Spiritism: Its Development and Possible Explanation
Spiritism, or the doctrine and practices of spiritualism, has existed in one form or another since the dawn of history, and has been defined as, "the belief or doctrine that the spirits of the dead, surviving after mortal life, can and do communicate with the living, esp. through a person (a medium) particularly susceptible to their influence." (The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition Unabridged, 1983). Human beings have long believed in the existence of a spiritual dimension, from which spirits can take care of human beings by guiding them to a better and safer life. Many times, after receiving guidance from the spiritual world, humans established religious organizations in order to guide people to a happy and peaceful physical and spiritual life.
This presentation will explore spiritism's origins and development, and provide a basic understanding of its mechanisms, emphasizing particularly on CaoDai spiritism.
In Asia, even before the time of the Buddha (about 5,000 years B.C.), the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, the Vedas, were channeled poetic hymns from the Gods, which were heard by the sages. Hinduism was then founded teaching that the Supreme Being, the Initial Light, is the creator of the universe and all beings; and humans are a part of the Initial Light will return to be united to God.
Then, in 2,300 B.C, according to the Old Testament, Abraham received a direct message from God. The Lord said to Abraham: "Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you." And Abraham left and set out for the land of Canaan. Genesis 12:1-6.
And in the Hebrew scriptures, Jeremiah said he felt God touch his mouth: "It is I, Yahweh, who speaks" and "The mouth of Lord has spoken."
In the 14th to 13th century B.C., Moses received instructions directly from God on Horeb, the mountain of God, to guide the Israelites out of Egypt. (Exodus 3: 6-11). Judaism, which also believes in the existence of a Supreme Being, was then founded with establishment of religious rules for humans to follow.
Then the Bible says that Jesus went up to the mountain to commune with Moses and Elias. (Doyle, M.D.: The History of Spiritualism. Arno Press. 1975). Jesus, after being baptized by St John the Baptist, heard the voices of God descending to him as a light: "this is My Son, whom I love." (Matthew 3:17). Christianity was then founded with the Old and New Testaments to guide humanity.
In 610 A.D. Muhammad received messages from Allah to found Islam for the Arab people. The Angel Gabriel appeared before him and ordered him to read: "Recite [Actual translation of the Arabic verb "Iqra'"]: in the name of thy Lord who createth man from a clot. Recite: And it is thy Lord the most bountiful who teacheth by the pen. Teacheth man that which he knew not." Surah 9: 1-5.
Later, in the 14th century, Joan of Arc (1412-1431) followed the instructions of the voices from Saints and Angels and successfully defeated the English forces restoring the King of France, Charles VII to the throne. Joan of Arc was sentenced to be burned as a heretic by the English dominated church court in 1431. (Doyle, M.D.: The History Of Spiritualism. Arno. 1975. Vol. I, p.43)
Later, Joan of Arc's spirit appeared in CaoDai spiritism under the name of the 6th female fairy.
Then Joseph Smith in America (1805-1844) received messages from the Angel Moroni, who guided him to find the scriptures on golden plates containing a history of the American Indians who described them as descendants of Hebrews who had sailed to North America centuries ago. He founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormons). (Hastings. With The Tongue Of Men And Angels. 1991. p. 191)
In 1850, Allen Kardec (1804-1869) born in Lyons (whose real name was M. Hippolyte Leon Denizard Rivail), investigated American spirit manifestations through the mediumship of two daughters of a friend. "The instructions thus transmitted constitute an entirely new theory of human life, duty and destiny, that appears to me to be perfectly rational and coherent, admirably lucid and consoling, and interesting."
He was instructed about the spirits and had answers for his questions concerning the purpose of reincarnation: "It is necessity imposed on them by God, as a means of attaining perfection. For some of them it is an expiation, for others a mission. In order to attain perfection, it is necessary for them to undergo all vicissitudes of corporeal existence." (Doyle, M.D.: The History of Spiritualism. 1975. Vol. II, p. 171)
He was also taught about God: "God is the Supreme Intelligence and First Cause of all things. The spirit is the intelligent principle of the universe. Spirit and matter are distinct from one another; but the union of spirit and matter is necessary to give intelligent activity to matter." (Allan Kardec, The Spirits’ Book. 1993, p. 63)
At about the same time, Victor Hugo received spiritual messages by table tipping seance while he was at Jersey island. The message explained about the purpose of life:
The universe is a school for spirits
Who attend it to increase their erudition
Those who often play truant
Must take the year again.
