Part of the belief of the ancient Chinese was that when people died, part of them went down into the earth, but their spirits lived on in the Heavens as chi to become One with the cosmos. All people, alive and dead, then, were thought to be part of the universal energy. This allowed the living to be in touch with their ancestors through worship, rituals, and ceremonies. Ancestors could continue to influence life on earth, thereby perpetuating the interaction. Ancestors were actively involved in the ongoing, everyday lives of their descendants.

C. Alexander Simpkins, Annellen Simpkins, Simple Taoism