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Sources and Descendants
of the Teachings
Including definitions of God, Basics and Prerequisites
the TEACHINGS -
To you they may be
Lost, found, or misplaced.
Earth-shaking, new, or fancy.
Basic, old, and simple.
It matters not.
They ARE Timeless, Useful and Invaluable
This book tells several stories other than my personal one. It tells a story of creation, a story of a long forgotten history, and a story of a spiritual tradition that gave birth to many legends. But primarily, the book accurately reveals the teachings that, without which, none of these stories would exist, or matter. Like some of the stories, while these teachings are part of ancient history, they can also be keys to a promising future.
Some of the teachings of the Children of the Law of One™ presented here, have been around a very long time (as far back as Atlantis), and some not so long. The unadulterated teachings of the Children of the Law of One™ , have never been directly made public before. But some of them are the source of many other teachings, that have been made public. So you may already know certain things you’re going to read in this book - yet, some of it will still be new information. Other readers may find that much, or all of it will be “new” to them. Obviously, if you are already “enlightened”, reading this book would just be a waste of your time, because it’s purpose is to help those who aren’t enlightened, become enlightened. Since the word enlightenment has many meanings though, I should probably define what we mean by it. We call someone “enlightened” who: 1) Has had a final “death experience” (of the selfish separate self), thus bursting the illusion of separation from everything/God; [this is similar to a “near death experience”, but is deliberately cultivated through spiritual training/ego busting. It is also fully experienced rather than “near”, and doesn’t require nearly dying physically] 2) Has realized and permanently returned to a state of absolute Oneness with the Universal Spirit/God; 3) Is always living in harmony with the Universe and doing the will of God, as a servant of God; 4) Always lives in a state of Unselfish Love. All of the above are one and the same thing, and the change takes place at the same time. If you haven’t achieved that yet, then even if you think you know it all, this book could still help you if you will just “check your ego at the door” and actually apply the teachings rather than just letting them be more “knowledge” you scan into your brain. But generally, regardless of your familiarity with the teachings presented here, the book can offer a sort of “oasis” of fellowship and inspiration, to anyone who feels inside that kindness, compassion, and “harmlessness” (not hurting anyone or anything), are more important than any “belief” of any kind.
One of the first questions I asked an elder monk was about Buddhism.
“Raga, why is this monastery located here, in a country so full of Buddhists and Buddhist monasteries?”
“Several reasons, which we’ll discuss soon.”
“Are we related to Buddhism in some way?”
“Buddhism is a beloved relative of ours, and thus some of the teachings are the same. But this is not just the case with Buddhism. We are also related to the Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and many, many other religions. Although some religions are almost unrecognizable from their origins now, almost any religion that speaks of One God (regardless of the name they call God), is somehow related.”
“Why is that? Most people consider such religions conflicting, not ‘relatives’, and especially Buddhism - a ‘beloved relative’?”
“The teachings and heritage of the Children of the Law of One™ pre-date Buddhism, and all other religions. They all originally came from teachers or teachings of the Children of the Law of One™ , or those who somehow became one with the Universal Spirit - the One God, in some other fashion. But keep in mind, that while you may find bits of the Children’s teachings here and there in many other spiritual traditions and religions, they are also unique unto themselves. Our teachings are the source, the roots of the many branches of the tree. And unlike some of the branches, the roots are still alive, still totally pure and uncorrupted. They are like the original roots of the grape vine from which all the different varieties of wine grapes eventually developed from. The teachings you are going to hear about and read here in the monastery’s library, are the original, and presented from the pure, direct lineage. Although, keep in mind that any teachings, including these, aren’t as important as simply applying Unselfish Love, kindness, and compassion in your life, regardless of the source. This is where many have gone wrong - making the teachings, or the leaders, or the religions, more important than the point of what they were really for in the first place.”
“So will we learn only the pure original teachings?”
“No. Our knowledge has been accumulating for ages, and you will learn these too. In fact, some of the knowledge is about our existence before our time on Earth. And these too you will learn in time. But we don’t just present the Children’s teachings here. You will also learn the ways and beliefs of all the world’s religions.”
“Why do that if we have the pure and original source of all other teachings here?”
“Other religious teachings, and cultures, are taught for the purpose of revealing the common threads of unity and truth that could be found woven through diverse religions, and to give teachers of the Children of the Law of One™ more of an ability to understand and communicate with anyone they might need to - regardless of their culture or religion. Also because of that, there have been other monasteries of the Children, in various parts of the world.”
Another time, I also asked Gabriel some questions about our monasteries and their relationship to Buddhism.
“The Children’s monasteries, though few in number, were the oldest in many regions of the world, including Tibet. Buddhism as a separate path, didn’t appear until thousands of years after the Children had established monasteries in the ‘East’. Buddhism, like most religions, was in fact, originally one of the offspring or ‘branches’ of the Children. It developed from the effects and teachings of Adept monks of the Children of the Law of One™ . These monks wandered the regions throughout the area, and taught the local people there, and throughout much of what is now called Asia, and the Orient. Various teachers of the Children, who often remained anonymous and never spoke of the secret source of their true lineage or home, became known as ‘Buddhas’. Did you know there was more than one ‘Buddha’?”
“No. I thought Buddha was Buddha, just like Jesus was Jesus.”
“That is not so, there were more than one, just as there were many Zoroasters, and many St. Germains, and...”
“Various reasons. I will explain some other time, but that is not the important subject of our conversation right now.”
Chapter Three "Sources and Descendants of the Teachings" continued...
“Is that why there are different Buddhist traditions, and even variations in their teachings?” I asked.
“Partly. After the various Adepts left, Buddhist religions, of many varieties, sprung up all over Asia as a result, and modified in different ways.”
“What about Zen?”
“Zen is often considered an offshoot of Buddhism, and also considered to be a ‘short-cut’ to enlightenment. But there are no real shortcuts, in the sense that the same things must be experienced, and the death of the selfish separate self ultimately faced and transcended. And while it has become intertwined with Buddhism, the roots of Zen were from one of our Initiates by the name of Zend, which you will undoubtedly read about here when it is time, because you have a connection to Zend, that you will find most interesting and enlightening.” [Author’s note: that statement related to an incarnation of the being also known as Jesus.]
“Zen is our offspring, as is Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism, and Islam.”
“So you could say Buddha was Christian, and Jesus was Buddhist.”
“Yes, but only in a way. You aren’t getting it are you? Think about what you know of (which is quite limited at this time) of the lives of Buddha and Jesus. Do you see anything that conflicts? Or do you see examples of love and compassion - indications of similarity? So what do you think the source of these paths that they spawned, the source of their teachings, the source of their examples, if not the same understanding or the same God?”
“You’re saying these all have the same source?”
“Of course. And notice, they all teach of a Oneness, or a Oneness God, yet they may disagree over names or particulars. And most importantly, they believe in God-ness, good-ness, compassion, Unselfish Love as THE way of life.”
“So they all came from the Children of the Law of One™ . That makes so much sense of so many things that I couldn’t understand before.”
“And this particular monastery, housed the roots of other beliefs and teachings, for several reasons.
