89. What is the meaning of the vow “Let God punishes me with thunders?” (& Q90)

The vow “Let God punishes me with thunders” means to be hit by the five thunders. Thunder is pure yang, the most righteous of all yang. Its strength is like diamond.

The five thunders are,

  1. the thunder of Heaven,
  2. the thunder of Earth,
  3. the thunder of yang,
  4. the thunder of yin, and
  5. the thunder of Dharma.

When the thunder of Heaven strikes, the overcast sky becomes clear immediately.
When the thunder of Earth strikes, all lives and matters sprout.
When the thunder of yang strikes, all evil spirits vanish.
When the thunder of yin strikes, all demons and monsters hide.
When the thunder of Dharma strikes, Tien-Tao is spread rapidly.
“Thunder” is not necessarily restricted to that of the weather.

Thunders
Thunders lightning flash (Image by O12 from Pixabay)

The five thunders
also exist in one’s body.

The thunder of Heaven strikes when one feels shameful and angry as his face and ears turn red.
The thunder of Earth strikes when one hesitates to do unrighteous acts.
The thunder of yang strikes when one feels anxious as he encroaches propriety.
The thunder of yin strikes when one becomes nervous as he conspires.
The thunder of Dharma strikes when one becomes troubled, even in his dreams, as his mind becomes astray.

Whenever the desire and the conscience confront each other, it is the time the five thunders strike.

If one repents at this moment,

  • respects the thunder of Heaven to open his door to Heaven,
  • becomes alert to the thunder of Earth to close the door to the Underworld,
  • holds the thunder of yang to retain his true spirit,
  • refrains the thunder of yin to intensify his true vitality and
  • follows the thunder of Dharma to calm the soul, his three treasures of the body (soul, spirit, and vitality) gather and his Qi of the five fundamental elements (wood, water, fire, metal, and earth) coagulate.

Then it’s not difficult for him to restore his original True Self and enjoy the everlasting purity and tranquility. Three thousand years ago, Saints like Duke Zhou had felt the power of wind and thunder, and Confucius had written down the mystic changes of wind and thunder.

If one does not repent
when his five thunders strike,

  • his vitality would be expended,
  • his Qi of the five fundamental elements dispersed,
  • his soul worn down,
  • his Po 16 lost, and
  • his Hun 16 shaken.

He would look exhausted, become sick, and wouldn’t know the cause of his death. The punishment of thunder needs not come from thunders that can be seen and heard.

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90. What’s the meaning of the essence passed on from Emperor Yao to Emperor Shun “The Human Nature is precarious; the True Nature is obscure; be refined and be one; be amenable and uphold the center.”

The Human Nature is precarious and unstable.

Mankind is one of the “Three Powers* in the cosmos. Humans possess Li-xing 14, thus mankind is the dominion on Earth. The heart is the center of the cosmos. It governs everything.

The Human Nature is senses and emotions. It has been contaminated by fancies. It is what is called the nature of the Qi-xing 14 and Zhi-xing 14 in Hou-tien. 10 It can be good or evil.

If the heart is dominated by Shi-shen, 38 emotions and desires are generated constantly. It is half yang and half yin, so it can be good or evil. It’s not centered.

If it biases toward yang, one cannot concentrate. If it biases toward yin, one becomes vague. Unable to concentrate or being vague is dangerous. Therefore, the Human Nature is precarious.


* The “Three Powers” are Heaven, Earth, and mankind. See Question 9.

The True Nature is obscure.

Tao is the origin of Heaven and Earth. It encompasses everything and is also the origin of all lives. The True Nature is wisdom, the true conscience, and the manifestation of the quiescent, pure, mysterious, and bright True Self. It is what’s being called the original Truth in Xian-tien. 10

It does not make any distinction between the good and the bad, for Its wisdom is full and bright.

The True Self,
  • is void and quiescent.
  • It’s not born nor does it vanish.
  • It cannot be enhanced nor can it be reduced.
  • It is tenuous, mysterious, and cannot be projected.

Therefore, it is said the True Nature is obscure.

Be refined and be one.

Be refined means to be enlightened. Be one means to be sincere. By being refined one can overcome vagueness. By being sincere one can concentrate.

Being refined one can be enlightened. Being sincere one can reach Oneness. Once a person reaches this state, he is bright and quiet, his tranquility and wisdom flow together and feeds each other.

This way,

  • his emotions return into his True Self,
  • his knowledge turns into wisdom,
  • his precarious Human Nature becomes settled from danger, and
  • his obscure True Nature becomes bright and clear.

It is the same as that the enlightened is always sincere, and the sincere is always enlightened.

In short,

being refined and being one is the technique of eliminating fancies and returning to the Truth, and enlightening to the original bright True Self.

Be amenable and uphold the center.

To be amenable means to obey with faith.
To uphold means to return and follow the Truth.
The center is the Void and the abstruse existence out of the Void.

The Void is so enormous that nothing is outside, and so minute that nothing is inside. The existence is abstruse because the existence has no beginning or end.

Center encompasses all Three Domains 22 and crosses all ten directions. 39 It is the noble path of all Three Domains and the Truth of the universe.

In short,

be amenable and uphold the center means to obey the noble path of the center with faith and to return and follow the Truth.


These words are the essence passed on from Emperor Yao to Emperor Sun, King Wen, King Wu, Duke Zhou, and Confucius, the essence that one Saint passed on from one to another with meeting of their hearts. It is what the five great religions have in common following. It is the Truth that will never change.

In conclusion,

what has been passed on by the mean of meeting of hearts cannot be analyzed or discussed. It is the true essence of Tao that has been carried among the Patriarchs which originally has no word.

The Vajra Sutra states,

Subhuti said to the Buddha,
World Honored One,* if a good man or a good woman resolves his heart on Anuttarasamyaksambodhi, ** how should he dwell (so he is constantly resolved on Anuttarasamyaksambodhi)? How should he subdue his heart (when fancying thoughts come up)?’
The Buddha said ‘… should thus dwell, should thus subdue his heart.’”

Anuttarasamyaksambodhi is the True Nature.
Fancying thoughts are the Human Nature.
Thus is to be amenable and uphold the center.


*A name used in Sutras to honor Sakyamuni Buddha.
**This is a Sanskrit term referring to the perfect and universal enlightenment of a Buddha.

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