Imperial Chinese Court Regency

Advocacy via Regency for Constitutional Monarchy in China

Archive for the category “Holy Taoist See”

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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Suggestion for a ‘Holy Taoist See’ Sovereign State – Pater H – posted on 4th August 2012

Suggestion for a ‘Holy Taoist See’ Sovereign State (excerpt of memo from Pater H – Imperial Vault of Heaven)

. . . that the OICS alongside Red Taijitu Society of China’s initiatives, apply for the Supreme Celestial Patriarch of the Ordo Imperialis Celestium Sinensis’s assent, the PRC’s blessing and UN recognition of the proposed Holy Taoist See, sovereign statehood in a 16km square area based around the proposed Sacred Tiantan Forbidden Gardens, with appropriate UN representation and voting rights at the UN . . . much like Vatican State and other microstates have obtained recognition from UN and also have voting rights. See below pic for suggested microstate :

The Holy Taoist See – ‘Tao’ State, as proposed by Pater H and endorsed by ICCR.

Sovereign state (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

A sovereign state is a political organization with a centralized government that has supreme independent authority over a geographic area.[1] It has a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states.[2] It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither dependent on nor subject to any other power or state.[3] The existence or disappearance of a state is a question of fact.[4] While according to the declaratory theory of state recognition a sovereign state can exist without being recognised by other sovereign states, unrecognised states will often find it hard to exercise full treaty-making powers and engage in diplomatic relations with other sovereign states.

The word “country” is often colloquially used to refer to sovereign states, although it means, originally, only a geographic region, and subsequently its meaning became extended to the sovereign polity which controls the geographic region.

Westphalian sovereignty

Westphalian sovereignty is the concept of nation-state sovereignty based on territoriality and the absence of a role for external agents in domestic structures. It is an international system of states, multinational corporations, and organizations that began with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648.

Sovereignty is a term that is frequently misused.[5] Up until the 19th century, the radicalised concept of a “standard of civilisation” was routinely deployed to determine that certain peoples in the world were “uncivilised”, and lacking organised societies. That position was reflected and constituted in the notion that their “sovereignty” was either completely lacking, or at least of an inferior character when compared to that of “civilised” people.”[6] Lassa Oppenheim said “There exists perhaps no conception the meaning of which is more controversial than that of sovereignty. It is an indisputable fact that this conception, from the moment when it was introduced into political science until the present day, has never had a meaning which was universally agreed upon.”[7] In the opinion of Justice Evatt of the High Court of Australia “sovereignty is neither a question of fact, nor a question of law, but a question that does not arise at all.” [8]

Sovereignty has taken on a different meaning with the development of the principle of self-determination and the prohibition against the threat or use of force as jus cogens norms of modern international law. The United Nations Charter, the Declaration on Rights and Duties of States, and the charters of regional international organisations express the view that all states are juridically equal and enjoy the same rights and duties based upon the mere fact of their existence as persons under international law.[9][10] The right of nations to determine their own political status and exercise permanent sovereignty within the limits of their territorial jurisdictions is widely recognised.[11][12][13]

In political science, sovereignty is usually defined as the most essential attribute of the state in the form of its complete self-sufficiency in the frames of a certain territory, that is its supremacy in the domestic policy and independence in the foreign one.[14]

In casual usage, the terms “country”, “nation”, and “state” are often used as if they were synonymous; but in a more strict usage they can be distinguished:[citation needed]

Nation denotes a people who are believed to or deemed to share common customs, religion, language, origins, ancestry or history. However, the adjectives national and international are frequently used to refer to matters pertaining to what are strictly sovereign states, as in national capital, international law.

State refers to the set of governing and supportive institutions that have sovereignty over a definite territory and population. Sovereign states are legal persons.

Recognition

State recognition signifies the decision of a sovereign state to treat another entity as also being a sovereign state.[15] Recognition can be either express or implied and is usually retroactive in its effects. It doesn’t necessarily signify a desire to establish or maintain diplomatic relations.