Even though well hidden, from those few who had seen it (that were not of the order), legends were born. Even amongst the offspring traditions and religions. They told of a paradise - a beautiful, heavenly community that existed amongst the great mountains.....but it is prophesied that the ‘land of the teachers’ is to be desecrated and destroyed. It has begun. We only have so long. It is just a matter of when now, not if. But it matters not. Which is more important, a container, or that which the container contains?”
Nature, secrecy, and other methods, did protect the monastery - for quite a while longer at least. While countless Buddhist monasteries were destroyed, our monastery remained undiscovered for a while longer. For as long as was necessary in the great scheme of things.
An Infinite Lineage
As I assume you’ve already gathered, when I first began to learn the history of the order, I was just amazed. I had never heard of any religion, spiritual tradition, or culture, with such an extensive lineage, pure lineage, or broad influence. The pre-history and history of many religions can be obscure and have a great deal of “unknowns” about their past and true origins. But the Children record a history that stretches all the way from the creation of life in the Universe, to the present. And while some religions developed from a primitive, ignorant society, and have a lineage of bloody and barbaric intolerance, even the Children’s earliest history on Earth records them as compassionate, tolerant, highly evolved beings living in a sophisticated civilization.
“Where and when did it all start?”
“Did what start?”
“I guess I mean when did the Children of the Law of One™ begin.”
“The Earthly lineage actually begins with the time of Atlantis. The Children of the Law of One™ was the ‘spiritual order’ of those in Atlantis who lived a spiritual life - those who were compassionate, kind, harmless, and wanted to maintain Oneness with God.”
“So where does this monastery in Tibet come into the picture?”
“When Atlantis was on the verge of final destruction from the great upheavals, branches of the Children, having ‘read the signs’, went to various places on Earth. The main group went with the Children’s grand master Thoth, to Egypt, to continue the ‘great work’ [Author’s note: the ‘great work’ he was referring to will be explained later]. After many years in Egypt, that particular branch of the Children went to Tibet. These Atlantean Children of the Law of One™ , including the grand master, were the ancestral founders of our monastery in Tibet.”
“So, if everyone mainly hibernated here at this monastery for so many years, how did they influence or start other religions?”
“All through ‘commonly known’ human history, the Children of the Law of One™ continued to maintain their center in Tibet. But some of its teachers made the great sacrifice of leaving their brothers and sisters in the monastery, to help people in the outside world. They humbly and lovingly traveled throughout the world bringing light into the darkness of the ages. The teachings and influence of these Children, have become the foundations of many other paths, religions, and legends.”
It all made sense of so many things about religions, philosophies, history, and spiritual teachings, that never quite made sense to me before.
You probably wouldn’t even believe it if I told you of all the religions, cultures, arts, and science that have been created based on these “outside world” teachers who lived “disguised” lives. So I won’t. But you can think about it, and draw your own conclusions.
"This rare cut shows the name of God in seventy-two languages inscribed upon the petals of a symbolic sunflower. Above the circle are the seventy-two powers of God according to the Hebrew Kabbalah. Below are two trees, that on the left bearing the symbols of the planets and that on the right the signs of the zodiac and the names of the tribes of Israel. The esoteric doctrines of the Kabbalah are in alignment with the secret teachings of all the schools of philosophy, but the method by which its secrets are revealed to the wise and concealed from the ignorant is most unusual."
The History of Tibetan Yoga
The ancestor of other forms of yoga, Tibetan Yoga is unique in its benefits. You may recognize some familiar postures, breathing, etc. But if you look closer, you’ll discover an integral approach that is missing in many forms of yoga.
Some forms of yoga often focus primarily on postures, breathing, or stretching. Tibetan Yoga uses a balanced holistic combination of stretching, intense aerobic breathing techniques, and ancient secret energy techniques.
Acupuncture Meridian Balancing Yoga Techniques
Totally unique to this yoga, are techniques that balance the acupuncture meridians through a series of simple hand movements around your body. They take only a few minutes to do, but it helps you feel fantastic and healthy every day. We’ve actually measured the points with sophisticated scientific equipment, and seen the results (more below). If your meridians get out of balance or you feel "drained" during the day, you can quickly and easily re-balance yourself
The History of the Most Amazing Yoga I've Ever Seen
Most experts agree, the true origin of "the yogas" have been lost through time. But one in particular, I believe is a possible ancestor/origin, or even "the" origin.
Bodhi Tibetan yoga has been especially unknown, because for ages, it was only practiced by an ancient secret order of monks. Recently, they authorized making a video that teaches a basic, easy "flow" or " routine" of the primary exercises, and released books on their teachings, the pre-history of humankind, .
All of it has been gaining incredible and rapid popularity as word spreads about the "common sense" practical philosophies in their books, and their yogas' uniqueness & benefits.
Also adding to its popularity, is the new technology of yoga videos-DVD's. It can now be easily learned and practiced at home (even with "modern fast-paced lifestyles" because of their "20 Minute" yoga videos).
The Tibetan yoga videos present the basic stretching, postures, movements, energy visualization and breathing methods, in ways anyone can quickly and easily learn.
The powerful energy visualization/hand flows are found in no other yoga (truly traditional Tai Chi or Kung Fu training still incorporate this sort of thing though). The acupuncture meridian balancing flows can be done discretely.
Since all it involves is a few minutes of visualization and subtle movements (that could even look like itching yourself), it can be done on a flight, in a public bathroom stall, in a car (not driving!), etc.
It only takes a few minutes, anywhere, anytime.
I'm in my 50's, and have done just about all the various styles of yoga and meditation out there. These yogic energy exercises are at the top of my list, to revitalize & rejuvenate for instant energy & health boosts. The positive changes in acupuncture meridians have even been proven by scientific measurements of biological electrical properties.
About The Monks Tibetan Yoga Came From
Their lineage is from a recently destroyed monastery in an area of Tibet considered a "forbidden zone", even to most Buddhists. Other primary monasteries were located in the isolated Pyrenees mountains of Spain, The Jungles of the Yucatan, and the mountains of South America.
Before the destruction of their primary monastery in Tibet, they also began an experiment of "coming forward" to the public, with a smaller monastery in California. There, many North Americans joined the order. Those monks were taught by the last "head monk" of the order, who trained at the Tibetan monastery (he passed on 4/22/2002).
They continue the practices and are passing on the lineage and teachings to others, while working towards building a new primary monastery isolated in the Rocky Mountains.
I was fortunate enough to visit their monastery, and I couldn't help but be constantly reminded of a movie I'd seen called "Lost Horizon" (both an old B&W version, and a modern Technicolor version starring Peter Finch, and a host of great actors). Why was it so similar?
I believe the author of the book "Lost Horizon", either also visited, heard stories from those who had, or perhaps even had visions in his dreams. Even his name for the place, Shangri-la, was similar to the name for their monastery "Shargung-la". But most striking, just as in the movies/book, their was no "dogma" as many religions have, and their spiritual beliefs/philosophies were so simple - compassion, caring, unselfishness, kindness, harmlessness and loving one another.
As tools of spiritual growth, they used yoga, meditation, and humble, loving personal interaction/constructive criticism (like you'd use a mirror showing you what you really look like, and what needs to be changed).
I also believe one of the most important tools, is seeing other people (and life events) as "mirrors", to help us see ourselves. I thus welcome, and even ask for, constructive criticism as a tool for change, in an ongoing process of self-improvement.
