Mythical Creatures in Classics of Mountains and Seas
Classics of Mountains and Seas (山海经) is a collection of Chinese mythology, geography and medicine compiled about 3,000 to 2,500 years ago.
Here are some mythical creatures depicted in the book.
A beast with a dragon head and horse body known as the deity of Mt. Zhongshan.
Very interesting how these seem to mirror western myths. Like a commonality of thought arising in time.
All Things Chinese
Thoughts transcend through time and the worlds, spread into the universe and circulate around without an expiring date, so people (and all other beings and from all other realms) are communicating constantly beyond the words and beyond the people’s conscious realization.
In this regard, the ultimate battles are always among the thoughts, which occur before, during and after the tangible actions.
Therefore the genuine cultivation towards a total liberation should focus on intangible thoughts (like Chan – the Chinese origin of Japanese Zen) not on the tangible body (like yoga), from knowing your own thoughts, controlling your own thoughts to replacing undesirable thoughts with full conscious comprehension.
A five-tail creature called Zheng, specialised in preying on man-eating beasts like tigers and leopards.
A single-eye three-tail cat-like creature called Huan, specialised in mimicking the sound of other animals.
COMMENTS FROM MINDS
Cyclops in Greek mythology. The three tails must have functioned in the myth also. Fascinating.
A nine-tailed white fox. As the legend goes, it was the matchmaker of China’s greatest hydraulic engineer The Great Yu and his wife Tushan Shi.
A Chinese unicorn called Guanshu.
Seems to be a universal myth. This one-horned creature.
All Things Chinese
But the most popular mythical creature in Chinese mythology is qilin – multicorn 🤪
A monkey-like creature known as Jufu, specialised in long-range stone hurling which terrified other beasts.
A man-eating beast called Gudiao, specialised in making human baby’s crying sound.
A celestial dog that swallows the sun and the moon from time to time, which caused solar/lunar eclipses.
Thus in Chinese tradition, the luna, especially the solar, eclipses are viewed as a sign foreshadowing ill-fated events.
On the other hand, Chinese discovered the natural cause of solar/lunar eclipses when the Classics of Mountains and Seas was complied, with the earliest Chinese record on solar eclipse dating back to 2,000 BC.
Mountain Ghost. According to Man of Simplicity (抱朴子) by Daoist Ge Hong, Mountain Ghosts have a size of a little boy with a single leg.
Fish Man (鲛人), a mermaid, specialised in weaving waterproof silk fabric.
According to the Book of Supernatural Beings (搜神记), Fish Men/Women look like humans but with a fishtail. When they weep, their tears would turn into pearls; and their body oil can keep a lamp burning for a thousand years. (南海之外有鲛人，水居如鱼，不废织绩。 其眼泣则能出珠)
Ghost Liar (讹兽), an expert in lying and cheating.
According to the Book of Supernatural (神异经), Ghost Liars have the body of a rabbit and the head of a man, with a friendly facial expression but a nasty habit of fabricating and spreading fake news.
Their meat is said to be super delicious. But anyone who consumes it will lose the ability to tell truth. (西南荒中出讹兽，其状若菟，人面能言，常欺人，言东而西，言恶而善。其肉美，食之，言不真矣。)
Sounds like a lot of people have been eating ghost rabbit.
All Things Chinese
Corporate media outlets must have been offering ghost rabbit meat as tea snack for their staff members.
Mother Ghost (姑获鸟). According to Strange Tales from Stories of Mountain and Rivers (奇异杂谈之山海经), Mother Ghosts are formed by the grieving thoughts of the women died of childbirth.