: The History And Philosophy Of CaoDaism. 1950, p. 57)
In 1892, through Nao Deguchi, an illiterate Japanese woman, the deity Ushitora no Konjin gave the scriptures of Oomoto by means of the Ofudesaki (the tip of the writing brush). Deity Ushitora no Konjin is believed to be the spirit of Ly Thai Bach, the famous Chinese poet LiPo of the Tang dynasty, and the spiritual Giao Tong of CaoDai. The following are some excerpts from the opening of this work: "The Greater World shall burst into bloom as plum blossoms at winter’s end. I, Ushitora no Konjin, have come to reign at last... Know ye, this present world is a world of beasts, the stronger preying upon the weaker, the work of devil. Alas, ye world of beasts! Evil holds you in such thrall that your eyes are blinded to its wickedness--- a dark age, indeed. If allowed to go on in this way, society will soon lose the last vestiges of harmony and order. Therefore by manifestation of Divine Power, the Greater World shall undergo reconstruction, and change into an entirely new creation. The old world shall suffer a most rigorous purification that it may become the kingdom of Heaven where peace will reign through all ages to come. Prepare yourselves for the Age of Peace! Ye sons of men, hold yourselves in readiness! For the word of God is never failing..." Nao Deguchi was ordered to write thousands of pages of scripture, and yet she was not even able to read a word of it herself. Nao Deguchi then followed the spiritual instruction to found the Oomoto Foundation in the purpose of bringing religions to harmony. (Sakae Oishi: Nao Deguchi. The Oomoto Foundation. 1982)
In 1926, CaoDai, a novel faith founded in Vietnam with the goal to bring harmony to religions and subsequently peace to humanity, was established by direct instruction from God. The Supreme Being said: "Formerly, people lacked transportation and therefore did not know each other, I then founded at different epochs and in different areas, five branches of the Great Way: Confucianism, Geniism, Christianity, Taoism and Buddhism, each based on the customs of the race. In present days, transportation has been improved, and people have come to know each other better. But people do not always live in harmony because of the very multiplicity of those religions. That is why I have decided to unite all those religions into one to return them to primordial unity." (Hum D. Bui, M.D.: CaoDai, Faith of Unity. Emerald Wave. 2000)
Techniques of Spiritism.
The most common techniques used are either with or without intermediary of a medium. A medium is a person on earth who is sensitive to vibrations from the spiritual dimension and is able to convey messages from that dimension to earth.
Psychography: Messages obtained through mediums.
Indirect Psychography is a method of spiritism in which messages are obtained by using table tipping (typtology), baskets or planchettes. Typtology is the first known instance of intelligent manifestations obtained by rapping. This very time consuming primitive means, used while the art was still in its infancy, offered but very limited resources, and with it communications were confined to monosyllabic answers--Yes or No--by the aid of a designated number of raps.
Typtology was widespread in Europe in nineteenth century. Victor Hugo, the great French writer, used this way of spiritism to converse with different spirits during time spent at Jersey Island.
Later in 20th century in Vietnam, typtology led to CaoDai, an innovative religion founded by the Supreme Being in order to bring religions together in harmony.
The Ouija Board, or planchette, was also popular, consisting of a board with alphabet, numbers, and words (Yes and No). On this board a wheeled planchette in the form of a heart could move to point to letters or numbers or words. Two persons put their index fingers on the planchette. When the spirit came, the planchette would move. When it stopped at a letter or a number, a person would record and read the message. Both the Ouija Board and typtology are very time consuming.
The basket was more convenient by allowing writing by a device. A pen device was attached at the end of handle, which was also attached to a basket: The instrument was therefore called the basket with beak (corbeille a bec). Two persons held the basket with their hands. When the spirit came, the basket would move. The pen-like writing device would write messages on the board or paper. A reader standing by read the messages, and another person recorded them. This technique was very popular in Asia, especially in China and later in Vietnam. Most of CaoDai messages were transmitted by basket.
In direct Psychography, or automatic writing or manual Psychography, the communicating spirit acts on the medium, who under this influence, speaks spontaneously or directs his arm and hand to write without having the least consciousness of what he is speaking or writing.
Mrs. Nao Deguchi, the founder of the Oomoto Foundation, wrote thousands of pages of messages from God without being able to read a single word.
