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Thread: Way of Life in the Wuxia World vs. Modern Life

  1. #1
    Peachblossom
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    Default Way of Life in the Wuxia World vs. Modern Life

    Some of us might not find the lifestyle of the people in the wuxia world to be ideal. Obviously, life in reality is much different than in the wuxia world. Or, it is just that civilization has allowed modern people to take on a new way of life. As modern life is more secured, and injustice is less widespread as before, there is less need to learn martial art, to defend oneself and others from oppression.

    There are about four or five ways that people in the wuxia world may choose to live:
    1) Live as a lay person, and be subjected to the dictation of the more powerful, or, easily die as a result of a corrupted, disordered society.
    2) Gain martial art skills to protect oneself, to fight for justice, or to defend the country
    3) Gain martial art skills to benefit oneself alone, while harming everyone else, to meet one's own interest
    4) Live in seclusion, whether as an eccentric, or a monk.

    As we can see, under these prevailing conditions, found in the wuxia world, it is difficult for people to live, or to live happily, and peacefully, for most of their life. However, everyone is not given the same circumstances; some have the opportunity to better themselves, by learning great things, becoming skillful, and having the means to make use of their knowledge, while others are limited by their surroundings to change their way of life.

    However, if one were born into this type of world, in this period of time, what can one do to make the most out of one's limitations, which were effected by the social condition, and attain happiness, that is, if happiness is the objective, and is at all possible in this society? Supposing that one were given a choice, if one were born into this type of society, which route should one choose to take?

    In spite of that, can we can see some things about the way of life in the Wuxia world as better than the modern way of life?

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    Default Re: Way of Life in the Wuxia World vs. Modern Life

    Originally posted by peachblossom
    In spite of that, can we can see some things about the way of life in the Wuxia world as better than the modern way of life?
    the bad ones

    no drinking law(if so I wouldn't drink)
    no school
    take a bath once a month (for kids who hate it)

    the good ones

    kids would learn the hardship of life and working
    kids maybe taught to be obedient by the traditional ways
    people would value education more
    less pollution

  3. #3
    Senior Member Trinie's Avatar
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    Hmm... there are things that I like about modern life and about the ancient life styles.

    Things I like about the modern world:
    Technology like computers, TV and stuff..
    Good toilets, imagine not having this??
    Good transportation system, like cars and airplanes
    and other stuff that I can't think of now...

    But life in the ancient world was a lot more simple, but they lacked a lot of things:
    You didn't have to worry about all of this paper work that you have to now. For example, if you wanted a job, you can just walk in and start working right away... unlike today.
    No technology
    No nice bathrooms or toilets
    No drinking laws
    etc...
    Respect other people's opinions and views. If we learn how to do that than all of these fights and arguments will not occur.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for bringing up this question. In fact, I have been thinking about this for several weeks. One night, in my meditation class, the teacher asked, "Is the ancient (aka wuxia) world more conducive for spiritual development?" I am inclined to say YES.

    If a person likes gadgets and gizmos and the wonderment of technology, then now is a great time to be. However, if one strives for the internal cultivation, to develop excellent internal neigong and kungfu, to find that quiet place in the mind where wisdom is constantly spewing out, the wuxia world is more ideal.

    Not surprising, in the ancient world, there were lots of enlightened monks and nuns, much better kungfu, more people could have fly and shoot out qi; by the Qing dynasty, there were better technology, but fewer good martial artists. Even simple feats like jumping up a building are lost to the modern fighter.

    I noticed that in the wuxia world, one person can generally make more of a difference. Someone at the level of the JY elites can stop couple thousand soldiers (as discussed in another thread). If an official in the province is corrupt, you can go fix him.

    In my opinion, the sole pursuit of technology, without internal practice, though it could benefit countless human lives, is a dead course. Look at this world today, we're no better than the ancients. We can kill better, diseases are still rampant, there are wars everywhere. And even if technology can cure hunger, people would still be spiritually impovished, seeking to find meaning and identity in the external world. Inside, we have everything we need--jing, Qi, and shen. The best wuxia fighter are ones with internal training.

    The modern world, though dismal, is not hopeless. We have some the knowledge of the ancients (although 9yang and 9yin sutras are probably lost) and if we use both the old and the new in a synergistic way, then gradually the world will become better.

    But given a choice between early Song Dynasty or Bush Dynasty, I would choose Song.
    Last edited by hermit; 04-18-04 at 02:04 AM.

