Nothing stays the same...even the ingredients change from location to location even with the same names. Maybe we give honor to the historical and check the effectiveness of the now......
Gary and Carsten,
I just got home from 3 months of travel and apologize if my last two posts were muddled. They were written with little sleep and in airports.
I agree with Gary. Everything changes. That is the way of the Tao. Even our experience of our body has changed throughout history. We have placed many filters upon our senses. This change is observed quite colorfully in David Abram's "Spell of the Sensuous". In this study of ancient and modern language, Abrams ponders the violent disconnection of our minds from our bodies and from the natural world.
I am pretty convinced that many of the nei gung practices occurred naturally when people walked dirt trails, slept under the moon and ate directly from the earth or the point of their spear. And in a post Cartesian world, how we both experience and describe such connections between heaven and earth, if we can find them, would also be very different. Our computers are using a software whose language is not really built within the natural connectivity.
I also suggest, as does David Abrams, that Shamanistic magic was also a natural effect of both the earlier world view and its connection of the body with all that is within heaven and earth. I suggest that such effects like shooting "upside down arrows" from one's African hut, could kill European hunters in their sleep as Malidoma Some recounts about his grandfather in "Of Water and The Spirit". I bet most modern Cartesian minds filter such an idea right out of their experience just hearing of it.
I know a man who makes an amazing living using phurbas. But his effects only come from 40 years of practicing Bon and opening up to a premodern mindset.
I guess, what I am challenging is Carsten's idea that the body's relation to heaven and earth does not change. and, by extension, it can also be difficult to access fully an ancient teaching and create trajectories that are as deep as the ones that were originally there sans all the filters. I suspect even my Bon buddy would say his Shamanistic skills cannot match that of the Tibetan shaman who lives in a cave.