The Misuse of Alchemy in the Wing Chun Kuen Context - by Brian Scanlon
"These is no religion higher than truth" - HPB
Alchemy: Al (Arabic, as in Allah) means "God." Also El (Hebrew) for "God." Chem or Khem is from kimia (Greek) which means "to fuse or cast a metal." Also from Khem, the ancient name of Egypt. The synthesis is therefore Al-Kimia: "to fuse with God
In modern times, the heated research into the roots and factual history of the CMA system called Wing Chun Kuen (At least since the 1850s), is on-going and typically heated. Research ranges from more factual, to less factual, to out and right make believe for marketing money machines or wannabe know it all's.
The movie "Prodigal Son", with its romantic illustration of "male" and "female' versions of the WCK system, has even crept into peoples minds, becoming fact to them, instead of the fictional romantized story it is. The idea of Male/Female variations of the WCK system, has recently evolved and expanded to suggest that the alleged female branch of the system, actually contains Nei Dan (Inner alchemy).
This article will introduce the reader to what and where Inner alchemy came from, and shine light on the ignorant misuse of Alchemy, in attempting to connect it, to a Martial Art system.
What is the ESAH?:
The ESAH ( " Esoteric Science and History") - (AKA "the mysteries", "secret doctrine", "esoteric doctrine") - contains the historical records on "Man", the Earth, the Solar system, the Milky way Galaxy, as well as the true nature of Deity (The One). It includes 7 layers of study including Alchemy, Astrology,Geometry ect, the purpose of which, is to allow man to harmonize that which is above, with that which is below, unifying the microcosm and the macrocosm and than reversing the creation process.
Each catagory of study has 7 sub-layers of knowledge and study, with a total of 49 sub catagories of learning. The entire ESAH system is meant to actualy harmonize man, the earth, the solar system, the galaxy, the Universe, the Multiverse etc, the Immortal Flame/spirit and God (that which cannot be spoken of - the Tao or as Paul the apostle said "that which isnt in temples"), bringing man home to himself ("Itself "properly), stepping slowly backwards up the jacobs ladder, reversing the creation process, ~prior~ to the creation process running its cource, with physical death and reincarnation (If not in this life time, hopefully the next, or at least 777 times later).
What is Alchemy?:
Within the ancient ESAH system of knowledge, is a very important area of study containing the "Operational Handbook" for "Man", including his purpose and the methods of obtaining said purpose IE Alchemy (Typically called "Resurrection", "Marriage of the bride groom", "Intercourse of Shiva and Shakti", "Regeneration". "Immortal fetus", "Golden Flower", "The pill" "Inner Alchemy", "eating the fruit","Acquaintance"). Alchemy translates as "Fusion with God" and is part of a complete wholistic system, that allows man, earth, solar system, ect and God to become one and co-evolve.
Death as we know it didnt exist in times before seperation of the great poles, when man and woman were one. After the spiritual "Fall"into matter, the "One", was broken down into Two (Male and Female). In Taoism, this was the Tai Chi (Grand Ultimate Pole - IE unified pole), splitting into Yin and Yang (Seperate poles/Duality)
The truth and process of Alchemy is the reversing of the "fall" into matter and duality(Allegoricaly mentioned in the Pentetach is the "fall of the angles"). Considered the "Tree of Life" by the Kabala masters, Alchemy is the eating of the fruit that brings one back to a state of harmony/Truth. Gnostics call this the 5 Sacraments (Now butchered in Catholicism as simply physical cermonial hollow motions).
Where did the ESAH come from?:
The source of the ESAH was from a now lost continent, whos remains are in the Atlantic ocean to this day, typically referred to as "Atlantis". Plato discussed the remains of this island, which had trade with their relative colony of Egypt. Heradontus "The Father of History", also documented the existance of Atlantis (Note:Atlantis isnt a proper name for the continent), based on what information the Egyptian priests, still alive in his day preserved. The same information that Plato and Heradontus believed in, is also preserved in the Babylonian, Sumarian, and Mayan/Aztec mythos as well.
