There are many ghosts in Chinese culture. Ghosts have been
believed and worshipped by Chinese for a few thousand years.
Even Confucius said, "Respecting ghosts and gods, but away from
Many people believe ghosts, yet many don't. Chinese people often
say, "If you believe it, there will be, but if you don't, there
will not." Here is a story about this saying.
Zhuxi was a famous scholar in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). He
believed there were no ghosts in the world, so he decided to
write an essay "No Ghost." It was said he was a great sage so
even ghosts were afraid of him. If he said no ghosts, ghosts
could no longer exist. When ghosts knew he was writing the
essay, they gathered together to discuss this and decided to
send the smartest ghost to entreat him abandon the writing.
So one night, the smartest ghost appeared at Zhuxi's desk and
kowtowed towards Zhuxi repeatedly. Zhuxi was surprised and
"Where comes the ghost? How dare you disturbing me at
the ghost told Zhuxi the reason and beg him to abandon the
writing to save them. Zhuxi laughed and said:
"Yes, I am a ghost, but ..."
"Why don't you leave and why do you come in my study room?"
"I am here to entreat ..." replied the ghost.
"People are in the Yang world and ghosts are in the Yin
world. We are in the different worlds so there are no way I
can help you."
"I have very important things to entreat you, Sir."
"Ok, say it!"
"You, the ghosts have been worshipped in the human world for
so long. Isn't the time for you go away all together."
Zhuxi was moved to the outside instantly without even noticing
it. Zhuxi was astonished by the ability of ghosts, but was
unwilling to say it. Then he asked again,
"We also have good and bad ghosts..."
"Well, I heard you can do anything. Can you move me to the
"You can move my body. Can you move my heart?"
Zhuxi felt the words did have some merits so he promised the
ghost he would do that. The ghost left happily. Therefore, Zhuxi
wrote the words, under the title of the no ghost essay, "If you
believe it, there will be, but if you don't, there will not."
"That is impossible to do, Sir." "But we can move things or
a person's body so that it proves we exist." "We exist in
illusion. If you believe it, there will be, but if you
don't, there will not." "Can you say something like that in
your essay, Sir?"