The qigong that we refer to today was not, in fact, originally called qigong. It originated from the solitary cultivation ways of the ancient Chinese people and from cultivation in religions. The two-character term, qi gong, is nowhere to be found in the texts Scripture of Dan Cultivation, the Daoist Canon,110 or the Tripitakan During the course of our present human civilization's development, qigong passed through the period when religions were in their embryonic forms. It had already existed before religions came into being. After religions formed, it acquired some degree of religious overtones. Qigong's original names were The Great Cultivation Way of Buddha, and
5 qigong (chee-gong)—a general name for certain practices that cultivate the human body. In recent decades, qigong exercises have been incredibly popular in China.
6 Falun Gong (fah-lun gong)—"Law Wheel Qigong." The names Falun Gong and Falun Dafa are both used to refer to this practice.
7 Falun (fah-lun)—"Law Wheel" (see color page at front).
8 gong (gong)—"cultivation energy."
9 meridian—the network of energy channels in one's body that are thought to be conduits of qi. In Traditional Chinese Medicine and popular Chinese thought, illness is said to arise when qi is not flowing properly through these meridians.
10 Scripture of Dan Cultivation (dahn), Daoist Canon—ancient, classic Chinese Daoist texts for practicing cultivation.
11 Tripitaka—"The Three Baskets," also known as the Pali Canon. This is a collection of primary Pali-language texts that form the doctrinal foundation of Theravada Buddhism. Its three parts are: teachings of the Buddha, the monastic code, and special philosophical treatises.
The Great Cultivation Way of Dao. It had other names, such as Nine-fold Internal Alchemy, The Way of Arhat,12 The Dhyana of Vajra,13 etc. We now call it qigong so that it better suits our modern thinking and is more easily popularized in society. Qigong is actually something existing in China for the sole purpose of cultivating the human body.
Qigong is not something invented by this civilization. It has a fairly long history that dates back to distant years. So, when did qigong come into being? Some say that qigong has a history of three thousand years, and became quite popular during the Tang Dynasty.14 Some say it has a history of five thousand years and is as old as Chinese civilization. Some say that, judging from archaeological findings, it has a history of seven thousand years thus far. I regard qigong as something not invented by modern humankind—it is from prehistoric culture. According to investigation by people with supernormal abilities, the universe we live in is an entity that was remade after being exploded nine times. The planet we dwell on has been destroyed many times. Each time the planet was remade, humankind again began to multiply. At present, we have already discovered that there are many things on the earth that surpass our present civilization. According to Darwin's theory of evolution, humans evolved from apes, and civilization is no more than ten thousand years old. Yet archaeological findings have revealed that in the caves of the European Alps there exist 250-thousand-year-old frescoes that exhibit a very high level of artistry—one far beyond the abilities of modern people. In the museum of the National University of Peru, there is a large rock on which is an engraved figure who holds a telescope and is observing the stars. This figure is more than thirty thousand years old. As we know, Galileo invented a 30X astronomical telescope in 1609, just over three hundred years ago. How could there have been a telescope thirty thousand years ago? There is an iron pillar in India whose iron content is over ninety-nine percent. Even modern smelting technology cannot produce iron with such high purity; it had already surpassed the level of modern technology. Who created those civilizations? How could human beings—who would have been microorganisms in those times—have created these things? These discoveries have caught the attention of scientists worldwide. They are considered to be from prehistoric culture since they prove inexplicable.
The level of scientific achievement was different in each time period. In some time periods it was quite high, surpassing that of our modern humankind. But those civilizations were destroyed. Therefore, I say that qigong wasn't invented or created by modern people, but discovered and perfected by modern people. It is from prehistoric culture.
Qigong is not exclusively a product of our country. It exists in foreign countries as well, but they don't call it qigong. Western countries, such as the United States, Great Britain, etc., call it magic. David Copperfield, a magician in the US, is a master of supernormal abilities who once performed the feat of walking through the Great Wall of China. When he was about to pass through the Wall, he used a white cloth as a cover, pressed himself against the Wall, and then proceeded to go through it. Why did he do that? Doing it that way would lead many people to consider it a magic show. It had to be done like that since he knew there are many people in China with great
12 Arhat—enlightened being with Attainment Status in the Buddha School who is beyond the Triple World but lower than Bodhisattva.
13 Dhyana of Vajra—Dhyana translates as "Meditation," while Vajra can be translated as "Thunderbolt," "Diamond," or "Indestructible."
14 Tang (tahng) Dynasty—one of the most prosperous periods in Chinese history (618 - 907 A.D.).
supernormal abilities. He was afraid of interference from them, so he covered himself before he went in. When coming out, he raised the cloth with one hand and walked out. As the saying goes, "Experts watch for tricks while laymen watch for excitement." With it done this way the audience thought it was a magic performance. These supernormal abilities are called magic because they aren't used for cultivating the human body, but for stage performances in order to display unusual things and to entertain. From a low-level perspective, qigong can change the condition of one's body, achieving the goals of healing and health. From a high-level perspective, qigong refers to the cultivation of one's original-body (benti).
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