Download Chinese Alchemy: Taoism, the Power of Gold, and the Quest by Jean Cooper PDF

By Jean Cooper

Here in a single slim quantity is a simple creation to chinese language alchemy--a culture that dates again 5,000 years.

Chinese alchemy, principally linked to Taoism, has a recorded historical past of greater than 2,000 years, yet frequently it is going again even additional to just about 3000 BC and the time of the Yellow Emperor. whereas Western alchemy used to be interested by the hunt for religious and fabric gold, vintage Taoist alchemy was once a magical quest for immortality with its objective being union with the Absolute.

Jean Cooper describes the background and improvement of Taoist alchemy, compares it to related traditions in India and Turkistan, and provides it context through contrasting it with the reason of the Western airtight culture. As she writes in her concluding bankruptcy: The entire paintings of alchemy is summed up within the word "To make of the physique a spirit and of the spirit a body". . . . The objective of the Taoist alchemist-mystic used to be transformation, or even extra appropriately, transfiguration, of the full physique until eventually it ceases to "be" and is absorbed into and turns into the Tao.

This is a necessary advisor for a person attracted to chinese language legend and lore, chinese language magic and medication, and Taoism.

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Additional resources for Chinese Alchemy: Taoism, the Power of Gold, and the Quest for Immortality

Example text

Huang Ti was reputed to have written the Inner Classics. He became an Immortal, or hsien, himself and after reigning for over a hundred years he ascended to heaven on the back of a dragon, taking with him some seventy members of his domestic household and court, in full view of the populace. Others of his retainers, anxious to go heavenward with him, hung on to the whiskers of the dragon, but they gave way and the hangers-on, together with the Emperor's bow, fell to the ground. The people gazed at the Emperor and dragon until they disappeared into the heavens.

S. Johnson, from whose study of Chinese alchemy this passage is quoted, sees in this stage of the development of Taoist thought the crucial transition period from the classical, philosophical Taoism of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu to a utilitarian and popular religion, having in it the seeds of Chinese alchemy. Chinese religion and philosophy did not have the otherworldly outlook of the Mesopotamian-Mediterranean beliefs, since in Chinese thought spirit and matter were not sharply divided; both were held to operate together in the world of Nature, so when the body had been sufficiently purified and etherealized it could continue to exist in this world, or in the heavens, or both.

Thus, having reached this state, some of the Immortals ascended to heaven while others chose to remain on earth. In the Mesopotamian-Mediterranean religions this conquest of death took the form of the perennial theme in mythology of the cult of the Dying God who dies only to come to life again; such are Osiris, Dionysos, Attis, Odin and all the messiahs and culture heroes. In the Pao P'u Tzu, Ko Hung argues the case for immortality from observations of metempsychosis: ‘Creatures which fly and run, and creatures which crawl, all derive a fixed form from the Foundation of Change.

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