Bodhidharma traveled to China via the high southern routes across the Himalayas, a trecherous journey filled with storms, landslides and bandits.(Some sources claim Bodhidharma traveled by ship to South China)
Upon reaching China in 527 CE, Bodhidharma traveled to the capital where he was introduced as a learned master of Buddhism. Since he had traveled at great peril from India, the home land of Buddhism and the site of the oldest Buddhist teachings, Bodhidharma was greeted as a great sage. The emperor himself was Buddhist, so the arrival of a sage was considered a blessing on the empire.
Dayan Qigong is a series of forms modeled on the movements and morality of the Wild Goose, recorded by a monk named Dao An in a monastery in the Kunlun Mountains of Western China, 1700 years ago. Our teacher Master Hui Liu, studied for two decades with Grandmaster Yang Meijun, of Beijing, 28th generation lineage holder and a Chinese national treasure.
Yang Meijun transitioned on the Teachers' Full Moon July 23, 2002, a few days before her 108th birthday - August 9th. We are so grateful for her generosity in sharing this practice with many students worldwide!
Dayan Qigong (Wild Goose Qigong) originated from within the Kunlun mountains, to the west of China, north of Tibet during the Jin Dynasty, around 1,800 years ago. Kunlun Shan is traditionally one of China's spiritual mountains. The Daoist monks who resided there developed their Qigong from observing the movements and behaviour of the Wild Geese (known as birds of longevity) which shared the mountains with them. The monks combined their knowledge of Chinese medical principles with the birds' natural movements to create an exceedingly healthy and graceful exercise.
Dayan Qigong contains both vigorous and gentle movements, actions combined with stillness, and beautiful postures. The movements work directly with the acupuncture points and channels, stimulating and opening them, to allow the free flow of Qi. Vigorous movements, including jumping, shaking, slapping, and swooping, release negative Qi while the gentle movements gather fresh Qi. Meditation stores the freshly accumulated Qi.
Of the thousands of styles of Qigong practiced throughout the world today, Dayan Qigong is one of only eleven methods officially sanctioned by the Chinese government, which researched the system's lineage and long history and the masses who have been cured of many illnesses and benefitted from its exercises, as well as its lack of side-effects.
Traditionally the skill had been handed down for generations to one person only, and by custom the inheritor was not allowed to pass it on before reaching the age of 70. The 27th generation inheritor of the system, Grandmaster Yang Meijun (who passed away in 2002 at age 106) decided that with the modern lifestyle and times the skill would likely not survive in this manner and decided to open it to the public as a humanitarian service. She had begun learning at age 13 from her grandfather Yang De Shan, who had learned from a Daoist monk and been entrusted with the skill. Grandmaster Yang kept her the skill hidden throughout the war with Japan and then the Cultural Revolution and began to teach in 1978, past the age of 80. She was well known throughout China and recognized by the Chinese government as one of China's living treasures. She was the Director of the Dayan Qigong Training Centre as well as honorary member of the China Scientific Research Society of Qigong and honorary professor at many universities. Though she taught thousands of people basic forms only five close senior students were authorized by her to teach outside of China. One of these was Master Michael Tse
I'm a Qigong master and I founded my version of Qigong -- Qin Way to Health and Rejuvenation (Qinway Qigong). Although many people in China and America have learned and benefited from my Qigong, originally my dreams in childhood were to be an artist, novelist, astronomer, or scientist such as Madam Curie. Never had I thought of being a Qigong master and sustaining so much hardship.
Qigong grandmaI was weak when I was born. At the age of three, my maternal grandmother (see left) started to teach me meditation. Among many kids in my big family (including some relatives), I was the only one who could easily quiet down and sit in a full lotus position. My hometown in Southern China, Hangzhou, is a beautiful and historic city. But its climate is often cloudy and damp. One day, when I was playing, I accidentally found out that when I was freed of any random thoughts and called sincerely in the direction of the Sun, it would soon come out and shine brightly with the sky covered by splendid rays. That year, I was still in my early teens.
From high school through university, I was deeply occupied by some questions in my mind and tried to find answers beyond textbooks. One of the four most famous Buddhist mountains in China - Sacred Mt. Putuo (where it is said that Quanyin Buddha practiced Buddhism and became enlightened), is not far from my hometown Hangzhou. During a winter break, I went to Sacred Mt. Putuo and was lucky to meet with my mentor Abbess Huikong. She let me understand the real nature of Qigong and taught me invaluable secret Qigong exercises and true methods.
During this period of time, I gradually came to understand the renowned Chinese philosophy of "unity of human with universe". From what Abbess Huikong and later some other Qigong grandmasters taught me and my own practice of " dispelling-the-clouds-to-seeing-the-Sun", I was fully convinced of the ancient philosophy of "unity of human being with universe" and its epochal meaning for the wellbeing of humanity.
In 1992 a remarkable person and remarkable type of gong emerged in China's qigong circles. These were the Falun Gong, which was accepted by the China Qigong Science Research Association as a school of gong, with Li Hongzhi as its founder, directly under the Association's purview. Li Hongzhi made his first public appearance in May the same year. With his completely new approach that changed the traditional theories and methods of gong, and with his unique skills and characteristics, he has been attracting more and more qigong afficionados. All people who have shown interest in practicing Falun Gong are filled with admiration for his profound theories and methods, amazed by the superlative powers of his gong, and have been drawn by the unique effects of his gong. Falun Gong is like a resplendent pearl that, with its dazzling light, is dispelling the accumulated dust in the hearts of gong practitioners and has lit a bright light on the broad path of cultivation and practice (xiu lian da dao).
Li Hongzhi was born into an ordinary intellectual's family in the city of Gongzhuling, Jilin Province on May 13, 1951 (the eighth day of the fourth moon by the lunar calendar).
As a child, Li Hongzhi stood apart from his peers by virtue of his natural intelligence and benevolence. Seeing how hard his mother had to work, he took up, of his own accord, such chores as looking after the house, cooking meals, chopping firewood, and taking care of his younger brother and sister. The latter and his peers liked to play with him, as they always felt safe when they were doing so.
At the age of four, Li Hongzhi was given personal instruction in the highest traits of zhen-shan-ren (truthfulness, benevolence, forbearance) by Master Quan Jue, tenth-generation teacher of Buddhist Dafa, which is passed on to only a single disciple. At first, the master would only play with him and did not teach him Gongfu. If he did something good, the master would be pleased; if he did something bad, the master would show his displeasure. At times, his childish nature would make him deliberately do naughty things, such as fighting with his little friends. But after that, something would always happen. Sometimes he would trip and fall time and again for no apparent reason and would not be able to stand steadily on his feet. At other times, no one knew why, the skin on his hand would break open and blood would flow. Whenever this happened, the master would stand at a distance and look on without saying a word. And when Li refused to admit he had been wrong, some bigger children would suddenly come and give him a beating. The master would still look on very sternly without saying anything. A smile would appear on his face only when the boy admitted he had been wrong.