Unlike most of the silly fables surrounding Atlantis, by "new age hippies", its known that it was an advanced culture, in terms of advanced in "Natural Technology", which the pyramids are a product of that technology, created by a colony found by early "Atlantian Settlers". Due to the continent slowly falling into the Atlantic ocean, with volcanic disturbances, groups left for safer living. It was from this time period that the last reminants from Atlantis would come to find new continents to live on. According to the ESAH, the older ethic group and last remnants of the Atlantian Continent, typically called the Turranians, would come to find and populate Asia, later evolving into and becoming the Mongols, Chinese, Japanese, Cambodians, Vietnamese, Koreans, Tibetans ect. The younger ethnic group founded India and Egypt and are called the Aryans (Indian, Egyptian, Semitic/Chaldean/Arabic, Hellenistic, Caucasion/Anglo Saxon/ Gaul/Celts/Pics/Norwegin, etc).
The Chinese, Egyptian, Sumarian, Chaldean, Greek, and Indian cultures, as well as almost all advanced ancient cultures, preserve the ESAH in some form, including the fact that it was passed down and taught to "Man" by "Snakes"(" Nagi", "Sons of the serpents", 'Sons of Fire' , "the gods", "Sons of wisdom" ), who were simply the enlightened philosopher class, that helped establish the new colonies, and passed down the system of the ESAH. Typically these teachers, were deified in later times, shrouding the truth in the mists of myth and time. These teachers were human, but were a incarnated enlightened "Master"/Teacher, who knowingly agreed to come back to help his fellow man. Such masters are known as the Buddha, or Christos. The snake being the symbol for "wisdom" and the teachings and teachers of the ESAH.
To understand the history, spread and loss of the ESAH, is to understand the history of Modern Man. In all cases the ESAH was preserved in a culture, within the teachings of the philosopher/spiritual teachers. The teachings were open to all who were worthy of them. The culture would flurish, and hit its peak golden era, where geometry, archeticture, astrology ect would flurish (IE The ESAH ) ect reaching levels of high sophistication, and than decline somewhat abruptly. As the decline occured, several degenerate versions of the ESAH would surface, and it would be these systems that the public would consider the authentic teachings.
The first type of degraded system would be created by a few offshoot groups, of the original pure non- pagan system. These branches would be lead by those that wanted to keep the "Keys to Heaven" for themselves and the masses ignorant or by those not understanding or agreeing with the original doctrine (Which must be experienced not book read). It was at these times, that the class distinction of a "Priest/Rabbi" was created. The infamous middle man, between god and the masses, which is a degraded concept of the "shaman" role, instead of helping bring man to himself, brought man into spirtual bondage. This type of degraded system would be come to be known, in EVERY situation, the "Standard" set of Dogma accepted publically IE Exoteric Religion. The ESAH became so emeshed in illusion, that many priests started to loose the knowledge and typically the anthropomorphising of the devine, which is the true definition of "paganism" ( ie projecting human appearance and nature onto the Devine (which is beyond Human)), would occur and be allowed. Such is the source of every Exoteric Religion the world has ever seen. The culture would than start to collapse, and a few elect of the true ESAH would leave to transplant the true teachings, in a new spot of fertile earth.
The second form of degraded system less seen, included human sacrifice, bestiality, and forced homo sexuality and would typically surface, towards the end of a cultures decline, hitting a creshendo of materialism and perversion.
Where did the early systems spread?:
The Egyptian and Indian systems (Called Hermetics, Indian Brahamism and Indian Buddhism respectivly), would gradual reach Sumaria, Chaldea, Babylon (Semitic Kabala), and Tibet (Tibetan buddhism). While the Chinese system (Esoteric Taoism) would combine with the Indian Buddhism, and form hybrid systems like Shuegendo, Yamabushi, and Emie Mountain, during the Tang dynasty.
