The truth behind CaoDai cosmology

Hum D. Bui explains what CaoDi tells us about Yin and Yang and the formation of the universe.

Before the creation of the heavens and the universe, the cosmic ether was still, quiet, and void; and at the same time a kind of primordial chaos, indistinct and shadowy with mixtures of density (which we call "the Tao" or pre-creation ether).

In this cosmic ether appeared a great source of Divine Light called "Thai Cuc" (Monad) or the Supreme Being. The Monad then divided itself into Yin and Yang, the two opposite logos: "Am Quang" (Yin Darkness) and "Duong Quang" (Yang Energy). Yin is heavy, dark, cold, dense, negative, inactive… while Yang is clear, bright, warm, pure, positive, active… Yin and Yang interacted with each other to form heavens and universes, with Yang being the origin of the invisible, spiritual aspect, and Yin being the mother of all visible, physical manifestations. Taoism refers to this as "The Tao begets One, One begets two, two begets three, three begets ten thousands beings; ten thousand beings carry Yin on their back and hold Yang in front, blending these two vital elements (breaths) to attain harmony."

Regarding the formation of the universe, the Supreme Being gave the following message: "After creating the universe, I divided My spirit and with it made all creatures, plants and materials. Everything in this universe comes from My spirit, and therefore has a life. Where there is life, there is Myself even in materials and plants. I am each of you and you are Me."
Everything in this universe are from Yin and Yang. The proportion of Yin and Yang would dictate the properties of each dimension. More advanced souls would enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yang and would be lighter, brighter, calmer, more beautiful, and may be called heavens. Less advanced souls enter a dimension which has a higher proportion of Yin, and would be heavier, darker, more burdensome with many cruel souls and may be called hell.

Spiritually, everything in the universe shares a part of the Supreme Being's spirit, which is called Conscience or soul in human beings. Physically, everything in the universe has a visible body consisting of a mixture of Yin and Yang, which is well demonstrated by science under the form of electrons and protons in atoms, the basic common elements of all physical reality including materials, plants, animals, and human beings. In summary, there is a oneness between the Supreme Being, the universe, human beings and every thing. The only difference is that the Supreme Being is absolutely pure, absolutely good, absolutely Yang.

Human beings, not withstanding the spiritual part from the Supreme Being, which as noted is absolutely pure and absolutely good, (and which is called Conscience), have a physical body, which is a mixture of Yin and Yang, and which human beings must cultivate in order to become more and more Yang; clearer, better, purer in thought and physically, thereby drawing closer to the Supreme Being, finally become unified with the Supreme Being. In CaoDai, this distilling process is a product of meditation, vegetarianism, moral practices, prayer, to continually raise the vibrational level of Yang.

Hum D. Bui, M.D. was born in Vietnam in 1943. He is a CaoDai scholar working with CaoDai Overseas that is in charge of spreading the faith.
New Statesman
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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.