The contemporary Brazilian medium Gasparetto is able to produce paintings said to come from deceased artists Degas, Picasso, van Gough, Monet etc... Gasparetto enters into a light trance, takes pastels or acrylics, and then sketches rapidly. He often does it in a darkened room, sometimes with the paper upside down, and sometimes with both hands working simultaneously. Hastings. With The Tongue Of Men And Angels. 1991. p. 167)
Jane Roberts eventually abandoned this technique and could speak the messages vocally upon receiving the words from the spirit. (Jane Roberts: The Coming of Seth. Pocket Books, 1966)
In the method of talking mediums, the spirit acts on the organs of speech, as he acts on the hand of writing medium. The talking medium usually talks without having a consciousness of what he says and often says things completely beyond his/her customary ideas, his/her knowledge, or even the heights of his/her intelligence. The organization for spreading CaoDai teachings in Saigon, Vietnam, has used an eight-year-old girl as medium, who has been transmitting many miraculous and profound teachings and poems beyond her capability, intelligence, and knowledge.
The seeing medium usually sees the spirit or any particular scene by his/her soul (but not by his/her eyes, as the eyes may be shut or open).
Mary Faye Craft, Ph.D., during a meditation in 1983, had a vivid vision of a man holding a picture of a beautiful mysterious blue eye. The eye was in the center of the picture, the sun was above the eye and to her right, and a cross above the sun to her left. There was a pyramid in the distance to her left. She asked one of her friends to paint the picture of the eye for her. More than twenty years later, she met a lovely girl from Vietnam and showed her the painting of the eye. When the girl saw the picture she went out to her car and returned with a book about her religion, CaoDai. In the book, she showed a picture of an altar in a temple of her faith. The focal point of the picture was an eye like the eye in the painting. (Personal communication)
Pneumography, or direct writing, is the writing produced directly by the spirit, without the use of a medium.
The phenomenon of direct writing is, without contradiction, one of the most extraordinary in Spiritism. It is obtained by concentration of thought, prayer and invocation. A simple piece of paper is sufficient. After a few minutes, writing appears. In 1916, Mr. Au Minh Chanh, the founder of The Three Religions temple, organized a spiritual séance following this technique. An envelope with a blank piece of paper inside was hung high close to the roof, in front of the altar. Participants were standing around and prayed sincerely. Each one may have one question to ask, and should be absolutely sincere. About fifteen minutes later, the envelope was brought down, and questions with answers were written in the paper. The writings were very sharp and in black color like lead pencil but much darker. One time, in another session, when Mr. Au Minh Chanh took the envelope down he seemed to be electrocuted as soon as he touched it. Later, when the envelope was opened, the message was found interrupted with a black line in downward direction from the second line. Later Mr. Chanh was informed that he was trying to bring the envelope down at the time when the message was still being written and not completed. (Thien Trung: Huyen Dieu Co But, 1999, p. 109)
Pneumatophony is a spiritist method in which spirits produce
noises, rappings, any sounds of nature, and even vocal sounds imitating the human voice.
These are the cases of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, who heard voices when they went to the mountain. The voices were said to be from God giving them instruction. These voices may be heard inside of the medium him/herself, very clear and distinct; however, there is nothing material about them. The person who hears the voice then writes it down in the form of dictation. This is the case of Doctor Helen Schucman, who heard the voice inside herself telling her to write A Course in Miracles.
These are also the case of the Fox sisters Margaretta and Kate (11 and 8 year old respectively) of Louisville who heard rapping noises in her house and were able to communicate with the spirits in her house in 1848.
Spiritism and CaoDai.
Initially, in 1925, three Vietnamese workers of the French colonial government began to explore the table tipping about which they had read in Western spiritual books. They were Cao Quynh Cu, his nephew Cao Hoai Sang (who worked in the customs department), and Pham Cong Tac (1893 - 1958), who was a clerk in the customs office. Mrs. Cao Quynh Cu also participated and had the role of secretary. On July 25,1925, they sat around a four-legged table, their hands resting on its surface, and prayed. When spirits came, the table shook and knocked on the floor. Each successive rap indicated a letter of Vietnamese alphabet. At midnight, a spirit came and gave a poem:
“Ly tran tuoi da qua’ nam muoi,
Mi mo’I vu`a len uo’c dang muo`i
Tong me’n lo`I khuyen be`n mo che’p
Ti`nh thuong can dan ga’ng tam do`i Tình
Ben ma`n doi lu’c treu ho`n pha’ch
Coi tho do`i phen dang thanh thoi
Xo’t noi vo hie`n co`n lum cum
Gap nhau nhan nhu mot doi lo`i.”
Cao Quy`nh Tuan
"When I left this world I was about more than fifty years,
And you were only ten.