When Li Hongzhi was eight years old, he suddenly became aware that something had appeared at the corner of his eyes. Gradually, he realized they were the words zhen-shan-ren. It was the master who had impressed these words in his eyes. No one else could see them, but they were constantly visible to him. In the years that followed, the master told him the meaning of these words: Zhen means to do true things and speak the truth; it means not practicing deception or speaking untruths, and not concealing one's mistakes; this will eventually result in the attainment of truth. Shan means to be kind and compassionate, to refrain from bullying people, to sympathize with the weak, help the poor; it means that one should always be ready to help others and do good things. Ren means that, when one experiences difficulties and suffers injustices, one should look at the bright side of things, be able to hold out, refrain from resentment and hatred, refrain from nursing grievances and taking revenge, be able to endure the worst of adversities and things that normal people are unable to endure. These apparently simple words contain an incomparable wealth of intentions; they are the highest of natural mysteries (tian ji) in the universe. Whenever Li Hongzhi recalls this incident in his past, he declares with deep feeling: "The first master stayed with me for a full eight years for the sake of these three words. This shows to what pains he was willing to go. Zhen-shan-ren sounds easy, but are most difficult to practice. The master not only had me see these words at all times, he also wanted to impress them firmly in my mind, and he stayed with me until he saw that I was truly able to carry them out." It was these strict demands that laid a solid xin xing (temperamental) foundation in the young soul of Li Hongzhi.
At the age of eight, Li Hongzhi was already highly proficient in Dafa and had acquired supernatural powers. When he played hide-and-seek with his companions, he had only to think "other people cannot see me" to make himself invisible to others, who could not see him even if they directed a flashlight at his face. With a simple flick of a finger, he could draw long, rusty, and crooked nails out of pieces of wood. When water pipes froze up in winter, he had only to tap them with his hand for the pipes to bend; even he himself did not know how he did this. As he was playing with his little companions in snow-covered fields, he could jump and fly through the air. If he found two people about to get into a fight, he could prevent one of them from approaching the other simply by thinking that that person should not go near the other person.
One day, when in the fourth grade of elementary school, Li left school without taking along his school bag, and when he went back to get it the door of the classroom was locked and the windows had been shut. He thought that it would nice if he could get in. No sooner had the thought flashed through his mind than he found himself in the classroom. Another thought, and he was out again. Even he thought this was miraculous. On another occasion he had this thought: what would it feel like to be in the middle of a window pane? No sooner had he thought this than he found himself positioned in the window. He at once felt as if his body and brain were filled with shards of glass; it was most uncomfortable, so he hurriedly got out again. He did not know, at the time, what was the power of gong; he thought everyone was like this, and paid no attention to the matter.
The first master had a great influence on Li Hongzhi. He planted the seeds of zhen-shan-ren in his soul, conferred on him extraordinary gong, cultivated his xin xing, and caused him to develop many excellent qualities. Li Hongzhi has always been ready to help others; whatever he does, he thinks of other people first. When he sees a stone in the road, he picks it up and throws it to one side for fear that someone else may be tripped up by it. When he was in elementary school, he often went to Nanhu Lake to swim. One day, as he walked past the lake on his way home, he suddenly heard people shouting: "Someone has fallen in the water! That person won't make it!" He approached and saw a person struggling weakly in the water some distance from the shore. Without a word he took off his clothes, jumped in the water, and quickly swam across to the person. "Take a deep breath," he said. "Don't struggle. I will save you!" That person obediently did what was asked of him. As Li Hongzhi pulled the person onto the bank of the lake, he found that the victim was an adult much bigger than himself. After the person had recovered somewhat, Li went home. Such things happened more than once, but he never told anyone about them. Ten or more years later he touched upon these incidents in passing, as though such things were quite natural and deserved no mention. As a youngster, Li Hongzhi was a very compassionate person. He would shed copious tears whenever he saw descriptions in movies and novels about the sufferings of good people.
Li's first master left him when he was twelve years old. Before leaving, the master said to him: "There will be more masters coming to teach you." The second master taught him, in the main, the Gongfu of the Taoist school; simultaneously he studied bare-handed fighting methods, fighting with sword and spear, and both internal and external gong. The master would take him to places where there were no other people and practice gong with him. When practicing the ma bu zhan zhuang (immobile stance with legs spread apart), he would stand like that for hours on end, frequently with sweat pouring down like rain. His body became as flexible as cotton as and hard as iron. Two years passed, season after season. Ordinary people can hardly imagine how much perspiration he expended. He practiced until he attained the acme of perfection. A deep affection grew between his master and himself, yet this master also left. Before leaving, the master told him: "My name is Baji Zhenren and my wanderings take me across the four seas. After I leave, remember just one thing: Work hard at practicing gong." In the years that followed, Li Hongzhi kept that admonition firmly in mind. He worked hard at practicing gong. In the silence of the night, in places no one knew about, come winter or summer, day in and day out, he practiced until his hands were covered with calluses. There is no telling how many shirts and jackets were soaked through with his perspiration. His persistence was rewarded: at an early age, his Gongfu had already reached the highest world levels.
Li Hongzhi began to work in 1972. Around this time, his third master--a Grand Dao master--came to him from the Changbai Mountains. The Daoist title of this master was Zhen Dao Zi. He differed from the two previous masters in that he did not wear religious vestments; he looked like an ordinary person and he never said where he lived. This master taught the internal cultivation of gong. Most of the practicing was at night, since people did not dare openly practice gong in those days. Sometimes the master would train him by calling out his subjective awareness (zhu yishi) and, even when asleep, he could feel the master putting things in his mind and in his celestial eye (tian mu). The internally cultivated gong of Grand Dao places very strict requirements on xin xing, and the master demanded that he conduct xin xing cultivation in his everyday life. Whenever he did something wrong, the master would censure and admonish him through the mouths of other people. Because of such strict requirements, Li Hongzhi's xin xing attained an extraordinarily high realm. His colleagues, sensing that he was straightforward, sincere, and honest, all wanted to make closer acquaintance with him. He never argued with people. Some people did not understand this and said he was stupid, that he was not getting or demanding what belonged to him. He had indeed reached the state where he had absolutely no regard for the multitudinous desires and personal interests of ordinary people. He let all such things take their natural course, took little interest in them, and treated them with equanimity. Other people would take up the cudgels against the injustices and censure to which he was subjected, but he himself dismissed such things with a smile.
The Grand Dao master left in 1974. After that a Buddhist female master came to teach him the theories and methods of Buddhist Gong. By this time, although Li was only twenty-three or twenty-four years old, his powers of gong had attained a very high level. In 1982, Li switched jobs and went to work in the city of Changchun, where he put even greater efforts into cultivating his gong. In the ten or more years that followed, he would change masters practically every time he reached a new level; some were Buddhist masters, others Daoist masters. At each level he reached, he suffered hardships and tribulations, many of which are inconceivable to ordinary people.
