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To: alt.magick.tyagi,talk.religion.misc,alt.mythology,alt.philosophy.taoism,alt.magick,alt.consciousness.mysticism
From: xiwangmu 
Subject: Immortality (was My Quest continues)
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2001 09:07:56 GMT

50010828 VI! 

on immortals (shih), immortality, interpreting it and achieving it

>>> I believe it is a mistake to look for scientific evidence of life
>>> after death. Experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs would be more
>>> productive.

typically such psychoactives do not yield hard scientific evidence.

"Mike" :
>> ...Why not work with the natural elements and pyscho
>> make up already there to look and find the answer,  the drugs are not needed
>> to find this answer anymore than peanut butter is needed on bread to make it
>> taste good.

not according to traditional Chinese alchemical sources (e.g. Ko Hung),
who indicate that some type of pill may be necessary, along with a
host of possible yogic activities (describing internal machinations
as varied as furnaces, bladders, and many other peculiarities).

> No, psychoactive drugs are not needed, but they can provide a ready
> access to Bardo states that even Tibetan lamas these days find
> difficult to access.... 

typically mystics are reticent to agree with equations of states
reached via the ingestion of a psychoactive and that achieved
through some type of mystical discipline or activity. even the
fabled Pill of Immortality is typically not described as any
kind of psychoactive, usually instead composed of toxic things
like mercury, cinnabar, and other potentially symbolic items.

> ...the distinction between "life" and "death"
> becomes a matter for textbooks, and that in actual fact they are
> arbitrary distinctions. 

false. 'life' is identifiable, 'death' is a distinct discorporative
event, discernable by a number of reliable criteria (movement,
respiration, reproduction, among others). the two are usually
dependent upon one another for definition, but are not truly
'arbitrary' in the conventional sense (e.g. reversing them will
not work while retaining any kind of rational referents).

> But in everyday reality people close to us die, and we mourn 
> for their passing, no matter how much insight we have into 
> these matters. Such is "life".

Chuang Tse is described as banging on pots and pans for a while
after the death of his wife. no mourning needed. classic stories
abound regarding the differential of perception of ordinary
events based on the insight of the sage -- in particular the
ordinary attaches significance while the sage merely rests with
the flow of events and accomodates hirself to the actual change.


Blue Rajah re immortality:
>> It's a prediction that can't ever be verified, no matter how
>> long you live.

in its precision, completely correct, and this describes the
entire problem with "infinites" (unboundedness cannot ever
be verified as it requires the 'end of time'). however, as
Wiggy and others have intimated, 'immortality' may imply some
other, less physical or more complex result than infinite
perpetuation of living process. this may be of benefit inasmuch
as the mystic seeking escape from discorporation may discover
valuable mystical experiences she might otherwise have ignored
or never discovered had she not attempted the impossible.

> ...[BR's assertion] posits a linear time-frame and is hidebound in 
> conventional notions of "immortality". 

unconventional usage without attendant definition deserves to be
interpreted conventionally. if you have some preferred unconventional
notion of what 'immortality' means *aside* from an escape from
personal discorporation, then you should make this plain if you wish
to be seriously considered and understood.

> What is meant by "immortality" may simply be the insight or 
> perception that death is an illusion. If death is an illusion 
> then immortality becomes from an absolute perspective neither 
> here nor there, but from a relative perspective it becomes a 
> word to tokenise an experience that cannot be described. 

your words are imprecise here. what you seem to be saying is
that EXTINCTION is illusory, since you posit the possibility
of a continuation of conscious experience beyond bodily 
discorporation (i.e. that which appears to the uninformed or 
insensitive as the disappearance of the person is actually a 
translation of that person into another plane or realm of 

if you really mean that death is illusory, then we're talking
about something on the order of a conspiracy theory -- people
who were old or in an accident suddenly replaced by some kind
of faux bodies while the "real" bodies (which continue to live)
are whisked away beyond the ability of ordinary senses to perceive.
> The idea that immortality means "living forever" is just a habit of 
> thought, a convention, that when examined doesn't actually mean 
> very much.

this is nonsense. death is a describable, observable event in
the course of all animate beings, from what we are able to
tell. if it doesn't occur as a result of a violent clash of
molecules (e.g. a bomb), then discorporation happens slowly with 
the decay of the structures once supporting the integrity of 
bodily form, often assisted by other living beings feeding on
the corpse (from mice to microbes).

mystics and religious the world over describe (probably as a
carrot to the aspirant) some means of escaping this discorporation
(usually by positing a personal element of identity which is
distinct from and transcendental to the body). sometimes this
is the result of particular disciplines (e.g. taoist sexual alchemy
or sitting zazen and engaging the master in interview while part
of the monastic community or sangha), sometimes it is a reward for
acceptable behaviour by some transcendental being (a God, for
example, or another immortal). perhaps it may also be the result
of encountering a particular type of phenomenon which confers the
immortality (a peach, pill, or elixir), demonstrating on its own
neither the competence nor the moral rectitude of the recipient, 
merely good fortune (e.g. the dog who precedes the aged taoist 
alchemist to the Blessed Isle due to being the guinea pig for the
consumption of the Pill).

in any case it typically results from a miraculous event not
available to scientific observation due to its peculiarity.
where this applies to religion it is usually a function of
social approbation -- the 'good' religious achieves sufficient
merit so as to have earned through penitence and conformity
with religious rules the great boon. where it intersects with
mysticism we may discern the potential presence of symbolism
(e.g. 'gold' or 'cinnabar' imply precious or extremely valuable 
elemental composition; 'ingestion' is but an intentional 
discovery, manifestation, or development of the purported 
*internal* characteristic perfection -- death may cease to 
have a fear-based influence upon said individuals, but its 
eventuality is not actually forestalled).

where we discuss magic this is usually toward mystical aims.
the "Supreme Secret of the OTO", a famed magical secret which
is presumed available solely to those who have penetrated to
the inner chambers of this order of Hermetic mages, is
purported a type of ritual sex, inclusive of particular
dramatic, meditative, and possibly other factors which are
presumed to lead to the creation of what is called 'The
Universal Medicine'. a cognate synonym for the alchemical
'Philosopher's Stone', which is described as conveying health,
wealth, and, by some, an unending lifespan, along with any
number of magical powers (siddhis, superheroic abilities).

otherwise we may be talking about strictly pharmaceutical
and practical magical expertise -- the construction of a
material or metaphoric "Pill" which will somehow transmute
the flesh of the (usually mystical) adept into 'an adamantine
substance', perhaps translating the fortunate individual who
does not DIE FROM POISONING to a fantastic plane, land, island,
or state of existence. one might immediately compare this
lure with the aforementioned heavens of innumerable religions. 
in some cases even when the body is found this is explained as
some kind of spiritual transcendance, though typically, at
least in China, immortality must somehow include the flesh
(compare 'ascending bodily to heaven' in Christian tradition).

without examples of unending endurance, the observant mystic
must conclude that the process is either symbolic (e.g. of
an attenuated consciousness which extends the subjective
experience of life) or a fabulous tale to entertain and
inspire, sometimes lethal, acts of mystical achievement.

Xi Wang Mu 
 Queen Mother of the West 
 Guardian Goddess of the Peaches of Immortality
 Sister of Kuan Yin, Bearer of the Elixir of Immortality
emailed replies may be posted  -----   "sa avidya ya vimuktaye"   ----- 
"that which liberates is ignorance"
    hoodoo catalogue: send postal address to

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