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Daoism and Cct

Religious Beliefs

Is the term “revelation” useful in understanding Daoism or CCT?

Most Daoist sects and schools, and CCT generally, teach that religious truths are embedded in virtually all levels and facets of reality. Access to those truths is available largely through the mediation of ritual specialists and spiritual masters. Their task is not so much to disclose the mysteries as to facilitate the passage of power from the realm of gods and spirits to that of human beings. When ordinary people find themselves in the neighborhood of these spiritual powers the truth behind them remains mysterious and cloaked in ambiguity. There are, however, accounts in which famous masters and sages claim to have received explicit revelations or missions directly from a deity. When Daoists speak of the language of revelation in these relatively rare instances, they suggest that they are pointing only to the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. The whole truth remains hidden from view and available only to a select few. This contrasts markedly with the general thrust of the Abrahamic traditions, for example, where revelation implies the disclosure of the full truth insofar as human beings can fathom it. Finally, an experience called “divination writing” deserves mention here since it is occasionally described as a revelatory medium. The Shang Qing school claims to be based on a series of nocturnal revelations. Founder Yang Xi reported that heavenly beings came to him in a vision and caused his hand to write the sacred texts.



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