To understand why we have to do the mid-festival ceremony for the dead souls (ghosts), we must understand how the energy flow works for nature, and how it affects us if the energy is flowing wrongly or is clogged in the system.
The sky is above us, and the ground is below us, while we live between the sky and ground in what we call the “human realm.” When the sky (nature) gives resources downward, just like the rain, it falls onto the ground first, and the ground absorbs the rain. Then, you see plants and things grow out of the ground for the human to consume. After the human is done consuming, the things turn into poop and go back down into the ground, and the ground dissolves it and gives back to “nature,” which is the sky, and it recycles. This is the pattern of how our “chi” (energy) flows for the energy of creation. Therefore, if you take a look at this pattern, if the ground is not doing well, humans will have no food to eat, and therefore the human suffers.
When the ground is cool and settled, it is ready to absorb things from the sky, and humans live peacefully above. When the ground is moving fast and giving birth to things too fast, human will have issues. For example, if there are earthquakes or bursting volcanos, then humans will have their society and buildings destroyed. Therefore, the ground needs to output from time to time, like by growing things and making things blossom, but not too much to the point it shakes the whole society and kills our success here. Keeping the ground level in harmony is also the way to keep human society harmonized.
We are not directly talking about earthquakes and volcanos here, because those are natural happenings that will eventually happen from time to time. However, the creation energy from nature flows through the 3 realms, and they do create a big impact for us. In terms of like how our society will go and how the economy will be etc., is all dependent upon this energy flow. If the energy flow is producing earthquakes, then it will translate to people in the human realm will being shaken, leading to political issues, wars, business fights, and so on.
Whenever there is a massive amount of death, it means that there is a lot of energy (souls) going from the human realm and back down to the ground realm, and what that means is that the ground is suddenly packed up and the pressure is super high. Just imagine if you suddenly ate 30 meals in one go, your body cannot take it, and will want to puke or explode. The internals will become a mess, which leads to malfunctioning of the nature’s own system, and that means humans are going to suffer the consequences later on.
The energy of the city, or country, does matter to you. Imagine how it will be like doing business in a city with bad energy. Economy is bad, people don’t feel good, trades and sales go sour, and everyone just wants to act like a tyrant instead of a peaceful and happy salesman. In short, the energy of the place you live DOES matter and will have an effect on your luck and life. Therefore, as a Taoist who has the power to deal with these issues, we should HELP NATURE to deal with these problems, which is the same as “helping Saam Law / the Tao” to dissolve these issues and let the system flow well again.
The mid festival is the 7th lunar month, which relates to the 9 star theory 7; it translates to “things inside the ground coming out and surfacing,” which also means the ground to human pathway is opened and things from the ground level are surfacing out. This month is the month where energy surfaces out and pushes to human realm to cause reality to happen, and if the flow is too fast, it shakes the human side. If there are a lot of deaths in human realm, then it’s like while things are coming out from the ground to human side, the human side also pushes a lot of things back down – stopping the nature’s flow and making it hard for nature to do its job.
On the 15th of the month, the time when “the moon is big,” meaning that the ground has matured and is at its fullest state, it is the time where stored energy is unleashed. On this day, we as Taoists will do a mid-festival PO DOE ceremony 普渡法事, which will be sending off the Tao’s power to the area or neighborhood we live in (or can be for any other big area or bunch of dead souls), for helping these souls “settle” so that they can be treated, healed, and settled. This way, it brings harmony to the “ground” – while the ground is pushing its energy up, we also want the souls going DOWN to be calm and settled, making way for the ground to output first, then these souls can transition over to the ground afterwards.
What happens if we DON’T do anything? Then the massive amount of dead souls will be sticking to the human realm for a longer time (sticking onto objects and things), and they will be packing up the space here, which means the ground energy will have nowhere to go. Imagine if the ground level has 10k people coming up, but then you have 50k people in the human level jamming up all the space. The 10k people then have no chance of coming up, which means they might be all stuck in the ground, causing the system to clog, and eventually the energy cannot be delivered to the human beings’ world, leading the human world to suffer, just like humans having nothing to eat because the harvesting season was crashed by a flood. Next year, they will be in deep trouble.
Protecting nature is the same as protecting Saam Law, the Tao: it is a form of TE (giving back) and also part of our obligation. If we do not do so, then we will also suffer from the consequence too. For nature and for your own good, a Saam Law Taoist should learn to do these soul releasing and settling ceremonies on this special month, especially if there are some massive amounts of deaths going on in your area. For example, in the year of 2020, there is a much bigger amount of people dying because of the COVID-19 virus. If we do not help nature to settle these souls, then for sure there will be a lot of problems coming to us and our society too. Your effort to help nature does make a difference, and it will AT LEAST make a difference to YOUR life. Nature will reward you back with blessings, and that can translate to your life being smoother and better. Even if most people are suffering from the issues in society, you might still have a job, live well, and not catch any sickness or virus, which is already a blessing.