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This year both our ruler and [Shusun] are likely to die. The essential vigor and brightness of the mind is what we call the [ hun ] and the [ po ]. When these leave it, how can the man continue long?

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Hun and po souls, explains Yu , "are regarded as the very essence of the mind, the source of knowledge and intelligence. Death is thought to follow inevitably when the hun and the p'o leave the body. We have reason to believe that around this time the idea of hun was still relatively new. O soul, come back! Why have you left your old abode and sped to the earth's far corners, deserting the place of your delight to meet all those things of evil omen?

In the east you cannot abide. There are giants there a thousand fathoms tall, who seek only for souls to catch, and ten suns that come out together, melting metal, dissolving stone …. In the south you cannot stay. There the people have tattooed faces and blackened teeth, they sacrifice flesh of men, and pound their bones to paste …. For the west holds many perils: The Moving Sands stretch on for a hundred leagues. You will be swept into the Thunder's Chasm and dashed in pieces, unable to help yourself In the north you may not stay.

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There the layered ice rises high, and the snowflakes fly for a hundred leagues and more…. Climb not to heaven above. For tigers and leopards guard the gates, with jaws ever ready to rend up mortal men …. Go not down to the Land of Darkness, where the Earth God lies, nine-coiled, with dreadful horns on his forehead, and a great humped back and bloody thumbs, pursuing men, swift-footed Hu —32 proposed, "The idea of a hun may have been a contribution from the southern peoples" who originated Zhao Hun rituals and then spread to the north sometime during the sixth century BCE.

Calling this southern hypothesis "quite possible", Yu cites the Chuci , associated with the southern state of Chu , demonstrating "there can be little doubt that in the southern tradition the hun was regarded as a more active and vital soul than the p'o. The Chuci uses hun 65 times and po 5 times 4 in hunpo , which the Chuci uses interchangeably with hun , Brashier Ancient Chinese generally believed that the individual human life consists of a bodily part as well as a spiritual part. The physical body relies for its existence on food and drink produced by the earth.

The spirit depends for its existence on the invisible life force called ch'i , which comes into the body from heaven. In other words, breathing and eating are the two basic activities by which a man continually maintains his life. But the body and the spirit are each governed by a soul, namely, the p'o and the hun. It is for this reason that they are referred to in the passage just quoted above as the bodily-soul hsing-p'o and the breath-soul hun-ch'i respectively. Loewe explains with a candle metaphor; the physical xing is the "wick and substance of a candle", the spiritual po and hun are the "force that keeps the candle alight" and "light that emanates from the candle".

The Yin po and Yang hun were correlated with Chinese spiritual and medical beliefs. The liver stores the blood, and the blood houses the hun. When the vital energies of the liver are depleted, this results in fear; when repleted, this results in anger. When the vital energies of the lungs are depleted, then the nose becomes blocked and useless, and so there is diminished breath; when they are repleted, there is panting, a full chest, and one must elevate the head to breathe.

The Lingshu Jing Brashier also records that the hun and po souls taking flight can cause restless dreaming, and eye disorders can scatter the souls causing mental confusion. Han medical texts reveal that hun and po departing from the body does not necessarily cause death but rather distress and sickness.

Brashier —6 parallels the translation of hun and po , "If one were to put an English word to them, they are our 'wits', our ability to demarcate clearly, and like the English concept of "wits," they can be scared out of us or can dissipate in old age. During the Han Dynasty , the belief in hun and po remained prominent, although there was a great diversity of different, sometimes contradictory, beliefs about the afterlife Hansen ; Csikszentmihalyi —, — Han burial customs provided nourishment and comfort for the po with the placement of grave goods , including food, commodities, and even money within the tomb of the deceased Hansen Chinese jade was believed to delay the decomposition of a body.

Pieces of jade were commonly placed in bodily orifices, or rarely crafted into jade burial suits. Generations of sinologists have repeatedly asserted that Han-era people commonly believed the heavenly hun and earthly po souls separated at death, but recent scholarship and archeology suggest that hunpo dualism was more an academic theory than a popular faith. Anna Seidel analyzed funerary texts discovered in Han tombs, which mention not only po souls but also hun remaining with entombed corpses, and wrote , "Indeed, a clear separation of a p'o , appeased with the wealth included in the tomb, from a hun departed to heavenly realms is not possible.


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Brashier , "The thinking of ordinary people seems to have been quite hazy on the matter of what distinguished the hun from the po. Kenneth Brashier reexamined the evidence for hunpo dualism and relegated it "to the realm of scholasticism rather than general beliefs on death.

For instance Baldrian-Hussein , "Since the volatile hun is fond of wandering and leaving the body during sleep, techniques were devised to restrain it, one of which entailed a method of staying constantly awake. Ge Hong 's ca. The "Genii" Chapter argues that these dual souls cause illness and death. All men, wise or foolish, know that their bodies contain ethereal as well as gross breaths, and that when some of them quit the body, illness ensues; when they all leave him, a man dies. In the former case, the magicians have amulets for restraining them; in the latter case, The Rites [i.

These breaths are most intimately bound up with us, for they are born when we are, but over a whole lifetime probably nobody actually hears or sees them. Would one conclude that they do not exist because they are neither seen nor heard? Ware — It is particularly effective for raising those who have died of a stroke.

In cases where the corpse has been dead less than four days, force open the corpse's mouth and insert a pill of this elixir and one of sulphur, washing them down its gullet with water. The corpse will immediately come to life. In every case the resurrected remark that they have seen a messenger with a baton of authority summoning them. Ware My teacher used to say that to preserve Unity was to practice jointly Bright Mirror, and that on becoming successful in the mirror procedure a man would be able to multiply his body to several dozen all with the same dress and facial expression.

