Sons of Reflected Light

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Beginnings: the 'Sons of Reflected Light' and the Early Taoists

How did the Chinese health arts begin? This is how my illustrious master, Professor Chan Kam Lee, told it to me in 1934: that some 12,000 years ago (approximately 10,000 BC), there arrived in China a race of people who were very tall indeed — reputedly over seven feet in height; and because of their unusual clothing they came to be known as the 'Sons of Reflected Light' (Fankuang Tzu). Where they came from is still a mystery, and perhaps the true answer to this question may never be known, but on their arrival they wasted no time, for they soon began to collect together a group of skilled people from many trades and professions, whose intelligence was above the normal average during that period.
Having collected this band of people together, they then began to instruct them in many different arts and crafts which technically were far in advance of anything that existed in those far-off days, and many of which have still not been bettered even to this present day.
It took many, many years to instruct the Chinese in the numerous sciences that in those early days were absolutely unheard of. Not only were they new but in many cases they were completely at odds with the Chinese way of life, and with their thinking at that time. Many died trying to learn all that was being taught to them. So it happened that their children, and in turn their children's children, had to carry on the work and the studies of these various arts.
They were taught many arts, including silk weaving, pottery making, the utilization of metals, and making and using gunpowder, making glass, and the most important of all, the vast range of health arts, such as herbal therapy, health diets, hot and cold treatments, massage, acupressure (spot pressing), respiration therapy and energy therapy.
Generation after generation have tried to carry on the work that these wonderful people bestowed upon mankind. Whether the Chinese people have succeeded in remaining true to the original teachings, over the many centuries that have passed, only time will tell. It cannot be denied, however, that there is at least a possibility that during the many years that have gone by, and owing to the absence of early written records, some of those teachings have been lost.
After many centuries the 'Sons of Reflected Light' disappeared, and nothing seems to have been heard of them since, except that the foundations that they laid in all the years of their work have been built on through the years. Many of the family groups slowly dispersed throughout the length and breadth of China, and because of this, you will find that certain of the health arts became prominent in particular areas of the vast territory of China, mainly owing to the simple fact that some of the arts were more suitable to the local climate and natural environment of particular territories. [1]

  1. The Taoist Ways of Healing Preface page 12