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Jidu and Fuzhou

Besides pursuing immortality, Taoism advocates salvaging human being with their own endeavor and serving the society mainly by the means of Jidu (providing salvation for the masses) and Fuzhou ( Taoist magic figure or incantation). Jidu means the behaviors that can relieve the tribulation of disciples and make them free of diseases and poverty in the practical world. Jidu requires people to accumulate merits, do good deeds to affect the immortals to get good retribution or insist on chanting scriptures.

Fuzhou is another important characteristic of Taoism. Its goals are to order about ghosts and gods, expel evils, cure diseases and pray for happiness. Fuzhou includes some characters or figures written by Taoists on paper, cloth, wooden chip or buildings. Most of the characters look like Chinese characters, but they are not the real ones. The figures have many types and are always grotesque and cannot be identified in general.

Many Fuzhou were especially recorded in the canons of Taoism. Taoism widely uses them in practical life. They attach much importance to Fuzhou, and believe that the characters and figures are the magic languages and tools. Fuzhou is also one of the important contents that Taoist disciples have to study. In general, Fuzhou contents are forbidden to be divulged to others and can only taught to Taoist disciples by their masters. According to Taoism, learning Fuzhou is a key to the mastery of the magic arts of Taoism.

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