Today, the gong powers attained by Li Hongzhi have reached an extremely high level, some of which can hardly be imagined by ordinary people. One evening in July, 1990, he and several apprentices were practicing gong in the courtyard of a government organization in Beijing. Soon, the sky became overcast. Lightning flashed and thunder rolled, seemingly just overhead, and the apprentices were becoming somewhat nervous. According to the rules of most types of fa, such weather was inappropriate for practicing gong. However, they saw their master sitting with his legs crossed on a large stone, steady as a mountain and showing not the least sign of vacillation or any intention of withdrawing. So they continued to practice gong. Strangely enough, although the clouds were very heavy and very low, and thunder shook the skies, no rain fell. When the practicing came to an end, the master calmly told his apprentices: "It will not start to rain before half an hour is up. You may leave now with your hearts at ease." One of the apprentices lived in the western part of the city, and it took him about half an hour to get home by bus. Just as he stepped through the door of his house, the rain came pouring down, as if a hole had been pierced in the sky. There are many such miraculous stories told about Li, but they will not be recounted in this article, as ordinary people may find it hard to accept them.
After several decades of arduous cultivation and refining, not only did Li's powers of gong reach extremely high levels, but more importantly, he began to see the truth of the universe, to see more and better things that have always existed in the universe, to see the origins of mankind, and to see the development and future of mankind.
As Li Hongzhi experienced all these travails, one thought kept nagging at his heart: Why did the masters teach me Gongfu? Why am I here in the world? He had no time to inquire too much into the matter while he was practicing gong. He would think about the matter occasionally, but never found any answers. Along with the increasingly higher levels of his gong powers, however, he acquired an ever deepening recognition of humanity and human life.
The human race should have been good and beautiful in the first place, but because it has lost its xin zhi (mental wisdom), people's souls are now being corrupted and their bodies are suffering tortures. Their economic living standards are rising by the day, but their spiritual qualities cannot keep up. His heart pained him whenever he thought of this. The people need strong and healthy bodies, and they need good and beautiful souls, if they are to build up a good and beautiful society and a good and beautiful life. He became aware of his own responsibility, and he made up his mind to devote his efforts to making people physically healthy and to constructing a good and beautiful paradise of the soul. He made up his mind to attain this objective by refashioning the Dafa, which he had spent so many years learning and cultivating on his own, into a Dafa suitable for practice by ordinary people. He also saw that this objective, although good and beautiful, would be very difficult to attain; the road would be filled with complexities, hardships, and dangers. Once he had made up his mind, however, he took action without the least hesitation.
Starting in 1984, Li Hongzhi conducted conscientious investigations into the various schools of qigong in and outside the country and participated in a number of qigong teaching classes. He analyzed the characteristics of modern man, since Dafa had to be adapted to the regularities of life of ordinary people if it was to blossom among ordinary people. Ordinary people have to work, and can spend only a limited amount of time to practice gong. Traditional practicing methods are overelaborate and take too long to improve one's gong. Dafa should discard these shortcomings while retaining their advantages and strong points. He saw that the desires of the mind (xin zhi suo zhi) are the foundation of the health of humanity. All people wish for things good and beautiful, but all bad things have emerged because people have lost their xin zhi. Because the practicing methods of Falun Xiufo Dafa that Li himself had practiced in the past were not suitable for wide popularization, he made up his mind to fashion a Dafa suitable for practicing by modern man--the Falun Gong.
Starting in 1984, Li Hongzhi threw himself heart and soul into the fashioning of Falun Gong. The Buddhist Falun (Dharma wheel), the yin and yang of Daoism, in fact everything in the universe, is reflected in Falun Gong. As he was fashioning Falun Gong, his masters all came back. Supreme masters of Buddhism, Daoism, Grand Dao, and other schools all took part. Every movement and position of Falun Gong was determined under the guidance of these masters and after repeated deliberations and repeated drilling and personal experience. That is why Falun Dafa not only reflects concepts from Buddhism, but assembles all the mysterious forces of the universe and is the quintessence of the entire universe. Today, it is concentrated in the person of Li Hongzhi. After Falun Gong was finalized in 1989, Li was in no hurry to spread it in society . For caution's sake, he first had a few of his apprentices practice this gong. After two years of observation, he found all of these apprentices had reached very high levels. In other types of Gong, the level known as san hua ju ding (three flowers assembling over one's head) is attained only after ten or more years of practice, or even after decades of practice. But some of his apprentices had attained this level after only two years of practicing Falun Gong. This shows that their gong powers improved very quickly.
In May 1992 Li Hongzhi, obeying the calls of duty, made his first public appearance. The China Qigong Science Institute had, after conscientious investigations, fully endorsed the theory, methods, and effectiveness of Falun Gong and accepted it as a school of Gong directly under the purview of the Institute. It also rendered much concrete support and assistance for the popularization and teaching of Falun Gong. To date, Li has already been invited to set up several dozen classes to teach Falun Gong in various places in China and has had hundreds of thousands of students. Wherever he goes, he has received an enthusiastic welcome and vigorous support from learners of Falun Gong. Practice has proved that Falun Gong has miraculous powers and has produced inestimable effects. Li is tirelessly traveling from place to place and fulfilling his mission in a down-to-earth manner. All people who have learned Falun Gong realize that Falun Dafa is indeed a great fa for practitioners, that it has a high starting point, and that it offers much to its practitioners and selflessly provides them with treasures of the highest order. This is something that no other schools of gong are able to do.
The selflessness of Falun Gong is first of all manifested in the low charges collected for it. Wherever he sets up classes, Li Hongzhi insists on the lowest possible charges. Some types of gong have been subjected to corrective action by supervisory organizations because their charges are too high, but every time Falun Gong classes are set up, repeated negotiations are held with the supervisory organizations because charges for the classes are too low. It is not possible to waive all charges. Charges are collected for renting venues. The contracting organizations collect service charges. And after transportation fees, fees for food and lodging, and various other fees and charges are paid, very little is left. Everything that is left is used for Falun Gong construction. Li Hongzhi frequently says that, since this is for the salvation of mankind, we should not increase the burden on practitioners. Falun Gong could very well become a means for Li to become rich. Some people have approached Li Hongzhi and, with promises of high remuneration, have wanted to monopolize the teaching of Falun Gong. Some people have even invited him abroad to make big money. But all such offers have been rejected. Li has time and again reiterated his objective to serve the people. He resolutely refuses to engage in cult activities.
Falun Gong means giving and offering, and it possesses supernatural force. During his teaching classes, the first thing Li does is to adjust the students' physiques, until these students reach a state where they are suitable for studying and practicing Dafa. On this basis, he will place a Falun (Dharma wheel) in the lower abdomen of each student. This Falun, which will be used to help the student practice Falun Gong, spins 24 hours a day and is there for the purpose of fa lian ren (the fa cultivating the person). In other words, a person cannot practice gong at all times, while the Falun at all times helps the practitioner practice gong, so that modern man is absolved of the difficulties caused by the brevity of the time available for practicing gong. Moreover, he also places Falun in other parts of the student's body. Some of these Falun help to practice gong, others cure illnesses. They revolve constantly, and automatically adjust the physical condition of the practitioner. To help students master the essentials of practicing gong, he also places shang qi ji (qi promoting mechanism) on the exterior of the student's body. Like the Falun, these qi ji revolve constantly and lead the students onto the correct path of practicing gong, as well as causing the practitioner's circulatory system (jing mai) to revolve according to the zhou tian (the circulatory system of the universe).