The Indian, Persian and Egyptian (including Sumarian, Chaldean, and Babylonian) systems, developed into the Jewish Kabala, Greek Kabala, and Gnosticism. These systems in turn, would than be developed into Pythagorianism, Neo Platoism and Rosicrusionism as well as Druidism and Odinic/ Tutanic systems in Europe, which than gave way to Wicca style religions and exoteric alchemy. At some point the esoteric science also made its way to South America, in the form of the Pre-Mayan/Aztec culture, Olemic, Mayans and Aztec belief systems as well.
Gradually these systems would become mostly lost to man, except for in a few instance, such as the Theosophical movement or the Masonic lodges from the mid 1800s (Though only superficial symbolism remains in Masonry, and is a very degraded version of the true system while the Theosophical Society is horribly fractured due to later writers corrupting the information) as well as finding its way into "Magic lodges", like the Order of the Golden Dawn. The famed "Burning of Alexandria" (All three times - Ceaser, Christians and than Muslims) played a huge part in the removal of the ESAH from the worlds eye, as did the rise of Christianity and Islam.
What is a reformer?:
In each culture, in turn, a reformer would appear, who would attempt to infuse new life back into the declining society, with the true ESAH bringing the knowledge back to the people (Promethius stealing the fire from the gods).Typicaly they would be silenced and killed, by the exoteric groups, who were terrified of loosing their grips of control and power. The followers of the reformers would than have to move on somewhere else, and would begin quitely passing down the system to those who were worthy, typically fleeing for there lives from one of the two degraded exoteric systems. For example Ancient Brahamism, gave way to exoteric cast system Brahmism and Hinduism. Esoteric Buddhism gave way to Exoteric Religious Buddhism. Esoteric Taosim gave way to Exoteric religious Taoism. Jewish Kabala gave way to Exoteric Judaism. Gnositism gave way to Exoteric Roman and Greek orthodox Christianity. We can see in the Druids, Mayans and Aztecs, that the true systems were degraded into human sacrfice in later times, towards the end period of decline for said cultures.
A specific concrete example follows.
Who was Jesus really?:
Jesus was one such reformer who admonished the jews for keeping hid the ESAH by saying "The Pharisees and Scribes have take the keys to ~Acquaintance~ and hidden them. (IE the Kabala/Alchemy - one with God or being Accquainted with God/Resurection/or not tasting death after one "dies"). They have neither entered nor let those who want to enter - enter. You than be as shrewd as snakes (IE Nagi) and as innocent as doves (Ie Holy Spirit/Buddhi)."- Gospel of Thomas Ch.39
"Woe unto the Pharisees for what they resemble is a dog sleeping in the manger of some cattle, for it neither wants to eat the cattles food, nor let the cattle feed."- Gospel of Thomas Ch.102
He passed down the system of ESAH to those who were worthy, and a moral code for those who werent (exactly as Buddha did). His direct followers became known as the Gnostics, while other offshoot groups supposedly stemming from a man named "Peter" (Someone proven in modern times to have never even been in Rome, nor have even a direct student of Jesus, as is he questions "Is this what the Savior taught" - Gospel of Mary), created a doctrine of control that went against almost everything Jesus actually taught - (Proven by the many facts - including that the oldest known complete bible, proves that the modern 4 gospels have many parts added in.The newer parts added in, happen to include the New covenant concept IE Jesus is ~the~ son of and is ~the~ god and belief in that brings one to heaven and resurrection -thus substantiating that older versions of these gospels found in fragments NOT containing these doctrines were the authentic older ones). And to hide these facts, people were killed and books were destroyed (Ie the true history of exoteric Judaism and Christianty). Most of the true Gnostics were killed, while the remaining followers allowed their system to be degraded into paganism, while a few escaped to plant the seeds for Rosicrusinism in Europe.
