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Thousands of talismans were used by the early Taoists in their work, and many of them in that far distant era were able to project these emblems around themselves to heal and protect within the cosmic field in which they were working at the time. To the average Westerner it may seem that this was in some way occult, but there was nothing mystical or magical about it, certainly not as far as the Taoist is concerned. It also created harmony between phenomena through the field of inactivity, which in turn provided a very strong link between Taoist belief and Taoist philosophy. Today the Taoist wears only one emblem (which certainly will not be made of gold or gold-plated) and this is it:


It is Dual Monism (the interlocking triangles), which represents the Yin and Yang of all phenomena in the universe (the circle). The six points symbolize the five elements and spiritual or macro-cosmic energy. It also shows the direction of flow of this energy from heaven and earth, and from earth back to heaven. The circle round the Dual Monism represents not only the universe, but also the void, which is the Tao. So the complete symbol stands for everything within and outside the cosmos — heaven and earth, the whole of nature and humanity, and all phenomena, known and unknown. All are one. Unfortunately, we know no Taoist who uses the art of the talisman today, and so possibly another ancient art of the Chinese has been lost in the annals of time.


The Taoist Art of K'ai Men

by Chee Soo

Copyright ©Seahorse Books 2006 (reproduced with permission)