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    Senior Member kamii's Avatar
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    Whoa u would choose to live in the song dynasty!!! I would neva i hav become too dependant on my kind of lifestyle, i mean even a kitchen would hav so much different. No electric/ gas stoves, no fridge, no microwave!! And think about the weather.....no heaters or aircon!! No showers, no moisturisers, no hamburgers!?!?
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    not even in anicent times, jsut think back about 120 years ago, no cars, no electric anything, some running water.

    things about very diffcult back then, i wouldn't want that.

    Just think about camping, and cut out all the tech part and you have living in the old world.
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    Senior Member rabadi's Avatar
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    Not to mention there was no internet connection and no SPCNet website on which we all have good times discussing wuxia like this

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    Originally posted by rabadi
    Not to mention there was no internet connection and no SPCNet website on which we all have good times discussing wuxia like this
    We could have a Wuxia Gathering for every year or month just like the Hero Gathering that in real life they actually discuss martial art.

    Originally posted by hermit
    Not surprising, in the ancient world, there were lots of enlightened monks and nuns, much better kungfu, more people could have fly and shoot out qi; by the Qing dynasty, there were better technology, but fewer good martial artists. Even simple feats like jumping up a building are lost to the modern fighter.
    Are you sure they can shoot qi? because I never heard of it before.
    For jumping, I think it depend on the type of martial art practiced because not all martial artist know how. From what I have analyze about martial arts is that some art emphasis on stances that feet suppose to touch the ground while attacking, and these aren't moblie. I think jumping high kind of contradict the stances which suppose to be stuck to the ground. While martial art such as Ba Gua Zhang emphasis on rapid foot moment are less rooted to the ground and are suited to jump high. Which I have read some past Ba Gau Zhang practicer was capable jumping from tree to tree and up and down building. I guess that is why I see in movie a Eagle Claw Master was capable of such jump high while others in the movie can't because Eagle Claw also emphasis on foot movement.

    Does anybody know that how high a building back then is?
    Last edited by TaiHan; 04-19-04 at 10:35 PM.

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    I wouldn't contest that it was difficult then. But you know, it's also difficult now. We have other problems in the modern world too....

    I am certainly not suggesting we revert to the old days. Our level of population cannot survive without modern advancements. After all, technology allowed us to live longer and created the population explosion since people live longer and science did find treatment to various deadly diseases. 6 billion people cannot use the toilet in bushes...Today, even urine is recyled to make drinking water.

    I rather go back in time not turn back time.

    Not having electricity and running water is pretty cool. You have to walk to the river everyday to get water and when the sun goes down, you sit around the fire talk with your friends and family or meditate and nourish your internal qi.

    I have read that people can actually emit qi. It's just an extension of our qi. Today, we use bullets as extensions; in the past, we used qi.

    In JY novels, even an average fighter has some level of lightness skill. At the minumum, one could jump 10 feet high.

    Any martial artist without basic grasp of ligthness skill would be crushed. Solid stance and the ability to become light don't contradict each other. The qi that can elevate can be used to sink for rooting.

    I suspect they had pagodas with 7 stories and each one is about 10 feet so a building can be 70 feet high?

  10. #10
    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    In the modern age, we rely on too much of electricity to run everything. Hurricane Isabelle took out the electricity for a lot of people for a whole week or more. No one had light, all their food in the fridge spoiled, no hot water, no cooking with the stove unless you have a gas stove, no internet, no computer, no TV.

    According to some current news, Kids spend too much time on television that it leads to attention problems like ADHD...umm...an attention deficient problem from long hours of watching them. Too much of something, is not always good.
    Last edited by Suet Seung; 04-21-04 at 03:45 AM.
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  11. #11
    Moderator Ken Cheng's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hermit
    Today, even urine is recyled to make drinking water.
    I live in Southern California. With gasoline prices being what they are today, I'd nominate whomever could convert urine into fuel for a Nobel Prize!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by hermit
    Thanks for bringing up this question. In fact, I have been thinking about this for several weeks. One night, in my meditation class, the teacher asked, "Is the ancient (aka wuxia) world more conducive for spiritual development?" I am inclined to say YES.

    If a person likes gadgets and gizmos and the wonderment of technology, then now is a great time to be. However, if one strives for the internal cultivation, to develop excellent internal neigong and kungfu, to find that quiet place in the mind where wisdom is constantly spewing out, the wuxia world is more ideal.

    Not surprising, in the ancient world, there were lots of enlightened monks and nuns, much better kungfu, more people could have fly and shoot out qi; by the Qing dynasty, there were better technology, but fewer good martial artists. Even simple feats like jumping up a building are lost to the modern fighter.

    I noticed that in the wuxia world, one person can generally make more of a difference. Someone at the level of the JY elites can stop couple thousand soldiers (as discussed in another thread). If an official in the province is corrupt, you can go fix him.

