After most people start to dig into this subject of “Taoism and Death” or the after-death-life of Taoism, most people will think that Taoism does not focus on life after death and they mostly just think that you go back to “nature” or something like that. That is a total misunderstanding of Taoism from the western culture, due to the problem with translation.
For example, people have quoted something like “the Yellow Emperor was said to have ascended directly to heaven in plain sight…" – wiki
This is totally a bad translation that leads to people to misunderstand the words. As said before in our article on Yuen-Sun or Yuan-Shen 元神, most people have mistaken the word for “sky” Tin 天 as “heaven” and relate that to the western culture’s understanding of “heaven” as in like how it’s seen in western religious paths. It’s totally wrong.
Because all these are metaphors and words used in another way and not to be interpreted as their surface meaning. What happens" with the “ascended directly to heaven in plain sight” is just a metaphor called 白日飛升, meaning that the person’s soul has totally ascended back to their own spiritual planetary body, the Yuan Shen (Yuen Sun) and contained back into himself on the other side of the universe. We have explained this in our article of “Funeral for Taoist Disciples” too. It is not even hard to achieve for a real Taoist disciple, and it’s not a mystical happening like you suddenly vanish from the world and became somewhere in “heaven”. That’s movie, not reality!
Real Taoism Theory on Death
Why do you want to cultivate or learn Taoism in your life? We have explained that in our “Taoism 101” already, which already popped a lot of confusion bubbles for our audience. The main essence of Taoism and how we see life is, there is a you here, and also a you in what we call the “Pre-Heaven” dimension, like the other side of the universe, existing in another form that is totally opposite of what’s here.
We all know the theory of Yin and Yang, law of opposite, like you must have light to know dark, and high to know low etc. Everything must have an extreme opposite to exist. Agree?
Basically, you are here in this “physical dimension” living as a living being with other living beings, being contained inside a planet that stays with a bunch of other planets.
On the other side, as the principle of opposition goes, you are a “non-physical” planet in that space, with many living beings being contained and living inside you, while you fly around in space with a lot of other planets-alike.
The spiritual planet of yours is what we call the Yuan Shen (Yuen Sun)!
When you sleeps, your soul energies will start to beam the detoxed energies (what your body don’t want) out to the spiritual planet, and the spiritual planet will trade you some of its processed goodies essences and charge you up. You wake up and feels recharged because this is your powerhouse that charged up your energy heart on your local energy body, the Faat-Sun 法身. You get one day of energy to use, and you need to sleep again, there goes a cycle of life.
What Happen When You Die?
In short, your body dies because it is not usable anymore or it has worn out, but your spiritual energies are still there, and so your energies, meaning your soul, the you that feels and senses things, will keep going on to the next stage of life.
You want to know how death feels like, it’s already previewed by you many times if you had witnessed how a very realistic and scary nightmare looks like and feels like. You can wake up with your body all wet like you just came back from swimming, and your heart will beat very fast, with your mind all on the dream, scared, panicking and feeling super unwell. That is basically how it feels for a normal person after death, but the dream will last very long, and it will get much more vivid than your normal dream. When you sleep, your soul is not “all out” to the spiritual world, you still have senses and stuff at this local physical world, and so you are partially traveling" in the spiritual zone only. When you are dead, you are out for a full-on experience, meaning that, you will see, hear, feel, sense, just like it’s real and physical.
This is why Taoist call it 尸解 Shije (Si Gaai) for death here because you didn’t die, you just got rid of your “shell” or your “container” here and moved on, and the next journey is indeed bitter, scary, and not fun. Why is after death always scary and not fun?
Things are beautiful when it’s born, but it gets ugly when it’s dead, just like all things in nature, that is the law of opposition. So when you are dead, you natural path is a super long journey that is comparable to the length of your lifetime and maybe even longer because spiritual beings don’t die that fast, they only get weaker and faint.
When will this end? When your soul is either fully dissolved, or you luckily regrouped your soul fragments and cycled to a next life, or you have got some spiritual beings kidnapping you from another world, which can happen very often to religious people too. Remember how I said in the article of “luck stealing magic” on the praying type of people? You never cultivate for your own power and you expect to pray in the thin air with nobody hijacking your message and pretending to be your god? Well, when you die, these hackers and hunters will grab you over – to their world, and encage you or enslave you, and there goes your lord that will keep you forever who always “acted as your lord” when you prayed without ensuring what you are praying to.
Taoist Way of Death
Taoist cultivation is all about preparing your life and conditioning your life to get better luck, better health, or even a better death as mentioned in our “Taoist funeral” article.!The fact is, you get ordained into a lineage like ours, the whole lineage will take care of you when you die, and make sure that your souls are regrouped as soon as possible, then rocket you back to your spiritual planetary body (Yuan Shen) and there goes your after death life as what we call the “immortal” or Sin 仙. This word does not mean anyone who lives forever in this physical world, it means you will be living on your own mountain, and that is a metaphor, which is the Yuan Shen that you have long cultivated all your life. If you did a good job cultivating before you die, then this world will be nice and happy for you. In this planet that you will be living, things don’t age like in the physical world, but you can die too. Well, you can die from doing the wrong thing, being attacked, or whatever reasons besides aging. Therefore, your Taoist magic skills that you have cultivated all your life is your ability to defend yourself and live a good life in this world of your own.
Advanced disciples can cultivate one step further, and push their own Yuan Shen out of this zone of the universe, going back to the even more original space, what we call Dai Law Tin 大羅天, the original Pre-Heaven universe. In this world, they will be transforming back to a “complete being”, what we call the Dai Law Gum Sin 大羅金仙.
There is not strict diet or even the need of not eating anything for cultivating in Taoist magic with our lineage. For some disciples with good fate and talent, they might even witness their own spiritual planetary body by soul traveling" or even be in contact with things in that Dai Law Tin universe, such as how Jee Sifu, Gum Sifu and such did their communication with the grandmasters who contributed to the lineage before them.
As mentioned in our earlier article of “what is Taoism”, being a believer or fan of the theories don’t make anyone a Taoist, because you need to be ordained and learn the cultivation to be a Taoist. A believer is a believer, a Taoist is a person who cultivates for their Tao, meaning that they will work to cultivate on their Yuan Shen 元神. Doing some Tai Chi, exercises of all sorts, don’t even touch Taoism’s real teachings and the core cultivation at all.
Tai Chi and Chi Kung are part of our lineage’s cultivation too, but only if you have other cultivations that deal with the Taoist magic and Yuan Shen etc, then these will become beneficial to you. While most people who just learn them as exercises for health, they will only be an exercise for your “physical health” and nothing more. Learning Taoism is not hard, it just requires one to commit and ordain to learn from a good sifu who can guide you the way. There are too many wrongs and misleading information in the pool of information out there, and you need a good Taoist sifu to guide you the proper way.