Is the bible old news?:
Anyone perceiveing the Christian bible as revelatory, need only look at the fact that the entire bible, old and new testament was based on stories passed down in EVERY major ancient culture. The old testament is a re-telling of the Sumarian, Egyptian, Chaldean/Babylonia oral and written traditions. The shocking fact is every single charachter in the old testament, is based on another real historic figure. For example Moses life and story is that of King Sargon the 2nd. The new testament is a re-telling of certain Indian and Egyptian stories as well as a fair amount of Persian Mithraism thrown in (which was very big in Rome and Italy). All cultures have several flood stories. All cultures have a "Giants and Heros" era and the 4 Dynasties with the 10 preflood kings. All cultures preserve man was taught by "the gods". Ect.
The most important information about man and his purpose, was degraded into something one doesnt have to actually practice or work at (IE a process), but became something that one only had to believe in, for it to work IE like Magic!!. This again goes against the entire system of ESAH, as the "work", is what sows the seeds, for later reaping.
China and Emie who?:
China preserved in ancient times, one of the most complete systems of the ESAH that reached a level of refinement, rarely known to the modern world (Last 12,000 years at least), but due to the ebb and flow of the Chinese culture, foreign invaders, and in light of the growth and spread of Communism, most of the teachings are very rare, to the point of almost being extinct, with only fragments scattered about Asia. Several sub-branches of the esoteric science from the Tang dynasty, survived to this day in secretsy, carefully being passed down, by one person to another person, per generation, only recently breaking from this old tradition. One such place is the Emie Mountain Region, and its hybrid system of Taoism and Buddhism dating back about 800 years, since the first seed was planted.
What does this have to do with WCK?:
Nothing in my opinion.
In modern times, the search for the roots of the WCK system has lead many to believe in either one of two paradigms. First that WCK is a child of a White Crane boxing system, that was fused with an unknown snake boxing element. Or second, that WCK is from Shaolin.
In the mid 2000's, several practitioners in the WCK community that followed the White crane/ Snake boxing fusion paradigm, have attempted to trace the snake boxing system elements to a particular set of Kung Fu found within the Emie mountain region system, with at times wild speculations and superficial comparisons (Including the attempts at ironeously linking the Indian Chakra system paradigm to the Emie system (which instead uses the Taoist TCM paradigm).
While this article isnt to agree or disagree with the "MARTIAL ART" aspects of the Ermie system, possibly being involved with the creation of WCK or certain branches of WCK, this article is to de-bunk and dispute the misuse of Alchemy and the attempts at connecting WCK to being a system of Alchemy proper.
First we have to understand that like a system, is made up of its parts, and is a sum of them. Hence Alchemy has a place and part within a larger context, without which, would be impossible to utilize the information. Haphazard experimentation leads to haphazard results and goes against the very specific and ordered system of Esoteric Science and History. The linking of developing mechanical force with the process of Alchemy/Resurrection is absurd and is leading others down paths, that lead no where, where as the path of ESAH, leads somewhere very specific.Deeper investiagtion into the ESAH, allows one to perceive the truth that PARTS of the teachings of Alchemy, have been integrated into CMA platforms, by some individuals, in Chinese history, but unto themselves do not reflect the true art of Alchemy, nor the bigger picture of the ESAH and as such should not be perpetuated as such.
As the Esoteric Taoist and Esoteric Buddhist, as well as the hybrid systems developed in China, the various branches would come to rest in common occuring temples. Due to a wide range of circumstances within China, as well as external pressures, Martial Arts would at times come to be practiced and evolved, within the same temple walls that the ESAH was housed within. For example, early traditions from the Shaolin temple suggest that Da Mo passed down Yogic methods, that were added to the Monks already existing self defense methods, combining self defence and health into one wholistic system.
Taoist methods influenced certain CMA including several systems contained with the Ermie and Wu tang mountain region temples. Tai Chi Chuen, credited to Taoist master Chang Seng Feng is one such system. Yet TCC, only has a very small part and aspect of the Alchemy system and yet even smaller part of the ESAH.
