Through my research I found that laypeople’s perceived direct experiences with the divine play a large role in how people think about the divine and its/their statues. As these statues tend to be large, brightly colored, and even painted gold to shine, they can directly affect people’s perceptions of the divine. I think that temple builders know this well, and they use this to their advantage. For example, when I climbed the Daoist Blue City Mountain (Qīngchéngshān 青城山) in southwest China in 2013, I was disappointed to see that they had rebuilt the Lord Lăo (Lăojūn 老君) shrine at the very top of the mountain peak. There used to be a five-story pagoda with an amazing gold-painted statue of Lăozi riding an ox that filled the entire space and even more since the ox’s horns were so large that they extended through the upper-story windows (see Figure 4.1 left and center). Now, the new shrine hall contains a much smaller two-story statue of a seated golden Lord Lăo (see Figure 4.1 right). I think this statue is nowhere near as grand as the previous statue. However, as I stood and looked at the image, three children, about ten to twelve years old, walked into the hall and stared at the statue with their mouths open. They all said, ‘Aaaaii! (Wow!)’ and immediately began prostrating themselves on the prayer cushions. They were totally amazed at the size, scope, beauty, and majesty of the new statue. They then walked around the pagoda and bowed again while shouting “Tàishàng Lăojūn 太上老君 (‘The Most High Lord Lăo’)!” to get the attention of the deity. They were clearly awe-struck, and I think experiences like this contribute a great deal to the regrowth of religion across China. This is by no means the only example that I have seen like this: new laypeople, or laypeople-to-be, regularly step into religious sites with a sense of awe, rather than one of bored expectation. And people are amazed in many religious sites such as: the Lama Temple in Bĕijīng, which has a fifty-four-foot-tall Buddha carved from a single sandalwood tree; Mount Lè in the southwest boasts the largest stone Buddha in the world (233 feet tall, finished in 803 ce); and many Daoist temples house grandiose (two-to-four stories tall), ornate, colorful, and often gilded statues of the Three Primes (the three primal energies of the universe: cosmic qì, earthly qì, and water qì). Although we have a preliminary discussion of deity statues and people’s reactions to them, this leaves us with a more pressing question: what do the Chinese mean by ‘deity,’ ‘god,’ ‘goddess,’ and ‘spirit being’? As with many other facets of 95Chinese life, we must analyze the similarities and differences between common Western and Eastern understandings of ‘divinity,’ and other religiously oriented terms, in order to better understand our Chinese religions’ subject matter and context.