom when speaking about concepts like “right” and “wrong,” and “good” and “evil.” Once we acknowledge that “morality” relates to questions of human and animal well-being, then there is no reason to doubt that a prescriptive (rather than merely descriptive) science of morality is possible. After all, there are principles of biology, psychology, sociology and economics that will allow us to flourish in this world, and it is clearly possible for us not to flourish due to ignorance of these principles.

It’s important to remember that Tibetan Buddhists, while rejecting belief in God and the soul, still cling to various metaphysical beliefs, including karma, infinite rebirths, and reincarnation. But interestingly, the Dalai Lama once had this to say on the subject:

My confidence in venturing into science lies in my basic belief that as in science so in Buddhism, understanding the nature of reality is pursued by means of critical investigation: if scientific analysis were conclusively to demonstrate certain claims in Buddhism to be false, then we must accept the findings of science and abandon those claims.

Other Buddhists, however, such as Stephen Batchelor, argue that Buddhism should be stripped of all its metaphysical baggage and simplified down to its basic philosophical and existential tenets — a suggestion that has given rise to secular Buddhism.

ICCR Notes :

Much like Confucianism is philosophy rather than a religion, perhaps Buddhism should be given the status of a philosophy rather than a religion. In either case, the Llama should return to Potala Palace and not fear the PRC Politburo while leaving Tibetans to self immolate in order to get their Grand Llama theocrat back home to Tibet.

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