You should remember with perseverance my counsels
To try to promote love in life.
I have teased you sometimes during your dreams,
But now, I am free and immortal.
I still have compassion for my gentle wife, old and weak,
These are just some words for our meeting today!"
Signed, Cao Quynh Tuan
Mr. Cao Quynh Tuan was the father of Cao Quynh Cu, who had died more than twenty years previously, when Cao Quynh Cu was about ten. In reading the 7th sentence, Mr. Cao Quynh Cu was so touched, he wept. He invited the spirit to return the following night for him to show his devotion. The spirit knocked twice on the floor as sign of agreement. (Cao Quynh Cu, a Biography compiled by Hum D. Bui, M.D.)
On July 30, 1925 (the 10th of the 6th month of the year At Suu), the trio got together at Mr. Cao Hoai Sang’s house for a siance. A female spirit gave a poem:
“Noi mi`nh tam su to cu`ng ai?
Mang bac co`n xuan uong sa’c ta`i
Nhung ngo trao duyen va`o ngoc ca’c
Na`o de` phui no xuo’ng tuye`n da`i
Duong sanh cam loi cu`ng song nu’i
To to’c thoi ro`i nghia tru’c mai
Do`n dap tuong tu oan mot ga’nh Doàn
Noi mi`nh tam su to cu`ng ai?”
Ñoa`n Ngoc Que’
“To whom may I confide my heart?
I have left this world young wasting all my talent and beauty!
I thought I was married to a noble gentleman,
But I died early instead.
I have not paid all hard works of my parents for raising me,
I could not keep my marriage promise either,
I kept bearing all those sentiments on my shoulder,
To whom may I confide my heart?”
Signed Doan Ngoc Que
Doan Ngoc Que is only her pen name. Her real name was Vuong Thi Le.
The next day, according to her instruction, the trio found her tomb, which strengthened more their trust. They continued to communicate with Vuong Thi Le via the table tipping and were informed more about the spiritual world.
The 6th lady fairy (the 6th fairy is the spirit of St. Joan of Arc) also came and together with the trio made poems about life on earth:
She started with two verses:
“Tro’t da da mang ca’i no do`i
Ga’nh do`i nang la’m kha’ch do`i oi!”
“Being born on this earth is like having a debt,
People of the earth, this debt is very heavy!”
Cao Quynh Cu continued with two verses:
“ Oa`n vai tha`n dao non song va’c
Chiu kie’p tra`n ai gio’ bui do`i”
“The load of duties toward the country is so heavy on my shoulder.
I have to sustain all the hardship in this world.”
Pham Cong Tac:
“Thuong hai tang die`n xem la’m lu’c
Cong danh phu’ qui’ nha’m tro` choi.”
“The world changes often from a blue ocean to a mulberry field
The honors and the richness of this world are just like a game.”
Cao Hoai Sang:
“O do`i mo’i han ra`ng do`i kho
Kho mot hai nam de kho do`i.”
“In living in this world, one will realize the difficulty.
Not only for one or two years but also for life.”
Later Jade Emperor, the Supreme Being, came by the name of A - A - A , revealed to them about the spiritual realm, their mission in life, and instructed them to found CaoDai, a novel religion to bring religions into harmony to end the wars because of the name of God.
The news on the table tipping expanded to the public. By curiosity, lots of people came to challenge the séeance.
One Buddhist came to ask A – A – A how to differentiate the truth from the false. A – A – A gave him a poem:
“Chi lan moc lan co hoa thuo`ng
Chang de mui ga`n chang bie’t huong
Hien ngo lo sanh tho`i bao nguoc
Da`u trong Tha’nh du’c cung ra thuo`ng.”
“Orchids, which grow among wild flowers
Would not be recognized if one did not get closer to smell their fragrance.
A kind and gentle person who lives unfortunately among the tyrannical people,
Would look alike with them despite his angel heart.”
On the same day (11-14-1925), Mr. Nguyen Trung Hau, who was a famous poet with the pen name Thuan Duc (which was unknown to the trio), wanted to know the truth, came to challenge the seance. He received a poem in which his pen name was spelled out:
“Thua`n van cha’t Du’c vo’i ta`i cao
Ten tuoi la`ng tho da du’ng va`o
Non nuo’c muo’n neu danh tua’n kiet
De’n ho`i bu’a Viet giuc co` Mao.”
“Your talent with your fine writing and kind virtue
Was famous in the poetry society.
If you want to leave your name as a hero of the country.
You have to wait for the right time.”