    In my opinion, the sole pursuit of technology, without internal practice, though it could benefit countless human lives, is a dead course. Look at this world today, we're no better than the ancients. We can kill better, diseases are still rampant, there are wars everywhere. And even if technology can cure hunger, people would still be spiritually impovished, seeking to find meaning and identity in the external world. Inside, we have everything we need--jing, Qi, and shen. The best wuxia fighter are ones with internal training.

    The modern world, though dismal, is not hopeless. We have some the knowledge of the ancients (although 9yang and 9yin sutras are probably lost) and if we use both the old and the new in a synergistic way, then gradually the world will become better.

    Two comments:-
    1) Life in the past is so hard, everything is done manually. Transport is difficult, hygeine standards far below acceptable for modern man. With so much life challenges, it would be difficult to have a cultivated mind, no?

    2) Some of your assertions of the wonders of the past seems to be lifted from the novels.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Han Solo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Suet Seung


    According to some current news, Kids spend too much time on television that it leads to attention problems like ADHD...umm...an attention deficient problem from long hours of watching them. Adults probably would have the same problem too and plus there are people who hang on the internet too long or spend to much time on the computer too.
    Respectfully, i don't think that ADHD have anything to do with computer addiction. Not from anything i read last year, anyway.

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    Originally posted by Han Solo
    Two comments:-
    1) Life in the past is so hard, everything is done manually. Transport is difficult, hygeine standards far below acceptable for modern man. With so much life challenges, it would be difficult to have a cultivated mind, no?

    2) Some of your assertions of the wonders of the past seems to be lifted from the novels.
    1) Probably not. Hygiene is a rather modern concept. They didn't worry about it that much in the old days. Of course people died like flies but many probably didn't think they have it that bad. For example, maybe 1000 years from now, people look back and see how bad we have it today though it's not that bad depending on where you live. Cultivation requires a little bit of hardship. All the great heroes had to undergo some form of hardship. Practicing neigong requires a lot of hardship and patience. Hardship didn't stop people like Buddha, Confucius, Jesus, Mencius, Zhuge Liang, Yue Fei, etc.

    2) I think novels do have some basis in facts. People who write novels use a bit of facts here and there to weave their universe. Besides this is the Wuxia Fiction forum

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    Sometimes life in the modern world is just too complex. Gotta do all these assignments, buy some batteries for my discman, get new CDs as well, fix up broken book shelf, go online download some songs and post messages in SPCNET......so on so on. There is just too much things to accomplish!! So sometimes, we think wouldn't it be good to live the simple life (e.g. in wu xia) just stop and enjoy the sunlight, the breeze, the fresh air, the scenery. No pressure from work, no responsibilties from school, no computer crashes or technology malfunctions to deal with.......

    Indeed this is just an illusion.

    Of course, nothing is free, what you get out of life depends on what you put in. In reality, we can't avoid hard work or responsibilities or the pressures of modern day life. However, even if we can't escape the problems we face today or enjoy the freedoms of the simple life there is one place where we can virtually taste it! and of course they're in none other than wu xia novels!
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    Yea.......ADHD is like something ur born with i think, or u might develop it, like depression. Pretty sure u don't get ADHD from playing games or watching TV cause i noe alot of people who do that. I myself can watch TV for maybe 24hrs with snacks!

    i could also play computer for hours if i had the time.....although i do play quite alot, if i got absolutely nothing to do i mght hav a day of playing computer
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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Originally posted by kamii
    Yea.......ADHD is like something ur born with i think, or u might develop it, like depression. Pretty sure u don't get ADHD from playing games or watching TV cause i noe alot of people who do that. I myself can watch TV for maybe 24hrs with snacks!

    i could also play computer for hours if i had the time.....although i do play quite alot, if i got absolutely nothing to do i mght hav a day of playing computer
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  18. #18
    Peachblossom
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    Thanks for all of your comments. They are very interesting.
    I agree that there are both advantages and disadvantages in the wuxia world and the modern world. As some of you mentioned, life back then was in general, less comfortable than today because people did not have the advanced technology to ease their lifestyle. They were short of such things as, better means of transportation and communication, a sanitary environment, and the field of medicine was not yet advanced enough to cure diseases which were widespreading at the time.

