The Soul of Jade – 1 : Preface

Jade worship is a feature of Chinese culture. No other nation in the world, like the Chinese, associates its spiritual culture with a stone so closely. It is not surprising that people love beautiful stones, but if they think that they can communicate with God, they can “become a gentleman”, which is a unique cultural phenomenon that deserves to be studied. In most parts of the world, jade appears as a common ornament, but in the context of East Asia, it is endowed with a very high status and profound implication, and even given divinity. This Chongyu tradition has a long and deep and extensive history. It has a history of only nine thousand years in China, and it has been consistent and continuous. The source and logical basis of this phenomenon has always been a puzzling mystery that has been inexhaustible for many years.

Although jade is called “the beauty of stone” by the ancients, there are many beautiful stones in nature. If the aesthetic value of “cultural neutrality” is used, crystal, agate, lapis lazuli, sapphire, emerald, etc. are not at all Inferior, but their status in Chinese culture is far from being comparable to jade. This asymmetry shows that “the beauty of stone” is not the root of jade worship.

Some people think that there are not many other gemstone deposits in China, so they only respect jade. But this obviously does not conform to the principle that “things are rare”. Moreover, there are not many jade deposits in ancient China.

Deng Shuping is full of sensibility to believe that jade is “rich in essence”. This kind of subjective association is actually applicable to all kinds of gemstones with superficial colors. Ma Wudu’s interpretation of the origin of jade worship is even more interesting:

“There may be someone who has been killed by the Thunder. Others will have great fears and don’t know what is going on. So when fear occurs, what can give comfort? The ancients stumbled upon the sleekness of the hand. The stone, which we call the ‘Jade’ stone, will be relatively stable… Then, when the early humans caught a piece of jade in their hands, they suddenly discovered that this jade had a great spiritual effect. This is the original spiritual benefit of jade.”

All these efforts show that people have an ardent pursuit and a strong desire to explore the roots of jade worship. But in my opinion, they did not shorten the distance from the target.

It should be noted that jade worship is not unique to Chinese culture. It is a cultural phenomenon common to many Mongolian people. Mr. Deng Cong has a powerful article on “Mongolian race and jade culture”. In addition, many other ancient peoples in East Asia and the Maya of Central America worship the dragon (or feather zombie) while prevailing in jade worship. The distribution of jade worship has signs of coincidence with dragon worship . This phenomenon reveals that the source of jade worship is closely related to the source of Mongolian race and dragon worship. If we don’t start from this angle, we may always groping in the fog of Wuli, and we must not enter the door.