The Numinous Treasure Sect

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The most important scripture of the Numinous Treasure sect was the Book of the Five Talismans of the Numinous Treasure. The 'Numinous Treasure', which was mentioned by the Magicians as early as the Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25-220), originated from a mysterious charm for protecting human beings. It was called "the unsurpassable numinous treasure" in The Book of Supreme Peace. Ge Chaopu, who was Ge Hong's grandnephew, developed it into the Book of the Numinous Treasure composed of dozens of scrolls. After that, Lu Xiujin, another Daoist scholar, added new contents to it and set up a systematic theory, which brought forth the prosperous Numinous Treasure sect. Its main practices focused on Talismans and Registers as well as religious rites. Influenced by The Highest Clarity Sect, it also included such practices as Visualizing Spirits and Recitation of Scriptures.


The Numinous Treasure sect was between the old and the new, in that it contained not only the old contents of The Celestial Masters Sect, but also new elements from the Highest Clarity sect. As a result, compared with the Highest Clarity sect, the Numinous Treasure sect became even more attractive to followers at different levels. Similar to the Five Pecks of Rice Tradition, it attached great importance to communal religious activities. However, these activities, different from the disordered racket of the Five Pecks of Rice Tradition, were characterized by collective recitation of scriptures and Ritual Offerings. All these were employed to convince the followers that because our body is inclined to killing, robbing and promiscuity, religious rites are necessary to control it; because our mouth is inclined to speaking obscene words, recitation of scriptures is needed to clean it; because our hearts are inclined to embracing vicious desires, Visualizing Spirits is needed to dispel them. Characteristic of the Numinous Treasure sect was its inclination to encourage salvation and good behavior. All its rites aimed at encouraging not only the individual's attainment of Immortality, but also good behaviour such as helping others, which was similar to the 'Universal compassion' of Buddhism.