The liver stores the blood, and the blood houses the hun. When the vital energies of the liver are depleted, this results in fear; when repleted, this results in anger. When the vital energies of the lungs are depleted, then the nose becomes blocked and useless, and so there is diminished breath; when they are repleted, there is panting, a full chest, and one must elevate the head to breathe. The Lingshu Jing Brashier also records that the hun and po souls taking flight can cause restless dreaming, and eye disorders can scatter the souls causing mental confusion. Han medical texts reveal that hun and po departing from the body does not necessarily cause death but rather distress and sickness.

Brashier —6 parallels the translation of hun and po , "If one were to put an English word to them, they are our 'wits', our ability to demarcate clearly, and like the English concept of "wits," they can be scared out of us or can dissipate in old age. During the Han Dynasty , the belief in hun and po remained prominent, although there was a great diversity of different, sometimes contradictory, beliefs about the afterlife Hansen ; Csikszentmihalyi —, — Han burial customs provided nourishment and comfort for the po with the placement of grave goods , including food, commodities, and even money within the tomb of the deceased Hansen Chinese jade was believed to delay the decomposition of a body.

Pieces of jade were commonly placed in bodily orifices, or rarely crafted into jade burial suits. Generations of sinologists have repeatedly asserted that Han-era people commonly believed the heavenly hun and earthly po souls separated at death, but recent scholarship and archeology suggest that hunpo dualism was more an academic theory than a popular faith.

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Anna Seidel analyzed funerary texts discovered in Han tombs, which mention not only po souls but also hun remaining with entombed corpses, and wrote , "Indeed, a clear separation of a p'o , appeased with the wealth included in the tomb, from a hun departed to heavenly realms is not possible. Brashier , "The thinking of ordinary people seems to have been quite hazy on the matter of what distinguished the hun from the po. Kenneth Brashier reexamined the evidence for hunpo dualism and relegated it "to the realm of scholasticism rather than general beliefs on death.

For instance Baldrian-Hussein , "Since the volatile hun is fond of wandering and leaving the body during sleep, techniques were devised to restrain it, one of which entailed a method of staying constantly awake. Ge Hong 's ca. The "Genii" Chapter argues that these dual souls cause illness and death. All men, wise or foolish, know that their bodies contain ethereal as well as gross breaths, and that when some of them quit the body, illness ensues; when they all leave him, a man dies.

In the former case, the magicians have amulets for restraining them; in the latter case, The Rites [i. These breaths are most intimately bound up with us, for they are born when we are, but over a whole lifetime probably nobody actually hears or sees them. Would one conclude that they do not exist because they are neither seen nor heard? Ware — It is particularly effective for raising those who have died of a stroke. In cases where the corpse has been dead less than four days, force open the corpse's mouth and insert a pill of this elixir and one of sulphur, washing them down its gullet with water.

The corpse will immediately come to life. In every case the resurrected remark that they have seen a messenger with a baton of authority summoning them. Ware My teacher used to say that to preserve Unity was to practice jointly Bright Mirror, and that on becoming successful in the mirror procedure a man would be able to multiply his body to several dozen all with the same dress and facial expression. My teacher also used to say that you should take the great medicines diligently if you wished to enjoy Fullness of Life, and that you should use metal solutions and a multiplication of your person if you wished to communicate with the gods.

By multiplying the body, the three Hun and the seven Po are automatically seen within the body, and in addition it becomes possible to meet and visit the powers of heaven and the deities of earth and to have all the gods of the mountains and rivers in one's service. The Daoist Shangqing School has several meditation techniques for visualizing the hun and po. This causes the vital force to decay, especially during sexual activity, and eventually leads to death. The inner alchemical practice seeks to concentrate the vital forces within the body by reversing the respective roles of hun and po , so that the hun Yang controls the po Yin.

The number of human "souls" has been a long-standing source of controversy among Chinese religious traditions. Stevan Harrell concludes, "Almost every number from one to a dozen has at one time or another been proposed as the correct one. When rural Taiwanese perform ancestral sacrifices at home, they naturally think of the ling-hun in the tablet; when they take offerings to the cemetery, they think of it in the grave; and when they go on shamanistic trips, they think of it in the yin world.

Because the contexts are separate, there is little conflict and little need for abstract reasoning about a nonexistent problem. Two "souls" is a common folk belief, and reinforced by yin-yang theory. These paired souls can be called hun and po , hunpo and shen , or linghun and shen.

Three "souls" comes from widespread beliefs that the soul of a dead person can exist in the multiple locations. The missionary Justus Doolittle recorded that Chinese people in Fuzhou. Believe each person has three distinct souls while living. These souls separate at the death of the adult to whom they belong.

One resides in the ancestral tablet erected to his memory, if the head of a family; another lurks in the coffin or the grave, and the third departs to the infernal regions to undergo its merited punishment. During the Later Han period, Daoists fixed the number of hun souls at three and the number of po souls at seven. According to Needham and Lu , "It is a little difficult to ascertain the reason for this, since fives and sixes if they corresponded to the viscera would have rather been expected.

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Sanhunqipo also stand for other names. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Categories : Chinese culture Chinese philosophy Chinese folk religion Afterlife Spiritualism Chinese words and phrases. Hidden categories: Use Harvard referencing from December Articles containing Chinese-language text Articles with Chinese-language external links. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.


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  4. Hun and po;
  5. The soul, that part of the soul as opp. The mind; wits; faculties. Form; shape. The disc or substance of the moon from the time it begins to wane to new moon. The wits; the spiritual faculties.