He was already convinced but still wanted to challenge more. He gave A - A - A the first part of a parallel and asked A - A - A to give the second part which no one was ever been able to give before. The first part of the paralelle was:
Ngoi yen ngua dung bo con nghe
Sitting on saddle of horse, don’t crawl (cow) dear child (baby buffalo)
A - A -A immediately gave the 2nd part:
Coi lung trau cho khi thang te
Riding on back of buffalo, don’t tease (monkey) that boy (rhinoceros)
In the parallel sentence, words correspond to each other as noun to noun, verb to verb, word with double meaning to the like. Nguyen Trung Hau was converted to CaoDai faith.
The news of the coming of the Jade Emperor was spread widely to the public, a head of the province, a catholic friend of Cao Quynh Cu, asked him to let him come to the seance for challenges. He asked the permission to put a picture of Jesus and a cross on the table, if it was really God who had come, God would come again, otherwise if it were evils, they would be scared and would not come. Then they started the seance as usual, the spirit of Saint Peter came and gave this following poem:
“Thien da`ng giu cua go’c tro`i Tay
Truye`n dao cho dan bie’t mat Tha`y
Cu’u chuoc da hai nga`n tuoi le
CaoDai pho’ tha’c da’t di`u bay.”
“I have been keeping the gate of heaven in the West sky,
To spread the Tao to humanity.
I have been saving humanity for almost two thousand years,
Now Cao Dai has entrusted me the mission to guide you all.”
Then Cao Dai the Supreme Being came with the following message:
“Do you know who was Jesus? I have shed my blood to humanity because of love. Now I have come to save humanity also because of love. Have you ever loved Me that much? Repent in order to save yourself.”
The French government was also aware of the events and suspected that there was a revolutional movement agaisnt the government. It sent an undercovered person to participate to the many seances. He witnessed everythings that happened and was not convinced himself. One day, he went to a seance, knelt in front of the table with a poem in his pocket. The seance came up with the following poem:
“Dap dang loi tho that Ngoc Hoa`ng
D`oi cu`ng Tien Phat gia’ng tra`n gian
Gia’c me sanh chu’ng ve` duo`ng cha’nh
Do tan toa`n linh chi’nh Ngoc Hoa`ng.”
“It’s the Jade Emperor who is answering to your poem,
Immortals and Buddhas are now coming to earth.
To awaken and guide living beings to the right path.
It’s the Jade Emperor who is coming to save all humanity.”
Then people saw the person prostrating three times to the seance and asked to be converted. When asked, he showed the poem that he kept in his pocket:
“Ua’t u’c nen day va’n Ngoc Hoa`ng
Co’ dau Tien Phat gia’ng tra`n gian
Ba`y tro` me ti’n lu`a dan chu’ng
Da’p dang tho day mo’i Ngoc Hoa`ng.”
“I am angry and come here to asked the Jade Emperor
Are there real Immortals and Buddhas coming to earth?
Or just evils that cheat people?
If you are able to answer to my poem, you would be the real Jade Emperor!”
When the declaration of CaoDai was sent to Governor Le Fol, he and his wife visited Mr. Ngo Van Chieu, another disciple of CaoDai, to learn about the new faith. Knowing that the Supreme Being founded CaoDai by spiritism, he asked to be a medium. Both Mr. and Mrs. Le Fol were in a trance during the seance and received a poem in French predicting the sad news from France in one month. Exactly one month later, they received the news of death of a family member. (Do Vang Ly: Tim Hieu Dao Cao Dai. 1989.)
Thanks to this seance, CaoDai became less harassed by the French.
In CaoDai, The Supreme Being, Buddha, Immortals, Saints came to teach humanity via spiritism by giving many miraculous poems guiding people to self cultivate in order to be unified with the Supreme Being. In analyzing the words of the poem, one may recognize the identity of the spirit. Most of the times, if the poem was to be given to a person, the name of that person is identified in the poem. The poem may reveal many personal details that are only recognized by the involved person.
In 1931, the Buddha came to the seance and gave a poem:
“Sai tao tran gian thuy tan ho
Phong van xuat bang dao hu vo
Hieu trung thuong co van vi thu
Tru xuat kim than dac kien ngo.”
The meaning of the whole poem is:
“I came to bring holy water for all humanity of the earth
Now we announce to all the coming of the Tao, the Nothingness.
Since antiquity, in order to reach the Tao, man needs to complete the duty of man
In order to reach me, man has to be detached from all secular obligations.
