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, mostly linked to Taoism, has a recorded historical past of greater than 2,000 years, yet frequently it is going again even extra to almost 3000 BC and the time of the Yellow Emperor. whereas Western alchemy used to be inquisitive about the hunt for non secular and fabric gold, vintage Taoist alchemy used to be a paranormal quest for immortality with its objective being union with the Absolute.
Jean Cooper describes the historical past and improvement of Taoist alchemy, compares it to related traditions in India and Turkistan, and provides it context by way of 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 was once transformation, or even extra appropriately, transfiguration, of the full physique till it ceases to "be" and is absorbed into and turns into the Tao.
This is a vital consultant for someone attracted to chinese language legend and lore, chinese language magic and medication, and Taoism.
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Extra resources for Chinese Alchemy: Taoism, the Power of Gold, and the Quest for Immortality
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.
This insistence on moral rectitude, purification and noble qualities points to the fact that the alchemy involved was not a material matter; such attributes would not be necessary for the carrying out of merely chemical or laboratory experiments. That it was a spiritual quest is also made evident in the West by such statements and instructions as that of Basil Valentinus: First there should be the invocation of God, flowing from the depth of a pure and sincere heart, and a conscience which should be free from all hypocrisy and vice, and also from all cognate faults such as arrogance, boldness, pride, luxury, worldly vanity, oppression of the poor and similar iniquities, which should be rooted out of the heart .
After entering the beggar's body Li went to the disciple's house and stopped the preparations for the mother's funeral by restoring her to life. One version of his departure from the world was that he changed into a dragon and ascended heavenwards; another was that he told a disciple that if he stepped on a leaf floating on the water it would bear him safely. The disciple refused, whereupon Li said he was obviously too heavy with the cares of the world and then stepped on the leaf himself and vanished.
Chinese Alchemy: Taoism, the Power of Gold, and the Quest for Immortality by Jean Cooper