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ZetaTalk: Bon
Note: written on Oct 15, 1995

The ancient Chinese had a tradition of worshipping their dead ancestors that went beyond respect and honorable mention. They ate their dead. This type of cannibalism is not unknown in other cultures, as primitive man has often concluded that one could ingest the qualities of another - courage, potency, or intelligence. However, the ancient Chinese did this not to capture qualities but to protect the souls of their ancestors from what they considered to be preying evil spirits. Their traditions of caring for one another knew no bounds, and failure to partake of the meal was considered gross disrespect. All but the bones were consumed, and these carefully bound and kept in a safe place. Over time this was taken to be, by those who discovered these bundles, an odd burial practice. What has passed forward as Chinese tradition, unaltered, is the sense that the spirit lives on and can inhabit a body other than the birth body - a walk-in. The foreboding sense that one needs protection from evil spirits is still about, reflected in the curved roofs which are to catch and fling back to the skies any evil spirits dropping down to plague mankind, or so they hoped.

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