Tag Archives: Mythology

Monkey King

Monkey King

“Monkey King”, also known as “Journey to West” written by Wu Ch’eng-en (1500?-1582) a scholar-official, is one of the renowned classical Chinese novels about an allegorical rendition of the journey, mingled with Chinese fables, fairy tables, legends ,superstitions, popular beliefs, monster stories, and whatever the author could find in the Taoist and Buddhist religions.

It was based on a true story of a famous Chinese monk, Xuan Zang (602-664). After years of trials and tribulations, he travelled on foot, budgeting what resources he could to make it to what is today India, the birthplace of Buddhism, to seek for the Tripitaka, the Buddhist holy teachings. This was before the time of unlimited conference calls, so a great physical journey was necessary and travel to the source of knowledge. When he returned to China, or the Great Tang as was called that time, he started to translate the sutras into Chinese, thus making a great contribution to the development of Buddhism in China.

Monkey King is a rebellious extraordinary being, born out of a rock, fertilized by the grace of Heaven, Being extremely smart and capable, he learned all the magic tricks and gongfu from a master Taoist, Continue reading

Monkey God

Myths and Legends of China
By Edward T.C. Werner, [1922]

Chapter XIV – How the Monkey Became a God
The Hsi Yu Chi

In dealing with the gods of China we noticed the monkey among them. Why and in what manner he attained to that exalted rank is set forth in detail in the Hsi yu chi 1—a work the contents of which have become woven into the fabric of Chinese legendary lore and are known and loved by every intelligent native. Its pages are filled with ghosts, demons, and fairies, good and bad, but “it contains no more than the average Chinese really believes to exist, and his belief in such manifestations is so firm that from the cradle to the grave he lives and moves and has his being in reference to them.” Its characters are said to be allegorical, though it may be doubted whether these implications may rightly be read into the Chinese text. Thus:

Hsüan (or Yüan) Chuang, or T’ang Sêng, is the pilgrim of the Hsi yu chi, who symbolizes conscience, to which all actions are brought for trial. The priestly garment of Hsüan Chuang symbolizes the good work of the rectified human nature. It is held to be a great protection to the new heart from the myriads of evil beings which surround it, seeking its destruction. Continue reading

Into the Shade – 2

infinitely small - musco5HADES AS PLACE
by Brian Clark, 2001

Part 1

Metaphorically, we may be drawn into Hades through the caves and empty places formed from our depression or despair. Grief and loss of meaning in our lives may also draw us into the Underworld. Or we may descend through a chasm that has been opened by a volcanic blast of buried feeling. Emotional catharsis may leave a dark hole through which we now must enter the Underworld to encounter soul, as in Jung’s experience. At critical transitions in the life cycle, when we need to relinquish one stage of life to enter another, we often find ourselves standing at one of the entrances to Hades. The most potent of these times is on the threshold of “midlife.” […] Continue reading

Into the Shade

infinitely small - musco5HADES AS PLACE
by Brian Clark, 2001

In Greek myth, Hades is not only the personification of the Underworld god Pluto, but also refers to his extensive Underworld kingdom. Mythological tradition and epic clearly differentiate the Underworld and the god Hades, who is regent of this place. The topography and atmosphere of this mythological nether world is symbolic of the sphere we are drawn into during a transit of Pluto and provides a context for the textures and shades of subterranean feelings experienced during this time.

Descent into the Underworld, or catabasis, is a common motif in myth, and this journey is undertaken for a variety of reasons. The journey to the Underworld crosses the crucial threshold between this world Continue reading

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