It is safe to practice Falun Gong. No practitioners of Falun Gong will suffer from adverse changes. Li Hongzhi has time and again emphasized that no problems must arise in the practicing of Dafa. Falun Gong has excluded all factors that are likely to lead to adverse changes. For instance, there can be no yi nian in the course of practicing gong, nor can there be spontaneous gong. Also, each student is protected by his or her fa shen (Dharma body); the family of each student, and even the venue where he or she practices gong, is cleansed and protected by a "safety hood" (anquan zhao) that ensures that the student is not affected by evil information.
VHalf a year after Li Hongzhi's first public appearance in December 1992, upon receiving an invitation from the 1992 Dongfang Health Exposition, he personally led his disciples to the exposition to support the country's large-scale qigong activities. At this exposition, Li Hongzhi's name and the Falun Gong that he had devised immediately created a sensation in the capital city. Li Rusong, the general director of the exposition, and Professor Jiang Xuegui, the exposition's chief consultant, spoke very highly of Li Hongzhi's extraordinary gong strength and Falun Gong's enormous power. Li Rusong said: "The first letter of commendation received at this exposition praises Falun Gong. Falun Gong has also received the greatest number of letters of commendation." Professor Jiang said: "I have personally seen how Teacher Li Hongzhi has performed many miracles at this exposition. Falun Gong has proven itself to be the star school of gong at this exposition. As the chief consultant of the exposition, I, on my own responsibility, recommend Falun Gong to all of you."
At the 1993 Dongfang Health Exposition, Li was invited to serve as a member of the exposition's organizing committee, and Falun Gong was demonstrated at the exposition by special invitation. Li Hongzhi's academic report on quigong, presented at the exposition, opened up a new world before his listeners and evoked great interest among qigong afficionados. It had originally been decided that influential qigong masters would each present one report, but because people felt they had not heard enough after Li Hongzhi had given his report, the exposition's organizing committee decided to put on another session. People still felt they had not heard enough, so a third session was organized. All three reports were given to packed audiences, and when no more seats were available some people sat on the floor while others stood throughout the two-hour reports. Li donated all the earnings from his second report to the "China Volunteer-for-a-Just-Cause Foundation" (jian yi yong wei ji jin hui).
In view of the outstanding contributions made to the grand convention of the exposition by Li Hongzhi and by the Falun Gong sponsored by him, the convention's organizing committee and the convention's experts committee jointly decided to present the convention's sole and highest award--the "Borderline Sciences Progress Award"--to Li Hongzhi. The convention also conferred on him a special gold award and the title "Welcomed Qigong Master" in recognition of his merits. At that exposition, Li Hongzhi was honored with more awards than any other qigong master.
Today, Li Hongzhi is leading his disciples to large and medium-sized cities all over China where they are giving classes to teach Falun Dafa and ehlping people who have practiced gong for many years without much improvement rise to higher levels. He is making new contributions to people's physical and mental health as well as propagating Falun and the cultivation of Dafa.
Near Oraibi, Arizona, there is a petroglyph known as Prophecy Rock that symbolizes many Hopi prophecies said to be over 10,000 years old. Hopi is an ancient Indian village. Their ancestors passed down many prophecies on the origin, history and future of mankind. They did not use scripts but passed them down by word of mouth from generation to generation. In the 1950's, the prophecies were made public in English for the first time. Due to the remote history, hardly any one can provide an appropriate explanation of the leftmost radiating circle and the swastika in the center. Some websites even removed the left part and only explained the center part. The following is a summary of the past interpretations of the Prophecy Rock.
The time scale starts from the left to right and is in thousands of years along the horizontal direction. The swastika in the sun on the left side represents the origin of the universe. The large human figure on the left is the Great Spirit. The Top Line represents the path of white man's path of science and technology without any spirituality to balance it; the bottom line represents a spiritual path in harmony with nature. There are three vertical lines. The first line is the beginning time of the prophecy.
Each circle represents a cycle of life's annihilation and renewal. The leftmost small circle refers to the annihilation of humanity at the beginning of this cycle of civilization. It may match the "Great Flood" described in legend.
The bar between the paths, above the cross, is the coming of white men (the Cross is that of Christianity). It also shows a time when mankind decides which path to follow, materialism or spiritualism. The four small human figures on the upper road represent, on one level, the past three worlds and the present; on another level, the figures indicate that mankind will travel the white man's path, having been seduced by the glamour of its civilization on the surface. The two circles on the bottom line represent the first and second World Wars. The heavy dark vertical line at the end is the decision time for which path to follow, which is today. It represents the last chance for humanity to turn back to nature before the scientific road disintegrates and dissipates. If the material path is followed, as represented by the top horizontal line, the result is a very jagged line that will result in destruction. If the lower spiritual path is followed, the result will be peace and harmony.
The small circle after the last chance is the Great Purification, after which corn will grow in abundance again, the Great Spirit will return, and the Path of Life will continue forever...
Explorations in Grand Canyon
Mysteries of Immense Rich Cavern Being Brought To Life
Jordan Is Enthused
Remarkable Finds Indicate Ancient People Migrated From Orient.
The latest news of the progress of the explorations of what is now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archaeological discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in the world, which was mentioned some time ago in the Gazette, was brought to the city yesterday by G. E. Kinkaid, the explorer who found the great underground citadel of the Grand Canyon during a trip from Green river, Wyoming, down the Colorado, in a wooden boat, to Yuma , several months ago. According to the story related yesterday to the Gazette by Mr. Kinkaid, the archaeologists of the Smithsonian institute, which is financing the explorations, have made discoveries which almost conclusively prove that the race which inhabited the mysterious cavern , hewn in solid rock by human hands, was of oriental origin, possibly from Egypt, tracing back to Ramses. If their theories are borne out by the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved. Egypt and the Nile, and Arizona and the Colorado, will be linked by a historical chain running back to ages which staggers the wildest fancy of the fictionist.
A Thorough Investigation.
Under the direction of Prof. S. A. Jordan, the Smithsonian institute is now prosecuting the most thorough explorations, which will be continued until the last link in the chain is forged. Nearly a mile underground, almost 1480 feet below the surface, the long main passage has been delved into, to find another mammoth chamber from which radiates scores of passageways, like the spokes of a wheel. Several hundred rooms have been discovered, reached by passageways running from the main passage, one of them having been explored for 854 feet and another 634 feet. the recent finds include articles which have never been known as native to this country, and doubtless they had their origin in the orient. War weapons, copper instruments, sharp-edged and hard as steel, indicate the high state of civilization reached by these strange people. So interested have the scientists become that preparations are being made to equip the camp for extensive studies, and the force will be increased to thirty or forty persons.
Before going further into the cavern, better facilities for lighting will have to be installed, for the darkness is dense and quite impenetrable for the average flashlight. In order to avoid being lost, wires are being strung from the entrance to all passageways leading directly to large chambers. How far this cavern extends no one can guess, but it is now the belief of many that what has already been explored is merely the "barracks" to use an American term, for the soldiers, and that far into the underworld will be found the main communal dwellings of the families. The perfect ventilation of the cavern, the steady draught that blows through, indicates that it has another outlet to the surface.
Mr. Kinkaid's Report.
