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Strange Sign, Surprising Result

Xiamen University students recently made a survey at a cross road near the university campus, a section where a pedestrian walking bridge was built over a busy intersection.

The test was to see how people reacted towards different types of notice board. They designed 3 notice boards with different content,  displaying them in turn for few days, and in between there would be some days with no notice board at all.

 

The results below show how many people still crossed the road, not choosing to use the walking bridge despite the signs:

 

No notice board 69.78%
"Please use walking bridge" 70.02%
"It only takes 9.4 seconds more to use the walking bridge" 60.97%
"You ugly if you cross the road" 41.12%

 

My Encounter With a 500 Year Old Sage (5) PDF Print E-mail
Kaleidoscope
China Uncensored Staff   

Preface: Mr. Ping is a 500 year old Daoist (Taoist), whom I have been keeping contact with since I was born. This memoir is based on my own, and a few other peoples experiences who have been involved with Mr. Ping and myself. It is not a continuous storyline.

This journey made me realize that many things in the world are not what people normally perceive through their eyes.....

Continues:

The second time we met Mr. Ping when I was five. I remember it was raining heavily, Ping with his broken edged straw hat stood outside our house. Mum and second aunty were sewing shoe soles and I was playing with the small things from Mum's sewing box. Aunty saw Mr. Ping first and elbowed Mum slightly, Mum raised her head and saw Mr. Ping standing there.

Mum had a very good memory and recognized Mr. Ping straight away. She quickly invited Ping inside the house and asked me to kowtow to him to thank him for having saved my life. Mr. Ping quickly stood in the corner of the room saying "Bu Ke qi." (no worries)

My father was running a small business in town which was 3 or 4 kilometers from home, so he returned home late in the evening most days.

Ping told my Mum that he happened to passing here, so just dropped in to see me. He stared at me for quite awhile, and then was going to leave. Mum would not let him go, saying, it is such heavy rain at the moment, he must stay for dinner, as my father will be back for dinner; and would definitely want to see Ping, otherwise, he would blame my Mum.

Mr. Ping, agreed to stay, and sat near the corner of the house. I found Mr. Ping quite interesting and felt quite close to him, I would have liked to go there to play with him, but I just stared at him and did not dare to go there.

3, Digging earthly dragons

My father got back in the evening, and regretted that he did not know earlier that Mr. Ping was here, so he could buy some good food in town. But Ping was not so good with expression, just repeated,  "do not worry, I am very grateful to be fed, as I have been wandering all the time, and living everywhere under the sky."

Father did not want to treat Mr. Ping shabbily, so he went out in the rain and dug some snails from the crop field. Mum also borrowed some eggs and liquor from our villagers.  In those times, having meat and eggs was quite a feast, Mr. Ping was very nervous when he saw that we prepared that kind of feast for him. After Dad's constant persuasion, Mr. Ping took out his own bowl and wanted to use his own bowl for dinner, but he insisted he will not sit with us around the table. Dad insisted that Mr. Ping must sit at the best seat, otherwise our whole family will not have dinner. It was a stalemate for a long time!

I felt the dinner was getting cold and my tummy was making noises, I had swallowed a  bucket of my saliva while watching the dishes being prepared. I could not wait any more, and picked a piece of egg and quickly pushed it into my mouth. “Pa” my father gave me a big smack and I was on the floor crying.

Ping came quickly, cuddled me and touched my head and said, do not hit the kid. He then told me to sit at the best seat and he sat beside me. Once Ping was sitting down, Father finally asked Mum and all sat to eat. Mr. Ping did not eat meat, only some wild vegs and rice, so I had a really good meal that day!

After Father's repeated persuasion, Mr. Ping agreed to stay with us for over a week. My father was a very proud person, well known in our area; he regarded himself as well learned capable type and looked down on many people, but he respected Mr. Ping very highly. My father was also very interested in martial arts, taiji, acupoint pressure..

During that week, Dad quite often did not go to look after his business, but chatted with Mr. Ping at home. He asked Ping many questions about those issues. I did not understand what they said, but felt quite at ease with Mr. Ping, I crawled around Ping’ s feet, some times grabbing his feet. Dad would shout at me, but Ping would just hold me up and smile. He also reminded my Dad not to be too strict with me.

I remember, one day, just after the rain, the ground was quite wet. Ping held my hand  and said “let’s go to catch an earthly dragon”. I did not know what is dragon, but going out was definitely a very pleasant thing!

I held Mr Ping’s hand,  and jumped, ran….it was like flying. We had been to many places which I did not know the names of, mountains, big pine trees and huge white birds. Very beautiful and interesting. But when I grew up,  I tried to find those places that Ping took me to, but was never able to find them again within 5 kilometres of my home.

