Certain experiential stages in the study of classical Chinese Taoism will naturally lead to deep revelations about life and wellbeing. Those who work with lineage holding Taoism at a personal level are often working to improve themselves beyond their physical and mental limitations and naturally find interest in aspects of the so called Wu Shu or “Five Arts.” This ancient technology exists to -expand- our understanding of four fundamental subjects - namely, matter, the mind (at least 16 aspects of mind, i.e, memory, identity, etc), spirit and life. Originating with the need to develop knowledge in the struggle for survival, balance, and adaptation, the Five Arts may bring relevant to a practitioner and to his/her practice, when normal boundaries of inquiry no longer suffice.
“The Five Metaphysical Arts originated in the experience and
knowledge derived from the ancients’ struggle for survival, adaptation, and balance. Later they were highly developed by Taoists, cultivating them in the mountains, who used arcane symbolism to express their findings. Each art is
permeated with the sweat and blood of generations of workers, crystallizing their experience and knowledge of the ages. If we can penetrate the outer terminological shell and extract the pure marrow, these arts could be a rare blessing for humankind.” (Chen, 1998, 112).