In analyzing the words of the poem, one may recognize that the spirit was Tay Phuong Giao Chu, the Buddha. (Thien Trung: Huyen Dieu Co But, 1999, p. 200)
Teaching from CaoDai spiritism.
The main teaching of CaoDai is that all religions are one, have one same origin, one same principle, and are just different manifestations of one same truth.
Besides, CaoDai explained about God, origin and the creation of the universe: before the creation of the heavens and the universe, the cosmic ether was still, quiet, and void; and at the same time a kind of primordial chaos, indistinct and shadowy with mixtures of density (which we call "the Tao" or pre-creation ether). In this cosmic ether appeared a great source of Divine Light called "Thai Cuc" (Monad) or the Supreme Being. The Monad then divided itself into Yin and Yang, the two opposite logos: "Am Quang" (Yin Darkness) and "Duong Quang" (Yang Energy). Yin is heavy, dark, cold, dense, negative, inactive… while Yang is clear, bright, warm, pure, positive, active… Yin and Yang interacted with each other to form heavens and universes, with Yang being the origin of the invisible, spiritual aspect, and Yin being the mother of all visible, physical manifestations.
"After creating the universe, I divided My spirit and with it made all creatures, plants and materials. Everything in this universe comes from My spirit, and therefore has a life. Where there is life, there is Myself even in materials and plants. I am each of you and you are Me."
Everything in this universe are from Yin and Yang. The proportion of Yin and Yang would dictate the properties of each dimension. More advanced souls would enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yang and would be lighter, brighter, calmer, more beautiful, and may be called heavens. Less advanced souls enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yin, and would be heavier, darker, more burdensome with many cruel souls and may be called hell. Spiritually, everything in the universe shares a part of the Supreme Being's spirit, which is called Conscience or soul in human beings.
In an automatic seance, the Ho Phap Pham Cong Tac asked the spirit of Victor Hugo who manifested under the name of Nguyet Tam Chon Nhon about the nature of the "water" spoken of in the Christian "Genesis,“ Victor Hugo answered:
“Yes, chemically it can be referred to as hydrogen,
Various densities of that which forms the basic inner core of life.
The animating force of God hovered over this primal water,
This is the sense in which these words must be understood.
God's indescribable Astral power, which we shall call Light,
Brought forth life from such inert materials as these.
A layer of oxygen was produced,
Meeting the hydrogen with explosive reaction,
This detonation bringing about a cosmic fusion
Wherein the Divine fire was born and holy water formed.
Under the effect of these two elements, all was transformed.
From the primordial elements of gas and then liquids
Life emerged, or more properly, a vitality
encompassing both what we call life and death.” (Gobron
: The History And Philosophy Of CaoDaism. 1950, p. 55)
On 2- 24- 1926, Cao Dai explained the meaning of the Divine Eye, the symbol of the Supreme Being and the faith CaoDai:
“The creator of the twelve heavens is Me, the Supreme Being of all universe, having twelve zodiacal spirits in My hands. Number twelve is My own number. It is not time to understand the full meaning of the Divine Eye, but I will briefly explain this to you.
The Eye is the principle of the heart:
Two sources of light (Yin and yang) are the Master;
Light is the spirit;
The spirit is God;
God is Myself.
Since the Dao was established, there has been a lack of the spirit in the miraculous mechanism of enlightenment. With this third salvation, I will allow the Than (spirit) to be unified with the Tinh (physical matter) and the Khi (emotions), leading to a unification of the three elements, which is itself the miraculous mechanism of the enlightenment.”
Regarding the constitution of the physical body, CaoDai taught: “
Ordinary people see the physical body as a single unit. In reality, it is a mass of innumerable living parts. These living parts are assembled to form a body with a divine personality. This body is nourished with other living beings such as vegetables, plants, fruits, rice--all of which are fresh and contain vital matter (because all these foods are living beings).
CaoDai also said:
"After creating the universe, I divided My spirit and with it made all creatures, plants and materials. Everything in this universe comes from My spirit, and therefore has a life. Wherever there is life, there I am. I am the father of life. I am each of you and you are Me. My love of life is unfathomable. I have taught that your body is composed of a mass of everlasting spirits. You should understand that the internal organs of your body are also formed by living units whose function, whether they are aware of or not, is commanded by Me. Moreover, this holy spirit not only has a duty to protect you, but to educate you as well through what most human beings describe as the conscience.”