There is no definition that is binding on all the members of the community of nations on the criteria for statehood. In actual practice, the criteria are mainly political, not legal.[16] L.C. Green cited the recognition of the unborn Polish and Czech states in World War I and explained that “since recognition of statehood is a matter of discretion, it is open to any existing State to accept as a state any entity it wishes, regardless of the existence of territory or of an established government.”[17]

In international law, however, there are several theories of when a state should be recognized as sovereign.[18]
Constitutive theory

The constitutive theory of statehood defines a state as a person of international law if, and only if, it is recognized as sovereign by other states. This theory of recognition was developed in the 19th century. Under it, a state was sovereign if another sovereign state recognized it as such. Because of this, new states could not immediately become part of the international community or be bound by international law, and recognized nations did not have to respect international law in their dealings with them.[19] In 1815 at the Congress of Vienna the Final Act only recognised 39 sovereign states in the European diplomatic system, and as a result it was firmly established that in future new states would have to be recognized by other states, and that meant in practice recognition by one or more of the great powers.[20]

One of the major criticisms of this law is the confusion caused when some states recognize a new entity, but other states do not. Hersch Lauterpacht, one of the theory’s main proponents, suggested that it is a state’s duty to grant recognition as a possible solution. However, a state may use any criteria when judging if they should give recognition and they have no obligation to use such criteria. Many states may only recognize another state if it is to their advantage.[19]

In 1912, L. F. L. Oppenheim had the following to say on constitutive theory:

…International Law does not say that a State is not in existence as long as it is not recognised, but it takes no notice of it before its recognition. Through recognition only and exclusively a State becomes an International Person and a subject of International Law.[21]

Declarative theory

By contrast, the “declarative” theory defines a state as a person in international law if it meets the following criteria: 1) a defined territory; 2) a permanent population; 3) a government and 4) a capacity to enter into relations with other states. According to declarative theory, an entity’s statehood is independent of its recognition by other states. The declarative model was most famously expressed in the 1933 Montevideo Convention.

Article 3 of the Convention declares that statehood is independent of recognition by other states. In contrast, recognition is considered a requirement for statehood by the constitutive theory of statehood.

A similar opinion about “the conditions on which an entity constitutes a state” is expressed by the European Economic Community Opinions of the Badinter Arbitration Committee, which found that a state was defined by having a territory, a population, and a political authority.
State practice

State practice relating the recognition states typically falls somewhere between the declaratory and constitutive approaches.[22] International law does not require a state to recognise other states.[23]

Recognition is often withheld when a new state is seen as illegitimate or has come about in breach of international law. Almost universal non-recognition by the international community of Rhodesia and Northern Cyprus are good examples of this. In the former case, recognition was widely withheld when the white minority seized power and attempted to form a state along the lines of Apartheid South Africa, a move that the United Nations Security Council described as the creation of an “illegal racist minority régime”.[24] In the latter case, recognition was widely withheld from a state created in Northern Cyprus on land illegally invaded by Turkey in 1974.[25]

De facto and de jure states

Most sovereign states are states de jure and de facto (i.e. they exist both in law and in reality). However, sometimes states exist only as de jure states in that an organisation is recognised as having sovereignty over and being the legitimate government of a territory over which they have no actual control. Many continental European states maintained governments-in-exile during the Second World War which continued to enjoy diplomatic relations with the Allies, notwithstanding that their countries were under Nazi occupation. A present day example is the State of Palestine, which is recognized by multiple states, but doesn’t have control over any of its claimed territory in Palestine[26][40] and possess only extraterritorial areas (i.e. embassies and consulates). Other states may have sovereignty over a territory but lack international recognition; these are considered by the international community to be only de facto states (they are considered de jure states only according to their own Law and by states that recognize them).

ICCR Notes :

All Taoist Temples and Temple Committees within the proposed 16km  square area may contact the Red Taijitu Society of China via this site to prepare a paper for presentation to the CPPCC at earliest convenience.

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