    However, despite these drawbacks, people of ancient times seem to manage to survive, as nature often found ways to take care of itself. Although there were no transportation systems back then, probably there also was not as much need for people to travel far distances, and migration for the common people would be rarer, bigger events which would last longer. As we can see, life was much simpler then; society was not as structured as today; the field of science, math, and literature had not been developed, and the general people probably had not the idea or the desire to pursue knowledge from books. Basically, at that time, society had not reached the point of civilization, the people were struggling merely to find a means of living. Though we might consider this lack of civilization a setback, this type of lifestyle, however, also allowed people to develop in other ways, as some of you mentioned, in attaining inner strength, and spiritual well-being.

    Hermit- I am intrigued that you are taking a class in meditation; your knowledge and the views you share on spirituality are very interesting.

    I certainly agree that aside from the upward movement of society in such aspects as, technology, education, law and order, and economics, with time, the spiritual development of every individual is just as important (if not more), and should be maintained over all periods of time. For, only with spiritual awareness and cultivation, will we find more meaning in life, and be better able to perform our duties as citizens, thereby, further stabilizing this upward movement of society.

    As for my opinion about the different lifestyles, I wouldn't consider it a great misfortune to live in the olden times, though I do value and prefer what the modern age offers us. If we were to compare them, then I would say that there are more advantages found in the modern life. For, though we may not have the simplier, more spiritually oriented society, we are living in a freer, more just world, in which we can independently live out our own ideals, including, the pursuit of spiritual knowledge. As for the lack of comforts in ancient life, perhaps if we had no knowledge of any other world besides the one in which we were born, we might not even know that this existence is unfortunate, and "lesser", or at least, we might be able to accept it, and adapt to it very well.

    When I was thinking about this subject, I was mainly fascinated by the wonders of life in the Wuxia World, which were especially glorified by Jin Yong. The stories of great heroes and heroines with awesome martial arts, saving the country, upholding justice, and making a difference wherever they went, show how great, and super-human, people can be. A lot of the martial arts, and kung fu they possessed are quite incredible. Can you imagine, in real life, people flying over mountains, and fighting at the same time? Isn't it fascinating how much internal strength one can have to blow up a big tree, or set others flying miles away? It would be awesome if we could see more of this today. But then, as I mentioned, though this was more common in ancient time, not everyone had the opportunity to master these skills. Besides, society in olden times had more problems with justice and order, which was why people needed the few great heroes with the skills and the heart, to change the situation.

    Today, however, we no longer see these mythical figures, like heroes possessing great martial skills, who can make a great difference for everyone. However, there continues to be heroes in today's age, though in a slightly different sense, and many more people can become this. Even though we no longer see people flying over mountains, or killing many hundreds at once, or even possessing the most powerful martial arts, we do see an equality among people (at least in the US), an equal opportunity for everyone to further their potential. Instead of the mundane worries that many people had in olden times, we now have taken on a diverse field of interests, and for the majority, our values have also changed. Society has become one that places more emphasis on the intellect; thus, those who pursue the intellect are those who can make a greater impact on society. In today's society, anyone can become great, if they desire to walk in this direction. Anyone, virtually, can become leaders, of the country, or of whatever field we may be interested in, and make a difference. In that sense, perhaps, anyone of us can be considered "heroes" or "heroines". So, I guess, in a way, we can still connect with the great legends found in wuxia.

    TaiHan- "We could have a Wuxia Gathering for every year or month just like the Hero Gathering that in real life they actually discuss martial art."

    Yeah! After all, we are all heroes, in our own ways, right? We can make history! What do you say?


  19. #19
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    Default How would you react if your life ended up like a Wuxia novel?

    With hypocrisy,power play and ruthless opponents wanting to finish you off?You know you have the heroic material to overcome the threats which are after your head but would you consider that as exciting because you have a dramatic life or would you feel helpless since your problems are of Wuxia-proportions?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: How would you react if your life ended up like a Wuxia novel?

    Originally posted by Mr. Mok
    With hypocrisy,power play and ruthless opponents wanting to finish you off?You know you have the heroic material to overcome the threats which are after your head but would you consider that as exciting because you have a dramatic life or would you feel helpless since your problems are of Wuxia-proportions?
    Isn't real life made up of hypocrisy, powerplay and ruthlessness anyway? Greed, ambition and just plain evil are qualities that are out their in our society, but just less concentrated, but we have to face them anyway!

    - Friends can betray you for promotions/girls/jealousy
    - People can hate you for no apparent reason or of some unknown factor, and can make your life miserable (classmate/supervisor)
    - People can be nice to you in the beginning, but backstab you when you are not looking (some of my class mates do that)

    I don't think that it would be that much difference of a wuxia life versus the life that we have to face today, except that the worse case scenario in the wuxia life may be losing your head.

    But I do know some people who want to have the love-life of wuxia characters!!!
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