Stories from Ancient China: What the Ancients Believed about Obscene Thoughts

There is an ancient saying, "All evil originates from lust." I believe that there is definitely some truth to it.

By violating moral standards on sex, human beings have created significant amounts of karma. Before the decline in moral standards, people frowned upon those who had a lust for sex.

In China during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 A.D), Ji Xiaolan was well-known official and the chief editor of Si Ku Quan Shu [note: collection of books compiled during Qing dynasty]. He wrote a book called Yue Wei Cao Tang Biji (reference English translation: The Thatched Study of Close Scrutiny) in which he recorded many fantastic stories he had heard or personally experienced. One of the stories goes as follows:

The emperor sent an officer to the region known today as Taiwan on official business. On his way to Taiwan he stayed at a hotel. While there one evening, he saw a gorgeous girl peeking over a wall into the courtyard where he was staying. Loudly and angrily, he rebuked her and sent servants to search for her, but they didn't find her.

While sleeping at night, Ji Xiaolan was awakened by a sound and a piece of tile flying onto his pillow. Angry, he shouted, "Being a monster, how dare you insult the emperor's envoy?"

A girl's voice came from outside the window, "You are an official. I tried to avoid you during the day, but you saw me, scolded and searched for me. I did not want God to know about this and get blamed. Hence, I was really worried."

"However, when you went to bed, you were thinking that possibly I was the daughter of the owner of this hotel. You were conceiving a plan to have me as your second wife. Of course you are not aware that any thought you entertain, God will know about it. Whenever a person conceives an evil thought, it will attract the harassment of an evil spirit. Under this circumstance, God will not blame the evil spirit. Hence, when I threw a tile at you, you really had no right to be angry."

Listening to her explanation, the envoy felt dejected and ashamed. Before day break, he ordered his servants to pack up and leave.

From the above story we can see where such sayings by the ancients as "Gods are always watching you" and "When you entertain a thought, Gods know about it" come from. As soon as a person conceives an obscene thought, Gods will know about it and will despise the person. It will also be all right for an evil spirit to harass this person. Thus, one must not say or act in an obscene way, and must also even avoid
entertaining any obscene thoughts.


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