From these teachings, one may understand that each cell in human body is a living unit and has a certain amount of energy or spirit with polarity as the result of Yin energy and Yang energy, and the spirit of the person as a whole is the sum of all cellular energy, or spirit or consciousness also with a kind of polarity. Life of a person is determined by his/her polarity interaction with the magnetic field of the environment on earth and in the universe.
About the Supreme Being CaoDai taught:
“Nhien Dang (Dipankara) Buddha is Me,
Sakya Muni (Gautama Buddha) is Me,
Thai Thuong Nguon Thi (Lao Tse) is Me,
Who is CaoDai.
“Nhien Dang Co Phat thi nga,
Thich Ca Mau Ni thi nga,
Thai Thuong Nguon Thi thi nga,
Kim Viet Cao Dai.”
Buddha, God; God, Buddha are Me,
Although different, all branches belong to one same trunk (family),
Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity are in My hands,
Because of love, I come to save humanity for the 3rd time.”
“Phat Tro`i, Tro`i Phat cung la` ta,
Nha’nh nho’c chia ba cung mot nha`.
Thi’ch, Dao, Gia To tay chuong quan,
Thuong dan xuo’ng the’ do la`n ba.”
The Supreme Being is the “Great Sacred Light”--or Energy--and
human beings are the “little sacred light.”
CaoDai also taught that man and God are one:
“I, your Master, am you.
You, My children, are Me.”
“Tha`y la` ca’c con.
Ca’c con la` Tha`y.”
God and men are one.”
“That la` dieu dieu, huye`n huye`n,
Tro`i nguo`i co’ mot chang rieng kha’c gi`.”
Dai Thua Chon Giao p.65
“On earth, you are a sacred spirit,
And are part of My sacred spirit.
You already have the key,
To go anywhere to earth or to heaven.”
“Con la` mot chon linh tai the’,
Cu`ng vo’i Tha`y do`ng the linh quang.
Khoa’ chi`a con da san sa`ng,
Khi va`o coi tuc, khi sang Thien Di`nh.”
Thanh Giao Suu Tap 1966-67
Be tranquil, serene, quiet, utterly peaceful.
To achieve tranquility, one needs not think anything
Practice the Tao with sincerity.”
“Tha`nh tam niem Phat
Tinh, tinh, tinh, tinh, tinh.
Tinh la` vo nha’t vat,
Tha`nh tam ha`nh dao.”
TNHT p. 254
“Continue to cultivate your spirit, and you will become spiritually stronger. Continue to cultivate your Chi, and it will flow freely.
When your heart is clear and pure, you will reach Nirvana
And then become an Immortal and a Buddha.”
“Co’ tha`n nuoi na’ng tha`n ca`ng manh,
Luyen Khi’ thong thuong khi’ mo’i tuo`ng.
Nhap the lo`ng trong gi`n tinh man,
Nguo`n Tien ngon Phat mo’i nham phuong.”
TNHT p. 255
“You must strive in order to accomplish your work.
After cultivating your virtues, you must cultivate your heart.
Simply reading the scriptures does not guarantee enlightenment,
Without a serene heart, such attainment is impossible.”
“Co’ cong phai bie’t ga’ng nen cong,
Tu ta’nh da xong to’i luyen lo`ng.
Kinh sa’ch da`y da`u chua thoa’t tuc,
Don tam kho’ dinh la’y chi mong.”
TNHT p. 256
“Time has passed day by day
God is not far away: He is as close as your heart.
If you would but cultivate your heart well, you will reach immortality
And Nirvana will be your home.”
“Mot nga`y thon mon mot nga`y qua,
Tien Phat noi mi`nh chang o xa.
Luyen dang tinh thong muon tuoi tho,
Cua Thien xua’t nhap cung nhu nha`.”
TNHT p. 257
“From the One emanates the Two which flow in two opposite directions. Returning inward (going backward) leads to Immortality.
Does anyone understand the Invisible Tao?
That is the path to Nirvana.”
“When your outer world becomes more tranquil, the most sacred heart may be reached.
One can then discern the true and the false even among ten thousands things.
When one realizes that nothing is true or false, one has no more attachment.
Then one rejoins the Master at the White Pearl Palace.”
“Tâm có định rồi, tâm chí linh,
Không còn điên đảo ở muôn hình.
Không chân, không giả, không còn niệm,
Mới đặng gặp Thầy chốn Ngọc Kinh.”
(Chí Tín: Vấn đề Thiền Định với môn sinh Cao Đài)
CAODAI TEACHING ON PRINCIPLES OF LIFE:
Love and Justice are the most important principles in life.
Love is the true love without personal interest.
