"Ge Xuan 葛玄 was especially adept at curing illness." Who is Ge Xuan? Ge Xuan is the granduncle of Ge Hong, so it's all in the family here. So here we have Ge Hong telling stories about his granduncle. You know he is especially adept at curing illnesses. "Ghosts and demons would all manifest their forms before him; some of these he would send off, others he would execute…" We'll see how. So he starts to tell the story: "Ge Xuan once stayed as a guest in someone's home while passing through Wukang. The host was sick, and had commissioned a female spirit-medium to call down a god on his behalf." So here we have that traditional religion of the spirit mediums alive and well, and the host is sick and he wants to achieve healing by going through this spirit medium who calls a god down to possess her body and then will speak through and give a recipe maybe for what he should do to be healed, whatever. "Through the medium, the god commanded Xuan"—Ge Xuan— "to drink some ale, which Xuan refused to do, and otherwise spoke rudely to him." So here we have Ge Xuan speaking rudely to the god via of course the spirit medium. Sorry, it's the god who's speaking rudely to Ge Xuan. "At this, Xuan grew angry and shouted, 'How dare you, you perverse demon!' Xuan then commanded the Five Earls" —some other gods about which we know nothing— "to apprehend the god [through the medium], take him out, tie him to a post, and whip him." "The medium then seemed to be led outside by invisible beings. Upon reaching the courtyard, the medium hugged a pillar as her gown was removed, then fell to the ground as a whipping sound was heard and blood was seen flowing from her back. Then, in a demonic voice"—usually the demonic voice is a kind of screech, yee, like that. "Then, in a demonic voice, the god through the medium begged for its life. Xuan said, 'If I pardon you of this capital offense' —in another words you deserve to be executed for bringing illness to this person who didn't deserve it— 'can you cure this living person's illness?' 'I can,' said the god through the medium. 'Very well, I will give you three days' time. If this sick man is not well by then, I will deal with you.' The medium was then released, and the host recovered from his illness." So that's one story of Ge Xuan and we can see this as a clear conflict of religions. So the attack on shamanism that we saw starting with the philosophers, it continues but now in the form of a religious conflict. On another occasion, "Ge Xuan was passing by a temple, the god of which often forced travelers to dismount [and present offerings] when they came within a hundred paces [of the temple]. Inside the temple grounds were several dozen trees which were the home of many birds which no one dared [to] molest. Xuan, riding [in] a carriage"—he's a member of the elite— "passed by without getting down"—very very rude. "In a moment a great wind swirled up toward Xuan's carriage from behind, scattering dust up into the sky. "Those following him all scattered, but Xuan only became incensed and cried," once again, "'How dare you, you little demon!' He raised his hand as if to stop the wind, and [the wind] died down at once." Now listen carefully: "Xuan then rode back and threw a talisman up into the temple treetops." Remember we saw that talismans <i>fu</i> 符 were one of the key things, items used by Daoists to control the invisible world, so that's it, he throws a talisman up into the temple treetops, and what happens? "The birds there all fell down dead, and within a few days, all the trees had withered even though it was the height of summer; and soon thereafter a fire broke out in one of the temple rooms and burned the temple completely to the ground." Now I'd like to say that the relationship between religions was always harmonious in China and there was never any conflict. Well, we see there was conflict between religions and in fact there is a wonderful little term, [three]-character phrase in one of the very earliest texts, which dates probably to the fourth century in any case. Called <i>Dengzhen yinjue</i> 登真隱訣, it's part of the Shangqing revelations but in fact it concerns the rituals which are transmitted to one of the true persons—a woman, Wei Huacun 魏華存— transmitted to her insofar as she was in fact a member of the Tianshidao, of the Heavenly Master movement. And in it, there is a whole series of <i>fu</i>, and there's this phrase which is <i>po [fang]miao</i> 破[房]廟, to destroy <i>fantan pomiao</i> 翻壇破廟, to overturn the altars of gods and to destroy their temples. So we see here that even though we're not in a Heavenly Master context in this particular story, we're nonetheless still very much in the same context of using talismans and—we will see in a moment—memorials in order to attack the religion of the people. So, "burned the temple completely to the ground." So we're going to continue now with other stories, not this time about Ge Xuan but about someone called Luan Ba 欒巴, who as I recall actually has a hagiography or biography in the <i>Hou Hanshu</i> 後漢書, that is to say the account, the history of the Latter Han, but here we're still in this book of Ge Hong, the <i>Shenxian zhuan</i>. So Luan Ba was governor of Yuzhang 豫章— Yuzhang is modern Nanchang, so northern Jiangxi, right near the Changjiang, the Yangtze River. So, "Before Luan Ba was made Governor of Yuzhang, there had been a god in the temple at Mount Lu." Lushan 廬山 is a very very famous [mountain] in Chinese history right down to the history of Mao Zedong. So "this god would converse with people, drink liquor, and throw its cup in the air. The god could make the wind blow on Lake Dongting 洞庭湖"—the nearby lake, a very large lake, just south of the Yangtze River. "He could make the wind blow on Lake Dongting in two directions at once, so that travelers in either