What is 神 (Sun / Shen) in Taoism? Most people from the other religions will not understand this concept much, especially if you are from a Christian or western culture background. Therefore, we will bring you back to how it all started, in order for you to understand it in a chronological order.
In all cultures, regardless of races, we all started about the same. Many people are having a hard time surviving in the aboriginal life era, farming is not easy, and many people starve to death, or there could even be a plague that wiped out half the village in one night. What can be done when there is nothing around that can really provide physical help?
In order to survive and keep going, people then rely on the opposite route of “physical” help, which is the “spiritual help”. In another word, they have to make up something, or “discover” something that is non-physical to make themselves stronger. People then start to invent something like a superhero, or a character with superpower. For example, they might have a “God of the Sun”, which deals with anything that is related to the sun. When there is a big storm, you rely on begging and praying to this “God of the Sun” for help, hoping the sun can come back out soon, and maybe even just to reduce the rain a bit with a minute of sunlight showing up in the middle of a rain storm, giving them a “breaktime” to recover or find a place to hide.
Everyone knows that this is a made-up character, of course. At the same time, because of how people passes these stories around, the newer generation will belief it, and they will also follow the rituals, the practice, and not doubt about the existence of these “Gods”.
While these “Gods” are not real, they are made real. These different “Gods” accounts, or profiles, are like a file that people created, and inside these files, it stores the hope-energy of the many people who have been praying and believing it. From nothing but just a false hope, these “Gods” have developed into a specific “account” that the people have invested their spiritual energies into. These Gods then went from fake to real. What’s real? When there is stuff inside a container, it’s real. Just like a real word is a word that have a form (physical) and a meaning (non-physical). A real god is a god that has its form, and a non-physical side – which is the hope-energy, or which people call it the spiritual energy of human beings.
In our lineage, we say that human invent and create Gods, while Gods also create humans. It might sound odd to you, but it will make sense as you read on.
What does the Gods do? These gods people created are not a real “living being”, and so they do not move or do anything on their own. However, these are like an account that contains the spiritual energies of many people who are connected to it. These energies all have the same property, and that is the hope of a better future, which can be achieved by the such and such power of this specific God. For example, the God of the Sun can help you create a better future by giving you warmth, sunlight, and all that good stuff that the Sun can provide you with. These are not real warmth and sunlight in the account, but they are the hope-energy that can help nature to bring in the elements.
When human hope to travel faster on the ground, what do we do? Naturally, because we have the hope, we will eventually create something to fulfil the wishes. Therefore, we will invent wheels, wagons, and even cars.
Without hope, there is no “drive” for human to create. Therefore, the hope energy attracts a form of non-physical elements in nature, which draws in the potentials of creation to happen in reality. With this pattern, you can see the power of these “Gods”.
These “Gods” that human created cannot bring you the things you want directly, but their energies can attract the potential elements, the spiritual energies, which pushes reality to change, or steer toward a certain direction, making things happen to turn to the way you hope it to happen. Therefore, the Gods do help human, but in an indirect and invisible form. It’s like someone who cannot give you money directly, but he can push in some energy, which triggers your wisdom to spark and the wisdom then allows you to think of good ideas, which will bring you money at the end.
Gods and Deities
There are two types of these “Gods”, which most people call them Gods or Deities. In our lineage of Taoism, we categorize them as Pre-Heaven Gods and Post-Heaven Deities. The pattern applies to all cultures, regardless of religions. It is just how we categorize things in nature.
Pre-Heaven gods, are those powers that exists before happening or before creations started, or before life appears. For example, there can be some God of the Sun, the Moon, or even the God of some nature operating principles like the God of Yin Yang, Bagwa, five elements, etc. The thing in common for these Gods are that they are all about things in nature that exists before life exists. Usually its about some natural forces or even principles of how nature works. This category, we will call it the Pre-Heaven Gods, 先天神明 Sin Tin Sun Ming. They are often categories as the “light” forces, with the Yang properties. These powers will always give off its own power to the surrounding, and not intake anything from the people. Just like the sun, the moon, the wind, they only output powers, and not to absorb the power from living beings.
Post-Heaven Deities, are those powers that exists after life started. For example, there is the famous Guan Yu in Chinese (the long beard general with a big knife), or it can even be some historical people who went viral because of some stories and novels, or it can even be some animals too – such as the God of Foxes! These deities are in the Post-Heaven category, and they are categorized as the “wind” forces, with the Yin properties. These powers will help you expose power and burn off the energy to create some sort of effect, or to do work. For example, the deity of a tiger can help you do things with more power, and it helps you use your energy better, instead of empowering you from the surface.
The Celestial Realm
The Celestial Realm 神霄 (Sun Siu / Shen Xiao) is basically where the 神 Sun / Shen (these gods and deities’ powers) stays. You can kind of say that it is another dimension in dep nature, which stores all these spiritual powers accumulated by human beings. These Sun-nergy, are created by human beings, yet they also shapes the future of our world because of how they attracts the potentials of creation for us.
This is how it all started with the gods and deities, which goes the same with all cultures in the world, and it is part of our life to have these things. It’s not “bullshit” at all, because it is something that nature taught us to create in the ancient times. Think about why they are created and what they have done to human beings?
These gods and deities are created because the physical side of things is running out of potentials and elements to solve the physical need. Therefore, the only way to get you surviving and pull through the hard time, is to get the spiritual help. These creations from human beings have kept the spirit of human being stronger, allowing us to face the tough times with more courage, will power, and let us pull through the rough times, bringing us to a better tomorrow. They do work, it’s just that we are too used to, or brainwashed, but the modern science in school today.
We have become very ignorant to this kind of things, because we forgot about the rough times when life isn’t as luxurious. Imagine you don’t have the internet, air conditioning, or even “supermarket”. When life is not as easy and comfortable, there is a need for this kind of “help”.
Now that we have gotten here today, with so many good stuff that made life easier, happier, and we all forgot the lessons that nature have taught us in the old days? These are the things that brought us here today, shall we forget about where we got the water from when we are drinking from the tap? Flowers are blossomed and we forgot what the seeds and roots need. That’s not right, isn’t it?
In Taoism, Taoist magic, we also cultivate these kinds of “gods” and “deities”. They are natural and they are the higher powers in the deep nature which exists before us. Yes, some of them are “created” in this world by human beings. But to be more accurate, human only created a “name” for it. We actually “discovered” them instead. For example, the God of the Sun – where did we get this idea from? The sun, which already exist before we create the “God” out of it. Let’s say the God of Yin Yang, yet, Yin Yang already exists before the creation. We discovered the powers in nature first, and then we create a name to channel in the powers to this world. Therefore, it is more accurate to say that these Gods or Deities exists long before human does, or even before this world exists.
However, not every culture or person will connect to the same powers in nature. Just like some people are born with the talent to invent something special, some people re just born to be a follower, some people are born to open a business and lead the world with its unique trend. Everyone plays a different role in this world. These spiritual powers in the deep nature also picks who to connect to, for them to discovered by the “someone” in this world, opening the gate from the deep nature to this world we live in today.
In Saam Law Sun Gung Taoism, we are connected to what we call the Saam Law powers, which is the original world or the most pre-heaven, the deepest side of nature. This world, and the powers of Saam Law, exists before the sun and moon, or even the “space” you can see that is beyond the blue sky. This power is what we connect to, and you can say that this is like our “Gods” and there are other “deities” in our lineage too. As you learn in our lineage, you will know more about what they are and you will be able to see their powers as you use the magic and wisdom that we got from these powers. Get ordained today, and inherit the magical power and wisdom of Saam Law.