Justice is “do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.” If human beings are just following those principles, there would be no doubt peace on earth.
Spiritism and healing.
CaoDai the Supreme Being many times used spiritism to help people to cure many serious diseases. Ngo Van Chieu, the first disciple of the Supreme Being, used to participate to spiritual seances to ask for the remedy for his ill mother. At the time when his mother was about to die, he desperately asked for a remedy, and was informed that there was no more remedy.
Mr. Le van Trung, before becoming CaoDai disciple, had also participated to seances. At that time he was almost blind, and always needed a person to lead for walking. He was given through spiritism by Ly Thai Bach, (spirit of the famous Chinese poet Li Po of the Tang dynasty) a mission of founding a novel faith in order to bring harmony to religions. The Supreme Being gave him the message: “Trung, dear child! Be loyal. Your life and your death all depend on Me. Look at your clear vision as an example and think.” Mr. Le van Trung was almost blind before. CaoDai’s miracle has cured completely his blindness. Finally Mr. Le Van Trung was convinced, believed the existence of the Supreme Being, and became a sincere CaoDai disciple.
Mr. Cao Quynh Cu, another CaoDai disciple, who greatly contributed to the founding of CaoDai at the beginning, especially to the construction of the Holy See, was severely ill. Through spiritism, he was instructed how to cure his disease. “Dear child, you have to much worries, and your stomach is very weak. You should drink clear water for a while to rest your stomach.”
The healing is usually done in the temple. The patient was praying with other disciples. The priest mixed Yin and Yang water from the altar to make holy water and then gave to the patient. In epidemies when there were a large number of patient, holy water was diluted in a big jar of water and distributed to the patients.
About spiritism, the Supreme Being gave the following message:
“In spiritism, the medium must meditate deeply so that his spirit will then be able to come to Me, listen to My instructions, and have his body to write down the messages.
What is a spirit?
The spirit is your second body. It is very difficult for the spirit of a human being to transcend the physical body. The spirits of Saints, Immortals, and Buddhas are very marvelous and immortal. The spirit of an enlightened person may transcend the body and even travel the universe. Only the spirit may approach Me. When the basket with beak is used in spiritism, if the person is unconscious, the spirit may then leave the physical body, hear My instructions, and have the body transcribe the messages.
Indeed, CaoDai has suggested the following measure for spiritism:
“Before the session, one must purify both mind and body-do not omit this purification or you risk failure. To practice well, one should keep one's mind pure, not encumbered by everyday living matters, and keep the hands cleansed and deodorized. Deep meditation will allow one's spirit to transcend the body and communicate with Me. The mediums should be chosen for their advanced spirit so that the session will be fruitful. They should practice vegetarianism, and train themselves toward being completely balanced (as good as Saints, Immortals, and Buddhas) to be able to properly achieve the purpose of the session and transmit the teachings. They are considered My assistants in the propagation of the Way. Spiritual contact cannot be taken lightly. In the reception of vibrations from the spirit, each person has personal vibrations which may be influenced by their own emotions and personality and may interfere: subsequently these writings may not be correct. One should take caution in setting up sessions and in recognizing the authenticity of the writings. So, after each spiritism session, you have to wait for My approval before any implementation.”
(Thanh Ngon Hiep Tuyen p. 6)
Through spiritism, human beings have understood more about other dimensions beyond the earth, beyond the knowledge of the visible, material world.
One learns that when there was no time and no space, there was only the cosmic ether. In the cosmic ether, there was the initial Light, or the Word, or the Sacred Light that human used to call God, the Tao, or the All That Is.
In the reception of vibrations from the spirit, each person has personal vibrations which may be influenced by their own emotions and personality and may interfere: subsequently these writings may not be correct. One should take caution in setting up sessions and in recognizing the authenticity of the writings. So, after each spiritism session, you have to wait for My approval before any implementation.”
The spiritism may be well explained as the result of the interaction between the energy polarity of the medium and the energy polarity of the spirits. The better quality of energy of the medium would attract the better spirits and would therefore result in message of better quality.
In brief, human is a real entity formed by Yin (electron) and Yang (positron) energy, the proportion of which will determine the polarity of the spirit of the whole body. The spirit of the universe is constituted by the sum of all individual spirits and all things in the universe. The interaction between the individual spirit and the universe spirit will result in an ability of communication and understanding between human realm and the universe spiritual realm. In the future, hopefully science may be able to manipulate the energy power so that communication between human being may be realized by electronic device.
Hum D. Bui, M.D.