During our walk, Mr. Ping would stop at certain places, and look around the ground as he told me that he was looking for a dragon hole. Once found, Mr. Ping would wipe the surface of the soil with his hand, and would find a hole as big as a thumb, and water would pour refreshingly out of the hole. Then he would fetch out a ceramic bottle from his cloth bag, and face the bottle towards the hole, while he would mumble something. Soon I could see an earthworm climbing into the bottle out of the mud hole. So I realized that these earth worms are what Mr. Ping calls the "earth dragon".

I know that during the autumn harvest season, the paddy field at the back of our village, was always full of earthworms. They were quite fat, we would all carry baskets and follow Mum to catch them. We would fill half of the basket, and cook a very nice meal. I liked very much the dish called "worm steamed tofu" that Mum cooked. My saliva flows even just thinking about it. But I never knew that worms could be caught at this time of the year, and on dry land.

But this worm seemed different to what I had seen before, it had a long beard and carp's tail. I did not think much, just was having fun. Mr Ping also told me how to look for the dragon holes, so I joined the search. but I could tell just by staring at the ground and I just knew some places would have a dragon hole. After I told Mr Ping the place I felt, he always found a hole there. Mr. Ping praised me, saying that I have a "wisdom root". But I have no feeling now when looking at the ground. I just do not have the feeling I used to have.

Sometimes the hole seemed very deep and the earth dragon did not want to come out. The hole was about the size of the wrist, and Mr. Ping would draw some strange figures, and mumble some words, then he would take a small knife and dig the hold deeper. The water underground would constantly spill upwards, sometimes like a fountain. Finally, an earth dragon with a reddish coloured body, as long as a rice field eel, crawled out of the water hole. Mr. Ping would pick a red straw from his pocket, and put that straw in the water. The earth dragon would stop twisting its body, obediently reach the grass edges, let Mr. Ping catch it and put it in the ceramic pot, and seal it.

We had been catching dragons all afternoon, and when we returned at sunset, we saw Mum standing at the entrance of the village waiting for us.

When we got home, I looked forward to having cooked worms but we did not have any that night. I was too shy to ask and two days later Mr. Ping left us.

I remember before Mr. Ping left, according to grandpa's request, Dad took a pre-wrapped parcel, with fine heirloom antiques, to give to Mr. Ping. Mr. Ping refused. Dad said that it was grandpa's last wish, if Mr. Ping did not want to takeit , Dad cannot face grandpa's will. So Mr. Ping picked one piece from the parcel, which was an old locket, supposed to be an ornament to protect the person who wears it.

I was told that my grandpa wore it when he was little; and Dad wore it when he was young, and I wore it when I was younger. We do not know how many generations had worn it. The ornament was made from thousand year old iron. According to Dad, they were nails found in an ancient tomb. The nails were used to nail coffins, and now the timber and nails were all rotten, but some of the nails and metal turned black without rusting, so our ancestors would pile this iron to cast it and make this ornament.

The ornament was black, and had not rusted for so many years. But Mr. Ping said that there are bad elements embedded in this stuff, so he took it away for us. He did not want anything else. So Dad said that all these things belonged to Mr. Ping, as grandpa insisted, so we would just look after this parcel for Mr. Ping. He can take it whenever he like in the furture.

4, "Yin-Ling" - corresponding spirit (part 1)

Years later, when I met Mr. Ping again, I asked him about the worms, Mr. Ping laughed and told me that those worm-like creatures are really wild dragons. I was very surprised, as I thought that dragons had horns, scales, were huge and could fly into the sky, making rain or turning over the clouds, creating a roar of wind when it passes, making thunder constantly, how could it be such a small worm?

Ping says with a smile: "Dragon are beings that do not belong in our human world. A long long time ago, dragons could enter and leave our space, but later this human space became too polluted, they will die and decay quickly once they fall into this space. "

Ping said, all life in the universe has a reincarnation cycle, and there must be such a cycle to maintain its life. If the cycle is broken, life will end. The universe also has a reincarnation cycle, the three realms are the lowest, and humans reside in the middle of the three realms. So humans are in the lowest cycle of the universe. Many things need to have a root in the human world, otherwise they cannot go back along the cycle and they will die. Like trees, if they have no roots, they will have no chance to get nutrients to allow them to get back alive.

This "earthworm" is actually the "Yin-ling" of the dragon. "Yin-Ling can be translated as Corresponding Spirit. That is the dragon's spirit, turned into a flesh body in this human space.  

To be continued.

Translated from DJY

Read part 4

 

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