direction would have the wind in their sails." Very practical! "But, a couple of weeks before Ba arrived at his post, the god in the temple no longer made a sound, and no one knew where it had gone." He's clearly worried about, he's got the news about the appointments sent down in this world and he's worried, as well, he might be. "When Ba arrived, he personally submitted a memorial." There we have it—talismans and memorial. One of the very earliest statements about the Heavenly Masters, which I believe dates to around the year 250 AD, the statement that is, is <i>yi fuzhang huozhong</i> 以符章惑眾, "they tricked the people—the masses— using talismans and memorials" or petitions. So here we've seen in these stories, both of these being used, not in a Heavenly Master context but in this <i>fangshi</i> context. So "when Ba arrived, he personally submitted a memorial saying that this 'temple demon'" —so once again we see this attitude of the self-cultivators towards the religion of the people— saying that this "temple demon had falsely arrogated the title of a celestial official and had been duping and depleting the common people for a long time"— <i>huozhong</i>, there you have it, "duping and depleting the common people" —depleting, taking their money—"for a long time". It was time for the demon to be punished for its crimes. The memorial sent by Luan Ba asked that notice be given to the personnel evaluation sections [of all districts] that he was personally going to be pursuing and capturing this demon." Remember we saw a title called <i>hegui</i> 劾鬼, that is to say to investigate demons and deal with them. So he's "going to pursue and capture this demon; for, if it were not controlled and punished, he feared it would continue to roam about the world, eating blood sacrifices"— <i>xueji</i> 血祭 is the term in Chinese. And this is the key distinction between all forms of Daoism of the self-cultivators and then of the Heavenly Master community and local religion of the gods and the spirit mediums: the one has blood sacrifice, killing animals, which are then made offerings, used as offerings to the gods and of course and the meat then is eaten by the community of the god, okay? Whereas the Heavenly Masters, like these self-cultivators, these searchers for longevity or transcendence, reject blood sacrifice, because what they're doing is to save life, so how can you kill life? And of course Buddhism will sort of underscore that attitude that there should not be blood sacrifices, so this whole process engaged by Daoism and Buddhism together each in their own way against <i>xueji</i> —against the blood sacrifices of popular religion in the name of <i>haosheng</i> 好生— that is to say love of life—preservation of life, okay. So. He was afraid that "it would continue to roam about" —this evil demon— "eating blood sacrifices wherever it went, visiting sickness on the good people without due cause in order to increase the offerings made to it." So here we can see that economy of exchange, okay? You don't give me the offerings I demand from you through the spirit medium of course, well then you'll see, I will make you sick, okay? So that idea of <i>guizhu</i> 鬼注, of demon infixation or ghost infixation, that Li Jianmin talked about in his article on medicine in this period, well, here we see it: "visiting sickness on the good people without due cause," that's the whole idea, because if you have this wonderful accounting system like it's described in the <i>Taiping jing</i> or the whole system of karmic retribution like in Buddhism, then people are paid in accordance with their merits or their faults. But without due cause, it's because—in Chinese you say <i>taluanlai</i> 他亂來— he just does whatever he wants without any authorization— and so he causes sickness. Why? Because he's greedy for more offerings, okay? So a very very different economy of exchange versus an economy of moral reciprocity, which puts aside payment, offerings, blood sacrifice. Back to the story of Luan Ba: "When Luan Ba tracked the god down," or this demon down, "he discovered it had taken the appearance of a student and, by virtue of 'his physical beauty [and] his talent for disputation'" —a good talker— "he won the hand of the local governor's daughter. Luan Ba asked to speak with him but he refused to come out." Well, he knows what's going to happen! So "Ba wrote a talisman"—once again!— "and gave it to the governor to show to his son-in-law. This forced the disguised demon-god to come out: On seeing Ba from a distance, his body already changed into that of a fox." Stories of fox spirits bewitching men are very very common all across North China and right straight down to the present day, okay? So here we have one, an early version of that story of these fox spirits who are, cause trouble, who possess people and cause trouble. So "his body is already changed into that of a fox, but his face was still that of a human. Ba cursed him in a stern voice: 'How dare you, you dead fox! Why do you not revert to your complete, true form, <i>zhenxing</i> 真形?'" We've talked about that ready also, that the talismans, because they represent divine power, can force the demons to reveal their true form. And so here we have a very concrete instance of that, how that true form is then manifested and then can be dealt with. And, "with that he turned completely into a fox." So these adepts of the Dao, these searchers of transcendence, tried to function in an "alternate economy," but the "communities, by erecting shrines to [them] and presenting them food offerings were in effect treating them just like local gods" —temple gods, the very temple gods that they're fighting against. So we can say that once dead, sort of like Catholic saints, they were pulled back into the popular religion of local, reciprocal obligation.