Mr. Kinkaid was the first white man born in Idaho and has been an explorer and hunter all his life, thirty years having been in the service of the Smithsonian. Even briefly recounted, his history sounds fabulous, almost grotesque:
"First, I would impress that the cavern is nearly inaccessible. The entrance is 1,486 feet down the sheer canyon wall. It is located on government land and no visitor will be allowed there under penalty of trespass. The scientists wish to work unmolested, without fear of hunters. A trip there would be fruitless, and the visitor would be sent on his way. The story of how I found the cavern has been related, but in a paragraph: I was journeying down the Colorado river in a boat, alone, looking for mineral. Some forty-two miles up the river from the El Tovar Crystal canyon, I saw on the east wall, stains in the sedimentary formation about 2000 feet above the river bed. There was no trail to this point, but I finally reached it with great difficulty. Above a shelf which hid it from view from the river, was the mouth of the cave. There are steps leading from the entrance some thirty yards to what was, at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level of the river. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the entrance, I became interested, securing my gun and went in. During that trip I went back several hundred feet along the main passage, till I came to the crypt in which I discovered the mummies. One of these I stood up and photographed by flashlight. I gathered a number of relics, which I carried down the Colorado to Yuma, from whence I shipped them to Washington with details of the discovery. Following this the explorations were undertaken.
The main passageway is about 12 feet wide, narrowing to nine feet feet toward the farther end. About 57 feet from the entrance, the first side-passages branch off to the right and left, along which, on both sides, are a number of rooms about the size of ordinary living rooms of today, though some are 30 by 40 feet square. These are entered by oval shaped doors and are ventilated by round air spaces through the walls into the passages. The walls are about three feet six inches in thickness. The passages are chiseled or hewn as straight as could be laid out by an engineer. The ceilings of many of the rooms converge to a center. The side- passages near the entrance run at a sharp angle from the main hall, but toward the rear they gradually reach a right angle in direction.
Over a hundred feet from the entrance is the cross-hall, several hundred feet long, in which are found the idol, or image, of the people's god, sitting cross-legged, with a lotus flower or lily in each hand. The cast of the face is oriental, and the carving shows a skillful hand, and the entire is remarkably well preserved, as is everything in this cavern. The idol most resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that this worship most resembles the ancient people of Thibet. Surrounding this idol are smaller images, some very beautiful in form; others crooked-necked and distorted shapes, symbolical, probably, of good and evil. There are two large cactus with protruding arms, one on each side of the dais on which the god squats. All this is carved out of hard rock resembling marble. In the opposite corner of this cross-hall were found tools of all descriptions, made of copper. These people undoubtedly knew the lost art of hardening this metal, which has been sought by chemists for centuries without result. On a bench running around the workroom was some charcoal and other material probably used in the process. There is also slag and stuff similar to matte, showing that these ancients smelted ores, but so far no trace of where or how this was done has been discovered, nor the origin or the ore.
Among the other finds are vases or urns and cups of copper and gold, made very artistic in design. The pottery work includes enameled ware and glazed vessels. Another passageway leads to granaries such as found in oriental temples. They contain seeds of various kinds. One very large storehouse has not yet been entered, as it is twelve feet high and can be reached only from above. Two copper hooks extend on the edge, which indicates that some sort of ladder was attached. These granaries are rounded, as the materials of which they are constructed, I think, is a very hard cement. A gray metal is also found in this cavern, which puzzles the scientists, for it's identity has not been established. It resembles platinum. Strewn promiscuously over the floor everywhere are what people call "cat's eyes", a yellow stone of no great value. each one is engraved with the head of the Malay type.
On all of the urns, or walls over doorways, and tablets of stone which were found by the image, are the mysterious hieroglyphics, the key to which the Smithsonian Institute hopes yet to discover. The engraving on the tablets probably has something to do with the religion of the people. Similar hieroglyphics have been found in southern Arizona. Among the pictorial writings, only two animals are found. One is a prehistoric type.
The tomb or crypt in which the mummies were found is one of the largest chambers, the walls slanting back at an angle of about 35 degrees. On these are tiers of mummies, each one occupying a separate hewn shelf. At the head of each is a small bench, on which is found copper cups and pieces of broken swords. Some of the mummies are covered in clay, and all are wrapped in a bark fabric. The urns or cups on the lower tiers are crude, while as the higher shelves are reached the urns are finer in design, showing a later stage of civilization. It is worthy of note that all the mummies examined so far have proved to be male, no children or females being buried here. This leads to the belief that this exterior section was the warrior's barracks.
Among the discoveries no bones of animals have been found, no skins, no clothing, no bedding. Many of the rooms are bare but for water vessels. One room, about 40 by 700 feet, was probably the main dining hall, for cooking utensils are found here. What these people lived on is a problem, though it is presumed that they came south in the winter and farmed in the valleys, going back north in the summer. Upwards of 50,000 people could have lived in the caverns comfortably. One theory is that the present Indian tribes found in Arizona are descendants of the serfs or slaves of the people which inhabited the cave. Undoubtedly a good many thousands of years before the Christian era a people lived here which reached a high stage of civilization. The chronology of human history is full of gaps. Professor Jordan is much enthused over the discoveries and believes that the find will prove of incalculable value in archaeological work.
One thing I have not spoken of , may be of interest. There is one chamber of the passageway to which is not ventilated, and when we approached it a deadly, snaky smell struck us. Our lights would not penetrate the gloom, and until stronger ones are available we will not know what the chamber contains. Some say snakes, but others boo-hoo this idea and think it may contain a deadly gas or chemicals used by the ancients. No sounds are heard, but it smells snaky just the same. The whole underground installation gives one of shaky nerves the creeps. The gloom is like a weight on one's shoulders, and our flashlights and candles only make the darkness blacker. Imagination can revel in conjectures and ungodly daydreams back through the ages that have elapsed till the mind reels dizzily in space.
An Indian Legend
In connection with this story, it is notable that among the Hopi Indians the tradition is told that their ancestors once lived in an underworld in the Grand Canyon till dissension arose between the good and the bad, the people of one heart and the people of two hearts. Machetto, who was their chief, counseled them to leave the underworld, but there was no way out. The chief then caused a tree to grow up and pierce the roof of the underworld and then the people of one heart climbed out. They tarried by Paisisvai (Red River), which is the Colorado, and grew grain and corn. They sent out a message to the Temple of the Sun, asking the blessings of peace, and good will and rain for the people of one heart. That messenger never returned, but today at the Hopi villages at sundown can be seen the old men of the tribe out on the housetops gazing towards the sun, looking for the messenger. When he returns, their lands and ancient dwelling place will be restored to them. That is the tradition. Among the engravings in the cave is seen the image of a heart over the spot where it is located. The legend was learned by W. E. Rollins, the artist, during a year spent with the Hopi Indians. There are two theories of the origin of the Egyptians. One is that they came from Asia; another that the racial cradle was in the upper Nile region. Heeren, an Egyptologist, believed in the Indian origin of the Egyptians. The discoveries in the Grand Canyon may throw further light on human evolution and prehistoric ages.
NOTE: The following was originally published by Wesley Bradshaw in the National Review, Vol. 4, No. 12, December 1880 (and handed down to me by my grandmother)
The last time I ever saw Anthony Sherman was on July 4, 1859, in Independence Square. He was then 99 years old, and becoming very feeble. But though so old, his dimming eyes rekindled as he gazed upon Independence Hall, which he came to visit once more.