Considering the ESAH and its sub-field of study, Alchemy, flourished in a mutlitude of cultures, without any signs of Martial Art platforms, attached to any aspect of the system, we can percieve, this is something unique to a few Chinese branches, and as such must be considered the rare exception, to the standard rule. The few Chinese branchs of Martial Arts that contain parts of the Alchemy system (which in turn is 1/7th part of the ESAH), should not be considered an "Alchemy system" proper, nor substitution for the complete ESAH.
While Tai Chi Chi, Bot Gwa, and Yi Chuen, contain training to maximize ones vital energy, to open the pathways within the body, to root to the earth, to convert hormones into Chi, to clear the mind and to build a strong temple, these CMA platforms unto themselves are incomplete, and should only be considered to as being SUPPLIMENTAL, which is the purpose they were designed for, not as a SUBSTITUTION, which is what is occuring in this modern age of materialism.
Should I add Alchemy to my WCK?:
No, attempts at combining WCK and Alchemy damages and waters down WCKs purpose as well as that of Alchemy. As my Sifu taught me "dont enoble your WCK, its to protect your life and that of the innocent". Those attempting this, invoke in my mind a proverb that my grandfather passed down to me - "There is a proper tool, for the proper job", IE WCK is for fighting, while the ESAH is for spiritual development. Those wishing to make their WCK more natural would do well to study physiology and relaxation methods, not the ESAH system.
If you wish to practice the ESAH, as a full system, with a supplimental CMA platform, you will have to travel and live in one of the few remaining temples in Asia that still perserve and practice these methods, as no complete system remains in the hands of any lay practitioner, currently known.
Are we done yet?:
Yes finally! There are no fast food short cuts to resurrection/regeneration but its understandable that westerners would look for such a short cut, as that is a part of American Cultural thinking. It takes a life time of study (as well as LifeTIMES of study ) and a willingness to challenge all you have come to accept as reality, to walk down the path of study of the ESAH. After almost 30 years of study in the ESAH (Due to the fact that as a 5 year old child I didnt believe what I was being forced to learn in Catholism and started reading and learning about other approachs to life), I can attest, I have only touched a bit below the surface of the ice berg. I have reached my" Black belt" - Grade. The point in which, now I am truely ready to begin learning.
Its important that others are not mislead by modern silliness, ego and illusion. If one seeks the truth, common to all ancient man (with its different cultural colorings), than one needs to seek out the few qualified initiates that still exist and subject oneself to be scrutinized for proper moral fiber and charachter (which most are not willing to due, because of the sting of Ego). If one is chosen worthy, than one has a life time of learning ahead of them, with no end to the road in sight. This journey takes courage, like many have never had to use. It takes you to the battle of everything in you that seeks to stop your return to the light of truth, but only through the fire of adversity, can our metal truly be tested.
About the Author:
Brian Scanlon has studied and practiced the methods of the ESAH, in one form or another, for almost 30 years, starting at the tendor age of 5 years old. He studied orthodox Christianity for 8 years at St.Peters School, including comparitive religions.After being forced to accept the sacrament of Confirmation, he than started down the path of the Old wisdom while "confirming" that everything he was taught was a lie. He has activily studied Hermetics, Gnostisicm, Pythagorianism, Shuegendo, Yamabushi, Several differant branchs of the Kabala, Taoism, Buddhism and Theosophy. He studies Hebrew and Sanskrit in his spare time, and has a goal to learn the Chinese written language.
He has practiced WCK kung fu for almost 20 years,and has researched it roots and history, for the last 10.Brian is also an artist and musician, showing his artwork in Detroit Michigan, and NYC at the worlds largest art expo, as well as several exhibits locally in Columbus, Ohio, were he lives a quite life with his Fiance. He is currently working on a new Oil painting series depicting WCK masters, as well as recording with his bands "6th Reich" and "Dead letter".
He would like to offer up thanks for his Sifu and mentor, Sifu Yuen, as well as HPB, for without her "star", none of what he knows, would be possible.