“Let us go into the hall,” he said. “I want to tell you an incident of Washington’s life - one which no one alive knows of except myself; and, if you live, you will before long, see it verified.
“From the opening of the Revolution we experienced all phases of fortune, now good and now ill; one time victorious and another conquered. The darkest period we had, I think, was when Washington, after several reverses, retreated to Valley Forge, where he resolved to spend the winter of 1777. Ah! I have often seen our dear commander’s care-worn cheeks, as he would be conversing with a confidential officer about the condition of his poor soldiers. You have doubtless heard the story of Washington’s going to the thicket to pray. Well, it was not only true, but he used often to pray in secret for aid and comfort from God, the interposition of whose Divine Providence brought us safely through the darkest days of tribulation.
“One day, I remember well, the chilly winds whistled through the leafless trees, though the sky was cloudless and the sun shone brightly, he remained in his quarters nearly all the afternoon alone. When he came out, I noticed that his face was a shade paler than usual, and there seemed to be something on his mind of more than ordinary importance. Returning just after dusk, he dispatched an orderly to the quarters of the officer I mention who was presently in attendance. After a preliminary conversation of about half an hour, Washington, gazing upon his companion with that strange look of dignity which he alone could command said to the latter:
“‘I do not know whether it is owing to anxiety of my mind, or what, but this afternoon, as I was sitting at this table engaged in preparing a dispatch, something seemed to disturb me. Looking up, I beheld standing opposite me a singularly beautiful female. So astonished was I, for I had given strict orders not to be disturbed, that it was some moments before I found language to inquire the cause of her presence. A second, a third, and even a fourth time did I repeat my question, but received no answer from my mysterious visitor except a slight raising of her eyes.
“‘Presently I heard a voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn,” while at the same time my visitor extended her arm eastwardly. I now beheld a heavy white vapor at some distance rising fold upon fold. This gradually dissipated, and I looked upon a strange scene. Before me lay spread out in one vast plain all the countries of the world---Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. I saw rolling and tossing, between Europe and America, the billows of the Atlantic, and between Asia and America lay the Pacific.
“‘“Son of the Republic,” said the same mysterious voice as before, “look and learn.” At that moment I beheld a dark, shadowy being, like an angel, standing, or rather floating, in the hollow air, between Europe and America. Dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of each hand, he sprinkled some upon America with his right hand while with his left hand he cast some on Europe. Immediately a cloud raised from these countries and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it remained stationary, and then moved slowly westward, until it enveloped America in its murky folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through it at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans and cries of the American people.
“‘A second time the angel dipped water from the ocean, and sprinkled it out as before. The dark cloud was then drawn back to the ocean, in whose heaving billows it sank from view. A third time I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” I cast my eyes upon America and beheld villages and towns and cities springing up one after another until the whole land, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, was dotted with them. Again I head the mysterious voice say, “Son of the Republic, the end of the century cometh, look and learn.”
“‘At this the dark shadowy angel turned his face southward, and from Africa I saw an ill-omened spectre approach our land. It flitted slowly over every town and city of the latter. The inhabitants presently set themselves in battle array against each other. As I continued looking, I saw a bright angel, on whose brow rested a crown of light, on which was traced the word “Union,” bearing the American flag which he placed between the divided nation, and said, “Remember ye are brethren.” Instantly, the inhabitants casting from them their weapons became friends once more, and united around the National Standard.
“‘And again I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” At this, the dark, shadowy angel placed a trumpet to his mouth and blew three distinct blasts; and taking water from the ocean, he sprinkled it upon Europe, Asia, and Africa. Then my eyes beheld a fearful scene. From each of these countries arose thick, black clouds that were soon joined into one. And throughout this mass, there gleamed a dark red light by which I saw hordes of armed men, who, moving with the cloud, marched by land and sailed by sea to America, which country was enveloped in the volume of cloud. And I dimly saw these vast armies devastate the whole country, and burn the villages, towns and cities that I beheld springing up.
“‘As my ears listened to the thundering of the cannon, clashing of swords, and the shouts and cries of millions in mortal combat., I again heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.” When the voice had ceased, the dark shadowy angel placed his trumpet once more to his mouth, and blew a long and fearful blast.
“‘Instantly a light as of a thousand suns shone down from above me, and pierced and broke into fragments the dark cloud which enveloped America. At the same moment the angel upon whose head still shone the word “Union,” and who bore our national flag in one hand and a sword in the other, descended from the heavens attended by legions of white spirits. These immediately joined the inhabitants of America, who I perceived were well-nigh overcome, but who immediately taking courage again closed up their broken ranks and renewed the battle. Again, amid the fearful noise of the conflict, I heard the mysterious voice saying, “Son of the Republic, look and learn.”
“‘As the voice ceased, the shadowy angel for the last time dipped water from the ocean and sprinkled it upon America. Instantly the dark cloud rolled back, together with the armies it had brought, leaving the inhabitants of the land victorious.
“‘Then once more I beheld the villages, towns and cities, springing up where I had seen them before, while the bright angel, plating the azure standard he had brought in the midst of them, cried with a loud voice: “While the stars remain, and the heavens send down dew upon the earth, so long shall the Union last.” And taking from his brow the crown on which was blazoned the word “Union,” he placed it upon the Standard, while the people, kneeling down, said “Amen.”
“‘The scene instantly began to fade and dissolve, and I at last saw nothing but the rising, curling vapor I at first beheld. This also disappearing, I found myself once more gazing upon the mysterious visitor, who in the same voice I had heard before, said, “Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted. Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third.”
“(The comment on his word ‘third’ is: The help against the THIRD peril comes in the shape of Divine assistance; passing which, the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and Union.)”
“‘With these words the vision vanished, and I started from my seat and felt that I had seen a vision wherein had been shown me the birth, progress, and destiny of the UNITED STATES.”
“Such, my friends,” concluded the venerable narrator, “were the words I heard from Washington’s own lips, and America will do well to profit by them.”
That Lincoln had a precognitive dream about his own untimely death is well documented. He related the dream to his close friend, Ward Hill Lamon:
About ten days ago, I retired very late. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room. No living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds met me as I passed alone. I was puzzled and alarmed. Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room. Before me was a catafalque on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng or people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. "Who is dead in the White House?" I demanded of one of the soldiers. "The president," was his answer. "He was killed by an assassin."
Meditation on the Divine Will
This fragment was found and preserved by John Hay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, who said it was "not written to be seen of men." Some of the thoughts expressed here, written after discouraging days of personal sorrow and military defeats, also appear in Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address of 1865.
Hay said that in this writing "Mr. Lincoln admits us into the most secret recesses of his soul .... Perplexed and afflicted beyond the power of human help, by the disasters of war, the wrangling of parties, and the inexorable and constraining logic of his own mind, he shut out the world one day, and tried to put into form his double sense of responsibility to human duty and Divine Power; and this was the result. It shows -- as has been said in another place -- the awful sincerity of a perfectly honest soul, trying to bring itself into closer communion with its Maker."
The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party -- and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose. I am almost ready to say that this is probably true -- that God wills this contest, and wills that it shall not end yet. By his mere great power, on the minds of the now contestants, He could have either saved or destroyed the Union without a human contest. Yet the contest began. And, having begun He could give the final victory to either side any day. Yet the contest proceeds.